Weiss Ratings


Insurance Company Failures Decline 48% in 2004
HMO and Bank Failures Remain Low

JUPITER, Fla., January 10, 2005 — With the economy continuing to strengthen, the number of insurance companies that failed[1] in 2004 declined 48 percent, to 13 compared to 25 insurer insolvencies in 2003, according to Weiss Ratings, Inc., the nation's leading independent provider of ratings and analyses of financial services companies, mutual funds, and stocks. Three life and health insurers and 10 property and casualty insurers failed in 2004, compared to four and 21 respective failures in 2003.

The 13 failed insurance companies in 2004 were:

Company

Headquarters

Co. Type

Date of Failure

At Date of Failure

Total Assets*

($ Mil)

Weiss

Safety Rating

National Health Insurance Co.

Grand Prairie, Texas

L&H

03/03/04

873.8

E

MIIX Insurance Co.

Lawrenceville, N.J.

P&C

08/27/04

813.0

U

Capitol Life Insurance Co.

Golden, Colo.

L&H

03/03/04

304.8

D

Interboro Mutual Indemnity Ins. Co.

Mineola, N.Y.

P&C

04/06/04

58.4

E-

Life and Health Ins. Co. of America

Philadelphia, Pa.

L&H

07/02/04

47.9

E-

Statewide Insurance Co.

Waukegan, Ill.

P&C

01/06/04

33.1

D-

Cascade National Ins. Co.

Seattle, Wash.

P&C

11/30/04

27.3

D

American Superior Insurance Co.

Plantation, Fla.

P&C

09/29/04

13.5

D

Cumberland Casualty & Surety Co.

Tampa, Fla.

P&C

02/26/04

12.1

D

New America Insurance Co.

N. Lauderdale, Fla.

P&C

07/01/04

10.9

C-

State Capital Insurance Co.

Lawrenceville, N.J.

P&C

06/21/04

8.7

D-

Pinnacle Casualty Assurance Corp.

Montgomery, Ala.

P&C

02/02/04

3.4

E

Carrol County Mutual Fire Ins. Co.

Westminster, Md.

P&C

04/12/04

n/a

D

Weiss Safety Rating: A=Excellent; B=Good; C=Fair; D=Weak; E=Very Weak; F=Failed; U=Unrated

*Figures are as of the most recent data available at time of failure.

"Insurers have been reporting robust profits for several quarters now, which reflects both an improved securities market and economic growth, resulting in fewer company failures compared to the numbers reported several years ago," commented Melissa Gannon, vice president of Weiss Ratings, Inc.

HMOs Report Fewer Failures; Bank Insolvencies Rise 25%

Strong industry performance also contributed to fewer HMO failures in 2004. HMO failures decreased 33 percent, from three in 2003 to two in 2004. Meanwhile, the banking industry experienced a 25 percent increase, from three insolvencies to four during the same period.

The HMOs and banks that failed in 2004 were:

Company

Headquarters

Co. Type

Date of Failure

At Date of Failure

Total Assets*

($ Mil)

Weiss

Safety Rating

Guaranty National Bank of Tallahassee

Tallahassee, Fla.

Bank

03/12/04

104.6

D-

Bank of Ephraim

Ephraim, Utah

Bank

06/25/04

46.4

D-

Reliance Bank

White Plains, N.Y.

Bank

03/19/04

30.3

E-

Family Health Care Plus

Mississippi

HMO

07/15/04

25.3

U

Dollar Savings Bank

Newark, N.J.

Bank

02/13/04

11.4

C+

PrimeHealth of Alabama

Alabama

HMO

02/13/04

3.7

E

Weiss Safety Rating: A=Excellent; B=Good; C=Fair; D=Weak; E=Very Weak; F=Failed; U=Unrated

*Figures are as of the most recent data available at time of failure.

To avoid financially weak companies, Weiss Ratings recommends that consumers and businesses monitor the financial health of their HMO, insurance company, and bank using safety ratings with a solid track record for accuracy. The Weiss ratings are based on an analysis of a company's capital, profitability, quality of investments, liquidity, and stability.

Weiss Ratings, Inc. reviews more than 8,000 stocks daily, including all those traded on the New York Stock Exchange, the American Stock Exchange, and Nasdaq. Weiss also issues investment ratings on more than 12,000 mutual funds, covering equity, fixed-income, and closed-end funds, and provides financial safety ratings on more than 15,000 financial institutions, including banks and insurance companies. It is the only major rating agency that receives no direct or indirect compensation from the companies it rates for issuing its ratings. Revenues are derived strictly from sales of its products and custom research solutions to consumers, institutions, businesses, libraries, and governmental agencies. Ratings and analyses, consumer financial and investment guides, and other products are available for purchase through www.weissratings.com or by calling 800-289-9222.

 

[1] The company is deemed failed if it is either 1) under supervision of an insurance regulatory authority; 2) in the process of rehabilitation; 3) in the process of liquidation; or 4) voluntarily dissolved after disciplinary or other regulatory action by an insurance regulatory authority. Once Weiss Ratings has been advised that a company under supervision or rehabilitation has been released from supervision or successfully rehabilitated, it will be rated based upon our evaluation of the released or rehabilitated company.

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