Assurant

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Assurant, Inc.
Public
Traded as NYSEAIZ
S&P 500 Component
Industry Insurance
Founded 1892
Headquarters 28 Liberty St
New York City, New York
, U.S.
Key people
Alan B. Colberg (President and CEO)[1]
Revenue DecreaseUS$ 7.532 billion (FY 2016)[2]
IncreaseUS$ 565.4 million (FY 2016)[2]
Total assets DecreaseUS$ 29.709 billion (FY 2016)[2]
Total equity DecreaseUS$ 4.098 billion (FY 2016)[2]
Number of employees
approximately 14,700 (2017)[2]
Website assurant.com

Assurant, Inc. is a global provider of risk management products and services[3] with headquarters in New York City.[2] Its businesses provide a diverse set of specialty, niche-market insurance products in the property, casualty, extended device protection, and preneed insurance sectors. The company’s three operating segments are Global Housing, Global Lifestyle, and Global Preneed.[2]

The company, formerly known as Fortis, Inc., was spun off from Dutch and Belgian financial-services company Fortis Insurance N.V. in 2004. The company’s initial public offering on Feb. 5, 2004 at $1.76 billion was the fourth largest that year. In connection with the public offering, the company changed its name to Assurant, Inc.[4][5]

Assurant is 361 on the Fortune 500 list of the largest publicly traded companies in the United States.[6]

History[edit]

Assurant can trace its roots back to the founding of the La Crosse Mutual Aid Association, which was established to sell disability insurance in Wisconsin in the early 1890s. La Crosse Mutual Aid Association would later become the Time Insurance Company.[7] In 1978, N.V. AMEV of the Netherlands acquired the Time Insurance Company via its U.S. holding company AMEV Holdings, Inc. During the next 12 years, AMEV Holdings, Inc. would expand through acquisition, buying American Security Insurance (credit-related insurance); United Family (funeral insurance); Western Insurance Company (mutual funds); and Superior Insurance (auto insurance).[8] In 1990, N.V. AMEV of the Netherlands acquired VSB Groep NV bank to become the Netherlands first financial conglomerate combining an insurer and a bank, creating Fortis.[9] In 1991, AMEV acquired the group life, accident and health insurance of Mutual Benefit Life Insurance Company.[10] AMEV Holdings, Inc. was rebranded Fortis, Inc. in 1991.[11] Superior Insurance was sold in 1996.[12] Fortis acquired John Alden in 1998 and American Bankers Insurance in 1999.[13][14]

Fortis' American business was subsequently renamed as Assurant and spun off from the parent company in 2004.[15][16]

On June 10, 2015 Assurant announced an exit from the health insurance marketplace to focus on housing and lifestyle specialty protection products and services, and would be winding down its Assurant Health business.[17][18] In October 2015, Assurant announced it had completed the sale of Assurant Health’s existing supplemental and self-funded business lines to National General Holdings Corporation.[18][19][20] Assurant began to wind down its major medical operations and did not participate in the next Affordable Care Act open enrollment period beginning in November 2015.[17][18] Assurant sold its HSA assets and other medical-account assets to SelectAccount in March 2016.[21] In 2015 Assurant also announced it was exiting the employee benefits marketplace.[22] Sun Life Financial agreed to acquire Assurant Employee Benefits for $940 million in September 2015,[23][22] and closed the sale in March 2016.[24]

Operations[edit]

Assurant operates three main segments:

  • Global Housing, which offers lender-placed insurance, multi-family housing, and mortgage solutions.[2]
  • Global Lifestyle, which offers mobile device protection services and extended service contracts for consumer electronics and appliances, vehicle protection services, and credit and other insurance.[2]
  • Global Preneed, which offers pre-funded funeral insurance and annuity products.[2]

Assurant Health policy claim denials and cancellations[edit]

Assurant Health (now divested from Assurant)[21][18] was repeatedly found to cancel health policies for some customers that had serious medical conditions, and 12 states criticized the firm for denying claims, with most of the states levying fines against Assurant.[25][26][27] A number of individual cases have been reported.

In September 2009, the South Carolina Supreme Court upheld a lower court’s verdict that the firm (then known as "Fortis") wrongly revoked the health insurance policy of a holder who had contracted HIV subsequent to getting an insurance policy, and ordered the firm to pay $10 million to the plaintiff. The court found that:

Pursuant to company policy in cases involving long-term disease, Fortis launched an investigation to determine whether [the plaintiff] had failed to disclose a pre-existing condition on his policy application...A Fortis investigator reviewed the records and discovered [an] erroneously-dated intake note in [the doctor’s] files. That information was then forwarded to [a] Fortis Senior Underwriter...for review. [The underwriter]...recommended that [the plaintiff’s] policy be rescinded on the grounds that he had misrepresented his HIV positive status.

Reuters report on the ruling stated that Fortis had a company policy to target every recently diagnosed HIV-positive policyholder for an automatic fraud investigation for a pretext to rescind their policy, according to undisclosed records. As in that case, their insurance policies often were canceled on incorrect information, flimsy evidence, or for no reason at all.[28] In March 2010, the United States Supreme Court rejected the firm's appeal of the ruling.[29]

In February 2010, a Boulder, Colorado jury found that Assurant Health had breached its contract with a woman who was severely injured in a hit-and-run accident, and awarded her $183,551 for medical bills and approximately $37.1 million in punitive damages. This was described as "one of the largest bad-faith judgments in Colorado history".[30]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Management Committee". Assurant.com. Retrieved 11 September 2015. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Assurant 10-K" (PDF). ir.assurant.com/investor/sec/default.aspx. Retrieved 27 April 2017. 
  3. ^ Frankel, Daniel. "Comcast chooses Assurant for mobile phone protection plans | FierceCable". www.fiercecable.com. Retrieved 26 July 2017. 
  4. ^ "Dutch insurer Amev is buying VSB Groep NV bank for.." tribunedigital-chicagotribune. Retrieved 2017-07-12. 
  5. ^ Gelsi, Steve. "Assurant's debut leads IPO quintet". MarketWatch. Retrieved 2017-07-12. 
  6. ^ "Assurant". Fortune. Retrieved 2017-07-12. 
  7. ^ Usher, Ellis, Wisconsin: Its Story and Biography 1848-1913, Vol. 8, p. 2297
  8. ^ https://www.nytimes.com/1990/11/28/business/business-people-new-top-posts-filled-by-amev-holdings.html Cuff, Daniel (November 28, 1990). “New Top Posts Filled By AMEV Holdings.” The New York Times.
  9. ^ http://articles.chicagotribune.com/1990-01-23/business/9001060788_1_netherlands-insurer-amev (January 23, 1990). “Dutch insurer Amev is buying VSB Groep NV bank for...” Chicago Tribune online
  10. ^ ZONANA, VICTOR F. (1991-08-01). "Ailing Mutual Benefit Sells Off Units to AMEV". Los Angeles Times. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved 2015-07-10. 
  11. ^ Hagerty, Bob (4 June 1991). "Groupe AG, Amev Report 31% Rise In Profit, Pick Fortis as Firm's Name". Wall Street Journal. 
  12. ^ "Financial brief: Fortis". Wall Street Journal. 2 May 1996. 
  13. ^ "Fortis To Acquire John Alden". Retrieved 2015-06-19. 
  14. ^ "All News". www.assurant.com. Retrieved 2017-07-12. 
  15. ^ http://www.insuranceinsider.com/Fortis-to-spin-off-US-insurance-arm (September 1, 2003) “Fortis to spin-off US insurance arm.” The Insurance Insider.
  16. ^ "SEC Complaint: Assurant, Inc" (PDF). Retrieved 5 February 2016. 
  17. ^ a b http://www.assuranthealth.com/about-assurant-health/news-articles/assurant-to-exit-health-insurance-market-to-support-specialty-protection-products-and-services (June 10, 2015) “Assurant to Exit Health Insurance Market to Support Strategic Focus on Housing and Lifestyle Specialty Protection Products and Services” Press Release. Retrieved October 25, 2015
  18. ^ a b c d Marshall, Erin (2 Oct 2015). "Assurant completes sale of business lines to National General Holdings Corp". Becker's Hospital Review. Retrieved 4 February 2016. 
  19. ^ http://www.assuranthealth.com/about-assurant-health/news-articles/ng-announcement (October 1, 2015) “Assurant Completes Sale of Supplemental and Small Group Self-Funded Health Insurance Business Lines to National General Holdings Corp.” Press Release. Retrieved October 25, 2015
  20. ^ Blumenthal, Robin Goldwyn. "Why a Big Insurer's Stock Could Double". Barron's. Retrieved 19 July 2017. 
  21. ^ a b Steyer, Robert. "Big players dropping HSA business despite growth potential - Business Insurance". Business Insurance. Retrieved 20 July 2016. 
  22. ^ a b Scism, Leslie (9 September 2015). "Sun Life to Buy Assurant's Employee-Benefits Business in $975 Million Deal". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 28 July 2017. 
  23. ^ Dmitrieva, Katia. "Sun Life to Buy Assurant Unit With $975 Million Investment". Bloomberg. Retrieved 5 February 2016. 
  24. ^ Fernandes, Deirdre (1 Mar 2016). "Sun Life complete purchase of employee benefit business". Boston Globe. Retrieved 4 March 2016. 
  25. ^ http://google.com/search?q=cache:jRwHVdE_eLMJ:www.ct.gov/oha State of Connecticut Office of the Healthcare Advocate
  26. ^ http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/columnists/chi-tue-problem-insurance-0929sep29,0,1926150.column Chicago Tribune, After aneurysm, Assurant Health causes further headaches, 29 Sept 2009
  27. ^ http://milwaukee.bizjournals.com/milwaukee/stories/2007/03/05/daily16.html?from_rss=1 Business Jrnl of Milwaukee, Oregon Regulators slap fine on Assurant Health, March 6, 2007
  28. ^ "Insurer target HIV patients to drop coverage". Reuters. March 17, 2010. 
  29. ^ Insurance News, Supreme Court Rejects Assurant’s Appeal, March 24, 2010, http://insurancenewsnet.com/article.aspx?id=174515
  30. ^ Prendergast, Alan (2010-02-11). "Health-Care Hell: The insurance company didn't give a damn. The jury decided it ought to give $37 million". Westword. Retrieved 2017-07-12. 

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