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Best’s Special Report: Hurricanes, Wildfires Weigh Down U.S. Property/Casualty Performance for Second-Straight Year


The aggregate financial performance of U.S. publicly traded property/casualty insurers deteriorated slightly in 2018, driven mainly by above-average catastrophe losses that counteracted gains from the implementation of tax reform, according to a new AM Best special report.

The analysis in the Bests Special Report, Hurricanes, Wildfires Weigh Down U.S. Property/Casualty Performance for Second-Straight Year, covers a majority of the U.S. property/casualty primary insurers that file U.S. GAAP statements. According to the report, a number of historic catastrophes, including California wildfires and multiple hurricanes, led to higher-than-average loss totals for commercial and personal property lines of coverage, as well as auto physical damage. Expenses also again slightly outpaced revenues in 2018, as a 3.2% decline in net investment income exceeded the segments 3.1% increase in premium revenue. The growth in premium revenue, along with a double-digit increase in other income, was not enough to increase operating income. Property/casualty insurers experienced a 6.7% decrease in total operating income, which was largely due to an end-of-year downturn in the equity market. In addition, the implementation of tax reform in calendar-year 2018 resulted in the recognition of $17.8 billion in deferred tax asset write-downs. The cumulative change in deferred tax expense caused a 70% decline in the overall provision for income taxes, resulting in net income for the segment to more than double to $17.1 billion in 2018. However, a portion of this increase from tax cuts likely will be passed down to shareholders through stock repurchases and dividends during 2019.

Average pre-tax returns on equity declined again for a fourth straight year, to 7.0% in 2018. Increased competition has pressured premium growth and higher-than-expected claims costs continue to trouble multiple lines of business such as commercial automobile, especially trucking risks, along with the professional and management liability lines. Mergers and acquisitions also played a large role in the slight deterioration of 2018 financial results, and publicly traded companies stockholders equity decreased 4% due to large-scale acquisitions.

Property/casualty insurers continue to face numerous challenges, which may provide opportunities to transform business. Reliance on favorable macroeconomic factors to augment performance is not a strategy likely to yield long-term success. AM Best believes insurers must acknowledge the realization that technology and changes in the global economy is necessitating the development of different types of policies, products and services as imperative to remain relevant.

To access the full copy of this special report, please visit

AM Best is a global rating agency and information provider with a unique focus on the insurance industry. Visit for more information.

Copyright 2019 by A.M. Best Rating Services, Inc. and/or its affiliates. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Josie Novak
Associate Analyst
+1 908 439
2200, ext. 5242

[email protected]

David Blades, CPCU
Associate Director, Industry Research

+1 908 439 2200, ext. 5422
[email protected]

Christopher Sharkey
Manager, Public Relations
908 439 2200, ext. 5159

[email protected]

Jim Peavy
Director, Public Relations
+1 908
439 2200, ext. 5644

[email protected]


Ceramic Market Procurement Report | Roadmap to Recovery for Businesses from the Impact of COVID-19 Pandemic | SpendEdge


The new Ceramic market research report from SpendEdge indicates an incremental growth during the forecast period as the business impact of COVID-19 spreads.

As the markets recover SpendEdge expects the Ceramic market size to grow by 4 during the period 2020-2024.

Get detailed insights on the COVID-19 pandemic crisis and recovery analysis of the Ceramic market. Download free report sample

Ceramic Market Analysis

Analysis of the cost and volume drivers and supply market forecasts in various regions are offered in this Ceramic research report. This market intelligence report also analyzes the top supply markets and the critical cost drivers that can aid buyers and suppliers devise a cost-effective category management strategy.

Insights Delivered into the Ceramic Market

This market intelligence report on Ceramic answers to all the critical problems faced by investors who seek cost-saving opportunities in a competitive market. It also offers actionable anecdotes on the industry structure and supply market forecasts including highlights of the top vendors in this market. Our procurement experts have determined effective category pricing strategies that are attuned to the dynamics of this market which can be leveraged to maximize revenue generation against minimum investments on the products.

Information on Latest Trends and Supply Chain Market Information Knowledge center on COVID-19 impact assessment

The reports help buyers understand:

  • Global and regional spend potential for Ceramic for the period of 2020-2024
  • Risk management and sustainability strategies
  • Incumbent supplier evaluation metrics
  • Pricing outlook and factors influencing the procurement process

This Ceramic Market procurement research report offers coverage of:

  • Regional spend dynamism and factors impacting costs
  • The total cost of ownership and cost-saving opportunities
  • Supply chain margins and pricing models

For more information on the exact spend growth rate and yearly category spend, download a free sample.

This market intelligence report identifies the major costs incurred by suppliers and provides additional information on:

  • Competitiveness index for suppliers
  • Market favorability index for suppliers
  • Supplier and buyer KPIs

Click here to learn about report detailed analysis and insights on how you can leverage them to grow your business.


  • The Ceramic market will register an incremental spend of about 4 during the forecast period.
  • The Ceramic market is segmented by Geographic Landscape (North America, APAC, Europe, South America, and MEA).
  • The market is concentrated due to the presence of a few established vendors holding significant market share.
  • The research report offers information on several market vendors, including suppliers.list.comma.

Get access to regular sourcing and procurement insights to our digital procurement platformContact Us.

Table of Content

  • Executive Summary
  • Market Insights
  • Category Pricing Insights
  • Cost-saving Opportunities
  • Best Practices
  • Category Ecosystem
  • Category Management Strategy
  • Category Management Enablers
  • Suppliers Selection
  • Suppliers under Coverage
  • US Market Insights
  • Category scope
  • Appendix

About SpendEdge:

SpendEdge shares your passion for driving sourcing and procurement excellence. We are the preferred procurement market intelligence partner for 120+ Fortune 500 firms and other leading companies across numerous industries. Our strength lies in delivering robust, real-time procurement market intelligence reports and solutions. To know more


Anirban Choudhury

Marketing Manager

US: +1 630 984 7340

UK: +44 148 459 9299

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Amicalola EMC Partners with ETC to Help Bridge the State’s Digital Divide


Efforts to provide broadband in unserved areas of Georgia have taken another big step forward with a joint announcement in Jasper today of a new partnership between Amicalola EMC and Ellijay Telephone Company (ETC). The companies are working to provide greater access to high-speed internet in their shared North Georgia service areas that include portions of Cherokee, Dawson, Lumpkin and Pickens counties.

Details of the partnership were made public before an audience that included Georgia Senate Majority Whip Steve Gooch (R-Dahlonega), long a champion of rural broadband expansion, House Rural Development Caucus Co-Chair Rick Jasperse (R-Jasper) and other elected officials and business leaders.

Terms of the agreement call for Amicalola EMC to invest $6.5-to-7 million to add more than 250 miles of high-speed connectivity to ETCs network, providing broadband access to approximately 6,000 customers. The expansion will include 220 new miles of broadband lines, completing a 450-to-500-mile fiber optic ring connecting the electric co-ops substations and switches. ETC will add more than 250 miles of new fiber to its network, which will accommodate broadband growth as consumer demand in the region increases.

I want to applaud Amicalola EMC and ETC on the formation of this exciting broadband partnership and their continued focus on making life better for the residents of North Georgia, said Georgia House Speaker David Ralston (R-Blue Ridge), whose district encompasses areas that the partnership intends to serve.

This project demonstrates how companies can come together for the benefit of their customers and its wonderful to see two neighbors working together to provide our area with expanded broadband service that will create better economic opportunities, improve access to education, and provide an enhanced quality of life, Ralston concluded.

“As the lead sponsor of Senate Bill 2, it was my intent for the state to give our EMCs the legal authority to be a part of solving Georgia’s digital divide. The partnership announced today between Amicalola EMC and ETC is a great example of what our bill was intended to do – give our states EMCs the freedom to decide what solution works best in their communities,” Gooch remarked.

It is a win-win for our members, said Todd Payne, CEO of Amicalola EMC. We know that a lack of adequate internet access places a hardship on rural areas. We are excited about working with ETC to help bridge that broadband divide, while at the same time improving reliability for our members. Weve worked on joint projects for many years, and we are happy to partner once again with a trusted and reliable provider like ETC.

We are very excited and humbled that Amicalola EMC chose to move forward with us on this project, said ETC President Jason Smith. We look forward to providing them with a state-of-the-art network for their internal needs, while at the same time, providing gigabit fiber optic broadband service to all the homes and businesses along the new routes.

In recent years, Georgia EMCs have been aggressively pursuing solutions to help expand broadband. Some, like Blue Ridge Mountain EMC and Habersham EMC, have created affiliates and are already providing high-speed service to members and many are exploring or have formed partnerships with broadband providers. In addition to todays news from Amicalola EMC and ETC, other EMC partnerships and projects were announced earlier this year by Carroll EMC, Colquitt EMC and Diverse Power to expand access for thousands of Georgia households.

Inspired by the building momentum among electric co-ops, other EMCs are negotiating with providers in hopes of announcing partnership agreements of their own in the near future, said Dennis Chastain, president of Georgia EMC, the trade association representing the states 41 electric cooperatives.

About Amicalola EMC:

Amicalola EMC is a not-for-profit electric cooperative serving over 50,000 locations in north Georgia in portions of Bartow, Cherokee, Dawson, Fannin, Forsyth, Gilmer, Gordon, Lumpkin, Murray and Pickens counties. Founded in 1940, Amicalola EMC has provided electricity and related services to north Georgia for 80 years.

About Ellijay Telephone Company:

Established in 1903 as Ellijay Telephone Company (ETC), today ETC is a diversified communications company providing internet, telephone, cable television and security services. ETC serves residents and businesses in north Georgia and Tennessee. ETC actively evaluates opportunities to expand broadband in and around its service area. Currently, ETC has 2,708 miles of copper lines, 2,010 miles of coax cable and 652 miles of high-speed fiber.

About Georgia EMC:

Georgia EMC is the statewide trade association representing the state’s 41 electric cooperatives, Oglethorpe Power Corp., Georgia Transmission Corp. and Georgia System Operations Corp. Collectively, Georgia’s customer-owned co-ops provide electricity and related services to 4.4 million people, nearly half of Georgia’s population, across 73 percent of the state’s land area. To learn more, visit and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Chip Stewart, Cookerly Public Relations, (678) 686-7841


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Steele Expands Industry-Leading Risk Data & Insights Platform Through info4c Acquisition


Steele Compliance Solutions, Inc., the global leader in ethics and compliance management for the worlds largest multinational enterprises and financial institutions, today announced the acquisition of info4c. info4c delivers the most trusted and robust Politically Exposed Person, State Owned Entity, Sanction Lists and Watchlists & Blacklists databases available. This acquisition positions Steeles patented AI-driven platform, Risk Intelligence Data, as the most comprehensive source for real-time, high-quality risk and compliance data for effective decision-making regarding vendors, suppliers and customers.

Founded in 2002, by current CEO Melitta Cabai, info4c provides curated and customized compliance data, enabling companies to address a variety of regulatory and risk requirements, including Anti Money Laundering (AML), Anti Bribery and Corruption (ABAC) and Know Your Customer (KYC). The Zurich-based company provides extensive global coverage in over 20 languages from official, public, reliable, reputable and transparent sources. info4c is known for the industry leading quality of its datasets and will continue to go to market primarily through its network of value added partners.

We are excited to be joining our longtime partner and industry leader, with a history of innovation and a long-term vision for growth, said Melitta Cabai, CEO of info4c. In joining Steele, we can reach a wider scope of customers and partners by leveraging the best combination of Steeles AI-based technology and proprietary data, along with human intelligence, to deliver comprehensive risk information. We look forward to providing our valuable partners with the same strong level of service, attention and quality that they are used to; and as part of the Steele family we will be investing to increase the depth and breadth of our datasets.

An ever-increasing volume of publicly available information, coupled with a changing regulatory environment, means compliance professionals need better technology to effectively identify risk information, said Christian Focacci, Managing Partner of Steeles Risk Intelligence Data. info4cs datasets complement our deep expertise in data and AI technology. This strategic acquisition will expand our risk intelligence platform, providing our clients an even more comprehensive view of risk and allow for more predictive risk assessment of vendors and customers.

Now, more than ever, compliance professionals need better technology and better data to effectively identify risk, said Eric Lochner, CEO of Steele. As a long-term partner of Steele, we have valued our relationship with info4c for nearly a decade, and we look forward to supporting and investing in info4Cs robust partner ecosystem. We believe that our strong client base along with info4cs robust partnership ecosystem will be a true game changer. The addition of info4c to the Steele family of products enables us to provide clients and their partners with an unmatched level of data coverage to evaluate risk confidently and effectively. Collectively, we will provide the compliance industry with the enhanced tools they need to gain a truly integrated, holistic view of their compliance program.

About Steele Compliance Solutions, Inc.

Steele is the global leader in Ethics & Compliance Management. We partner with the worlds largest, most respected companies to deliver compliance products and services that help organizations embrace a culture of compliance while protecting their brand. For more information, please visit:

About info4c

info4c is the global provider of high-quality compliance information founded more than 10 years ago as a Swiss pioneer providing specialized compliance reports. info4c solutions are customized and selected to comply with the relevant legislation and serve most efficiently the specific purpose: Know Your Customer (KYC), Anti Money Laundering (AML), prevention terrorism financing, fraud and corruption (e.g. FCPA and Bribery Act requirements). Their flagship product, the PEP Desk„¢ (politically exposed persons database), is successfully implemented in thousands of banks, insurance companies and large global corporate players. Their PEP Desk„¢ portraits political figures, leaders and other important persons from more than 240 countries and territories and is customized for maximum efficiency. For more information, please visit:

Media Contact

Anush Alexander

[email protected]

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