Details of XL's U.S. primary commercial casualty strategy, which was first announced in October last year, were disclosed today during a news conference at the annual meeting of the Risk and Insurance Management Society in San Diego, California.
Mr. Clive Tobin, Chief Executive of XL's Insurance Operations, described the initiative as "an important strategic diversification designed to strengthen XLI's position in the U.S. market."
"Serving the primary commercial casualty market is a vital, missing piece of our strategy in the U.S. where we are largely known as a specialty insurance carrier. Judging by the market response thus far, it is clear that buyers are looking for alternative carriers with excellent levels of security in the AA range in a market in which the number of highly-rated insurers has diminished over recent years. With our strong financial ratings, our recognized brand strength and technical expertise, we will be able to meet this demand while building closer, long-term relationships with an expanding customer base."
He added that XLI was already positioned in the European primary commercial casualty markets and said that its move into U.S. primary business was "complementary and allowed us to offer primary and excess liability insurance to U.S. clients in over 60 countries."
Mr. Dennis Kane, Executive Vice President responsible for primary casualty risk management programs, said: "Our strategy involves a cost effective focus on risk retention and risk transfer opportunities, while outsourcing claims services and loss control services. We will target insureds with expected primary losses in workers compensation, general liability, and auto of $1.5 million or more."
Mr. Kane continued: "We have recruited an experienced team of underwriting, actuarial, financial, claims, legal and administrative professionals for a centralized primary underwriting facility in New York City and secured the necessary regulatory filings needed to compete in this market segment. In addition, we will have marketing support in the Midwest and on the West coast."
The excess workers compensation operation, also located in New York City, will target qualified self-insureds with retentions of $350, 000 or higher and coordinate closely with the primary underwriting facility.
XL Capital Ltd, through its operating subsidiaries, is a leading provider of insurance and reinsurance coverages and financial products to industrial, commercial and professional service firms, insurance companies, and other enterprises on a worldwide basis. XL Insurance carriers are currently rated AA- by S&P. As of December 31, 2003, XL Capital Ltd had consolidated assets of approximately $40.8 billion and consolidated shareholders' equity of approximately $6.9 billion. More information about XL Capital Ltd is available at www.xlgroup.com.