CNA Financial is an umbrella organization for a wide range of insurance providers, including Continental Casualty and Continental Insurance. It primarily provides commercial policies, such as workers' compensation, auto, and general liability. CNA also sells specialty insurance including professional liability (doctors, lawyers, and architects) and vehicle warranty service contracts. The firm offers commercial surety bonds (through
), risk management, claims administration, and information services. Its products are sold by independent agents and brokers in the US and through partners abroad. Holding company
owns 90% of CNA, which was formed in 1897.
In late 2014 the company realigned its core property/casualty segments to Specialty (40% of sales), Commercial (40% of sales), and International. Its non-core business segments are Life & Group Non-Core and Corporate & Other Non-Core.
The Specialty segment provides professional, financial, and specialty products and services through independent agents, brokers, and managing general underwriters. The Commercial segment includes products sold to small and mid-market organizations, primarily through an independent agency distribution system; it also sells commercial insurance and risk management products to large corporations, primarily through insurance brokers. Meanwhile, the International segment offers management and professional liability products and services outside of the US; distribution is via a network of brokers, independent agencies, and managing general underwriters. It also sells on the Lloyd's marketplace.
Most of CNA Financial's non-core insurance products are in run-off, including a few remaining life, annuity, and pension products, as well as accident and health insurance.
CNA is headquartered in Chicago and has offices throughout the US and Canada; it also has locations in Europe and Asia.
Sales and Marketing
In the US, independent agents and brokers market CNA products, while partners handle the coverage abroad. It primarily targets companies in the health care, manufacturing, education, financial services, and construction industries.
CNA's revenue has seen slow growth over the past few years. In 2014 revenue decreased 2% to $9.6 billion on decreases in the Commercial segment, which saw net written premiums decline $143 million. That slowdown was indicative of a lower level of new business in an increasingly competitive market, although offset by rate increases. The decline in Commercial was partially offset by a $43 million increase in the Specialty segment. Net written premiums in the International segment fell $79 million, largely due to changes in the recently acquired London-based Hardy subsidiary and the termination of a specialty product managing general underwriter relationship in Canada.
The lower revenue, as well as a $211 million loss from discontinued operations from the 2014 sale of Continental Assurance Company, led to a 26% decline in net revenue (to $691 million).
Cash flow from operations rose 20% to $1.4 billion in 2014 on lower net claim payments and other factors.
CNA is focused on strengthening its core commercial operations through both enhanced customer retention efforts and new customer additions. In 2015 it expanded its Allied Vendor Program for law firms by adding three companies offering services to strengthen customers' risk control programs. Also that year, the company expanded its specialty lines business into Canada.
CNA partnered with equipment maintenance and asset management service provider Remi in 2014. The company intends to offer a program to manage the risk of equipment maintenance and repair.
In 2014 the company began efforts to sell its run-off and pension deposit business. It also sold Continental Assurance Company, a structured settlement and group annuity subsidiary.