Call it truth in advertising -- Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company has offices throughout the US. The company is a leading US property/casualty insurer that also provides life insurance and retirement products through its Nationwide Financial Services subsidiary. Its property/casualty products range from general personal and commercial coverage to such specialty lines as professional liability, workers' compensation, agricultural insurance and loss-control, pet insurance, and other coverage. The company sells its products and provides services through Allied Group, Harleysville Group, Nationwide Agribusiness Insurance, GatesMcDonald, Scottsdale Insurance, and other subsidiaries.
Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company distributes its property/casualty products through a network of some 3,300 exclusive agents across the US. It also relies upon more than 4,000 independent agents, as well as general agents and brokers for its specialty products. Nationwide Financial Services distributes its group retirement programs through its own sales team, while it sells its individual investment products through affiliated and unaffiliated investment advisors.
As the US insurance industry has been mature for a long time, Nationwide has sought growth by moving into assorted niches, including specialty auto coverage and financial services. The company created its workplace benefits Nationwide Better Health program and has grown it through acquisitions to provide health, productivity, and disease management services to employers.
To expand the breadth of its commercial product lines, Nationwide spent some $760 million to acquire Pennsylvania-based Harleysville Group and its majority shareholder Harleysville Mutual in 2012. Following the transaction, Harleysville Mutual was absorbed and its policyholders became policyholders of Nationwide. Harleysville Group became a subsidiary of Nationwide. Operating from its headquarters in Harleysville, the subsidiary is a distinct brand that serves small and midsized businesses in the northeastern and midwestern states. Harleysville Group became a major component of Nationwide's property/casualty independent agency business, alongside its Allied Insurance subsidiary.
Nationwide Financial Services received approval to expand its services to include full-service online and telephone banking in 2006. Operating as Nationwide Bank, the business has added deposit products and ATM access for its property/casualty and financial services customers. The company also established its Nationwide Advantage Mortgage business, which provides both mortgages and home equity loans. Consumers can access its services online and through Nationwide agents.
Nationwide Financial Services was a publicly traded subsidiary from 1997 until early 2009 when, to simplify the group's ownership structure, Nationwide Mutual took it private in a $2.4 billion transaction.
In 2011 Nationwide, along with the industry in general, faced a year of market volatility and severe weather conditions ranging from hurricanes and wildfires to tornadoes and drought. Despite higher claims (nearly $1 billion more than in 2010), the company's operating revenue for the year remained strong at $20.7 billion, the same level it achieved in 2010. Weather-driven losses in its property and casualty businesses, however, caused a 60% drop in net income from the previous year to approximately $585 million, although these were offset by strong performance in its financial services. Nationwide's statutory surplus remained stable at almost $13 billion (more than three times the amount regulators require).
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