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About Cincinnati Financial Corporation

Cincinnati Financial Corporation (CFC) provides a wide range of insurance products and services, primarily in the midwestern and southeastern US. Its flagship firm Cincinnati Insurance (operating through four subsidiaries) sells commercial property, liability, excess and surplus, auto, bond, and fire insurance. Personal lines include homeowners, auto, and liability products. The Cincinnati Insurance companies also sell life and disability coverage and annuities. Other CFC subsidiaries include CFC Investment (leasing and financing services), CSU Producers Resources (excess and surplus lines brokerage), and Cincinnati Global Underwriting (global specialty insurance).

Operations

CFC operates through five segments: Commercial Lines Insurance, Personal Lines Insurance, Excess and Surplus Lines Insurance, Life Insurance, and Investments.

The Commercial Lines Insurance segment, which accounts for about 60% of total revenue, provides commercial property/casualty coverage including auto, workers' compensation, and management liability.

The Personal Lines Insurance segment, accounting for about 25% of sales, writes personal auto, homeowners, fire, watercraft, umbrella, and other property/casualty policies.

The Life Insurance, Excess and Surplus Lines, and Investment income segments each account for about 5% of revenue.

Primary operating unit Cincinnati Insurance has two standard property/casualty subsidiaries: Cincinnati Casualty and Cincinnati Indemnity. Its Cincinnati Specialty Underwriters Insurance unit underwrites excess and surplus property/casualty policies, while Cincinnati Life Insurance provide annuities and life insurance. The four subsidiaries are known as the Cincinnati Insurance Companies.

The CFC Investment unit provides commercial financing, leasing, and real estate services to its independent insurance agents and their clients, while the CSU Producers Resources business offers insurance brokerage services to independent agencies.

The company's Cincinnati Global Underwriting unit, formerly MSP Underwriting, is a London-based specialty insurance firm acquired in 2019.

Geographic Reach

CFC markets its policies in more than 40 states but does most of its business in the Midwest and Southeast US. The company writes about 15% of its business in Ohio, and it is strong in Illinois, Indiana, Georgia, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania. It is licensed in 49 states and Washington, DC.

Sales and Marketing

CFC maintains a force of more than 1,700 field associates who provide local service to distributing independent agencies and policy holders.

The company's commercial lines segment targets primarily small to mid-sized businesses, though it is working to expand its services for larger companies. CFC has tied its growth to expanding the territories in which it markets, and to increasing the number of new agencies with which it strikes new relationships.

Financial Performance

CFC revenue climbed steadily between 2014 and 2017, but declined in 2018. Overall, sales increased 9% over the past five years. Net income fluctuated in the $500 million to $1 billion range between 2014 and 2017, but dropped below $300 million in 2018.

Revenue declined nearly 6% to $5.4 billion in 2018 due to investment losses caused by unfavorable changes in equity security values, despite growth in property/casualty premiums.

Net income also declined in 2018, dropping about 73% to $287 million due to a sizable decrease in net investment gains after taxes resulting from an accounting change. The sharp drop was also caused by the absence of a sizable tax benefit reported in 2017 from US tax reform efforts.

The company ended 2018 with $784 million in cash, up $127 million from 2017. Operating activities contributed $1.2 billion, while investing activities used $451 million (mostly fixed maturity purchases), and financing activities used $603 million on shareholder dividends, share repurchases, and contract holder fund withdrawals.

Strategy

To reduce its reliance on traditional insurance offerings, CFC is adding new types of coverage and expanding its products into new markets. For example, it extended its personal lines business into eight new states between 2015 and 2018. It is also offering coverage for high-net-worth individuals in a growing number of states, and it is expanding its reinsurance operations. During 2018 the company brought on new field associates to expand sales of management liability and surety products.

Like other property/casualty insurers, the company has struggled with an increase in catastrophe losses in recent years from wildfires, hurricanes, and other weather or man-made events. The company is also vulnerable to changes in the frequency and severity of auto losses -- which have been rising across the industry. In addition to diversifying its product offerings, the firm is working to counteract potential negative impacts of these trends by improving its underwriting activities and pricing practices via predictive analytics and using technology tools to improve driver safety practices.

Supporting independent agents is of key importance to CFC, and the firm works to provide modern technology tools and marketing resources to boost agent sales. Towards this end, it seeks to attract and retain skilled associates, provide exceptional field service, and improve efficiencies via enhanced online portals and workflow tools for billing and claims processes. The company is also adding new agencies to its distribution network.

CFC's investment portfolio largely consists of stable assets such as fixed-maturity and equity security investments. This long-term investment strategy serves to maintain stable reserves over longer timeframes, which can result in short-term investment return volatility.

Mergers and Acquisitions

In 2019 the company expanded internationally through the purchase of MSP Underwriting, a London-based specialty insurance firm, from Munich Re for some £102 million. MSP Underwriting has since been renamed Cincinnati Global Underwriting. The purchase included management of Lloyd's Syndicate 318 through its Beaufort Underwriting Agency unit.

Company Background

Cincinnati Insurance was founded by the Schiff brothers in 1950 to offer property/casualty insurance to homeowners and small businesses. In 1968 Cincinnati Financial Corporation was formed as a holding company for the insurance operation; CFC went public in 1969. 

The company expanded into real estate and life insurance services in the 1970s. It focused on personal lines in the 1960s and 1970s but grew its commercial offerings in the 1980s and 1990s.

Cincinnati Financial Corporation

6200 S GILMORE RD
Fairfield, OH 45014-5141
Phone: 1 (513) 870-2000

Stats

Employer Type: Publicly Owned
Stock Symbol: CINF
Stock Exchange: , NASDAQ
President, CEO, and Director: Steven J. Johnston
SVP, CFO, and Treasurer: Michael J. Sewell
Chairman: Kenneth W. Stecher
Employees (This Location): 3,262
Employees (All Locations): 4,999

Major Office Locations

Fairfield, OH

Competitors