Specialty Insurance: Survival of the Fittest


Michael Warner
Conning, Inc.

Conning—Specialty Property-Casualty Insurers Outgrow and Outperform Generalists

--Specialty insurers now account for 56% of market in premium

(Hartford, CT) March 2, 2016—The property-casualty insurance market has moved to a greater degree of specialization, recognizing that specialty approaches tend to outperform, according to a new study by Conning, Inc.

“We identified over 1,500 individual companies that have fully embraced specialty strategies as a primary approach to the marketplace and are responsible for more than half of the industry’s premium,” said Robert Farnam, Vice President, Insurance Research at Conning. “While a specialty strategy is no guarantee of success by itself, specialty insurers as a group outgrow and outperform generalists. Specialized knowledge and superior underwriting have also placed specialty insurers and their teams in high demand as companies look to grow organically and through acquisitions.”

The Conning, Inc. study, “Specialty Insurance: Survival of the Fittest” analyzes performance of specialist property-casualty insurers over a ten-year period, including high-risk specialists, product specialists and customer niche specialists. The study reviews key characteristics of successful specialist companies, and offers case studies to highlight specialist success stories and cautionary tales.

“The specialist strategy is focused on developing and sustaining enduring competitive advantage, and different approaches will of course yield different results,” said Steve Webersen, Head of Insurance Research at Conning. “In this review of property-casualty specialist insurer performance, we analyzed high-risk specialists, product specialists, and those firms pursuing a customer niche strategy. In this increasingly crowded market, there were many variations on these strategies, but the more successful companies were those that developed and deployed their superior market knowledge and maintained focus on their specialty strategy above growth concerns.”

“Specialty Insurance: Survival of the Fittest” is available for purchase from Conning by calling (888) 707-1177 or by visiting the company’s web site at www.conningresearch.com.

About Conning®
Conning (www.conning.com) is a leading investment management company for the global insurance industry, with over $88 billion in assets under management as of December 31, 2015, through Conning, Inc., Conning Asset Management Limited, Cathay Conning Asset Management Limited, Goodwin Capital Advisers, Inc., and Conning Investment Products, Inc. that are all direct or indirect subsidiaries of Conning Holdings Limited.  Octagon Credit Investors, LLC is also a subsidiary of Conning Holdings Limited (with all of the foregoing collectively known as “Conning”) which is one of the family of companies owned by Cathay Financial Holding Co., Ltd., a Taiwan-based company.  The company's unique combination of asset management, risk and capital management solutions and insurance research helps clients achieve their financial goals through customized business and investment strategies. Founded in 1912, Conning provides clients with innovative solutions, leveraging its global capabilities, investment experience, proprietary research and risk management technology. Headquartered in Hartford, Connecticut, Conning also operates globally through its offices in New York, London, Cologne, Hong Kong, and Tokyo.