TRAVELERS COMPANIES, INC. (TRV)

2014 Climate Risk Disclosure Analysis

Industry Group: Insurance Services

Standard Industrial Classification: Fire, Marine & Casualty Insurance

Index Membership: FT Global 500, S&P 500, Russell 3000

Financial Year End: Dec 2013

The Travelers Companies, Inc. (together with its consolidated subsidiaries, the Company) is a holding company principally engaged, through its subsidiaries, in providing a wide range of commercial and personal property and casualty insurance products and services to businesses, government units, associations and individuals. The Company is incorporated as a general business corporation under the laws of the state of Minnesota and is one of the oldest insurance organizations in the United States, dating back to 1853. The principal executive offices of the Company are located at 485 Lexington Avenue, New York, New York 10017, and its telephone number is (917) 778-6000. The Company also maintains executive offices in Hartford, Connecticut, and St. Paul, Minnesota. The term "TRV" in this document refers to The Travelers Companies, Inc., the parent holding company excluding subsidiaries. For a summary of the Company's revenues, operating income and total assets by reportable business segments, see note 2 of notes to the Company's consolidated financial statements. PROPERTY AND CASUALTY INSURANCE OPERATIONS The property and casualty insurance industry is highly competitive in the areas of price, service, product offerings, agent relationships and methods of distribution. Distribution methods include the use of independent agents, exclusive agents, direct marketing (including the use of toll-free numbers and the internet) and/or salaried employees. According to A.M... 10-K Filing (2014-02-13)

Disclosure Breakdown

Disclosure Rank

95th percentile in Russell 3000

Disclosure Abstract

item 1. Business
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3%
These underwriting actions on new and existing business include tightened underwriting standards, selective price increases and changes to deductibles specific to hurricane-, tornado-, wind- and hail-prone areas. See "Item 7-Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations-Catastrophe Modeling" and "-Changing Climate Conditions. 4 The Company also utilizes reinsurance to manage its aggregate exposures to catastrophes.
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4%
Provides coverage for loss of or damage to buildings, inventory and equipment from a variety of events, including, among others, hurricanes and other windstorms, earthquakes, hail, wildfires, severe winter weather, floods, volcanic eruptions, tsunamis, theft, vandalism, fires, explosions, terrorism and financial loss due to business interruption resulting from covered property damage.
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5%
Catastrophe Reinsurance Catastrophes can be caused by a variety of events, including, among others, hurricanes, tornadoes and other windstorms, earthquakes, hail, wildfires, severe winter weather, floods, tsunamis and volcanic eruptions. Catastrophes can also result from a terrorist attack (including those involving nuclear, biological, chemical or radiological events), explosions, infrastructure failures or as a consequence of political instability. The incidence and severity of catastrophes are inherently unpredictable. The extent of losses from a catastrophe is a function of both the total amount of insured exposure in the area affected by the event and the severity of the event. Most catastrophes are restricted to small geographic areas; however, hurricanes and earthquakes may produce significant damage in larger areas, especially those areas that are heavily populated.
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5%
In addition to its general catastrophe treaty and its multi-year catastrophe bonds, the Company also is party to a northeast general catastrophe reinsurance treaty which provides up to $600 million of coverage, subject to a $2.25 billion retention, for certain losses arising from hurricanes, tornados, hail storms, earthquakes and winter storm or freeze losses from Virginia to Maine for the period July 1, 2013 through June 30, 2014.
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TRV's domestic insurance subsidiaries are also required to participate in various involuntary assigned risk pools, principally involving workers' compensation, automobile insurance, property windpools in states prone to property damage from hurricanes, and FAIR plans, which provide various insurance coverages to individuals or other entities that otherwise are unable to purchase that coverage in the voluntary market. Assessments may include any charge mandated by statute or regulatory authority that is related directly or indirectly to underwriting activities. Examples of such mechanisms include, but are not limited to, the Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund, Florida Citizens Property Insurance Corporation, National Workers' Compensation Reinsurance Pool, North Carolina Beach Plan, Louisiana Citizens Property Insurance Corporation, and the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association.
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Catastrophe A severe loss, resulting from a variety of events, including, among others, hurricanes, tornadoes and other windstorms, earthquakes, hail, wildfires, severe winter weather, floods, tsunamis and volcanic eruptions.
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Residual markets are frequently created by state legislation either because of lack of available coverage such as: property coverage in a windstorm prone area or protection of the accident victim as in the case of workers' compensation.
item 1a. Risk Factors
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Catastrophes can be caused by various natural events, including, among others, hurricanes, tornadoes and other windstorms, earthquakes, hail, wildfires, severe winter weather, floods, tsunamis and volcanic eruptions. Catastrophes can also be man-made, such as a terrorist attack (including those involving nuclear, biological, chemical or radiological events), explosions, infrastructure failures or a consequence of political instability. The geographic distribution of our business subjects us to catastrophe exposures in the United States, which include, but are not limited to: hurricanes from Maine through Texas; tornadoes throughout the Central, Mid-Atlantic and Southeastern regions of the United States; earthquakes in California, the New Madrid region and the Pacific Northwest region of North America; wildfires, particularly in the Southwest; and terrorism in major cities in the United States. In addition, our international operations subject us to catastrophe exposures in Canada, the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland, as well as to a variety of world-wide catastrophe exposures through our Lloyd's operations, and in Brazil through our joint venture investment. The incidence and severity of catastrophes are inherently unpredictable, and it is possible that both the frequency and severity of natural and man-made catastrophic events could increase. Severe weather events over the last several years have underscored the unpredictability of future climate trends, and potentially changing climate conditions could add to the frequency and severity of natural disasters and create additional uncertainty as to future trends and exposures. For example, over the last decade, hurricane activity has impacted areas further inland than previously experienced, thus expanding the Company's potential for losses from hurricanes. Additionally, both the frequency and severity of tornado and hail storms in the United States have been greater in recent years. Moreover, we could experience more than one highly severe catastrophic event in any given period. All of the catastrophe modeling tools that we use, or that we rely on from outside parties, to help manage certain of our catastrophe exposures are based on assumptions and judgments that are subject to error and mis-estimation and may produce estimates that are materially different than actual results. In addition, compared to models for hurricanes, models for earthquakes are less reliable due to there being a more limited number of significant historical events to analyze, while models for tornadoes and hail storms are newer and may be even less reliable due to the highly random geographic nature and size of these events. As a result, models for earthquakes and especially for tornado and hail storms may have even greater difficulty predicting risks and estimating losses. Further, changes in climate conditions could cause our underlying modeling data to be less predictive, thus limiting our ability to effectively evaluate and manage catastrophe risk. See "We may be adversely affected if our pricing and capital models provide materially different indications than actual results" below as well as "Item 7-Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations-Catastrophe Modeling" and "-Changing Climate Conditions.
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For example, the estimation of claims and claim adjustment expense reserves related to hurricanes can be affected by the inability to access portions of the impacted areas, the complexity of factors contributing to the losses, the legal and regulatory uncertainties and the nature of the information available to establish the claims and claim adjustment expense reserves. Complex factors include, but are not limited to: determining whether damage was caused by flooding versus wind; evaluating general liability and pollution exposures; estimating additional living expenses; the impact of demand surge; infrastructure disruption; fraud; the effect of mold damage; business interruption costs; and reinsurance collectability. In recent years, increased late reporting of weather-related losses by claimants, particularly losses from hail damage, has led to higher costs than we previously expected.
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Examples of emerging claims and coverage issues include, but are not limited to: judicial expansion of policy coverage and the impact of new or expanded theories of liability;
 * plaintiffs targeting property and casualty insurers, including us, in purported class action litigation relating to claims-handling and other practices; 59 claims relating to construction defects, which often present complex coverage and damage valuation questions;
 * claims under directors' & officers' insurance policies relating to losses from involvement in financial market activities, such as mortgage or financial product origination, distribution, structuring or servicing and foreclosure procedures; failed financial institutions; fraud; possible accounting irregularities; and corporate governance issues;
 * claims related to data security breaches, information system failures or cyber-attacks;
 * the assertion of "public nuisance" or similar theories of liability, pursuant to which plaintiffs seek to recover monies spent to administer public health care programs, abate hazards to public health and safety and/or recover damages purportedly attributable to a "public nuisance";
 * claims relating to molestation by an employee or a volunteer of an insured;
 * medical developments that link health issues to particular causes (for example, cumulative trauma), resulting in liability or workers' compensation claims;
 * claims alleging that one or more of our underwriting criteria have a disparate impact on persons belonging to a protected class in violation of the law, including the Fair Housing Act;
 * claims arising out of techniques to expand access to oil and gas resources, such as hydraulic fracturing;
 * claims relating to unanticipated consequences of current or new technologies; and claims relating to potentially changing climate conditions, including higher frequency and severity of weather-related events.
item 6. Selected Consolidated Financial Data
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Catastrophe losses in 2013 resulted from multiple tornado, wind and hail storms in several regions of the United States, as well as floods in Alberta, Canada and Storm Xaver in the United Kingdom that impacted the Financial, Professional & International Insurance segment. Catastrophe losses in 2012 primarily resulted from Storm Sandy, as well as multiple tornado, wind and hail storms in several regions of the United States. Net favorable prior year reserve development in 2013 and 2012 was $840 million and $940 million, respectively. Net favorable prior year reserve development in 2013 was reduced by a $42 million charge that was precipitated by legislation in New York enacted during the first quarter of 2013 related to the New York Fund for Reopened Cases for workers' compensation. Factors contributing to net favorable prior year reserve development in each segment are discussed in more detail in note 7 of notes to the Company's consolidated financial statements. Claims and claim adjustment expenses in 2012 were $14.68 billion, $1.60 billion or 10% lower than in 2011. The decrease primarily reflected (i) a decline in catastrophe losses, (ii) lower levels of 84 non-catastrophe weather-related losses and (iii) higher net favorable prior year reserve development, partially offset by (iv) the impact of loss cost trends. Catastrophe losses in 2012 and 2011 were $1.86 billion and $2.56 billion, respectively. Catastrophe losses in 2011 primarily resulted from Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee, multiple tornadoes and hail storms in the Midwest and Southeast regions of the United States and severe winter storms throughout the United States.
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Claims and Expenses Claims and Claim Adjustment Expenses Claims and claim adjustment expenses in 2013 were $1.40 billion, $90 million or 7% higher than in 2012, primarily reflecting (i) the impact of the acquisition of Dominion, (ii) a higher level of what the Company defines as large losses, (iii) higher non-catastrophe weather-related losses and (iv) an increase in catastrophe losses, partially offset by (v) reduced loss cost trends, (vi) the impact of lower volumes of insured exposures and (vii) higher net favorable prior year reserve development. Catastrophe losses in 2013 were $56 million, primarily resulting from floods in Alberta, Canada, and Storm Xaver in the United Kingdom, compared with $50 million in 2012, which primarily resulted from Storm Sandy.
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Accordingly, the Company's management uses the percentage of common equity calculated on this basis as a metric to evaluate the potential impact of a single hurricane or single earthquake on the Company's financial position for purposes of making underwriting and reinsurance decisions. The threshold loss amounts in the tables above, which are based on the Company's in-force portfolio at December 31, 2013 and catastrophic reinsurance program at January 1, 2014, are net of reinsurance, after-tax and exclude unallocated claim adjustment expenses, which historically have been less than 10% of loss estimates. The amounts for hurricanes reflect U.S. exposures and include property exposures, property residual market exposures and an adjustment for certain non-property exposures. The hurricane loss amounts are based on the Company's catastrophe risk model estimates and include losses from the hurricane hazards of wind and storm surge. The amounts for earthquakes reflect U.S. and Canadian property and workers' compensation exposures. The Company does not believe that the inclusion of hurricane or earthquake losses arising from other geographical areas or other exposures would materially change the estimated threshold loss amounts.
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Moreover, the Company is exposed to the risk of material losses from other than property and workers' compensation coverages arising out of hurricanes and earthquakes, and it is exposed to catastrophe losses from perils other than hurricanes and earthquakes, such as tornadoes and other windstorms, hail, wildfires, severe winter weather, floods, volcanic eruptions, tsunamis and acts of terrorism. For more information about the Company's exposure to catastrophe losses, see "Item 1A-Risk Factors-Catastrophe losses could materially and adversely affect our results of operations, our financial position and/or liquidity, and could adversely impact our ratings, our ability to raise capital and the availability and cost of reinsurance" and "Item 1A-Risk Factors-We may be adversely affected if our pricing and capital models provide materially different indications than actual results. CHANGING CLIMATE CONDITIONS Severe weather events over the last several years have underscored the unpredictability of future climate trends and created uncertainty regarding insurers' exposures to financial loss as a result of catastrophes and other weather-related events. For example, over the last decade hurricane activity has impacted areas further inland than previously experienced, thus expanding the Company's potential for losses from hurricanes. Additionally, both the frequency and severity of tornado and hail storms in the United States have been greater in recent years. Further, any reduction in arctic sea ice may contribute to rising sea levels that could impact flooding in coastal areas. Accordingly, the Company may be 119 subject to increased losses from catastrophes and other weather-related events. Additionally, the Company's catastrophe models may be less reliable due to the increased unpredictability, frequency and severity of severe weather events. The Company discusses how potentially changing climate conditions may present other issues for its business under "Risk Factors" in Item 1A of this report and under "-Outlook" herein. For example, among other things: Increasingly unpredictable and severe weather conditions could result in increased frequency and severity of claims under policies issued by the Company. See "Risk Factors-Catastrophe losses could materially and adversely affect our results of operations, our financial position and/or liquidity, and could adversely impact our ratings, our ability to raise capital and the availability and cost of reinsurance" and "-Outlook-Underwriting Gain/Loss.
Changing climate conditions could also impact the creditworthiness of issuers of securities in which the Company invests. For example, water supply adequacy could impact the creditworthiness of bond issuers in the Southwestern United States, and more frequent and/or severe hurricanes could impact the creditworthiness of issuers in the Southeastern United States, among other areas. See "Risk Factors-Our investment portfolio may suffer reduced returns or material realized or unrealized losses.
Increased regulation adopted in response to potential changes in climate conditions may impact the Company and its customers. For example, state insurance regulation could impact the Company's ability to manage property exposures in areas vulnerable to significant climate driven losses. If the Company is unable to implement risk based pricing, modify policy terms or reduce exposures to the extent necessary to address rising losses related to catastrophes and smaller scale weather events (should those increased losses occur), its business may be adversely affected. See "Risk Factors-Catastrophe losses could materially and adversely affect our results of operations, our financial position and/or liquidity, and could adversely impact our ratings, our ability to raise capital and the availability and cost of reinsurance.
The full range of potential liability exposures related to climate change continues to evolve. Through the Company's Emerging Issues Committee and its Committee on Climate, Energy and the Environment, the Company works with its business units and corporate groups, as appropriate, to identify and try to assess climate change-related liability issues, which are continually evolving and often hard to fully evaluate. See "Risk Factors-The effects of emerging claim and coverage issues on our business are uncertain. Climate change regulation also could increase the Company's customers' costs of doing business. For example, insureds faced with carbon management regulatory requirements may have less available capital for investment in loss prevention and safety features which may, over time, increase loss exposures. Also, increased regulation may result in reduced economic activity, which would decrease the amount of insurable assets and businesses. The Company regularly reviews emerging issues, such as changing climate conditions, to consider potential changes to its modeling and the use of such modeling, as well as to help determine the need for new underwriting strategies, coverage modifications or new products.
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For example, the estimation of reserves related to hurricanes, tornadoes and other catastrophic events can be affected by the inability of the Company and its insureds to access portions of the impacted areas, the complexity of factors contributing to the losses, the legal and regulatory uncertainties, including the interpretation of policy terms and conditions, and the nature of the information available to establish the reserves. Complex factors include, but are not limited to: determining whether damage was caused by flooding versus wind; evaluating general liability and pollution exposures; estimating additional living expenses; estimating the impact of demand surge, infrastructure disruption, fraud, the effect of mold damage and business interruption costs; and reinsurance collectibility.
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This recent accident year uncertainty is relevant to commercial property because of weather-related events which, notwithstanding 2010 and 2011 experience, tend to be concentrated in the second half of the year, and generally are not completely resolved until the following year. Reserve estimates associated with major catastrophes may take even longer to resolve. The reserve estimates for this product line are also potentially subject to material changes due to uncertainty in measuring ultimate losses for significant catastrophes such as the events of September 11, 2001, Hurricane Katrina and Storm Sandy.
item 7a. Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures about Market Risk
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Catastrophe Exposure The Company has geographic exposure to catastrophe losses, which can be caused by a variety of events, including, among others, hurricanes, tornadoes and other windstorms, earthquakes, hail, wildfires, severe winter weather, floods, tsunamis and volcanic eruptions. Catastrophes can also result from a terrorist attack (including those involving nuclear, biological, chemical or radiological events), explosions, infrastructure failures or as a consequence of political instability. The incidence and severity of catastrophes are inherently unpredictable. The extent of losses from a catastrophe is a function of both the total amount of insured exposure in the area affected by the event and the severity of the event. Most catastrophes are restricted to small geographic areas; however, hurricanes and earthquakes may produce significant damage in larger areas, especially those that are heavily populated. The Company generally seeks to mitigate its exposure to catastrophes through individual risk selection and the purchase of catastrophe reinsurance. 216 THE TRAVELERS COMPANIES, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES NOTES TO CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS (Continued) 7. INSURANCE CLAIM RESERVES (Continued) There are also risks which impact the estimation of ultimate costs for catastrophes. For example, the estimation of reserves related to hurricanes can be affected by the inability of the Company and its insureds to access portions of the impacted areas, the complexity of factors contributing to the losses, the legal and regulatory uncertainties and the nature of the information available to establish the reserves. Complex factors include, but are not limited to: determining whether damage was caused by flooding versus wind; evaluating general liability and pollution exposures; estimating additional living expenses; the impact of demand surge; the potential impact of changing climate conditions, including higher frequency and severity of weather-related events; infrastructure disruption; fraud; the effect of mold damage and business income interruption costs; and reinsurance collectibility.

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