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Form 10-K ASSURANT, INC. For: Dec 31

February 22, 2022 4:39 PM EST

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UNITED STATES
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
WASHINGTON, DC 20549

FORM 10-K
Annual Report Pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934
For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2021
OR
Transition Report Pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934
For the transition period from              to .             

Commission file number 001-31978 
 
Assurant, Inc.
(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)
Delaware 39-1126612
(State or other jurisdiction of incorporation) (I.R.S. Employer Identification No.)

55 Broadway, Suite 2901
New York, New York 10006
(212) 859-7000
(Address, including zip code, and telephone number, including area code, of Registrant’s Principal Executive Offices)

Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:
Title of Each ClassTrading Symbol(s)Name of Each Exchange on Which Registered
Common Stock, $0.01 Par ValueAIZNew York Stock Exchange
5.25% Subordinated Notes due 2061AIZNNew York Stock Exchange
 
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act:
None 

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act. Yes x No ¨
 
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act. Yes ¨ No x
 
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days. Yes x No ¨
 
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§ 232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit such files). Yes x No ¨
 
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, a smaller reporting company, or an emerging growth company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer,” “smaller reporting company,” and “emerging growth company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.
Large accelerated filer   Accelerated filer 
Non-accelerated filer 
  Smaller reporting company 
Emerging growth company
If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act.
 
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has filed a report on and attestation to its management’s assessment of the effectiveness of its internal control over financial reporting under Section 404(b) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (15 U.S.C. 7262(b)) by the registered public accounting firm that prepared or issued its audit report. Yes  No

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Act). Yes  No 
 
The aggregate market value of the registrant’s common stock held by non-affiliates of the registrant was $9.22 billion as of the last business day of the fiscal quarter ended June 30, 2021 based on the closing sale price of $156.18 per share for the common stock on such date as traded on the New York Stock Exchange.
 
The number of shares of the registrant’s common stock outstanding at February 11, 2022 was 55,161,629.
 
Documents Incorporated by Reference
 
Certain information contained in the definitive proxy statement for the registrant’s 2022 annual meeting of stockholders, which will be filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission within 120 days after the end of the fiscal year to which this report relates, is incorporated by reference into Part III hereof.


 



ASSURANT, INC.
ANNUAL REPORT ON FORM 10-K
For the Fiscal Year Ended December 31, 2021
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Item
Number
Page
Number
PART I
1
1A.
1B.
2
3
4
PART II
5
6
7
7A.
8
9
9A.
9B.
9C.
PART III
10
11
12
13
14
PART IV
15
16.
 
Unless otherwise stated, all amounts are presented in United States of America (“U.S.”) Dollars and all amounts are in millions, except for number of shares, per share amounts, registered holders, number of employees, beneficial owners, number of securities in an unrealized loss position and number of loans.










FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

Some statements in “Item 1 Business” and “Item 7 Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” and elsewhere in this Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2021 (this “Report”), including our business and financial plans and any statements anticipating future financial performance, business prospects, growth and operating strategies and similar matters, may constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. You can identify these statements by the use of words such as “will,” “may,” “can,” “anticipates,” “expects,” “estimates,” “projects,” “intends,” “plans,” “believes,” “targets,” “forecasts,” “potential,” “approximately,” and the negative versions of those words and other words and terms with a similar meaning. Any forward-looking statements contained in this Report are based upon our historical performance and on current plans, estimates and expectations. The inclusion of this forward-looking information should not be regarded as a representation by us or any other person that our future plans, estimates or expectations will be achieved. Our actual results might differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements. We undertake no obligation to update or review any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or other developments. For a discussion of the factors that could affect our actual results, see “Item 1A Risk Factors” and “Item 7 Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations Critical Factors Affecting Results.”





PART I

Unless the context otherwise requires, references to the terms “Assurant,” the “Company,” “we,” “us” and “our” refer to Assurant, Inc.’s consolidated operations.

Item 1. Business
Assurant, Inc. was incorporated as a Delaware corporation in 2004.
We are a leading global provider of lifestyle and housing solutions that support, protect and connect major consumer purchases. We partner with leading brands to develop innovative products and services and to deliver an enhanced customer experience. We operate in North America, Latin America, Europe and Asia Pacific through two operating segments: Global Lifestyle and Global Housing. Through our Global Lifestyle segment, we provide mobile device solutions and extended service products and related services for mobile devices, consumer electronics and appliances (referred to as “Connected Living”); vehicle protection and related services (referred to as “Global Automotive”); and credit protection and other insurance products (referred to as “Global Financial Services and Other”). Through our Global Housing segment, we provide lender-placed homeowners insurance, lender-placed manufactured housing insurance and lender-placed flood insurance (referred to as “Lender-placed Insurance”); renters insurance and related products (referred to as “Multifamily Housing”); and voluntary manufactured housing insurance, voluntary homeowners insurance and other specialty products (referred to as “Specialty and Other”).
Our Competitive Strengths
Our financial strength and capabilities across our businesses create competitive advantages that we believe allow us to support our clients, deliver superior experience for their customers and drive sustainable profitable growth over the long term.
Our financial strength. We believe we have a strong balance sheet and operating cash flows. As of December 31, 2021, we had $33.91 billion in total assets and our debt to total capital was 28.6%. In addition, our Global Lifestyle and Global Housing segments generate significant operating cash flows, which provides us with the flexibility to make investments to strengthen our strategic capabilities and enter into and grow partnerships with our clients.
Insights and evolving capabilities enable innovation to meet consumer needs. We have a deep understanding of our clients and the consumer markets they serve. We seek to leverage consumer insights, together with extensive market knowledge and capabilities, to anticipate and identify the specific needs of our clients and the consumers they serve. We intend to leverage those insights with investments in emerging technologies and operations, including digitization, to introduce innovative products and services and adapt those offerings to the changing needs of the connected consumer.
Value chain integration and customer experience. We own or manage multiple pieces of the value chain, which enables us to create products and service offerings based on client needs and provide a seamless experience for consumers. Offering end-to-end solutions allows us to provide additional value for consumers and adapt more quickly and efficiently to their needs. Visibility across the value chain helps us leverage insights to further improve the customer experience and our offerings. Our ability to introduce value-added services and capabilities across the value chain and provide a superior customer experience allows us to strengthen our partnerships and our competitive position.
Our Strategy for Profitable Growth
Our vision is to be the premier provider of lifestyle and housing solutions globally to empower leading brands to connect, protect and support the connected lifestyle of consumers. To achieve this vision, we positioned ourselves for continued long-term profitable growth by:
Growing our portfolio of market-leading businesses. Our businesses represent a cohesive group of leading, service-oriented businesses supporting the connected lifestyle of consumers. We intend to focus on compelling growth opportunities within our businesses, including capitalizing on the convergence of the connected consumer in the global markets and geographies in which we operate. We intend to grow our businesses by strengthening our partnerships with major clients and prospects globally, while continuing to invest in talent, capabilities and technology, including digital, to enable us to deliver superior customer experience, as well as further expanding our offerings and diversifying our distribution channels. As our service offerings expand, we expect to generate a more diversified mix of business and earnings, with decreasing exposure to catastrophe risk.
Providing integrated offerings through a superior, digital-first customer experience. As we expand our product and service capabilities and respond to client and consumer needs, we expect to continue to drive additional value to consumers by accelerating the pace of innovation to provide fully integrated offerings through a superior, digital-first customer experience.
Deploying our capital and talent strategically. We deploy capital to invest in and grow our businesses, repurchase shares and pay dividends. Our approach to mergers, acquisitions and other growth opportunities reflects our strategic and disciplined
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approach to capital management. We target new businesses and capabilities, organically and through acquisitions, that complement or support our strategy. We are also focused on strategically attracting, developing and deploying our talent, as we prioritize programs and initiatives aimed at investing in our talent, with a focus on diversity, equity and inclusion.
2021 Highlights
In May 2021, the Company announced the appointment of Keith Demmings as President, and he was named to succeed as Chief Executive Officer (“CEO”) effective January 1, 2022. Mr. Demmings also joined the Board of Directors (the “Board”) on January 1, 2022. Mr. Demmings has had a distinguished career at the Company for over two decades, having held significant leadership roles with increasing levels of responsibility across the Company’s global enterprise, including President of Global Lifestyle, which includes the Company’s global operations and which has grown significantly under his leadership to become the Company’s largest business segment.
In August 2021, we completed the sale of the legal entities which comprise the businesses previously reported as the Global Preneed segment and certain businesses previously disposed of through reinsurance, which were previously reported in the Corporate and Other segment (collectively, the “disposed Global Preneed business”) to subsidiaries of CUNA Mutual Group (“CUNA”) for an aggregate purchase price at closing of $1.34 billion in cash. For additional information, refer to Note 4 to the Consolidated Financial Statements included elsewhere in this Report.
Our business model now represents a group of leading, service-oriented businesses supporting the needs of the connected lifestyle of consumers – together they have generated and are expected to continue to drive profitable growth and strong returns. In 2021, Global Lifestyle saw growth from Connected Living and Global Automotive, including the positive impacts from recent acquisitions. Within Connected Living, our ability to introduce value-added services and capabilities, including mobile service delivery options and, most recently, in-store repair capabilities, has allowed us to strengthen our competitive position and further differentiate our offerings. Our trade-in and upgrade programs, including from the acquisition of Hyla Mobile, Inc. (“Hyla”), drove strong performance in 2021. Global Automotive also saw significant growth, as we benefited from increased scale through alignment with expanded and new client relationships globally and our ability to support customers through digital channels. Within Global Housing, Multifamily Housing continued to expand client relationships, while investing in technology and digital initiatives to support future growth. In Lender-placed Insurance, we also renewed multiple clients, while adding more clients, and continued to make investments in operations. Throughout the year, critical investments continued to drive growth and differentiate the customer experience across our businesses. Just as important, we have made investments to support our people through the COVID-19 pandemic and enable long-term, flexible work arrangements, as we continued to make progress on sustainability and talent initiatives.
Throughout the year, we undertook capital initiatives to drive shareholder value. In 2021, we returned $1.00 billion to shareholders through share repurchases and common stock dividends, including approximately 60% of the $900.0 million of Global Preneed net proceeds that we previously announced we intend to return to shareholders through share repurchases within one year of closing. We refinanced our debt at lower interest rates. In June 2021, we issued $350.0 million of 2.65% senior notes due 2032 and used the net proceeds, together with cash on hand, to redeem all of the $350.0 million outstanding aggregate principal amount of our 4.00% senior notes due 2023.
Environment, social and governance (“ESG”) priorities
Assurant is a purpose-driven company committed to making meaningful progress each year to integrate our social responsibility efforts with our long-term strategy and global business operations. In 2021, we continued to make progress on building a more sustainable company for all of our stakeholders. Our Board, Management Committee and employees understand the importance of social responsibility to deliver greater value as we operate our business each day and support Assurant’s long-term strategy.
Our social responsibility strategic framework centers on four pillars against which we track our progress on significant ESG topics core to our business, as discussed below. Each of these pillars is dynamic with multiple dimensions that we align to our long-term business strategy.
Responsible employer. We are a responsible employer with a culture that values diversity, equity and inclusion, and recognizes the importance of investing in employee talent. For additional information, refer to “– Human Capital Resources” below.
Impact on society. We actively engage to strengthen the communities where we live and work worldwide while operating our business and managing our investments with a meaningful environmental commitment.
Customer commitment. We deliver differentiated experiences by being customer-centric and anticipating the needs of the people we serve.
Integrity and ethics. We adhere to unwavering standards of integrity, ethics, governance, privacy and information security.
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Our longer-term strategic planning process, overseen by our Board, prioritized three multiyear ESG areas of focus:
Talent: Foster a diverse, equitable and inclusive culture to drive innovation for the benefit of all stakeholders,
Products: Help customers thrive in a connected world, and
Climate: Operate to minimize our carbon footprint and enhance sustainability.

For additional information on our ESG priorities, including our most recent Social Responsibility report, please refer to our website at socialresponsibility.assurant.com. The information found on our website and in such reports is not incorporated by reference into and does not constitute a part of this Report.
Segments 
The composition of our reportable segments matches how we view and manage our business. For additional information on our segments, see “Item 7 – Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations – Results of Operations” and Note 6 to the Consolidated Financial Statements included elsewhere in this Report.

Global Lifestyle
 Years Ended December 31,
 202120202019
Net earned premiums, fees and other income by product:
Connected Living (1)$3,915.8 $3,836.6 $3,768.4 
Global Automotive3,436.9 3,113.0 2,873.6 
Global Financial Services and Other395.0 388.0 452.2 
Total$7,747.7 $7,337.6 $7,094.2 
Segment net income$484.7 $437.2 $409.3 
Segment equity (2)$4,597.7 $4,517.5 $3,948.2 
 
(1)For the years ended December 31, 2021, 2020 and 2019, 52.4%, 53.7%, and 55.9%, respectively, of net earned premiums, fees and other income was from mobile products and 47.6%, 46.3%, and 44.1%, respectively, was from extended service contracts.
(2)Segment equity does not include components of accumulated other comprehensive income (“AOCI”), which is primarily comprised of net unrealized gains on securities, net of taxes. For additional information on total AOCI, see Note 22 to the Consolidated Financial Statements included elsewhere in this Report.

Our Products and Services
The key lines of business in Global Lifestyle are: Connected Living, which includes mobile device solutions and extended service contracts (insurance policies and warranties) (“ESCs”) for mobile devices, consumer electronics and appliances; Global Automotive; and Global Financial Services and Other.
Connected Living: Through partnerships with mobile device carriers, retailers, multiple system operators (“MSOs”), original equipment manufacturers (“OEMs”) and financial and other institutions, we underwrite and provide administrative support and related services for ESCs. These contracts provide consumers with coverage on mobile devices and consumer electronics and appliances, protecting them from certain covered losses. We pay the cost of repairing or replacing these consumer goods in the event of loss, theft, accidental damage, mechanical breakdown or electronic malfunction after the manufacturer's warranty expires. Our strategy is to provide integrated service offerings to our clients that address all aspects of the insurance, ESC or warranty, including program design and marketing strategy, risk management, data analytics, customer support and claims handling, supply chain services, service delivery and repair and logistics management. For example, we provide end-to-end mobile device lifecycle solutions in our mobile business from when the device is received and inspected, repaired or refurbished, to when it is ultimately disposed of through a sale to a third-party or used to support an insurance claim. In addition to extended protection for multiple devices, our mobile offerings include trade-in and upgrade programs, premium technical support, including device self-diagnostic tools, and device disposition. We also sell repaired or refurbished mobile and other electronic devices. In 2021, we partnered with one of our mobile clients to provide in-store device repairs to customers with same-day repairs performed by our technicians located at our mobile client’s retail locations throughout the nation. We believe that with the required administrative capability, digital platforms enabling on-boarding, claims management and service delivery, supply chain management, technical support infrastructure, insurance underwriting capabilities and a variety of adjacent value-added services, like trade-in and upgrade and asset value recovery, we maintain a differentiated position in this marketplace.
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Global Automotive: We underwrite and provide administrative services for vehicle service contracts (“VSCs”) and ancillary products providing coverage for vehicles, including automobiles, trucks, recreational vehicles and motorcycles, as well as parts. For VSCs, we pay the cost of repairing a customer’s vehicle in the event of mechanical breakdown. For ancillary products, coverage varies, but, generally, we pay the cost of repairing, servicing or replacing parts or provide other financial compensation in the event of mechanical breakdown, accidental damage or theft. We provide integrated service offerings to our clients, including program design and marketing strategy, risk management, data analytics, customer support and claims handling, reinsurance facilitation, actuarial consulting, experiential and digital training and performance management.
Global Financial Services and Other: Our Global Financial Services and Other business maintains a suite of protection and assurance products that deliver a combination of features and benefits for varying customer segment needs. With major financial services clients, we provide value-added financial services in the U.S. and internationally, ranging from credit insurance to inclusive credit card benefits and travel coverages. Although traditional credit insurance has been in decline in North America, it remains a core offering in select international markets.
Distribution and Clients
Global Lifestyle operates globally, with approximately 81% of its revenue from North America (the U.S. and Canada), 7% from Latin America (Brazil, Argentina, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Chile, Colombia and Peru), 6% from Europe (the United Kingdom (the “U.K.”), France, Italy, Spain, Germany and the Netherlands) and 6% from Asia Pacific (South Korea, China (and Hong Kong), Japan, Australia, India, Singapore and New Zealand) for the year ended December 31, 2021. Global Lifestyle focuses on establishing strong, long-term relationships with clients that are leaders in their markets, including leading distributors of our products and services. In Connected Living, we partner with mobile network operators, retailers, MSOs, OEMs and financial and other institutions to market our mobile device solutions and with some of the largest OEMs, consumer electronics retailers, appliance retailers (including e-commerce retailers) and MSOs to market our ESC products and related services. In Global Automotive, we partner with auto dealers and agents, third-party administrators and manufacturers to market our vehicle protection and related services. In Global Financial Services and Other, we partner with financial institutions, insurers and retailers to market our credit insurance and embedded card offerings.
Most of our distribution agreements are exclusive. Typically, these agreements are multi-year with terms generally between three and five years and allow us to integrate our administrative systems with those of our clients.
Global Lifestyle is dependent on a few clients, in particular mobile device carriers, and the loss of any one or more such clients could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations and cash flows. See “Item 1A – Risk Factors – Business, Strategic and Operational Risks – Our revenues and profits may decline if we are unable to maintain relationships with significant clients, distributors and other parties, or renew contracts with them on favorable terms, or if those parties face financial, reputational or regulatory issues.
Our Addressable Markets and Market Activity
The mobile protection market is a large and growing global market, characterized by growth in the “Internet of Things” and evolving wireless standards, particularly the advent of 5G. While smartphone penetration in the U.S., Japanese and European markets is high, other markets are less mature and also present growth opportunities. The worldwide used and refurbished smartphone market is also expected to continue to grow.
In addition, consumer needs relating to mobile devices are continuing to expand in scope. We believe there are growth opportunities in bundled protection products, which support customers as they take full advantage of the features and functions of their mobile devices through their daily interaction with a connected world. Customer support, device financing, buyback, trade-in and upgrade programs are some of the areas that continue to gain traction. Expanded capabilities like repair and logistics, technical support for customers and digital security allow us to create product and service offerings that customers find compelling. We also believe there are additional growth opportunities in new device categories, such as accessories (e.g., ear buds, watches) and connected smart devices (e.g., smart speakers, laptops, tablets).
Our business is subject to fluctuations in mobile device trade-in and upgrade volumes based on the release of new devices and carrier promotional programs, as well as customer preferences. As a general trend, we believe the average smartphone replacement cycle is lengthening, which may increase attachment rates for mobile protection offerings, including for our large, installed customer base. However, this trend may be reversed based on new technology and innovation.
In the vehicle sales markets, we expect total U.S. vehicle sales to grow, with growth in new vehicle sales tempered by supply chain constraints, including chip shortages. We expect the used vehicle market to remain strong and continue to grow, though growth is expected to be impacted by the faster growth in new vehicle sales. We work closely with our partners to develop innovative offerings that reflect the evolution of the large U.S. market. In addition, new vehicle sales outside of the U.S. continue to grow in most markets.
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Consumers are becoming increasingly connected across their mobile devices, vehicles and homes, which is creating a global market for smart home devices and related services. As we continue into the “Connected Decade”, we believe it will create long-term opportunities for Assurant as consumers’ lifestyles will increasingly intertwine with their connected ecosystems. Due to our capabilities including device protection, premium technology support, service delivery and financing, as well as technology components such as dynamic fulfillment, which integrates a dynamic mobile claims management process with risk and fraud mitigation, we are well positioned to support customers as the smart home market continues to grow.
In our financial services business, we anticipate continued declines in our traditional credit insurance in North America. Our focus is on expanding our partnerships with leading financial institutions to offer credit card offerings to their customers. The traditional credit and credit card products are actively sold in select international markets.
Risk Management
We earn premiums on our insurance and warranty products and fees for our other services. We write a portion of our contracts on a retrospective commission basis. This allows us to adjust commissions on the basis of claims experience. Under these commission arrangements, our clients’ compensation is based upon the actual losses incurred compared to premiums earned after a specified net allowance to us. We believe that these arrangements better align our clients’ interests with ours and help us to better manage risk exposure. For additional risks relating to our Global Lifestyle segment, please see “Item 1A – Risk Factors.”
Inventory
In our mobile business, we carry inventory to meet the delivery requirements of certain clients. These devices are ultimately disposed of through sales to third parties. In addition, as part of our new in-store device repair business, our inventory includes devices and parts needed to perform the repairs. Inventory levels may vary from period to period due to, among other things, differences between actual and forecasted demand, supply chain constraints, the addition of new devices and parts, and strategic purchases. Payment terms with clients also vary, which may result in less inventory financed by clients and more inventory financed with our own capital.
We take various actions to manage our inventory, including monitoring our inventory levels, managing the timing of purchases and obtaining return rights for some programs and devices. However, the value of certain inventory will be adversely impacted by technological changes affecting the usefulness or desirability of the devices and parts, physical problems resulting from faulty design or manufacturing, increased competition, growing industry emphasis on cost containment and adverse foreign trade relationships. No assurance can be given that we will be adequately protected against declines in inventory value. See “Item 1A – Risk Factors – Business, Strategic and Operational Risks – “Our mobile business is subject to the risk of declines in the value of mobile devices in our inventory, and to export compliance and other risks.”
Seasonality
We experience seasonal fluctuations that impact demand in each of our lines of business. For example, seasonality for ESCs and VSCs aligns with the seasonality of the retail and automobile markets. In addition, our mobile results, which align with the seasonality of mobile device sales and are affected by trade-in volumes, may fluctuate quarter to quarter due to the actual and anticipated timing and availability of the release of new devices and carrier promotional programs.

Global Housing
 Years Ended December 31,
 202120202019
Net earned premiums, fees and other income by product:
Lender-placed Insurance$1,065.9 $1,052.5 $1,109.2 
Multifamily Housing482.3 451.6 429.2 
Specialty and Other448.4 473.2 495.3 
Total$1,996.6 $1,977.3 $2,033.7 
Segment net income$244.6 $233.8 $258.7 
Segment equity (1)$1,445.8 $1,515.1 $1,600.6 

(1)Segment equity does not include components of AOCI, which is primarily comprised of net unrealized gains on securities, net of taxes. For additional information on total AOCI, see Note 22 to the Consolidated Financial Statements included elsewhere in this Report.

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Our Products and Services
The key lines of business in Global Housing are: Lender-placed Insurance; Multifamily Housing (which is comprised of renters insurance and related products); and Specialty and Other (which is comprised of voluntary manufactured housing insurance, voluntary homeowners insurance and other specialty products).
Lender-placed Insurance: We provide lender-placed homeowners, lender-placed manufactured housing and lender-placed flood insurance as described below.
Lender-placed homeowners insurance. Lender-placed homeowners insurance consists principally of fire and dwelling hazard insurance offered through our lender-placed program. The lender-placed program provides collateral protection to lenders, mortgage servicers and investors in mortgaged properties in the event that a homeowner does not maintain insurance on a mortgaged dwelling. Lender-placed homeowners insurance provides structural coverage, similar to that of a standard homeowners policy. The amount of coverage is often based on the last known insurance coverage under the prior policy for the property and provides replacement cost coverage on the property. It protects both the lender’s interest and the borrower’s interest and equity. We also provide real estate owned (“REO”) insurance, consisting of insurance on foreclosed properties managed by our clients.
In the majority of cases, we use a proprietary insurance-tracking administration system linked with the administrative systems of our clients to monitor clients’ mortgage portfolios to verify the existence of insurance on each mortgaged property and identify those that are uninsured. If there is a potential lapse in insurance coverage, we begin a process of notification and outreach to both the homeowner and the last known insurance carrier or agent through phone calls and written correspondence, which generally takes up to 90 days to complete. If coverage cannot be verified at the end of this process, the mortgage servicer procures a lender-placed policy. The process of tracking voluntary coverage - including determining whether voluntary coverage is in force, the policy limits in place, the perils insured and the deductibles, and obtaining other required insurance related information - is part of our risk exposure management for our Lender-placed Insurance business. The exposure management process is needed in order to underwrite the risk we assume, to understand loss exposure and to communicate with appropriate parties, including the lender, insurance agent and homeowner. Our placement rates reflect the ratio of insurance policies placed to loans tracked. The homeowner always retains the option to obtain or renew the insurance of his or her choice.
Lender-placed manufactured housing insurance. Lender-placed manufactured housing insurance consists principally of fire and dwelling hazard insurance for manufactured housing offered through our lender-placed program. Lender-placed manufactured housing insurance is issued after an insurance tracking and exposure management process similar to that described above. In most cases, tracking is performed using a proprietary insurance-tracking administration system.
Lender-placed flood insurance. Lender-placed flood insurance consists of flood insurance offered through our lender-placed program. It provides collateral protection to lenders in mortgaged properties in the event a homeowner does not maintain required flood insurance. Lender-placed flood insurance is issued after an insurance tracking and exposure management process similar to that described above.
Multifamily Housing: We provide integrated solutions across the resident lifecycle. We offer renters insurance for a wide variety of single and multi-family rental properties, providing content protection for renters’ personal belongings and liability protection for the property owners against renter-caused damage. We also offer an integrated billing and tracking platform for our clients and their customers. In addition, we provide tenant bonds as an alternative to security deposits, which allows our clients to offer a lower move-in cost option while minimizing the risk of loss from damages, and receivables management, which helps our clients to maximize the collection of amounts owed by prior tenants.
Specialty and Other: We offer voluntary manufactured housing insurance, voluntary condominium and homeowners insurance and other specialty products, including offerings related to the sharing economy. Our voluntary insurance generally provides structural coverage, contents and liability coverage. Our sharing economy insurance products include carsharing, vehicle subscription, vacation rental and on-demand delivery insurance products. We are also the second largest administrator for the U.S. government under the voluntary National Flood Insurance Program (the “NFIP”), for which we earn fees for collecting premiums and processing claims. This business is 100% reinsured to the U.S. government.
Distribution and Clients
Global Housing establishes long-term relationships with leading mortgage lenders and servicers, manufactured housing lenders, property managers and financial and other institutions. Lender-placed Insurance products are distributed primarily through mortgage lenders, mortgage servicers and financial and other institutions. The majority of our lender-placed agreements are exclusive. Typically, these agreements have terms of three to five years and allow us to integrate our systems with those of our clients. Multifamily Housing products are distributed primarily through property management companies and affinity marketing partners. We offer our Specialty and Other insurance programs primarily through manufactured housing lenders and
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retailers, along with independent specialty agents. Independent specialty agents also distribute flood products and other specialty property products, and on-demand delivery and ridesharing companies distribute sharing economy offerings.
Global Housing is dependent on a few clients, and the loss of any one or more such clients could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations and cash flows. See “Item 1A – Risk Factors – Business, Strategic and Operational Risks – Our revenues and profits may decline if we are unable to maintain relationships with significant clients, distributors and other parties, or renew contracts with them on favorable terms, or if those parties face financial, reputational or regulatory issues.”
Our Addressable Markets and Market Activity
With respect to the lender-placed market, placement rates are generally flat. We continue to monitor the state of the overall housing market and the potential impact of loan modifications, forbearances and foreclosure delays, including the impact to REO volumes. Should the housing market deteriorate for a prolonged period, we would expect a longer-term increase in our placement rates. In addition to the overall market, our lender-placed results are also impacted by the mix of loans we service.
The U.S. renters insurance market is a growing market with new building development, occupancy and relocation trends. We believe there is opportunity to increase our market share and attachment rates with new and existing clients through our investments in digital platforms designed to deliver superior, digital-first customer experience and our expanded offerings to provide end-to-end solutions.
Risk Management
We earn premiums on our insurance products and fees for our services. Our lender-placed insurance products are not underwritten on an individual policy basis. Contracts with our clients require us to issue these policies automatically when a borrower’s insurance coverage is not maintained. These products are priced to factor in the additional risk from ensuring that all client properties have continuous insurance coverage. We monitor pricing adequacy based on a variety of factors and adjust pricing as required, subject to regulatory constraints. For additional risks related to pricing and modeling, see “Item 1A – Risk Factors – Financial Risks – We may be unable to accurately predict and price for claims and other costs, which could reduce our profitability” and “ – Actual results may differ materially from the analytical models we use to assist in our decision-making in key areas such as pricing, catastrophe risks, reserving and capital management.
Because several of our business lines (such as homeowners, manufactured housing and other property policies) are exposed to catastrophe risks, we purchase reinsurance coverage to reduce our financial exposure, protect capital, and mitigate earnings and cash flow volatility. Our reinsurance program generally incorporates a provision to allow for the reinstatement of coverage, which provides protection against the risk of multiple catastrophes in a single year.
For 2021, our property catastrophe reinsurance program includes U.S. per-occurrence catastrophe coverage providing $965.0 million of protection in excess of $80.0 million retention in the main reinsurance program for a first event, with retention lowering to $55.0 million for certain second and third events. In addition, it includes multi-year reinsurance contracts covering approximately 52% of the U.S. program, reducing volatility in future reinsurance costs. All layers of the program allow for one automatic reinstatement, except the first layer which has two reinstatements and covers the first $30.0 million of losses in excess of the $80.0 million retention. The 2021 program also maintains a cascading feature that provides multi-event protection in which most higher coverage layers drop down to $110.0 million as the lower layers and reinstatement limit are exhausted. When combined with the Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund, the program is covered for gross Florida losses of up to approximately $1.2 billion. The 2021 catastrophe reinsurance program also includes Caribbean catastrophe coverage providing $150.0 million of protection in excess of $20.0 million retention and Latin American catastrophe coverage providing $158.0 million of protection in excess of $7.0 million of retention. We placed approximately two-thirds of our 2022 catastrophe reinsurance program in January 2022.
We are also subject to non-catastrophe risk. Please see “Item 1A – Risk Factors – Business, Strategic and Operational Risks – Catastrophe and non-catastrophe losses, including as a result of climate change, could materially reduce our profitability and have a material adverse effect on our results of operations and financial condition.”
Seasonality
We experience seasonal fluctuation in several of our lines of business, which are exposed to the risk of catastrophe and non-catastrophe losses. Catastrophe events such as hurricanes typically occur in the second half of the year, and may increase in frequency and severity due to climate change. We also experience some seasonal fluctuation as a result of non-catastrophe weather-related events that tend to occur in the second and third quarters.

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Competition
Our businesses focus on lifestyle and housing solutions that support, protect and connect major consumer purchases. Although we face global competition in each of our businesses, we believe that no single competitor competes against us in all of our business lines. Across Global Lifestyle and Global Housing, we compete for business, customers, agents and other distribution relationships with many insurance companies, warranty and protection companies, financial services companies, mobile device repair and logistics companies, technology and software companies and specialized competitors that focus on one market, product or service. We must respond to the threat of disruption by traditional players, as well as from new entrants, such as “Insurtech” start-up companies and others. Competition in each business is based on a number of factors, including scope of products and services offered, ability to tailor products and services to client and consumer needs, product features and terms, pricing, technology offerings, diversity of distribution resources, brand recognition, costs, financial strength and ratings, resources, and quality of service, including speed of claims payment and the overall customer experience. The relative importance of these factors varies by product and market. To remain competitive in many of our businesses, we must also anticipate and respond effectively to changes in customer preferences, new industry standards, evolving distribution models, disruptive technology developments and alternate business models. For further information on the risks associated with competition, see “Item 1A – Risk Factors – Business, Strategic and Operational Risks – Significant competitive pressures, changes in customer preferences and disruption could adversely affect our results of operations.

Human Capital Resources
The cornerstone of Assurant is the employees who bring our purpose, values and commitments to life each day for the millions of customers we serve worldwide. We believe in fostering a diverse, equitable and inclusive culture to drive growth and innovation. We regularly evaluate our practices and policies in order to attract, develop and retain the best talent to support our strategy. This includes ongoing investments in competitive total rewards and wellbeing programs, and providing learning, development and engagement opportunities, while continuously enhancing the experience of our employees who are critical to our long-term success.
As of December 31, 2021, Assurant had approximately 15,600 employees in 21 countries. While 84% of the workforce was located in North America, we continue to expand our presence in key international markets across Europe, Latin America and Asia Pacific. Our employees span a wide range of roles and possess an array of skills in support of our strategy to enable the increasingly connected lifestyles of consumers. This is reflected in our diverse workforce mix. As of December 31, 2021, approximately 69% of our employees were frontline workers, inclusive of hourly roles such as customer care, claims administration and mobile repair and logistics. The remaining 31% are managerial, inclusive of salaried employees engaged in an array of business and support functions. In 2021, we expanded our hourly workforce as we scaled our dynamic fulfillment capabilities in the U.S. to support in-store mobile device repairs, and we were able to attract a larger and more diverse pool of applicants by providing training and certification programs. As of December 31, 2021, 54% of all employees are female; underrepresented minority groups accounted for 54% of our U.S. workforce. For full-year 2021, our global attrition rate was 23%, reflecting our blended workforce; attrition for managerial and salaried roles was 9%, compared to 29% for all frontline and hourly employees where annual turnover rates are typically higher and reflective of the industries in which we operate.
The Board, through its Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee and Compensation Committee, oversee the significant human capital management programs of Assurant, which are led by Assurant’s Chief Executive Officer and its Chief Administrative Officer.
Attracting, developing, and retaining the best talent globally is key to our success in sustaining long-term profitable growth. Our talent strategy is focused on employee engagement and investments in programs to support career development, as well as recognizing and rewarding performance. We believe these programs and opportunities create a pipeline of talent and leadership, necessary to drive and deliver on our long-term strategy.
We regularly engage with our employees to strengthen our culture and gather feedback against our talent objectives. We provide several forums and channels for our employees to provide their feedback, including direct discussions with managers, employee surveys and interactive townhall meetings. Key topics covered include diversity, equity and inclusion, learning and development, wellbeing, and recognition.
Based on our review of employee survey results, action plans are implemented to enhance employee satisfaction and to ensure alignment with our overall human capital strategy.
In 2021, we implemented a new enterprise-wide listening program designed to expand opportunities for anonymous, real-time feedback between managers and employees. We then implemented action plans to enhance employee satisfaction and ensure alignment to our overall talent strategy based on our analysis. Results from our listening program in September 2021 highlighted that employees generally feel engaged and aligned with the Company’s priorities. In many cases, results trended more favorably than in prior year engagement surveys and at or above comparable industry benchmarks. Areas for
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improvement include identifying career development opportunities and managing workload. These results, in addition to external benchmarks, will provide an important baseline to measure progress in the future.
Fostering Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
At Assurant, we believe diversity, equity and inclusion (“DE&I”) fosters innovation and creates growth opportunities by strengthening employee engagement for the benefit of all of our stakeholders. We believe diverse teams and inclusive cultures perform better by improving our ability to respond to the changing global marketplace and social landscape.
We are committed to gender, racial and ethnic diversity at all levels of the Company. As of December 31, 2021, women comprised 54% of our global workforce, 45% at the managerial levels, 20% at the Assurant Management Committee level and 25% of our Board; and 54% of our U.S. workforce, 38% at the managerial levels, no representation at the Assurant Management Committee level and 25% of our Board identified as racially or ethnically diverse. Four of the Company’s diverse directors held leadership roles, including the Board Chair and three committee chairs. Effective January 1, 2022, the Company’s Management Committee reflects an increased representation of diversity, with 18% now identifying as racially or ethnically diverse.
We are committed to continuing to increase representation and engagement of underrepresented groups within Assurant. Assurant’s Executive Inclusion Council, chaired by our Chief Executive Officer and comprised of our Management Committee, provides leadership oversight, engagement and accountability throughout Assurant to foster greater DE&I. Our Chief Administrative Officer has direct oversight and responsibility for our DE&I strategy. Additionally, the Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee is committed to including women and minority candidates in the pool of qualified candidates from which Board nominees are chosen and will continue to review its processes and procedures to ensure that diverse candidates are included.
We recruit talent in diverse communities, through strategic and educational partnerships that bring greater visibility and expertise. We continue to strengthen our recruiting and talent practices to identify and remove inherent biases that could influence outcomes, including required enterprise-wide diversity training and the implementation of diverse slate and interviewing requirements for all managerial and above job openings. We are focused on inclusion through global programming that spotlights the experiences of underrepresented groups and through the formation of Employee Resources Groups, which provide a forum for employees to raise topics that are important to underrepresented groups. In the marketplace, we support social justice causes through the Assurant Foundation and we partner with nonprofit organizations to provide leadership development opportunities to women and other diverse groups.
Pay Equity
Assurant is committed to pay equity. Our compensation practices and programs consider a variety of factors designed to set fair and equitable compensation levels. We take a holistic approach to evaluating and aligning roles with compensation levels based on job responsibilities, market competitiveness, geographical location, strategic importance of roles and other relevant factors. We periodically evaluate our compensation practices and, starting in 2020, we initiated a multi-step process to ensure that we are compensating equitably across employees performing similar job responsibilities. Results confirmed that we are fairly administering pay and see no evidence of systemic and material pay equity issues. We expect to continue to assess annually and remediate any significant pay disparities we may discover. We also have identified other priorities, including ensuring we have competitive wages, particularly for our hourly employees. In 2021, we set a minimum starting wage of $15 per hour in the U.S. to support the financial wellbeing of our employees, and we continue to monitor and adjust market wages consistent with our ongoing compensation practices.
Total Rewards and Wellbeing
We are committed to the health and safety of our employees as we believe the success of our business is directly connected to their wellbeing. In addition to providing robust compensation and benefits programs and opportunities to invest in their financial future, we also offer employees and their families access to a variety of health and wellness programs. Our Total Rewards programs help to provide protection and security related to events that may require time away from work or that impact their financial wellbeing, such as paid time off, family leave, family care resources and flexible work schedules. Our Global Employee Assistance Plan provides additional support to help employees and their families access critical resources for their wellbeing, including financial, physical and mental health.
We regularly benchmark our Total Rewards against companies of similar size and industries to ensure our offerings remain competitive. In 2021, we expanded our assessment to include employee feedback from U.S. employees on the effectiveness of our programs and what employees value most. The feedback confirmed that Assurant’s Total Rewards are generally consistent with the market and, overall, employees feel they are competitive. Additionally, it provided valuable input on the evolving needs of our workforce, including ways to enhance health care affordability, predictability of day-to-day expenses and the importance of family planning support. As a result, we implemented changes to our Total Rewards programs
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to support affordability, expand family-friendly benefits and help employees get the most value from their coverage. We will continue to assess additional opportunities across Total Rewards and Wellbeing to help attract and retain top talent.
Recognizing the benefit of flexible work arrangements for our business, customers and employees, we have begun an initiative to enable a long-term shift to a hybrid work model to support our business and talent strategy. Based on our preliminary analysis, we expect a larger portion of our employees to work virtually on a full-time or part-time basis compared to prior to the pandemic. While we will continue to encourage in-person engagement at key moments to support our culture and foster continued engagement, development and innovation, we believe flexible work arrangements will remain a key competitive advantage to support the evolving needs of our customers and employees. We expect to initiate these go-forward work arrangements starting in 2022, concurrent with a more substantial return to office for eligible employees. In preparation, we are conducting ongoing readiness training sessions, providing resources to support managers and employees, aligning our real estate footprint globally and making necessary investments in key facilities and markets to support these changes and the long-term strategy of the Company.
Learning and Development
Learning and development are essential to Assurant’s success. We continually invest in our employees’ career growth and provide employees with a wide range of training and development opportunities, including face-to-face, virtual and self-directed learning, mentoring and external development opportunities. Strengthening employees’ leadership, technical and professional skills to broaden career opportunities while also reinforcing a culture of strong ethics and compliance, are primary focus areas. Assurant also supports employees in the pursuit of undergraduate and graduate degrees, certifications and continuing education required by certain professional organizations.
In response to the pandemic, we adapted our learning and development programs to meet the needs of our employees who are working from home. We provided a broader array of training around subject matters such as managing remotely, mental health awareness and building resilience, as well as shifting from traditional in-person sessions to virtual learning.
Succession Planning
An important element of our talent strategy is succession planning and building leadership at various levels across the organization.
We assess the performance and potential of current incumbents, identify and assess potential successors, and create targeted development plans to strengthen the preparedness and diversity of our talent pipeline. Annually, we conduct a comprehensive talent review to discuss potential successors of our Management Committee and other key leadership roles. The Board and the Nominating Committee annually review the CEO succession plan and succession plans for senior executives, with the goal to ensure we have the right leadership in place to execute the company’s long-term strategic plans.
For more information on our human capital resources, please refer to our most recent Social Responsibility Report available at socialresponsibility.assurant.com and our most recent Proxy Statement available at ir.assurant.com. The information found on our website and in such reports is not incorporated by reference into and does not constitute a part of this Report.

Ratings 
Independent rating organizations periodically review the financial strength of insurers, including many of our insurance subsidiaries. Financial strength ratings represent the opinions of rating agencies regarding the ability of an insurance company to meet its financial obligations to policyholders and contract holders. These ratings are not applicable to our common stock or debt securities. Ratings are an important factor in establishing the competitive position of insurance companies.
Rating agencies also use an “outlook statement” of “positive,” “stable,” “negative” or “developing” to indicate a medium- or long-term trend in credit fundamentals which, if continued, may lead to a rating change. A rating may have a stable outlook to indicate that the rating is not expected to change; however, a stable outlook does not preclude a rating agency from changing a rating at any time, without notice.
Most of our domestic operating insurance subsidiaries are rated by A.M. Best Company (“A.M. Best”). In addition, three of our domestic operating insurance subsidiaries are rated by Moody’s Investors Service, Inc. (“Moody’s”) and S&P Global Ratings, a division of S&P Global Inc. (“S&P”). The ratings issued on our operating insurance subsidiaries by these agencies are announced publicly and are available from the agencies.
For information on the risks associated with ratings downgrades, see “Item 1A – Risk Factors – Financial Risks – A decline in the financial strength ratings of our insurance subsidiaries could adversely affect our results of operations and financial condition.
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The following table summarizes the financial strength ratings and outlooks of our domestic operating insurance subsidiaries as of December 31, 2021:
A.M. Best (1)Moody’s (2)S&P (3)
Company
American Bankers Insurance Company of Florida A A3 A
American Bankers Life Assurance Company of Florida A- A3 A
American Security Insurance Company A A3 A
Caribbean American Life Assurance Company A-  N/A  N/A
Caribbean American Property Insurance Company A  N/A  N/A
Reliable Lloyds Insurance Company A  N/A  N/A
Standard Guaranty Insurance Company A  N/A  N/A
Virginia Surety Company, Inc. A  N/A  N/A
Voyager Indemnity Insurance Company A  N/A  N/A
(1)A.M. Best financial strength ratings range from “A++” (superior) to “D” (poor). Ratings of A and A- fall under the “excellent” category, which is the second highest of A.M. Best’s seven ratings categories. A.M. Best has a stable outlook on all of our domestic operating insurance subsidiaries’ financial strength ratings.
(2)Moody’s insurance financial strength ratings range from “Aaa” (highest quality) to “C” (lowest rated). A numeric modifier may be appended to ratings from “Aa” to “Caa” to indicate relative position within a category, with 1 being the highest and 3 being the lowest. A rating of A3 is considered “upper-medium-grade” and falls within the third highest of Moody’s nine ratings categories. Moody's has a stable outlook on all of our domestic operating insurance subsidiaries’ insurance financial strength ratings.
(3)S&P’s insurer financial strength ratings range from “AAA” (extremely strong) to “D” (general default). A “+” or “-” may be appended to ratings from categories AA to CCC to indicate relative position within a category. Ratings of A (strong) are within the third highest of S&P’s ten ratings categories. S&P has a stable outlook on all of our domestic operating insurance subsidiaries’ insurer financial strength ratings.


Regulation
We are subject to extensive federal, state and international regulation and supervision in the jurisdictions in which we do business. Regulations vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction.
The following is a summary of significant regulations that apply to our businesses, but is not intended to be a comprehensive review of every regulation to which we are subject. For information on the risks associated with regulations applicable to us, see “Item 1A – Risk Factors – Business, Strategic and Operational Risks”, “Item 1A – Risk Factors – Technology, Cybersecurity and Privacy Risks” and “Item 1A – Risk Factors – Legal and Regulatory Risks.”
Holding Company Insurance Regulations
Under applicable insurance holding company regulations, no person may acquire a controlling interest in the Company or any of our insurance company subsidiaries, unless such person has obtained prior regulatory approval for such acquisition. Under these laws, “control” is presumed when any person acquires or holds, directly or indirectly, 10% or more of our common stock or of the voting securities of any of our insurance company subsidiaries. To obtain approval, the proposed acquiror must file an application with the relevant regulator, including the regulator for the insurance subsidiaries we have established in the Netherlands. For more information on the risks associated with holding company insurance regulations, see “Item 1A – Risk Factors – General Risk Factors – Applicable laws and our certificate of incorporation and by-laws may discourage takeovers and business combinations that some stockholders might consider to be in their best interests.
U.S. Insurance Regulation
We are subject to the insurance holding company laws in the states and territories where our insurance companies are domiciled. These laws generally require insurance companies within the insurance holding company system to register with the insurance departments of their respective states and territories of domicile and furnish reports to such insurance departments regarding capital structure, ownership, financial condition, risk management, corporate governance, general business operations and intercompany transactions. These laws also require that transactions between affiliated companies be fair and equitable. In addition, certain intercompany transactions, changes of control, certain dividend payments and certain transfers of assets between the companies within the holding company system are subject to prior notice to, or approval by, regulatory authorities in such states and territories.
We are licensed to sell insurance through our insurance subsidiaries in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia. Like all U.S. insurance companies, our insurance subsidiaries are subject to regulation and supervision in the jurisdictions where they do business. In general, these regulations are designed to protect the interests of policyholders, and not
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necessarily the interests of shareholders and other investors. To that end, the laws of the various jurisdictions establish insurance departments with broad powers with respect to such things as:
licensing;
capital, surplus and dividends;
underwriting requirements and limitations (including, in some cases, minimum or target loss ratios);
entrance into and exit from markets;
introduction, cancellation and termination of certain coverages;
statutory accounting and annual statement disclosure requirements;
product types, policy forms and mandated insurance benefits;
premium rates;
fines, penalties and assessments;
claims practices, including occasional regulatory requirements to pay claims on terms other than those mandated by underlying policy contracts;
transactions between affiliates;
the form and content of disclosures to consumers;
the type, amounts and valuation of investments;
annual tests of solvency and reserve adequacy;
assessments or other surcharges for guaranty funds and the recovery of assessments through premium increases; and  
market conduct and sales practices of insurers and agents.
Dividend Payment Limitations. Assurant, Inc. is a holding company and, as such, has limited direct operations of its own. Our assets consist primarily of the capital stock of our subsidiaries. Accordingly, our future cash flows depend upon the availability of dividends and other statutorily permissible payments from our subsidiaries. Our subsidiaries’ ability to pay such dividends and make such other payments is regulated by the states and territories in which our subsidiaries are domiciled. These dividend regulations vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction and by type of insurance provided by the applicable subsidiary, but generally require our insurance subsidiaries to maintain minimum solvency requirements and limit the amount of dividends these subsidiaries can pay to us. For more information, see “Item 7 – Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations – Liquidity and Capital Resources – Regulatory Requirements” and “Item 1A – Risk Factors – Legal and Regulatory Risks – Changes in insurance regulation may reduce our profitability and limit our growth.
Risk-Based Capital Requirements. In order to enhance the regulation of insurer solvency, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (the “NAIC”) has established certain risk-based capital (“RBC”) standards applicable to life, health and property and casualty insurers. RBC, which regulators use to assess the sufficiency of an insurer’s statutory capital, is calculated by applying factors to various asset, premium, expense, liability and reserve items. Factors are higher for items that the NAIC views as having greater underlying risk. The NAIC periodically reviews the RBC formula and changes to the formula could occur in the future. In June 2021, the NAIC adopted changes to the RBC factors for bonds and real estate and created a new set of RBC charges for longevity risk. These changes became effective on December 31, 2021. The modified bond and real estate factors, in the aggregate, are expected to have a minimal impact on our RBC ratio.
In addition, in December 2020, the NAIC adopted a group capital calculation tool using an RBC aggregation methodology for all entities within the insurance holding company system, including non-U.S. entities. The goal is to provide U.S. regulators with a method to aggregate the available capital and the minimum capital of each entity in a group in a way that applies to all groups regardless of their structure in order to identify risks that may emanate from an insurer’s holding company system. The NAIC has stated that the calculation will be a regulatory tool and will not constitute a requirement or standard. State legislatures began adoption of the group capital calculation model regulations in 2021 and state adoption is expected to continue in 2022.
Investment Regulation. Insurance company investments must comply with applicable laws and regulations that govern the kind, quality and concentration of investments made by insurance companies. These regulations require diversification of insurance company investment portfolios and limit the amount of investments in certain asset categories.
Financial Reporting. Regulators closely monitor the financial condition of licensed insurance companies. Our insurance subsidiaries are required to file periodic financial reports with insurance regulators. Moreover, states and territories regulate the form and content of these statutory financial statements.
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Products and Coverage. Insurance regulators have broad authority to regulate many aspects of our products and services. Additionally, certain non-insurance products and services we offer, such as service contracts, may be regulated by regulatory bodies other than departments of insurance and may be subject to consumer protection laws.
Pricing and Premium Rates. Nearly all states and territories have insurance laws requiring insurers to file price schedules and policy forms with the state’s or territory’s regulatory authority. In many cases, these price schedules and/or policy forms must be approved prior to use, and state and territory insurance departments have the power to disapprove increases or require decreases in the premium rates we charge.
Market Conduct Regulation. Activities of insurers are highly regulated by state and territory insurance laws and regulations, that govern the form and content of disclosure to consumers, advertising, sales practices and complaint handling. State and territory regulatory authorities enforce compliance through periodic market conduct examinations.
Guaranty Associations and Indemnity Funds. Most states and territories require insurance companies to support guaranty associations or indemnity funds, which are established to pay claims on behalf of insolvent insurance companies. These associations may levy assessments on member insurers. In some states and territories, member insurers can recover a portion of these assessments through premium tax offsets and/or policyholder surcharges.
Insurance Regulatory Initiatives. The NAIC, state and territory regulators and professional organizations have considered and are considering various proposals that may alter or increase state and territory authority to regulate insurance companies and insurance holding companies. For example, at their Spring 2021 meeting, the NAIC adopted the NAIC Real Property Lender-Placed Insurance Model Act (the “LPI Model Act”). The LPI Model Act governs the insurance that a mortgage servicer obtains when a borrower fails to obtain or maintain required insurance. A number of states have followed suit and have introduced or will introduce state-level legislation relating to lender-placed insurance during their 2022 legislative session. See “Item 1A – Risk Factors – Legal and Regulatory Risks – Changes in insurance regulation may reduce our profitability and limit our growth” for a discussion of the risks related to such initiatives.
Federal Regulation
Although our business in the United States is primarily regulated by the states, federal initiatives often have an impact on our business in a variety of ways. Impacted areas include financial services regulation, privacy, tort reform legislation and taxation. In addition, various forms of direct and indirect federal regulation of insurance have been proposed from time to time, including proposals for the establishment of an optional federal charter for insurance companies. See “Item 1A – Risk Factors – Legal and Regulatory Risks – Our business is subject to risks related to litigation and regulatory actions.”
Employee Retirement Income Security Act. We are subject to regulation under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, as amended (“ERISA”). ERISA places certain requirements on how we may administer employee benefit plans covered by ERISA. Among other things, regulations under ERISA set standards for certain notice and disclosure requirements and for claim processing and appeals.
Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act. Certain of our activities are subject to the privacy requirements of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, which, along with regulations adopted thereunder, generally requires insurers to provide customers with notice regarding how their nonpublic personal financial information is used and the opportunity to “opt out” of certain disclosures, if applicable.
Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. Regulations under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (the “Dodd-Frank Act”) address mortgage servicers’ obligations to correct errors asserted by mortgage loan borrowers; provide certain information requested by such borrowers; and provide protections to such borrowers in connection with Lender-placed Insurance. These requirements affect our operations because, in many instances, we administer such operations on behalf of our mortgage servicer clients. While the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (the “CFPB”) does not have direct jurisdiction over insurance products, it is possible that additional regulations promulgated by the CFPB may extend its authority more broadly to cover these products and thereby affect us or our clients.
Tax Reform. On December 22, 2017, the U.S. Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (the “TCJA”), which significantly amended the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, was enacted. Of particular interest to the Company was the reduction of the corporate tax rate from 35% to 21%. The recently appointed Biden Administration is expected to revise the TCJA and impose a new minimum tax on book income for certain companies. Until the revisions to the TCJA are enacted, it is difficult to assess their scope and overall impact to the Company.
 International Regulation
We are subject to regulation and supervision of our international operations in various jurisdictions. These regulations, which vary depending on the jurisdiction, include, among others, anti-corruption laws; solvency and market conduct regulations; various privacy, insurance, tax, tariff and trade laws and regulations; and corporate, employment, intellectual property and investment laws and regulations. We operate in various jurisdictions, including Canada, the U.K., France, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Chile, Peru, Colombia, Germany, India, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Spain, Italy, Mexico,
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Japan, South Korea, China and Singapore, and, in several of these jurisdictions, our businesses are supervised by local regulatory authorities.
On January 31, 2020, the U.K. withdrew from the E.U. (referred to as “Brexit”) with a transition period that extended to December 31, 2020. As a result, we established insurance subsidiaries in the Netherlands and obtained regulatory approval to continue our access to the European markets with immediate effect. Existing E.U. liabilities have been transferred to the new Dutch entities. Post-transition period changes to the E.U. and U.K. legal, trade and regulatory frameworks could increase our compliance costs and subject us to operational challenges in the region.
Additionally, the International Association of Insurance Supervisors (the “IAIS”) is developing a model common framework for the supervision of Internationally Active Insurance Groups (“IAIGs”), which includes group-wide supervisory oversight across national boundaries and the establishment of ongoing supervisory colleges (“ComFrame”). ComFrame will be applicable to entities that meet the IAIS’s criteria for IAIGs and that are so designated by their group-wide supervisor. The NAIC previously adopted changes to the Model Insurance Holding Company System Regulatory Act to allow state insurance regulators in the U.S. to be designated as group-wide supervisors for U.S.-based IAIGs. While we do not currently meet the criteria for IAIG designation, we are monitoring developments of reforms adopted by the IAIS as they influence NAIC activities, including those related to risk and group capital oversight.
Securities and Corporate Governance Regulation  
As a company with publicly-traded securities, we are subject to certain legal and regulatory requirements applicable generally to public companies, including the rules and regulations of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) and the New York Stock Exchange (the “NYSE”) relating to public reporting and disclosure, accounting and financial reporting, corporate governance and other matters. Additionally, we and our subsidiaries are subject to the corporate governance laws of our respective jurisdictions of incorporation or formation.
Consumer Protection Laws
Numerous federal, state and international consumer protection laws affect the Company. For example, as part of the Dodd-Frank Act, Congress established the CFPB to supervise and regulate institutions that provide certain financial products and services to consumers. Although the consumer financial services subject to the CFPB’s jurisdiction generally exclude insurance businesses, the CFPB may have authority to regulate certain non-insurance consumer services we provide.
Anti-Corruption Regulation
We are subject to certain U.S. and foreign laws applicable to businesses generally, including anti-corruption laws. The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act of 1977 (the “FCPA”) regulates U.S. companies in their dealings with foreign officials and prohibits bribes and similar practices. In addition, the U.K. Anti-Bribery Act has wide applicability to certain activities that affect U.K. companies, their commercial activities in the U.K., and potentially that of their affiliates located outside of the U.K. Anti-bribery and corruption laws and regulations continue to be implemented and/or enhanced across most of the jurisdictions in which we operate.
Cybersecurity and Privacy Regulation
We are subject to a variety of laws and regulations in the U.S. and abroad regarding privacy, data protection and data security. These laws and regulations are continuously evolving and developing. For example, the E.U. General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”), which became effective in May 2018, greatly increased the jurisdictional reach of the European Commission’s laws and added a broad array of requirements for handling personal data, such as the public disclosure of significant data breaches, privacy impact assessments, data portability and the appointment of data protection officers. Since the enactment of GDPR, other countries where we conduct business have or are in the process of enacting stricter data protections laws that model GDPR, including Brazil, China and Japan.
At the state level, the NAIC Insurance Data Security Model Law is being enacted in a number of states, imposing an array of detailed security measures, reporting and attestation requirements on insurance companies. In the past couple of years, the New York State Department of Financial Services (“NYDFS”) has issued cybersecurity regulations and related alerts applicable to regulated entities aimed at detecting vulnerabilities and strengthening cybersecurity. With respect to privacy rights, in 2020, California passed a second comprehensive privacy law that further increases California residents’ privacy rights in a manner similar to GDPR, the California Privacy Rights Act (“CPRA”) and, in 2021, Virginia passed the Virginia Consumer Data Protection Act (“CDPA”) and Colorado enacted the Colorado Privacy Act (“CPA”), both of which, while similar to the CPRA in certain respects, contain differences related to consumer opt-in/opt out requirements and notices on sale of personal information. The CPRA, CDPA, and CPA are expected to take effect on January 1, 2023. The accelerated rate of adoption of privacy legislation by states poses challenges for businesses as implementation and compliance may necessitate modifications to businesses processes, technological infrastructure, security measures and customer-facing websites.
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Environmental Regulation  
Because we own and operate real property, we are subject to federal, state and local environmental laws. Potential environmental liabilities and costs in connection with any required remediation of such properties is an inherent risk in property ownership and operation. Additionally, under the laws of several states, contamination of a property may give rise to a lien on the property to secure recovery of the costs of the cleanup, which could have priority over the lien of an existing mortgage against the property. To the extent we hold a mortgage loan on any property subject to such a lien, our ability to foreclose on that property should the related loan be in default would be impaired. Further, under certain circumstances, we may be liable for the costs of addressing releases or threatened releases of hazardous substances at properties securing mortgage loans held by us.
Other Regulation
As we continue to grow and evolve our business mix to cover other non-insurance-based products and services, we have and will continue to become subject to other legal and regulatory requirements, including regulations of the CFPB and other federal, state and municipal regulatory bodies, as well as additional regulatory bodies in non-U.S. jurisdictions. Examples include U.S. and local customs and trade regulations for the movement of mobile devices across geographic borders; health, safety, labor and environmental regulations, including those impacting our mobile supply chain operations; U.S. and international laws and regulations broadly relating to the performance, transparency and reporting of environmental, social and governance matters, including mandated climate-related financial disclosures; and antitrust and competition-related laws and regulations that may impact future transactions or business practices.

Enterprise Risk Management
Governance
We employ a risk governance structure, overseen by our Board and senior management and coordinated by the Risk Management function, to provide a common framework for evaluating the risks embedded in and across our businesses and functional areas, developing risk appetites, managing these risks, and identifying current and future risk challenges and opportunities.
Risk management is the responsibility of the Chief Strategy and Risk Officer, who leads the Risk Management function and reports directly to the Chief Executive Officer and regularly reports to the Finance and Risk Committee of the Board and to the Board, and the Global Head of Risk, who reports to the Chief Strategy and Risk Officer. Our Enterprise Risk Management Policy, which outlines our risk management framework and establishes principles for its effectiveness, has been approved by the Enterprise Risk Committee and the Board, and is reviewed annually to align with the Company’s business operations and strategy as well as changes to applicable laws, regulations and industry standards.
Our risk management framework cascades downwards into the enterprise through various management committees. Our risk governance structure is headed by the Enterprise Risk Committee, comprised of the Chief Executive Officer, the Chief Financial Officer, the Chief Strategy and Risk Officer, the Chief Legal Officer, the Treasurer and other members of the executive risk leadership team. The Enterprise Risk Committee reviews the most significant risks, the alignment to the risk appetite of the Company, and the mitigation and remediation plans that correspond to these risks.
Board of Directors and Committee Oversight
The Board, directly and through its committees as described below and in their charters, oversees our risk management policies and practices, including our risk appetite, and regularly discusses risk-related issues. The Board reviews management’s assessment of the Company’s key enterprise risks annually and management’s strategy with respect to each risk. The Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee reviews Board and committee oversight of the key risks. The Board and its committees receive updates from management on specific risks throughout the year.
The Audit Committee reviews the Company’s policies with respect to risk assessment and risk management and coordinates with the Finance and Risk Committee with respect to Board oversight of risk management and enterprise risk management activities. The Audit Committee also focuses on risks relating to financial statements, internal control over financial reporting, and compliance with legal and regulatory requirements. The Finance and Risk Committee has primary oversight responsibility of the Risk Management function and corresponding risk activities, receives regular risk management updates and focuses on risks relating to investments, capital management and catastrophe reinsurance. The Compensation Committee focuses on risks relating to executive retention and compensation plan design, and the Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee focuses on risks relating to director and management succession and ESG issues, including diversity, equity and inclusion. The Information Technology Committee is responsible for oversight of information technology risk assessment and risk management. This includes oversight of cybersecurity policies, controls and procedures, such as procedures to identify and assess internal and external cybersecurity risks.
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Management Oversight
Risk Management is headed by our Global Head of Risk. Risk Management develops risk assessment and risk management policies, and facilitates the identification, measurement, mitigation, monitoring and reporting of risks.
The Company uses the three lines of defense operating model to provide structure around risk management and internal controls. The first line of defense is front-line staff and managers who have day-to-day ownership and management over risks and controls. The second line of defense provides independent oversight of risk-taking and is accountable and responsible for identifying, measuring, monitoring and controlling aggregate risk. This line of defense includes the Enterprise Risk Committee and various management committees that oversee regional and line of business risk, financial risk, information technology risk, operational risk and investment risk, among others. The third line of defense is Internal Audit, which evaluates the adequacy of compliance with policies, procedures and processes established in the first and second lines. Internal Audit also assesses the design and ongoing effectiveness of risk management and the risk management framework.
Risk Appetite, Identification and Assessment, Monitoring and Reporting
Risk appetite is defined as the levels and types of risk that we are willing to assume to achieve our strategic objectives and business plan, consistent with prudent management of risk concomitant with available levels of capital. Risk Management, in conjunction with the management committees listed above, develops recommendations for risk limits as part of our risk appetite framework. Using metrics allows for a cohesive assessment of risk, resources and strategy, and supports management and the Board in making well-informed business decisions.
Risk assessments, which involve the identification of risks, information gathering and analyses, are performed by Risk Management and conducted in coordination with the second and third lines of defense. Risk Management measures risk exposure, and monitors and manages internal and external risk reporting using a central risk depository as the single source for risk information. The register collects information obtained from the processes described above and other sources and is periodically reviewed and approved by the Enterprise Risk Committee. Risks are classified using an enterprise-wide risk taxonomy.

Available Information 
Our Annual Reports on Form 10-K, Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, Current Reports on Form 8-K and all amendments to such reports filed or furnished pursuant to Section 13(a) or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the “Exchange Act”), as well as the Statements of Beneficial Ownership of Securities on Forms 3, 4 and 5 for our directors and officers, are available free of charge through the SEC website at www.sec.gov. We make our periodic reports and other information filed with or furnished to the SEC available, free of charge, through the Investor Relations page of our website (www.assurant.com) as soon as reasonably practicable after they are electronically filed with or furnished to the SEC.
We use our website (www.assurant.com) and social media accounts, including Twitter (@Assurant), LinkedIn (@Assurant) and Facebook (@AssurantInc), as a means of disclosing information about us and our services and for complying with our disclosure obligations under the SEC’s Regulation FD (Fair Disclosure). The information we post on our website and social media accounts may be deemed material. Accordingly, investors should monitor our website and social media accounts in addition to following our press releases, SEC filings, and public conference calls and webcasts. Except as specifically noted, the information found on our website and social media accounts are not incorporated by reference into, and do not constitute a part of, this Report or any other report filed with or furnished to the SEC.

Item 1A. Risk Factors
Certain factors may have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows. You should carefully consider them, along with the other information presented in this Report. It is not possible to predict or identify all such factors. Additional risks and uncertainties that are not yet identified or that we currently believe to be immaterial may also materially harm our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.
The following is a summary of the principal risks that could adversely affect our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.
Business, Strategic and Operational Risks
Our revenues and profits may decline if we are unable to maintain relationships with significant clients, distributors and other parties, or renew contracts with them on favorable terms, or if those parties face financial, reputational or regulatory issues.
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Significant competitive pressures, changes in customer preferences and disruption could adversely affect our results of operations.
The success of our business depends on the execution of our strategy, including through the continuing service of key executives, senior leaders, highly-skilled personnel and a high-performing workforce.
We may be unable to grow our business if we cannot find suitable acquisition candidates at attractive prices, integrate acquired businesses effectively or identify new areas for organic growth.
Our inability to successfully recover should we experience a business continuity event could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Failure to successfully manage vendors and other third parties could adversely affect our business.
We face risks associated with our international operations.
Our mobile business is subject to the risk of declines in the value of mobile devices in our inventory, and to export compliance and other risks.
Sales of our products and services may decline if we are unable to develop and maintain distribution sources or attract and retain sales representatives and executives with key client relationships.
We face risks associated with joint ventures, franchises and investments in which we share ownership or management with third parties.
Catastrophe and non-catastrophe losses, including as a result of climate change, could materially reduce our profitability and have a material adverse effect on our results of operations and financial condition.
Negative publicity relating to our business or industry may adversely affect our financial results.
Macroeconomic, Political and Global Market Risks
General economic, financial market and political conditions and conditions in the markets in which we operate may materially adversely affect our results of operations and financial condition.
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and measures taken in response thereto have disrupted and will likely continue to disrupt normal business activity, which may adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition.
Financial Risks
Our actual claims losses may exceed our reserves for claims, requiring us to establish additional reserves or to incur additional expense for settling unreserved liabilities, which could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations, profitability and capital.
We may be unable to accurately predict and price for claims and other costs, which could reduce our profitability.
A decline in the financial strength ratings of our insurance subsidiaries could adversely affect our results of operations and financial condition.
A credit rating agency downgrade of our corporate senior debt rating could adversely impact on our business.
Fluctuations in the exchange rate of the U.S. Dollar and other foreign currencies may materially and adversely affect our results of operations.
An impairment of our goodwill or other intangible assets could materially adversely affect our results of operations and book value.
Failure to maintain effective internal control over financial reporting could have a material adverse effect on our business and stock price.
Unfavorable conditions in the capital and credit markets may significantly and adversely affect our access to capital and our ability to pay our debts or expenses.
Our investment portfolio is subject to market risk, including changes in interest rates, that may adversely affect our results of operations and financial condition.
Our investment portfolio is subject to credit, liquidity and other risks that may adversely affect our results of operations and financial condition.
The value of our deferred tax assets could become impaired, which could materially and adversely affect our results of operations and financial condition.
Reinsurance may not be adequate or available to protect us against losses, and we are subject to the credit risk of reinsurers.
Through reinsurance, we have sold or exited businesses that could again become our direct financial and administrative responsibility if the reinsurers become insolvent.
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Due to the structure of our commission program, we are exposed to risks related to the creditworthiness and reporting systems of some of our agents, third-party administrators and clients.
Our subsidiaries’ inability to pay us sufficient dividends could prevent us from meeting our obligations and paying future stockholder dividends.
Our ability to declare and pay dividends on our capital stock or repurchase shares may be limited.
Actual results may differ materially from the analytical models we use to assist in our decision-making in key areas such as pricing, catastrophe risks, reserving and capital management.
Technology, Cybersecurity and Privacy Risks
The failure to effectively maintain and modernize our information technology systems and infrastructure and integrate those of acquired businesses could adversely affect our business.
We could incur significant liability if our information systems or those of third parties are breached or we or third parties otherwise fail to protect the security of data residing on our respective systems, which could adversely affect our business and results of operations.
The costs of complying with, or our failure to comply with, U.S. and foreign laws related to privacy, data security and data protection could adversely affect our financial condition, operating results and reputation.
Legal and Regulatory Risks
We are subject to extensive laws and regulations, which increase our costs and could restrict the conduct of our business, and violations or alleged violations of such laws and regulations could have a material adverse effect on our reputation, business and results of operations.
Changes in tax laws and regulations could have a material adverse impact on our results of operations and financial condition.
Our business is subject to risks related to litigation and regulatory actions.
Our business is subject to risks related to reductions in the insurance premium rates we charge.
Changes in insurance regulation may reduce our profitability and limit our growth.
General Risk Factors
Our common stock may be subject to stock price and trading volume volatility.
Employee misconduct could harm us by subjecting us to significant legal liability, regulatory scrutiny and reputational harm.
Applicable laws and our certificate of incorporation and by-laws may discourage takeovers and business combinations that some stockholders might consider to be in their best interests.
For a more complete discussion of these risks, please see below.
Business, Strategic and Operational Risks
Our revenues and profits may decline if we are unable to maintain relationships with significant clients, distributors and other parties, or renew contracts with them on favorable terms, or if those parties face financial, reputational or regulatory issues.
The success of our business depends largely on our relationships and contractual arrangements with significant clients, distributors and other parties, including vendors. Many of these arrangements are exclusive and some rely on preferred provider or similar relationships. If our key clients, distributors, vendors or other parties terminate important business arrangements with us, or renew contracts on terms less favorable to us, we may fail to meet our business objectives and targets, and our cash flows, results of operations and financial condition could be materially adversely affected.
Each of our Global Lifestyle and Global Housing segments receives a substantial portion of its revenue from a few clients. A reduction in business with or the loss of one or more of our significant clients could have a material adverse effect on the results of operations and cash flows of individual segments or the Company. Reliance on a few significant clients may weaken our bargaining power, and we may be unable to renew contracts with them without concessions (including up-front payments) or on favorable terms or at all. Examples of important business arrangements include, at Global Lifestyle, exclusive and non-exclusive relationships with mobile device carriers, retailers, dealerships, MSOs, OEMs and financial and other institutions through which we distribute our products and services. At Global Housing, we have exclusive and non-exclusive relationships with mortgage lenders and servicers, manufactured housing lenders, property managers and financial and other institutions.
We are subject to the risk that clients, distributors and other parties may face financial difficulties, reputational issues, problems with respect to their own products and services or regulatory restrictions or compliance issues that may lead to a decrease in or cessation of sales of our products and services and have other adverse impacts on our results of operations or
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financial condition. In addition, our clients and other parties with whom we do business may choose to exit lines of business that we service or may disintermediate us by developing internal capabilities, products or services that would allow them to service their clients without our involvement. Furthermore, if one or more of our clients or distributors, for example in the wireless and related markets, consolidate or align themselves with other companies with whom we do not do business, they may choose to utilize or distribute the products and services of our competitors, which could materially reduce our revenues and profits.
Significant competitive pressures, changes in customer preferences and disruption could adversely affect our results of operations.
We compete for business, customers, agents and other distribution relationships with many insurance companies, financial services companies, mobile device repair and logistics companies, technology and software companies and specialized competitors that focus on one market, product or service. Some of our competitors may offer a broader array of products and services than we do or be better able to tailor those products and services to customer needs, including through better technology systems or infrastructure, or may have greater diversity of distribution resources, better brand recognition, more competitive pricing, lower costs, greater financial strength, more resources or higher ratings.
There is a risk that purchasers may be able to obtain more favorable terms and offerings from competitors, vendors or other third parties, including pricing and technology. Additionally, customers may turn to our competitors as a result of our failure, or perceived failure, to deliver on customer expectations, product or service flaws, technology issues, gaps in operational support or other issues affecting customer experience. As a result, competition may adversely affect the persistency of our policies, our ability to sell products and provide services and our revenues and results of operations.
To remain competitive in many of our businesses, we must anticipate and respond effectively to changes in customer preferences, new industry standards, evolving distribution models, and disruptive technology developments and alternate business models. The evolving nature of consumer needs and preferences and improvements in technology could result in a reduction in consumer demand and in the prices of the products and services we offer. In addition, across many of our businesses, we must respond to the threat of disruption by traditional players, such as insurers, as well as from new entrants, such as “Insurtech” start-up companies and others. These players are focused on using technology and innovation to simplify and improve the customer experience, increase efficiencies, alter business models and effect other potentially disruptive changes in the markets in which we operate. In order to maintain a competitive position, we must continue to invest in new technologies and new ways to deliver our products and services. If we do not anticipate and respond to customer preferences and disruptive changes, our business and results of operations could be adversely impacted.
The success of our business depends on the execution of our strategy, including through the continuing service of key executives, senior leaders, highly-skilled personnel and a high-performing workforce.
Our strategy is focused on delivering long-term profitable growth. As part of our strategy, we are developing new and innovative products and services, and enhancing existing offerings. We are investing in technology and other capabilities to continuously enhance our customer experience, while seeking to increase efficiencies. We will continue to incur expenses related to, among other things: investments in digital capabilities and large-scale, critical programs, such as information technology systems and infrastructure; research and development of new products and capabilities; and costs associated with the implementation of new contracts and businesses in runoff. Our long-term strategy depends on successful operational execution and our ability to execute on our transformational initiatives, including acquisitions, combined with our ability to innovate and develop new products, achieve operating efficiencies and attract and retain a global and diverse workforce.
We rely on the continued service of key executives, senior leaders, highly-skilled personnel and a high-performing workforce to achieve our long-term strategy. We believe that our future success depends in substantial part on our ability to attract, recruit, hire, motivate, develop and retain a high-performing workforce, particularly those with specialized industry knowledge or within in-demand areas such as digital, customer experience, data and analytics and supply chain, across our lines of businesses. Doing so may be difficult due to many factors, including fluctuations in economic and industry conditions; employee expectations; the effectiveness of our talent strategies and total rewards and wellbeing programs, including compensation; and fluctuations in the labor market, including rising wages and competition for talent, which has increased due to labor shortages. In addition, and in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic, many companies, including us, have recently transitioned a significant portion of the workforce to remote work on a full- or part-time basis, which may result in increased competition for highly-skilled personnel who are no longer limited to employment opportunities within a particular geographic location. Working remotely may reduce employee engagement, efficiency and productivity, which may drive increased turnover or cause product development delays, hamper new product innovation, and otherwise adversely affect our business and impede the achievement of our strategy. We rely on attracting and retaining talent, including at the executive officer level, with diverse backgrounds and experiences to effectively oversee our businesses and our long-term strategy. If we do not succeed in attracting, retaining and motivating key personnel, including diverse personnel, our revenue growth and profitability may be
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materially adversely affected. Furthermore, our business and results of operations could be adversely affected if we fail to adequately plan for and successfully carry out the succession of our key executives and senior leaders.
We may be unable to grow our business if we cannot find suitable acquisition candidates at attractive prices, integrate acquired businesses effectively or identify new areas for organic growth.
We expect acquisitions to continue to play a role in the growth of the Company. There can be no assurance that we will continue to be able to identify suitable acquisition candidates or new venture opportunities, to finance or complete such transactions on acceptable terms. Additionally, the integration of acquired businesses may result in significant challenges and additional costs, and we may be unable to accomplish such transactions smoothly or successfully.
Acquisitions may not provide us with the benefits that we anticipate, require significant effort and expenditures, and entail numerous risks, difficulties and uncertainties. These include, among others, diversion of management’s attention and resources to the integration of operations and infrastructure, which could otherwise have been devoted to other strategic opportunities; inaccurate assessment of risks and liabilities; difficulties in realizing projected efficiencies, synergies and cost savings, including the incurrence of unexpected integration costs; difficulties in keeping existing customers and obtaining new customers; exposure to jurisdictions or businesses with heightened legal and regulatory risks, including corruption, which may increase compliance costs; difficulties in integrating operations and systems, including cybersecurity and other technology systems, and internal control over financial reporting; difficulties in assimilating employees and corporate cultures; failure to achieve anticipated revenues, earnings, cash flows, business opportunities and growth prospects; an increase in our indebtedness or future borrowing costs; and limitations on our ability to access additional capital when needed. Our failure to adequately address these and other acquisition risks, difficulties and uncertainties could materially adversely affect our results of operations and financial condition.
The market price of our stock may decline if we are unable to integrate acquired businesses successfully, if the integration takes longer than expected or fails to achieve financial benefits to the extent anticipated by financial analysts or investors, or if the effect of the business combination on the financial results of the combined company is otherwise not consistent with the expectations of financial analysts or investors.
Our ability to effectively identify and capitalize on opportunities for organic growth depends on, among other things, our ability to: deliver on customer expectations and provide a positive customer experience; successfully execute large-scale, critical programs and projects in a timely and cost-effective manner; identify and successfully enter and market our services in new geographic markets and market segments; recruit and retain qualified personnel; coordinate our efforts across various geographic markets and market segments; maintain and grow relationships with our existing customers and expand our customer base; offer new products and services; form strategic alliances and partnerships; secure key vendor and distributor relationships; and access sufficient capital. There can be no assurance that we will be successful in executing on our organic growth initiatives or that those initiatives will provide us with the expected benefits. Our failure to effectively identify and capitalize on opportunities for organic growth could have an adverse effect on our results of operations and financial condition.
Our inability to successfully recover should we experience a business continuity event could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
If we experience a local or regional business continuity event, such as an earthquake, hurricane, flood, terrorist attack, pandemic, security breach, cyber attack, power loss, computer, telecommunication or other systems failure or other natural or man-made disaster, our ability to continue operations will depend on an effective disaster recovery plan and system, including the continued availability of our personnel, vendors and other third parties and facilities, and the proper functioning of our computer, telecommunication and other systems and operations. We have from time to time experienced business continuity events, including events that impacted the availability of our systems. See “ – Technology, Cybersecurity and Privacy Risks – The failure to effectively maintain and modernize our information technology systems and infrastructure and integrate those of acquired businesses could adversely affect our business.”
Our operations depend upon our ability to protect our technology infrastructure against damage and interruption. If a business continuity event occurs, we could lose Company, customer, vendor and other third-party data, lose significant processing capability or experience interruptions to our operations or delivery of products and services to our clients and their customers, which has occurred from time to time and which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations. A cyber attack or other business continuity event affecting us or key third parties with whom we work could result in a significant and extended disruption in the functioning of our information technology systems or operations, requiring us to incur significant expense to address and remediate or otherwise resolve such issues. An extended outage could result in the loss of income and clients, reputational damage, substantial volatility in our financial results and a decline in our revenues. See “ – Technology, Cybersecurity and Privacy Risks – We could incur significant liability if our information systems or those of third parties are breached or we or third parties otherwise fail to protect the security of data residing on our respective systems, which could adversely affect our business and results of operations.”
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The risk of business disruption is more pronounced in certain geographic areas, including major metropolitan centers, such as New York City and Atlanta, where some of our key corporate offices are located, certain catastrophe-prone areas, such as Miami, Florida, where we have significant operations, and the cities in which our data centers are located. This risk is heightened in certain countries and regions in which we operate that are subject to higher potential threat of terrorist attacks, military conflicts, political instability and data breaches.
A disaster or other business continuity event on a significant scale or affecting our key businesses or our data centers, or our inability to successfully and quickly recover from such an event and any legislative and regulatory responses thereto, could materially interrupt our business operations and result in material financial loss, loss of human capital, regulatory actions, reputational harm, loss of customers or damaged customer relationships, legal liability and other adverse consequences. Our liability insurance policies may not fully cover, in type or amount, the cost of a successful recovery in the event of such a disruption.
Failure to successfully manage vendors and other third parties could adversely affect our business.
As we continue to improve operating efficiencies, we rely on vendors and other third parties, including independent contractors, to conduct business and provide services to our clients. For example, we use vendors and other third parties for business, investment management, information technology, call centers, facilities management and other services. We take steps to monitor and regulate the performance of vendors and other third parties, including in our agreements with such parties, but our oversight controls could prove inadequate. Since we do not fully control the actions of vendors and other third parties, we are subject to the risk that their decisions or operations adversely impact us and replacing them could create significant delay and expense. If these vendors or other third parties fail to satisfy their obligations to us or if they fail to comply with legal or regulatory requirements in a high-quality and timely manner, our operations and reputation could be compromised, we may not realize the anticipated economic and other benefits from these arrangements, and we could suffer adverse legal, regulatory and financial consequences. In addition, these third parties face their own technology, operating, business and economic risks, and any significant failures by them, including the improper use or disclosure of our confidential client, employee or Company information or failure to comply with applicable law, could cause harm to our reputation or otherwise expose us to liability. An interruption in or the cessation of service by any service provider as a result of systems failures, capacity constraints, financial difficulties or for any other reason could disrupt our operations, impact our ability to offer certain products and services and result in contractual or regulatory penalties, liability claims from clients or employees, damage to our reputation and harm to our business. If we are unable to attract and retain relationships with qualified vendors, independent contractors and other third-party service providers, or if changes in law or judicial decisions require independent contractors to be classified as employees, our business could be significantly adversely affected.
To the extent we engage international vendors or third parties to provide services or carry out business functions, we are exposed to the risks that accompany operations in a foreign jurisdiction, including international economic and political conditions, foreign laws and regulations, fluctuations in currency values and, potentially, increased risk of data breaches. For more information on the risks associated with the use of international vendors and third parties, see “ – We face risks associated with our international operations.
We face risks associated with our international operations.
Our international operations face economic, political, legal, compliance, regulatory, operational, supply chain and other risks. For example, we face the risk of restrictions on currency conversion or the transfer of funds; burdens and costs of compliance with a variety of foreign laws and regulations and the associated risk and costs of non-compliance; exposure to undeveloped or evolving legal systems, which may result in unpredictable or inconsistent application of laws and regulations; exposure to commercial, political, legal or regulatory corruption; political, economic or other instability in countries in which we conduct business, including possible terrorist acts; the imposition of sanctions, tariffs, trade barriers or other protectionist laws or business practices that favor local competition, increase costs and may otherwise adversely affect our business; inflation and foreign exchange rate fluctuations; diminished ability to enforce our contractual rights; potential increased risk of data breaches; differences in cultural environments; changes in regulatory requirements, including changes in regulatory treatment of certain products or services; exposure to local economic conditions and its impact on our clients’ performance and creditworthiness; and restrictions on the repatriation of non-U.S. investments and earnings.
If our business model is not successful in a particular country or region, or a country or region in which we do business experiences economic, political or other instability, we may lose all or part of our investment in that country or region. As we continue to expand in select worldwide markets, our business becomes increasingly exposed to these and other risks, in particular where certain countries or regions have recently experienced economic or political instability, such as in Argentina and Brazil.
As we engage with international clients, we may make certain up-front commission payments or similar cash outlays, which we may not recover if the business does not develop as we expect. These up-front payments are typically supported by various protections, such as letters of credit, letters of guarantee and real estate, but we may not fully or timely recover amounts
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owed to us as a result of difficulties in enforcing contracts or judgments in undeveloped or evolving legal systems and other factors. As our international business grows, we may rely increasingly on fronting carriers in certain countries to maintain their licenses and product approvals, satisfy local regulatory requirements and continue in business. If they fail to do so, our business, reputation and relationships with our customers could be adversely affected.
For additional information on the significant international regulations that apply to us, including data protection regulations, and the risks relating thereto, see “Item 1 – Business – Regulation – International Regulation” in this Report, “ – Legal and Regulatory Risks – We are subject to extensive laws and regulations, which increase our costs and could restrict the conduct of our business, and violations or alleged violations of such laws and regulations could have a material adverse effect on our reputation, business and results of operations,” “ – Legal and Regulatory Risks – Our business is subject to risks related to litigation and regulatory actions” and “ – Technology, Cybersecurity and Privacy Risks – The costs of complying with, or our failure to comply with, U.S. and foreign laws related to privacy, data security and data protection could adversely affect our financial condition, operating results and reputation.
Our mobile business is subject to the risk of declines in the value of mobile devices in our inventory, and to export compliance and other risks.
The value of the mobile devices that we collect and refurbish for our clients may fall below the prices we have paid or guaranteed, which could adversely affect our profitability. In our mobile business, we carry inventory to meet the delivery requirements of certain clients. These devices are ultimately disposed of through sales to third parties. Our mobile business is subject to the risk that the value or availability of devices and parts will be adversely affected by technological changes affecting the usefulness or desirability of the devices and parts, physical problems resulting from faulty design or manufacturing, increased competition, supply chain constraints and growing industry emphasis on cost containment. The value of devices may be impacted by an escalation of trade tensions between the U.S. and China, including with respect to trade policies, treaties, government relations, tariffs and other trade restrictions. If the value of devices or parts is significantly reduced, it could have a material adverse effect on our profitability.
Our sales of mobile devices to third parties, particularly those domiciled outside of the U.S., subject us to compliance risks relating to export control laws and regulations. Furthermore, certain businesses we acquire may violate, and from time to time have violated, such laws and regulations, which could subject us to liability. Non-compliance with such laws could adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations. For more information on the risks relating to our international operations, see “ – We face risks associated with our international operations.
Sales of our products and services may decline if we are unable to develop and maintain distribution sources or attract and retain sales representatives and executives with key client relationships.
We distribute many of our insurance products and services through a variety of distribution channels, including mobile carriers, financial institutions, mortgage lenders and servicers, retailers, association groups, other third-party marketing organizations and, to a limited extent, our own captives and affiliated agents. Our relationships with these distributors are significant for our revenues and profits. There is intense competition for distribution outlets. Agents who distribute our products are typically not exclusively dedicated to us, but also market the products of our competitors. In some cases, such agents may be affiliated with other insurers who may choose to write the product that such agents are now selling on our behalf. Therefore, we face continued competition from competing products and services.
We have our own sales representatives. We depend in large part on our sales representatives and segment executives to develop and maintain client relationships. Our inability to attract and retain effective sales representatives and executives with key client relationships could materially adversely affect our results of operations and financial condition.
We face risks associated with joint ventures, franchises and investments in which we share ownership or management with third parties.
From time to time, we have and may continue to enter into joint ventures and franchises and invest in entities in which we share ownership or management with third parties. In certain circumstances, we may not have complete control over governance, financial reporting, operations, legal and regulatory compliance or other matters relating to such joint ventures, franchises or entities. As a result, we may face certain operating, financial, legal and regulatory compliance and other risks relating to these joint ventures, franchises and entities, including risks related to the financial strength of joint venture partners, franchisees and other investors; the willingness of joint venture partners, franchisees and other investors to provide adequate funding for the joint venture, franchise or entity; differing goals, strategies, priorities or objectives between us and joint venture partners, franchisees or other investors; our inability to unilaterally implement actions, policies or procedures with respect to the joint venture, franchise or entity that we believe are favorable; legal and regulatory compliance risks relating to actions of the joint venture, franchise, entity, joint venture partners, franchisees or other investors; the risk that the actions of joint venture partners, franchisees and other investors could damage our brand image and reputation; and the risk that we will be unable to resolve disputes with joint venture partners, franchisees or other investors. As a result, joint ventures, franchises and
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investments in which we share ownership or management subject us to risk and may contribute significantly less than anticipated to our earnings and cash flows.
Catastrophe and non-catastrophe losses, including as a result of climate change, could materially reduce our profitability and have a material adverse effect on our results of operations and financial condition.
Our insurance operations expose us to claims arising from catastrophes and non-catastrophes, particularly in our homeowners insurance, renters insurance and flood offerings. Catastrophes include hurricanes, windstorms, earthquakes, hailstorms, floods, severe winter weather, fires, epidemics and pandemics, terrorist attacks and accidents, and may result in reportable catastrophe losses, which are individual catastrophe events that generated losses in excess of $5.0 million, pre-tax and net of reinsurance. Non-catastrophe losses include losses from water damage, theft and vandalism, as well as general liability in commercial liability, renters and sharing economy insurance policies, among others. We have experienced, and expect to continue to experience, catastrophe and non-catastrophe losses that materially reduce our profitability or have a material adverse effect on our results of operations and financial condition.
Natural catastrophe trends are changing due to climate change. Changes in the global climate may cause long-term increases in the frequency and severity of weather events, such as wildfires, hurricanes, floods and tornadoes, particularly in coastal areas. Climate change has the potential to impact nearly all sectors of the economy to varying degrees and may result in increased claims and higher catastrophe losses, which could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations and financial condition. We cannot predict how legal, regulatory, political and social responses to concerns around climate change may impact our business. While the frequency and severity of catastrophes are inherently unpredictable, increases in the value and geographic concentration of insured property and the effects of inflation could increase the frequency and severity of claims from future catastrophes. In addition, legislative and regulatory initiatives and court decisions may have the effect of limiting the ability of insurers to manage catastrophe losses, including by forcing expansion of certain insurance coverages for catastrophe claims, which may adversely impact our business.
Catastrophe losses can vary widely and could significantly exceed our expectations. We use catastrophe modeling tools that help estimate our probable losses, but these projections are based on historical data and other assumptions that may differ materially from actual events, and their reliability and predictive value may decrease as a result of climate change. These modeling tools may not be able to anticipate emerging trends or changing marketplace conditions. See “ – Financial Risks – Actual results may differ materially from the analytical models we use to assist in our decision-making in key areas such as pricing, catastrophe risks, reserving and capital management.
We purchase reinsurance for certain risks, but if the severity of an event were sufficiently high, our losses could exceed our reinsurance coverage limits and could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations and financial condition. See “ – Financial Risks – Reinsurance may not be adequate or available to protect us against losses, and we are subject to the credit risk of reinsurers.” In addition, claims from catastrophe events could result in substantial volatility in our results of operations and financial condition for any particular fiscal quarter or year.
Accounting rules do not permit insurers to reserve for catastrophe events before they occur. Once a catastrophe event occurs, the establishment of appropriate reserves is an inherently uncertain and complex process. The ultimate cost of losses may vary materially from recorded reserves and such variance may have a material adverse effect on our results of operations, financial condition and capital.
Because Global Housing’s lender-placed homeowners and lender-placed manufactured housing insurance products are designed to automatically provide property coverage for client portfolios, our exposure to certain catastrophe-prone locations, such as Florida, California, Texas, North Carolina, South Carolina and Puerto Rico, may increase. The withdrawal of other insurers from these or other states may lead to adverse selection and increased use of our products in these areas and may negatively affect our loss experience.
Negative publicity relating to our business or industry may adversely affect our financial results.
We communicate with and distribute our products and services ultimately to individual consumers. There may be a perception that some of these purchasers may be financially unsophisticated and therefore in need of consumer protection. Accordingly, from time to time, consumer advocacy groups and the media may focus their attention on our products and services, which may subject us to negative publicity. We may be negatively affected if another company in one of our industries or in a related industry engages in practices that subject our industry or businesses to negative publicity. Negative publicity may result from judicial inquiries, unfavorable outcomes in lawsuits, social media, regulatory or governmental actions with respect to our products or services and industry commercial practices. For example, we may be subject to regulatory queries to assess practices in the insurance sector that potentially disadvantage people of color or historically underrepresented groups in certain insurance lines of business. In addition, there is increased investor and regulatory focus on social responsibility matters, including diversity, equity and inclusion, and commitment to long-term sustainability. A failure or perceived failure in our
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achievement of various social responsibility initiatives and goals we may from time to time announce, or an actual or perceived increase in related risks as a result of our or our industry’s business activities, may subject us to negative publicity.
Negative publicity may cause increased regulation and legislative scrutiny of industry practices as well as increased litigation or enforcement action by civil and criminal authorities. Additionally, negative publicity may increase our costs of doing business and adversely affect our profitability by impeding our ability to market our products and services, constraining our ability to price our products appropriately for the risks we are assuming, requiring us to change the products and services we offer or increasing the regulatory burdens under which we operate.
Macroeconomic, Political and Global Market Risks
General economic, financial market and political conditions and conditions in the markets in which we operate may materially adversely affect our results of operations and financial condition.
Limited availability of credit, deteriorations of the global mortgage and real estate markets, declines in consumer confidence and consumer spending, increases in prices or in the rate of inflation, periods of high unemployment, persistently low or rapidly increasing interest rates, disruptive geopolitical events and other events outside of our control, such as a major epidemic or a pandemic or political or civil unrest, could contribute to increased volatility and diminished expectations for the economy and the financial markets, including the market for our stock, and may materially adversely affect our results of operations and financial condition. These conditions could adversely affect all of our business segments. Specifically, during periods of economic downturn:
individuals and businesses may (i) choose not to purchase our insurance products, warranties and other products and services, (ii) terminate existing policies or contracts or permit them to lapse and (iii) choose to reduce the amount of coverage they purchase;
conditions in the markets in which we operate may deteriorate, impacting, among other things, consumer demand for the mobile devices, electronics, appliances, automobiles, housing and other products we insure, including the rate of introduction and success of new products, technologies and promotional programs that provide opportunities for growth;
clients are more likely to underperform expectations, experience financial distress and declare bankruptcy, which could have an adverse impact on the remittance of premiums from such clients and the collection of receivables from such clients for items such as unearned premiums and could otherwise expose us to credit risk;
claims on certain specialized insurance products tend to rise;
there is a higher loss ratio on credit card and installment loan insurance due to rising unemployment;
there is an increased risk of fraudulent insurance claims; and
there may be substantial decreases in loan availability and origination, which may reduce the demand for credit insurance that we write or debt cancellation or debt deferment products that we administer, and on the placement of hazard insurance under our Lender-placed Insurance programs.
General inflationary pressures, including within the current environment, may affect repair and replacement costs on our real and personal property lines, increasing the costs of paying claims. In addition, inflationary pressures and shortages in the labor market have increased, and may continue to increase, our labor costs. Conversely, deflationary pressures may affect the pricing of our products and services.
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and measures taken in response thereto have disrupted and will likely continue to disrupt normal business activity, which may adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition.
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic continues to have widespread impact on global economies, the financial markets, business practices and human capital resources. As the virus (and its variants) continues to spread, our results of operations and financial condition may be adversely affected by: clients underperforming expectations or experiencing financial distress; customers experiencing difficulty paying premiums or cancelling coverages; an increase in the number of fraudulent insurance claims; an impairment in the value of our tangible or intangible assets; and fluctuations in the labor market. Furthermore, if the pandemic creates disruption in the credit or financial markets, or if it impacts our credit ratings, it could adversely affect our ability to access capital on favorable terms or at all. Our investment portfolio (and, specifically, the valuations and cash flows of investments we hold) may be adversely affected as a result of market developments from the COVID-19 pandemic and uncertainty regarding its outcome, including low interest rates, reduced liquidity, and a recession or continued slowdown in the U.S. or in global economic conditions.
From an operational perspective, our employees, our clients and their customers, and vendors and other third parties with whom we work, have been, and may continue to be, adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and efforts to mitigate its spread. The vast majority of our global workforce is working remotely, and we expect to continue remote and hybrid work
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arrangements for a portion of our workforce after the pandemic has subsided, which increases cybersecurity risk and may adversely affect our internal control over financial reporting. Remote working arrangements and a competitive labor market may result in increased employee turnover and other challenges in maintaining an engaged workforce. We face the risk that some of our facilities may close for periods of time or that significant portions of our workforce, including key personnel, may be unable to work effectively or at all because of illness and employee safety measures put in place. The longer-term effects of COVID-19 on the workplace and workforce remain unclear. An extended period of such conditions may hinder our ability to attract, train and retain talent, impact employee morale, strain our business continuity plans and introduce additional operational risk, including cybersecurity and fraud risks, which may materially adversely affect our results of operations and financial condition. In addition, we may be subject to COVID-19 vaccination or testing mandates, which may result in employee attrition, inefficiencies resulting from employee turnover, and costs associated with implementation and ongoing compliance. The actions we take, including our return-to-office plans, may vary by geography, may prove to be premature or insufficient, may subject us to litigation and may have a material adverse effect on our business.
The extent to which the COVID-19 pandemic impacts our business, results of operations or financial condition will depend on future developments which are highly uncertain and difficult to predict, including: the severity and duration of the pandemic; the actions taken by government authorities and other third parties to contain the virus (and its variants), including vaccination or testing mandates; the availability and efficacy of vaccines, other treatments and test kits; public acceptance of vaccines and testing; and how quickly and to what extent normal economic and operating conditions resume. We cannot predict how legal and regulatory responses to concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic and related public health issues will impact our business, including the possibility of a mandated extension of business interruption or other insurance coverage beyond our policy language, or additional regulatory restrictions on our insurance subsidiaries’ ability to pay us dividends.
For additional information on risks we face relating to epidemics and pandemics, see “ – General economic, financial market and political conditions and conditions in the markets in which we operate may materially adversely affect our results of operations and financial condition,” “ – Business, Strategic and Operational Risks – Our inability to successfully recover should we experience a business continuity event could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations” and “ – Technology, Cybersecurity and Privacy Risks – We could incur significant liability if our information systems or those of third parties are breached or we or third parties otherwise fail to protect the security of data residing on our respective systems, which could adversely affect our business and results of operations.
Financial Risks
Our actual claims losses may exceed our reserves for claims, requiring us to establish additional reserves or to incur additional expense for settling unreserved liabilities, which could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations, profitability and capital.
We maintain reserves to cover our estimated ultimate exposure for claims and claim adjustment expenses with respect to reported claims and incurred but not reported (“IBNR”) claims as of the end of each accounting period. Whether calculated under accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America (“GAAP”), Statutory Accounting Principles or accounting principles applicable in foreign jurisdictions, reserves are estimates. Reserving is inherently a matter of judgment and our ultimate liabilities could exceed reserves for a variety of reasons, including changes in macroeconomic factors (such as unemployment and interest rates), case development and other factors. From time to time, we adjust our reserves, and may adjust our reserving methodology, as these factors, our claims experience and estimates of future trends in claims frequency and severity change. Reserve development, changes in our reserving methodology and paid losses exceeding corresponding reserves could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations, profitability and capital. See “Item 7 – Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations – Critical Accounting Estimates – Reserves” in this Report for additional detail on our reserves.
We may be unable to accurately predict and price for claims and other costs, which could reduce our profitability.
Our profitability could be reduced if we are unable to accurately predict and price for claims and other costs, including the frequency and severity of property and other claims. This ability could be affected by various factors, including inflation, changes in the regulatory environment, changes in industry practices, changes in legal, social or environmental conditions, new technologies, or domestic and global supply chain and labor issues. Political or economic conditions can affect the availability of programs on which our business may rely to accurately predict claims and other costs. In addition, modeling tools that support business decisions involve historical data and numerous assumptions that may differ materially from actual events. Climate change may make it more difficult to predict and model catastrophes, reducing our ability to accurately price our exposure to such events and mitigate risks. The inability to accurately predict and price for claims and other costs, including costs related to climate change, could materially adversely affect our results of operations and financial condition. See “ – Financial Risks – Actual results may differ materially from the analytical models we use to assist in our decision-making in key areas such as pricing, catastrophe risks, reserving and capital management.
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A decline in the financial strength ratings of our insurance subsidiaries could adversely affect our results of operations and financial condition.
Ratings are important considerations in establishing the competitive position of insurance companies. A.M. Best rates most of our domestic and significant international operating insurance subsidiaries. Moody’s rates four of our domestic operating insurance subsidiaries and S&P rates five of our domestic operating insurance subsidiaries. These ratings are subject to periodic review by A.M. Best, Moody’s and S&P, and we cannot assure that we will be able to retain them. Rating agencies may change their methodology or requirements for determining ratings, or they may become more conservative in assigning ratings. Rating agencies could increase capital requirements for our subsidiaries or the enterprise, thereby reducing deployable capital at such subsidiary or at the holding company. Any reduction in these ratings could materially adversely affect our standing in the insurance industry and the demand for our products from intermediaries and consumers, which could materially adversely affect our results of operations.
As of December 31, 2021, our operations had a significant number of contracts that contain provisions that require the applicable subsidiaries to maintain minimum financial strength ratings, typically from A.M. Best, ranging from “A” or better to “A-” or better, depending on the contract. Our clients may terminate these contracts or fail to renew them if the subsidiaries’ ratings fall below these minimums. Termination of or failure to renew these agreements could materially and adversely affect our results of operations and financial condition.
A credit rating agency downgrade of our corporate senior debt rating could adversely impact on our business.
Currently, Assurant, Inc.’s senior debt is rated BBB by S&P and Baa3 by Moody’s, and both ratings carry a stable outlook.
If our senior debt credit ratings were downgraded below investment grade, our business, financial condition and results of operations, and perceptions of our financial strength, could be adversely affected. A downgrade could adversely affect our liquidity and ability to access liquidity quickly, increase our borrowing costs, decrease demand for our debt securities, and increase the expense and difficulty of financing our operations or refinancing our existing indebtedness on similar or more favorable terms. For example, the interest rate payable on certain series of our senior notes is subject to increase if either of S&P or Moody’s downgrades the credit rating assigned to such series of senior notes to BB+ or below or to Ba1 or below, respectively. Additionally, we could be subject to more restrictive financial and operational covenants in any indebtedness we issue in the future, which could reduce our operational flexibility. There can be no assurance that our credit ratings will not be downgraded. See Note 19 to the Consolidated Financial Statements included elsewhere in this Report for additional information on our senior notes and the impact of rating changes.
Fluctuations in the exchange rate of the U.S. Dollar and other foreign currencies may materially and adversely affect our results of operations.
While most of our costs and revenues are in U.S. Dollars, some are in other currencies. Because our financial results in certain countries are translated from local currency into U.S. Dollars upon consolidation, our results of operations have been and may continue to be affected by foreign exchange rate fluctuations. To a large extent, we do not currently hedge foreign currency risk. If the U.S. Dollar weakens against a local currency, the translation of our foreign-currency-denominated balances will result in increased net assets, net revenue, operating expenses and net income. Similarly, our net assets, net revenue, operating expenses and net income will decrease if the U.S. Dollar strengthens against a local currency. These fluctuations in currency exchange rates may result in losses that materially and adversely affect our results of operations.
Additionally, we may incur foreign exchange losses in connection with the designation of the U.S. Dollar as the functional currency of our international subsidiaries. For example, management has classified Argentina’s economy as highly inflationary in accordance with GAAP accounting requirements and, as a result, the functional currency of our Argentina subsidiaries was changed from the local currency to U.S. Dollars and their non-U.S. Dollar denominated monetary assets and liabilities were subject to remeasurement resulting in losses. We could incur additional losses, which would adversely affect our results of operations. For additional information on the change in functional currency for our Argentina subsidiaries and the effect thereof, see Note 2 to the Consolidated Financial Statements included elsewhere in this Report.
An impairment of our goodwill or other intangible assets could materially adversely affect our results of operations and book value.
As a result of acquisitions, we have added a considerable amount of goodwill and other intangible assets to our balance sheet. Goodwill represented 47% of our total equity as of December 31, 2021. We review our goodwill annually in the fourth quarter for impairment or more frequently if indicators of impairment exist. Such circumstances include a significant adverse change in legal factors, an adverse action or assessment by a regulator, unanticipated competition, loss of key personnel or a significant decline in our expected future cash flows due to changes in company-specific factors or the broader business climate. In addition, other intangible assets collectively represented 13% of our total equity as of December 31, 2021. Estimated useful lives of finite intangible assets are reassessed on an annual basis. Generally, other intangible assets with finite lives are
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only tested for impairment if there are indicators of impairment identified, including a significant adverse change in the extent, manner or length of time in which the other intangible asset is being used or a significant adverse change in legal factors or in the business climate that could affect the value of the other intangible asset.
An impairment of goodwill or other intangible assets, or significant reduction in the useful lives of intangible assets, could have a material adverse effect on our profitability and book value. For more information on our annual goodwill impairment testing, the goodwill of our segments and related reporting units and intangible asset impairment testing, see “Item 7 – Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations – Critical Accounting Estimates – Valuation and Recoverability of Goodwill” and Notes 2 and 15 to the Consolidated Financial Statements included elsewhere in this Report.
Failure to maintain effective internal control over financial reporting could have a material adverse effect on our business and stock price.
As a public company, we are required to maintain effective internal control over financial reporting. While management has certified that our internal control over financial reporting was effective as of December 31, 2021, because internal control over financial reporting is complex, there can be no assurance that our internal control over financial reporting will be effective in the future. We rely on manual processes and procedures that subject us to increased risk of error and internal control failure compared to automated processes. Although we are in the process of implementing an integrated global financial system to, among other things, minimize our reliance on and use of manual processes, there can be no assurance that the implementation will be completed in a timely manner, or that it will achieve all of its intended goals. Any failure to implement required controls, or difficulties or errors encountered in their operation, could adversely affect our results of operations or cause us to fail to meet our reporting obligations, which could deteriorate investor confidence. If we are not able to maintain or document effective internal control over financial reporting, our independent registered public accounting firm would be unable to certify the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting or opine that our financial statements fairly present, in all material respects, our financial position, results of operations and cash flows in conformity with GAAP. Significant deficiencies or material weaknesses in internal control over financial reporting may prevent us from reporting our financial information on a timely basis or cause us to restate previously issued financial information, and thereby subject us to litigation and adverse regulatory consequences, including fines and other sanctions. If any of the foregoing were to occur, investor confidence in us and the reliability of our financial statements could erode, resulting in a decline in our stock price, impairing our ability to raise capital, negatively affecting our reputation and subjecting us to legal and regulatory risk.
Unfavorable conditions in the capital and credit markets may significantly and adversely affect our access to capital and our ability to pay our debts or expenses.
The global capital and credit markets have experienced periods of uncertainty, volatility and disruption, changes to U.S. and foreign tax and trade policies, imposition of new or increased tariffs, other trade restrictions, other government actions, foreign currency fluctuations and other factors. Our ability to raise money during such periods could be severely or entirely restricted. Our ability to borrow or raise money is important if our operating cash flow is insufficient to pay our expenses, meet capital requirements, repay debt, pay dividends on our common stock or make investments. As a holding company, we have limited direct operations of our own. The principal sources of our liquidity are dividends and other statutorily permissible payments from our subsidiaries, cash flow from our investment portfolio, the Credit Facility (as defined below) and liquid assets, consisting mainly of cash or assets that are readily convertible into cash. Sources of liquidity in normal markets include a variety of short-and long-term instruments. If our access to the capital and credit markets is restricted, our cost of capital could increase, thus decreasing our profitability and reducing our financial flexibility, including our ability to refinance maturities of existing indebtedness on similar or more favorable terms. Our results of operations, financial condition, cash flows and statutory capital position could be materially and adversely affected by periods of uncertainty, volatility and disruption in the capital or credit markets.
Our investment portfolio is subject to market risk, including changes in interest rates, that may adversely affect our results of operations and financial condition.
Investment returns are an important part of our profitability. Our investments are subject to market-wide risks and fluctuations, including in the fixed maturity and equity securities markets, which could impair our profitability, financial condition and cash flows. Further, in pricing our products and services, we incorporate assumptions regarding returns on our investments. Market conditions may not allow us to invest in assets with sufficiently high returns to meet our pricing assumptions and profit targets over the long term.
We are subject to interest rate risk in our investment portfolio. Changes in interest rates may materially adversely affect the performance of some of our investments, including by materially reducing the fair value of and investment income from fixed maturity securities and increasing unrealized losses in our investment portfolio. As of December 31, 2021, fixed maturity securities represented approximately 83% of our total investments and full year 2021 gross investment income from fixed maturity securities totaled $232.8 million. The fair market value of fixed maturity securities generally increases or decreases in
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an inverse relationship with fluctuations in interest rates, while investment income from fixed maturity securities increases or decreases directly with interest rates. In addition, actual investment income and cash flows from investments that carry prepayment risk, such as mortgage-backed and other asset-backed securities, may differ from those anticipated at the time of investment as a result of interest rate fluctuations. Recent periods have been characterized by low interest rates. A prolonged period during which interest rates remain at historically low levels, including the current period of low rates as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, may result in lower-than-expected investment income. Though we employ asset/liability management strategies to manage the adverse effects of interest rate changes, significant fluctuations in the level of interest rates may require us to liquidate investments prior to maturity at a significant loss to pay claims, which could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations and financial condition. See “Item 7A – Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk – Interest Rate Risk” in this Report.
Our investment portfolio is subject to credit, liquidity and other risks that may adversely affect our results of operations and financial condition.
We are subject to credit risk in our investment portfolio, primarily from our investments in corporate bonds, preferred stocks, leveraged loans, municipal bonds and commercial mortgages. Defaults by third parties in the payment or performance of their obligations could reduce our investment income or result in realized investment losses. The value of our investments may be materially adversely affected by downgrades in the corporate bonds included in our portfolio, increases in treasury rates or credit spreads and by other factors that may result in realized and unrealized investment losses and other-than-temporary impairments. The determination that a security has incurred an other-than-temporary impairment requires the judgment of management and there are inherent risks and uncertainties involved in making these judgments. Changes in facts, circumstances or critical assumptions could cause management to conclude that further impairments have occurred, which could lead to additional losses on investments. Each of these events may cause us to reduce the carrying value of our investment portfolio. For further details on net investment losses and other-than-temporary-impairments, see Note 8 to the Consolidated Financial Statements included elsewhere in this Report.
The value of any particular fixed maturity security is subject to impairment based on the creditworthiness of its issuer. As of December 31, 2021, fixed maturity securities represented approximately 83% and below investment grade securities (rated “BB” or lower by nationally recognized statistical rating organizations) represented approximately 5% of our total investments. Below investment grade securities generally are expected to provide higher returns but present greater risk and can be less liquid than investment grade securities. A significant increase in defaults and impairments on our fixed maturity securities portfolio could materially adversely affect our results of operations and financial condition. See “Item 7A – Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk – Credit Risk” in this Report for additional information on the composition of our fixed maturity securities portfolio.
Equity securities represented approximately 5% of our total investments as of December 31, 2021. However, we have had higher percentages of equity securities in the past and may make more equity investments in the future. Investments in equity securities generally are expected to provide higher total returns but present greater risk to preservation of capital than our fixed maturity securities. All changes in the fair value of equity securities are reported in our statements of operations, which has increased the volatility of our financial results. See Note 2 to the Consolidated Financial Statements included elsewhere in this Report for more information.
Our investments in commercial mortgage loans on real estate (which represented approximately 3% of our total investments as of December 31, 2021) are relatively illiquid. If we require extremely large amounts of cash on short notice, we may have difficulty selling these investments at attractive prices and in a timely manner.
The manner in which we allocate our resources across the portfolio or the types of assets in which we seek to invest may increase credit, liquidity and other risks that may adversely affect our results of operations and financial condition.
The value of our deferred tax assets could become impaired, which could materially and adversely affect our results of operations and financial condition.
In accordance with applicable income tax guidance, we must determine whether our ability to realize the value of our deferred tax asset or to recognize certain tax liabilities related to uncertain tax positions is “more likely than not”. Under current income tax guidance, a deferred tax asset should be reduced by a valuation allowance, or a liability related to uncertain tax positions should be accrued, if, based on the weight of all available evidence, it is more likely than not that some portion of the deferred tax asset will not be realized. The realization of deferred tax assets depends upon the existence of sufficient taxable income of the same character during the carryback or carry-forward periods.
In determining the appropriate valuation allowance, management made certain judgments relating to recoverability of deferred tax assets, use of tax loss and tax credit carry-forwards, levels of expected future taxable income and available tax planning strategies. The assumptions in making these judgments are updated periodically on the basis of current business conditions affecting us and overall economic conditions. These management judgments are therefore subject to change due to
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factors that include changes in our ability to realize sufficient taxable income of the same character in the same jurisdiction or in our ability to execute other tax planning strategies. Furthermore, any future changes in tax laws could impact the value of our deferred tax assets. Management will continue to assess and determine the need for, and the amount of, the valuation allowance in subsequent periods. Any change in the valuation allowance could have a material adverse impact on our results of operations and financial condition.
Reinsurance may not be adequate or available to protect us against losses, and we are subject to the credit risk of reinsurers.
As part of our overall risk and capacity management strategy, we purchase reinsurance for certain risks underwritten by our various operating segments. Although reinsurers are liable to us for claims properly ceded under our reinsurance arrangements, we remain liable to the insured as the direct insurer on all risks reinsured. Ceded reinsurance arrangements therefore do not eliminate our obligation to pay claims. We are subject to credit risk with respect to our ability to recover amounts due from reinsurers. The inability to collect amounts due from reinsurers could materially adversely affect our results of operations and financial condition.
The availability and cost of reinsurance are subject to prevailing reinsurance market conditions, which have been, and in the future may continue to be, impacted by the occurrence of significant reinsured events, including catastrophes. In the future, we may not be able to obtain reinsurance coverage for some of our businesses at commercially reasonable rates or at all. In such a situation, we might be adversely affected by state and other regulations that prohibit us from excluding catastrophe exposures or from withdrawing from or increasing premium rates in catastrophe-prone areas. In addition, we may not be able to renew our current reinsurance facilities or obtain other reinsurance facilities in adequate amounts and at favorable rates. Inability to obtain reinsurance at favorable rates or at all could cause us to reduce the level of our underwriting commitments, take more risk, or incur higher costs. Any of these developments could materially adversely affect our results of operations and financial condition.
Through reinsurance, we have sold or exited businesses that could again become our direct financial and administrative responsibility if the reinsurers become insolvent.
In the past, we have sold, and in the future we may sell, businesses through reinsurance ceded to third parties. We have exited certain businesses through reinsurance. We have a reinsurance recoverable balance with John Hancock Life Insurance Company (“John Hancock”) of $410.2 million as of December 31, 2021, related to the sale of our Long-Term Care division through reinsurance. The A.M. Best rating of Joh