very-10k_20191231.htm

 

UNITED STATES

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

Washington, D.C. 20549

 

FORM 10-K

 

(Mark One)

ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2019

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 001-38945

 

VERICITY, INC.

(Exact name of Registrant as specified in its Charter)

 

 

DELAWARE

 

46-2348863

(State or other jurisdiction of

incorporation or organization)

 

(I.R.S. Employer

Identification No.)

8700 W Bryn Mawr Avenue, Suite 900 S, Chicago, Illinois

         

 

60631

(Address of principal executive offices)

 

(Zip Code)

Registrant’s telephone number, including area code: (312379-2397

 

Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:

 

Title of each class

 

Trading

Symbol(s)

 

Name of each exchange on which registered

Common Stock, Par Value $0.001 per share

 

VERY

 

NASDAQ Capital Market

Indicate by check mark if the Registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act. YES NO 

Indicate by check mark if the Registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d) of the Act.  YES  NO 

 

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  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  NO 

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, 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 is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act).  YES  NO 

The aggregate market value of the voting and non-voting common equity held by non-affiliates of the Registrant, based on the offering price and number of shares sold in the Registrant’s initial public offering on August 7, 2019, was $18,411,600. 

The number of shares of Registrant’s Common Stock outstanding as of March 30, 2020 was 14,875,000.

DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE

 

 

 


Table of Contents

 

 

 

Page

PART I

 

 

Item 1.

Business

1

Item 2.

Properties

18

Item 3.

Legal Proceedings

19

Item 4.

Mine Safety Disclosures

19

 

 

 

PART II

 

 

Item 5.

Market for Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Shareholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities

20

Item 6.

Selected Financial Data

20

Item 7.

Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations

21

Item 7A.

Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk

43

Item 8.

Financial Statements and Supplementary Data

44

Item 9.

Changes in and Disagreements with Accountants on Accounting and Financial Disclosure

85

Item 9A.

Controls and Procedures

85

Item 9B.

Other Information

85

 

 

 

PART III

 

 

Item 10.

Directors, Executive Officers and Corporate Governance

86

Item 11.

Executive Compensation

91

Item 12.

Security Ownership of Certain Beneficial Owners and Management and Related Shareholder Matters

95

Item 13.

Certain Relationships and Related Transactions, and Director Independence

96

Item 14.

Principal Accounting Fees and Services

97

 

 

 

PART IV

 

 

Item 15.

Exhibits, Financial Statement Schedules

98

Item 16

Form 10-K Summary

101

 

 

i


PART I

Item 1. Business.

Overview

On August 7, 2019, Vericity, Inc. (the “Company”) completed the initial public offering of 14,875,000 shares of its common stock at a price of $10.00 per share (the “IPO”). The IPO was conducted in connection with the conversion of Members Mutual Holding Company (“Members Mutual”) from mutual to stock form and the acquisition by Vericity, Inc. of all of the capital stock of Members Mutual following its conversion to stock form after its plan of conversion and amended and restated articles of incorporation were approved at a special meeting of eligible members on August 6, 2019 (the “Conversion”). As a result of the Conversion, Vericity, Inc. became the holding company for converted Members Mutual and its indirect subsidiaries, including Fidelity Life Association and Efinancial, LLC.

In the IPO, a total of 3,501,648 shares were sold to eligible members, employees and management of Members Mutual, and certain purchasers in a community offering, and a total of 11,373,352 were sold to Apex Holdco ‎L.P., an affiliate of J.C. Flowers IV L.P., a private equity fund advised by J.C. Flowers & Co. ‎LLC, pursuant to a standby stock purchase agreement under which Apex Holdco L.P. agreed to act as the standby purchaser for the IPO (“Standby Purchaser”). ‎ As a result, the Standby Purchaser owns approximately 76.5% of the issued and outstanding shares of Vericity, Inc. common stock.

We conduct our business through our two operating subsidiaries, Fidelity Life Association, an Illinois-domiciled life insurance company chartered in 1896 (“Fidelity Life”), and Efinancial, LLC, a call center-based insurance agency (“Efinancial”). Fidelity Life distributes life insurance products through Efinancial and other unaffiliated agents and is licensed in the District of Columbia and every state except New York and Wyoming. A.M. Best has assigned an “A-” (Excellent) rating to Fidelity Life, which is the fourth highest out of fifteen ratings. Fidelity Life is located in Chicago, Illinois.

We provide life insurance protection targeted to the middle American market. We believe there is a substantial unmet need for life insurance, particularly among domestic households with annual incomes of between $50,000 and $125,000, a market we refer to as our target Middle Market. We strive to deliver to this market affordable, easy to understand term and whole life insurance products through a consumer-friendly and efficient sales process. Through innovation in product design and distribution that provides access to the Middle Market, including call center and web-enabled sales and underwriting processes, quick issuance of policies and an emphasis on products not medically underwritten at the time of sale, we believe we are well positioned to make life insurance more affordable and accessible to the Middle Market.

Efinancial markets life products for Fidelity Life and other unaffiliated insurance companies. Efinancial’s primary operations are conducted through employee agents from three call center locations in Bellevue, Washington, Chicago, Illinois and Tempe, Arizona, which we refer to as our retail channel, and through independent agents and other marketing organizations, which we refer to as our wholesale channel. Efinancial’s principal office is located in Bellevue, Washington.

We believe our ability to unconditionally issue policies either during or within 24 to 48 hours of the initial call differentiates us from our competitors. Leveraging our patented RAPIDecision® sales and underwriting processes, we can sell a life insurance policy to a consumer before medical underwriting is complete. We are able to complete an initial underwriting process for most of our life insurance applicants either during or shortly after the initial call, and if not, within 24 to 48 hours after that initial call. For the year   ended December 31, 2019, approximately 90% of our policy applications processed through our RAPIDecision® underwriting process received an underwriting disposition on or shortly after the initial sales call. Approximately one-half of the remaining applications received final underwriting decisions within the next 24 to 48 hours.

Our RAPIDecision®Life product provides coverage at the point of issue that is a blend of all-cause term life insurance for part of the coverage and accidental death insurance for the remainder of the total face amount. If a policyholder completes medical underwriting after the initial sale of the RAPIDecision®Life product, the policy benefits may be improved based on the underwriting results to increase the proportion of all-cause term life insurance coverage, typically with no increase in premium. In some instances, based upon the results of predictive analytic models, the consumer can qualify for the full amount of all-cause coverage without medical testing.

For the years ended December 31, 2019 and 2018, we had total consolidated revenue of $135.3 million and $124.0 million, net life premium revenue of $94.4 million and $88.6 million, and a net loss of $19.3 million and $13.8 million, respectively. As of December 31, 2019, we had total assets of $721.8 million and equity of $212.4 million.

1


Our Approach

Our business model is predicated upon gaining cost effective access to the Middle Market, engaging consumers in our sales process for life insurance with products that have higher placement rates than traditional fully underwritten term life insurance in a call center environment, and issuing those products quickly. We require access to a large quantity of quality sales leads to keep our retail call center agents productive. Currently, we acquire most of our sales leads from third-party lead vendors. We supplement that lead flow with leads we generate ourselves. More significantly, we are rapidly increasing our affinity business with non-life insurance partners that provide their customers or prospects as leads, and we market and sell life insurance products to those leads.

We tend to sell policies with lower face amounts, resulting in more affordable options for our customers. Although not the lowest priced, our products are competitive and they represent an attractive consumer value considering the coverage they provide and the relative simplicity of our sales and underwriting processes. Our business model allows us to capture end-to-end data beginning with the acquisition of sales leads through the final disposition of life insurance policies. With this data, we plan to develop and apply predictive analytics to realize efficiencies at various points in the sales process.

Business Segments

We manage our business through three segments:

 

Agency. Our Agency Segment operates through Efinancial. Efinancial sells insurance products through its call center distribution platform and through its independent agents and other marketing organizations.

 

Insurance. Our Insurance Segment operates through Fidelity Life. Fidelity Life engages in the principal business lines of Core Life, Non-Core Life, Closed Block, and annuities and assumed life. In its Core Life and Non-Core Life business lines, Fidelity Life offers primarily term life insurance products, and to a lesser extent accidental death and final expense products. We currently do not offer annuity contracts, separate account variable products or universal life products.

 

Corporate. Our Corporate Segment consists primarily of a small amount of capital required to be maintained for regulatory purposes, and also includes certain expenses considered to be corporate and not allocated to our Agency or Insurance Segments.

Agency Segment

Overview

The Agency Segment consists of the operations of Efinancial. Efinancial is a call center-based insurance agency that markets life insurance for Fidelity Life and unaffiliated insurance companies. Efinancial’s primary operations are conducted through employee agents from three call center locations, which we refer to as our retail channel. In addition, Efinancial operates as a wholesale agency, assisting independent agents that seek to produce business for the carriers that Efinancial represents, which we refer to as our wholesale channel.

The Agency Segment’s main source of revenue is commissions earned on the sale of insurance policies sold through our retail channel. Efinancial’s employee agents utilize insurance sales leads to contact potential customers and then work with the customers to complete the sales process, which can occur during the initial contact or within 24 to 48 hours for non-medically underwritten policies. In our wholesale channel, in consideration for using our carrier contracts, access to leads and case management services, we receive a portion of the commission earned by the independent agent from the carrier. Efinancial also generates insurance lead sales revenue through its eCoverage web presence, and through the resale of leads that are not well suited for our call center.

Agents

Our agents in the Agency Segment are either employed by Efinancial or are independent agents who sell through our wholesale distribution channel.

Our Employee Agents

In each of our retail call center facilities, our employee agents, or call center insurance agents, conduct outbound telephone sales using insurance sales leads obtained from sales leads vendors or generated by our own marketing efforts or through our affinity partner relationships. To a much lesser extent, the call center insurance agents also handle inbound telephone and web-based inquiries directly from consumers. Our patented ALISS® platform provides a structured environment in which our call center insurance agents are able to efficiently handle both in-bound and out-bound sales traffic.

2


Efinancial is reliant on a capable and well-trained sales force of insurance agents to effectively operate its call centers. It is therefore important for Efinancial’s business to attract, retain and develop its call center insurance agents. Efinancial primarily recruits individuals with little or no prior experience in the insurance industry. We seek to develop a career path for our recruits by providing a comprehensive training program designed to assist new recruits in becoming licensed agents and achieving success with call center marketing. In a process that typically takes between six to eighteen weeks, a new hire will receive training, learn to develop leads and work towards receiving the required insurance sales licenses. Following licensure and promotion to retail call center agent, a new agent is placed on the sales floor, where monitoring and coaching continue. As an agent develops sales experience, the level of supervision of that agent decreases and the agent is able to handle more sophisticated sales opportunities.

For the years ended December 31, 2019 and December 31, 2018, Efinancial’s retail call centers generated a total of $35.8 million and $39.0 million, respectively, in commission revenues, of which $21.7 million and $28.8 million, respectively, were generated from sales of Fidelity Life products.

Our Independent Agents

Efinancial has developed capabilities that allow us to expand sales operations beyond the call center insurance agents traditionally associated with a direct sales operation. Efinancial also operates as a wholesale agency and recruits independent agents to market insurance products using Efinancial’s platform. Through our wholesale channel, we subcontract with our independent agents to sell through Efinancial’s contracts with its insurance carriers. Efinancial offers services to these independent agents, including access to our ALISS® technology, marketing platform, case management services, insurance sales leads and sales education. Efinancial earns a portion of the commission revenue on independent agent sales. For the years ended December 31, 2019 and December 31, 2018, Efinancial generated $3.6 million and $3.2 million, respectively, in revenue from our affiliation with our independent agents.

Our Partners

We partner with unaffiliated insurance carriers to market their products through our agency distribution platform. We also have marketing relationships with third-party businesses and member organizations, which we call our affinity partners, under which Efinancial provides their customers and members with access to the insurance products we market, either under their brand or Efinancial’s brand.

Other Insurance Carriers

Our Agency Segment also generates revenue from the sales of insurance products issued by unaffiliated companies, or carriers. We typically enter into contractual agency relationships with carriers that are non-exclusive and terminable on short notice by either party for any reason. Efinancial’s retail call center agents help consumers select among these carriers based on that consumer’s needs, insurance product features, cost and other factors. The mix of insurance carrier sales will vary over time based on client preferences, carrier strategies, availability of new product features, premium cost, commissions paid, carrier placement rates, and ease of doing business.

For the years ended December 31, 2019 and December 31, 2018, Efinancial generated $17.8 million and $13.4 million, respectively, in total commission revenue from agency contracts with unaffiliated life insurance carriers.

The following tables show our total earned commissions for our retail and wholesale channels:

Retail Channel:

 

 

 

For the Years Ended

December 31,

 

 

 

2019

 

 

2018

 

Carrier

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fidelity Life Association

 

$

21,503

 

 

$

28,788

 

All other carriers

 

 

14,327

 

 

 

10,251

 

Total earned commissions

 

$

35,830

 

 

$

39,039

 

 

3


Wholesale Channel:

 

 

 

For the Years Ended

December 31,

 

 

 

2019

 

 

2018

 

Carrier

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fidelity Life Association

 

$

51

 

 

$

69

 

All other carriers

 

 

4,109

 

 

 

3,566

 

Total gross earned commissions

 

 

4,160

 

 

 

3,635

 

Wholesale commission expense

 

 

599

 

 

 

413

 

Net earned wholesale commissions

 

$

3,561

 

 

$

3,222

 

 

Affinity Partners

In a typical affinity partner arrangement, Efinancial will market our range of insurance products to the affinity partner’s customers or prospects under Efinancial’s brand or our affinity partner’s brand. Affinity partner relationships offer an attractive source for insurance sales leads and increase our revenues. Given the existing relationship between an affinity partner and its prospects or customers, we believe that the sales leads generated by our affinity partners are of a high quality relative to sales leads purchased from a third-party. We expect affinity partner relationships to continue to be a valuable source of future growth. Currently, nearly all of our affinity business is derived from a single affinity partner.

Our Technology Platform

ALISS®

Our patented Automated Life Insurance Sales System, or ALISS®, is our proprietary software used to operate our retail call centers. ALISS® is made up of several functional modules including lead management, call scripting, quoting, insurance policy applications, product information and consumer relationship management. ALISS® is integrated with a third-party telephony system to prioritize and distribute calls to sales personnel. This technology solution has logic that makes allocations to specific call center insurance agents based on factors such as availability, complexity of sales leads, state licensing requirements, source of the sales lead and other factors, in an effort to enhance the productivity and effectiveness of our retail call centers.

We also make ALISS® available to our independent agents that use the software as a service remotely from their locations. We believe that ALISS® provides a comprehensive package of operational features that help our distributors increase their productivity and grow their businesses. We continue to invest in updates and efficiencies to this program.

Consumer Technologies

Fidelity Life has developed a digital purchase experience – a web portal that enables qualified consumers to calculate how much life insurance they need, obtain quotes, apply, and purchase a policy online. Consumers can also start the purchase process online and seamlessly transition to speak with an agent at any point in the journey.  Fidelity Life also has a robust website, FidelityLife.com, that enables consumers to obtain customized product recommendations and quotes depending on their personal situation. Efinancial also has several web portals for consumers to shop for insurance, including efinancial.com, termfinder.com and ecoverage.com. These web portals offer consumers easy-to-use tools, such as online price quoting and information (in the form of articles and blogs) designed to help consumers better understand the life insurance market. These websites also provide consumers with the ability to initiate the sales process online.

Marketing

Efinancial’s business relies heavily on the use of insurance sales leads. Our sales leads are records of personal and contact information of potential purchasers of life insurance. We analyze these sales leads to enable our agents to make contact with consumers that we believe are more likely than the general population to purchase life insurance products.

Efinancial uses a combination of marketing methods to obtain insurance sales leads to support its operations. Efinancial acquires a significant portion of its sales leads from third-party vendors specializing in insurance sales leads. Additionally, Efinancial generates leads through its websites (including efinancial.com and ecoverage.com) and through affinity partners whose customers and prospects are interested in life insurance. We evaluate the profitability of sales leads by analyzing their cost and productivity based on the sales resulting from these sales leads. We use this information to seek to optimize the productivity and cost efficiency of leads we acquire.

4


As a result of our business model, Efinancial’s marketing expenses are a significant part of our total cost of doing business. To reduce our customer acquisition costs, we contract with third-party marketers who contact consumers, some of whom will click through to one of eCoverage’s landing pages. In addition to becoming an Efinancial lead, the consumer may also “click” on an ad to receive a quote from a third-party carrier. If the consumer clicks on an insurance option sponsored by another company, we generate insurance lead sales revenue from that click. We are also able to generate insurance lead sales revenue through the sale of information regarding leads sourced through the eCoverage landing pages. For the years ended December 31, 2019 and December 31, 2018, we generated $6.3 million and $7.6 million from insurance lead sales revenues, respectively. Additionally, we seek to sell a policy to that lead through our call center.

For a description of the marketing of policies written by Fidelity Life, see “Business—Insurance Segment—Distribution.”

Competition

Efinancial competes for access to talented sales representatives and for quality sales prospects, or leads. Much of the competition for talent involves agent recruitment. Efinancial’s competitors include SelectQuote, AIG Direct, and Health I.Q., among others. Certain competitors in the direct distribution call center industry have been in business longer than Efinancial and are more established and have greater resources to hire insurance agents and develop new technologies. Also, agents choose to work through agencies based on a number of factors including marketing service and support, technology tools, the insurance company that the agency represents, sales commission structure, and the number and quality of sales leads. However, Efinancial believes that its innovative sales processes and the Fidelity Life quick-issue products it sells, combined with our ability to customize our product offering based on a customer’s ability to pay through our distribution platform, position Efinancial to successfully compete and continue to grow in the Middle Market.

Insurance Segment

Overview

Fidelity Life was chartered in 1896 and operated independently until the 1950s, when it became affiliated with several stock life insurance companies that managed its operations and controlled its strategies pursuant to a management services agreement. In 2003, the independent members of the Board of Directors undertook a review of the longstanding management relationship and future plans for operation of Fidelity Life. During 2005, the prior long-term management contract and all affiliations were terminated and a reconstituted Board of Directors and a new management team were selected. Since then, Fidelity Life has again operated independently.

As discussed in more detail below, Fidelity Life engages in the following business lines:

Core Life. Our Core Life insurance business is the primary business of the Insurance Segment. Core Life represents a significant portion of the insurance business written by Fidelity Life since it resumed independent operations in 2005. Our Core Life business consists of in-force policies that are considered to be of high strategic importance to Fidelity Life.

Non-Core Life. Our Non-Core Life business consists of: products that are currently being marketed but are not deemed to be of high strategic importance to the Company; in-force policies from product lines introduced since Fidelity Life resumed independent operations in 2005, but were subsequently discontinued; and an older annuity block of business that was not included in the Closed Block.

Closed Block. Our Closed Block represents all in-force participating insurance policies of Fidelity Life. The Closed Block was established in connection with our 2007 reorganization into a mutual holding company structure.  

Annuities and Assumed Life. We have assumed reinsurance commitments with respect to annuity contract-holder deposits and a block of life insurance contracts that were ceded by former affiliates of Fidelity Life. In 2019, one of these former affiliates recaptured the majority of the assumed block of life business. The annuity deposits were ceded to Fidelity Life through two contracts entered into in the early 1990s. These annuity and assumed life deposits are now largely in run-off, with only minor amounts of new deposits each year. There are minimal remaining surrender charges associated with the assumed annuity contracts.

The following table sets forth the net premium revenues by business line for Fidelity Life’s Insurance Segment for the years ended December 31, 2019 and December 31, 2018:

5


 

 

 

For the Years Ended

December 31,

 

 

 

2019

 

 

2018

 

Net insurance premiums

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Core Life

 

$

60,223

 

 

$

48,972

 

Non-Core Life

 

 

33,850

 

 

 

32,693

 

Closed Block

 

 

747

 

 

 

5,525

 

Annuities and Assumed Life

 

 

(450

)

 

 

1,383

 

Total

 

$

94,370

 

 

$

88,573

 

 

Core Life and Non-Core Life

Our Products

In its Core and Non-Core Life insurance business, Fidelity Life offers an array of traditional and innovative insurance products. The principal life insurance products offered by Fidelity Life fall within the RAPIDecision® product line. The RAPIDecision® product line includes several term life insurance products. RAPIDecision® products use our RAPIDecision® underwriting process, which is a process that does not rely on medical testing as part of the underwriting process, thereby substantially shortening the time required for underwriting and policy issuance. See “Underwriting and Risk Selection.”

Core Life:

RAPIDecision® Life. Our RAPIDecision® Life product was introduced in 2008 and is primarily marketed by Efinancial and select unaffiliated distributors. The RAPIDecision® Life product was specifically designed to address the problem of low product placement in direct distribution for medically underwritten business, stemming in part from the typical length of the life insurance underwriting process. Our RAPIDecision® Life product incorporates the following features:

 

A patented sales process featuring RAPIDecision® underwriting, which allows for the quick issuance of a policy. Under certain circumstances, this policy will be issued entirely on an all-cause basis. In other circumstances, the issuance will provide a blend of all-cause term life insurance coverage and accidental death benefit coverage;

 

If issued as a blend of all-cause and accidental death benefit coverage, there is an option permitting policyholders to begin a traditional medical underwriting process within the first six months after policy issuance;

 

Depending on the underwriting results, policyholders completing medical underwriting may have the option to reduce or eliminate the accidental death coverage and increase the proportion of the all-cause term life insurance coverage under the policy with no increase in premium; and

 

Policyholders not completing medical underwriting (or failing to meet medical underwriting standards) may retain the original coverage blend of term life and accidental death benefit coverage at the existing premium rates.

LifeTime Benefit Term. LifeTime Benefit Term is our patented voluntary worksite product offering. Voluntary worksite policies like LifeTime Benefit Term are provided to employer and other groups for sales to their employees, participants and members. LifeTime Benefit Term insurance is sold on a group policy basis by offering future paid up coverage additions after the policy has been in force for a certain number of years. LifeTime Benefit Term coverage can be kept by the individual after they leave employment with the group. We have been issued a patent for one variation of the LifeTime Benefit Term product. We largely ceased writing this business directly in 2014 and have entered into a licensing agreement and reinsurance agreement under which we license the product to Combined Insurance Company of America (“Combined Insurance”) and assume 50% of the business written. The licensing agreement provides Combined Insurance with an exclusive, non-transferable license to market the LifeTime Benefit Term product. In the event Combined Insurance fails to meet certain sales volumes for the product, the license becomes non-exclusive or, in certain circumstances, terminable at the option of Fidelity Life. The license agreement would terminate if Combined Insurance were to stop selling the product, exit the worksite market, or if Fidelity Life ceased assuming reinsurance on the product from Combined Insurance. Additionally, Combined Insurance may terminate the license with 60 days’ notice. Fidelity Life continues to manage the direct in-force block of LifeTime Benefit Term policies that are now in run-off.

RAPIDecision® Final Expense. Our RAPIDecision® Final Expense product is targeted toward individuals aged 50-85 and provides permanent whole life coverage for amounts ranging from $5,000 to $35,000. These policies are designed to help in lessening the burden of covering final expenses, such as medical costs, funeral costs, and credit card debt. Like RAPIDecision® Life, RAPIDecision® Final Expense does not require a medical examination, but instead approval is determined based upon answers to various health questions and database results. There is a related graded death benefit Final Expense product for poorer underwriting risks.

6


Non-Core Life:

Accidental Death Benefit. Fidelity Life offers accidental death benefit insurance as both a policy rider and as stand-alone policy coverage. The accidental death benefit product covers death due to accidental causes as defined in the policy. Accidental death benefit is a quick-issue product with limited underwriting.

RAPIDecision® Senior Life Term and Whole Life. Fidelity Life’s Senior Life Term and Whole Life products are designed for impaired risk individuals in particular age ranges (50 to 70 for term and 50 to 85 for whole life). Senior Life Term and Whole Life products are underwritten utilizing the RAPIDecision® underwriting process and offer graded death benefits over an initial three year period (the full face amount is paid for all causes of death starting in policy year four).

RAPIDecision® Express. RAPIDecision® Express is a quick-issue, non-medically underwritten level term insurance product. It includes typical term lengths of 10, 15, 20 and 30 years, and a maximum face amount of $100,000. RAPIDecision® Express includes one risk class each for males, females, smokers and non-smokers, and underwriting approvals are made based upon a simplified application process where the consumer’s answers are verified by database information that is gathered for the approval process.

Distribution

In our Insurance Segment, we distribute our life insurance products through Efinancial and through independent producers, including direct distributors that market to consumers through call centers and regional and national independent producer groups. Consistent with our strategy, we continue to increase the amount of business produced through Efinancial.

While the trends in annual sales have seen a larger share of premium production from Efinancial, we maintain diversity in our production sources through the continued production through other independent distribution organizations and from assumed premiums. For distribution other than by Efinancial, our strategy is to establish long term relationships with a limited number of independent distribution organizations that extend our reach into our target market and are complementary to Efinancial. These distribution organizations recruit and train the agents that sell for Fidelity Life, among other carriers. As part of our review process for appointing an independent distribution organization, we require the organization to have sufficient controls in place to protect Fidelity Life from the risk of adverse-selection that is often present when offering non-medically underwritten products on the same platform as more traditional, fully-underwritten products. We provide product specific sales training to these producers, including supporting technology. For the years ended December 31, 2019 and 2018, the breakdown of sales of annualized premiums for new in-force policies by distribution channel were as follows:

 

 

 

For the Years Ended

December 31,

 

 

 

2019

 

 

2018

 

Efinancial

 

$

27,752

 

 

$

33,618

 

Worksite Producers(1)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Direct

 

 

241

 

 

 

220

 

Assumed

 

 

16,174

 

 

 

8,220

 

Independent Sales Distributors

 

 

805

 

 

 

855

 

Total

 

$

44,972

 

 

$

42,913

 

 

(1)

The Worksite business includes premiums written directly by Fidelity Life, as well as premiums assumed from Combined Insurance. See “Core Life—LifeTime Benefit Term.”

Underwriting and Risk Selection

We have developed the RAPIDecision® underwriting process to support the quick issuance of our RAPIDecision® products. The first step in our RAPIDecision® underwriting process is for a consumer to complete a coverage application. We verify the medical history and conditions disclosed in the application using automated web-based links to reporting and statistical agencies and a data base service with pharmaceutical records. The underwriting decision is made based on this information. The RAPIDecision® underwriting process is supported by our proprietary technology platforms that allow us to obtain an underwriting decision during or shortly after the initial call, and if not, 24 to 48 hours after that initial call. These technology platforms are our Rapid Application, or Rapid App, and Fidelity Life Association Sales Handler, or FLASH, systems.

Consistent with our business strategy and our view of the needs of our customers, we do not perform medical underwriting in the traditional way prior to the issuance of a policy. Typically in our industry, the life insurance underwriting process takes place prior to policy issuance and involves a paramedical examination, blood and urine testing and other tests designed to assess the underwriting risk and the lowest premium appropriate for the level of risk involved. Such traditional underwriting delays policy issuance after an

7


application is submitted by several weeks. This delay makes it difficult to achieve acceptable placement ratios in call center sales, leading to lost sales and unrecovered costs. In contrast, our primary underwriting process is designed to support the quick issuance of policies. We therefore do not typically require an initial paramedical exam. By not requiring this exam or postponing it until after policy issuance, we are able to issue coverage far more quickly, although without access to up front medical data that is standard in industry underwriting practices. This means that our insurance products generally are issued at lower face amounts and a relatively higher price per dollar of coverage as compared to medically underwritten products. If medical underwriting is completed after the initial sale of a RAPIDecision® Life policy, the policy benefits may be improved based on the underwriting results to increase the proportion of all-cause term life insurance coverage, typically with no increase in premium.

Fidelity Life employs a small staff of full-time employee underwriters. Most of the underwriting of individual policies is performed on an outsourced basis, primarily using three contract underwriting firms. Given the quick-issue nature of many of Fidelity Life’s products, it is important to our business to be able to access underwriting services on an as-needed basis. Using outsourced contract underwriters gives Fidelity Life the flexibility to meet this need.

In our typical underwriting process, Fidelity Life’s contract underwriters access the information on a potential customer, what we refer to as a case, through a web-based interface and approve or decline the individual case based on Fidelity Life’s underwriting rules. If necessary, a member of our contract underwriting team can be joined to an initial phone call with a potential customer. While our in-house underwriting team does engage in certain case underwriting activities, the team’s primary function is to manage and supervise the contract underwriters. Our in-house underwriting team oversees our contract underwriters to review their compliance with our underwriting standards.

Product Pricing

We regularly review claim results for each of our products, comparing actual experience to the assumptions used to design and price the products. The review process is performed by our actuarial and finance teams with assistance from the underwriting and operations team, product development team and marketing. Variances in our expectations for particular products are examined for implications on product performance and used to evaluate product prices and underwriting assumptions. Product experience is also reviewed by our reinsurance partners.

Key elements of our product pricing include assumptions regarding future mortality (amount and timing of future benefit payments), persistency experience (number and timing of policyholder discontinuations or coverage lapses) and investment returns (interest we will earn on investment of available cash and reserves).

Outsourced Functions

Fidelity Life contracts with third-party service providers to provide, or assist with, a number of key functions that are traditionally performed in-house in the life insurance industry. These functions include insurance policy administration, underwriting, investment portfolio management, internal audit, filing of insurance policy forms with state regulatory agencies and income tax return preparation. In addition, Fidelity Life uses third parties to provide in-force policy administration, and reinsurance contract administration. This model was adopted to reduce the fixed cost investment in our Insurance Segment, provide operating flexibility and allow access to specialized skills as needed. In doing so, we believe we can contract with partners that possess a wide range of experience and with established capabilities that would be costly and time consuming for us to develop internally.

Competition

Competition in the life insurance industry is based on many factors. These factors include the perceived financial strength of the insurer, premiums charged, policy terms and conditions, services provided, reputation, financial ratings assigned by independent rating agencies and the experience of the insurer in the line of insurance to be written. In addition, there are many competitors that participate in the non-medically underwritten segment of the life insurance industry. As new competitors enter the non-medically underwritten market using predictive analytics, they may price aggressively to capture market share.

Fidelity Life’s competition includes many companies that are larger and which have significantly more resources at their disposal. While lacking the scale and market presence of many of its principal competitors, Fidelity Life does have certain attributes we believe to be competitive advantages in a crowded market place. These include innovative products, proprietary technology and controlled distribution in Efinancial. These advantages allow us to be more flexible in adapting to product and sales process opportunities than our more established competitors. We also believe that our innovative products and processes provide a point of differentiation that appeals to consumers.

Fidelity Life also competes by placing a majority of its policies through Efinancial. While this distribution channel provides access to our target Middle Market, we are aware that some Middle Market consumers prefer to purchase life insurance through

8


alternative methods. We have developed an internet-based direct sales platform that permits customers to complete the purchase of a Fidelity Life insurance policy completely over the internet. Several of our competitors have also begun to implement online and digital distribution platforms. We believe that through the implementation of the Fidelity Life internet-based direct sales platform we will be able to extend our reach into our target Middle Market.

A.M. Best Rating

Fidelity Life is rated by A.M. Best, an independent rating agency that specializes in ratings for the insurance industry. A.M. Best annually issues a financial strength rating for the great majority of insurance companies doing business in the U.S. The financial strength rating is an independent opinion of an insurer’s financial strength and its ability to meet its ongoing insurance policy obligations. A.M. Best’s financial strength rating is based on a comprehensive quantitative and qualitative evaluation of an insurer’s balance sheet strength, operating performance and business profile. A.M. Best has assigned Fidelity Life a financial strength rating of “A-” (Excellent), which is the fourth highest rating category for A.M. Best. A.M. Best’s financial strength rating is not a recommendation to purchase, hold, or terminate any insurance policy or contract or any other financial obligation issued by an insurer, nor does it address the suitability of any particular policy or contract for a specific purpose or purchaser. In addition, A.M. Best’s financial strength rating does not address the risks or the advisability of any investment in our common stock.

IT Applications

Fidelity Life’s business, including the marketing, sales and administration of its insurance products, relies on its technology infrastructure. Our technology infrastructure incorporates both proprietary and commercially available elements, including the following:

 

Rapid App. Fidelity Life has developed an application processing system that allows an agent to gather the information necessary to complete an application for insurance and obtain an underwriting decision while on the telephone with an applicant. Using this system, a majority of all underwriting decisions are made within 48 hours and certain underwriting decisions can be made during the initial phone call with the consumer. Our Rapid App system is primarily designed to be used by insurance agents in our retail call centers so that the agents can obtain the underwriting information necessary to complete the underwriting process while on the phone with the customer. This streamlines the application process, increasing efficiency and lowering costs. The completed application and all associated forms are provided to the applicant through a secure web portal, where the applicant can review and sign the application electronically. Once the application is signed, we gather data on the applicant from our third-party information providers. This information is screened for potential underwriting concerns. Signed applications and all relevant information are made immediately available to an underwriter, who can make a decision while the applicant is still on the phone with our insurance agent. Rapid App allows our insurance agents to complete the sale in a single phone call for certain products.

 

Fidelity Life Association Sales Handler (FLASH). Fidelity Life has developed FLASH as a successor to Rapid App. FLASH is a modular technology platform that interfaces with our other key systems including ALISS®, our third-party data and service providers, and our reinsurer’s automated underwriting engine. Like Rapid App, FLASH allows an agent to collect the information necessary to complete an application for insurance and obtain an underwriting decision while on the telephone with an applicant. In addition, FLASH is the technology platform that will power our direct to consumer digital sales efforts.

 

Realtime. Fidelity Life’s new business process uses a system we call Realtime. Realtime is a web-based system developed by a third-party but now maintained and administered by Fidelity Life. The Realtime system catalogues all of the data gathered in the sales process and relevant to the insurance application process. The Realtime platform permits Fidelity Life employees to electronically access information used for underwriting maintained by third-party database providers.

 

Other. Fidelity Life uses several other software applications for administration and operational purposes. Typically, these are obtained from third-party vendors. For example, we use commercially available software applications for all of Fidelity Life’s financial reporting and control functions.

Reinsurance

Fidelity Life uses reinsurance arrangements with multiple reinsurance carriers to limit our claims risk under our insurance contracts and to mitigate the impact of the insurance policies we issue on our statutory policyholder surplus. Our retention limit is $300,000 on each insured life for all policies. On the products that we currently issue where we have reinsurance, our reinsurance is on a first-dollar quota-share basis. Additionally, our reinsurance arrangements provide Fidelity Life with access to underwriting technology and risk management expertise from our reinsurance partners.

We evaluate our reinsurance needs, including the appropriate amount and structure of particular reinsurance arrangements, based on a number of factors, including the expertise of particular reinsurance carriers (and their technology platforms) required to

9


support our various life insurance products, the estimated variability of claims experience, the estimated future impact of new business written on our statutory reserves and the costs of reinsurance.

Our current reinsurance arrangements open for new business, other than business written and reinsured to Combined Insurance, are with Hannover Life Reassurance Company of America (“Hannover Life”) and Swiss Re Life & Health America Inc. (“Swiss Re”). The following is a brief summary of the reinsurance agreements relating to these arrangements:

Hannover Life Reassurance Company of America. Under our agreements with Hannover Life, we cede claims liability under certain of our term life policies in the Core Life business to Hannover Life on a coinsurance basis. Depending upon the face amount of the product reinsured and subject to a $300,000 limit, we cede 50% or more of the claims liability to Hannover Life. Reinsurance premiums are determined according to the amount reinsured with Hannover Life per policy. These agreements do not have a fixed term. Either party may terminate the agreements with respect to future business with 90 days written notice to the other party.

Swiss Re Life & Health America Inc.— Accidental Death Benefit. Under our agreement with Swiss Re, we cede to Swiss Re 90% of our claims liability, subject to certain per life limits, under our accidental death benefit policies and riders on a coinsurance basis. Reinsurance premiums are determined according to the amount reinsured with Swiss Re per policy or rider. Swiss Re has the right to modify the reinsurance premium rates upon 90 days written notice to us. If we do not accept such modified reinsurance premium rates and we are unable to agree upon a revised rate structure within 60 days of Swiss Re’s original notice, then the reinsurance premium rates then in effect continue unchanged. However, Swiss Re may, upon 30 days written notice to us, terminate the reinsurance on any policy or rider for which we have not accepted Swiss Re’s modified reinsurance premium rate. This agreement does not have a fixed term. Either party may terminate the agreement with respect to future business with 90 days written notice to the other party.

Swiss Re Life & Health America Inc.—Final Expense. Under a separate agreement with Swiss Re, we cede to Swiss Re on a coinsurance basis 80% of our claims liability, subject to certain per life limits, under our final expense and graded benefit policies. This agreement does not have a fixed term. Either party may terminate the agreement with respect to future business with 60 days written notice to the other party.

Swiss Re Life & Health America Inc.—InstaTerm. The Company cedes to Swiss Re, on a coinsurance basis 33.3% of our claims liability, subject to certain per life limits, under InstaTerm term life insurance product.  Either party may terminate the agreement with respect to future business with 90 days written notice to the other party.

SCOR Global Life USA Reinsurance Company Inc. (SCOR)—InstaTerm. The Company cedes to SCOR on a coinsurance basis 33.3% of our claims liability, subject to certain per life limits, under InstaTerm term life insurance product. This agreement does not have a fixed term. Either party may terminate the agreement with respect to future business with 90 days written notice to the other party.

 

In 2013, Fidelity Life entered into a reserve financing reinsurance arrangement with Hannover Life designed to enhance its ability to continue to grow Fidelity Life’s Core Life insurance business. This agreement was first amended and restated as of July 1, 2016, and a subsequent amendment was filed with the Illinois Department of Insurance in November 2019 and approved by the Illinois Department of Insurance on December 23, 2019. The structure of the agreement, which was first effective July 1, 2013, involves a combination of coinsurance with funds withheld and yearly renewable term reinsurance covering most of the Company’s non-participating in-force life insurance business with issue dates on or before December 31, 2019.

Even though we reinsure certain of our liabilities to third-party reinsurance carriers, Fidelity Life remains directly liable to policyholders for the benefit payments associated with these policies. Our reinsurance carriers have a contractual relationship with Fidelity Life to reimburse us for policy claims but are not under any contractual obligation to our policyholders. Because Fidelity Life remains directly liable to policyholders for the full amount of the death benefits payable under its policies, Fidelity Life bears credit risk relating to its reinsurers under its reinsurance contracts. As a result, Fidelity Life will only enter into a reinsurance agreement with reinsurers that have stable operating performance, including a minimum A.M. Best financial strength rating of “A-” (Excellent).

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We had reinsurance recoverables of $132.9 million and $136.6 million as of December 31, 2019 and December 31, 2018, respectively. The following table sets forth our five largest reinsurers based on reinsurance recoverables as of December 31, 2019 and December 31, 2018, and the A.M. Best ratings of those reinsurers as of December 31, 2019:

 

 

 

As of December 31, 2019

 

As of December 31, 2018

 

 

 

Ceded

Future

Policy

Benefits

 

 

Claims and

Other

Amounts

Recoverable

 

 

Total

Reinsurance

Recoverables

 

 

2019

A.M.

Best’s

Rating

 

Ceded

Future

Policy

Benefits

 

 

Claims and

Other

Amounts

Recoverable

 

 

Total

Reinsurance

Recoverables

 

(dollars in thousands)

 

 

 

Reinsurer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hannover Life

 

$

60,786

 

 

$

6,464

 

 

$

67,250

 

 

A+

 

$

53,841

 

 

$

6,729

 

 

$

60,570

 

Swiss Re

 

 

23,651

 

 

 

6,484

 

 

 

30,135

 

 

A+

 

 

20,310

 

 

 

7,255

 

 

 

27,565

 

Combined Insurance

 

 

3,829

 

 

 

282

 

 

 

4,111

 

 

A+

 

 

10,929

 

 

 

1,150

 

 

 

12,079

 

Security Life of Denver

 

 

12,268

 

 

 

1,558

 

 

 

13,826

 

 

A+

 

 

4,816

 

 

 

354

 

 

 

5,170

 

Canada Life Assurance Company

 

 

3,916

 

 

 

466

 

 

 

4,382

 

 

A+

 

 

4,596

 

 

 

306

 

 

 

4,902

 

Other (12 Reinsurers)

 

 

9,141

 

 

 

4,025

 

 

 

13,166

 

 

 

 

 

22,543

 

 

 

3,772

 

 

 

26,315

 

Total

 

$

113,591

 

 

$

19,279

 

 

$

132,870

 

 

 

 

$

117,035

 

 

$

19,566

 

 

$

136,601

 

 

Core Life. The overall relationship of ceded premium to direct premiums has trended lower over the past few years due to the mix of business. For the Core Life business line, the amount of death benefit reinsured by Fidelity Life varies by insurance product, with some products having no reinsurance and others where 50% or 80% of the death benefit is reinsured, all of which is subject to the $300,000 limit. For the Closed Block and the annuities and assumed life business lines, the percent of death benefit reinsured is higher, on average, than the average for the insurance products currently being sold in the Core Life line of business. The following table shows the different relationship of reinsurance premiums ceded to total direct and assumed premiums for each of these business lines for the years ended December 31, 2019 and December 31, 2018:

 

 

 

As of December 31, 2019

 

 

As of December 31, 2018

 

 

 

Core Life

 

 

Non-

Core

Life

 

 

Closed

Block

 

 

Annuities

and

Assumed

Life

 

 

Total

 

 

Core

Life

 

 

Non-

Core

Life

 

 

Closed

Block

 

 

Annuities

and

Assumed

Life

 

 

Total

 

(dollars in thousands)

 

 

 

Ratios:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Direct and Assumed Premium

 

$

103,075

 

 

$

59,144

 

 

$

19,466

 

 

$

(809

)

 

$

180,876

 

 

$

87,508

 

 

$

59,260

 

 

$

12,844

 

 

$

3,799

 

 

$

163,411

 

Ceded Premium

 

 

42,852

 

 

 

25,294

 

 

 

18,719

 

 

 

(359

)

 

 

86,506

 

 

 

38,536

 

 

 

26,567

 

 

 

7,319

 

 

 

2,416

 

 

 

74,838

 

Ceded % of Total Direct and

   Assumed Premium

 

 

41.6

%

 

 

42.8

%

 

 

96.2

%

 

 

44.4

%

 

 

47.8

%

 

 

44.0

%

 

 

44.8

%

 

 

57.0

%

 

 

63.6

%

 

 

45.8

%

 

The period-to-period comparison of the ceded to direct and assumed premiums shows the total ceding percentage in our Core Life decreasing as the percentage of the Total increased slightly.

Non-Core Life. Non-Core life follows the same reinsurance guidelines and procedures as Core Life, as discussed above.

Closed Block. In October 2006, Fidelity Life established a Closed Block consisting of all of the outstanding participating policies issued or assumed by Fidelity Life. We call this arrangement the Closed Block. We operate the Closed Block in accordance with a Closed Block memorandum that we entered into in connection with our 2007 reorganization as a mutual holding company. The purpose of the Closed Block is to provide reasonable assurance to the participating policyholders that sufficient assets will be available to provide for the continuation of policy benefits and experience-based dividends for these participating policies. Most of the participating policies in the Closed Block were sold on the basis of “no dividends expected” and, accordingly, such policies have never received an experience-based dividend. The establishment of the Closed Block was not intended to provide dividends on policies for which no dividends are expected, although dividends on these policies will be paid if experience ultimately warrants. The payment of any dividends is not guaranteed based on the results of a specific block or group of participating policies. The declaration of any dividend is subject to the discretion of the Board of Directors of Fidelity Life, and dividends are not payable until declared. No new dividend-paying or participating policies have been issued by Fidelity Life since our reorganization in 2007.

The Closed Block was funded on October 1, 2006 with cash flow producing assets that together with anticipated revenues from the Closed Block policies are expected to be sufficient to support the Closed Block, including payment of claims, expenses, and taxes and to provide for continuation of dividends, to the extent applicable, for the life of the policies. If the future experience is such that the assets of the Closed Block are not sufficient to pay the benefits guaranteed under the policies, then Fidelity Life would be required

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to make such payments from its general funds. See “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” in this Form 10-K for further discussion regarding the Closed Block.

Annuities and Assumed Life

Fidelity Life reinsures products issued by other companies under four reinsurance arrangements, two of which are not open to new insurance policies but still cover the existing in-force business that was assumed prior to 1993. Under two contracts with Zurich American Life Insurance Company, Fidelity Life assumed the liability for the contractual benefits under a group of annuity contracts written through 1993. Under a contract with Protective Life Insurance Company (“Protective Life”), the successor company of a former affiliate, Fidelity Life assumed a portion of the risk on a group of life insurance contracts primarily written in the 1980s and early 1990s. On March 29, 2019, Protective Life recaptured the majority of the assumed block of life business.

Fidelity has an active reinsurance agreement with Hannover Life Reassurance (Ireland) under which Fidelity Life assumes a portion of risks on certain life contracts originally issued by Fidelity Life and ceded to Hannover Life. In addition, we license our LifeTime Benefit Term product to Combined Insurance and reinsure 50% of the business written by Combined Insurance on that product.

The following table sets forth Fidelity Life’s assumed reinsurance liabilities as of December 31, 2019 and December 31, 2018:

 

 

 

As of December 31, 2019

 

 

As of December 31, 2018

 

 

 

Future

Policy

Benefits

 

 

Contract

Holder

Account

Balances

 

 

Other

Policyholder

Liabilities

 

 

Total

Assumed

Liabilities

 

 

Future

Policy

Benefits

 

 

Contract

Holder

Account

Balances

 

 

Other

Policyholder

Liabilities

 

 

Total

Assumed

Liabilities

 

(dollars in thousands)

 

 

 

Reinsurer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hannover Life Reinsurance (Ireland)

 

$

(1,291

)

 

$

 

 

$

13

 

 

$

(1,278

)

 

$

(1,247

)

 

$

 

 

$

15

 

 

$

(1,232

)

Protective Life Insurance Company

 

 

1,753

 

 

 

 

 

 

404

 

 

 

2,157

 

 

 

9,637

 

 

 

 

 

 

3,022

 

 

 

12,659

 

Zurich American Life Insurance Company

 

 

 

 

 

78,296

 

 

 

 

 

 

78,296

 

 

 

 

 

 

83,299

 

 

 

 

 

 

83,299

 

Combined Insurance Company of America

 

 

27,064

 

 

 

 

 

 

1,739

 

 

 

28,803

 

 

 

18,251

 

 

 

 

 

 

967

 

 

 

19,218

 

Total

 

$

27,526

 

 

$

78,296

 

 

$

2,156

 

 

$

107,978

 

 

$

26,641

 

 

$

83,299

 

 

$

4,004

 

 

$

113,944

 

Corporate Segment

The results of this segment consist of net investment income and net realized investment gains (losses) earned on invested assets. We also include certain corporate expenses that are not allocated to our other segments, including expenses of Vericity, Inc., board expenses, allocation of executive management time spent on corporate matters, and financial reporting and auditing costs related to our consolidation and internal controls. Our Corporate Segment recognizes income (loss) to the extent that net investment income and net realized investment gains (losses) exceed (are less than) corporate expenses.

Intellectual Property

The Company and its subsidiaries rely on our proprietary intellectual property to conduct our business. We believe that it is easy for participants in the insurance industry to attempt to copy product and process ideas of other participants. We therefore intend to protect to the fullest extent permitted by law our intellectual property rights in the unique products and sales processes we have developed. We believe that protecting our intellectual property rights and obtaining protection for future innovations will help us to achieve better results over time.

 

Efinancial currently has trade name protection for certain of its key internet domains, including efinancial.com, termfinder.com, ecoverage.com, and netcoverage.com. Efinancial has also been granted two U.S. patents for its ALISS® agency management system. The patents include tracking and management of leads from purchase through the sales cycle. Real-time modelling is applied to lead sourcing, user identification, purchase intent and identification of the product a customer is most likely to purchase.

We have been granted four U.S. patents related to the RAPIDecision® Life product and its supporting sales and underwriting technology and processes and a separate patent directed to the LifeTime Benefit Term product. We continue to seek additional patent coverage for different aspects of the RAPIDecision® Life product. See “Risk Factors—Risks Relating to Our Business—We may be unable to adequately protect our intellectual property rights or avoid infringing the intellectual property rights of third parties, and the intellectual property rights we have may not be a meaningful barrier to competition.”

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Information Technology

Fidelity Life maintains an in-house information technology staff. Fidelity Life’s in-house personnel are supplemented by independent consultants, as needed, for programming, development and other technology-based efforts. Fidelity Life’s Realtime system is hosted at a data center in Chicago, Illinois. Other Fidelity Life production applications run at the Element Critical data center in Woodridge, Illinois. The Element Critical data facility is connected to our office locations though high speed dedicated data links. Incremental file back-ups are performed daily and duplicated securely offsite at our Chicago office. Fidelity Life does maintain a disaster recovery plan and has put in place various programs that will increase our agility in responding to a disaster.

Efinancial also maintains an in-house information technology staff. The Efinancial technology team is responsible for the development and maintenance of Efinancial’s applications and provides assistance to our internal and external customers. We use outside contractors in limited cases to provide additional programming and development expertise.

Efinancial uses TierPoint, located in Seattle, as its offsite data facility, housing all of its production servers that host outside facing applications including ALISS® and its main business database. The Bellevue office data center houses telephony servers, file server and domain controller servers. The Bellevue office is connected via high speed connection to both TierPoint as well as our call center in Chicago.

Information backups are automatically performed nightly and weekly. Efinancial’s Bellevue office backups are stored on a high performance and capacity platform, then duplicated to Tierpoint. In reverse, Tierpoint files are backed up and duplicated to the Bellevue office.

Investments

We had total cash and investment assets of $445.7 million as of December 31, 2019. All invested assets are managed pursuant to an investment plan developed by our executive management team and approved by and reviewed annually with the investment committee of our Board of Directors. All changes to the investment plan are approved by the investment committee.

We have contracted with a third-party investment advisory firm to provide portfolio management and consulting services to assist our chief financial officer with the oversight of various portfolios and investment managers that manage portions of our investment portfolio. We utilize multiple investment managers to leverage specialized expertise in specific asset classes. Each investment manager operates under agreed-upon guidelines that are specifically designed for the investment manager’s segment of the overall portfolio. Our investment advisor meets periodically, but not less frequently than quarterly, with the investment committee of our Board of Directors to review portfolio results, portfolio managers and discuss portfolio strategies.

Our investment strategy is to diversify among asset classes and individual issuers to achieve appropriate matching of assets with insurance liabilities, sufficient liquidity and predictability of income. The composition of our investment portfolio supporting our Insurance Segment is primarily investment grade fixed income investments and is managed with primary emphasis on current earnings. The Closed Block assets are segregated in a separate portfolio and are managed in accordance with the Closed Block memorandum.

Enterprise Risk Management

The review and assessment of enterprise risks is the responsibility of the Vericity, Inc. executive management team with oversight provided by the Board of Directors through its audit committee. We have established risk management policies and procedures throughout our organization. To supervise the implementation of these risk management policies and procedures, we have engaged outside consultants on this topic and have established a risk management committee that consists of members of our senior management team.

In 2015, we launched a multi-phase risk assessment project focused on formalizing our enterprise risk management process covering Efinancial, Fidelity Life, their respective subsidiaries and operations and all corporate activities. Project goals include defining key risks and risk events, establishing corporate risk tolerances and documenting the accountability for the risk management processes. Work is in process to formalize and in some cases develop additional measurements related to enterprise level risks for management and board reporting. The risk assessment project will continue to evolve with the business over the near term and result in the development of more formalized enterprise risk management capabilities.

Employees

As of December 31, 2019, Fidelity Life had 127 employees and Efinancial had 312 employees. None of our employees are covered by a collective bargaining agreement. We believe that relations with our employees are good.

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Regulation

Our businesses are subject to a number of federal and state laws and regulations. These laws and regulations cover Fidelity Life operations as a life insurance company and Efinancial’s insurance agency operations. Our operations are subject to extensive laws and governmental regulations, including administrative determinations, court decisions and similar constraints. The purpose of the laws and regulations affecting our operations is primarily to protect our policyholders and not our shareholders. Many of the laws and regulations to which we are subject are regularly re-examined, and existing or future laws and regulations may become more restrictive or otherwise adversely affect our operations. State insurance laws regulate most aspects of our insurance businesses, and we are regulated by the insurance departments of the states in which we sell insurance policies. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (“NAIC”) assists the various state insurance regulators in the development, review and implementation of a wide range of financial and other regulations over the insurance industry.

Insurance Regulation

Both Fidelity Life and Efinancial are licensed to transact business in all states and jurisdictions in which they conduct an insurance business. Fidelity Life is an Illinois-domiciled life insurance company licensed to transact business in 48 states and the District of Columbia. Fidelity Life is not licensed to transact business in New York or Wyoming. Efinancial is an insurance agency domiciled in the State of Washington and is licensed in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. State insurance laws regulate many aspects of our business. Such regulation is vested primarily in state agencies having broad administrative and in some instances discretionary power dealing with many aspects of our business, which may include, among other things, required reserve liability levels, permitted classes of investments, transactions among affiliates, marketing practices, advertising, privacy, policy forms, reinsurance reserve requirements, acquisitions, mergers, and capital adequacy, and is concerned primarily with the protection of policyholders and other consumers rather than shareholders. We are subject to financial and market conduct examinations by insurance regulators from our domiciliary states and from other states in which we do business and are currently undergoing such a financial examination by the Illinois Department of Insurance.

State laws and regulations governing the financial condition of insurers apply to Fidelity Life, including standards of solvency, risk-based capital requirements, types, quality and concentration of investments, establishment and maintenance of reserves, required methods of accounting, reinsurance and minimum capital and surplus requirements, and the business conduct of insurers, including sales and marketing practices, claim procedures and practices, and policy form content. In addition, state insurance laws require licensing of insurers and their agents. State insurance regulators have the power to grant, suspend and revoke licenses to transact business and to impose substantial fines and other penalties.

Agent Licensing

Efinancial (or its designated representative) is authorized to act as an insurance producer under company licenses or licenses held by its officers in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. In each jurisdiction in which Efinancial transacts business, it is generally subject to regulation regarding licensing, sales and marketing practices, premium collection and safekeeping, and other market conduct practices. Its business depends on the validity of, and continued good standing under, the licenses and approvals pursuant to which it operates, as well as compliance with pertinent regulations. We devote significant effort toward maintaining licenses for Efinancial and managing its operations and practices consistent with the diverse and complex regulatory environment in which we operate.

Fidelity Life sells its insurance products through Efinancial and independent distributors. Efinancial employs insurance agents working in its call centers and also works with independent insurance agents. The states in which insurance agents operate require agents to obtain and maintain licenses to sell insurance products. In order to sell insurance products, the agents must be licensed by their resident state and by any other state in which they do business and must comply with regulations regarding licensing, sales and marketing practices, premium collection and safeguarding, and other market conduct practices. In addition, in most states, Fidelity Life must appoint the agents and agencies that sell our insurance products, and Efinancial and the agents that they work with must be appointed by all carriers for which they sell.

Consistent with various federal and state legal requirements, we monitor our agents that sell for Fidelity Life and Efinancial, and we monitor the agencies with which the independent distributors and independent agents work in order to understand and evaluate the agencies’ training and general supervision programs relevant to regulatory compliance. For Efinancial’s call center agents using telephone sales, we periodically record and monitor the sales calls in order to identify and correct potential regulatory compliance problems.

Financial Review

Fidelity Life is required to file detailed annual and quarterly financial reports with the insurance departments in the states in which we do business, and its business and accounts are subject to examination by such agencies at any time. These examinations

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generally are conducted under NAIC guidelines. Under the rules of these jurisdictions, insurance companies are examined periodically (generally every three to five years) by one or more of the supervisory agencies on behalf of the states in which they do business.

Market Conduct Regulation

The laws and regulations governing our insurance businesses include numerous provisions governing the marketplace activities of insurers, such as Fidelity Life, and agencies, such as Efinancial, including regulations governing the form and content of disclosures to consumers, advertising, product replacement, sales and underwriting practices, complaint handling, and claims handling. State insurance regulators enforce compliance, in part, through periodic market conduct examinations.

Insurance Holding Company Regulation

All states in which Fidelity Life conducts insurance business have enacted legislation that requires each insurance company in a holding company system to register with the insurance regulatory authority of its state of domicile and to furnish that regulatory authority financial and other information concerning the operations of, and the interrelationships and transactions among, companies within its holding company system that may materially affect the operations, management or financial condition of the insurers within the system. These laws and regulations also regulate transactions between insurance companies and their parents and affiliates. Generally, these laws and regulations require that all transactions within a holding company system between an insurer and its affiliates be fair and reasonable and that the insurer’s statutory surplus following any transaction with an affiliate be both reasonable in relation to its outstanding liabilities and adequate to its financial needs. Statutory surplus is the excess of admitted assets over statutory liabilities. For certain types of agreements and transactions between an insurer and its affiliates, these laws and regulations require prior notification to, and non-disapproval or approval by, the insurance regulatory authority of the insurer’s state of domicile. These laws and regulations also require the holding company system to file an annual report identifying certain risks (“enterprise risks”) that, if not remedied, are likely to have a material adverse effect upon the financial condition of the insurer or its holding company system as a whole.

Dividend Limitations

As a holding company with no significant business operations of its own, Vericity, Inc. depends on intercompany dividends or other distributions from its subsidiaries as the principal source of cash to meet its obligations. The ability of Fidelity Life to pay dividends to its corporate parent is limited under Illinois law. Such dividends may only be paid out of earned surplus (excluding unrealized capital gains), and no dividend may be paid that would reduce Fidelity Life’s statutory surplus to less than the amount required to be maintained by Illinois law for the types of business transacted by Fidelity Life. All intercompany dividends must be reported to the Illinois Department of Insurance prior to payment. In addition, Fidelity Life may not pay an “extraordinary” dividend or distribution until 30 days after the Illinois Director of Insurance (“the Director”) has received sufficient notice of the intended payment and has not objected or has approved the payment within the 30-day period. An “extraordinary” dividend or distribution is defined under Illinois law as a dividend or distribution that, together with other dividends and distributions made within the preceding 12 months, exceeds the greater of:

 

10% of the insurer’s statutory surplus as of the immediately prior year end; or

 

the statutory basis net income of the insurer for the prior year.

As a result of the payment of dividends in the amount of $5.0 million in the last twelve months, Fidelity Life’s remaining ordinary dividend capacity as of December 31, 2019 was $6.5 million. In connection with the approval of the Conversion by the Director, we agreed, for a period of ‎twenty-four months following the completion of the Conversion, to (i) seek the prior approval of the Illinois ‎Department of Insurance for any declaration of an ordinary dividend by Fidelity Life, and (ii) either maintain $20 ‎million of the proceeds of the offering at Vericity, Inc. or use all or a portion of that $20 million to fund our operations.‎

Efinancial is not subject to the above dividend restrictions that relate to Fidelity Life.

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Change of Control

Illinois law requires advance approval by the Director of any direct or indirect change of control of an Illinois-domiciled insurer, such as Fidelity Life. In considering an application to acquire control of an insurer, the Director generally will consider such factors as experience, competence, and the financial strength of the applicant, the integrity of the applicant’s Board of Directors and officers, the acquirer’s plans for the management and operation of the insurer, and any anti-competitive effects that may result from the acquisition. Under Illinois law, there exists a presumption of “control” when an acquiring party acquires 10% or more of the voting securities of an insurance company or of a company which itself controls an insurance company. Therefore, any person acquiring, directly or indirectly, 10% or more of our common stock would need the prior approval of the Director, or a determination from the Director that “control” has not been acquired. Under Section 59.1(6)(i) of the Illinois Insurance Code, no person or a group of persons acting in concert (other than the Standby Purchaser in the Company’s IPO), may acquire, directly or indirectly, more than 5% of the capital stock of Vericity, Inc. for a period of five years from the effective date of the Conversion without the approval of the Director.

In addition, a person seeking to acquire, directly or indirectly, control of an insurance company is required in some states to make filings prior to completing an acquisition if the acquirer and the target insurance company and their affiliates have sufficiently large market shares in particular lines of insurance in those states. Approval of an acquisition may not be required in these states, but the state insurance departments could take action to impose conditions on an acquisition that could delay or prevent its consummation.

Policy and Contract Reserve Sufficiency

Fidelity Life is required under Illinois law to conduct annual analyses of the sufficiency of its life insurance and annuity statutory reserves. In addition, other states in which Fidelity Life is licensed may have certain reserve requirements that differ from those of Illinois. In each case, a qualified actuary must submit an opinion each year that states that the aggregate statutory reserves, when considered in light of the assets held with respect to such reserves, make good and sufficient provision for the associated contractual obligations and related expenses of the insurer. If such an opinion cannot be provided, the affected insurer must set up additional reserves by moving funds from surplus. Fidelity Life submitted these opinions without qualification as of December 31, 2019 to applicable insurance regulatory authorities.

Risk-Based Capital (RBC) Requirements

The NAIC has established a standard for assessing the solvency of insurance companies using a formula for determining each insurer’s RBC. The RBC model act provides that life insurance companies must submit an annual RBC report to state regulators reporting their RBC based upon four categories of risk: asset risk, insurance risk, interest rate risk and business risk. For each category, the capital requirement is determined by applying factors to various asset, premium and reserve items, with the factor being higher for those items with greater underlying risk and lower for less risky items. The formula is intended to be used by insurance regulators as an early warning tool to identify possible weakly capitalized companies for purposes of initiating further regulatory action. Companies that do not maintain total adjusted risk-based capital in excess of 200% of the company’s authorized control level RBC may be required to take specific actions at the direction of state insurance regulators. Fidelity Life’s total adjusted capital at December 31, 2019 was well in excess of 200% of its authorized control level. See “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operation—Risk-Based Capital.”

NAIC Ratios

The NAIC is a voluntary association of state insurance commissioners formed to discuss issues and formulate policy with respect to regulation, reporting and accounting of insurance companies. Although the NAIC has no legislative authority and insurance companies are at all times subject to the laws of their respective domiciliary states, and to a lesser extent, other states in which they conduct business, the NAIC is influential in determining the form in which such laws are enacted. Model insurance laws, regulations and guidelines have been promulgated by the NAIC as minimum standards by which state regulatory systems and regulations are measured.

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The NAIC also has established a set of 12 financial ratios to assess the financial strength of insurance companies. The key financial ratios of the NAIC’s Insurance Regulatory Information System, or IRIS, which were developed to assist insurance departments in overseeing the financial condition of insurance companies, are reviewed by experienced financial examiners of the NAIC and state insurance departments to select those companies that merit highest priority in the allocation of the regulators’ resources. IRIS identifies these key financial ratios and specifies a range of “unusual values” for each ratio. The NAIC suggests that insurance companies that fall outside the “usual” range in four or more financial ratios are those most likely to require analysis by state regulators. However, according to the NAIC, it may not be unusual for a financially sound company to have several ratios outside the “usual” range. For the year ended December 31, 2019, Fidelity Life was within the “usual” range for all ratios.

Statutory Accounting Principles (SAP)

SAP is a basis of accounting developed by U.S. insurance regulators to monitor and regulate the solvency of insurance companies. In developing SAP, insurance regulators were primarily concerned with evaluating an insurer’s ability to pay all its current and future obligations to policyholders. As a result, statutory accounting focuses on conservatively valuing the assets and liabilities of insurers, generally in accordance with standards specified by the insurer’s domiciliary jurisdiction. Uniform statutory accounting practices are established by the NAIC and generally adopted by regulators in the various U.S. jurisdictions. These accounting principles differ somewhat from GAAP, which are designed to measure a business on a going-concern basis. GAAP gives consideration to matching of revenue and expenses and, as a result, certain insurer expenses are capitalized when incurred and then amortized over the life of the associated policies. The valuation of assets and liabilities under GAAP is based in part upon best estimate assumptions made by the insurer. Shareholders’ equity under GAAP represents both amounts currently available and amounts expected to emerge over the life of the business. As a result, the values for assets, liabilities and equity reflected in financial statements prepared in accordance with GAAP may be different from those reflected in financial statements prepared under SAP.

State insurance laws and regulations require Fidelity Life to file with state insurance departments publicly-available quarterly and annual financial statements, prepared in accordance with statutory guidelines that generally follow NAIC uniform standards. State insurance laws require that the annual statutory financial statements be audited by an independent public accountant and that the audited statements be filed with the insurance departments in states where the insurer transacts business.

State Insurance Guaranty Funds Laws

In most states, there is a requirement that life insurers doing business within the state participate in a guaranty association, which is organized to pay contractual benefits owed pursuant to insurance policies issued by impaired, insolvent or failed insurers. These associations levy assessments, up to prescribed limits, on all member insurers in a particular state on the basis of the proportionate share of the written premium in the state by member insurers in the lines of business in which the impaired, insolvent or failed insurer is engaged. Some states permit member insurers to recover such paid assessments through full or partial premium tax offsets.

Life insurance company insolvencies or failures may result in additional guaranty association assessments against Fidelity Life in the future. At this time, we are not aware of any material liabilities for guaranty fund assessments that apply to Fidelity Life with respect to impaired or insolvent insurers that are currently subject to insolvency proceedings.

Regulation of Investments

Fidelity Life is subject to state laws and regulations that require diversification of its investment portfolios and limit the amount of investments in certain asset categories, such as below-investment grade fixed-income securities, equity real estate, mortgages, other equity investments, foreign investments and derivatives. Failure to comply with these laws and regulations would cause investments exceeding regulatory limitations to be treated as non-admitted assets for purposes of measuring statutory surplus, and, in most instances, require divestiture.

Federal and State Legislative and Regulatory Changes

From time to time, various regulatory and legislative changes have been proposed for the insurance industry. Among the proposals that have in the past been or are at present being considered are the possible introduction of federal regulation in addition to, or in lieu of, the current system of state regulation of insurers and proposals in various state legislatures (some of which proposals have been enacted) to conform portions of their insurance laws and regulations to various model acts adopted by the NAIC. We are unable to predict whether any of these proposed laws and regulations will be adopted, the form in which any such laws and regulations would be adopted or the effect, if any, these developments would have on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

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Other Laws and Regulations

USA Patriot Act and Similar Regulations

The USA Patriot Act of 2001, enacted in response to the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, contains anti-money laundering and financial transparency laws and mandates the implementation of various regulations applicable to broker-dealers and other financial services companies, including insurance companies. The Patriot Act seeks to promote cooperation among financial institutions, regulators and law enforcement entities in identifying parties that may be involved in terrorism or money laundering. The increased obligations of financial institutions to identify their customers, watch for and report suspicious transactions, respond to requests for information by regulatory authorities and law enforcement agencies, and share information with other financial institutions, require the implementation and maintenance of internal practices, procedures and controls.

Privacy of Consumer Information

U.S. federal and state laws and regulations require financial institutions, including insurance companies, to protect the security and confidentiality of consumer financial information and to notify consumers about their policies and practices relating to their collection and disclosure of consumer information and their policies relating to protecting the security and confidentiality of that information. Similarly, federal and state laws and regulations also govern the disclosure and security of consumer health information. In particular, regulations promulgated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services regulate the disclosure and use of protected health information by health insurers and others (including life insurers), the physical and procedural safeguards employed to protect the security of that information and the electronic transmission of such information.

Telephone and Email Solicitation Sales Regulations

The United States Congress, the Federal Communications Commission and various states have promulgated and enacted rules and laws that govern personal privacy, telephone and email solicitations and data privacy. There are numerous state statutes and regulations governing phone and email solicitation activities that apply or may apply to us. For example, some states place restrictions on the methods and timing of telephone solicitation calls and require that certain mandatory disclosures be made during the course of a call. We specifically train our retail call center sales agents to handle calls in an approved manner, and such compliance training is costly and time consuming. Federal and state “Do Not Call” regulations must be followed for us to engage in telephone sales activities. We specifically train our agents and phone representatives to handle calls in an approved manner. In addition, the Federal Trade Commission has promulgated rules in response to the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 that regulates the use of electronic mail in commercial contexts. This regulation applies to all electronic mail for which the primary purpose is the commercial advertisement or promotion of a commercial product or service.

Federal Income Taxation

The U.S. Congress and state and local governments consider from time to time legislation that could increase or change the manner of taxing the products Fidelity Life sells and of calculating the amount of taxes paid by life insurance companies or other corporations, including Fidelity Life. To the extent that any such legislation is enacted in the future, we could be adversely affected.

Item 1A. Risk Factors.

The recent outbreak of the novel coronavirus in many countries continues to adversely impact global commercial activity and has contributed to significant volatility in financial markets. The global and local impact of the outbreak and governmental response has been rapidly evolving. There may be disruption in global and local supply chains, and there could be a continued adverse impact on economic and market conditions. The impact to both employees and customers of the Company from the novel coronavirus presents material uncertainty and risk with respect to the Company’s performance and financial results. In addition to the factors described above, other factors described herein that may affect market, economic and geopolitical conditions, and thereby adversely affect our business include, without limitation, economic slowdown in the U.S., changes in interest rates and/or a lack of availability of credit in the U.S., commodity price volatility, changes in laws and/or regulations, and related uncertainty regarding government and regulatory policy.

Item 1B. Unresolved Staff Comments.

None

Item 2. Properties.

We operate from three locations that are leased from unaffiliated parties. Vericity, Inc. and Fidelity Life are headquartered in Chicago, Illinois at 8700 W. Bryn Mawr Avenue, Suite 900S. Efinancial is headquartered in Bellevue, Washington at 13810 Southeast

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Eastgate Way, Suite 300. Efinancial has a call center in Chicago, Bellevue and Tempe. In total, the three locations can house in excess of 500 employees.

 

Item 3. Legal Proceedings.

We are, from time to time, involved in various legal proceedings in the ordinary course of business. While it is not possible to forecast the outcome of such legal proceedings, in light of existing insurance, reinsurance, and established reserves, we believe that there is no individual case pending that is likely to have a material adverse effect on our financial condition or results of operations.

Item 4. Mine Safety Disclosures.

Non-Applicable

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PART II

Item 5. Market for Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Shareholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities.

 

Our common stock is listed on the NASDAQ Capital Market under the symbol “VERY.”

On November 6, 2019, the Company announced that its Board of Directors had declared a special one-time cash ‎distribution of $6.25 per share to common shareholders of record on November 21, 2019, that was paid on December 6, ‎‎2019. The cash distribution totaled approximately $93 million. The cash distribution was declared after the completion of a capital needs assessment undertaken by Vericity, Inc. ‎management at the direction of the Board of Directors, following the closing of the Company’s IPO.‎

Since we are a holding company, our ability to pay cash dividends depends in large measure on our subsidiaries' ability to make distributions of cash or property to us. Illinois insurance laws restrict the amount of distributions Fidelity Life can pay to us without the approval of the Director. See Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations and Note 18 to our audited consolidated financial statements, which are incorporated by reference in this Item 5. In connection with the approval of the Conversion by the Director, we agreed, for a period of ‎twenty-four months following the completion of the Conversion, to (i) seek the prior approval of the Illinois ‎Department of Insurance for any declaration of an ordinary dividend by Fidelity Life, and (ii) either maintain $20 ‎million of the proceeds of the IPO at Vericity, Inc. or use all or a portion of that $20 million to fund our operations.‎

As of March 27, 2020, the Company had 1,033 shareholders of record of common stock.

 

Use of IPO Proceeds

The Company completed its IPO on August 7, 2019, pursuant to a Form S-1 declared effective by the U.S Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on June 20, 2019 (File No. 333-231952). Below are further details of the use of the IPO proceeds: Vericity, Inc. registered the sale of a maximum of 20,125,000 shares, of which 14,875,000 were sold in the IPO. Raymond James served as managing underwriter in the IPO.

 

The amount registered and the aggregate price of the offering amount was 20,125,000 and $201,250,000, respectively, and the amount sold and the aggregate price of the offering amount was 14,875,000 and $148,750,000, respectively.

 

The common stock was registered pursuant to the Form S-1 described above.

 

The total offering expenses incurred in connection with the IPO were $15.9 million, including $4.0 million paid to the underwriters. Offering expenses of $11.9 million were comprised of $5.9 million in legal fees and expenses, $2.6 million of actuarial fees and expenses, $1.8 million of printing and mailing, and $1.6 million of accounting fees and expenses.

 

On November 6, 2019, the Company announced that its Board of Directors had declared a special one-time cash ‎distribution of $6.25 per share to common shareholders of record on November 21, 2019, paid on December 6, ‎‎2019. Based on the number of shares outstanding, the cash distribution was $93 million. The cash distribution was declared after the completion of a capital needs assessment undertaken by Vericity, Inc. ‎management at the direction of the Board of Directors following the closing of the Company’s IPO.‎

 

The net offering proceeds to Vericity, Inc. after deducting total offering expenses and the special one-time distribution are $39.8 million. 

 

Vericity, Inc. expects that any unallocated net proceeds from the offering will be used for general corporate purposes, including paying holding company expenses. 

 

Additionally, pursuant to an agreement with the Illinois Department of Insurance, at least $20 million of the proceeds of the offering will be used to fund the operations of Vericity, Inc.’s various subsidiaries. 

Item 6. Selected Financial Data.

 

As a smaller reporting company, as defined by Rule 12b-2 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, and Item 10(f)(1) of Regulation S-K, the Company has elected to comply with certain scaled disclosure reporting obligations, and therefore is not required to provide the information required by Item 301 of Regulation S-K.

 

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Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations.

Forward-Looking Statements

This Form 10-K contains “forward-looking” statements that are intended to enhance the reader’s ability to assess our future financial and business performance. Forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements that represent our beliefs concerning future operations, strategies, financial results or other developments, and contain words and phrases such as “may,” “expects,” “should,” “believes,” “anticipates,” “estimates,” “intends” or similar expressions. In addition, statements that refer to our future financial performance, anticipated growth and trends in our business and in our industry and other characterizations of future events or circumstances are forward-looking statements. Because these forward-looking statements are based on estimates and assumptions that are subject to significant business, economic and competitive uncertainties, many of which are beyond our control or are subject to change, actual results could be materially different.

Consequently, such forward-looking statements should be regarded solely as our current plans, estimates and beliefs with respect to, among other things, future events and financial performance. Except as required under the federal securities laws, we do not intend, and do not undertake, any obligation to update any forward-looking statements to reflect future events or circumstances after the date of such statements.

The forward-looking statements include, among other things, those items listed below:

 

future economic conditions in the markets in which we compete that could be less favorable than expected and could have impacts on demand for our products and services;

 

our ability to grow and develop our Agency business through expansion of retail call centers, online sales, wholesale operations and other areas of opportunity;

 

our ability to grow and develop our insurance business and successfully develop and market new products;

 

our ability to enter new markets successfully and capitalize on growth opportunities either through acquisitions or organically;

 

financial market conditions, including, but not limited to, changes in interest rates and the level and trends of stock market prices causing a reduction of net investment income or realized losses and reduction in the value of our investment portfolios;

 

increased competition in our businesses, including the potential impacts of aggressive price competition by other insurance companies, payment of higher commissions to agents that could affect demand for our insurance products and impact the ability to grow and retain agents in our Agency Segment and the entry of new competitors and the development of new products by new or existing competitors, resulting in a reduction in the demand for our products and services;

 

the effect of legislative, judicial, economic, demographic and regulatory events in the jurisdictions where we do business;

 

the effect of challenges to our patents and other intellectual property;

 

costs, availability and collectability of reinsurance;

 

the potential impact on our reported net income that could result from the adoption of future accounting standards issued by the Financial Accounting Standards Board or other standard-setting bodies;

 

the inability to maintain or grow our strategic partnerships or our inability to realize the expected benefits from our relationship with the Standby Purchaser;

 

the inability to manage future growth and integration of our operations; and

 

changes in industry trends and financial strength ratings assigned by nationally recognized statistical rating organizations.

The following discussion and analysis of our financial condition and results of operations should be read in conjunction with the financial statements and accompanying notes included in Item 8 of this Form 10-K. Some of the information contained in this discussion and analysis and set forth elsewhere in this Form 10-K constitutes forward looking information that involves risks and uncertainties. You should review “Forward Looking Statements” for a discussion of important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from the results described, or implied by, the forward-looking statements contained herein.

Overview

We provide life insurance protection targeted to the middle American market. We believe there is a substantial unmet need for life insurance, particularly among domestic households with annual incomes of between $50,000 and $125,000, a market we refer to

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as our target Middle Market. We differentiate our product and service offerings through innovative product design and sales processes, with an emphasis on rapidly issued products that are not medically underwritten at the time of sale.

We conduct our business through our two operating subsidiaries, Fidelity Life, an Illinois-domiciled life insurance company, and Efinancial, a call center-based insurance agency. Efinancial sells Fidelity Life products through its own call center distribution platform, independent agents and other marketing organizations. Efinancial, in addition to offering Fidelity Life products, sells insurance products of unaffiliated carriers. We report our operating results in three segments: Agency, Insurance and Corporate.

Agency Segment

This segment primarily consists of the operations of Efinancial. Efinancial is a call center-based insurance agency that markets life insurance for Fidelity Life and unaffiliated insurance companies. Efinancial’s primary operations are conducted through employee agents from three call center locations, which we refer to as our retail channel. In addition, Efinancial operates as a wholesale agency, assisting independent agents that desire to work for the carriers that Efinancial represents, which we refer to as our wholesale channel. Efinancial also generates insurance lead sales revenue through its eCoverage web presence. For the years ended December 31, 2019 and December 31, 2018, our Agency Segment revenue earned 78% and 81% through the retail channel, 8% and 3% through the wholesale channel, and 14% and 15% through insurance lead sales revenue, respectively.

The Agency Segment’s main source of revenue is commissions earned on the sale of insurance policies sold through our retail channel. Efinancial’s employee agents utilize insurance sales leads to contact or be contacted by potential customers and then work with the customers to complete the sales process, which can occur during the initial contact or within 24 to 48 hours for non-medically underwritten policies. In our wholesale channel, we subcontract with our independent agents who sell through Efinancial’s contracts with its unaffiliated insurance carriers. In consideration for using our carrier contracts and services, we receive a portion of the commission earned by the independent agent from the carrier.

Agency Segment expenses consist of marketing costs to acquire potential customers, salary and bonuses paid to our employee agents, salary and other costs of employees involved in managing the underwriting process for our insurance applications, sales management, agent licensing, training and compliance costs. Other Agency Segment expenses include costs associated with financial and administrative employees, facilities rent, and information technology. After payroll, the most significant Agency Segment expense is the cost of acquiring leads. We are able to partially offset our sales leads expense through advertising revenues from individuals who click on specific advertisements while viewing one of our web pages, and through the resale of leads that are not well suited for our call center. For years ended December 31, 2019 and December 31, 2018, these offsetting revenues were $6.3 million and $7.6 million, respectively, which reduced our total agency expenses by approximately 11% and 13%, respectively. Our Agency Segment recognizes income (loss) to the extent that commissions and other revenue exceed (are less than) our marketing and overhead costs for the period.

Insurance Segment

This segment consists of the operations of Fidelity Life. Fidelity Life underwrites primarily term life insurance through Efinancial and a diverse group of independent insurance distributors. Fidelity Life specializes in life insurance products that can be issued immediately or within a short period following a sales call, using non-medical underwriting at the time of policy issuance.

Fidelity Life engages in the following business lines:

Core Life - Our Core Life insurance business is the primary business of the Insurance Segment. Core Life represents a significant portion of the insurance business written by Fidelity Life since it resumed independent operations in 2005. Our Core Life business consists of in­force policies that are considered to be of high strategic importance to Fidelity Life.

Non­Core Life - Our Non­Core Life business consists of: products that are currently being marketed but are not deemed to be of high strategic importance to the Company; in­force policies from product lines introduced since Fidelity Life resumed independent operations in 2005, but were subsequently discontinued; and an older annuity block of business that was not included in the Closed Block.

Closed Block - Our Closed Block represents all in­force participating insurance policies of Fidelity Life. The Closed Block was established in connection with our 2007 reorganization into a mutual holding company structure and represents all in-force participating insurance policies of Fidelity Life. Annuities and assumed life represents (i) our assumed life business, which consists of policies primarily written in the 1980s and early 1990s; (ii) our direct annuity contracts, which consist of approximately 77 structured settlement contracts that remain from a group of contracts entered into in the late 1980s; and (iii) our assumed annuities, which consist of contract-holder deposits assumed from a former affiliate under two coinsurance treaties entered into in 1991 and 1992. The 2019 demutualization of Members Mutual Holding Company had no impact on how the Closed Block is structured.   

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We have not accepted new policies in these legacy lines since 2006 or prior, and these lines are considered to be in “run-off” with a declining number of policies in force each period. We recognize income on the Closed Block and annuities and assumed life to the extent that premium revenues and net investment income exceed the benefit expenses and operating expenses (including paid and accrued policyholder dividends) of these lines of business. On the two annuity lines, we recognize income (loss) to the extent that our net investment income earned exceeds (are less than) benefit expenses (direct annuities) and amounts credited on policy deposits (assumed annuities) and operating expenses of the two lines.

Annuities and Assumed Life - We have assumed reinsurance commitments with respect to annuity contract-holder deposits and a block of life insurance contracts that were ceded by former affiliates of Fidelity Life. On March 29, 2019, one of these former affiliates recaptured the majority of the assumed block of life business. The annuity deposits were ceded to Fidelity Life through two contracts entered into in the early 1990s. These annuity and assumed life deposits are now largely in run­off, with only minor amounts of new deposits each year. There are minimal remaining surrender charges associated with the assumed annuity contracts.

Our Insurance Segment revenues consist of net insurance premiums, net investment income, and net realized gains (losses) on investments. Our distributors consist of Efinancial and the independent insurance agencies that we contract with to sell our insurance products to the customers (policyholders) who buy our insurance policies. We recognize premium revenue from our policyholders. We purchase reinsurance coverage to help manage the risk on our insurance policies by paying, or ceding, a portion of the policyholder premiums to the reinsurance companies. Our net insurance premiums reflect amounts collected from policyholders, plus premiums assumed under reinsurance agreements less premiums ceded to reinsurance companies. Net investment income represents primarily interest income earned on fixed maturity security investments that we purchase with cash flows from our premium revenues. We also realize gains and losses on sales of investment securities. These investments support our liability for policy reserves and provide the capital required to operate our insurance business. Capital requirements are primarily established by regulatory authorities. See “Note 2—Investments” and “Business—Risk-Based Capital (RBC) Requirements.”

Insurance Segment expenses consist of benefits paid to policyholders or their beneficiaries under life insurance policies. Benefit expenses also include additions to the reserve for future policyholder benefits to recognize our estimated future obligations under the policies. Benefit expenses are shown net of amounts ceded under our reinsurance contracts. Our Insurance Segment also incurs policy acquisition costs that consist of commissions paid to agents, policy underwriting and issue costs and variable sales costs. A portion of these policy acquisition costs are deferred and expensed over the life of the insurance policies acquired during the period. In addition to policy acquisition costs, we incur expenses that vary based on the number of contracts that we have in-force, or variable policy administrative costs. These variable costs consist of expenses paid to third-party administrators based on rates for each policy administered. As the number of in-force policies increases, these expenses will increase. Conversely, when the number of in-force policies declines, variable policy expenses decline. Our insurance operations also incur overhead costs for functional and administrative staff to support insurance operations, financial reporting and information technology. We recognize income (loss) on insurance operations to the extent that premium revenues, net investment income and realized gains (losses) exceed (are less than) benefit expenses and general operating expenses for the period.

Corporate Segment

The results of this segment consist of net investment income and net realized investment gains (losses) earned on invested assets. We also include certain corporate expenses that are not allocated to our other segments, including expenses of Vericity, Inc., board expenses, allocation of executive management time spent on corporate matters, and financial reporting and auditing costs related to our consolidation and internal controls. Our Corporate Segment recognizes income (loss) to the extent that net investment income and net realized investment gains (losses) exceed (are less than) corporate expenses.

Factors Affecting Our Results

Strategic Goals and Financial Impact of Sales of Policies Produced by Efinancial

Using Efinancial, our controlled distribution platform, we have full vertical integration for the sale and issuance of life insurance policies and are able to gather end-to-end consumer data, extending from tracking data to analyzing the characteristics of leads that generate successful marketing efforts to the associated underwriting and claims experience. Since we acquired Efinancial in 2009, we have made significant investments in the development of our controlled distribution strategy for reaching our target market. By converting data we generate through our distribution platform into actionable insight using statistical analysis, we will seek to be more efficient in our acquisition and use of leads, improve our call center placement ratios and strive to achieve overall profitability. However, the investments made in pursuit of this strategy, among other factors, have adversely affected our historical results of operations.

Efinancial produced 86.8% and 93.6% of the direct policies written by Fidelity Life for the years ended December 31, 2019 and December 31, 2018, respectively. We plan to increase the number of policies sold through Efinancial as we pursue our strategic plan

23


to further develop our controlled distribution platform and grow our book of business. However, sales of insurance policies through Efinancial immediately result in significantly higher consolidated expense recognition and lower consolidated net income in comparison to Fidelity Life policies distributed through an unaffiliated entity. GAAP requires that we immediately expense that portion of our policy acquisition costs for policies placed through Efinancial that cannot be directly tied to the placement of a policy. As a result of this immediate expense recognition of the majority of policy acquisition costs of our sales through Efinancial, we incur a net loss in the first year on each policy sold through Efinancial. To the extent we are successful in increasing our premium writings through Efinancial over each of the next several years or more, we expect that the impact of recognizing a majority of Efinancial commissions as a current expense will, among other factors, continue to adversely affect our results of operations and contribute to our continuing to incur consolidated net losses and a reduction to our consolidated equity in each such year as we seek to implement our distribution strategy. Over the long term and assuming that our products perform consistent with our assumptions, once we have developed a sustainable book of business and our expected growth through Efinancial has leveled, we expect that revenues from policy renewals may begin to offset the immediate expense recognition resulting from writing new policies through Efinancial. See “Critical Accounting Policies—Deferred Policy Acquisition Costs (DAC)” and “Results of Operations—Analysis of Segment Results—Corporate Segment—Intercompany Eliminations.”

Accuracy of Our Pricing Assumptions

In order for our insurance operations to be profitable, we must achieve product experience consistent with our pricing assumptions. We price our products using a number of assumptions that are designed to support the desired level of profitability. Our operating results will be affected by variances between our pricing assumptions and our actual experience. The key pricing assumptions made are:

 

Investment Returns. We earn income on the investments held to support reserves and capital requirements. The amount of net investment income that we recognize will vary depending on the amount of invested assets that we own, the types of investments we own, the interest rates earned and amount of dividends received on our investments. If the actual amount of net investment income earned is less than projected, our products may not generate the desired level of profitability.

 

Persistency Experience. Many of the non-medically underwritten products that we issue have a limited amount of insurance industry information to use in developing policy lapse rates. We are developing our own historical experience as to expected lapse rates for these products and reflect our emerging experience in our pricing. If actual policy lapse rates exceed the lapse rates assumed in pricing our products, we may receive lower premium revenues and may not receive enough premium to cover all of our acquisition costs for the policy.

 

Mortality Experience. We use our historical experience combined with experience projections from our reinsurance partners to develop our assumptions for the level, frequency and pattern of future claims experience. In our Insurance Segment, we principally issue non-medically underwritten products through underwriting processes that generally have limited recent company and industry experience; therefore, their performance may be less reliable and subject to greater variance than products underwritten through processes with more established industry experience.

 

Operating Expenses. Our level of operating expenses affects our reported net income (loss). Our general operating expenses include expenses that vary based on the growth in our revenues and expenses that are fixed regardless of revenue growth. As discussed above, we have experienced operating losses principally because our operating expenses and corporate overhead exceed our revenues, and our inability to defer a majority of our commission expense on policies produced by our affiliated agency, Efinancial.

Efinancial Commission Financing

Beginning in the fourth quarter of 2017, Fidelity Life changed the commission structure related to Efinancial’s sale of the RAPIDecision® Life to pay annual level commissions over the life of the product instead of heaped, or first-year-only commissions. This change reduced Fidelity Life’s surplus strain associated with issuing RAPIDecision® Life business by spreading its statutory commission expenses over the life of the policy instead of incurring it all in the policy year of issue. In order to help provide liquidity for Efinancial through the receipt of larger first-year-only commissions, Fidelity Life and Efinancial entered into a financing arrangement with Hannover Life under which, on a monthly basis, Hannover Life advances to Efinancial amounts approximately equal to the first-year-only commissions on Fidelity Life RAPIDecision® Life business sold through Efinancial. In exchange, Efinancial assigns to Hannover Life its right to all future levelized commission payments on that business due from Fidelity Life, and Fidelity Life pays to Hannover Life the level commissions over the life of the contract. Our arrangement with Hannover Life allows us to finance up to $27.5 million of commission expense. Efinancial’s ability to receive advances under this arrangement will terminate when the aggregate amount advanced under the arrangement equals or exceeds $27.5 million. As of December 31, 2019, we had net advances of $19.1 million under this arrangement.

24


Recapture of Assumed Life Business

Under an agreement with Protective Life Insurance Company (Protective Life), the successor to a former affiliate of Fidelity Life, Fidelity Life had assumed a portion of risk on a group of life insurance contracts primarily written in the 1980s and early 1990s. On March 29, 2019, Protective Life and Fidelity Life agreed that Protective Life would recapture the majority of this assumed life block of business, thereby relieving Fidelity Life from further liability under the recaptured business (except for obligations incurred prior to the recapture effective date). Under the recapture agreement, Fidelity Life paid Protective Life an amount equal to the assumed carried reserves, and in turn, Fidelity Life will receive payment from its reinsurers of this business for their portion of the related ceded reserves. We recognized a $2.2 million gain from this transaction in 2019.

Critical Accounting Policies

Our critical accounting policies are described in Note 1—Basis of Presentation and Summary of Significant Accounting Policies to our consolidated financial statements included elsewhere in this Form 10-K. The accounting policies discussed in this section are those that we consider to be the most critical to an understanding of our consolidated financial statements. The preparation of the consolidated financial statements in conformity with GAAP requires management to use judgment in making estimates and assumptions that affect reported amounts of assets, liabilities, revenues, expenses and related disclosures. We regularly evaluate our estimates and judgments based on historical experience, market indicators and other relevant factors and circumstances. Actual results may differ from these estimates under different assumptions or conditions and may affect our financial position and results of operations.

Valuation of Fixed Maturity Securities and Equity Securities

Our fixed maturity securities are classified as “available-for-sale” securities, which are carried at fair value on the balance sheet. Fair value represents the price that would be received to sell an asset in an orderly transaction between market participants on the measurement date. For investments that are not actively traded, the determination of fair value requires us to make a significant number of assumptions and judgments. Fair value determinations include consideration of both observable and unobservable inputs. Observable inputs reflect market data obtained from independent sources, while unobservable inputs reflect our view of market assumptions in the absence of observable market information. Security pricing is applied using a hierarchy approach.

Level 1—Unadjusted quoted prices for identical assets in active markets the Company can access.

Level 2—This level includes fixed maturity securities priced principally by independent pricing services using observable inputs other than Level 1 prices, such as quoted prices for similar instruments in active markets; quoted prices for identical or similar instruments in inactive markets; and model-derived valuations for which all significant inputs are observable market data. Level 2 instruments include most corporate debt securities and U.S. government and agency mortgage-backed securities that are valued by models using inputs that are derived principally from or corroborated by observable market data.

Level 3—Fair values are derived from valuation techniques in which one or more significant inputs are unobservable. Level 3 instruments include less liquid securities for which significant inputs are unobservable in the market, such as structured securities with complex features that require significant management assumptions or estimation in the fair value measurement. Level 3 hierarchy requires the use of observable market data when available.

At December 31, 2019 and December 31, 2018, the estimated fair value of our fixed maturities, short-term investments and equity securities by fair value hierarchy was as follows:

 

Fair Value of Investments as of December 31, 2019

(dollars in thousands)

 

Level 1

 

 

Level 2

 

 

Level 3

 

 

Total Fair

Value

 

$

36,858

 

 

$

311,836

 

 

$

1,215

 

 

$

349,909

 

 

11

%

 

 

89

%

 

 

0

%

 

 

100

%

 

Fair Value of Investments as of December 31, 2018

(dollars in thousands)

 

Level 1

 

 

Level 2

 

 

Level 3

 

 

Total Fair

Value

 

$

6,460

 

 

$

291,353

 

 

$

13,695

 

 

$

311,508

 

 

2

%

 

 

94

%

 

 

4

%

 

 

100

%

 

25


Level 1 securities include principally exchange traded funds that are valued based on quoted market prices for identical assets.

All of the fair values of our fixed maturity and equity securities within Level 2 are based on prices obtained from independent pricing services. All of our prices for each security are generally sourced from multiple pricing vendors, and a vendor hierarchy is maintained by asset type and region of the world, based on historical pricing experience and vendor expertise. We ultimately use the price from the pricing service highest in the vendor hierarchy based on the respective asset type and region. For fixed maturity securities that do not trade on a daily basis, the pricing services prepare estimates of fair value measurements using their pricing applications which incorporate a variety of inputs including, but not limited to, benchmark yields, reported trades, broker/dealer quotes, issuer spreads, and U.S. Treasury curves. Specifically, for asset-backed securities, key inputs include prepayment and default projections based on past performance of the underlying collateral and current market data. Securities with validated quotes from pricing services are reflected within Level 2 of the fair value hierarchy, as they generally are based on observable pricing for similar assets or other market significant observable inputs.

Level 3 fair value classification consists of investments in structured securities where the fair value of the security is determined by a pricing service using internal pricing models where one or more of the significant inputs is unobservable in the marketplace, or there is a single broker/dealer quote. The fair value of a broker-quoted asset is based solely on the receipt of an updated quote from a single market maker or a broker-dealer recognized as a market participant. The Company does not adjust broker quotes when used as the fair value measurement for an asset.

If we believe the pricing information received from third-party pricing services is not reflective of market activity or other inputs observable in the market, we may challenge the price through a formal process with the pricing service. Historically, we have not challenged or updated the prices provided by third-party pricing services. However, any such updates by a pricing service to be more consistent with the presented market observations, or any adjustments made by us to prices provided by third-party pricing services, would be reflected in the balance sheet for the current period.

When the inputs used to measure fair value fall within different levels of the hierarchy, the level within which the fair value measurement is categorized is based on the lowest level input that is significant to the fair value measurement in its entirety. Thus, a Level 3 fair value measurement may include inputs that are observable (Level 1 or Level 2) and unobservable (Level 3).

Other-Than-Temporary Impairments on Available-For-Sale Securities

Securities that are classified as available-for-sale are subject to market declines below amortized cost (a gross unrealized loss position). When a gross unrealized loss position occurs, the security is considered impaired. Quarterly or when necessary, we review each impaired security to identify whether the impairment may be other-than-temporary impairment (“OTTI”) and require the recognition of an impairment loss in the current period earnings. Indication of OTTI includes potential credit deterioration whether due to ratings downgrades, unexpected price variances, and/or other company or industry specific concerns. A number of factors are considered in determining whether or not a decline in a specific security is other-than-temporary, including our current intention or need to sell the security or an indication that a credit loss exists. An impairment loss will be recorded if our intention is to sell an impaired security or it is considered to be more likely than not that we will be required to sell the security.

Our review of our available-for-sale securities for impairment includes an analysis of impaired securities in terms of severity and/or age of the gross unrealized loss. Additionally, we consider a wide range of factors about the issuer of the security and use our best judgment in evaluating the cause of the decline in the estimated fair value of the security and in assessing the likelihood for near-term recovery. Inherent in our evaluation of the security are assumptions and estimates about the operations of the issuer and its future earnings potential that includes the evaluation of the financial condition and expected near-term and long-term prospects of the issuer, collateral position, the relevant industry conditions and trends, and whether expected cash flows will be sufficient to recover the entire amortized cost basis of the security.

The credit loss component of fixed maturity security impairment is calculated as the difference between amortized cost of the security and the present value of the expected cash flows of the security. The present value is determined using the best estimate of cash flows discounted at the effective rate implicit to the security at the date of purchase or prior impairment. The methodology and assumptions for estimating the cash flows vary depending on the type of security. For mortgage-backed and asset-backed securities, cash flow estimates, including prepayment assumptions, are based on data from widely accepted third-party sources or internal estimates. In addition to prepayment assumptions, cash flow estimates vary based on assumptions regarding the underlying collateral characteristics, expectations of delinquency and default rates, and structural support, including subordination and guarantees. If the present value of the modeled expected cash flows equals or exceeds the amortized cost of a security, no credit loss exists and the security is considered to be temporarily impaired. If the present value of the expected cash flows is less than amortized cost, the security is determined to be other-than-temporarily impaired for credit reasons and is recognized as an OTTI loss in earnings. The portion of the OTTI that is not considered a credit loss, is recognized as OTTI in accumulated comprehensive income.

26


There was OTTI on fixed maturity securities in the amount of $41 thousand and $0 for the years ended December 31, 2019 and December 31, 2018, respectively.

Mortgage Loans

Our mortgage loans are held on commercial real estate and are stated at the aggregate unpaid principal balances, net of any write-downs and valuation allowances. We identify loans for evaluation of impairment primarily based on the collection experience of each loan. Mortgage loans are considered impaired when, based on current information and events, it is probable that we will be unable to collect principal or interest amounts according to the contractual terms of the loan agreement. Impairment is measured on a loan by loan basis based on the present value of expected future cash flows discounted at the loan’s effective interest rate or the fair value of the collateral. Impairments are included in net realized investment gains (losses) in the Consolidated Statements of Operations.

Interest income from mortgage loans is recognized on an accrual basis using the effective yield method. Accrual of income is generally suspended for mortgage loans that are in default or when full and timely collection of principal and interest payments is not probable. Mortgage loans are considered past due when full principal or interest payments have not been received according to contractual terms.

At December 31, 2019 and December 31, 2018, there was a valuation allowance of $0.1 million and $0.2 million, respectively.

Deferred Policy Acquisition Costs (DAC)

For our Insurance Segment, the costs of acquiring new business are deferred to the extent that they are directly related to the successful acquisition of insurance contracts. Deferred acquisition costs include commissions paid in the first policy year that are in excess of the ultimate renewal commissions payable on the policy. For any of our policies for which we do not pay renewal commissions, the deferred acquisition costs (at the segment level) include all commissions paid in the first year. For policies for which we pay levelized commissions over the life of the policy, we expense the first-year commission and therefore do not defer any other commission expense. We also defer costs associated with policy underwriting and issuance related to the successful acquisition of insurance contracts. Non-deferred first year acquisition costs that are expensed as incurred include expenses that do not meet the definition of a deferrable cost, which includes the acquisition costs incurred on insurance applications that do not result in an in-force policy (unsuccessful efforts).

The amortization of DAC for traditional life insurance products is determined as a level proportion of premium based on actuarial methods and assumptions about mortality, morbidity, lapse rates, expenses, and future yield on related investments, established by us at the time the policy is issued. GAAP requires that assumptions for these types of products not be modified while the policy is outstanding. Amortization is adjusted each period to reflect policy lapse or termination rates compared to anticipated experience. Accordingly, acceleration of DAC amortization could occur if policies terminate earlier than originally assumed. We establish the assumptions used to determine DAC amortization based on estimates using Company experience and other relevant information that is used to price the products. We monitor our actual experience and will update the actuarial factors applied to future policy issues if warranted. The selection of actuarial assumptions requires considerable judgment and has inherent uncertainty. Should actual policy lapse experience be higher than that assumed during a reporting period, we will amortize our DAC balance faster and report lower net income.

We evaluate the recoverability of our DAC asset as part of our premium deficiency testing. If a premium deficiency exists, we reduce DAC by the amount of the deficiency through a charge to current period earnings (loss). If the deficiency is more than the recognized DAC balance, we reduce the DAC balance to zero and increase the reserve for future policy benefits by the excess with a corresponding charge to current period earnings (loss). See “Future Policy Benefit Reserves” below for more information on premium deficiency testing.

Our consolidated DAC will be lower relative to other insurance companies that utilize unaffiliated distributors. GAAP does not permit the deferral of commission revenues paid to Efinancial, our affiliated agency, in excess of those expenses actually incurred by Efinancial in the placement of the policy. Because we are focused on increasing insurance premium volume through Efinancial, our operating results will reflect higher current period expenses and lower current reported net income. Therefore, in consolidation, the first-year commission acquisition costs (“Commission DAC”) recorded in our Insurance Segment is reduced to reflect the elimination of that portion of Commission DAC that results from expenses of Efinancial that cannot be directly tied to the successful placement of a policy. The amount of eliminated Commission DAC is charged to current expense, and acquisition cost DAC is recorded at a reduced amount, which represents the amount of Commission DAC that is eligible for deferral. As a result of recognizing a majority of expenses for the Efinancial sales immediately, we will recognize a charge against our consolidated earnings (loss) and consolidated equity in the amount of such expenses for the period in which they are incurred. See “Results of Operations—Analysis of Segment Results—Corporate Segment—Intercompany Eliminations.”

27


Future Policy Benefit Reserves

We calculate and maintain reserves for estimated future claims payments to policyholders using actuarial assumptions in accordance with industry practice and GAAP. Many factors affect these reserves, including mortality trends, policy persistency and investment returns. We establish our reserves based on estimates, assumptions and our analysis of historical experience.

The calculation of future policy reserves requires the use of significant judgment and is inherently uncertain. If our actual experience differs from the experience assumed in establishing our reserves, the impact of these differences is reflected in the results of operations in each period. If actual claims are higher than assumed claims experience, our reported income (loss) will be reduced (increased) for the periods in which this experience occurs. If actual policy lapses are higher than that assumed, our future policy benefit reserves will be reduced for the period in which this experience occurs.

The primary reserve method that is used in calculation of our future policy benefit reserves is the net level premium method. The net level premium method requires that the future policy benefit reserves are accrued as a level proportion of the premium paid by the policyholder. In applying this method, we use a number of actuarial assumptions that represent management’s best estimate at the time the contract was issued with the addition of a margin for adverse deviation. Actuarial assumptions include estimates of morbidity, mortality, policy persistency, discount rates and expenses over the life of the contracts.

A premium deficiency exists if the discounted present value of future gross premiums is not sufficient to cover anticipated future cash outflows. To assess the adequacy of our benefit reserves, we annually perform premium deficiency testing for each of our lines of business using best estimate assumptions as of the date of the test without provision for adverse deviation. If benefit reserves minus the DAC asset are less than the present value of future cash flows on the line of business, then first the DAC asset will be reduced. If reducing the DAC asset down to zero is still not sufficient to eliminate the premium deficiency, then benefit reserves will be increased. Recognizing a premium deficiency will reduce our reported net income or increase our reported loss, for the period.

In connection with our premium deficiency testing on our most significant business lines, we performed sensitivity analyses on our Core Life, Non-Core Life, Closed Block, and annuities and assumed life business lines to capture the effect that certain key assumptions have on expected future cash flows, and the impact of those assumptions on the adequacy of DAC balances and GAAP benefit reserves. The sensitivity tests are performed independently, without consideration for any correlation among the key assumptions.

We performed the following sensitivity tests as of September 30, 2019:

 

future lapse assumptions increased by a multiplicative factor of 1.05,

 

future mortality increased by a multiplicative factor of 1.05 for all life blocks,

 

future investment yield assumptions were lowered by 50 basis points.

 

Under all tests described above, the DAC was still recoverable on the Core Life, Non-Core Life, and assumed life lines of business. For the annuities line, there is no remaining DAC due to the age of the contracts. As such, these sensitivity runs tested the adequacy of the benefit reserves for this line. For the annuities line, a drop in investment yield of 50 basis points would result in a required reserve increase of $0.3 million, while for the mortality scenario and the lapse scenario there would be no impact to benefit reserves.

 

Because of one-time activity in the Closed Block resulting from large number of policies hitting their annual increasing scale premium period after their 20 year level period expired in December 2019, the September 30, 2019 Closed Block premium deficiency testing had materially different results from testing done at a December 31, 2019 valuation date.  At September 30, 2019, the DAC was still recoverable in the Closed Block on both the baseline test and the three sensitivity tests noted above.  At December 31, 2019, premium deficiency testing resulted in the Closed Block having a DAC reduction of $4.8 million.  This would be the same value regardless of the sensitivity tests above, because any changes to mortality, investment yield, or expenses would result in dividend changes of an offsetting amount and would not change the amount of DAC reduction. 

Intangible Assets

Intangible assets include trade names, internet domain sites, software and contract-based assets composed of future renewal commissions, distribution agreements, and non-compete agreements. These intangible assets, with the exception of trade names, are amortized over their expected useful lives based on the expected pattern of benefit of the asset.

We amortize the domain site intangible assets on a straight-line basis over a useful life of ten years and software intangible assets are amortized over a useful life of four years using an accelerated amortization method. Contract-based intangible assets are amortized on a straight-line basis over a useful life of primarily five years, with the exception of some distribution contracts where the

28


amortization period is seven years. Trade names are not amortized as they have been determined to have indefinite useful lives. Trade names are tested at least annually for impairment using expected future cash flows.

The determination of the estimated fair value and estimated useful lives of intangible assets require the exercise of considerable management judgment. If the actual useful life is less than that assumed or the pattern of benefits is shorter than that used in developing the initial estimates, we could write down the carrying value of intangible assets and reduce our reported income, or increase our reported loss.

Interim impairment testing may be performed when events or changes in circumstances indicate that the carrying amount of the intangible assets may not be recoverable. Amortizable intangible assets are tested for impairment based on undiscounted cash flows, which requires the use of estimates and judgment, and, if impaired, are written down to fair value based on discounted cash flows. For years ended December 31, 2019 and December 31, 2018, we have not recorded an impairment of intangible assets.

Commission Revenue Recognition

We recognize commission revenue from the sale of insurance products by Efinancial. We recognize revenue at the time that the insurance policy is issued by the insurance company and accepted by the customer, which we call policy placement. In addition, as a result of the implementation of Accounting Standards Update (“ASU”) No. 2014-09, Revenue from Contracts with Customers (Topic 606) (“ASU 606”), effective January 1, 2019, we record as Efinancial revenue, the full amount of first year commission expected to be paid on the sale of insurance products and any renewal commission to be paid on such products. Prior to the implementation of ASU 606, for the year ended December 31, 2018, we recognized the full amount of first year commission when the policy was placed and the renewal commissions were recognized when received. See “Note 1—Summary of Significant Accounting Policies—Revenue Recognition” in the accompanying consolidated financial statements included in this Form 10-K. The commission payment terms of each carrier vary according to the contract that we have with the carrier. Some carriers will advance a portion of the premium at policy placement. Other carriers pay the commission as they collect and earn the policy premiums. We record a commission receivable at policy placement, net of any advances received. We establish a provision for commission revenue that, based on experience, will ultimately not be earned due to the customer discontinuing the underlying insurance policy. Our Agency Segment results include revenue from third-party agencies and from Fidelity Life. The revenues from Fidelity Life sales are eliminated in consolidation.

Income Taxes

Under applicable Federal income tax guidance, the taxation of life insurance companies is subject to special rules not applicable to other (non-life) companies. Accordingly, we have to consider the implications of these different tax rules in accounting for income tax expense, as separately applicable to our life and non-life subgroups of companies.

We record federal income tax expense in our Consolidated Statements of Operations based on pre-tax income as determined using GAAP accounting. The timing of the recognition of certain income and expense items for GAAP accounting can differ from the timing of recognition of the same income and expense items in our federal tax returns. The timing of recognition in the federal tax return is based on tax laws and regulations. As a result, the annual tax expense reflected in our Consolidated Statements of Operations is different than that reported in the tax returns.

We account for income taxes under the asset and liability method, which requires the recognition of deferred taxes for temporary differences between the financial statement and tax return basis of assets and liabilities. Deferred tax assets generally represent items that can be used as a tax deduction or credit in future years for which we have already recorded the tax benefit in our income statement. Deferred tax liabilities generally represent tax expense recognized in our financial statements for which payment has been deferred or expenditures for which we have already taken a deduction in our tax return but have not yet been recognized in our financial statements. Under GAAP, we are required to evaluate the recoverability of our deferred tax assets and establish a valuation allowance if necessary, to reduce our deferred tax assets to an amount that is more likely than not to be realized. Significant judgment is required in determining whether valuation allowances should be established, as well as the amount of such allowances. To the extent that we are required to establish an additional valuation allowance against deferred income tax assets, the amount of such valuation allowance would generally be charged against our net income for the period in which that valuation allowance is established.

We establish or adjust valuation allowances for deferred tax assets when we estimate that it is more likely than not that future taxable income will be insufficient to realize the value of the deferred tax asset.  We evaluate all significant available positive and negative evidence as part of our analysis. Negative evidence includes the existence of losses in recent years. Positive evidence includes the forecast of future taxable income and tax-planning strategies that would result in the realization of deferred tax assets. The underlying assumptions we use in forecasting future taxable income require significant judgment and take into account our recent performance. The ultimate realization of deferred tax assets depends on the generation of future taxable income during the periods in which temporary differences are deductible or creditable. If actual experience differs from these estimates and assumptions, the

29


recognized deferred tax asset value may not be fully realized, resulting in an increase to income tax expense in our results of operations.

 

As of December 31, 2019, we had a 100% valuation allowance recorded against the deferred tax assets related to the non-life subgroup of our tax return because we determined that it is more likely than not that these assets will not be recoverable. The recording of the valuation allowance increases our federal income tax expense which in turn reduces our reported net income or increases our net loss as applicable. Our recorded net deferred tax asset is shown in the following table. The balances for each period are shown based on the life/non-life portions of the consolidated federal tax returns and in total.

 

 

 

December 31, 2019

 

 

December 31, 2018

 

 

 

Life

 

 

Non-Life

 

 

Total

 

 

Life

 

 

Non-Life

 

 

Total

 

(dollars in thousands)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Deferred Tax Asset

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total deferred tax assets

 

$

54,697

 

 

$

23,517

 

 

$

78,214

 

 

$

49,874

 

 

$

18,271

 

 

$

68,145

 

Total deferred tax liabilities

 

 

45,257

 

 

 

7,861

 

 

 

53,118

 

 

 

39,211

 

 

 

6,787

 

 

 

45,998

 

Net deferred tax asset (liability) before

   valuation allowance

 

 

9,440

 

 

 

15,656

 

 

 

25,096

 

 

 

10,663

 

 

 

11,484

 

 

 

22,147

 

Valuation allowance

 

 

 

 

 

(15,656

)

 

 

(15,656

)

 

 

 

 

 

(11,484

)

 

 

(11,484

)

Deferred income tax asset (liability)

 

$

9,440

 

 

$

 

 

$

9,440

 

 

$

10,663

 

 

$

 

 

$

10,663

 

 

Due to the valuation allowance on the non-life subgroup, the effective income tax rate reflected on our Consolidated Statements of Operations will vary depending on the portion of our pretax income (loss) that results from our life subgroup and the portion from our non-life subgroup. With the current full valuation allowance, the current tax benefit related to our non-life subgroup is limited. We continue to record tax expense (benefit) related to the pretax income (loss) of our life subgroup.

Principal Revenue & Expense Items

Revenues

Our primary revenue sources are life insurance premiums, commissions, net investment income, net realized investment gains (losses), insurance lead sales and other income.

Net Premiums

Net premiums consist of direct life insurance premiums due and collected from our policyholders on in-force insurance policies and premiums collected on assumed life reinsurance contracts, less reinsurance premiums paid to reinsurers. Direct premiums are recorded in our Insurance Segment and classified as first year premiums when they relate to the first calendar year coverage period. Premiums for policies outside their first calendar year are called renewal premiums.

Earned Commission  

Earned commission revenue consists of amounts received and due from insurance carriers on policies sold by Efinancial and is recorded in our Agency Segment. However, the commission revenue from sales of Fidelity Life policies is eliminated in our Consolidated Statements of Operations because Efinancial and Fidelity Life are affiliated.

Net Investment Income

Net investment income consists of income generated from our investment portfolio and is recorded net of related expenses incurred to manage our investments. Net investment income primarily consists of interest income earned on fixed maturity investments and dividends earned on our equity holdings, net of related expenses incurred to manage our investments. Net investment income earned on assets required to support insurance reserves, annuity deposits and related regulatory capital requirements is allocated to our Insurance Segment. Any other net investment income is recorded in the Corporate Segment.

Net Realized Investment Gains (Losses)

Net realized investment gains (losses) result from sales of investment securities and OTTI for estimated credit losses of fixed income investments.

30


Insurance Lead Sales

In our Agency Segment, insurance lead sales revenue consists of (i) click-through revenues we generate when leads click through to our webpages to access information about life insurance options sponsored by another company and (ii) data revenues we generate through the sale of information regarding leads.

Other Income

For our Insurance Segment, other income primarily consists of cost of insurance charges on universal life contracts.

Benefits and Expenses

This category consists of benefits to policyholders, which include policyholder dividends and policyholder dividend obligations (PDO), interest credited to policyholder and contract-holder balances, general operating expenses and amortization of DAC.

Life, Annuity and Health Claim Benefits

Benefit expenses are recorded in our Insurance Segment. Benefit expenses include claims paid or payable on in-force insurance policies, as well as the change in our reserves for future policy benefits during the period. Benefit expenses are reduced by amounts ceded to reinsurance companies with whom we contract to share policy risks.

Interest Credited to Policyholder Account Balances

The interest credited primarily relates to amounts that contract-holders earn on any contract-holder deposits from our assumed annuity contracts and other amounts left on deposit with us. Our universal life policies and assumed annuity contracts require Fidelity Life to periodically establish the crediting rate to be paid on policyholder and contract-holder deposits. All current assumed annuity contracts are credited with interest at the minimum interest rate guaranteed in the contract. Interest credited relates solely to our Insurance Segment.

 

Operating Costs and Expenses

Operating expenses are incurred by all of our segments. The operating expenses of our Insurance Segment include policy acquisition costs in excess of amounts that qualify for deferral, ceding commissions received on ceded reinsurance in excess of amounts deferred, variable policy administration costs, general overhead and administration costs, and insurance premium taxes and assessments paid to various states. Agency Segment expenses consist of compensation paid to employee sales agents, costs of insurance sales leads (marketing), costs of sales management and support activities, agent licensing expenses and general overhead and administration expenses. The expenses of the Corporate Segment include allocation of a portion of the compensation of senior executives related to corporate activities, Board of Director expenses related to corporate business, and other operating costs considered to be of a corporate nature and not directly related to either of our other business segments. Overhead and administrative expenses of the segments include employee costs (salaries, bonuses and benefits), office rent, information technology and costs of third-party administrators and other contractors.

Amortization of Deferred Policy Acquisition Costs

DAC amortization represents the actuarially determined reduction in the DAC asset for the period. The amount of acquisition cost amortization recognized each period is based on actual factors established when the insurance contracts were written.

31


Results of Operations

The major components of operating revenues, benefits and expenses and net (loss) income are as follows:

Vericity, Inc. Consolidated Results of Operations

 

 

 

For the Years Ended

December 31,

 

(dollars in thousands)

 

2019

 

 

2018

 

Revenues

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Net insurance premiums

 

$

94,370

 

 

$

88,573

 

Net investment income

 

 

16,076

 

 

 

15,101

 

Net realized investment gains (losses)

 

 

691

 

 

 

(967

)

Other than temporary impairment

 

 

(41

)

 

 

 

 

Earned commissions

 

 

17,688

 

 

 

13,404

 

Insurance lead sales

 

 

6,229

 

 

 

7,633

 

Other income

 

 

287

 

 

 

236

 

Total revenues

 

 

135,300

 

 

 

123,980

 

Benefits and expenses

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Life, annuity, and health claim benefits

 

 

61,851

 

 

 

56,556

 

Interest credited to policyholder account balances

 

 

3,199

 

 

 

3,598

 

Operating costs and expenses

 

 

76,953

 

 

 

68,353

 

Amortization of deferred policy acquisition costs

 

 

13,410

 

 

 

11,506

 

Other expenses

 

 

83

 

 

 

164

 

Total benefits and expenses

 

 

155,496

 

 

 

140,177

 

(Loss) income from operations before income tax

 

 

(20,196

)

 

 

(16,197

)

Income tax (benefit) expense

 

 

(872

)

 

 

(2,350

)

Net (loss) income

 

$

(19,324

)

 

$

(13,847

)

 

Year Ended December 31, 2019 Compared to Year Ended December 31, 2018

Total Revenues

For the year ended December 31, 2019, total revenues were $135.3 million compared to $124.0 million for the year ended December 31, 2018. This increase of $11.3 million primarily resulted from higher net insurance premiums and earned commissions.

Benefits and Expenses

For the year ended December 31, 2019, total benefits and expenses were $155.5 million compared to $140.2 million for the year ended December 31, 2018. This increase of $15.3 million includes increases in operating costs and expenses of $8.6 million primarily due to costs related to accelerated vesting of incentive compensation related to the completion of the IPO and other enterprise initiatives. In addition, there were increases in net life insurance benefits and amortization of deferred policy acquisition costs.

Loss from Operations Before Income Taxes

For the year ended December 31, 2019, we had a loss before taxes of $20.2 million compared to a loss before taxes of $16.2 million for the year ended December 31, 2018. This increased loss of $4.0 million was primarily due to increases in operating expenses and claim benefits, partially offset by higher net insurance premiums and earned commissions.

Income Taxes

For the year ended December 31, 2019, our income tax benefit was $0.9 million compared to an income tax benefit of $2.4 million for the year ended December 31, 2018. The decrease of $1.5 million reflects decreased net loss attributable to the life sub-group offset by an increase in net loss attributable to the non-life sub-group which has a full valuation allowance. See “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations—Critical Accounting Policies—Income Taxes.”

32


Analysis of Segment Results

Reconciliation of Segment Results to Consolidated Results

The following analysis reconciles the reported segment results to the Vericity, Inc. total consolidated results. The main difference is the intercompany eliminations.

 

 

 

For the Years Ended

December 31,

 

(dollars in thousands)

 

2019

 

 

2018

 

(Loss) before income taxes by segment

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Agency

 

$

(7,089

)

 

$

(759

)

Insurance

 

 

(1,155

)

 

 

(629

)

Corporate

 

 

(7,985

)

 

 

(4,765

)

Eliminations

 

 

(3,967

)

 

 

(10,044

)

(Loss) income from operations before income tax

 

 

(20,196

)

 

 

(16,197

)

Income tax (benefit) expense

 

 

(872

)

 

 

(2,350

)

Net (loss) income

 

$

(19,324

)

 

$

(13,847

)

 

Agency Segment

The results of our Agency Segment were as follows:

 

 

 

For the Years Ended

December 31,

 

(dollars in thousands)

 

2019

 

 

2018

 

Revenues

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Earned commissions

 

$

39,359

 

 

$

42,261

 

Insurance lead sales

 

 

6,262

 

 

 

7,633

 

Total revenues

 

 

45,621

 

 

 

49,894

 

Expenses

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Operating costs and expenses

 

 

52,627

 

 

 

50,489

 

Amortization of intangible assets

 

 

83

 

 

 

164

 

Total expenses

 

 

52,710

 

 

 

50,653

 

(Loss) income from operations before income tax

 

$

(7,089

)

 

$

(759

)

 

Year Ended December 31, 2019 Compared to Year Ended December 31, 2018

Earned Commissions

For the year ended December 31, 2019, earned commissions were $39.4 million compared to $42.3 million for the year ended December 31, 2018. This decrease of $2.9 million resulted from lower sales in our retail channel, which was primarily due to shift in business mix to more guaranteed issue products and lower agent headcount, partially offset by growth in our wholesale channel.

Insurance Lead Sales

For the year ended December 31, 2019, insurance lead sales were $6.3 million compared to $7.6 million for the year ended December 31, 2018. This decrease of $1.3 million was primarily due to a management decision to reduce external lead sales and maximize retail channel sales.

Operating Costs and Expenses

For the year ended December 31, 2019, general operating expenses were $52.6 million compared to $50.5 million for the year ended December 31, 2018. This increase of $2.1 million was due to a $2.7 million increase in overhead expenses, primarily due to $0.9 million of accelerated vesting of incentive compensation related to the completion of the IPO and increases in non-agent staff costs. This increase was partially offset by lower variable cost of sales of $0.6 million, which was mainly driven by lower retail earned commissions.

 

 

33


Net (Loss) Income

For the year ended December 31, 2019, the Agency Segment incurred a net loss of $7.1 million compared to a net loss of $0.8 million for the year ended December 31, 2018. This increase in net loss of $6.3 million was the result of lower earned commissions, lower lead sales revenue, and higher general operating expenses.

Insurance Segment

The results of our Insurance Segment were as follows:

 

 

 

For the Years Ended

December 31,

 

(dollars in thousands)

 

2019

 

 

2018

 

Revenues

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Net insurance premiums

 

$

94,370

 

 

$

88,573

 

Net investment income

 

 

15,278

 

 

 

15,197

 

Net realized investment gains (losses)

 

 

645

 

 

 

(967

)

Other than temporary impairment

 

 

(41

)