Swiss Auto Insurance

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Company Details
Address:

175 KING STREET

City:
Armonk
State:
NY
ZIP Code:
10504
Phone Number:
+1-914-828-8000 or +1-877-794-7773
Year Founded
1863
AM Best Rating:
A (“EXCELLENT”)
Company Rating 0 (0 reviews)

Things to Remember...
  • Moody’s rates the global giant “A1” and Standard & Poor’s rates the company “A+.”
  • Swiss Re America also offers primary liability insurance coverage to corporate clients
  • Swiss Re America’s primary focus is marine vessel (ocean) reinsurance
  • Swiss Re America absorbs reinsurance business in property and casualty, life, and health business throughout North and South America


This Swiss Auto Insurance Review explores Armonk, New York-based U.S. subsidiary of Swiss reinsurance giant Swiss Reinsurance.

Ranked 433rd in the 2010 Financial Times’ 500, Swiss Re makes a business out of reinsuring other insurance companies’ risk.

For the fiscal year ended December 2010, the company generated $28.84 billion in global sales with net income of about $1.98 billion. One year net income growth rose 183.10 percent.

The company has total assets of about $228.4 billion. Moody’s rates the global giant “A1” and Standard & Poor’s rates the company “A+.”

The company trades on the U.S. pink sheets as SWCEY American Depository Receipts and trades on the Swiss Exchange, RUKN.

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Swiss Auto Insurance History

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Swiss Re started out in 1863 when M.J. Grossman created a reinsurance company for “Schweizerische Lebensversicherungs-und Rentenanstalt” (translated “Swiss life insurer”) as well as the “Helvetia Schweizerische Feuerversicherings-Gesellschaft” (“Swiss fire insurer”).

These companies were two of the most significant insurance companies in 19th century Europe. “Schweizerische Ruckverischerungs-Gesellschaft”—Swiss Re—was born that same year.

Georg Schmidt, an insurance industry leader, joined as chief executive of the new company.

Unfortunately, Schmidt found the tension of mounting losses too great. He committed suicide the following year.

That’s when the company decided to tighten its underwriting parameters.

In 1881, Swiss Re endorsed the company’s first accident reinsurance deal.

Later, in 1901, the company issued enormously successful motor vehicle insurance and followed with reinsurance for engineers in 1904.

When the San Francisco Earthquake shook the company’s finances to the core in 1906, Swiss Recreated some of the prudent reinsurance strategies for which it’s still known today.

In order to survive cataclysmic losses, the company was prompted to invest and make reserve allowances for them.

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While World War I blazed through Europe, the company’s coffers fattened. The world at war encouraged the company to expand past European borders.

As Germany sought to recover from the war, Swiss Re’s margins increased. Companies insuring the economically unstable country sought the assistance of Swiss Re’s financial genius.

As World War II followed, Swiss Re opened offices in the United States, Canada, Australia, and Africa.

In the following years, Swiss Re entered, then exited, profitable primary insurance markets around the world.

In 1994, a former McKinsey-trained consultant (L. Muhlemann) took over the reins of the company.

Primary insurance operations were sold to Winterthur, a Swiss competitor, and Allianz, the German insurance company.

As the year 2000 approached, Swiss Re acquired Reseguros Alianza (the largest Mexican reinsurance company) and Reacol (the largest Colombian reinsurer).

Investors worried that Swiss Re would take a significant financial hit when Swiss insurance companies were sued by the survivors of Holocaust victims.

Swiss Re contributed just $50 million of the $1.25 billion owed.

Swiss Re purchased U.S. investment firm Fox Pitt Kelton in 1999. The firm was sold in 2006.

Then Swiss Re purchased the UK and U.S. insurance divisions of General Electric (including Employers Reinsurance and GE Insurance Solutions).

Swiss Re was now one of the largest insurance companies in the U.S. Shortly thereafter, Swiss Re bought Lincoln Re and Life Re.

Expanding into the UK, the company spent $1.4 billion to buy Barclays life insurance unit. The purchase yielded an astounding annual income flow of about $690 million.

Swiss Auto Insurance Markets

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About 49 percent of the company’s global revenues originate in the Americas. Europe as a whole represents about 40 percent of revenues.

Approximately 33 percent of the company’s global premiums are written in the United States.

The remaining 11 percent of written premiums originate in Asian markets.

Swiss Auto Insurance Types

Approximately 42 percent of the parent company’s written premiums originated from property and casualty reinsurance for the fiscal year-ended 2009.

Life and health policies delivered approximately 32 percent of premiums.

The company generated approximately 21 percent of its earnings from investment income during the period. Losses around the globe represented just 2 percent of the balance sheet.

Fee income, services performed for fees, represented 3 percent of the company’s total earnings that year.

Swiss Auto Insurance in the Americas

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Swiss Re America absorbs reinsurance business in property and casualty, life, and health business throughout North and South America.

Reinsuring motor, property, liability, life, and health insurance for companies around the world is its focus. Swiss Re America’s primary focus is marine vessel (ocean) reinsurance.

The company helps other insurance companies to manage motor, liability, property, life, health, and other risks.

Swiss Re America believes its target client is a small to mid-sized insurance company seeking to outsource risk.

As part of the process, Swiss Re America assists clients in the identification, assessment, and management of insurance risk.

Swiss Re America also offers primary liability insurance coverage to corporate clients.

Swiss Re America continues to manage its portfolio of companies and occasionally divests some of them.

During the global financial crisis of 2008 to 2010, the company sold Conning, purchased from MetLife. The company also sold workers comp site CyberComp to AmTrust Financial Services.

Swiss Re America includes:

  • Westport Insurance Corporation
  • Industrial Risk Insurers
  • Rialto Re Inc.
  • Washington International Insurance Company
  • First Specialty Insurance Corporation
  • North American Specialty Insurance Company
  • Facility Insurance Holding Corporation
  • North American Elite Insurance Company

The company maintains Accra Holdings Corp., Gasper Funding Corporation, the European International Holding Company Ltd., and European International Reinsurance Company Ltd. in Barbados.

In Bermuda, the company manages Old Fort Insurance Company Ltd. and CORE Reinsurance Company Ltd.

In the Cayman Islands, the company operates as Kilgallon Finance Ltd., Cobham Funding Ltd., and Dunstandburgh Finance (Cayman) Ltd.

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