UNITED STATES

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

WASHINGTON, D.C. 20549

 

 

FORM 10-K

 

 

 

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

For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2018

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 001-32195

 

 

 

 

LOGO

GENWORTH FINANCIAL, INC.

(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)

 

 

 

Delaware   80-0873306

(State or other jurisdiction of

incorporation or organization)

 

(I.R.S. Employer

Identification No.)

6620 West Broad Street

Richmond, Virginia

  23230
(Address of principal executive offices)   (Zip Code)

(804) 281-6000

(Registrant’s telephone number, including area code)

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

 

Title of Each Class

 

Name of each exchange on which registered

Class A Common Stock, par value $.001 per share   New York Stock Exchange

Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act

None

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act.    Yes  ☒    No  ☐

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act.    Yes  ☐    No  ☒

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 and posted 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 and post such files).    Yes  ☒    No  ☐

Indicate by check mark if disclosure of delinquent filers pursuant to Item 405 of Regulation S-K (§229.405 of this chapter) is not contained herein, and will not be contained, to the best of registrant’s knowledge, in definitive proxy or information statements incorporated by reference in Part III of this Form 10-K or any amendment to this Form 10-K.  ☒

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, a smaller reporting company, or an emerging growth company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer,” “smaller reporting company,” and “emerging growth company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act. (Check one):

 

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  ☒

As of February 19, 2019, 500,900,866 shares of Class A Common Stock, par value $0.001 per share were outstanding.

The aggregate market value of the common equity (based on the closing price of the Class A Common Stock on the New York Stock Exchange) held by non-affiliates of the registrant on June 30, 2018, the last business day of the registrant’s most recently completed second fiscal quarter, was approximately $2.2 billion. All executive officers and directors of the registrant have been deemed, solely for the purpose of the foregoing calculation, to be “affiliates” of the registrant.

 

 

DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE

Certain portions of the registrant’s definitive proxy statement pursuant to Regulation 14A of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 in connection with the 2019 annual meeting of the registrant’s stockholders are incorporated by reference into Part III of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.

 

 

 


Table of Contents

 

         Page  
PART I   
Item 1.  

Business

     4  
Item 1A.  

Risk Factors

     53  
Item 1B.  

Unresolved Staff Comments

     95  
Item 2.  

Properties

     96  
Item 3.  

Legal Proceedings

     96  
Item 4.  

Mine Safety Disclosures

     96  
PART II   
Item 5.   Market for Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities      97  
Item 6.  

Selected Financial Data

     99  
Item 7.  

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

     102  
Item 7A.  

Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk

     207  
Item 8.  

Financial Statements and Supplementary Data

     214  
Item 9.  

Changes In and Disagreements With Accountants On Accounting and Financial Disclosure

     369  
Item 9A.  

Controls and Procedures

     369  
Item 9B.  

Other Information

     372  
PART III   
Item 10.  

Directors, Executive Officers and Corporate Governance

     373  
Item 11.  

Executive Compensation

     377  
Item 12.   Security Ownership of Certain Beneficial Owners and Management and Related Stockholder Matters      377  
Item 13.  

Certain Relationships and Related Transactions, and Director Independence

     377  
Item 14.  

Principal Accountant Fees and Services

     378  
PART IV   
Item 15.  

Exhibits and Financial Statement Schedules

     379  

 

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Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-looking Statements

This Annual Report on Form 10-K, including Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations, contains certain “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements may be identified by words such as “expects,” “intends,” “anticipates,” “plans,” “believes,” “seeks,” “estimates,” “will,” or words of similar meaning and include, but are not limited to, statements regarding the outlook for our future business and financial performance. Examples of forward-looking statements include statements we make relating to the China Oceanwide transaction. Forward-looking statements are based on management’s current expectations and assumptions, which are subject to inherent uncertainties, risks and changes in circumstances that are difficult to predict. Actual outcomes and results may differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements due to global political, economic, business, competitive, market, regulatory and other factors and risks, including the items identified under “Part I—Item 1A—Risk Factors.” We therefore caution you against relying on any forward-looking statements.

We undertake no obligation to publicly update any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future developments or otherwise.

 

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PART I

In this Annual Report on Form 10-K, unless the context otherwise requires, “Genworth Financial,” “Genworth,” “we,” “us” and “our” refer to Genworth Financial, Inc. and its subsidiaries.

Item 1. Business

Strategic Update

We continue to focus on improving business performance, addressing financial leverage and increasing financial and strategic flexibility across the organization. Our strategy includes maximizing our opportunities in our mortgage insurance businesses and stabilizing our U.S. life insurance businesses.

China Oceanwide Transaction

On October 21, 2016, Genworth Financial, Inc. (“Genworth Financial”) entered into an agreement and plan of merger (the “Merger Agreement”) with Asia Pacific Global Capital Co., Ltd. (“Parent”), a limited liability company incorporated in the People’s Republic of China and a subsidiary of China Oceanwide Holdings Group Co., Ltd., a limited liability company incorporated in the People’s Republic of China (together with its affiliates, “China Oceanwide”), and Asia Pacific Global Capital USA Corporation (“Merger Sub”), a Delaware corporation and an indirect, wholly-owned subsidiary of Asia Pacific Insurance USA Holdings LLC (“Asia Pacific Insurance”), which is a Delaware limited liability company and owned by China Oceanwide, pursuant to which, subject to the terms and conditions set forth therein, Merger Sub would merge with and into Genworth Financial with Genworth Financial surviving the merger as an indirect, wholly-owned subsidiary of Asia Pacific Insurance (the “Merger”). China Oceanwide has agreed to acquire all of our outstanding common stock for a total transaction value of approximately $2.7 billion, or $5.43 per share in cash. At a special meeting held on March 7, 2017, Genworth Financial’s stockholders voted on and approved a proposal to adopt the Merger Agreement.

Genworth Financial and China Oceanwide continue to work towards satisfying the closing conditions of the Merger as soon as possible. In December 2018 and January 2019, we received the remaining approvals from our U.S. domestic insurance regulators. These approvals had multiple conditions, including but not limited to, the Merger being consummated without the purchase of Genworth Life and Annuity Insurance Company (“GLAIC”) from Genworth Life Insurance Company (“GLIC”) by a Genworth intermediate holding company, which had been initially proposed and which we refer to as the “GLAIC unstacking.” Our U.S. domestic regulatory approvals included the approval from the Delaware Department of Insurance (“DDOI”). Genworth Financial and China Oceanwide worked with the DDOI and other regulators to obtain approval of the Merger without the GLAIC unstacking throughout the second half of 2018. As part of the DDOI approval, Genworth Financial and China Oceanwide agreed, following the Merger, Genworth Holdings, Inc. (“Genworth Holdings”) will contribute $175 million to GLIC, which was previously committed by Genworth Financial to be used as partial consideration for the GLAIC unstacking. The $175 million will be contributed in three equal tranches, with the first contribution completed by the end of March 2019, the second contribution completed by the end of September 2019 and the final contribution completed by the end of January 2020. In addition, at or before the closing of the Merger, GLAIC will purchase from GLIC an intercompany note with a principal amount of $200 million. This intercompany note was issued by Genworth Holdings to GLIC, with Genworth Holdings obligated to pay the principal amount on the maturity date of March 2020. The purchase price will be at fair value, but not less than $200 million. No changes will be made to the existing terms of the intercompany note, other than Genworth Holdings will now pay GLAIC the principal amount of the note at maturity. Likewise, the amount will continue to be eliminated in consolidation.

In October 2018, the National Development and Reform Commission (“NDRC”) of the People’s Republic of China accepted China Oceanwide’s filing in connection with the Merger Agreement, which concluded NDRC’s review process and enables China Oceanwide to move forward with the clearance in China for currency conversion and the transfer of funds.

 

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In June 2018, the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (“CFIUS”) completed its review of the proposed transaction and concluded that there are no unresolved national security concerns with respect to the proposed transaction. The completion of the CFIUS review satisfied one of the conditions to closing the proposed transaction. In connection with the CFIUS review of the proposed transaction, Genworth Financial and China Oceanwide entered into an agreement to implement a data security risk mitigation plan, which includes, among other things, the use of a U.S. third-party service provider and an independent security monitor to protect the personal data of Genworth Financial’s policyholders and customers in the United States.

The closing of the Merger remains subject to other conditions, including the required regulatory approval in Canada. Approval by the U.S. Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”) remains outstanding, but pursuant to FINRA rules, the transaction may proceed and closing may occur before such approval is obtained. In addition, China Oceanwide will need to receive clearance in China for currency conversion and the transfer of funds.

On January 30, 2019, Genworth Financial, Parent and Merger Sub entered into an eighth waiver and agreement (“Eighth Waiver and Agreement”) pursuant to which Genworth Financial and Parent each agreed to waive until March 15, 2019 its right to terminate the Merger Agreement and abandon the Merger in accordance with the terms of the Merger Agreement. The Eighth Waiver and Agreement extended the seventh waiver and agreement extension deadline of January 31, 2019 to allow additional time for the remaining regulatory approval and clearance processes.

On August 14, 2018, under the sixth waiver and agreement, Genworth Financial and China Oceanwide waived, among other things: (i) the parties’ obligation to effect the GLAIC unstacking and China Oceanwide’s obligation to contribute to us $525 million for such purpose; and (ii) China Oceanwide’s obligation to contribute $600 million for the purpose of retiring our senior unsecured notes due in May 2018 (the “May 2018 senior notes”). These waivers are discussed further below.

As part of the transaction, China Oceanwide originally committed in the Merger Agreement to contribute $525 million of cash for the purpose of facilitating the GLAIC unstacking. This contribution combined with $175 million of cash previously committed by Genworth Holdings was intended to enable a Genworth intermediate holding company to purchase GLAIC from GLIC, a Delaware-domiciled insurance entity, for a purchase price of $700 million and complete the GLAIC unstacking. After extensive discussions with the DDOI on different methodologies for establishing the fair market value for GLAIC, the parties and the DDOI were unable to agree on the fair market value of GLAIC. Therefore, the parties decided to forgo the GLAIC unstacking and, accordingly under the sixth waiver and agreement, Genworth Financial and China Oceanwide waived the Merger Agreement provisions related to the GLAIC unstacking including China Oceanwide’s obligation to make the originally contemplated $525 million contribution.

China Oceanwide originally committed in the Merger Agreement to contribute $600 million of cash to Genworth, subject to the consummation of the Merger, to address the May 2018 senior notes on or before their maturity. Due to the delays in the completion of the transaction, Genworth entered into the $450 million senior secured term loan facility (“Term Loan”), as discussed below. Instead of the $600 million contribution from China Oceanwide, the proceeds of the Term Loan, together with $175 million of cash on hand, were used to retire the May 2018 senior notes. Therefore, under the sixth waiver and agreement, Genworth Financial and China Oceanwide waived the $600 million contribution for the May 2018 senior notes and accordingly China Oceanwide did not, and is no longer obligated to, make the originally contemplated $600 million contribution.

China Oceanwide and Genworth have agreed on a capital investment plan under which China Oceanwide and/or its affiliates will contribute an aggregate of $1.5 billion to Genworth over time following consummation of the Merger, with the final amounts of the plan expected to be contributed by December 31, 2019. This contribution is subject to the closing of the Merger and the receipt of required regulatory approvals. The $1.5 billion contribution would be used to further improve our financial stability, which could include retiring debt due in 2020 and 2021 or enabling future growth opportunities.

 

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At this time Genworth Financial and China Oceanwide remain committed to satisfying the closing conditions under the Merger Agreement as soon as possible. However, if the parties are unable to satisfy the closing conditions by March 15, 2019 and are unable to reach an agreement as to a further extension of the deadline, then either party may terminate the Merger Agreement pursuant to its terms.

If the China Oceanwide transaction is completed, we will be a standalone subsidiary and our senior management team will continue to lead the business from our current headquarters in Richmond, Virginia. Likewise, we intend to maintain our existing portfolio of businesses, including our mortgage insurance businesses in Australia and Canada. Except for the specific monitoring and reporting required under the CFIUS data security risk mitigation plan, our day-to-day operations are not expected to change as a result of this transaction.

Restructuring of U.S. Life Insurance Businesses

One of our previous strategic objectives was to separate, through the GLAIC unstacking, and then isolate, through a series of internal transactions, our long-term care insurance business from our other U.S. life insurance businesses. Our goal under the plan had been to align substantially all of our non-New York in-force life insurance and annuity business under GLAIC, our Virginia domiciled life insurance company, and substantially all of our non-New York long-term care insurance business under GLIC, our Delaware domiciled life insurance company.

On August 14, 2018, Genworth Financial and China Oceanwide entered into the sixth waiver and agreement, pursuant to which the parties waived the provisions in the Merger Agreement related to the GLAIC unstacking. Because of the decision by Genworth Financial and China Oceanwide not to pursue the GLAIC unstacking at this time in connection with the Merger, it is now contemplated that we will not pursue the GLAIC unstacking as a part of our strategic objective to restructure our U.S. life insurance businesses for the foreseeable future. However, we will continue to work to stabilize our long-term care insurance business primarily through our multi-year long-term care insurance in-force rate action plan. Increased premiums and associated benefit reductions on our legacy long-term care insurance policies are critical to support the policy claims of the business.

Given that Genworth Financial and China Oceanwide will no longer pursue the GLAIC unstacking, and in line with Genworth Financial’s strategic objective to restructure its U.S. life insurance businesses through isolating the long-term care insurance business, Genworth Holdings completed a bond consent solicitation on October 4, 2018 to amend its senior notes indenture to clarify that GLAIC and the subsidiaries of GLIC, GLAIC and Genworth Life Insurance Company of New York (“GLICNY”) are excluded from the class of subsidiaries for which a bankruptcy, insolvency or other similar proceeding would result in an event of default under the indenture with respect to certain outstanding senior notes.

China Oceanwide has no current intention or future obligation to contribute additional capital to support our legacy long-term care insurance business. The parties have agreed, however, that following the closing of the Merger, Genworth Holdings would contribute $175 million in aggregate to GLIC over time.

Term Loan

Due to the delay in the closing of the China Oceanwide transaction, we entered into the Term Loan with an aggregate principal amount of $450 million that closed in March 2018. Proceeds of $441 million from the Term Loan were used together with $175 million of cash on hand to retire the principal and accrued interest of the May 2018 senior notes. An affiliate of China Oceanwide was the lead investor in the transaction. This affiliate sold its $60 million investment in the Term Loan during the fourth quarter of 2018. The Term Loan includes a limited recourse guarantee secured by the publicly listed shares of Genworth MI Canada Inc. (“Genworth Canada”), held by Genworth Financial International Holdings, LLC (“GFIH”), an indirect wholly-owned subsidiary of Genworth Financial.

 

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Strategic Alternatives

If the China Oceanwide transaction is not completed, we will continue to explore strategic alternatives and financing options to address our ongoing challenges. As a result of the recent performance of our long-term care and life insurance businesses and the charges we recorded in the third quarter of 2016 and fourth quarters of 2016, 2017 and 2018, absent any alternative commitment of external capital, we believe there would be: increased pressure on and potential further downgrades of our financial strength ratings, particularly for our mortgage insurance businesses, which could affect our ability to maintain our market share of the U.S. mortgage insurance industry; limitations on our ability to continue to write new long-term care insurance policies; and other limitations on our holding company liquidity and ability to service and/or refinance our holding company debt.

In the absence of the transaction with China Oceanwide, which we can neither predict nor guarantee, we may need to pursue strategic asset sales to address our debt maturities, including potential sales of our mortgage insurance businesses in Canada and/or Australia. We have and would continue to evaluate options to insulate our U.S. mortgage insurance business from additional ratings pressure, including a potential partial sale, in the event the transaction with China Oceanwide cannot be completed. Changes to our financial projections, including changes that anticipate planned asset sales, may negatively impact our ability to realize certain foreign tax credits or other deferred tax assets and have a resulting material adverse effect on our results of operations.

Ongoing Priorities

Stabilizing our U.S. life insurance businesses continues to be one of our long-term goals. We will continue to execute against this objective primarily through our multi-year long-term care insurance in-force rate action plan. Increased premiums and associated benefit reductions on our legacy long-term care insurance policies are critical to support the policy claims of the business. In addition, reducing debt will remain a high priority. We believe that increased financial support and our strengthened financial foundation resulting from the China Oceanwide transaction would provide us with more options to manage our debt maturities and reduce overall indebtedness, which in turn is intended to improve our credit and ratings profile over time. Finally, we also believe that the completion of the China Oceanwide transaction would allow us to place greater focus on the future of our long-term care and mortgage insurance businesses while continuing to service our existing policyholders.

For a discussion of the risks associated with the China Oceanwide transaction and our strategic alternatives, see “Item 1A—Risk Factors—The proposed transaction with China Oceanwide may not be completed or may not be completed within the timeframe, terms or in the manner currently anticipated, which could have a material adverse effect on us and our stock price.”

For a discussion of our multi-year long-term care insurance in-force rate action plan, see “Item 7—Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations—Significant Developments.”

U.S. Mortgage Insurance

Through our U.S. Mortgage Insurance segment, we provide private mortgage insurance. Private mortgage insurance enables borrowers to buy homes with a down payment of less than 20% of the home’s value (“low down payment mortgages” or “high loan-to-value mortgages”). Mortgage insurance protects lenders against loss in the event of a borrower’s default. It also generally aids financial institutions in managing their capital efficiently by, in some cases, reducing the capital required for low down payment mortgages. If a borrower defaults on mortgage payments, private mortgage insurance reduces and may eliminate losses to the insured institution. Private mortgage insurance may also facilitate the sale of mortgage loans in the secondary mortgage market because of the credit enhancement it provides. Our mortgage insurance products predominantly insure prime-based, individually underwritten residential mortgage loans (“flow mortgage insurance”). We selectively

 

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provide mortgage insurance on a bulk basis (“bulk mortgage insurance”) with essentially all of our bulk writings being prime-based.

We have been providing mortgage insurance products and services in the United States since 1981 and operate in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Our principal mortgage insurance customers are originators of residential mortgage loans who typically determine which mortgage insurer or insurers they will use for the placement of mortgage insurance written on loans they originate. For the year ended December 31, 2018, approximately 21% of new insurance written in our U.S. mortgage insurance business was attributable to our largest five lender customers, with no customer representing more than 10% of new insurance written.

The U.S. private mortgage insurance industry is affected in part by the requirements and practices of the Federal National Mortgage Association (“Fannie Mae”) and the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (“Freddie Mac”). Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are government-sponsored enterprises and we refer to them collectively as the “GSEs.” The GSEs purchase and provide guarantees on residential mortgages as part of their governmental mandate to provide liquidity through the secondary mortgage market. The GSEs may purchase mortgages with unpaid principal amounts up to a specified maximum, known as the “conforming loan limit,” which is currently $484,350 (up to $726,525 in certain high-cost geographic areas of the country) and subject to annual adjustment.

Each GSE’s Congressional charter generally prohibits it from purchasing a mortgage where the loan-to-value ratio exceeds 80% of the home value unless the portion of the unpaid principal balance of the mortgage in excess of 80% of the value of the property securing the mortgage is protected against default by lender recourse, participation or by a qualified insurer. Much of the demand for private mortgage insurance is a function of the requirements of the GSEs. The GSEs purchased the majority of the flow loans we insured as of December 31, 2018. The GSEs specify mortgage insurance coverage levels and also have the authority to change the pricing arrangements for purchasing retained-participation mortgages, or mortgages with lender recourse, as compared to insured mortgages, increase or reduce required mortgage insurance coverage percentages, and alter or liberalize underwriting standards and pricing terms on low down payment mortgages they purchase. In furtherance of their respective charter requirements, each GSE maintains eligibility criteria to establish when a mortgage insurer is qualified to issue coverage that will be acceptable to the GSEs for high loan-to-value mortgages they acquire. For more information about the financial and other requirements of the GSEs for our U.S. mortgage insurance subsidiaries, see “—Regulation—Mortgage Insurance Regulation—Other U.S. regulation.”

Selected financial information and operating performance measures regarding our U.S. Mortgage Insurance segment are included under “Part II—Item 7—Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations—U.S. Mortgage Insurance segment.”

Products and services

The majority of our U.S. mortgage insurance policies provide primary default loss protection on a portion (typically 10% to 40%, known as the “coverage percentage”) of the outstanding principal balance of an individual mortgage loan plus specified expenses. The lender selects the coverage percentage at the time the loan is originated, often to comply with loan investor requirements. Primary mortgage insurance is placed through flow or bulk mortgage insurance policies.

Flow insurance applications are submitted on a loan by loan basis, either before or shortly after the loan closes (usually no more than 120 days from loan closing). The loan amount and coverage percentage determine our risk in-force on each insured loan. The lender may require the borrower to pay for the mortgage insurance under the terms of the mortgage in which case the premium is typically included in the borrower’s monthly mortgage payment (“borrower paid mortgage insurance”). Lenders also may offer to finance the premium by including it in the loan balance and disbursing funds to the mortgage insurer at the loan closing. Lenders may also directly fund the insurance premium (“lender paid mortgage insurance”) and may seek to recover that

 

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expense from the interest or fees charged on the mortgage. Our primary mortgage insurance policies are predominantly flow mortgage insurance policies.

In addition to flow primary mortgage insurance, we have in prior years written mortgage insurance on a bulk and pool basis. Bulk mortgage insurance transactions provide coverage on a finite set of individual loans identified by the bulk policy. Bulk policies may contain coverage percentages and provisions limiting the insurer’s obligation to pay claims until a threshold amount is reached (known as a “deductible”) or capping the insurer’s potential aggregate liability for claims payments (a “stop loss”). Under pool insurance, the mortgage insurer provides coverage for 100% of the loss on a loan (i.e., without the application of a coverage percentage on individual loans within the pool). Bulk and pool insurance typically are secondary coverage to any primary insurance that may be on a loan and the insurer typically is no longer required to cover losses above the stop loss. Lenders negotiate the terms and conditions of bulk and pool coverage including loan type eligibility, stop losses, premium amounts and coverage termination.

We also perform fee-based contract underwriting services for mortgage lenders. The provision of underwriting services by mortgage insurers eliminates the duplicative lender and mortgage insurer underwriting activities and expedites the approval process. Under the terms of our contract underwriting agreements, we agree to indemnify the lender against losses incurred in the event we make material errors in determining whether loans processed by our contract underwriters meet specified underwriting or purchase criteria, subject to contractual limitations on liability.

Underwriting and pricing

Insurance applications comprised in part of information from the loan application file for all flow loans we insure are reviewed to determine eligibility based on underwriting guidelines we approve as well as to establish the applicable premium. We evaluate each borrower’s credit strength and history, the characteristics of the loan and the value of the underlying property. Loan applications for flow mortgage insurance are either directly reviewed by us (or our contract underwriters), or as noted below, by lenders under delegated authority and in either case may utilize automated underwriting systems. A substantial number of our mortgage lender customers underwrite loan applications for mortgage insurance under a delegated underwriting program, in which we permit approved lenders to commit us to insure loans using our pre-approved underwriting guidelines, including credit scores. When underwriting bulk mortgage insurance transactions, we evaluate characteristics of the loans in the portfolio, including credit scores, and examine all or a sample of loan files. We set premiums at the time a certificate of insurance is issued based on our expectations regarding likely performance of a loan. Once a certificate of coverage is issued, we are not able to alter the premium charged or cancel coverage without cause. We continue to monitor current housing conditions and the performance of our books of business to determine if we need to make further changes in our pricing or underwriting guidelines and practices.

Fair Isaac Company (“FICO”) developed the FICO credit scoring model to calculate a score based upon a borrower’s credit history. We use the FICO credit score as one indicator of a borrower’s credit quality. Typically, a borrower with a higher credit score has a lower likelihood of defaulting on a loan. FICO credit scores range up to 850, with a score of 620 or more generally viewed as a “prime” loan and a score below 620 generally viewed as a “sub-prime” loan. “A minus” loans generally are loans where the borrowers have FICO credit scores between 575 and 660, and where the borrower has a blemished credit history. As of December 31, 2018, on a risk in-force basis and at the time of loan closing, approximately 99% of our primary insurance loans were “prime” in credit quality with FICO credit scores of at least 620.

Loss mitigation

Under our flow master policies, upon receipt of a valid claim we are generally required to pay the coverage percentage specified in the certificate of insurance and related expenses, but we also have the option to pay the lender an amount equal to the total unpaid loan principal (i.e., without applying the coverage percentage), delinquent interest and other expenses incurred with the default and foreclosure, and acquire title to the property.

 

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If a property is sold by the lender to a third party with our approval, the claim amount may be reduced or eliminated. We work closely with lenders who identify and monitor delinquent borrowers. When a delinquency cannot be cured through basic collections, we have the right to approve loan modifications and seek the cooperation of servicers in modifying the terms and conditions of delinquent mortgage loans so as to enable borrowers to stay in their home and avoid foreclosure, thereby potentially reducing our claims. We have granted loss mitigation delegation to servicers whereby they perform loss mitigation efforts on our behalf. Moreover, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (“CFPB”) mortgage servicing rule obligates servicers to engage in loss mitigation efforts with a borrower prior to foreclosure. These efforts have traditionally involved loan modifications intended to enable qualified borrowers to make restructured loan payments or efforts to sell the property thereby potentially reducing claim amounts to us.

After a delinquency is reported to us, we review, and where appropriate conduct further investigations. Under our master policies, we may request specified documentation concerning the origination, closing and servicing of an insured loan. Failure to deliver required documentation or our review of such documentation may result in rescission, cancellation or claims curtailment or denial. We will consider an insured’s appeal of our decision and if we agree with the appeal we take the necessary steps to reinstate uninterrupted insurance coverage and reactivate the loan certificate or otherwise address the issues raised in the appeal. If the parties are unable to agree on the outcome of the appeal, the insured may choose to pursue arbitration or litigation under the master policies and challenge the results. If arbitrated, ultimate resolution of the dispute would be pursuant to a panel’s binding arbitration award. Subject to applicable limitations in the master policies, legal challenges to our actions may be brought several years later. For additional information regarding our master policies, see “—Regulation—U.S. Insurance Regulation—Policy forms.”

From time to time, we enter into agreements with policyholders to accelerate claims and negotiate an agreed upon payment amount for claims on an identified group of delinquent loans. In exchange for our accelerated claim payment, mortgage insurance is cancelled and we are discharged from any further liability on the identified loans.

Distribution

We distribute our mortgage insurance products through our dedicated sales force throughout the United States. This sales force primarily markets to financial institutions and mortgage originators which impose a requirement for mortgage insurance as part of the borrower’s financing. In addition to our field sales force, we also distribute our products through a telephone sales force serving our smaller lenders, as well as through our “Action Center” which provides live phone support for all customer segments.

Competition

Our principal sources of competition are U.S. and state government agencies and other private mortgage insurers. We also compete with mortgage lenders and other investors, the GSEs, structured transactions in the capital markets, reinsurers and with other financial instruments designed to mitigate credit risk.

U.S. and state government agencies. We and other private mortgage insurers compete for flow mortgage insurance business directly with U.S. federal and state governmental and quasi-governmental agencies, principally the Federal Housing Administration (“FHA”) and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (“VA”). In addition to competition from the FHA and the VA, we and other private mortgage insurers face competition from certain local- and state-level housing finance agencies.

Private mortgage insurers. The U.S. private mortgage insurance industry remains highly competitive. There are currently six active mortgage insurers, including us.

Mortgage lenders, the GSEs, reinsurers and other participants in the mortgage finance industry. We have experienced competition in recent years from various participants in the mortgage finance industry including loan originators, the GSEs, investment banks and other purchasers of interests in mortgages as well as reinsurers and

 

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other participants in the capital markets. Competition from lenders has been in the form of self-insurance or origination of simultaneous second mortgages used to bring the loan-to-value ratio of a first mortgage below the level where mortgage insurance is required by the GSEs. The GSEs have continued to enter into risk sharing transactions with financial institutions other than mortgage insurers designed to reduce the risk of their mortgage portfolios partly in response to their conservator, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (“FHFA”). Third-party reinsurers have historically entered into transactions with mortgage insurers, including with our U.S. mortgage insurance subsidiaries, pursuant to which the third-party reinsurer assumes mortgage insurance risk for a fee. We may also compete with structured transactions in the capital markets and other financial instruments designed to mitigate the risk of mortgage defaults, such as credit default swaps and credit linked notes.

Canada Mortgage Insurance

We entered the Canadian mortgage insurance market in 1995 and operate in every province and territory. We are currently the leading private mortgage insurer in the Canadian market.

In July 2009, Genworth Canada, our indirect subsidiary, completed an initial public offering (“IPO”) of its common shares and we currently hold approximately 57.0% of the outstanding common shares of Genworth Canada on a consolidated basis, with GFIH holding 40.5% and our U.S. mortgage insurance business holding 16.5%. See note 23 in our consolidated financial statements under “Part II—Item 8—Financial Statements and Supplementary Data” for additional information.

Selected financial information and operating performance measures regarding our Canada Mortgage Insurance segment are included under “Part II—Item 7—Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations—Canada Mortgage Insurance segment.”

Products

Our main products are primary flow and bulk mortgage insurance. In both primary flow and bulk mortgage insurance, our mortgage insurance in Canada provides insurance coverage for 100% of the unpaid loan balance, including interest, selling costs and expenses. Regulations in Canada require the use of mortgage insurance for all high loan-to-value mortgage loans extended by federally incorporated banks, trust companies and insurers, where the loan-to-value ratio exceeds 80%. Most mortgage lenders in Canada offer both fixed rate and variable rate mortgages. High loan-to-value mortgages insured by our mortgage insurance business in Canada tend to be predominantly fixed rate mortgages of at least a five-year term, at the end of which the mortgages can be renewed. Most mortgage lenders in Canada offer a portability feature, which allows borrowers to transfer their original mortgage loan to a new property, subject to certain criteria. Our flow mortgage insurance policies contain a portability feature which allows borrowers to also transfer the mortgage default insurance associated with the mortgage loan.

We also provide bulk mortgage insurance to lenders that have originated loans with loan-to-value ratios of less than or equal to 80%. These policies provide lenders with immediate capital relief from applicable bank regulatory capital requirements and facilitate the securitization of mortgages in the Canadian market.

Government guarantee eligibility

We are subject to regulation under the Protection of Residential Mortgage or Hypothecary Insurance Act (Canada) (“PRMHIA”). Under the terms of PRMHIA, the Canadian government guarantees the benefits payable under a mortgage insurance policy, less 10% of the original principal amount of an insured loan, in the event that we fail to make claim payments with respect to that loan because of insolvency. We pay the Canadian government a risk fee for this guarantee. Because banks are not required to maintain regulatory capital on an asset backed by a sovereign guarantee, our 90% sovereign guarantee permits lenders purchasing our mortgage insurance to reduce their regulatory capital charges for credit risks on mortgages by 90%. Our primary government-sponsored competitor receives a 100% sovereign guarantee. The maximum outstanding insured

 

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exposure for private insured mortgages is CAD$350.0 billion, and the risk fee that we and other private mortgage insurers pay to the Canadian government is equal to 2.25% of gross premiums written.

Over the past several years, the Canadian government implemented a series of revisions to the rules for government guaranteed mortgages. We have incorporated these revisions into our underwriting guidelines. For more information about PRMHIA, see “—Regulation—Mortgage Insurance Regulation—Canada regulation.”

Underwriting and pricing

We review loan applications for all flow mortgage insurance loans we insure in Canada to evaluate each individual borrower’s credit strength and history, the characteristics of the loan and the value of the underlying property. We evaluate the credit strength of a borrower by reviewing his or her credit history and credit score. We employ internal mortgage scoring models in the underwriting processes, as well as automated valuation models to evaluate property risk and fraud application prevention and management tools. When underwriting bulk mortgage insurance transactions, we evaluate characteristics of the loans in the portfolio and examine loan files on a sample basis.

Loan applications for flow mortgage insurance in Canada are processed through a system that analyzes the data based on pre-established criteria and systematically determines the approval status. Our employees manually review loans that do not meet the criteria for automated decisioning. We have established an audit plan to review underwritten loans to ensure that documentation supports the data provided by lenders. Our audit teams request and review samples (statistically valid and/or stratified) of performing loans. Once an audit review has been completed, our audit teams summarize and evaluate their findings against policy. If our audit teams detect non-compliance issues, we work with the lender to develop appropriate corrective actions.

We regularly evaluate our new business risk profile, which includes: reviewing underwriting guidelines, product restrictions and reducing new business in geographic areas we believe are more economically sensitive. We believe these underwriting actions have improved our performance on our more recent books of business.

Loss mitigation

In Canada, we work closely with lenders to identify and monitor delinquent borrowers. When a delinquency cannot be cured through basic collections, we work with the lender and, if permitted, with the borrower to identify an optimal loan workout solution. If it is determined that the borrower has the capacity to make a modified mortgage payment, we work with the lender to implement the most appropriate payment plan to address the borrower’s hardship situation. If the borrower does not have the capacity to make payments on a modified loan, we work with the lender and borrower to sell the property at the best price to minimize the severity of our claim and provide the borrower with a reasonable resolution. We continue to execute a strategy to accelerate and facilitate the conveyance of real estate properties to us in selected circumstances. This strategy allows for better control of the remediation and marketing processes, reduction in carrying costs during the sale process and potential realization of a higher sales price with the cumulative impact being lower losses.

After a delinquency is reported to us, or after a claim is received, we review, and where appropriate conduct further investigations, to determine if there has been an event of underwriting non-compliance, non-disclosure of relevant information or any misrepresentation of information provided during the underwriting process. Our master policies provide that we may rescind coverage if there has been any failure to comply with agreed underwriting criteria or in the event of fraud or misrepresentation involving the lender or an agent of the lender. If such issues are identified, the claim or delinquent loan file is reviewed to determine the appropriate action, including potentially reducing the claim amount to be paid or rescinding the coverage. Generally, the issues we have initially identified are reviewed with the lender and the lender has an opportunity to provide further information or documentation to resolve the issue. Additionally, we may pursue recoveries from borrowers for paid claims within the time period permitted by law and use third-party collection agencies to assist in these recoveries.

 

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Distribution and customers

We maintain a dedicated sales force that markets our mortgage insurance products in Canada to lenders. Our sales force markets to financial institutions and mortgage originators, who in turn offer mortgage insurance products to borrowers.

Residential mortgage financing in Canada is concentrated in the country’s largest five banks and a limited number of other mortgage originators. The majority of our business in Canada comes from this group of residential mortgage originators. For example, two individual lender customers represented approximately 10% and 11% of total gross written premiums in our mortgage insurance business in Canada for the year ended December 31, 2018. No other lender customer accounted for 10% or more of gross written premiums in 2018.

Competition

Our primary mortgage insurance competitor in Canada is the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (“CMHC”) which is owned by the Canadian government, although we currently have one other private competitor in the Canadian market. CMHC’s mortgage insurance provides lenders with 100% capital relief from bank regulatory requirements. We compete with CMHC primarily based upon our reputation for high quality customer service, meeting customer service-level agreements for decision making on insurance applications, strong underwriting expertise and provision of support services.

Australia Mortgage Insurance

We entered the Australian mortgage insurance market in 1997. In 2018, we were a leading provider of mortgage insurance in Australia based upon flow new insurance written.

In May 2014, Genworth Mortgage Insurance Australia Limited (“Genworth Australia”), a holding company for Genworth’s Australian mortgage insurance business, completed an IPO of its common shares and we currently beneficially own approximately 52.0% of the ordinary shares of Genworth Australia through our subsidiaries. See note 23 in our consolidated financial statements under “Part II—Item 8—Financial Statements and Supplementary Data” for additional information.

Selected financial information and operating performance measures regarding our Australia Mortgage Insurance segment are included under “Part II—Item 7—Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations—Australia Mortgage Insurance segment.”

Products

In Australia, our main products are primary flow mortgage insurance, also known as lenders mortgage insurance (“LMI”), and bulk mortgage insurance, as well as structured insurance transactions where we provide excess of loss cover for bulk portfolios. LMI is similar to the single premium primary flow mortgage insurance we offer in Canada with 100% coverage. Residential mortgage loans in Australia are predominantly variable rate loans with 25 to 30 year terms. Lenders remit the single premium to us as the mortgage insurer following settlement of the loan and, generally, either collect the equivalent amount from the borrower at the time the loan proceeds are advanced or capitalize it in the loan.

Banks, building societies and credit unions generally acquire LMI only for residential mortgage loans with loan-to-value ratios above 80%. The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (“APRA”) makes and enforces the rules which govern authorized deposit-taking institutions (“ADIs”). APRA uses an application of international capital standards issued by the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision (“Basel Committee”), which are collectively termed the Basel framework, that generally allow for reduced capital requirements for high loan-to-value residential mortgage loans if they have been insured by a mortgage insurance company regulated by APRA. APRA’s application of the Basel framework for ADIs uses an internal ratings-based (“IRB”) approach in which the IRB models must be APRA approved. The IRB models may or may not allocate capital credit for LMI. We do not believe that the IRB ADIs currently benefit from an explicit reduction in their capital

 

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requirements for mortgage loans covered by mortgage insurance. We also believe that APRA and the IRB ADIs have not yet finalized internal models for residential mortgage risk. APRA’s insurance authorization conditions require Australian mortgage insurance companies, including ours, to be monoline insurers, which are insurance companies that offer just one type of insurance product.

We also provide bulk mortgage insurance in Australia mainly to APRA-regulated lenders that intend to securitize Australian residential loans they have originated. Bulk mortgage insurance serves as an important source of credit enhancement for the Australian securitization market, and our bulk coverage is generally purchased for low loan-to-value, seasoned loans, and accounted for approximately 10% of new insurance written in our Australian mortgage insurance business for the year ended December 31, 2018.

Underwriting and pricing

Loan applications for all flow loans we insure in Australia are reviewed either by us or approved lenders under delegated underwriting authority to evaluate each individual borrower’s credit strength and history, the characteristics of the loan and the value of the underlying property. Unlike in the United States where FICO credit scores are broadly used in evaluating a borrower’s credit strength, standardized credit scores are not widely used in Australia. We employ internal scoring models in the underwriting process and use risk rules models to enhance the underwriter’s ability to evaluate the loan risk and make consistent underwriting decisions. Additional tools used by our mortgage insurance business in Australia include automated valuation models to evaluate property risk and fraud application prevention and management tools. When underwriting bulk mortgage insurance transactions, we evaluate characteristics of the loans in the portfolio and examine loan files on a sample basis.

Our delegated underwriting program, in which loan applications for flow mortgage insurance are reviewed by employees of qualified mortgage lender customers who underwrite loan applications for mortgage insurance, permits approved lenders to commit us to insure loans using underwriting guidelines we have previously approved. We have established an audit plan to review delegated underwritten loans to ensure compliance with the approved underwriting guidelines, operational procedures and master policy requirements. Our audit teams request and review samples (statistically valid and/or stratified) of performing loans. Once an audit review has been completed, our audit teams summarize and evaluate their findings against policy. If our audit teams detect non-compliance issues, we work with the lender to develop appropriate corrective actions.

We regularly take actions to reduce our new business risk profile, which include: reviewing underwriting guidelines, product restrictions, reducing new business in geographic areas we believe are more economically sensitive, and terminating commercial relationships as a result of weaker business performance. We have also increased prices for certain products based on periodic reviews of performance, with a focus on higher risk segments. We believe these underwriting and pricing actions have improved our performance on newer books of business.

Loss mitigation

In Australia, we work closely with lenders to identify and monitor delinquent borrowers. When a delinquency cannot be cured through basic collections, we work with the lender to identify an optimal loan workout solution. If it is determined that the borrower has the capacity to make a modified mortgage loan payment, we work with the lender to implement the most appropriate payment plan to address the borrower’s hardship situation. If the borrower does not have the capacity to make payments on a modified loan, we work with the lender and borrower to sell the property at the best price to minimize the severity of our claim and provide the borrower with a reasonable resolution.

After a delinquency is reported to us, or after a claim is received, we review, and where appropriate conduct further investigations, to determine if there has been an event of underwriting non-compliance, non-disclosure of

 

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relevant information or any misrepresentation of information provided during the underwriting process. Our master policies provide that we may rescind coverage if there has been any failure to comply with agreed underwriting criteria or in the event of fraud or misrepresentation involving the lender or an agent of the lender. If such issues are identified, the claim or delinquent loan file is reviewed to determine the appropriate action, including potentially reducing the claim amount to be paid or rescinding the coverage. Generally, the issues we have initially identified are reviewed with the lender and the lender has an opportunity to provide further information or documentation to resolve the issue.

We may also review a group or portfolio of insured loans if we believe there may be systemic misrepresentations or non-compliance issues. If such issues are detected, we generally will work with the lender to develop an agreed settlement in respect of the group of loans so identified. Additionally, we may pursue recoveries from borrowers for paid claims within the time period permitted by law and use third-party collection agencies to assist in these recoveries.

Distribution and customers

We maintain a dedicated sales force that markets our mortgage insurance products in Australia to lenders. Our sales force markets to financial institutions and mortgage originators.

There is concentration among a small group of banks that write most of the residential mortgage loans in Australia. We maintain strong relationships within the major bank and regional bank channels, as well as building societies, credit unions and non-bank mortgage originators called mortgage managers. The four largest mortgage originators in Australia provide the majority of the financing for residential mortgages in that country. Our mortgage insurance business in Australia is concentrated in a small number of key customers. For instance, for the year ended December 31, 2018, our largest customer represented approximately 55% of gross written premiums. In November 2016, we entered into a new contract with our largest customer, effective January 1, 2017, with a term of three years. In November 2018, we entered into a new contract with our second largest customer, effective November 21, 2018, with a term of two years and the option to extend for an additional year at the customer’s discretion. This customer represented approximately 16% of our gross written premiums for the year ended December 31, 2018. No other customer represented 10% or more of gross written premiums in 2018.

These banks continue to evaluate the utilization of mortgage insurance in connection with the implementation of the bank capital standards in Australia based on the standards of the Basel Committee, and this could impact both the size of the private mortgage insurance market in Australia and our market share. The response of banks to the new capital standards will develop over time and this response could impact our Australian mortgage insurance business.

Competition

The Australian flow mortgage insurance market is primarily served by us and one other private mortgage insurance company, as well as certain lender-affiliated captive mortgage insurance companies. In addition, some lenders self-insure certain high loan-to-value mortgage risks. On January 17, 2019, APRA authorized a third private mortgage insurance company to conduct business in Australia. It is too early to determine the impact this additional competitor will have on our market share.

We compete primarily based upon our reputation for high quality customer service, meeting customer service-level agreements for decision making on insurance applications, strong underwriting expertise and flexibility in terms of product development and provision of support services.

U.S. Life Insurance

Through our U.S. Life Insurance segment, we offer long-term care insurance products. On March 7, 2016, we suspended sales of our traditional life insurance and fixed annuity products. While we no longer solicit sales of these products, we continue to service our existing retained and reinsured blocks of business. On April 1,

 

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2017, we acquired a North Carolina domiciled life insurance company, Securitas Financial Life Insurance Company, which we renamed Genworth Insurance Company, for a net purchase price of $5 million. During 2018 and 2017, we contributed capital of $6 million and $11 million, respectively, to this company. We plan to offer new long-term care solutions from this new life insurance company following the China Oceanwide transaction.

Selected financial information and operating performance measures regarding our U.S. Life Insurance segment are included under “Part II—Item 7—Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations—U.S. Life Insurance segment.”

Long-term care insurance

We established ourselves as a leader in long-term care insurance over 40 years ago and remain a leading insurer. We believe our experience, hedging strategies and reinsurance reduce some of the risks associated with these products.

Products

Our individual and group long-term care insurance products provide defined levels of protection against the significant costs of long-term care services provided in the insured’s home or in assisted living or nursing facilities. In contrast to health insurance, long-term care insurance provides coverage for skilled and custodial care provided outside of a hospital or health-related facility. Despite our low sales levels in our long-term care insurance business given our current ratings, we continue to evaluate new products and market trends to meet consumer needs.

Underwriting

We employ medical underwriting procedures to assess and quantify risks before we issue our individual long-term care insurance policies. Our group long-term care insurance product utilizes various underwriting processes, including modified guaranteed underwriting for actively at work employees and full medical underwriting for employees outside their enrollment window, retirees or others, including spouses of actively at work employees. We periodically review our underwriting requirements and have made, and may make changes to processes as needed.

Pricing

We have accumulated extensive pricing and claims experience. The overall financial performance of our long-term care insurance business depends primarily on the accuracy of our pricing assumptions, including for morbidity and mortality experience, persistency and investment yields. Our claims database provides us with substantial data that has helped us develop pricing methodologies for our newer policies. We tailor pricing based on segmented risk categories, including couples, gender, medical history and other factors. Financial performance on older policies issued without the full benefit of this experience has been worse than initially assumed in pricing of those blocks. We continually monitor trends and developments and update assumptions that may affect the risk, pricing and profitability of our long-term care insurance products and adjust our new product pricing and other terms, as appropriate. We also work with medical advisors and health industry experts which provide insights on emerging morbidity and medical trends, enabling us to be more proactive in our risk segmentation, pricing and product development strategies.

 

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In-force rate actions

As part of our strategy for our long-term care insurance business, we have been implementing, and expect to continue to pursue, significant premium rate increases and associated benefit reductions on older generation blocks of business in order to bring those blocks closer to a break-even point over time and reduce the strain on earnings and capital. We are also requesting premium rate increases and associated benefit reductions on newer blocks of business, as needed, some of which may be significant, to help bring their loss ratios back towards their original pricing. For all of these in-force rate action filings, we received 120 filing approvals from 33 states in 2018, representing a weighted-average increase of 45% on approximately $875 million in annualized in-force premiums. We also submitted 97 new filings in 30 states in 2018 on approximately $848 million in annualized in-force premiums.

As of December 31, 2018, we have suspended sales in Hawaii, Massachusetts, Montana, New Hampshire and Vermont, and will consider taking similar actions in the future in other states where we are unable to obtain satisfactory rate increases on in-force policies and/or unable to obtain approval for new products. We will also consider litigation against states that decline actuarially justified rate increases. As of December 31, 2018, we were in litigation with one state that has refused to approve actuarially justified in-force rate actions.

The approval process for in-force premium rate increases and the amount and timing of the rate increases approved vary by state. In certain states, the decision to approve or disapprove a rate increase can take several years. Upon approval, insureds are provided with written notice of the increase and increases are generally applied on the insured’s next policy anniversary date. As a result, the benefits of any in-force rate increase are not fully realized until the implementation cycle is complete and are, therefore, expected to be realized over time. For certain risks related to our long-term care insurance premiums and in-force rate increases, see “Item 1A—Risk Factors—Our financial condition, results of operations, long-term care insurance products and/or our reputation in the market may be adversely affected if we are not able to increase premiums and associated benefit reductions on our in-force long-term care insurance policies by enough or quickly enough; and the increased premiums or associated benefit reductions currently being implemented, as well as any future in-force rate actions, may lower product demand.”

Distribution

Currently, we distribute our products primarily through appointed independent producers and employer groups. We work to develop existing relationships with select distribution partners whose priorities closely align with ours. Additionally, we intend to focus on forming new partnerships that may incrementally expand our customer reach, especially to those in the middle market. Across all channels, we expect to prioritize closer relationships with consumers.

Our lower ratings from rating agency actions have resulted in distributor suspensions. We expect that our sales will continue to be adversely impacted by our current ratings. Future adverse ratings announcements or actions could further negatively impact our sales levels.

Competition

Competition in the long-term care insurance industry is primarily from a limited number of insurance companies. Our products compete by providing consumers with an array of long-term care coverage solutions. A broad set of insurers compete in the combination product market whereby they offer life insurance products with riders that accelerate or enhance benefits based upon a long-term care need, and other combination products. We expect that continued changes in the competitive landscape of the long-term care insurance market as well as our financial strength ratings will continue to impact our sales levels.

 

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Life insurance

Life insurance products provide protection against financial hardship after the death of an insured. Some of these products also offer a savings element that can help accumulate funds to meet future financial needs. We previously sold traditional life insurance product offerings including universal and term life insurance. We also previously sold an index universal life insurance product and linked-benefit products, combining a universal life insurance contract with a long-term care insurance rider. We continue to hold in-force blocks of these products, as well as in-force blocks of term universal life and whole life insurance.

Fixed annuities

Fixed annuity products help individuals create dependable income streams for life or for a specified period of time and help them save and invest to achieve financial goals. We previously sold traditional fixed annuity product offerings, including single premium deferred annuities, single premium immediate annuities and structured settlements. We continue to hold in-force blocks of these products.

Single premium deferred annuities

Fixed single premium deferred annuities require a single premium payment at time of issue and provide an accumulation period and an annuity payout period. The annuity payout period in these products may be either a defined number of years, the annuitant’s lifetime or the longer of a defined number of years and the annuitant’s lifetime. During the accumulation period, we credit the account value of the annuity with interest earned at a crediting rate guaranteed for no less than one year at issue, but which may be guaranteed for up to seven years, and thereafter is subject to annual crediting rate resets at our discretion. The crediting rate is based upon many factors including prevailing market rates, spreads and targeted returns, subject to statutory and contractual minimums. The majority of our fixed single premium deferred annuity contractholders retain their contracts for five to ten years.

Fixed indexed annuities have been part of our product suite of single premium deferred annuities. Fixed indexed annuities provide an annual crediting rate that is based on the performance of a defined external index rather than a rate that is declared by the insurance company. The external indices we use are the S&P 500® and the Barclay’s U.S. Low Volatility ER II Index. Our fixed indexed annuity product also may provide guaranteed minimum withdrawal benefits (“GMWBs”).

Single premium immediate annuities

Single premium immediate annuities provide a fixed amount of income for either a defined number of years, the annuitant’s lifetime or the longer of a defined number of years and the annuitant’s lifetime in exchange for a single premium.

Structured settlements

Structured settlement annuity contracts provide an alternative to a lump sum settlement, generally in a personal injury lawsuit or workers compensation claim, and typically are purchased by property and casualty insurance companies for the benefit of an injured claimant. The structured settlements provide scheduled payments over a fixed period or, in the case of a life-contingent structured settlement, for the life of the claimant with a guaranteed minimum period of payments.

Runoff

The Runoff segment includes the results of non-strategic products which have not been actively sold since 2011 but we continue to service our existing blocks of business. Our non-strategic products primarily include variable annuity, variable life insurance, institutional, corporate-owned life insurance and other accident and health insurance products. Institutional products consist of funding agreements and funding agreements backing notes (“FABNs”).

 

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Selected financial information and operating performance measures regarding our Runoff segment are included under “Part II—Item 7—Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations—Runoff segment.”

Products

Variable annuities and variable life insurance

Our variable annuities provide contractholders the ability to allocate purchase payments and contract value to underlying investment options available in a separate account format. The contractholder bears the risk associated with the performance of investments in the separate account. In addition, some of our variable annuities permit customers to allocate assets to a guaranteed interest account managed within our general account. Certain of our variable annuity products provide contractholders with lifetime guaranteed income benefits. Our variable annuity products generally provide guaranteed minimum death benefits (“GMDBs”) and may provide GMWBs and certain types of guaranteed annuitization benefits.

Variable annuities generally provide us fees including mortality and expense risk charges and, in some cases, administrative charges. The fees equal a percentage of the contractholder’s policy account value or related benefit base value, and as of December 31, 2018, ranged from 0.75% to 4.20% per annum depending on the features and options within a contract.

Our variable annuity contracts with a basic GMDB provide a minimum benefit to be paid upon the annuitant’s death, usually equal to the larger of the annuitant’s account value or the amount of net deposits. Some contractholders also have riders that provide enhanced death benefits. Assuming every annuitant died on December 31, 2018, as of that date, contracts with death benefit features not covered by reinsurance had an account value of $3,907 million and a related death benefit exposure, or net amount at risk, of $209 million.

Some of our variable annuity products provide the contractholder with a guaranteed minimum income stream that they cannot outlive, along with an opportunity to participate in market appreciation.

We no longer solicit sales of our variable annuity or variable life insurance products; however, we continue to service our existing block of business and accept deposits on existing contracts and policies.

Institutional

Our institutional products consist of funding agreements and FABNs, deposit-type contracts that allow funds to accumulate at a guaranteed rate of return over a specified period of time. We explore periodic issuance of our institutional products for asset-liability management and liquidity purposes.

Corporate-owned life insurance

We no longer offer our corporate-owned life insurance product; however, we continue to manage our existing block of business.

Other accident and health insurance

Our other accident and health insurance includes Medicare supplement insurance reinsured to a third party, and certain disability, accident and health insurance that we no longer sell but continue to manage our existing block of business.

Corporate and Other Activities

Our Corporate and Other activities include debt financing expenses that are incurred at the Genworth Holdings level, unallocated corporate income and expenses, eliminations of inter-segment transactions and the results of other businesses that are managed outside our operating segments, including certain smaller

 

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international mortgage insurance businesses and discontinued operations. We have a presence in the private mortgage insurance market in Mexico and maintained a license in South Korea through the end of 2017. In January 2018, we terminated our license in South Korea. We are also a minority shareholder of a joint venture partnership in India that offers mortgage guarantees against borrower defaults on housing loans from mortgage lenders in India. The financial impact of this joint venture was minimal during 2018, 2017 and 2016.

Corporate and Other activities also previously included our mortgage insurance businesses in Europe. On May 9, 2016, Genworth Mortgage Insurance Corporation (“GMICO”) completed the sale of our European mortgage insurance business to AmTrust Financial Services, Inc. and received net proceeds of approximately $50 million. See note 24 in our consolidated financial statements under “Part II—Item 8—Financial Statements and Supplementary Data” for additional information.

On December 1, 2015, we sold our lifestyle protection insurance business to AXA for approximately $493 million. This business was accounted for as discontinued operations and its financial position, results of operations and cash flows were separately reported for all periods presented. We received net proceeds of approximately $400 million from the sale. See note 24 in our consolidated financial statements under “Part II—Item 8—Financial Statements and Supplementary Data” for additional information.

Selected financial information regarding our Corporate and Other activities is included under “Part II—Item 7—Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations—Corporate and Other activities.”

International Operations

Our total revenues attributed to international operations for the years ended December 31, 2018, 2017 and 2016 were approximately $1.0 billion, $0.7 billion and $1.1 billion, respectively. More information regarding our international operations and revenue in our largest countries is presented in note 19 to the consolidated financial statements under “Part II—Item 8—Financial Statements and Supplementary Data.”

Risk Management

Risk management is a critical part of our business. We have an enterprise risk management framework that includes risk management processes relating to economic capital analysis, strategic initiatives, product development and pricing, management of in-force business, including certain mitigating strategies and claims risk management, credit risk management, asset-liability management, liquidity management, investment activities, model risk management, portfolio diversification, underwriting and loss mitigation, financial databases and information systems, information technology risk management, data security and cybersecurity, business acquisitions and dispositions, operational risk assessment capabilities and overall operational risk management.

We have identified the following as the most significant risk types to our business: credit risk, market risk, insurance risk, housing risk, operational risk, model risk and information technology risk. Related to these identified risk types, we have classified our top risks and frequently report those risks to both senior management and the risk committee of our Board of Directors. In addition, we have developed a process to identify and manage emerging risks and developed a model that seeks to quantify and calibrate all risks in their event of probability.

Our risk management framework includes seven key components: risk type key attributes (to ensure full coverage); identification of risk exposures to identify top risks; business strategy and planning; governance; risk quantification (both qualitative and quantitative); risk appetite; and stress testing. Our risk management framework also includes an assessment and implementation of company and business risk appetites, the identification and assessment of risks, a proactive decision process to determine which risks are acceptable to be

 

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retained (based on risk and reward considerations, among other factors) and the ongoing management, monitoring and reporting of material risks.

Our risk management practices are an important component in the management of our legacy long-term care insurance in-force blocks of business. We continue to pursue significant premium rate increases and associated benefit reductions on our older generation long-term care insurance in-force block. In support of this initiative, we have developed processes that include experience studies to analyze emerging experience, reviews of in-force product performance, overviews of assumption review processes, and comprehensive monitoring and reporting. In connection with these processes, our risk management team works closely with the U.S. life insurance business to enhance proper governance and to better align the development of assumptions with the identified risks.

As part of our evaluation of overall in-force product performance, new product initiatives and risk mitigation alternatives, we monitor regulatory and rating agency capital models as well as internal economic capital models to determine the appropriate level of risk-adjusted capital required. We utilize our internal economic capital model to assess the risk of loss to our capital resources based upon the portfolio of risks we underwrite and retain and upon our asset and operational risk profiles. Our commitment to risk management involves the ongoing review and expansion of internal risk management capabilities with a focus on improving infrastructure and modeling.

Product development and management

Our risk management process includes the development and introduction of new products and services. We have established a product development process that specifies a series of required analyses, reviews and approvals for any new product. For each proposed product, this process includes a review of the market opportunity and competitive landscape, major pricing assumptions and methodologies, return expectations and variability of returns, sensitivity analysis, asset-liability management, reinsurance and other risk mitigating strategies, underwriting criteria, legal, compliance and business risks and potential mitigating actions. Before we introduce a new product, we establish a monitoring program with specific performance targets and leading indicators, which we monitor frequently to identify any deviations from expected performance so that we can take corrective action if necessary. Significant product introductions, measured either by volume, level or type of risk, require approval by our senior management team at either the business or enterprise level.

We use a similar process to introduce changes to existing products and to offer existing products in new markets and through new distribution channels. Product performance reviews include an analysis of the major drivers of profitability, underwriting performance and variations from expected results, including an in-depth experience analysis of the product’s major risk factors. Other areas of focus include the regulatory and competitive environments and other emerging factors that may affect product performance.

In addition, we initiate special reviews when a product’s performance fails to meet the indicators we established during that product’s introductory review process for subsequent reviews of in-force blocks of business. If a product does not meet our performance criteria, we consider adjustments in pricing, design and marketing or ultimately discontinuing sales of that product. We review our underwriting, pricing, distribution and risk selection strategies on a regular basis in an effort to ensure that our products remain competitive and consistent with our marketing and profitability objectives. For example, in our mortgage insurance businesses, we review the profitability of lender accounts to assess whether our business with these lenders is achieving anticipated performance levels and to identify trends requiring remedial action, including changes to underwriting guidelines, product mix or other customer performance. We adhere to risk management disciplines and aim to leverage these efforts in our distribution and management of our products.

 

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Asset-liability management

We maintain segmented investment portfolios for the majority of our product lines. This enables us to perform an ongoing analysis of the interest rate, foreign exchange, equity, volatility and liquidity risks associated with each major product line, in addition to credit risks for our overall enterprise versus approved limits. We analyze the behavior of our liability cash flows across a wide variety of scenarios, reflecting policy features and expected policyholder behavior. Similarly, we analyze the potential cash flow variability of our asset portfolios across a wide variety of scenarios. We believe this analysis shows the sensitivity of both our assets and liabilities to changes in economic environments and enables us to manage our assets and liabilities more effectively, including but not limited to, investing in assets that have maturities that align more closely with our longer duration liabilities. In addition, we deploy hedging programs to mitigate certain economic risks associated with our assets, liabilities and capital. For example, we partially hedge the equity, interest rate and market volatility risks in our variable annuity products, as well as interest rate risks in our long-term care insurance products.

Liquidity management

We monitor the cash and highly marketable investment positions in each of our operating companies against operating targets that are designed to ensure that we will have the cash necessary to meet our obligations as they come due. The targets are set based on stress scenarios that have the effect of increasing our expected cash outflows and decreasing our expected cash inflows. In addition, we monitor the ability of our operating companies to provide the dividends needed to meet the cash needs of our holding companies and analyze the impact of reduced dividend levels and other potential factors under stress scenarios that may impact the liquidity priorities of our holding companies, in particular Genworth Holdings (the holder of our outstanding debt).

Portfolio diversification and investments

We use new business and in-force product limits to manage our risk concentrations and to manage product, business level, geographic and other risk exposures. We manage unique product exposures in our business segments. For example, in managing our mortgage insurance risk exposure, we monitor geographic concentrations in our portfolio and the condition of housing markets in each major area in the countries in which we operate. We also monitor fundamental price indicators and factors that affect home prices and their affordability at the national and regional levels.

In addition, our assets are managed within limitations to control credit risk and to avoid excessive concentration in our investment portfolio using defined investment and concentration guidelines that help ensure disciplined underwriting and oversight standards. We seek diversification in our investment portfolio by investing in multiple asset classes and limiting size of exposures. The portfolios are tailored to match, as closely as possible, the cash flow characteristics of our liabilities. We actively monitor exposures, changes in credit characteristics and shifts in markets.

We utilize surveillance and quantitative credit risk analytics to identify concentrations and drive diversification of portfolio risks with respect to issuer, sector, rating and geographic concentration. Issuer credit limits for the investment portfolios of each of our businesses (based on business capital, portfolio size and relative issuer cumulative default risk) govern and control credit concentrations in our portfolio. Derivatives counterparty risk and reinsurer credit exposure are integrated into issuer limits as well. We also limit and actively monitor country and sovereign exposures in our global portfolio and evaluate and adjust our risk profiles, where needed, in response to geopolitical and economic developments in the relevant areas.

Underwriting and loss mitigation

Underwriting guidelines for all products are routinely reviewed and adjusted as necessary with the aim of providing policyholders with the appropriate premium and benefit structure. We have separate underwriting units in our businesses that develop ongoing processes to assess the effectiveness of underwriting guidelines against

 

22


original pricing assumptions and any impacts to actual product performance and profitability. We seek external reviews from the reinsurance and consulting communities and utilize their experience to calibrate our risk taking to expected outcomes.

Our risk and loss mitigation activities include ensuring that new policies are issued based on accurate information and policy benefit payments are paid in accordance with the policy contract terms. We also have quality assurance programs that test policies and products to assess whether established underwriting guidelines are followed.

Financial databases and information systems

Our financial databases and information systems technology are important tools in our risk management. For example, we have substantial experience in offering long-term care and individual life insurance products with large databases of claims experience. We have extensive data on the performance of mortgage originations in the United States and other major markets we operate in which we use to assess the drivers and distributions of delinquency and claims experience.

We use technology, in some cases proprietary technology, to manage variations in our underwriting process. For example, in our mortgage insurance businesses, we use borrower credit bureau information, proprietary mortgage scoring models and/or our extensive database of mortgage insurance experience along with external data including rating agency data to evaluate new products and portfolio performance. In the United States and Canada, our proprietary mortgage scoring models use the borrower’s credit score and additional data concerning the borrower, the loan and the property, including but not limited to: loan-to-value ratio; loan type; loan amount; property type; occupancy status and borrower employment, to predict the likelihood of having to pay a claim. In addition, our models take into consideration macroeconomic variables such as unemployment, interest rate and home price changes. We believe assessing housing market and mortgage loan attributes across a range of economic outcomes enhances our ability to manage and price for risk. We perform portfolio analysis on an ongoing basis to determine if modifications are required to our product offerings, underwriting guidelines or premium rates.

Model risk management

We rely extensively on complex models to calculate the value of assets and liabilities (including reserves), capital levels and other financial metrics, as well as for other purposes. We have a model risk management framework in place that is designed to ensure model risks are appropriately identified, appropriate governance is in place, key models are maintained, model validation programs exist (that include relevant model issues and remediation plans, if necessary) and model risk is reported to management and our Board of Directors on a timely basis. Independent model validation teams assess on a systematic basis the appropriate use of models, taking into account the risks associated with assumptions, algorithms and process controls supporting the use of the models. See “Item 1A—Risk Factors—If the models used in our businesses are inaccurate or there are differences and/or variability in loss development compared to our model estimates and actuarial assumptions, it could have a material adverse impact on our business, results of operations and financial condition.”

Business dispositions

When we consider a disposition of a block/book of business or entity, we use various business, financial and risk management disciplines to evaluate the merits of the proposals and assess its strategic fit with our current business model. We have a review process that includes a series of required analyses, reviews and approvals similar to those employed for new product introductions. For additional information on potential sales of assets and/or businesses, see “Item 1—Business—Strategic Update—Strategic Alternatives.”

 

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Operational risk management

We have risk management programs in place to review the ongoing operation of our businesses in the event of loss or other adverse consequences on business outcomes resulting from inadequate or failed internal processes, people and systems or from external events. We provide risk assessments, together with control reviews, to provide an indication as to how the risks need to be managed. Significant events impacting our businesses are assessed in terms of their impact on our risk profile. Controls are used to mitigate or minimize the consequence of the risk if it did occur. Investigative teams are maintained in our various locations to address potential operational risk incidents from both internal and external sources.

Information technology risk management

Technology continues to expand and plays an ever increasing role in our business. To help mitigate some of the rising levels of risk, in 2018 we identified information technology risk management as a separate risk type and have dedicated more time and resources to this risk area. We have established an independent risk profile for information technology and routinely report our assessments to the risk committee of our Board of Directors. Our internal audit department works closely with our risk management team on audit planning, audit findings and overall adherence to our information technology programs and procedures. This collaborative effort seeks to mitigate some of the growing threats in our information technology environment.

Information security

Technology plays a critical role in our business operations. To protect the confidentiality, integrity and availability of our technology infrastructure and information, we leverage the operational risk and technology risk management programs to identify, monitor and manage risk.

Information security involves the protection of information assets against unacceptable risks and cybersecurity threats. Information assets include both information itself in the form of computer data, written materials, knowledge and supporting processes, and the information technology systems, networks, other electronic devices and storage media used to store, process, retrieve and transmit that information. These information assets play a vital role in our business conduct. As more information is used and shared by our employees, customers and suppliers, both within and outside our company, a concerted effort must be made to protect that information. Confidentiality, integrity and availability of information are essential to maintaining our reputation, legal position and ability to conduct our operations. We strive to adhere to high standards of information security governance, treating information security as a critical business issue and creating a security-conscious environment. We also strive to demonstrate to our customers and third parties that we deal with information security in a proactive manner and apply fundamental principles, such as assuming ultimate responsibility for information security, implementing controls and cybersecurity programs that are proportionate to risk. We have attempted to design our cybersecurity program to protect and preserve the confidentiality, integrity and availability of data and systems, although there can be no guarantees to the success of our cybersecurity program. See “Item 1A—Risk Factors—Our computer systems may fail or be compromised, and unanticipated problems could materially adversely impact our disaster recovery systems and business continuity plans, which could damage our reputation, impair our ability to conduct business effectively and materially adversely affect our financial condition and results of operations” for a discussion of the risks relating to information security.

Operations and Technology

Service and support

In our mortgage insurance businesses, we have introduced technology enabled services to help our customers (lenders and servicers) as well as our consumers (borrowers and homeowners). Technology advancements have allowed us to reduce application approval turn-times, error rates and enhance our customers’ ease of doing business with us. Through our secure internet-enabled information systems and data warehouses, servicers can transact business with us in a timely manner. In the United States, proprietary decision models have

 

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helped generate loss mitigation strategies for distressed borrowers. Our models use information from various third-party sources, such as consumer credit agencies, to indicate borrower willingness and capacity to fulfill debt obligations. Identification of specific borrower groups that are likely to work their loans out allows us to create custom outreach strategies to achieve a favorable loss mitigation outcome.

Operating centers

We have established scalable, low-cost operating centers in Virginia and North Carolina. In addition, through an arrangement with an outsourcing provider, we have a team of professionals in India and the Philippines who provide a variety of services primarily to our U.S. life insurance businesses and certain corporate functions, including data entry, transaction processing and functional support.

Reinsurance

We reinsure a portion of our annuity, life insurance, long-term care insurance and mortgage insurance with unaffiliated reinsurers. In a reinsurance transaction, a reinsurer agrees to indemnify another insurer for part or all of its liability under a policy or policies it has issued for an agreed upon premium. We participate in reinsurance activities in order to minimize exposure to significant risks, limit losses, and provide additional capacity for future growth. We also obtain reinsurance to meet certain capital requirements, including sometimes utilizing intercompany reinsurance agreements to manage our statutory capital positions. However, these intercompany agreements do not have an effect on our consolidated U.S. generally accepted accounting principles (“U.S. GAAP”) financial statements.

We enter into various agreements with reinsurers that cover individual risks, group risks or defined blocks of business, primarily on a coinsurance, yearly renewable term, excess of loss or catastrophe excess basis. These reinsurance agreements spread risk and minimize the effect of losses. For example, in addition to reinsuring mortality risk on our life insurance products, we have executed external reinsurance agreements to reinsure 20% of all sales of our individual long-term care insurance products that have been introduced since early 2013. The extent of each risk retained by us depends on our evaluation of the specific risk, subject, in certain circumstances, to maximum retention limits based on the characteristics of coverages.

Under the terms of the reinsurance agreements, the reinsurer agrees to reimburse us for the ceded amount in the event a claim is paid. Cessions under reinsurance agreements do not discharge our obligations as the primary insurer. In the event that reinsurers do not meet their obligations under the terms of the reinsurance agreements, reinsurance recoverable balances could become uncollectible. Our amounts recoverable from reinsurers represent receivables from and/or reserves ceded to reinsurers. The amounts recoverable from reinsurers were $17.3 billion and $17.6 billion as of December 31, 2018 and 2017, respectively.

We focus on obtaining reinsurance from a diverse group of reinsurers. We regularly evaluate the financial condition of our reinsurers and monitor concentration risk with our reinsurers at least annually. Our U.S. life insurance subsidiaries have established standards and criteria for our use and selection of reinsurers. In order for a new reinsurer to participate in our current program, without collateralization, we require the reinsurer to have a Standard & Poor’s Financial Services, LLC’s (“S&P”) rating of “A-” or better or a Moody’s Investors Service, Inc. (“Moody’s”) rating of “A3” or better and a minimum capital and surplus level of $350 million. If the reinsurer does not have these ratings, we generally require them to post collateral as described below. In addition, we may require collateral from a reinsurer to mitigate credit/collectability risk. Typically, in such cases, the reinsurer must either maintain minimum specified ratings and risk-based capital (“RBC”) ratios or provide the specified quality and quantity of collateral. Similarly, we have also required collateral in connection with books of business sold pursuant to indemnity reinsurance agreements. We have been required to post collateral when purchasing books of business.

Reinsurers that are not licensed, accredited or authorized in the state of domicile of the reinsured (“ceding company”) are required to post statutorily prescribed forms of collateral for the ceding company to receive

 

25


reinsurance credit. The three primary forms of collateral are: (i) qualifying assets held in a reserve credit trust; (ii) irrevocable, unconditional, evergreen letters of credit issued by a qualified U.S. financial institution; and (iii) assets held by the ceding company in a segregated funds withheld account. Collateral must be maintained in accordance with the rules of the ceding company’s state of domicile and must be readily accessible by the ceding company to cover claims under the reinsurance agreement. Accordingly, our U.S. life insurance subsidiaries require unauthorized reinsurers that are not so licensed, accredited or authorized to post acceptable forms of collateral to support their reinsurance obligations to us.

On September 22, 2017, U.S. federal authorities signed a covered agreement with the European Union (“EU”), on matters including reinsurance collateral. This agreement requires U.S. states to adopt, within five years from the execution of the covered agreement, laws removing reinsurance collateral requirements for reinsurance ceded to a qualifying non-U.S. reinsurer domiciled in an EU jurisdiction. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (the “NAIC”) is currently revising the Credit for Reinsurance Model Law and Model Regulation in order to bring them into compliance with the terms of the covered agreement. Additionally, in late December 2018, the U.S. Department of the Treasury and the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative entered into a covered agreement with the U.K., which will extend the benefits of the U.S., EU covered agreement to the U.K. after the withdrawal of the U.K. from the EU, commonly known as Brexit. We cannot currently predict the impact of these changes to the law or whether any other covered agreements will be successfully adopted, and cannot currently estimate the impact of these changes to the law and any such adopted covered agreements on our business, financial condition or operating results.

The following table sets forth our exposure to our principal reinsurers in our U.S. life insurance subsidiaries as of December 31, 2018:

 

(Amounts in millions)

   Reinsurance
recoverable
 

UFLIC (1)

   $ 13,975

RGA Reinsurance Company

   $ 1,423

Riversource Life Insurance Company

   $ 458

General Re Life Corporation

   $ 458

Munich American Reassurance Company

   $ 435

 

(1)

We have several significant reinsurance transactions with Union Fidelity Life Insurance Company (“UFLIC”), an affiliate of our former parent, General Electric Company (“GE”), which results in a significant concentration of reinsurance risk. UFLIC’s obligations to us are secured by trust accounts. See note 8 in our consolidated financial statements under “Part II—Item 8—Financial Statements and Supplementary Data.”

We reinsure a portion of our U.S. mortgage insurance risk in order to obtain credit towards the financial requirements of the private mortgage insurer eligibility requirements (“PMIERs”). Reinsurance transactions provided an aggregate of approximately $515 million of PMIERs capital credit as of December 31, 2018. The reinsurance coverage is provided by a panel of reinsurance partners each currently rated “A-” or better by S&P or A.M. Best Company, Inc. (“A.M. Best”). The transactions are structured as excess of loss coverage where both the attachment and detachment points of the ceded risk tier are within the PMIERs capital requirements at inception. Each reinsurance treaty has a term of 10 years and grants to Genworth a unilateral right to commute prior to the full term, subject to certain performance triggers.

In our mortgage insurance business in Australia, all of the reinsurance treaties that cover its flow insurance business are on an excess of loss basis that are designed to attach only under stress loss events and are renewable (with the agreement of both us and the relevant reinsurers) on a periodic basis. As of December 31, 2018, our Australian mortgage insurance business had five excess of loss treaties, all with a one year base term with options to extend for five to nine years, with an aggregate coverage limit of AUD$800 million. This coverage is provided by approximately 20 reinsurance partners, each currently rated “A-” or better by S&P and/or A.M. Best.

 

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All of the treaties qualify for full capital credit offset within APRA’s regulatory capital requirements. In early 2018, our mortgage insurance business in Australia also obtained reinsurance on a quota-share basis for a structured insurance transaction where it is in a secondary loss position.

For additional information related to reinsurance, see note 8 in our consolidated financial statements under “Part II—Item 8—Financial Statements and Supplementary Data.”

Financial Strength Ratings

Ratings with respect to the financial strength of operating subsidiaries are an important factor in establishing the competitive position of insurance companies. Ratings are important to maintaining public confidence in us and our ability to market our products. Rating organizations review the financial performance and condition of most insurers and provide opinions regarding financial strength, operating performance and ability to meet obligations to policyholders.

As of February 14, 2019, our principal mortgage insurance subsidiaries were rated in terms of financial strength by S&P, Moody’s and Dominion Bond Rating Service (“DBRS”) as follows:

 

Company

   S&P rating    Moody’s rating    DBRS rating

Genworth Mortgage Insurance Corporation

   BB+ (Marginal)    Ba1 (Questionable)    Not rated

Genworth Financial Mortgage Insurance Company Canada

   A+ (Strong)    Not rated    AA (Superior)

Genworth Financial Mortgage Insurance Pty Limited (Australia) (1)

   A+ (Strong)    Baa1 (Adequate)    Not rated

 

(1) 

Also rated “A+” by Fitch Ratings (“Fitch”).

As of February 14, 2019, our principal life insurance subsidiaries were rated in terms of financial strength by S&P, Moody’s and A.M. Best as follows:

 

Company

   S&P rating    Moody’s rating    A.M. Best
rating

Genworth Life Insurance Company

   B- (Weak)    B3 (Poor)    B- (Fair)

Genworth Life and Annuity Insurance Company

   B- (Weak)    Ba3 (Questionable)    B+ (Good)

Genworth Life Insurance Company of New York

   B- (Weak)    B3 (Poor)    B- (Fair)

The S&P, Moody’s, DBRS and A.M. Best financial strength ratings of our operating companies are not designed to be, and do not serve as, measures of protection or valuation offered to investors. These financial strength ratings should not be relied on with respect to making an investment in our securities.

S&P states that insurers rated “A” (Strong), “BB” (Marginal) or “B” (Weak) have strong, marginal or weak financial security characteristics, respectively. The “A,” “BB” and “B” ranges are the third-, fifth- and sixth-highest of nine financial strength rating ranges assigned by S&P, which range from “AAA” to “R.” A plus (+) or minus (-) shows relative standing within a major rating category. These suffixes are not added to ratings in the “AAA” category or to ratings below the “CCC” category. Accordingly, the “A+,” “BB+” and “B-” ratings are the fifth-, eleventh- and sixteenth-highest of S&P’s 21 ratings categories.

Moody’s states that insurance companies rated “Baa” (Adequate) offer adequate financial security and that insurance companies rated “Ba” (Questionable) or “B” (Poor) offer questionable financial security. The “Baa” (Adequate), “Ba” (Questionable) and “B” (Poor) ranges are the fourth-, fifth- and sixth-highest, respectively, of nine financial strength rating ranges assigned by Moody’s, which range from “Aaa” to “C.” Numeric modifiers are used to refer to the ranking within the group, with 1 being the highest and 3 being the lowest. These modifiers are not added to ratings in the “Aaa” category or to ratings below the “Caa” category. Accordingly, the “Baa1,” “Ba1,” “Ba3” and “B3” ratings are the eighth-, eleventh-, thirteenth- and sixteenth-highest, respectively, of Moody’s 21 ratings categories.

 

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DBRS states that long-term obligations rated “AA” are of superior credit quality. The capacity for the payment of financial obligations is considered high and unlikely to be significantly vulnerable to future events. Credit quality differs from “AAA” only to a small degree. On July 21, 2017, DBRS confirmed the financial strength rating of Genworth Financial Mortgage Insurance Company Canada at “AA” (Superior). The financial strength rating confirmation reflects the company’s market position, insurance portfolio and risk analytics, as well as its capital position relative to the capital required to meet insurance claim obligations.

A.M. Best states that the “B+” (Good) rating is assigned to those companies that have, in its opinion, a good ability to meet their ongoing insurance obligations while “B-” (Fair) is assigned to those companies that have, in its opinion, a fair ability to meet their ongoing insurance obligations. The “B+” (Good) and “B-” (Fair) ratings are the sixth- and eighth-highest of 15 ratings assigned by A.M. Best, which range from “A++” to “F.”

We also solicit a rating from Fitch for our Australian mortgage insurance subsidiary. Fitch states that “A” (Strong) rated insurance companies are viewed as possessing strong capacity to meet policyholder and contract obligations. The “A” rating category is the third-highest of nine financial strength rating categories, which range from “AAA” to “C.” The symbol (+) or (-) may be appended to a rating to indicate the relative position of a credit within a rating category. These suffixes are not added to ratings in the “AAA” category or to ratings below the “B” category. Accordingly, the “A+” rating is the fifth-highest of Fitch’s 21 ratings categories.

We also solicit a rating from HR Ratings on a local scale for Genworth Seguros de Credito a la Vivienda S.A. de C.V., our Mexican mortgage insurance subsidiary, with a short-term rating of “HR1” and long-term rating of “HR AA.” For short-term ratings, HR Ratings states that “HR1” rated companies are viewed as exhibiting high capacity for timely payment of debt obligations in the short-term and maintain low credit risk. The “HR1” short-term rating category is the highest of six short-term rating categories, which range from “HR1” to “HR D.” For long-term ratings, HR Ratings states that “HR AA” rated companies are viewed as having high credit quality and offer high safety for timely payment of debt obligations and maintain low credit risk under adverse economic scenarios. The “HR AA” long-term rating is the second-highest of HR Rating’s eight long-term rating categories, which range from “HR AAA” to “HR D.”

Ratings actions

On February 13, 2019, Moody’s affirmed the unsecured debt rating of Genworth Holdings and maintained a negative outlook. In addition, Moody’s placed our principal life insurance subsidiaries, GLIC, GLICNY and GLAIC under review for downgrade. Moody’s actions were based upon liquidity concerns at Genworth Holdings and our ability to service debt maturities given our current cash and liquid asset position, along with our modest dividend capacity in relation to our overall debt obligations. Moody’s actions were also based on our long-term care and life insurance business results in the fourth quarter of 2018, which included higher than expected operating losses due mostly to our annual assumption reviews, and due to further delays in obtaining regulatory approvals in connection with the completion of the China Oceanwide transaction.

On September 26, 2018, S&P downgraded the financial strength rating of our principal life insurance subsidiaries, GLIC, GLICNY and GLAIC, from “B+” (Weak) to “B-” (Weak). S&P also revised the CreditWatch status of Genworth Financial, Genworth Holdings and GMICO from negative implications to developing. S&P’s rating actions were based mostly on their negative view of the creditworthiness of our holding companies and principal life insurance subsidiaries, whereas the revised CreditWatch status was principally from the continued uncertainty around the closing of the China Oceanwide transaction and the associated regulatory review, and the timing of the deal close.

On July 25, 2018, A.M. Best affirmed the financial strength ratings of our principal life insurance subsidiaries and the credit rating of Genworth Financial and Genworth Holdings. Likewise, A.M. Best removed the under review with developing implications status on all existing Genworth ratings and assigned a stable outlook. These actions were taken by A.M. Best primarily from the outcome of the CFIUS review and our ability to address our May 2018 senior notes.

 

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On February 12, 2018, Moody’s downgraded the financial strength ratings of GLIC and GLICNY from “B2” (Poor) to “B3” (Poor) and downgraded the financial strength rating of GLAIC from “Ba1” (Questionable) to “Ba3” (Questionable). The downgrades of GLIC, GLICNY and GLAIC reflect uncertain financial flexibility at Genworth Holdings. In addition, the downgrades of GLIC and GLICNY also reflect concern around our ability to achieve in-force rate actions on our long-term care insurance policies and risks associated with the long-term care insurance market. The downgrade of GLAIC was predominantly focused on earnings volatility due to adverse mortality, reserve increases and accelerated deferred acquisition costs (“DAC”) amortization after our annual review of assumptions. Moody’s revised our ratings outlook from review for downgrade to negative mostly reflecting execution risk associated with the closing of the China Oceanwide transaction and continued liquidity risk due to our material debt maturities over the next five years.

On February 12, 2018, A.M. Best downgraded the financial strength rating of GLAIC from “B++” (Good) to “B+” (Good) and downgraded the financial strength ratings of GLIC and GLICNY from “B” (Fair) to “B-” (Fair). A.M. Best also announced that all ratings will remain under review pending the outcome of the China Oceanwide transaction; however, they revised their ratings outlook from negative implications to developing implications in response to our actions to address upcoming debt maturities. The A.M. Best downgrade of GLIC reflects their views on the lack of balance sheet strength along with marginal operating performance with limited product offerings as a result of our decision to discontinue new sales of traditional life and annuity products in 2016. Additionally, for GLIC and GLICNY, the A.M. Best downgrade also reflects limited growth potential as future growth is mainly based on continued in-force rate actions on our long-term care insurance products, and the dependence on the long-term care insurance market, which A.M. Best views as higher risk. Conversely, A.M. Best believes the balance sheet of GLAIC is adequate but is mostly muted by marginal operating performance and its limited business profile.

In addition to the financial strength ratings for our operating subsidiaries, rating agencies also assign credit ratings to the debt issued by our intermediate holding company, Genworth Holdings. These ratings are typically notched lower than the financial strength ratings of our primary operating subsidiaries, reflecting Genworth Holdings’ reliance on dividends from the operating subsidiaries to service its debt obligations. The unsecured debt ratings may be used in evaluating Genworth Holdings’ debt as a fixed income investment. On February 12, 2018, S&P rated the proposed Term Loan B+ (Weak) with a negative CreditWatch status, one notch higher than Genworth Holding’s unsecured debt rating of B (Weak), negative CreditWatch status, reflecting the collateral pool of GFIH’s ownership interest in Genworth Canada. On February 12, 2018, Moody’s rated the proposed Term Loan Ba3 (Questionable), two notches higher than Genworth Holdings’ unsecured debt rating of B2 (Poor), also reflecting the underlying collateral. Moody’s outlook is negative on our debt ratings.

S&P, Moody’s, DBRS, A.M. Best, Fitch and HR Ratings review their ratings on a regular basis and we cannot assure you that we will maintain our current ratings in the future. Other agencies may also rate our company or our insurance subsidiaries on a solicited or an unsolicited basis. We do not provide information to agencies issuing unsolicited ratings and we cannot ensure that any agencies that rate our company or our insurance subsidiaries on an unsolicited basis will continue to do so.

For information on adverse credit rating actions related to Genworth Holdings, see “Item 1A—Risk Factors—Adverse rating agency actions have resulted in a loss of business and adversely affected our results of operations, financial condition and business and future adverse rating actions could have a further and more significant adverse impact on us.”

Investments

Organization

Our investment department includes asset management, portfolio management, derivatives, risk management, operations, accounting and other functions. Under the direction of our Chief Investment Officer, it is responsible for managing the assets in our various portfolios, including establishing investment and derivatives

 

29


policies and strategies, reviewing asset-liability management, performing asset allocation for our domestic subsidiaries and coordinating investment activities with our international subsidiaries.

We use both internal and external asset managers to take advantage of expertise in particular asset classes or to leverage country-specific investing capabilities. We internally manage certain asset classes for our domestic insurance operations, including public government, municipal and corporate securities, structured securities, commercial mortgage loans, privately placed debt securities, equity securities and derivatives. We utilize external asset managers for most of our international portfolios, as well as select asset classes. Management of investments for our international operations is overseen by the investment committees reporting to the boards of directors of the applicable non-U.S. legal entities in consultation with our Chief Investment Officer. The majority of the assets in our Canadian and Australian mortgage insurance businesses are managed by unaffiliated investment managers located in their respective countries. As of December 31, 2018 and 2017, approximately 10% of our invested assets were held by our international businesses and were invested primarily in non-U.S.-denominated securities.

We manage our assets to meet diversification, credit quality, yield and liquidity requirements of our policy and contract liabilities by investing primarily in fixed maturity securities, including government, municipal and corporate bonds and mortgage-backed and other asset-backed securities. We also hold mortgage loans on commercial real estate and other invested assets, which include derivatives, bank loans, limited partnerships and short-term investments. Investments for our particular insurance company subsidiaries are required to comply with our risk management requirements, as well as applicable laws and insurance regulations.

For a discussion of our investments, see “Part II—Item 7—Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations—Consolidated Balance Sheets.”

Our primary investment objective is to meet our obligations to policyholders and contractholders while increasing value to our stockholders by investing in a diversified, high quality portfolio, comprised primarily of income producing securities and other assets. Our investment strategy focuses on:

 

   

managing interest rate risk, as appropriate, through monitoring asset durations relative to policyholder and contractholder obligations;

 

   

selecting assets based on fundamental, research-driven strategies;

 

   

emphasizing fixed-income, low-volatility assets while pursuing active strategies to enhance yield;

 

   

maintaining sufficient liquidity to meet unexpected financial obligations;

 

   

regularly evaluating our asset class mix and pursuing additional investment classes when prudent; and

 

   

continuously monitoring asset quality and market conditions that could affect our assets.

We are exposed to two primary sources of investment risk:

 

   

credit risk relating to the uncertainty associated with the continued ability of a given issuer to make timely payments of principal and interest and

 

   

interest rate risk relating to the market price and cash flow variability associated with changes in market interest rates.

We manage credit risk by analyzing issuers, transaction structures and any associated collateral. We continually evaluate the probability of credit default and estimated loss in the event of such a default, which provides us with early notification of worsening credits. We also manage credit risk through industry and issuer diversification and asset allocation practices. For commercial mortgage loans, we manage credit risk through property type, geographic region and product type diversification and asset allocation.

We manage interest rate risk by monitoring the relationship between the duration of our assets and the duration of our liabilities, seeking to manage interest rate risk in both rising and falling interest rate

 

30


environments, and utilizing various derivative strategies, where appropriate and available. For further information on our management of interest rate risk, see “Part II—Item 7A—Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk.”

Fixed maturity securities

Fixed maturity securities, which are classified as available-for-sale, including tax-exempt bonds, consisting principally of publicly traded and privately placed debt securities, represent 83% of total cash, cash equivalents, restricted cash and invested assets as of December 31, 2018 and 2017.

We invest in privately placed fixed maturity securities to increase diversification and obtain higher yields than can ordinarily be obtained with comparable public market securities. Generally, private placements provide us with protective covenants, call protection features and, where applicable, a higher level of collateral. However, our private placements are not as freely transferable as public securities because of restrictions imposed by federal and state securities laws, the terms of the securities and the characteristics of the private market.

The following table presents our public, private and total fixed maturity securities by the Nationally Recognized Statistical Rating Organizations (“NRSRO”) designations and/or equivalent ratings, as well as the percentage, based upon fair value that each designation comprises. Certain fixed maturity securities that are not rated by an NRSRO are shown based upon internally prepared credit evaluations.

 

     December 31,  

(Amounts in millions)

   2018     2017  

NRSRO designation

   Amortized
cost
     Fair
value
     % of
total
    Amortized
cost
     Fair
value
     % of
total
 

Public fixed maturity securities

                

AAA

   $ 10,113    $ 10,799      26   $ 11,973    $ 13,248      29

AA

     3,974      4,117      10     4,114      4,380      10

A

     11,261      12,005      29     11,730      13,261      29

BBB

     13,508      13,669      32     12,132      13,271      29

BB

     1,180      1,149      3     1,265      1,356      3

B

     97      93      —         106      109      —    

CCC and lower

     14      25      —         28      40      —    
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

   

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

Total public fixed maturity securities

   $ 40,147    $ 41,857      100   $ 41,348    $ 45,665      100
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

   

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

Private fixed maturity securities

                

AAA

   $ 2,526    $ 2,540      14   $ 1,816    $ 1,848      11

AA

     2,173      2,198      13     2,064      2,148      13

A

     4,824      4,866      27     4,605      4,856      29

BBB

     7,486      7,407      42     6,865      7,185      43

BB

     764      737      4     740      765      4

B

     61      54      —         48      48      —    

CCC and lower

     —          2      —         6      10      —    
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

   

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

Total private fixed maturity securities

   $ 17,834    $ 17,804      100   $ 16,144    $ 16,860      100
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

   

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

Total fixed maturity securities

                

AAA

   $ 12,639    $ 13,339      22   $ 13,789    $ 15,096      24

AA

     6,147      6,315      11     6,178      6,528      11

A

     16,085      16,871      28     16,335      18,117      29

BBB

     20,994      21,076      36     18,997      20,456      33

BB

     1,944      1,886      3     2,005      2,121      3

B

     158      147      —         154      157      —    

CCC and lower

     14      27      —         34      50      —    
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

   

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

Total fixed maturity securities

   $ 57,981    $ 59,661      100   $ 57,492    $ 62,525      100
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

   

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

 

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Based upon fair value, public fixed maturity securities represented 70% and 73%, respectively, of total fixed maturity securities as of December 31, 2018 and 2017. Private fixed maturity securities represented 30% and 27%, respectively, of total fixed maturity securities as of December 31, 2018 and 2017.

We diversify our corporate securities by industry and issuer. As of December 31, 2018, our combined holdings in the 10 corporate issuers to which we had the greatest exposure was $2.2 billion, which was approximately 3% of our total cash, cash equivalents, restricted cash and invested assets. The exposure to the largest single corporate issuer held as of December 31, 2018 was $337 million, which was less than 1% of our total cash, cash equivalents, restricted cash and invested assets. See note 4 to our consolidated financial statements under “Part II—Item 8—Financial Statements and Supplementary Data” for additional information on diversification by sector.

We do not have material unhedged exposure to foreign currency risk in our invested assets. In our international insurance operations, both our assets and liabilities are generally denominated in local currencies. For certain invested assets in our international insurance operations that are denominated in currencies other than their respective local currency, we have effectively hedged the exposure to foreign currency risk.

Further analysis related to our investments portfolio as of December 31, 2018 and 2017 is included under “Part II—Item 7—Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations—Investments and Derivative Instruments.”

Commercial mortgage loans and other invested assets

Our mortgage loans are collateralized by commercial properties, including multi-family residential buildings. Commercial mortgage loans are primarily stated at principal amounts outstanding, net of deferred expenses and allowance for loan losses. We diversify our commercial mortgage loans by both property type and geographic region. See note 4 to our consolidated financial statements under “Part II—Item 8—Financial Statements and Supplementary Data” for additional information on distribution across property type and geographic region for commercial mortgage loans, as well as information on our interest in equity securities and other invested assets.

Selected financial information regarding our other invested assets and derivative instruments as of December 31, 2018 and 2017 is included under “Part II—Item 7—Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations—Investments and Derivative Instruments.”

Regulation

Our businesses are subject to extensive regulation and supervision.

General

Our insurance operations are subject to a wide variety of laws and regulations. State insurance laws and regulations (“Insurance Laws”) regulate most aspects of our U.S. insurance businesses, and our U.S. insurers are regulated by the insurance departments of the states in which they are domiciled and licensed. Our non-U.S. insurance operations are principally regulated by insurance regulatory authorities in the jurisdictions in which they are domiciled. Our insurance products and businesses also are affected by U.S. federal, state and local tax laws, and the tax laws of non-U.S. jurisdictions. Our securities operations, including our insurance products that are regulated as securities, such as variable annuities and variable life insurance, also are subject to U.S. federal and state and non-U.S. securities laws and regulations. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”), FINRA, state securities authorities and similar non-U.S. authorities regulate and supervise these products.

The primary purpose of the Insurance Laws regulating our insurance businesses and their equivalents in the other countries in which we operate, and the securities laws affecting our variable annuity products, variable life

 

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insurance products, registered FABNs and our broker/dealer, is to protect our policyholders, contractholders and clients, not our stockholders. These laws and regulations are regularly re-examined and any changes to these laws or new laws may be more restrictive or otherwise adversely affect our operations.

Insurance and securities regulatory authorities (including state law enforcement agencies and attorneys general or their non-U.S. equivalents) periodically make inquiries regarding compliance with insurance, securities and other laws and regulations, and we cooperate with such inquiries and take corrective action when warranted.

Our distributors and institutional customers also operate in regulated environments. Changes in the regulations that affect their operations may affect our business relationships with them and their decision to distribute or purchase our subsidiaries’ products.

In addition, the Insurance Laws of our U.S. insurers’ domiciliary jurisdictions and the equivalent laws in Australia, Canada and certain other jurisdictions in which we operate require that a person obtain the approval of the applicable insurance regulator prior to acquiring control, and in some cases prior to divesting its control, of an insurer. These laws may discourage potential acquisition proposals and may delay, deter or prevent an investment in or a change of control involving us, or one or more of our regulated subsidiaries, including transactions that our management and some or all of our stockholders might consider desirable.

U.S. Insurance Regulation

Our U.S. insurers are licensed and regulated in all jurisdictions in which they conduct insurance business. The extent of this regulation varies, but Insurance Laws generally govern the financial condition of insurers, including standards of solvency, types and concentrations of permissible investments, establishment and maintenance of reserves, credit for reinsurance and requirements of capital adequacy, and the business conduct of insurers, including marketing and sales practices and claims handling. In addition, Insurance Laws usually require the licensing of insurers and agents, and the approval of policy forms, related materials and the rates for certain lines of insurance. For example, in most states where our U.S. mortgage insurance subsidiaries are licensed, we are required to file rates before we are authorized to charge premiums. In some states, these rates must be approved before their use. Likewise, changes in rates must be filed and receive approval. In general, states may require actuarial justification on the basis of the insurer’s loss experience, expenses and future projections. In addition, states may consider general default experience in the U.S. mortgage insurance industry in assessing the premium rates charged by U.S. mortgage insurers.

The Insurance Laws applicable to us or our U.S. insurers are described below. Our U.S. mortgage insurers are also subject to additional Insurance Laws applicable specifically to mortgage insurers discussed below under “—Mortgage Insurance Regulation.”

Insurance holding company regulation

All U.S. jurisdictions in which our U.S. insurers conduct business have enacted legislation requiring each U.S. insurer (except captive insurers) in a holding company system to register with the insurance regulatory authority of its domiciliary jurisdiction and furnish that regulatory authority various 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 Insurance Laws regulate transactions between insurers and their affiliates, sometimes mandating prior notice to the regulator and/or regulatory approval. Generally, these Insurance Laws require that all transactions between an insurer and an affiliate be fair and reasonable, and that the insurer’s statutory surplus following such transaction be reasonable in relation to its outstanding liabilities and adequate to its financial needs.

Our U.S. subsidiary insurers’ payment of dividends or other distributions to our holding company is regulated by the Insurance Laws of their respective domiciliary states, and insurers may not pay an

 

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“extraordinary” dividend or distribution, or pay a dividend except out of earned surplus, without prior regulatory approval. In general, an “extraordinary” dividend or distribution is defined as a dividend or distribution that, together with other dividends and distributions made within the preceding 12 months, exceeds the greater (or, in some jurisdictions, the lesser) of:

 

   

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

 

   

the statutory net gain from the insurer’s operations (if a life insurer) or the statutory net income (loss) (if not a life insurer) during the prior calendar year.

In addition, insurance regulators may prohibit the payment of ordinary dividends or other payments by our insurers (such as a payment under a tax sharing agreement or for employment or other services) if they determine that such payment could be adverse to our policyholders or contractholders.

The Insurance Laws require that a person obtain the approval of the insurance commissioner of an insurer’s domiciliary jurisdiction prior to acquiring control of such insurer. Control of an insurer is generally presumed to exist if any person, directly or indirectly, owns, controls, holds with the power to vote, or holds proxies representing 10% or more of the voting securities of the insurer or any parent company of the insurer. In considering an application to acquire control of an insurer, the insurance commissioner generally considers factors such as the experience, competence and financial strength of the applicant, the integrity of the applicant’s board of directors and executive officers, the acquirer’s plans for the management and operation of the insurer, and any anti-competitive results that may arise from the acquisition. Many states require a person seeking to acquire control of an insurer licensed but not domiciled in that state to make a filing prior to completing an acquisition if the acquirer and its affiliates and the target insurer and its affiliates have specified market shares in the same lines of insurance in that state. These provisions may not require acquisition approval but can lead to imposition of conditions on an acquisition that could delay or prevent its consummation.

The Insurance Laws require that an insurance holding company system’s ultimate controlling person submit annually to its lead state insurance regulator an “enterprise risk report” that identifies activities, circumstances or events involving one or more affiliates of an insurer that, if not remedied properly, are likely to have a material adverse effect upon the financial condition or liquidity of the insurer or its insurance holding company system as a whole. The Insurance Laws also require that a controlling person of an insurer submit prior notice to the insurer’s domiciliary insurance regulator of a divestiture of control. Finally, most states have adopted insurance regulations setting forth detailed requirements for cost sharing and management agreements between an insurer and its affiliates.

The NAIC adopted the Risk Management and Own Risk and Solvency Assessment Model Act (the “ORSA Model Act”). The ORSA Model Act requires an insurance holding company system’s Chief Risk Officer to submit annually to its lead state insurance regulator an Own Risk and Solvency Assessment (“ORSA”) Summary Report. The ORSA is a confidential internal assessment appropriate to the nature, scale and complexity of an insurer, conducted by that insurer of the material and relevant risks identified enterprise wide by the insurer associated with an insurer’s current business plan and the sufficiency of capital and liquidity resources to support those risks. Most states have adopted the ORSA Model Act. Under ORSA, we are required to:

 

   

regularly, no less than annually, conduct an ORSA to assess the adequacy of our risk management framework, including enhancements and updates to such framework, and current and estimated projected future solvency position;

 

   

internally document the process and results of the assessment; and

 

   

provide a confidential high-level ORSA Summary Report annually to the lead state commissioner if the insurer is a member of an insurance group and make such report available, upon request, to other domiciliary state regulators within the holding company group.

The NAIC has adopted several model laws and regulations as part of its now completed Solvency Modernization Initiative. For example, the NAIC adopted the Corporate Governance Annual Disclosure Model

 

34


Act and the Corporate Governance Annual Disclosure Model Regulation (the “Corporate Governance Model Act and Regulation”), that would require insurers to disclose detailed information regarding their governance practices. The Corporate Governance Model Act (as opposed to the corresponding regulation) has been adopted in 26 states, but in only two states where our insurance subsidiaries are domiciled. In addition, the NAIC adopted amendments to the insurance holding company model act and regulations (the “NAIC Holding Company Amendments”) that would authorize U.S. regulators to, among other items, lead or participate in the group-wide supervision of certain international insurance groups. The NAIC Holding Company Amendments must be adopted by individual state legislatures in order to be effective in a particular state. To date, the amendments to the Insurance Holding Company System Regulatory Act (as opposed to the corresponding regulation) have been adopted in Delaware, but not in Virginia, North Carolina or New York.

During 2014, the NAIC approved a regulatory framework applicable to the use of captive insurers in connection with Regulation XXX and Regulation AXXX transactions. Among other things, the framework calls for more disclosure of an insurer’s use of captives in its statutory financial statements, and narrows the types of assets permitted to back statutory reserves that are required to support the insurer’s future obligations. The NAIC implemented the framework through an actuarial guideline (“AG 48”), which requires the actuary of the ceding insurer that opines on the insurer’s reserves to issue a qualified opinion if the framework is not followed. The requirements of AG 48 became effective as of January 1, 2015 in all states, without any further action necessary by state legislatures or insurance regulators to implement it, other than to refer to the revised NAIC Accounting Practices and Procedures Manual, which included the new requirements of AG 48. In December 2016, the NAIC adopted a revised version of AG 48 (“Updated AG 48”), with revisions applicable to new policies issued and new reinsurance transactions entered into on or after January 1, 2017. AG 48 and Updated AG 48 do not affect reinsurance arrangements that were pre-existing as of January 1, 2015, and the changes set forth in Updated AG 48 do not affect reinsurance arrangements that were pre-existing as of January 1, 2017. In December 2016, the NAIC also adopted the Term and Universal Life Insurance Reserve Financing Model Regulation, which subsequent to the adoption date, codified the provisions of AG 48 and Updated AG 48. The states have started to adopt this model regulation. It is not clear what additional changes or state variations may emerge as the states adopt this model regulation. In 2017, Virginia adopted its rules governing Term and Universal Life Insurance Reserve Financing, which was effective for GLAIC on January 1, 2018. Virginia is among four states to adopt the new rules under the Term and Universal Life Insurance Reserve Financing Model Regulation.

Periodic reporting

Our U.S. insurers must file reports, including detailed annual financial statements, with insurance regulatory authorities in each jurisdiction in which they do business, and their operations and accounts are subject to periodic examination by such authorities.

Policy forms

Our U.S. insurers’ policy forms are subject to regulation in every U.S. jurisdiction in which they transact insurance business. In most U.S. jurisdictions, policy forms must be filed prior to their use, and in some U.S. jurisdictions, forms must be approved by insurance regulatory authorities prior to use.

Market conduct regulation

The Insurance Laws of U.S. jurisdictions govern the marketplace activities of insurers, affecting the form and content of disclosure to consumers, product illustrations, advertising, product replacement, sales and underwriting practices, and complaint and claims handling, and these provisions are generally enforced through periodic market conduct examinations.

Statutory examinations

Insurance departments in U.S. jurisdictions conduct periodic detailed examinations of the books, records, accounts and business practices of domestic insurers. These examinations generally are conducted in cooperation

 

35


with insurance departments of two or three other states or jurisdictions representing each of the NAIC zones, under guidelines promulgated by the NAIC.

Guaranty associations and similar arrangements

Most jurisdictions in which our U.S. insurers are licensed require those insurers to participate in guaranty associations which pay contractual benefits owed under the policies of impaired or insolvent insurers. These associations levy assessments, up to prescribed limits, on each member insurer in a jurisdiction on the basis of the proportionate share of the premiums written by such insurer in the lines of business in which the impaired, insolvent or failed insurer is engaged. Some jurisdictions permit member insurers to recover assessments paid through full or partial premium tax offsets.

On March 1, 2017, the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court approved petitions to liquidate Penn Treaty Network America Insurance Company and American Network Insurance Company (“Penn Treaty”) due to financial difficulties that could not be resolved through rehabilitation. As a result, we received guaranty fund assessments of $32 million related to Penn Treaty in 2017, of which our long-term care insurance business recorded the majority of the expense.

Aggregate assessments levied against our U.S. insurers were not significant to our consolidated financial statements for the years ended December 31, 2018 and 2016.

Policy and contract reserve sufficiency analysis

The Insurance Laws of their domiciliary jurisdictions require our U.S. life insurers to conduct annual analyses of the sufficiency of their life and health insurance and annuity reserves. Other jurisdictions where insurers are licensed may have certain reserve requirements that differ from those of their domiciliary jurisdictions. In each case, a qualified actuary must submit an opinion stating 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 insurer’s associated contractual obligations and related expenses. If such an opinion cannot be provided, the insurer must establish additional reserves by transferring funds from surplus. Our U.S. life insurers submit these opinions annually to their insurance regulatory authorities. We annually conduct a statutory cash flow testing process to support our opinions. Different reserve requirements exist for our U.S. mortgage insurance subsidiaries. See “—Mortgage Insurance Regulation—State regulation—Reserves.”

Surplus and capital requirements

Insurance regulators have the discretionary authority, in connection with maintaining the licensing of our U.S. insurers, to limit or restrict insurers from issuing new policies, or policies having a dollar value over certain thresholds, if, in the regulators’ judgment, the insurer is not maintaining a sufficient amount of surplus or is in a hazardous financial condition. We seek to maintain new business and capital management strategies to support meeting related regulatory requirements.

Risk-based capital

The NAIC has established RBC standards for U.S. life insurers, as well as a risk-based capital model act (“RBC Model Act”). All 50 states and the District of Columbia have adopted the RBC Model Act or a substantially similar law or regulation. The RBC Model Act requires that life insurers annually submit a report to state regulators regarding their RBC based upon four categories of risk: asset risk, insurance risk, interest rate and market risk, and business risk. The capital requirement for each is generally determined by applying factors which vary based upon the degree of risk to various asset, premium and reserve items. The formula is an early warning tool to identify possible weakly capitalized companies for purposes of initiating further regulatory action.

 

36


Regulatory compliance is determined by a ratio of a company’s total adjusted capital (“TAC”) to its authorized control level RBC (“ACL RBC”). The minimum level of TAC before corrective action commences (“Company Action Level”) is two times the ACL RBC or three times the ACL RBC with a negative trend. If an insurer’s ACL RBC falls below specified levels, it would be subject to different degrees of regulatory action depending upon the level, ranging from requiring the insurer to propose actions to correct the capital deficiency to placing the insurer under regulatory control. Our reported RBC ratio measures the ratio of TAC to our Company Action Level.

As of December 31, 2018, the RBC of each of our U.S. life insurance subsidiaries exceeded the level of RBC that would require any of them to take or become subject to any corrective action in their respective domiciliary state. The consolidated RBC ratio of our U.S. domiciled life insurance subsidiaries was approximately 199% and 282% as of December 31, 2018 and 2017, respectively.

Group capital

The NAIC and international insurance regulators, including the International Association of Insurance Supervisors (“IAIS”), are continuing to develop group capital standards. The NAIC is developing a group capital calculation tool using an RBC aggregation methodology for all entities within the insurance holding company system. The NAIC expects to enter the field testing phase in early 2019. The IAIS has been developing a risk-based global insurance capital standard (“ICS”) based upon 10 key principles, which might impact internationally active insurance groups and current global systemically important insurers, as defined by the IAIS. The IAIS expects to adopt the ICS in November 2019, to be followed by a five-year monitoring period prior to implementation. It is unclear how the development of group capital measures by the NAIC and IAIS will interact with existing capital requirements for insurance companies in the United States and with international capital standards. It is possible that we may be required to hold additional capital as a result of these developments.

Statutory accounting principles

U.S. insurance regulators developed statutory accounting principles (“SAP”) as a basis of accounting used to monitor and regulate the solvency of insurers. Since insurance regulators are primarily concerned with ensuring an insurer’s ability to pay its current and future obligations to policyholders, statutory accounting conservatively values 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 are generally adopted by regulators in the various U.S. jurisdictions.

Due to differences in methodology between SAP and U.S. GAAP, the values for assets, liabilities and equity reflected in financial statements prepared in accordance with U.S. GAAP are materially different from those reflected in financial statements prepared under SAP.

Regulation of investments

Each of our U.S. insurers is subject to Insurance Laws that require diversification of its investment portfolio and which limit the proportion of investments in different asset categories. Assets invested contrary to such regulatory limitations must be treated as non-admitted assets for purposes of measuring surplus, and, in some instances, regulations require divestiture of such non-complying investments. We believe the investments made by our U.S. insurers comply with these Insurance Laws.

The NAIC continues to review the investment risk factors for fixed income assets that are applied in the NAIC’s RBC formula for life insurers. In August 2017, the NAIC’s Investment Risk-Based Capital Working Group exposed new factors for comment with the expectation that the proposed factors would be effective for the year ending 2019. The proposed factors are applied to 20 different ratings categories versus the current six

 

37


ratings categories, thereby providing additional granularity to the risk charges applied across insurer investment portfolios. Generally, the proposed factors are higher than the current factors for more highly rated fixed income assets and are lower than current factors for lower rated fixed income assets. The NAIC is still targeting year-end 2019 for the implementation date, although it is more likely that the revisions will become effective by year-end 2020. Additional time is needed for the NAIC to update its systems so that it can accept the 20 new ratings categories. If the proposed factors are adopted, we believe our required capital will increase. In addition, the proposed factors may encourage insurers to invest more of their portfolios in lower rated fixed income assets to benefit from the lower risk charges.

Federal regulation of insurance products

Most of our variable annuity products, some of our fixed guaranteed products, and all of our variable life insurance products, as well as our FABNs issued as part of our registered notes program are “securities” within the meaning of federal and state securities laws, are registered under the Securities Act of 1933 and are subject to regulation by the SEC. See “—Other Laws and Regulations—Securities regulation.” The entities that offer these products that are broker/dealers, as defined by the SEC, are also regulated by FINRA and may be regulated by state securities authorities. Federal and state securities regulation similar to that discussed below under “—Other Laws and Regulations—Securities regulation” affects investment advice and sales and related activities with respect to these products. U.S. mortgage insurance products and insurers are also subject to federal regulation discussed below under “—Mortgage Insurance Regulation.” In addition, although the federal government does not comprehensively regulate the business of insurance, federal legislation and administrative policies in several areas, including taxation, financial services regulation, and pension and welfare benefits regulation, can also significantly affect the insurance industry.

Dodd-Frank Act and other federal initiatives

Although the federal government generally does not directly regulate the insurance business, federal initiatives often have an impact on the business in a variety of ways, including limitations on antitrust immunity, tax incentives for lifetime annuity payouts, simplification bills affecting tax-advantaged or tax-exempt savings and retirement vehicles, and proposals to modify the estate tax. In addition, various forms of direct federal regulation of insurance have been proposed in recent years.

The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (the “Dodd-Frank Act”) made extensive changes to the laws regulating financial services firms and required various federal agencies to adopt a broad range of new implementing rules and regulations, many of which have taken effect.

Among other provisions, the Dodd-Frank Act established a new framework of regulation of the over-the-counter (“OTC”) derivatives markets. The clearing requirements under the Dodd-Frank Act require us to post with a futures commission merchant highly liquid securities or cash as initial margin and cash to meet variation margin requirements for most interest rate derivatives we trade. As the new marketplace continues to evolve, we may have to alter or limit the way we use derivatives in the future, which could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations and financial condition. We are subject to similar trade reporting, documentation, central trading and clearing and OTC margining requirements when we transact with foreign derivatives counterparties. In addition, regulations adopted by federal banking regulators that will begin to take effect in 2019 will require certain bank-regulated counterparties and certain of their affiliates to include in certain financial contracts, including many derivatives contracts, terms that delay or restrict the rights of counterparties, such as us, to terminate such contracts, foreclose upon collateral, exercise other default rights or restrict transfers of affiliate credit enhancements (such as guarantees) in the event that the bank-regulated counterparty and/or its affiliates are subject to certain types of resolution or insolvency proceedings. It is possible that these new requirements, as well as potential additional government regulation and other developments in the market, could adversely affect our ability to terminate existing derivatives agreements or to realize amounts to be received

 

38


under such agreements. The Dodd-Frank Act and related federal regulations and foreign derivatives requirements expose us to operational, compliance, execution and other risks, including central counterparty insolvency risk.

In the case of our U.S. mortgage insurance business, the Dodd-Frank Act prohibited a creditor from making a residential mortgage loan unless the creditor makes a reasonable and good faith determination that, at the time the loan is consummated, the consumer has a reasonable ability to repay the loan. In addition, the Dodd-Frank Act created the CFPB, which regulates certain aspects of the offering and provision of consumer financial products or services but not the business of insurance. Certain rules established by the CFPB require mortgage lenders to demonstrate that they have effectively considered the consumer’s ability to repay a mortgage loan, establish when a mortgage may be classified as a Qualified Mortgage and determine when a lender is eligible for a safe harbor as a presumption that the lender has complied with the ability-to-repay requirements.

The Dodd-Frank Act also established a Financial Stability Oversight Council (“FSOC”), which is authorized to subject non-bank financial companies, which may include insurance companies, deemed systemically significant to stricter prudential standards and other requirements and to subject such companies to a special orderly liquidation process outside the federal Bankruptcy Code, administered by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. We have not been, nor do we believe we will be, designated as systemically significant by FSOC. FSOC’s potential recommendation of measures to address systemic financial risk could affect our insurance operations. A future determination that we or our counterparties are systemically significant could impose significant burdens on us, impact the way we conduct our business, increase compliance costs, duplicate state regulation and result in a competitive disadvantage.

The Dodd-Frank Act established a Federal Insurance Office (“FIO”) within the Department of the Treasury. While not having a general supervisory or regulatory authority over the business of insurance, the director of this office performs various functions with respect to insurance, including serving as a non-voting member of the FSOC and making recommendations to the FSOC regarding insurers to be designated for more stringent regulation.

In December 2018, the SEC adopted a final rule related to certain provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act. The new rule requires companies to describe practices and policies pertaining to transactions that hedge, or are designed to hedge, the market value of equity securities granted as compensation to any employee, including officers or directors. The new rule and related disclosures are required in a proxy statement or information statement related to an election of directors and such disclosures should be by category of employee. Likewise, if a company does not have any such practices or policies, disclosure of that fact must be included in such filings. This final rule is effective in proxy statements or information statements during fiscal years beginning on or after July 1, 2019.

On May 24, 2018, the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act (“Reform Act”) was signed into law. Instead of repealing the Dodd-Frank Act, the Reform Act focused largely on providing relief for smaller banking institutions with total assets below $10 billion and re-defining asset thresholds for a systemically important financial institution. The Reform Act also directs the Director of FIO and the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve to support increased transparency at global insurance or international standard-setting regulatory or supervisory forums, and to achieve consensus positions with the states through the NAIC prior to taking a position on any insurance proposal by a global insurance regulatory or supervisory forum. We cannot predict the requirements of all of the regulations adopted under the Dodd-Frank Act or the Reform Act, the effect such legislation or regulations will have on financial markets generally, or on our businesses specifically, the additional costs associated with compliance with such regulations or legislation, or any changes to our operations that may be necessary to comply with the Dodd-Frank Act and the regulations thereunder, any of which could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations, cash flows or financial condition. We also cannot predict whether other federal initiatives will be adopted or what impact, if any, such initiatives, if adopted as laws, may have on our business, financial condition or results of operations.

 

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Changes in tax laws

On December 22, 2017, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (“TCJA”) was signed into law. The enactment of the new law signified the first major overhaul of the U.S. federal income tax system in more than 30 years. In addition to the law’s corporate income tax rate reduction, several other provisions are pertinent to our financial statements and related disclosures, and will have an impact on our deferred taxes in future years. The TCJA has also had an immediate impact to our capital through a reduction in the statutory admitted deferred tax asset and an impact to certain cash flow scenario testing included in the RBC calculation. Following the reduction in the federal corporate income tax rate, the NAIC revised the factors used for calculating the RBC of insurance companies, which was effective in 2018. The revised factors negatively impacted the RBC ratio of our life insurance subsidiaries by approximately 10 points.

In addition to the changes discussed above pertaining to capital and RBC ratios, the following provisions have the most significant impact:

 

   

Corporate tax rate;

 

   

International tax provisions;

 

   

Policyholder reserves;

 

   

Capitalization of certain policy acquisition expenses;

 

   

Dividends received deduction and life insurance company share; and

 

   

Net operating losses and operations loss deductions.

During 2018, we finalized the accounting for provisions of the TCJA and related guidance, namely through Staff Accounting Bulletin (“SAB”) 118. This guidance was issued by the SEC to provide relief to companies due to the complexities involved in accounting for the TCJA. See note 13 in our consolidated financial statements under “Item 8—Financial Statements and Supplementary Data” for additional information. In addition, during 2018 several clarifying and tax guidance related items were issued from the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) and the U.S. Department of the Treasury on certain aspects of the TCJA. Although we have finalized the accounting for the TCJA and SAB 118, we are in the process of evaluating these new tax related items and the impact it will have on our results of operations and financial condition. See “Item 1A—Risk Factors—Changes in tax laws could have a material adverse effect on our business, cash flows, results of operations or financial condition.”

Corporate Tax Rate

Prior to the recent TCJA, the top U.S. corporate federal income tax rate was 35% for corporations with taxable income greater than $10 million. The TCJA reduced the U.S. corporate federal income tax rate to 21% effective for taxable years beginning after December 31, 2017. Included in our 2017 benefit for income taxes is $154 million of tax benefits associated with revaluing our deferred tax assets and liabilities to the new rate on the date of enactment.

International Tax Provisions

Prior to the TCJA, a U.S. shareholder was generally not required to include in income the earnings and profits (“E&P”) of a controlled foreign corporation (“CFC”), other than income taxed under Subpart F, until distributed, or repatriated, to the U.S. shareholder. To the extent the U.S. shareholder determined its “pool” of accumulated E&P were positive, any subsequent distributions were taxable to the U.S. shareholder as a dividend when paid.

The TCJA established a participation exemption system for the taxation of foreign income which generally allows for a 100% deduction for dividends received from CFCs, however, income from CFCs still may be included on a U.S. shareholder’s return through Subpart F or Global Intangible Low Taxed Income (“GILTI”)

 

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provisions. As a transition to the new participation exemption system, for the last taxable year of a foreign corporation beginning before January 1, 2018, all U.S. shareholders of any CFC or other foreign corporation that is at least 10% U.S.-owned but not controlled must include in income its pro rata share of the accumulated post-1986 deferred foreign income that was not previously taxed. A portion of that pro rata share of deferred foreign income is deductible depending on whether the deferred foreign income is held in the form of liquid or illiquid assets. The net of the income inclusion and deduction effectively results in a tax of 15.5% and 8% on deferred foreign income held in liquid and illiquid assets, respectively (herein referred to as the “transition tax”). Foreign taxes paid or deemed to have been paid are creditable against the additional liability in the same proportion as the net U.S. income inclusion bears to undistributed E&P of the foreign corporation. Any net increase to the tax liability may be paid over an eight-year period. We included in our 2017 U.S. federal income tax return the effects of this provision, however, it resulted in no current tax liability and no amounts are due to be paid over the eight-year period. Included in our 2017 results is $63 million of tax expense related to the transition tax, offset by $127 million of income tax benefit from the write-off of our shareholder tax liability, which represented the tax liability on book over tax basis differences that would have been owed under old tax law. Together, these items represent a net $64 million tax benefit associated with changes in the international provisions. In 2018, we recorded a tax benefit of $10 million as we refined our calculations of post-1986 foreign E&P, related tax pools and the amounts held in cash and other specified assets. The TCJA provides for an election not to apply net operating losses (“NOL”) deductions against the deferred foreign income recognized as a result of the deemed repatriation.

The TCJA also includes a provision by which a taxpayer can make an election to increase the percentage (but not greater than 100%) of domestic taxable income offset by any pre-2018 unused overall domestic loss (“ODL”) and recharacterized as foreign source income. The provision applies to any ODL generated in a qualified taxable year beginning before January 1, 2018 which has not already been recharacterized. The change in the ODL limitation was a contributing factor to the $258 million release of our valuation allowance during 2017.

Policyholder Reserves

Prior to the TCJA, life insurance reserves for any contract were the greater of the net surrender value of the contract or the reserves determined under federally prescribed rules, not to exceed the statutory reserve with respect to the contract. The TCJA provides that for purposes of determining the deduction for increases in certain reserves of a life insurance company, the amount of the life insurance reserves for any contract (other than certain variable contracts) is the greater of either the net surrender value of the contract (if any) or 92.81% of the amount determined using the tax reserve method otherwise applicable to the contract as of the date the reserve is determined. In the case of a variable contract, the amount of life insurance reserves for the contract is; (1) the sum of the greater of either the net surrender value of the contract or the separate-account reserve amount for the contract, plus (2) 92.81% of the excess (if any) of the amount determined using the tax reserve method otherwise applicable to the contract as of the date the reserve is determined over the amount determined in item (1). Tax reserves cannot exceed the amount which would be taken into account in determining statutory reserves. Asset adequacy or deficiency reserves are not deductible for tax purposes, consistent with prescribed treatment prior to the TCJA.

The provision applies to taxable years beginning after December 31, 2017. For the first taxable year beginning after December 31, 2017, the difference in the amount of the reserve with respect to any contract at the end of the preceding taxable year and the amount of such reserve determined as if the TCJA were applied for that year is taken into account ratably over eight taxable years.

Prior to the TCJA, changes in the basis for determining life insurance company reserves were taken into account ratably over 10 years. Under the TCJA, the income or loss resulting from a change in method of computing life insurance company reserves will be taken into account consistent with IRS procedures, which provide that negative adjustments are deducted from income in the year of the change whereas positive

 

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adjustments are required to be included in income ratably over four taxable years. Per recent IRS guidance, the taxpayer may only effect such a change upon proper filing of an application for a change in tax accounting method. The provision applies to taxable years beginning after December 31, 2017. As these changes relate to temporary differences, there will be no impact on our provision (benefit) for income taxes in the future.

Capitalization of Certain Policy Acquisition Expenses

Under the TCJA, specified policy acquisition expenses as modified in the bill are computed as the sum of 2.09% of the net premiums on annuity contracts, 2.45% of net premiums on group life insurance policies and 9.20% of net premiums on other life insurance policies not specified as annuity contracts or group life policies. These capitalization rates were 1.75%, 2.05% and 7.70%, respectively, prior to the TCJA. The amortization period was modified from a 120-month to a 180-month period beginning with the first month in the second half of the taxable year. The provision applies to taxable years beginning after December 31, 2017 with no change to the amortization period of capitalized expenses as of December 31, 2017. As these changes relate to temporary differences, there will be no impact on our provision (benefit) for income taxes in the future.

Dividends Received Deduction and Life Insurance Company Share

Corporations are allowed a deduction with respect to dividends received from other taxable domestic corporations, referred to as the dividends received deduction (“DRD”). Prior to the TCJA, the amount of the deduction was generally equal to 70% of the dividends received. In the case of any dividends received from a 20% owned corporation, the amount of the deduction was equal to 80% of the dividend received. As a result of the corporate income tax rate reduction from a top rate of 35% to 21%, the bill reduced the 70% DRD to 50% and the 80% DRD to 65%. The treatment of dividends received from a corporation that is a member of the same affiliated group was unchanged.

Life insurance companies are subject to proration rules for certain deductions which could be viewed as funded proportionately out of taxable and tax-exempt income. Similarly, under the proration rules, a life insurance company is allowed a DRD from nonaffiliates in proportion to the company’s share of such dividends, thus excluding the policyholder’s share from the amount of dividends eligible for the DRD. Prior to the TCJA, the determination of the company’s share and policyholder’s share was a complex computation obtained by analyzing the company’s share of net investment income in proportion to the total net investment income for the taxable year. Under the TCJA, the special rules for determining the company’s share for purposes of the DRD were replaced with a universal 70% rate for taxable years beginning after December 31, 2017. This provision did not have an impact on the 2017 financial statements and had an immaterial impact on 2018 results.

Net Operating Losses and Operations Loss Deductions

Prior to the TCJA, NOLs could generally be carried back two years and forward 20 years to offset taxable income in such years. For life insurance companies, there was a special rule which provided that operations loss deductions (“OLDs”) could be carried back three years and forward 15 years to offset life insurance company taxable income. NOLs and OLDs could be utilized to reduce regular taxable income and life insurance company taxable income, respectively, to zero.

Under the TCJA, the special rule for life insurance company OLDs was repealed, thus conforming life insurance companies to other non-insurance corporations with regard to the treatment of NOLs. The bill further modified the NOL rules by limiting the NOL deduction to 80% of taxable income (determined without regard to the deduction), for losses arising in taxable years beginning after December 31, 2017. The provision repealed the two-year carryback but provided for indefinite carryovers for losses arising in taxable years beginning after December 31, 2017. This provision has no impact on our existing U.S. NOLs of $1.3 billion as of December 31, 2018. Future NOLs would be limited to 80% utilization in the year of loss, or can be carried forward indefinitely, as there is no expiration period. Property and casualty insurance companies are still subject to the old carryback/carryforward rules.

 

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Mortgage Insurance Regulation

State regulation

General

Mortgage insurers generally are limited by Insurance Laws to directly writing only mortgage insurance business to the exclusion of other types of insurance. Mortgage insurers are not subject to the NAIC’s RBC requirements but certain states and other regulators impose another form of capital requirement on mortgage insurers, requiring maintenance of a risk-to-capital ratio not to exceed 25:1. GMICO, our primary U.S. mortgage insurance subsidiary, had a risk-to-capital ratio of 12.5:1 and 12.9:1 as of December 31, 2018 and 2017, respectively.

The North Carolina Department of Insurance’s (“NCDOI”) current regulatory framework by which GMICO’s risk-to-capital ratio is calculated differs from the capital requirements of the GSEs as discussed under “—Other U.S. regulation.”

The NAIC established a Mortgage Guaranty Insurance Working Group (the “MGIWG”) to determine and make recommendations to the NAIC’s Financial Condition Committee as to what, if any, changes to make to the solvency and other regulations relating to mortgage guaranty insurers. The MGIWG continues to work on revisions to the NAIC’s Mortgage Guaranty Insurance Model Act (the “MGI Model”). The proposed amendments of the MGI Model relate to, among other things: (i) capital and reserve standards, including increased minimum capital and surplus requirements, mortgage guaranty-specific RBC standards, dividend restrictions and contingency and premium deficiency reserves; (ii) limitations on the geographic concentration of mortgage guaranty risk, including state-based limitations; (iii) restrictions on mortgage insurers’ investments in notes secured by mortgages; (iv) prudent underwriting standards and formal underwriting guidelines to be approved by the insurer’s board; (v) the establishment of formal, internal “Mortgage Guaranty Quality Control Programs” with respect to in-force business; (vi) prohibitions on captive reinsurance arrangements; and (vii) incorporation of an NAIC “Mortgage Guaranty Insurance Standards Manual.” The MGIWG is currently working on the development of the mortgage guaranty insurance capital model, which is needed to determine the RBC and loan-level capital standards for the amended MGI Model. At this time, we cannot predict the outcome of this process, the effect changes, if any, will have on the mortgage guaranty insurance market generally, or on our businesses specifically, the additional costs associated with compliance with any such changes, or any changes to our operations that may be necessary to comply, any of which could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations, cash flows or financial condition. We also cannot predict whether other regulatory initiatives will be adopted or what impact, if any, such initiatives, if adopted as laws, may have on our business, financial condition or results of operations.

Reserves

Insurance Laws require our U.S. mortgage insurers to establish a special statutory contingency reserve in their statutory financial statements to provide for losses in the event of significant economic declines. Annual additions to the statutory contingency reserve must be at least 50% of net earned premiums as defined by Insurance Laws. These contingency reserves generally are held until the earlier of (i) the time that loss ratios exceed 35% or (ii) 10 years, although regulators have granted discretionary releases from time to time. However, approval by the NCDOI, our primary domiciliary regulator, is required for contingency reserve releases when loss ratios exceed 35%. This reserve reduces the policyholder surplus of our U.S. mortgage insurers, and therefore, their ability to pay dividends to us. The statutory contingency reserve for our U.S. mortgage insurers was approximately $1,591 million as of December 31, 2018.

Federal regulation

In addition to federal laws directly applicable to mortgage insurers, the laws and regulations applicable to mortgage originators and lenders, purchasers of mortgage loans such as Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, and governmental insurers such as the FHA and VA indirectly affect mortgage insurers. For example, changes in

 

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federal housing legislation and other laws and regulations that affect the demand for private mortgage insurance, or the way in which such laws and regulations are interpreted or applied, may have a material effect on private mortgage insurers. Legislation or regulation that increases the number of people eligible for FHA or VA mortgages could have a materially adverse effect on our ability to compete with the FHA or VA.

The Homeowners Protection Act of 1998 (the “Homeowners Protection Act”) provides for the automatic termination, or cancellation upon a borrower’s request, of the borrower’s obligation to pay for private mortgage insurance upon satisfaction of certain conditions, although mortgage servicers may continue to keep the coverage in place at their expense. The Homeowners Protection Act applies to owner-occupied residential mortgage loans regardless of lien priority and to borrower-paid mortgage insurance closed after July 29, 1999. FHA loans are not covered by the Homeowners Protection Act. Under the Homeowners Protection Act, automatic termination of the borrower’s obligation to pay for mortgage insurance would generally occur once the loan-to-value ratio reaches 78%. A borrower generally may request cancellation of mortgage insurance once the actual payments reduce the loan balance to 80% of the home’s original value. For borrower-initiated cancellation of mortgage insurance, the borrower must have a “good payment history” as defined by the Homeowners Protection Act.

The Real Estate Settlement and Procedures Act of 1974 (“RESPA”) applies to most residential mortgages insured by private mortgage insurers. Mortgage insurance has been considered in some cases to be a “settlement service” for purposes of loans subject to RESPA. Subject to limited exceptions, RESPA precludes us from providing services to mortgage lenders free of charge, charging fees for services that are lower than their reasonable or fair market value, and paying fees for services that others provide that are higher than their reasonable or fair market value. In addition, RESPA prohibits persons from giving or accepting any portion or percentage of a charge for a real estate settlement service, other than for services actually performed. Although many states prohibit mortgage insurers from giving rebates, RESPA has been interpreted to cover many non-fee services as well. Mortgage insurers and their customers are subject to the possible sanctions of this law, which may be enforced by the CFPB, state insurance departments, state attorneys general and other enforcement authorities.

The Equal Credit Opportunity Act (“ECOA”) and the Fair Credit Reporting Act (“FCRA”) also affect the business of mortgage insurance in various ways. ECOA, for example, prohibits discrimination against certain protected classes in credit transactions. FCRA governs the access and use of consumer credit information in credit transactions and requires notices to consumers in certain circumstances.

Other U.S. regulation

Effective December 31, 2015, each GSE adopted revised PMIERs, which set forth operational and financial requirements that mortgage insurers must meet in order to remain eligible. Each approved mortgage insurer is required to provide the GSEs with an annual certification and a quarterly report as to its compliance with PMIERs. The financial requirements of PMIERs mandate that a mortgage insurer’s “Available Assets” (generally only the most liquid assets of an insurer) must meet or exceed “Minimum Required Assets” (which are based on an insurer’s risk in-force and are calculated from tables of factors with several risk dimensions and are subject to a floor amount). The operational PMIERs requirements include standards that govern the relationship between the GSEs and approved insurers and are designed to ensure that approved insurers operate under uniform guidelines, such as claim processing timelines. They include quality control requirements that are designed to ensure that approved insurers have a strong internal risk management infrastructure that emphasizes continuous process improvement and senior management oversight. The GSEs subsequently issued revisions to PMIERs, referred to as “PMIERs 2.0,” on September 27, 2018 with an effective date of March 31, 2019.

As of December 31, 2018, we estimate our U.S. mortgage insurance business had available assets of approximately 129% of the required assets under the current PMIERs compared to approximately 121% as of December 31, 2017. As of December 31, 2018 and 2017, the current PMIERs sufficiency ratios were in excess of $750 million and $550 million, respectively, of available assets above the PMIERs requirements. The increase

 

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during 2018 was driven, in part, by positive operating cash flows and the reduction in delinquent loans. If PMIERs 2.0 had been effective as of December 31, 2018, we estimate that GMICO’s sufficiency ratio would have been approximately 120%, or more than $550 million of available assets above the PMIERs 2.0 requirements. This difference is primarily due to the elimination of any credit for future premiums in PMIERs 2.0 that had previously been allowed on insurance policies written in 2008 or earlier.

In their respective letters approving credit for reinsurance against PMIERs financial requirements, the GSEs require our U.S. mortgage insurance subsidiary to maintain a maximum statutory risk to capital ratio of 18:1 or they reserve the right to reevaluate the amount of PMIERs credit indicated in their approval letters. Freddie Mac has also imposed additional requirements on our option to commute these reinsurance agreements. Both GSEs reserved the right to periodically review the reinsurance transactions for treatment under PMIERs.

Canada regulation

The Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (“OSFI”) provides oversight to all federally incorporated financial institutions, including our Canadian mortgage insurance companies, which are indirect wholly-owned subsidiaries of Genworth Canada. OSFI also has oversight responsibility for CMHC, our main competitor. OSFI does not have enforcement powers over market conduct issues in the insurance industry, which are a provincial responsibility. The Bank Act, Insurance Companies Act and Trust and Loan Companies Act prohibit Canadian banks, trust companies and insurers from extending mortgage loans where the loan value exceeds 80% of the property’s value, unless mortgage insurance is obtained in connection with the loan. As a result, all mortgages issued by these financial institutions with a loan-to-value ratio exceeding 80% must be insured by a qualified insurer, which includes CMHC. Legislation prohibits such financial institutions from charging borrowers amounts for mortgage insurance that exceed the lender’s actual costs and impose disclosure obligations in respect of mortgage insurance.

As discussed in “—Business—Canada Mortgage Insurance—Government guarantee eligibility,” government guaranteed mortgage insurers, including our Canadian mortgage insurance companies, are subject to PRMHIA regulation, which restricts our direct insurance activities to insuring mortgages that meet the government’s mortgage insurance eligibility. Reinsurance business is not subject to these restrictions. We are required to hold certain regulatory capital under PRMHIA and the Insurance Companies Act (Canada) to support our outstanding mortgage insurance in-force.

Under PRMHIA, the regulations establish the following criteria that a mortgage must meet in order to be insured:

 

   

a maximum mortgage amortization of 25 years;

 

   

insurance of mortgages limited to loans with a loan-to-value of 95% or less;

 

   

minimum down payment of 10% required for house prices above CAD$500,000;

 

   

insurance of purchase mortgages only;

 

   

insurance of mortgages for investment properties limited to 80% or less;

 

   

capping the maximum gross debt service ratios at 39% and total debt service ratios at 44%;

 

   

capping home purchase price to less than CAD$1 million; and

 

   

setting a minimum credit score of 600.

As part of our regulatory requirements, we developed and implemented our own risk and solvency assessment (“Canada ORSA”). Our Canada ORSA is a process that links our risk management framework to our business strategy and decision-making framework. Our Canada ORSA provides a baseline assessment of identified risks and the supporting risk management activities. Additionally, our Canada ORSA documents our

 

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risk exposure relative to our risk appetite and calculates the capital required to support those risks under certain pre-defined stress events. The implementation of our Canada ORSA did not result in a significant change to our practices of evaluating and managing risks.

Effective July 1, 2016, bulk mortgage insurance is only available on mortgages used in the CMHC securitization programs and is prohibited on mortgages used in private securitizations after a phase-in period. In addition, effective November 30, 2016, additional regulatory changes were implemented that prohibit insuring bulk refinances and most investor mortgages originated by lenders on or after October 17, 2016. While there was a one-time increase in bulk insurance volumes in the first quarter of 2017 primarily due to the closing of several large bulk insurance transactions on applications received in the fourth quarter of 2016, bulk insurance volumes have decreased, principally attributable to lower demand due in part to these regulatory changes.

Certain jurisdictions in Canada have introduced measures focused on housing markets. On July 25, 2016, in an effort to improve housing affordability, the British Columbia government introduced a plan that included an additional land transfer tax on foreign buyers of property in Metro Vancouver. In addition, on February 20, 2018, the British Columbia government released a plan to further address housing affordability in the province. Among other measures, the plan included an increase and expansion of the existing foreign buyer’s tax and the introduction of a speculation tax applicable to both foreign and domestic buyers. On April 20, 2017, the Ontario Government released its Fair Housing Plan designed to temper the real estate market. The plan included a non-resident speculation tax that targets affordability in the purchase and rental housing markets in the Greater Toronto Area and surrounding areas. Following these housing policy changes, home sales have decreased in British Columbia and Ontario.

On October 3, 2016, the Minister of Finance announced changes intended to reinforce the Canadian housing finance system. These changes primarily included more restrictive qualification guidelines on homebuyers seeking mortgage insurance and new requirements on insured mortgage loans using bulk or other discretionary low loan-to-value mortgage insurance that previously only applied to high loan-to-value insured mortgages. Effective October 17, 2016, all insured homebuyers must qualify for mortgage insurance at an interest rate that is the greater of their contract mortgage rate or the Bank of Canada’s conventional five-year fixed posted rate. To qualify for mortgage insurance, borrower debt-servicing ratios cannot exceed the maximum allowable levels of 39% and 44% for gross debt service ratio and total debt service ratio, respectively. Effective November 30, 2016, for insured mortgages with a loan-to-value ratio less than or equal to 80%, new requirements were introduced that previously only applied to high loan-to-value insured mortgages. These changes in regulatory requirements have resulted in a smaller flow mortgage insurance market and lower demand for bulk insurance.

Under PRMHIA and the Insurance Companies Act (Canada), our mortgage insurance business in Canada is required to meet a minimum capital test (“MCT”) to support its outstanding mortgage insurance in-force per the guideline titled “Minimum Capital Test for Federally Regulated Property and Casualty Insurance Companies” (“MCT Guideline”). The MCT ratio is calculated based on a methodology prescribed by OSFI.

On January 1, 2017, the capital advisory titled “Capital Requirements for Federally Regulated Mortgage Insurers” became effective. The advisory provides a standard framework for determining the capital requirements for residential mortgage insurance companies. Under this regulatory capital framework, the OSFI Supervisory MCT target and PRMHIA requirement are both 150%. As of December 31, 2018, our MCT ratio under the framework was approximately 172%, which was above the supervisory target. The framework is more risk sensitive than the prior framework and incorporates additional risk attributes, including credit score, remaining amortization and outstanding loan balance. The advisory includes supplementary capital requirements on new business in areas where home prices are high relative to borrower incomes upon origination.

On August 9, 2018, OSFI released the guideline “Mortgage Insurer Capital Adequacy Test” (“MICAT”), which was effective January 1, 2019 and replaces the current advisory and MCT Guideline. The OSFI supervisory MICAT target ratio and the minimum MICAT ratio under PRMHIA remain at 150% for 2019. The MICAT primarily consolidates existing guidance and is not expected to have a material impact on regulatory

 

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capital. The primary changes include a 5% increase of the total asset requirement relative to the current calculation, elimination of the requirement to use updated 2016 credit scores for 2015 and prior books in the calculation of the total asset requirement and a transitional arrangement that provides a phase-in period for the increased capital required for insurance risk on outstanding insured mortgages at December 31, 2018. We expect that in 2019, the impact of the elimination of the 2016 credit score update should more than offset the 5% increase in the total asset requirement on existing insurance in-force. We were fully compliant with MICAT on the effective date of January 1, 2019.

On October 17, 2017, OSFI released the final version of Guideline B-20 Residential Mortgage Underwriting Practices and Procedures (the “B-20 Guideline”), which applies to all federally-regulated financial institutions that are engaged in residential mortgage underwriting and/or the acquisition of residential mortgage loan assets in Canada. The guideline was effective January 1, 2018, and requires enhanced underwriting practices for all uninsured mortgages, including the application of a qualifying mortgage rate stress test. The B-20 Guideline does not directly impact the regulatory requirements for our mortgage insurance business in Canada, as it is governed by OSFI’s Guideline B-21 Residential Mortgage Insurance Underwriting Practices and Procedures. Based on housing resale activity and mortgage origination volume in 2018, we believe the B-20 Guideline reduced the total 2018 mortgage originations in Canada by approximately 10% to 15% as compared to 2017 levels, including a decline of approximately 5% in the high loan-to-value market size in Canada in 2018 even though qualifying insured mortgages have been subject to a similar mortgage rate stress test since October 17, 2016.

The Insurance Companies Act (Canada) provides that dividends may only be declared by the board of directors of the Canadian insurer and paid if there are reasonable grounds to believe that the payment of the dividend would not cause the insurer to be in violation of its minimum capital and liquidity requirements. Also, we are required to notify OSFI prior to the dividend payment.

As a public company that is traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange (the “TSX”), Genworth Canada is subject to securities laws and regulation in each province in Canada, as well as the reporting requirements of the TSX.

Australia regulation

APRA regulates all ADIs, life insurance, general and mortgage insurance companies in Australia. APRA’s authorization conditions require Australian mortgage insurers to be monoline insurers, which are insurers offering just one type of insurance product. APRA’s prudential standards apply to individual authorized insurers and to the relevant Australian-based holding company and group.

APRA also sets minimum capital levels and monitors corporate governance requirements, including the risk management strategy for our Australian mortgage insurance business. In this regard, APRA reviews our management, controls, processes, reporting and methods by which all risks are managed, including an annual financial condition report and an annual report on insurance liabilities by an appointed actuary. APRA also requires us to submit our risk and reinsurance management strategy, which outlines the use of reinsurance in Australia, annually and more frequently if there are material changes.

In setting minimum capital levels, APRA requires mortgage insurers to ensure they have sufficient capital to withstand a hypothetical three-year stress loss scenario defined by APRA. APRA’s prudential standards provide for increased mortgage insurers’ capital requirements for insured loans that are considered to be non-standard. Non-standard mortgages are generally those loans where the lender has not formally verified the borrower’s income and employment or where the borrower has not passed standard credit checks. Non-standard mortgages accounted for approximately 1% of our insurance in-force as of December 31, 2018 in our mortgage insurance business in Australia. APRA also imposes quarterly reporting obligations on mortgage insurers with respect to risk profiles, reinsurance arrangements and financial position. We evaluate the capital position of our mortgage insurance business in Australia in relation to the Prescribed Capital Amount (“PCA”) as determined by APRA, utilizing the Internal Capital Adequacy Assessment Process (“ICAAP”) as the framework to ensure that our

 

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Australia group of companies as a whole, and each regulated entity, are independently capitalized to meet regulatory requirements. As of December 31, 2018, our PCA ratio was 194%, which is above APRA’s capital holding requirements.

In addition, APRA determines the capital requirements for ADIs and has reduced capital requirements for certain ADIs that insure residential mortgages with an “acceptable” mortgage insurer for all non-standard mortgages and for standard mortgages with a loan-to-value ratio above 80%. APRA’s prudential standards currently set out a number of circumstances in which a loan may be considered to be non-standard from an ADI’s perspective. The capital levels for Australian IRB ADIs are determined by their APRA-approved IRB models, which may or may not allocate capital credit for LMI. We believe that APRA and the IRB ADIs have not yet finalized internal models for residential mortgage risk, so we do not believe that the IRB ADIs currently benefit from an explicit reduction in their capital requirements for mortgages covered by mortgage insurance. APRA’s prudential standards also provide that LMI on a non-performing loan (90 days plus arrears) protects most ADIs from having to increase the regulatory capital on the loan to a risk-weighting of 100%. These prudential standards include a definition of an “acceptable” mortgage insurer and eliminate the reduced capital requirements for ADIs in the event that the mortgage insurer has contractual recourse to the ADI or a member of the ADI’s consolidated group.

In December 2017, the Basel Committee released its revised framework. Given the broad reach and complexity of the latest Basel reforms, APRA has stated it will give due consideration to appropriate adjustments to the implementation of these reforms to reflect Australian conditions. APRA has stated that it expects to finalize proposed changes to its suite of prudential standards in 2019.

In March 2017, APRA announced changes to reinforce sound mortgage lending practices, focusing on slowing investor growth and limiting the flow of new interest-only lending. These changes resulted in a decline in new insurance written volumes in 2017 and 2018. In December 2018, APRA announced its intention to remove the investor loan growth and interest-only lending benchmarks effective January 1, 2019, subject to certain assurances from ADIs as to the strength of their lending standards.

APRA has the power to impose restrictions on the ability of our Australian mortgage insurance business to declare and pay dividends based on a number of factors, including the impact on the minimum regulatory capital ratio of that business.

On November 30, 2017, the Australia Government announced the establishment of a Royal Commission that will consider the conduct of Australia’s Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services industry and to further ensure its financial system is working efficiently and effectively. The Royal Commission delivered its final report on February 4, 2019. At this time, it is too early to determine what impact, if any, the outcome of this Royal Commission will have on our mortgage insurance business in Australia.

On August 3, 2018, the Australian Government’s Productivity Commission released its final report on Competition in the Australian Financial System, which included findings and recommendations related to mortgage insurance. The government has not yet provided a timeframe on when it will release its response. At this time, it is too early to determine what impact, if any, the outcome of the Productivity Commission’s report and recommendations will have on our mortgage insurance business in Australia.

As a public company that is traded on the Australian Securities Exchange (the “ASX”), Genworth Australia is subject to Australian securities laws and regulation, as well as the reporting requirements of the ASX.

Other Non-U.S. Insurance Regulation

We operate in a number of countries around the world in addition to the United States, Canada and Australia. Generally, our subsidiaries (and in some cases our branches) conducting business in these countries must obtain licenses from local regulatory authorities and satisfy local regulatory requirements, including those relating to rates, forms, capital, reserves and financial reporting.

 

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Other Laws and Regulations

Securities regulation

Certain of our U.S. subsidiaries and certain policies, contracts and services offered by them, are subject to regulation under federal and state securities laws and regulations of the SEC, state securities regulators and FINRA. Most of our insurance company separate accounts are registered under the Investment Company Act of 1940. Most of our variable annuity contracts and all of our variable life insurance policies, as well as our FABNs issued by one of our U.S. subsidiaries as part of our registered notes program are registered under the Securities Act of 1933. One of our U.S. subsidiaries is registered and regulated as a broker/dealer under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and is a member of, and subject to regulation by FINRA, as well as by various state and local regulators. The registered representatives of our broker/dealer are also regulated by the SEC and FINRA and are subject to applicable state and local laws.

These laws and regulations are primarily intended to protect investors in the securities markets and generally grant supervisory agencies broad administrative powers, including the power to limit or restrict the conduct of business for failure to comply with such laws and regulations. In such event, the possible sanctions that may be imposed include suspension of individual employees, limitations on the activities in which the broker/dealer may engage, suspension or revocation of the investment adviser or broker/dealer registration, censure or fines. We may also be subject to similar laws and regulations in the states and other countries in which we offer the products described above or conduct other securities-related activities.

The SEC, FINRA, state attorneys general, other federal offices and the New York Stock Exchange may conduct periodic examinations, in addition to special or targeted examinations of us and/or specific products. These examinations or inquiries may include, but are not necessarily limited to, product disclosures and sales issues, financial and accounting disclosure and operational issues. Often examinations are “sweep exams” whereby the regulator reviews current issues facing the financial or insurance industry as a whole.

Environmental considerations

As an owner and operator of real property, we are subject to extensive U.S. federal and state and non-U.S. environmental laws and regulations. Potential environmental liabilities and costs in connection with any required remediation of our properties is also an inherent risk in property ownership and operation. In addition, we hold equity interests in companies, and have made loans secured by properties, that could potentially be subject to environmental liabilities. We routinely have environmental assessments performed with respect to real estate being acquired for investment and real property to be acquired through foreclosure. We cannot provide assurance that unexpected environmental liabilities will not arise. However, based upon information currently available to us, we believe that any costs associated with compliance with environmental laws and regulations or any remediation of such properties will not have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition or results of operations.

ERISA considerations

We provide certain products and services to employee benefit plans that are subject to the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (“ERISA”) or the Internal Revenue Code. As such, our activities are subject to the restrictions imposed by ERISA and the Internal Revenue Code, including the requirement under ERISA that fiduciaries must perform their duties solely in the interests of ERISA plan participants and beneficiaries, and fiduciaries may not cause or permit a covered plan to engage in certain prohibited transactions with persons who have certain relationships with respect to such plans. The applicable provisions of ERISA and the Internal Revenue Code are subject to enforcement by the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”), the IRS and the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation.

On April 6, 2016, the DOL published its final regulations on the definition of fiduciary for purposes of ERISA and the prohibited transaction rules under the Internal Revenue Code of 1986. The final regulations,

 

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among other things, expand the circumstances in which sales personnel, such as insurance agents, are considered fiduciaries with respect to qualified plans and Individual Retirement Accounts. The DOL also issued two new prohibited transaction exemptions (“PTEs”) and amended several other existing PTEs. The final rule, new exemptions and amendments generally became applicable on June 9, 2017, but the DOL provided an initial compliance transition period until January 1, 2018 for certain provisions of the rule. On June 21, 2018, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit issued an order vacating the DOL fiduciary rule. It is possible, however, that the vacated fiduciary rule may be modified and reinstated or otherwise replaced at some point in the future. Therefore, it is not possible to predict what the impact, if any, the new rules may have on our insurance companies, our financial condition or results of operations.

USA PATRIOT Act

The USA PATRIOT Act of 2001 (the “Patriot Act”), 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 who may be involved in terrorism or money laundering. Anti-money laundering laws outside of the United States contain similar provisions. 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. We believe that we have implemented, and that we maintain, appropriate internal practices, procedures and controls to enable us to comply with the provisions of the Patriot Act. Certain additional requirements became applicable under the Patriot Act in May 2006 through a U.S. Treasury regulation which required that certain insurers have anti-money laundering compliance plans in place. We believe our internal practices, procedures and controls comply with these requirements.

Cybersecurity

In October 2018, the SEC issued a report of investigation regarding certain cybersecurity frauds perpetrated against public companies and internal control requirements. Although the SEC determined not to pursue enforcement, the SEC did emphasize the importance of maintaining a system of internal control to mitigate the escalating risks associated with cybersecurity threats. Furthermore, the SEC stressed that companies need to devise and maintain internal controls that reasonably safeguard company and investor assets from cybersecurity frauds, which includes: (i) ensuring transactions are executed in accordance with management’s general and specific authorization; and (ii) access to assets is permitted only in accordance with management’s general or specific authorization. Finally, in light of the ever-growing threats from cybersecurity fraud, internal controls may need to be reassessed or strengthened, and employee training should be enhanced to educate all employees of these threats.

In February 2018, the SEC released interpretive guidance on cybersecurity disclosures. The release outlines the views of the SEC on cybersecurity disclosure requirements and provided enhancements to existing cybersecurity guidance. Among the enhancements, was clarifying disclosure controls and procedures to help public companies identify cybersecurity risks and incidents, assess and analyze their implications and make timely disclosures. It also stressed the importance of materiality assessments when considering cybersecurity disclosures, maintaining discipline around insider trading if a cybersecurity event occurs and board oversight of cybersecurity risks.

The area of cybersecurity has also come under increased scrutiny by insurance regulators. For example, New York’s cybersecurity regulation, discussed further below, for financial services institutions, including banking and insurance entities, under its jurisdiction became effective on March 1, 2017, and is being implemented in stages. Among other things, this new regulation requires these entities to establish and maintain a

 

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cybersecurity program designed to protect consumers’ private data. In addition, the NAIC adopted the Insurance Data Security Model Law (the “Cybersecurity Model Law”) on October 24, 2017, which is similar to New York’s cybersecurity regulation and establishes standards for data security and for the investigation of and notification of insurance commissioners of cybersecurity events involving unauthorized access to, or the misuse of, certain nonpublic information. The Cybersecurity Model Law imposes significant new regulatory burdens intended to protect the confidentiality, integrity and availability of information systems.

In March 2017, the New York State Department of Financial Services (“NYDFS”) issued a cybersecurity regulation specific to financial services companies. The intent of the regulation was to allow cybersecurity programs to match the relevant risks while keeping pace with technological advances and was designed to promote the protection of customer information as well as the information technology systems of companies. This regulation requires company’s cybersecurity programs to include; access privileges, application security, policies and procedures for the disposal of nonpublic information, regular cybersecurity awareness training, encryption of nonpublic information and an incident response plan. The incident response plan should be designed to respond to and recover from any cybersecurity event materially affecting the confidentiality, integrity or availability of the company’s information system in a timely manner. Notice of a cybersecurity event needs to occur as quickly as possible but no later than 72 hours from the determination of the cybersecurity event. Companies shall also implement and maintain written policies approved by a senior officer of the company to protect its information systems and nonpublic information, appoint a chief information security officer and perform periodic risk assessments.

Privacy of Consumer Information

In the United States, 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 policies and practices relating to the collection and disclosure of consumer information and policies relating to protecting the security and confidentiality of that information. Similarly, federal and state laws and regulations govern the disclosure and security of consumer health information. In particular, regulations promulgated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Federal Trade Commission and various states regulate the disclosure and use of protected health information by health insurers and other covered entities, the physical and procedural safeguards employed to protect the security of that information, and the electronic transmission of such information. From time to time, Congress and state legislatures consider additional legislation relating to privacy and other aspects of consumer information. We cannot predict whether such legislation will be enacted, or what impact, if any, such legislation may have on our business, financial condition or results of operations.

The California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 (the “CCPA”) was signed into law on June 28, 2018, and amended shortly thereafter on September 12, 2018. The CCPA grants all California residents the right to know what information a business has collected from them and the sourcing and sharing of that information, as well as a right to have a business delete their personal information (with some exceptions). Its definition of “personal information” is more expansive than those found in other privacy laws applicable to us in the United States. Failure to comply with the CCPA risks regulatory fines, and the law grants a private right of action for any unauthorized disclosure of personal information as a result of failure to maintain reasonable security procedures. The CCPA is expected to become operational on January 1, 2020, but California’s Attorney General is expected to delay enforcement actions until six months after a final regulation is promulgated or July 1, 2020, whichever is sooner.

Similar laws and regulations protecting the security and confidentiality of consumer and financial information are also in effect in Canada, Australia and other countries in which we operate.

Employees

As of December 31, 2018, we employed approximately 3,500 full-time and part-time employees.

 

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Directors and Executive Officers

See Part III, Item 10 of this Annual Report on Form 10-K for information about our directors and executive officers.

Available Information

Our Annual Report on Form 10-K, Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, Current Reports on Form 8-K and amendments to those reports filed or furnished pursuant to Section 13(a) or 15(d) of the Exchange Act are available, without charge, on our website, www.genworth.com, as soon as reasonably practicable after we file or furnish such reports with the SEC. The public may read and copy any electronic materials we file or furnish with the SEC at the SEC’s website, www.sec.gov. Copies of our SEC filed or furnished reports are also available, without charge, from Genworth Investor Relations, 6620 West Broad Street, Richmond, VA 23230.

Our website also includes the charters of our Audit Committee, Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee, Risk Committee, and Management Development and Compensation Committee, any key practices of these committees, our Governance Principles, and our company’s code of ethics. Copies of these materials also are available, without charge, from Genworth Investor Relations, at the above address. Within the time period required by the SEC and the New York Stock Exchange, we will post on our website any amendment to our code of ethics and any waiver applicable to any of our directors, executive officers or senior financial officers.

On December 18, 2018, our President and Chief Executive Officer certified to the New York Stock Exchange that he was not aware of any violation by us of the New York Stock Exchange’s corporate governance listing standards.

Transfer Agent and Registrar

Our Transfer Agent and Registrar is Computershare Shareowner Services LLC, P.O. Box 30170, College Station, TX 77842-3170. Telephone: 866-229-8413; 201-680-6578 (outside the United States and Canada may call collect); and 800-231-5469 (for hearing impaired).

 

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Item 1A. Risk Factors

You should carefully consider the following risks. These risks could materially affect our business, results of operations or financial condition, cause the trading price of our common stock to decline materially or cause our actual results to differ materially from those expected or those expressed in any forward-looking statements made by us or on our behalf. These risks are not exclusive, and additional risks to which we are subject include, but are not limited to, the factors mentioned under “Cautionary note regarding forward-looking statements” and the risks of our businesses described elsewhere in this Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2018.

Strategic Risks

The proposed transaction with China Oceanwide may not be completed or may not be completed within the timeframe, terms or in the manner currently anticipated, which could have a material adverse effect on us and our stock price.

On October 21, 2016, we entered into a definitive agreement with China Oceanwide, under which China Oceanwide has agreed to acquire all of our outstanding common stock for a total transaction value of approximately $2.7 billion, or $5.43 per share in cash. As part of the transaction, China Oceanwide and/or its affiliates, has additionally committed to contribute an aggregate of $1.5 billion to us over time following consummation of the Merger, with the final amounts of the plan expected to be contributed by December 31, 2019. The transaction and this contribution are subject to the closing of the Merger and the receipt of required regulatory approvals, as well as other closing conditions. The transaction remains subject to required regulatory approvals/clearances under the terms of the existing agreement with China Oceanwide, in Canada and China, along with other closing conditions. See “Item 1—Business—Strategic Update.” In addition, the transaction is conditioned on there not having been a change or the public announcement of a change in the financial strength rating assigned to GMICO to below “BB (negative outlook)” by S&P that is primarily and directly attributable to the actions or inactions by Genworth, its affiliates or their respective representatives that do not relate to an “excluded effect” (as defined in the Merger Agreement), or an adverse change in the condition (financial or otherwise) of GMICO and its businesses not resulting from or arising out of an excluded effect.

There are numerous risks related to the transaction, including the following:

 

   

the risk that the parties will not be able to obtain the required regulatory approvals or clearance or that the regulatory process may further delay the transaction beyond March 15, 2019 (and either or both of the parties may not be willing to further waive their end date termination rights beyond March 15, 2019) or that materially burdensome or adverse regulatory conditions may be imposed or undesirable measures may be required in connection with any such regulatory approvals or clearances (including those conditions or measures that either or both of the parties may be unwilling to accept or undertake, as applicable);

 

   

the risk that the parties will not be able to obtain other regulatory approvals, including in connection with a potential alternative funding structure or the current geo-political environment;

 

   

the parties’ inability to obtain any necessary regulatory approvals or clearances for the post-closing capital plan;

 

   

the risk that a closing condition of the transaction may not be satisfied;

 

   

existing and potential legal proceedings may be instituted against us that may delay the transaction, make it more costly or ultimately preclude it;

 

   

the risk that the proposed transaction disrupts Genworth’s current plans and operations as a result of the announcement and consummation of the transaction;

 

   

certain restrictions during the pendency of the transaction that may impact Genworth’s ability to pursue certain business opportunities or strategic transactions;

 

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continued availability of capital and financing to Genworth before, or in the absence of, the consummation of the transaction;

 

   

further rating agency actions and downgrades in Genworth’s debt or financial strength ratings;

 

   

changes in applicable laws or regulations;

 

   

our ability to recognize the anticipated benefits of the transaction;

 

   

the amount of the costs, fees, expenses and other charges related to the transaction, including costs and expenses related to conditions imposed in connection with regulatory approvals, which may be material;

 

   

the risks related to diverting management’s attention from our ongoing business operations;

 

   

the Merger Agreement may be terminated in circumstances that would require us to pay China Oceanwide a fee;

 

   

our ability to attract, recruit, retain and motivate current and prospective employees may be adversely affected; and

 

   

disruptions and uncertainty relating to the transaction, whether or not it is completed, may harm our relationships with our employees, customers, distributors, vendors or other business partners, and may result in a negative impact on our business.

There is no assurance that the conditions to the transaction will be satisfied in a timely manner, on the terms set forth in our existing agreement with China Oceanwide or at all. If the transaction is not completed, we would likely suffer a number of consequences that could adversely affect our stock price, business, results of operations and financial condition, including:

 

   

greater difficulty in stabilizing our U.S. life insurance businesses, which would negatively impact our strategy of increasing the liquidity of the holding company and isolating long-term care insurance risks from the rest of our businesses;

 

   

increased pressure on and potential further downgrades of our debt and financial strength ratings, particularly for our mortgage insurance businesses, which could have an adverse impact on our mortgage insurance businesses;

 

   

a negative impact on our holding company liquidity and ability to reduce, service and/or refinance our holding company debt; and

 

   

we likely would pursue strategic alternatives that would materially impact our business, including potential sales of our mortgage insurance businesses in Canada and Australia and/or a partial sale of our U.S. mortgage insurance business.

Potential consequences of these risks would likely include, among other things, business disruption, operational problems, financial loss, legal liability to third parties and similar risks, any of which could have a material adverse effect on Genworth’s consolidated financial condition, results of operations, credit ratings or liquidity.

In addition, we have incurred, and will continue to incur, significant costs, expenses and fees for professional services and other transaction costs in connection with the transaction, and these fees and costs are payable by us regardless of whether the transaction is consummated.

We may be unable to successfully execute strategic plans to effectively address our current business challenges.

We continue to pursue our overall strategy with a focus on improving business performance and increasing financial and strategic flexibility across the organization. Our strategy includes maximizing our opportunities in our mortgage insurance businesses and stabilizing our U.S. life insurance businesses. See “Item 1—Business—Strategic Update.”

 

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We cannot be sure we will be able to successfully execute on any of our strategic plans to effectively address our current business challenges (including with respect to stabilizing our U.S. life insurance businesses, debt obligations, cost savings, ratings and capital), including as a result of: (a) a failure to complete the China Oceanwide transaction or the inability to pursue alternative strategic plans pending the transaction; (b) an inability to continue to sell long-term care insurance policies; (c) an inability to attract buyers for any businesses or other assets we may seek to sell, or securities we may seek to issue, in each case, in a timely manner and on anticipated terms; (d) an inability to increase the capital needed in our businesses in a timely manner and on anticipated terms, including through improved business performance, reinsurance or similar transactions, asset sales, securities offerings or otherwise, in each case as and when required; (e) a failure to obtain any required regulatory, stockholder, noteholder approvals and/or other third-party approvals or consents for such alternative strategic plans; (f) our challenges changing or being more costly or difficult to successfully address than currently anticipated or the benefits achieved being less than anticipated; (g) an inability to achieve anticipated cost-savings in a timely manner; and (h) adverse tax or accounting charges.

If the proposed transaction with China Oceanwide is not completed, we will continue to remain open to other feasible alternatives and actively assess our strategic options, which could include selling additional blocks of business and/or reducing ownership of or selling businesses, including in transactions that would be material to us. We may be unable to complete any sale of additional blocks of business, or reduce ownership of or sell businesses on terms anticipated or at all.

Even if we are successful in executing our strategic plans or alternative plans, the execution of these plans may have expected or unexpected adverse consequences, including adverse rating actions and adverse tax and accounting charges (such as significant losses on sale of businesses or assets or DAC or deferred tax asset write offs).

We may decide to take additional measures to increase our financial flexibility, in the absence of the China Oceanwide transaction, including issuing equity at Genworth Financial which would be dilutive to our shareholders, or additional debt at Genworth Financial or Genworth Holdings (including debt convertible into equity of Genworth Financial), which could increase our leverage. The availability of any additional debt or equity funding will depend on a variety of factors, including, market conditions, regulatory considerations, the general availability of credit and particularly, to the financial services industry, our credit ratings and credit capacity and the performance of and outlook for our company and our businesses. Market conditions may make it difficult to obtain funding or complete asset sales to generate additional liquidity, especially on short notice and when the demand for additional funding in the market is high. Our access to funding may be further impaired by our credit or financial strength ratings and our financial condition. See “—Our internal sources of liquidity may be insufficient to meet our needs and our access to capital may be limited or unavailable. Under such conditions, we may seek additional capital but may be unable to obtain it.”

We may be unable to maintain or increase the capital needed in our businesses in a timely manner, on anticipated terms or at all, including through improved business performance, reinsurance or similar transactions, asset sales, securities offerings or otherwise, in each case as and when required.

Additional capital has been provided in the past, and if conditions require we expect additional capital could be provided in the future, to our mortgage insurance businesses as necessary (and to the extent we determine it is appropriate to do so) to meet regulatory or GSE capital requirements, comply with rating agency criteria to maintain ratings and provide capital and liquidity buffers for these businesses to operate and meet unexpected cash flow obligations. We may not be able to fund or raise the required capital as and when required and the amount of capital required may be higher than anticipated, particularly in the absence of the China Oceanwide transaction. Our inability to fund or raise the capital required in the anticipated timeframes and on the anticipated terms, could have a material adverse impact on our business, results of operations and financial condition, including causing us to reduce our business levels or be subject to a variety of regulatory actions. See “—Our internal sources of liquidity may be insufficient to meet our needs and our access to capital may be limited or unavailable. Under such conditions, we may seek additional capital but may be unable to obtain it.”

 

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Our U.S. life insurance businesses are currently unable to pay dividends to the holding company due to the capital needs of these businesses.

In addition, we intend to continue to support the increased capital needs of our U.S. mortgage insurance business resulting from PMIERs and any further support that might be necessary under PMIERs 2.0. As of December 31, 2018 and 2017, our U.S. mortgage insurance business met the current PMIERs financial and operational requirements, and holds a reasonable amount in excess of the financial requirements. In order to continue to provide a prudent level of financial flexibility in connection with the current PMIERs capital requirements given the dynamic nature of asset and requirement valuations over time, our U.S. mortgage insurance business may be required, particularly in the absence of the China Oceanwide transaction, to execute future capital transactions, including additional reinsurance transactions and contributions of holding company cash. See “—If we are unable to continue to meet the requirements mandated by PMIERs or PMIERs 2.0 because the GSEs amend them or the GSEs’ interpretation of the financial requirements requires us to hold amounts of capital that are higher than we have planned or otherwise, we may not be eligible to write new insurance on loans acquired by the GSEs, which would have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition.”

The implementation of any further reinsurance transactions all depend on the completion of the China Oceanwide transaction, market conditions, third-party approvals or other actions (including approval by regulators and the GSEs), and other factors which are outside of our control, and therefore we cannot be sure we will be able to successfully implement these actions on the anticipated timetable and terms or at all, or achieve the anticipated benefits. For a discussion of risks related to our strategic plans, see “—We may be unable to successfully execute strategic plans to effectively address our current business challenges.”

Risks Relating to Estimates, Assumptions and Valuations

If our reserves for future policy claims are inadequate, we may be required to increase our reserves, which could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations and financial condition.

We calculate and maintain reserves for estimated future payments of claims to our policyholders and contractholders in accordance with U.S. GAAP and industry accounting practices. We release these reserves as those future obligations are paid, experience changes or policies lapse. The reserves we establish reflect estimates and actuarial assumptions with regard to our future experience. These estimates and actuarial assumptions involve the exercise of significant judgment. Our future financial results depend significantly upon the extent to which our actual future experience is consistent with the assumptions and methodologies we have used in pricing our products and calculating our reserves. Small changes in assumptions or small deviations of actual experience from assumptions can have, and in the past had, material impacts on our reserves, results of operations and financial condition. Many factors, and changes in these factors, can affect future experience, including, but not limited to: interest rates; investment returns and volatility; economic and social conditions, such as inflation, unemployment, home price appreciation or depreciation, and health care experience (including type of care and cost of care); policyholder persistency or lapses (i.e., the probability that a policy or contract will remain in-force from one period to the next); insured mortality (i.e., life expectancy or longevity); insured morbidity (i.e., frequency and severity of claim, including claim termination rates and benefit utilization rates); future premium rate increases and associated benefit reductions; expenses; and doctrines of legal liability and damage awards in litigation. Because these factors are not known in advance, change over time, are difficult to accurately predict and are inherently uncertain, we cannot determine with precision the ultimate amounts we will pay for actual claims or the timing of those payments. For information regarding adequacy of reserves specifically related to our long-term care insurance, life insurance and annuities businesses, see “—We may be required to increase our reserves in our long-term care insurance, life insurance and/or annuity businesses as a result of deviations from our estimates and actuarial assumptions or other reasons, which could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations and financial condition.”

 

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We regularly review our reserves and associated assumptions as part of our ongoing assessment of our business performance and risks. If we conclude that our reserves are insufficient to cover actual or expected policy and contract benefits and claim payments as a result of changes in experience, assumptions or otherwise, we would be required to increase our reserves and incur charges in the period in which we make the determination. The amounts of such increases may be significant and this could materially adversely affect our results of operations and financial condition.

For additional information on reserves, including the financial impact of some of these risks, see “Part II—Item 7—Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations—Critical Accounting Estimates—Insurance liabilities and reserves.”

If the models used in our businesses are inaccurate or there are differences and/or variability in loss development compared to our model estimates and actuarial assumptions, it could have a material adverse impact on our business, results of operations and financial condition.

We employ models to, among other uses, price products, calculate reserves, value assets and generate projections used to estimate future pre-tax income, such as the timing of the recognition of earned premium in our mortgage insurance businesses that offer single premium insurance contracts, and to evaluate loss recognition testing, as well as to evaluate risk, determine internal capital requirements and perform stress testing. These models rely on estimates and projections that are inherently uncertain, may use data and/or assumptions that do not adequately reflect recent experience and relevant industry data, and may not operate as intended. In addition, from time to time we seek to improve certain actuarial and financial models, and the conversion process may result in material changes to assumptions and financial results. The models we employ are complex, which increases our risk of error in their design, implementation or use. Also, the associated input data, assumptions and calculations and the controls we have in place to mitigate these risks may not be effective in all cases. The risks related to our models often increase when we change assumptions and/or methodologies, add or change modeling platforms or implement model changes under time constraints. These risks are exacerbated when the process for assumption changes strains our overall governance and timing around our financial reporting. We intend to continue developing our modeling capabilities in our various businesses, including for our long-term care insurance projections where we migrated substantially all of our retained long-term care insurance business to a new modeling system in 2016 and 2017. The new modeling system values and forecasts associated liability cash flows and policyholder behavior at a more granular level than our previous system. The new modeling system is intended to segregate and refine assumptions based upon healthy and disabled insured lives, as compared to our total insured lives estimate we have historically used. During or after the implementation of these enhancements, we may discover errors or other deficiencies in existing models, assumptions and/or methodologies. Moreover, we may either use additional, more granular and more detailed information we expect to receive through enhancements in our reserving and other processes or we may employ more simplified approaches in the future, either of which may cause us to refine or otherwise change existing assumptions and/or methodologies and thus associated reserve levels, which in turn could have a material adverse impact on our business, results of operations and financial condition.

For our mortgage insurance businesses that offer single premium insurance contracts, recognition of earned premiums involves significant estimates and assumptions as to future loss development and policy cancellations. These assumptions are based on our historical experience and our expectations of future performance, which are highly dependent on modeling assumptions as to long-term macroeconomic conditions including interest rates, home price appreciation and the rate of unemployment. In our mortgage insurance businesses in Canada and Australia, the majority of our insurance contracts have a single premium, which is paid at the beginning of the contract. For single premium insurance contracts, we recognize premiums over the policy life in accordance with the expected pattern of risk emergence. We recognize a portion of the revenue in premiums earned in the current period, while the remaining portion is deferred as unearned premiums and earned over time in accordance with the expected pattern of risk emergence.

 

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As of December 31, 2018, we had $3.5 billion of unearned premiums, of which $1.5 billion and $1.1 billion related to our mortgage insurance businesses in Canada and Australia, respectively. We regularly review our expected pattern of risk emergence and make adjustments based on actual experience and changes in our expectation of future performance with any adjustments reflected in current period income (loss). For example, our mortgage insurance business in Australia completed a review of its premium earnings pattern in the fourth quarter of 2017. The review indicated an observed and expected continuation of a longer duration between policy inception and first loss event. This was primarily attributable to the economic downturn in mining regions, which comprised a large proportion of incurred losses in 2017, and a prolonged low interest rate environment resulting in robust housing markets in other parts of the country. This adjustment resulted in a decrease to earned premiums of $468 million, an increase to unearned premiums of $468 million, a decrease to DAC amortization of $18 million, and an unfavorable adjustment to net income (loss) of $152 million, net of taxes and noncontrolling interests. As a result of these changes, earned premiums and amortization of DAC increased in 2018 and are expected to remain at this higher level over the next several years on our existing insurance in-force as compared to 2017, but normalize thereafter as the premiums will be earned over a longer period of time. Our mortgage insurance business in Australia completed its 2018 premium earnings pattern review in the fourth quarter of 2018 and concluded that no changes to the premium recognition factors were required. Although we did not have a similar adjustment in 2018, our expected pattern of risk emergence for our mortgage insurance businesses in Canada and Australia is subject to change given the inherent uncertainty as to the underlying loss development and policy cancellation assumptions and the long duration of our international mortgage insurance policy contracts. Therefore, actual future experience that is different than expected loss development or policy cancellations could result in further material increases or decreases in the recognition of earned premiums, increases or decreases in unearned premiums and additional after-tax charges to operating results depending on the magnitude of the difference between actual and expected experience.

We may be required to increase our reserves in our long-term care insurance, life insurance and/or annuity businesses as a result of deviations from our estimates and actuarial assumptions or other reasons, which could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations and financial condition.

The expected future profitability and prices of our long-term care insurance, life insurance and some annuity products are based upon expected estimated claims and payment patterns, using assumptions for, among other things, projected interest rates and investment returns, morbidity rates, mortality rates, persistency, lapses and expenses. The long-term profitability of these products depends upon how our actual experience compares with our pricing and valuation assumptions. If any of our assumptions prove to be inaccurate, our reserves may be inadequate, which in the past has had, and may in the future have, a material adverse effect on our results of operations, financial condition and business. For example, if morbidity rates are higher than our valuation assumptions, we could be required to make greater payments and thus establish additional reserves under our long-term care insurance policies than we had expected, and such amounts could be significant. Likewise, if mortality rates are lower than our valuation assumptions, we could be required to make greater payments and thus establish additional reserves under both our long-term care insurance policies and annuity contracts and such amounts could be significant. Conversely, if mortality rates are higher than our pricing and valuation assumptions, we could be required to make greater payments under our life insurance policies and annuity contracts with GMDBs than we had projected. Moreover, changes in the assumptions we use can have a material adverse effect on our results of operations. Even small changes in assumptions or small deviations of actual experience from assumptions can have, and in the past have had, material impacts on our DAC amortization, reserve levels, results of operations and financial condition.

For example, we have increased our reserves for our long-term care and/or life insurance products following completion of our annual review of assumptions in 2018, 2017 and 2016, which have materially impacted our results of operations. See “Part II—Item 7—Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations—Critical Accounting Estimates” for additional information. Increases to our reserves may, among other things, limit our ability to execute our alternative strategic plans if the proposed transaction with China Oceanwide is not completed; reduce our liquidity; and adversely impact our debt or financial strength

 

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ratings. Any of these results could have a material adverse impact on our business, results of operations and financial condition.

The risk that our claims experience may differ significantly from our valuation assumptions is particularly significant for our long-term care insurance products. Long-term care insurance policies provide for long-duration coverage and, therefore, our actual claims experience will emerge over many years, or decades, after both pricing and locked-in valuation assumptions have been established. For example, among other factors, changes in economic and interest rate risk, socio-demographics, behavioral trends (e.g., location of care and level of benefit use) and medical advances, may have a material adverse impact on our future claims trends. Moreover, long-term care insurance does not have the extensive claims experience history of life insurance. As a consequence, given that recent experience will represent a larger proportion of total experience, our long-term care insurance assumptions will be more heavily influenced by recent experience. It follows that our ability to forecast future claim costs for long-term care insurance is more limited than for life insurance. For additional information on our long-term care insurance reserves, including the significant historical financial impact of some of these risks, see “Part II—Item 7—Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations—Critical Accounting Estimates—Insurance liabilities and reserves.”

Our loss recognition testing for our long-term care insurance products is reviewed in the aggregate, excluding our acquired block of long-term care insurance, which is tested separately. Our long-term care insurance business, excluding the acquired block, has positive margin and is highly dependent on the assumptions we have regarding our ability to successfully implement our in-force management strategy involving premium increases and associated benefit reductions. As of December 31, 2018, the assumption for future in-force rate actions (anticipated to be approved, including premium rate increases and associated benefit reductions not yet filed) increased our margin on our long-term care insurance, excluding the acquired block, by approximately $6.2 billion. For our long-term care insurance block, excluding the acquired block, any adverse changes in assumptions would only be reflected in net income (loss) to the extent the margin was reduced below zero. The margin of our long-term care insurance block, excluding the acquired block, decreased from a range of approximately $0.4 billion to $0.8 billion as of December 31, 2017 to approximately $0.3 billion to $0.6 billion as of December 31, 2018 primarily from moderately higher expected future claims, mostly offset by an increase in expected benefits of in-force rate actions. Our assumptions are sensitive to slight variability in actual experience and small changes in assumptions could result in the margin of our long-term care insurance block, excluding the acquired block to decrease to at/or below zero in future years. To the extent, based on reviews, our margin is negative, we would be required to recognize a loss, by amortizing more DAC and/or establishing additional benefit reserves, the impact of which may be material. A significant decrease in our loss recognition testing margin, the need to amortize a significant amount of DAC and/or the need to significantly increase reserves could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition. We include future in-force rate actions in our loss recognition testing which includes assumptions for significant premium rate increases and associated benefit reductions that have been approved or are anticipated to be approved (including premium rate increases and associated benefit reductions not yet filed). A change in the expected amount of increased premiums and associated benefit reductions would impact the results of our long-term care insurance margin testing, whereby any unexpected reduction in the amount of future in-force rate actions would negatively impact our margins and could result in a premium deficiency which would have a materially adverse effect on our results of operations, capital levels, RBC and financial condition. There is no guarantee that we will be able to obtain regulatory approval for the future in-force rate actions we have assumed in connection with our loss recognition testing. Favorable impacts on our margin from in-force rate actions would primarily impact our long-term care insurance block, excluding the acquired block. Our acquired block would not benefit significantly from future in-force rate actions as it is older. For our acquired block of long-term care insurance, the impacts of any adverse changes in assumptions are more likely to be recorded as a loss as our margin for this block has been zero in the past and currently has a relatively thin margin of approximately $200 million to $400 million as of December 31, 2018, an increase from December 31, 2017 when the margin was approximately $100 million to $200 million.

 

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As part of our annual loss recognition testing, we also review assumptions for incidence and interest rates, among other assumptions. We regularly review our methodologies and assumptions in light of emerging experience and may be required to make further adjustments to our long-term care insurance claim reserves in the future, which could also impact our loss recognition testing results, as described above. In addition, we will also continue to monitor our experience and assumptions closely and make changes to our assumptions and methodologies, as appropriate, for other U.S. life insurance products.

We also perform cash flow testing or “asset adequacy analysis” separately for each of our U.S. life insurance companies on a statutory accounting basis. To the extent that the cash flow testing margin is negative in any of our U.S. life insurance companies, we would need to increase statutory reserves, which would decrease our RBC ratios. The NYDFS, which regulates GLICNY, has required specific adequacy testing scenarios that are generally more severe than those deemed acceptable in other states. Moreover, the required testing scenarios by the NYDFS have a disproportionate impact on our long-term care insurance products. GLICNY did not record any additional statutory reserves in the fourth quarter of 2016 as a result of its year end 2016 asset adequacy analysis. However, in the second quarter of 2017, the NYDFS required GLICNY to record an additional $58 million of statutory reserves related to its 2016 asset adequacy analysis. As of December 31, 2016, GLICNY had expected to record approximately $110 million of additional statutory reserves over the following two years due to year end 2016 asset adequacy analysis results.

However, aggregated cash flow testing for GLICNY in 2017 resulted in incremental negative margin of approximately $400 million. As a result, GLICNY recorded an additional $188 million of statutory reserves in the fourth quarter of 2017. Following its recording of the additional statutory reserves in the fourth quarter of 2017, GLICNY had a remaining asset adequacy deficit of approximately $302 million, which was previously agreed with the NYDFS to phase in over a two-year period. During 2018, the NYDFS approved a previously filed in-force rate increase. Therefore, we incorporated this approved in-force rate increase along with other assumption and methodology updates into our 2018 cash flow testing. As a result, no incremental additional asset adequacy analysis reserves were recorded for the year ended December 31, 2018. The NYDFS currently does not allow in-force rate increases for long-term care insurance business to be used in asset adequacy analysis until such increases have been approved.

As a part of our cash flow testing process for our non-New York domiciled life insurance subsidiaries, we consider incremental benefits from expected future in-force rate actions that would help mitigate the impact of deteriorating experience. There is no guarantee that we will be able to obtain regulatory approval for the future in-force rate actions we assumed in connection with our cash flow testing for our non-New York life insurance subsidiaries. A need to significantly further increase statutory reserves could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition. For additional information regarding impacts to statutory capital as a result of reserve increases, see “—An adverse change in our regulatory requirements, including risk-based capital, could have a material adverse impact on our results of operations, financial condition and business.”

During 2018, 2017 and 2016, we also established $120 million, $284 million and $76 million, respectively, of additional statutory reserves resulting from updates to our universal and term universal life insurance products with secondary guarantees in our Virginia and Delaware licensed life insurance subsidiaries.

The effect of persistency on profitability varies for different products. For most of our life insurance and deferred annuity products, actual persistency that is lower than our persistency assumptions could have an adverse impact on profitability, primarily because we would be required to accelerate the amortization of expenses we deferred in connection with the acquisition of the policy or contract. For our deferred annuities with GMWBs and guaranteed annuitization benefits, actual persistency that is higher than our persistency assumptions could have an adverse impact on profitability because we could be required to make withdrawal or annuitization payments for a longer period of time than the account value would support. For our universal life insurance policies, increased persistency that is the result of the sale of policies by the insured to third parties that continue

 

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to make premium payments on policies that would otherwise have lapsed, also known as life settlements, could have an adverse impact on profitability because of the higher claims rate associated with settled policies.

For our long-term care insurance policies, actual persistency in later policy durations that is higher than our persistency assumptions could have a negative impact on profitability. If these policies remain in-force longer than we assumed, then we could be required to make greater benefit payments than we had anticipated when we priced these products. This risk is particularly significant in our long-term care insurance business because we do not have the experience history that we have in many of our other businesses. As a result, our ability to predict persistency and resulting benefit experience for long-term care insurance is more limited than for many other products. A significant number of our long-term care insurance policies have experienced higher persistency than we had originally assumed, which has resulted in higher claims and an adverse effect on the profitability of that business. In addition, the impact of inflation on claims could be more pronounced for our long-term care insurance business than our other businesses given the “long tail” nature of this business. To the extent inflation causes these health care costs to increase, we will be required to increase our claim reserves which would also negatively impact our loss recognition testing results and could result in a premium deficiency. Although we consider the potential effects of inflation when setting premium rates, our premiums may not fully offset the effects of inflation and may result in our underpricing of the risks we insure.

The risk that our lapse experience may differ significantly from our valuation assumptions is significant for our term life and term universal life insurance policies. These policies generally have a level premium period for a specified period of years (e.g., 10 years to 30 years) after which the premium increases, which may be significant. The level premium period for a significant portion of our term life insurance policies will end in the next few years and policyholders may lapse with greater frequency than we anticipated in our reserve assumptions. In addition, it may be that healthy policyholders are the ones who lapse (as they can more easily replace coverage at a lower cost), creating adverse selection where less healthy policyholders remain in our portfolio. If the frequency of lapses is higher than our reserve assumptions, we would experience higher DAC amortization and lower premiums and could experience higher benefit costs. We have somewhat limited experience on which to base both the lapse assumption and the mortality assumption after the end of the level premium period, which increases the uncertainty associated with our assumptions and reserve levels. However, we have experienced both a greater frequency of policyholder lapses and more severe adverse selection, after the level premium period, and this experience could continue or worsen. Between 1999 and 2009, we had a significant increase in term life insurance sales, as compared to 1998 and prior years. As our 15-year level premium period term life insurance policies written in 1999 and 2000 transitioned to their post-level guaranteed premium rate period, we have experienced lower persistency compared to our pricing and valuation assumptions. The blocks of business issued since 2000 vary in size as compared to the 1999 and 2000 blocks of business. Accordingly, in the future, as additional 10-, 15- and 20-year level premium period blocks enter their post-level guaranteed premium rate period, we expect to experience volatility in DAC amortization, premiums and mortality experience, which we expect to reduce profitability in our term life insurance products, in amounts that could be material, if persistency is lower than our original assumptions as it has been on our 10- and 15-year level premium period business written in 1999 and 2000.

For example, in 2018 and 2017, we experienced higher lapses and accelerated DAC amortization associated with our large 15-year and 20-year level premium period term life insurance blocks entering their post-level guaranteed premium rate periods. We anticipate this trend will continue with accompanying higher DAC amortization and lower profitability as larger blocks reach the end of their level premium periods through 2020, especially for our 2000 block, and will continue as our other blocks reach their post guaranteed level premium rate period. In addition, the margin on our term and whole life insurance products, excluding our acquired block, and our acquired block of term and whole life insurance products is relatively thin, with a combined margin of approximately zero to $500 million as of December 31, 2018. Any adverse changes in our assumptions are therefore more likely to result in the combined margin of our term and whole life insurance products to decrease below zero in future years. To the extent, based on reviews, our margin is negative, for either our term and whole life insurance products, excluding our acquired block, or our acquired block of term and whole life insurance

 

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products, we would be required to recognize a loss, by amortizing more DAC and/or present value of future profits (“PVFP”) as well as the establishment of additional future policy benefit reserves if the DAC and/or PVFP was fully written off. A significant decrease in our loss recognition testing margin, the need to amortize a significant amount of DAC and/or PVFP or the need to significantly increase reserves could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition. For additional information on our term life insurance reserves, including select sensitivities, see “—Critical Accounting Estimates—Insurance liabilities and reserves.”

Although some of our products permit us to increase premiums during the life of the policy or contract, we cannot guarantee that these increases would be sufficient to maintain profitability or that such increases would be approved by regulators or approved in a timely manner, where approval is required. Moreover, many of our products either do not permit us to increase premiums or limit those increases during the life of the policy or contract. Significant deviations in experience from pricing expectations could have an adverse effect on the profitability of our products. In addition to our annual reviews, we regularly review our methodologies and assumptions in light of emerging experience and may be required to make further adjustments to reserves in our long-term care insurance, life insurance and/or annuities businesses in the future. Any changes to these reserves may have a materially negative impact on our results of operations, financial condition and business.

We may be required to accelerate the amortization of deferred acquisition costs and the present value of future profits, which would increase our expenses and reduce profitability.

DAC represents costs related to the successful acquisition of our insurance policies and investment contracts, which are deferred and amortized over the estimated life of the related insurance policies and investment contracts. These costs primarily consist of commissions in excess of ultimate renewal commissions and underwriting and contract and policy issuance expenses incurred on policies and contracts successfully acquired. Under U.S. GAAP, DAC is subsequently amortized to income, over the lives of the underlying contracts, in relation to the anticipated recognition of premiums or gross profits. In addition, when we acquire a block of insurance policies or investment contracts, we assign a portion of the purchase price to the right to receive future net cash flows from the acquired block of insurance and investment contracts and policies. This intangible asset, called PVFP, represents the actuarially estimated present value of future cash flows from the acquired policies. We amortize the value of this intangible asset in a manner similar to the amortization of DAC.

Our amortization of DAC and PVFP generally depends upon, among other items, anticipated profits from investments, surrender and other policy and contract charges, mortality, morbidity and maintenance expense margins. Unfavorable experience with regard to expected expenses, investment returns, mortality, morbidity, withdrawals or lapses may cause us to increase the amortization of DAC or PVFP, or both, or to record a charge to increase benefit reserves, and such increases could be material.

We regularly review DAC and PVFP to determine if they are recoverable from future income. If these costs are not recoverable, they are charged as expenses in the financial period in which we make this determination. For example, if we determine that we are unable to recover DAC from profits over the life of a block of insurance policies or annuity contracts, or if withdrawals or surrender charges associated with early withdrawals do not fully offset the unamortized acquisition costs related to those policies or annuities, we would be required to recognize the additional DAC amortization as an expense in the current period. Equity market volatility could result in losses in our variable annuity products and associated hedging program which could challenge our ability to recover DAC on these products and could lead to further write-offs of DAC.

For additional information on DAC and PVFP, including the significant historical financial impact of some of these risks, see “Part II—Item 7—Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations—Critical Accounting Estimates—Deferred acquisition costs/ Present value of future profits.”

 

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When we have projected profits in earlier years followed by projected losses in later years (as is currently the case with our long-term care insurance business), we are required to increase our reserve liabilities over time to offset the projected future losses, which could adversely affect our results of operations and financial condition.

We calculate and maintain reserves for estimated future payments of claims to our policyholders and contractholders in accordance with U.S. GAAP and industry accounting practices. When we conclude that our reserves are insufficient by line of business to cover actual or expected policy and contract benefits and claim payments as a result of changes in experience, assumptions or otherwise, we are required to increase our reserves and incur charges in the period in which we make the determination. For certain long-duration products in our U.S. Life Insurance segment, we are also required to accrue additional reserves over time when the overall reserve is adequate by line of business, but profits are projected in earlier years followed by losses projected in later years. When this pattern of profits followed by losses exists for these products, and we determine that an additional reserve liability is required, we increase reserves in the years we expect to be profitable by the amounts necessary to offset losses projected in later years.

In our long-term care insurance products, projected profits followed by projected losses are anticipated to occur because U.S. GAAP requires that original assumptions be used in determining reserves for future policy claims unless and until a premium deficiency exists. Our existing locked-in reserve assumptions do not include assumptions for premium rate increases and associated benefit reductions, which if included in reserves, could reduce or eliminate future projected losses. As a result of this pattern of projected profits followed by projected losses, we are required to accrue additional future policy benefit reserves in the profitable years, currently expected to be through 2032, by the amounts necessary to offset losses in later years. As of December 31, 2018 and 2017, we accrued future policy benefit reserves of $110 million and $102 million, respectively, in our consolidated balance sheet for profits followed by losses in our long-term care insurance business. The accrual was impacted by the reserve pattern and present value of expected future losses and is updated annually at the time in which we perform loss recognition testing. The amount required to accrue for additional future policy benefits in the profitable years may be significant and this could materially adversely affect our results of operations and financial condition. For additional information, including the significant historical financial impact of some of these risks, see “Part II—Item 7—Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations—Critical Accounting Estimates—Future policy benefits.”

Our valuation of fixed maturity, equity and trading securities uses methodologies, estimations and assumptions that are subject to change and differing interpretations which could result in changes to investment valuations that may materially adversely affect our results of operations and financial condition.

We report fixed maturity, equity and trading securities at fair value on our consolidated balance sheets. These securities represent the majority of our total cash, cash equivalents, restricted cash and invested assets. Our portfolio of fixed maturity securities consists primarily of investment grade securities. Valuations use inputs and assumptions that are less observable or require greater estimation, as well as valuation methods that are more complex or require greater estimation, thereby resulting in values that are less certain and may vary significantly from the value at which the investments may be ultimately sold. The methodologies, estimates and assumptions we use in valuing our investment securities evolve over time and are subject to different interpretation (including based on developments in relevant accounting literature), all of which can lead to changes in the value of our investment securities. Rapidly changing and unanticipated interest rate, external macroeconomic, credit and equity market conditions could materially impact the valuation of investment securities as reported within our consolidated financial statements, and the period-to-period changes in value could vary significantly. Decreases in value may have a material adverse effect on our results of operations or financial condition.

 

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Risks Relating to Economic, Market and Political Conditions

Downturns and volatility in global economies and equity and credit markets could materially adversely affect our business and results of operations.

Our results of operations are materially affected by the state of the global economies in which we operate and conditions in the capital markets we access. Factors such as high unemployment, low consumer spending, low business investment, high government spending, home price appreciation or depreciation, the volatility and strength of the global capital markets, and inflation all affect the business and economic environment and, ultimately, the demand for and terms of our products and results of operations of our business. In the past, a recessionary state and the volatility of many economies fueled uncertainty and downturns in global markets and contributed to increased volatility in our business and results of operations. This uncertainty and volatility has impacted, and may impact in the future, the demand for certain financial and insurance products. As a result, we may experience an elevated incidence of claims and lapses or surrenders of policies, and some of our policyholders may choose to defer paying insurance premiums or stop paying insurance premiums altogether.

Rising unemployment or underemployment rates can, for example, negatively impact a borrower’s ability to pay his or her mortgage, thereby increasing the likelihood that we could incur additional losses in our mortgage insurance businesses. We set loss reserves for our mortgage insurance businesses based in part on expected claims and delinquency cure rate patterns. These expectations reflect our assumptions regarding unemployment and underemployment levels. If unemployment levels are higher than those within our loss reserving assumptions, the claims frequency and severity for our mortgage insurance businesses could be higher than we had projected. In addition, a return to low or negative home prices, coupled with weakened economic conditions, could cause further increases in our incurred losses and related loss ratios. Our loss experience may also increase as policies continue to age. If the claim frequency on the risk in-force significantly exceeds the claim frequency that was assumed in setting premium rates, our financial condition, results of operations and cash flows would be materially adversely affected.

Downturns and volatility in equity markets may also cause some existing customers to withdraw cash values or reduce investments in our separate account products, which include variable annuities. In addition, if the performance of the underlying mutual funds in our separate account products experience downturns and volatility for an extended period of time, the payment of any living benefit guarantee available in certain variable annuity products may have an adverse effect on us, because more payments will be required to come from general account assets than from contractholder separate account investments. Continued equity market volatility could result in additional losses in our variable annuity products and associated hedging program, which will further challenge our ability to recover DAC on these products and could lead to additional write-offs of DAC, as well as increased hedging costs.

Interest rates and changes in rates could materially adversely affect our business and profitability.

Our insurance and investment products are sensitive to interest rate fluctuations and expose us to the risk that falling interest rates or tightening credit spreads will reduce our interest rate margin (the difference between the returns we earn on the investments that support our obligations under these products and the amounts that we must pay to policyholders and contractholders). We may reduce the interest rates we credit on most of these products only at limited, pre-established intervals, and some contracts have guaranteed minimum interest crediting rates. As a result, historic low interest rates in the past have adversely impacted our business and profitability, and if interest rates decline to previous historic lows, our future profitability and business would be adversely impacted.

During periods of increasing market interest rates, we may offer higher crediting rates on interest-sensitive products, such as universal life insurance and fixed annuities, and we may increase crediting rates on in-force products to keep these products competitive. In addition, rapidly rising interest rates may cause unrealized losses

 

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on our investment portfolios, increased policy surrenders, withdrawals from life insurance policies and annuity contracts and requests for policy loans, as policyholders and contractholders shift assets into higher yielding investments. Increases in crediting rates, as well as surrenders and withdrawals, could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations, including the requirement to liquidate fixed-income investments in an unrealized loss position to satisfy surrenders or withdrawals.

Our life insurance, long-term care insurance and fixed annuity products, as well as our guaranteed benefits on variable annuities, also expose us to the risk of interest rate fluctuations. The pricing and expected future profitability of these products are based in part on expected investment returns. Over time, life and long-term care insurance products are expected to generally produce positive cash flows as customers pay periodic premiums, which we invest as they are received. Low interest rates increase reinvestment risk and reduce our ability to achieve our targeted investment margins and may adversely affect the profitability of our life insurance, long-term care insurance and fixed annuity products and may increase hedging costs on our in-force block of variable annuity products. A low interest rate environment negatively impacts the sufficiency of our margins on both our DAC and PVFP. If interest rates return to historic lows and remain there for a prolonged period, it could result in an impairment of these assets, and may reduce funds available to pay claims, including life and long-term care insurance claims, requiring an increase in our reserve liabilities, which could be significant (as has been the case with our long-term care and life insurance businesses in the past). In addition, certain statutory capital requirements are based on models that consider interest rates. Prolonged periods of low interest rates may increase the statutory reserves we are required to hold as well as the amount of assets and capital we must maintain to support amounts of statutory reserves. In addition, our insurance and annuity products are sensitive to inflation rate fluctuations. For example, a sustained increase in the inflation rate may result in an increase in nominal market interest rates. A failure to accurately anticipate higher inflation and factor it into our product pricing assumptions may result in mispricing of our products, which could materially and adversely impact our results of operations.

In our long-term care insurance, life insurance and annuity products, low interest rates reduce the returns we earn on the investments that support our obligations under these products, which increases reinvestment risk and reduces our ability to achieve our targeted investment returns. Given the average life of our assets is shorter than the average life of the liabilities on these products, our reinvestment risk is greater in low interest rate environments as a significant portion of cash flows used to pay benefits to our policyholders and contractholders comes from investment returns. Because we may reduce the interest rates we credit on most of these products only at limited, pre-established intervals, and because many contracts have guaranteed minimum interest crediting rates, declines in earned investment returns can impact the profitability of these products.

In both the United States and international mortgage markets, rising interest rates generally reduce the volume of new mortgage originations. A decline in the volume of new mortgage originations would have an adverse effect on our new insurance written. Rising interest rates also can increase the monthly mortgage payments for insured homeowners with adjustable rate mortgages (“ARMs”) that could have the effect of increasing default rates on ARM loans, thereby increasing our exposure on our mortgage insurance policies. This is particularly relevant in our international mortgage insurance businesses where ARMs and shorter-term fixed rate loans are the predominant mortgage product. Higher interest rates can lead to an increase in defaults as borrowers at risk of default will find it harder to qualify for a replacement loan.

Declining interest rates historically have increased the rate at which borrowers refinance their existing mortgages in the United States, thereby resulting in cancellations of the mortgage insurance covering the refinanced loans. Declining interest rates historically have also contributed to home price appreciation, which may provide borrowers in the United States with the option of cancelling their mortgage insurance coverage earlier than we anticipated when pricing that coverage. These cancellations could have a material adverse effect on the results of our U.S. mortgage insurance business.

 

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Interest rate fluctuations could impact our capital or solvency ratios specifically in our international mortgage insurance businesses where the required or available capital could be adversely impacted by increases in interest rates.

Interest rate fluctuations could also have an adverse effect on the results of our investment portfolio. During periods of declining market interest rates, the interest we receive on variable interest rate investments decreases. In addition, during those periods, we reinvest the cash we receive as interest or return of principal on our investments in lower-yielding high-grade instruments or in lower-credit instruments to maintain comparable returns. Issuers of fixed-income securities may also decide to prepay their obligations in order to borrow at lower market rates, which exacerbates the risk that we have to invest the cash proceeds of these securities in lower-yielding or lower-credit instruments. During periods of increasing interest rates, market values of lower-yielding assets will decline. In addition, our interest rate hedges could decline which would require us to post additional collateral with our derivative counterparties. Posting this collateral could materially adversely affect our financial condition and results of operation by reducing our liquidity and net investment income, to the extent that the additional collateral posting requires us to invest in higher-quality, lower-yielding investments.

See “Part II—Item 7A—Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk” for additional information about interest rate risk.

A deterioration in economic conditions or a decline in home prices may adversely affect our loss experience in our mortgage insurance businesses.

Losses in our mortgage insurance businesses generally result from events, such as a borrower’s reduction of income, unemployment, underemployment, divorce, illness, inability to manage credit, or a change in interest rate levels or home values, that reduce a borrower’s willingness or ability to continue to make mortgage payments. The amount of the loss we suffer, if any, depends in part on whether the home of a borrower who defaults on a mortgage can be sold for an amount that will cover unpaid principal and interest and the expenses of the sale. A deterioration in economic conditions generally increases the likelihood that borrowers will not have sufficient income to pay their mortgages and can also adversely affect housing values, which increases our risk of loss. A decline in home prices, whether or not in conjunction with deteriorating economic conditions, may also increase our risk of loss. Furthermore, our estimates of claims-paying resources and claim obligations are based on various assumptions, which include the timing of the receipt of claims on loans in our delinquency inventory and future claims that we anticipate will ultimately be received, our anticipated loss mitigation activities, premiums, housing prices and unemployment rates. These assumptions are subject to inherent uncertainty and require judgment by management.

In the past, the United States, in particular, experienced an economic slowdown and saw a pronounced weakness in its housing markets, as well as declines in home prices. This slowdown and the resulting impact on the housing markets have been reflected in past elevated level of delinquencies. Any delays in foreclosure processes could cause our losses to increase as expenses accrue for longer periods or if the value of foreclosed homes further decline during such delays. If we experience an increase in the number or the cost of delinquencies that are higher than expected, our financial condition and results of operations could be adversely affected.

In the past, low commodity prices, particularly oil, have resulted in a rise in unemployment in countries and certain regions within those countries where we conduct business. The adverse economic conditions in these countries and certain regions within those countries could deteriorate like we have experienced in the past which could impact the broader economies in those countries as well as the global economy, resulting in higher delinquencies as well as declines in home prices, which could have an unfavorable impact on the results of our operations for those businesses affected.

 

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We have significant international operations that could be adversely affected by changes in political or economic stability or government policies where we operate.

Global economic and regulatory developments could affect our business in many ways. For example, our international operations are subject to local laws and regulations, which in many ways are similar to the U.S. state laws and regulations outlined below. Many of our international customers and independent sales intermediaries also operate in regulated environments. Changes in the regulations that affect their operations also may affect our business relationships with them and their ability to purchase or to distribute our products. These changes could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations. In addition, compliance with applicable laws and regulations is time consuming and personnel-intensive, and changes in these laws and regulations may increase materially our direct and indirect compliance and other expenses of doing business, thus having a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.

Local, regional and global economic conditions, including changes in housing markets, employment levels, government benefit levels, credit markets, trade levels, inflation, recession and currency fluctuations, as discussed above, also could have a material adverse effect on our international businesses. Political changes, some of which may be disruptive, can also interfere with our customers and all of our activities in a particular location. Attempts to mitigate these risks can be costly and are not always successful.

Our international businesses and operations are subject to the tax laws and regulations, and value added tax and other indirect taxes, in the countries in which they are organized and in which they operate. Foreign governments from time to time consider legislation and regulations that could increase the amount of taxes that we pay or impact the sales of our products. An increase to tax rates in the countries in which we operate could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.

Fluctuations in foreign currency exchange rates and international securities markets could negatively affect our financial condition and results of operations.

The results of our international operations are denominated in local currencies, and because we derive a significant portion of our income from our international operations, our results of operations could be adversely affected to the extent the dollar value of foreign currencies is reduced due to a strengthening of the U.S. dollar. We generally invest cash generated by our international operations in securities denominated in local currencies. As of December 31, 2018 and 2017, approximately 10% of our invested assets were held by our international operations and were invested primarily in non-U.S.-denominated securities. Although investing in securities denominated in local currencies limits the effect of currency exchange rate fluctuation on local operating results, we remain exposed to the impact of fluctuations in exchange rates as we translate the operating results of our international operations into our consolidated financial statements. We currently do not hedge this exposure, other than for dividend and other expected cash payments from our Canadian and Australian mortgage insurance businesses, and, as a result, period-to-period comparability of our results of operations is affected by fluctuations in exchange rates. Our investments in non-U.S.-denominated securities are subject to fluctuations in non-U.S. securities and currency markets, and those markets can be volatile. Non-U.S. currency fluctuations also affect the value of any dividends paid by our non-U.S. subsidiaries to their parent companies in the United States. Fluctuations in foreign currency exchange rates could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.

See “Part II—Item 7A—Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk” for additional information about foreign currency risk.

 

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Regulatory and Legal Risks

Our insurance businesses are extensively regulated and changes in regulation may reduce our profitability and limit our growth.

Our insurance operations are subject to a wide variety of laws and regulations and are extensively regulated. State insurance laws regulate most aspects of our U.S. insurance businesses, and our insurance subsidiaries are regulated by the insurance departments of the states in which they are domiciled and licensed. Our international operations are principally regulated by insurance regulatory authorities in the jurisdictions in which they are domiciled. Failure to comply with applicable regulations or to obtain or maintain appropriate authorizations or exemptions under any applicable laws could result in restrictions on our ability to do business or engage in activities regulated in one or more jurisdictions in which we operate and could subject us to fines and other sanctions which could have a material adverse effect on our business. In addition, the nature and extent of regulation of our activities in applicable jurisdictions could materially change causing a material adverse effect on our business.

Insurance regulatory authorities in the United States and internationally have broad administrative powers, which at times, are coordinated and communicated across regulatory bodies. These administrative powers include, but are not limited to:

 

   

licensing companies and agents to transact business;

 

   

calculating the value of assets and determining the eligibility of assets to determine compliance with statutory requirements;

 

   

mandating certain insurance benefits;

 

   

regulating certain premium rates;

 

   

reviewing and approving policy forms;

 

   

regulating discrimination in pricing and coverage terms and unfair trade and claims practices, including through the imposition of restrictions on marketing and sales practices, distribution arrangements and payment of inducements;

 

   

establishing and revising statutory capital and reserve requirements and solvency standards;

 

   

fixing maximum interest rates on insurance policy loans and minimum rates for guaranteed crediting rates on life insurance policies and annuity contracts;

 

   

approving premium increases and associated benefit reductions;

 

   

evaluating enterprise risk to an insurer;

 

   

approving changes in control of insurance companies;

 

   

restricting the payment of dividends and other transactions between affiliates;

 

   

regulating the types, amounts and valuation of investments;

 

   

restricting the types of insurance products that may be offered; and

 

   

imposing insurance eligibility criteria.

State insurance regulators and the NAIC regularly re-examine existing laws and regulations, specifically focusing on modifications to SAP, interpretations of existing laws and the development of new laws and regulations applicable to insurance companies and their products. Any proposed or future legislation or NAIC initiatives, if adopted, may be more restrictive on our ability to conduct business than current regulatory requirements or may result in higher costs or increased statutory capital and reserve requirements. Further, because laws and regulations can be complex and sometimes inexact, there is also a risk that any particular

 

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regulator’s or enforcement authority’s interpretation of a legal, accounting or reserving issue may change over time to our detriment, or expose us to different or additional regulatory risks. The application of these regulations and guidelines by insurers involves interpretations and judgments that may differ from those of state insurance departments. We cannot provide assurance that such differences of opinion will not result in regulatory, tax or other challenges to the actions we have taken to date. The result of those potential challenges could require us to increase levels of statutory capital and reserves or incur higher operating costs and/or have implications on certain tax positions.

In addition, the FHFA, the regulatory body of the Federal Home Loan Banks (“FHLBs”), issued its final rule that amended its regulation on FHLB membership on January 12, 2016, with an effective date of February 19, 2016. FHLB membership provides a low-cost alternative funding source for our businesses. Changes in these laws and regulations, or in interpretations thereof in the United States, can be made for the benefit of the consumer, or for other reasons, at the expense of the insurer and thus could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations. These FHFA regulations also impose general eligibility requirements for FHLB membership which, if not met, would render an institution ineligible for FHLB membership. Under these provisions an insurance company member must, among other things, meet certain financial condition requirements under the FHFA regulations. The FHLB could determine that the financial condition of one of our insurers is such that the FHLB deems it is not safe to make advances to the insurer, which would effectively eliminate a funding source for our businesses.

Regulators in the United States and internationally have developed criteria under which they are subjecting non-bank financial companies, including insurance companies, that are deemed systemically important to higher regulatory capital requirements and stricter prudential standards. Although neither we nor any of our subsidiaries have been designated systemically important, we cannot predict whether we or any of our subsidiaries will be deemed systemically important in the future or how such a designation would impact our business, results of operations, cash flows or financial condition.

Litigation and regulatory investigations or other actions are common in the insurance business and may result in financial losses and harm our reputation.

We face the risk of litigation and regulatory investigations or other actions in the ordinary course of operating our businesses, including class action lawsuits. Our pending legal and regulatory actions include proceedings specific to us and others generally applicable to business practices in the industries in which we operate.

In our insurance operations, we are, have been, or may become subject to class actions and individual suits alleging, among other things, issues relating to sales or underwriting practices, increases to in-force long-term care and life insurance premiums, payment of contingent or other sales commissions, claims payments and procedures, cancellation or rescission of coverage, product design, product disclosure, product administration, additional premium charges for premiums paid on a periodic basis, denial or delay of benefits, charging excessive or impermissible fees on products, recommending unsuitable products to customers, our pricing structures and business practices in our mortgage insurance businesses, such as captive reinsurance arrangements with lenders and contract underwriting services, violations of RESPA or related state anti-inducement laws and breaching fiduciary or other duties to customers. In our investment-related operations, we are subject to litigation involving commercial disputes with counterparties. In addition, we are also subject to various regulatory inquiries, such as information requests, subpoenas, books and record examinations and market conduct and financial examinations, from state, federal and international regulators and other authorities. Plaintiffs in class action and other lawsuits against us, as well as regulators, may seek very large or indeterminate amounts, which may remain unknown for substantial periods of time.

We are also subject to litigation arising out of our general business activities such as our contractual and employment relationships and we are also subject to shareholder putative class action lawsuits alleging securities law violations.

 

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A substantial legal liability or a significant regulatory action (including uncertainty about the outcome of pending legal and regulatory investigations and actions) against us could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations. Moreover, even if we ultimately prevail in the litigation, regulatory action or investigation, we could suffer significant reputational harm and incur significant legal expenses, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition or results of operations. At this time, it is not feasible to predict, nor determine, the ultimate outcomes of any pending investigations and legal proceedings, nor to provide reasonable ranges of possible losses other than those that have been disclosed.

For a further discussion of certain current investigations and proceedings in which we are involved, see note 21 in “Part II—Item 8—Financial Statements and Supplementary Data.” We cannot assure you that these investigations and proceedings will not have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition or results of operations. It is also possible that we could become subject to further investigations and have lawsuits filed or enforcement actions initiated against us. In addition, increased regulatory scrutiny and any resulting investigations or legal proceedings could result in new legal precedents and industry-wide regulations or practices that could materially adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.

An adverse change in our regulatory requirements, including risk-based capital, could have a material adverse impact on our results of operations, financial condition and business.

Our U.S. life insurance subsidiaries are subject to the NAIC’s RBC standards and other minimum statutory capital and surplus requirements imposed under the laws of their respective states of domicile. The failure of our insurance subsidiaries to meet applicable RBC requirements or minimum statutory capital and surplus requirements could subject our insurance subsidiaries to further examination or corrective action imposed by state insurance regulators, including limitations on their ability to write additional business, or the addition of state regulatory supervision, rehabilitation, seizure or liquidation. The RBC ratio of our U.S. life insurance subsidiaries has declined over the past few years as a result of statutory losses driven by increases in our statutory reserves, including results of Actuarial Guideline 38 (statutory reserve requirements for universal life insurance contracts with secondary guarantees), cash flow testing and assumption reviews (particularly in our long-term care insurance business). Any future statutory losses would further decrease the RBC ratio of our U.S. life insurance subsidiaries.

Our U.S. mortgage insurers are not subject to the NAIC’s RBC requirements but are required by certain states and other regulators to maintain a certain risk-to-capital ratio. In addition, PMIERs includes financial requirements for mortgage insurers under which a mortgage insurer’s “Available Assets” (generally only the most liquid assets of an insurer) must meet or exceed “Minimum Required Assets” (which are based on an insurer’s risk-in-force and are calculated from tables of factors with several risk dimensions and are subject to a floor amount). The failure of our U.S. mortgage insurance subsidiaries to meet their regulatory requirements, and additionally the PMIERs financial requirements, could limit our ability to write new business. For further discussion of the importance of financial requirements to our U.S. mortgage insurance subsidiaries, see “—If we are unable to continue to meet the requirements mandated by PMIERs or PMIERs 2.0 because the GSEs amend them or the GSEs’ interpretation of the financial requirements requires us to hold amounts of capital that are higher than we have planned or otherwise, we may not be eligible to write new insurance on loans acquired by the GSEs, which would have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition” and “—Our U.S. mortgage insurance subsidiaries are subject to minimum statutory capital requirements and hazardous financial condition standards which, if not met or waived, would result in restrictions or prohibitions on our doing business and could have a material adverse impact on our results of operations.”

Additionally, our international insurance subsidiaries also have minimum regulatory requirements which vary by country. For example, on August 9, 2018, the Canadian regulator, OSFI, released the guideline MICAT, which was effective for us on January 1, 2019. MICAT replaces the current advisory and MCT guideline and the MICAT target ratio and the minimum MICAT ratio under PRMHIA remains at 150% for 2019.

 

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A further adverse change in our RBC, risk-to-capital ratio or other minimum regulatory requirements could cause rating agencies to further downgrade the financial strength ratings of our insurance subsidiaries and the credit ratings of Genworth Holdings, which would have an adverse impact on our ability to write and retain business, and could cause regulators to take regulatory or supervisory actions with respect to our businesses, all of which could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations, financial condition and business.

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac exert significant influence over the U.S. mortgage insurance market and changes to the role or structure of Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae could have a material adverse impact on our U.S. mortgage insurance business.

Our U.S. mortgage insurance products protect mortgage lenders and investors from default-related losses on residential first mortgage loans made primarily to home buyers with high loan-to-value mortgages, generally, those home buyers who make down payments of less than 20% of their home’s purchase price. Fannie Mae’s and Freddie Mac’s charters generally prohibit them from purchasing any mortgage with a face amount that exceeds 80% of the home’s value, unless that mortgage is insured by a qualified insurer or the mortgage seller retains at least a 10% participation in the loan or agrees to repurchase the loan in the event of default. The provisions in Fannie Mae’s and Freddie Mac’s charters create much of the demand for private mortgage insurance in the United States. High loan-to-value mortgages purchased by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac generally are insured with private mortgage insurance. Changes by the GSEs in underwriting requirements or pricing terms on mortgage purchases affect the market size for private mortgage insurance. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are subject to regulatory oversight by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Administration and the FHFA. Any change in the charter provisions of the GSEs or other statutes or regulations relating to their mortgage acquisition activity or changes in the way the GSEs seek to comply with their charter requirements could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac possess substantial market power, which enables them to influence our business and the mortgage insurance industry in general. Although we actively monitor and develop our relationships with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, a deterioration in any of these relationships, or the loss of business or opportunities for new business, could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.

If we are unable to continue to meet the requirements mandated by PMIERs or PMIERs 2.0 because the GSEs amend them or the GSEs’ interpretation of the financial requirements requires us to hold amounts of capital that are higher than we have planned or otherwise, we may not be eligible to write new insurance on loans acquired by the GSEs, which would have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition.

In furtherance of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s respective charter requirements as noted above, each GSE adopted PMIERs effective December 31, 2015. The PMIERs include financial requirements for mortgage insurers under which a mortgage insurer’s “Available Assets” (generally only the most liquid assets of an insurer) must meet or exceed “Minimum Required Assets” (which are based on an insurer’s risk-in-force and are calculated from tables of factors with several risk dimensions and are subject to a floor amount) and otherwise generally establish when a mortgage insurer is qualified to issue coverage that will be acceptable to the respective GSE for acquisition of high loan-to-value mortgages. The GSEs may amend or waive PMIERs at their discretion. For example, the GSEs issued revisions to PMIERs, referred to as “PMIERs 2.0,” on September 27, 2018 with an effective date of March 31, 2019.

The amount of capital that may be required in the future to maintain the Minimum Required Assets, as defined in the current PMIERs, and operate our business is dependent upon, among other things: (i) the way PMIERs are applied and interpreted by the GSEs and FHFA as and after they are implemented; (ii) the future performance of the U.S. housing market; (iii) our generation of earnings in our U.S. mortgage insurance business, available assets and risk-based required assets (including as they relate to the fluctuating value of the shares of

 

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our Canadian mortgage insurance subsidiary that are owned by our U.S. mortgage insurance business as a result of share price and foreign exchange movements or otherwise), reducing risk in-force and reducing delinquencies as anticipated, and writing anticipated amounts and types of new U.S. mortgage insurance business; and (iv) our overall financial performance, capital and liquidity levels. Depending on our actual experience, the amount of capital required under current PMIERs or PMIERs 2.0 for our U.S. mortgage insurance business may be higher than currently anticipated. In the absence of a premium increase, if we hold more capital relative to insured loans, our returns will be lower. We may be unable to increase premium rates for various reasons, principally due to competition. Our inability, on the other hand, to increase the capital as required in the anticipated timeframes and on the anticipated terms, and to realize the anticipated benefits, could have a material adverse impact on our business, results of operations and financial condition. More particularly, our ability to continue to meet the PMIERs financial requirements and maintain a prudent amount of capital in excess of those requirements, given the dynamic nature of asset and requirement valuations over time, is dependent upon, among other things: (i) our ability to complete reinsurance transactions on our anticipated terms and timetable, which are subject to market conditions, third-party approvals and other actions (including approval by regulators and the GSEs), and other factors which are outside of our control; and (ii) our ability to contribute holding company cash or other sources of capital to satisfy the portion of the financial requirements that are not satisfied through reinsurance transactions. In addition, another potential capital source includes, but is not limited to, the issuance of securities by Genworth Financial or Genworth Holdings, which could materially adversely impact our business, shareholders and debtholders.

Our assessment of PMIERs compliance is based on a number of factors, including current affiliate asset valuations under PMIERs and our understanding of the GSEs’ interpretation of the PMIERs financial requirements. Although we believe we have sufficient capital in our U.S. mortgage insurance business as required under current PMIERs and we remain an approved insurer, there can be no assurance these conditions will continue under PMIERs 2.0. In addition, there can be no assurance we will continue to meet the conditions contained in the GSE letters granting PMIERs credit for reinsurance including, but not limited to, our ability to remain below a statutory risk-to-capital ratio of 18:1. The GSEs also reserve the right to reevaluate the credit for reinsurance available under PMIERs. If we are unable to continue to meet PMIERs requirements as interpreted or amended by the GSEs we may not be eligible to write new insurance on loans acquired by the GSEs, which would have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition.

Our U.S. mortgage insurance subsidiaries are subject to minimum statutory capital requirements and hazardous financial condition standards which, if not met or waived, would result in restrictions or prohibitions on our doing business and could have a material adverse impact on our results of operations.

Certain states have insurance laws or regulations which require a mortgage insurer to maintain a minimum amount of statutory capital relative to its level of risk in-force. While formulations of minimum capital vary in certain states, the most common measure applied allows for a maximum permitted risk-to-capital ratio of 25:1. If one of our U.S. mortgage insurance subsidiaries that is writing business in a particular state fails to maintain that state’s required minimum capital level, we would generally be required to immediately stop writing new business in the state until the insurer re-establishes the required level of capital or receives a waiver of the requirement from the state’s insurance regulator, or until we establish an alternative source of underwriting capacity acceptable to the regulator. As of December 31, 2018 and 2017, GMICO’s risk-to-capital ratio was approximately 12.5:1 and 12.9:1, respectively. While it is our expectation that our U.S. mortgage insurance business will continue to meet its regulatory capital requirements, should GMICO in the future exceed required risk-to-capital levels, we would seek required regulatory and GSE forbearance and approvals or seek approval for the utilization of alternative insurance vehicles. However, there can be no assurance if, and on what terms, such forbearance and approvals may be obtained.

Our U.S. mortgage insurance subsidiaries hold certain affiliate assets including, but not limited to, investments in the common stock of Genworth Canada, which are included in our reported statutory capital of our U.S. mortgage insurance subsidiaries. The statutory reported value of the Canadian mortgage insurance

 

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investment is subject to the operating performance of that affiliate as well as changes in foreign exchange rates and mark-to-market valuation on its investment portfolios. The exposure to foreign currency exchange rates is not currently hedged and, hence, the statutory capital of our U.S. mortgage insurance subsidiaries and their statutory risk-to-capital ratio may fluctuate because of variances in future reported values. In addition, if the NCDOI decreases or no longer permits the admissibility of all or a portion of these affiliate assets, this could have a material adverse impact on the statutory capital and business of our U.S. mortgage insurance subsidiaries.

In addition to the minimum statutory capital requirements, our U.S. mortgage insurance business is subject to standards by which insurance regulators in a particular state evaluate the financial condition of the insurer. Typically, regulators are required to evaluate specified criteria to determine whether or not a company may be found to be in hazardous financial condition, in which event restrictions on the business may be imposed. Among these criteria are formulas used in assessing trends relating to statutory capital. We can provide no assurance as to whether or when a regulator may make a determination of hazardous financial condition for one or more of our mortgage insurance subsidiaries. Such a determination could likely lead to restrictions or prohibitions on our doing business in that state and could have a material adverse impact on results of operations depending on the number of states involved.

The NAIC established the MGIWG to determine and make recommendations to the NAIC’s Financial Condition Committee as to what, if any, changes to make to the solvency and other regulations relating to mortgage guaranty insurers. The MGIWG continues to work on revisions to the MGI Model. The proposed amendments of the MGI Model relate to, among other things: (i) capital and reserve standards, including increased minimum capital and surplus requirements, mortgage guaranty-specific RBC standards, dividend restrictions and contingency and premium deficiency reserves; (ii) limitations on the geographic concentration of mortgage guaranty risk, including state-based limitations; (iii) restrictions on mortgage insurers’ investments in notes secured by mortgages; (iv) prudent underwriting standards and formal underwriting guidelines to be approved by the insurer’s board; (v) the establishment of formal, internal “Mortgage Guaranty Quality Control Programs” with respect to in-force business; (vi) prohibitions on captive reinsurance arrangements; and (vii) incorporation of an NAIC “Mortgage Guaranty Insurance Standards Manual.” The MGIWG is currently working on the development of the mortgage guaranty insurance capital model, which is needed to determine the RBC and loan-level capital standards for the amended MGI Model. At this time, we cannot predict the outcome of this process, the effect changes, if any, will have on the mortgage guaranty insurance market generally, or on our businesses specifically, the additional costs associated with compliance with any such changes, or any changes to our operations that may be necessary to comply, any of which could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations or financial condition. We also cannot predict whether other regulatory initiatives will be adopted or what impact, if any, such initiatives, if adopted as laws, may have on our business, results of operations or financial condition.

We expect there will be ongoing examination by the U.S. Congress and the Trump Administration of the role of the GSEs in the U.S. housing market. If legislation is enacted that reduces or eliminates the need for the GSEs to obtain credit enhancement on above 80% loan-to-value loans or that otherwise reduces or eliminates the role of the GSEs in single-family housing finance, the demand for private mortgage insurance in the United States could be significantly reduced. We cannot predict whether or when any proposals will be implemented, and if so in what form, nor can we predict the effect of such a proposal, if so implemented, would have on our business, results of operations or financial condition.

Changes in regulations that adversely affect the mortgage insurance markets in which we operate could affect our operations significantly and could reduce the demand for mortgage insurance.

In addition to the general regulatory risks that are described under “—Our insurance businesses are extensively regulated and changes in regulation may reduce our profitability and limit our growth,” we are also affected by various additional regulations relating particularly to our mortgage insurance operations.

 

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United States

In the United States, federal and state regulations affect the scope of our U.S. competitors’ operations, which has an effect on the size of the U.S. mortgage insurance market and the intensity of the competition in our U.S. mortgage insurance business. This competition includes not only other private mortgage insurers, but also U.S. federal and state governmental and quasi-governmental agencies, principally the FHA and the VA, which are governed by federal regulations. Increases in the maximum loan amount that the FHA can insure, and reductions in the mortgage insurance premiums the FHA charges, can reduce the demand for private mortgage insurance. Decreases in the maximum loan amounts the GSEs will purchase or guarantee, increases in GSE fees or decreases in the maximum loan-to-value ratio for loans the GSEs will purchase can also reduce demand for private mortgage insurance. Legislative, regulatory or administrative changes could cause demand for private mortgage insurance to decrease. In addition, if the Basel framework rules are implemented in the United States in their proposed form, the rules could discourage the use of mortgage insurance in the United States. See “—Basel Framework” below.

Our U.S. mortgage insurance business, as a credit enhancement provider in the residential mortgage lending industry, is also subject to compliance with various federal and state consumer protection and insurance laws, including RESPA, the ECOA, the FHA, the Homeowners Protection Act, the FCRA, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and others. Among other things, these laws prohibit payments for referrals of settlement service business, providing services to lenders for no or reduced fees or payments for services not actually performed, require fairness and non-discrimination in granting or facilitating the granting of credit, require cancellation of insurance and refund of unearned premiums under certain circumstances, govern the circumstances under which companies may obtain and use consumer credit information, and define the manner in which companies may pursue collection activities. Changes in these laws or regulations, changes in the appropriate regulator’s interpretation of these laws or regulations or heightened enforcement activity could materially adversely affect the operations and profitability of our U.S. mortgage insurance business.

Canada

In Canada, all financial institutions that are federally regulated by OSFI are required to purchase mortgage insurance whenever the amount of a mortgage loan exceeds 80% of the value of the collateral property at the time the loan is made. From time to time, the Canadian government reviews the federal financial services regulatory framework and has in the past examined whether to remove, in whole or in part, the requirement for mortgage insurance on such high loan-to-value mortgages. High loan-to-value mortgage loans constitute a significant part of our portfolio of insured mortgages in, and the removal, in whole or in part, of the regulatory requirement for mortgage insurance for such loans could result in a reduction in the amount of new insurance written by us in Canada in future years. In addition, any increase in the threshold loan-to-value ratio above which mortgage insurance is required or increase in mandatory down payment requirements for mortgage borrowers could also result in a reduction in the amount of new insurance written by us in Canada in future years. Any of these events could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition of our mortgage insurance business in Canada.

If the Canadian government were to alter its applicable regulatory policies in any manner adverse to us, including by managing its aggregate cap of CAD$350.0 billion on the outstanding principal amount of mortgages insured by private mortgage insurance providers in a manner that is detrimental to private mortgage insurance providers, altering the terms of or terminating its guarantee of the policies of private mortgage insurance providers, including those with our mortgage insurance business in Canada, or varying the treatment of private mortgage insurance in their applicable capital rules, we could lose our ability to compete effectively with CMHC and could effectively be unable to write new business as a private mortgage insurer in Canada. This could have an adverse effect on our ability to offer mortgage insurance products in Canada and could materially adversely affect our financial condition and results of operations. For further discussion of the Canadian government guarantee, refer to “Item 1—Business—Canada Mortgage Insurance—Government guarantee eligibility.”

 

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Australia

In Australia, APRA regulates all ADIs in Australia and life, general and mortgage insurance companies. APRA also determines the minimum regulatory capital requirements for ADIs. APRA’s current regulations provide for reduced capital requirements for certain ADIs that insure residential mortgages with an “acceptable” mortgage insurer (which include our Australian mortgage insurance companies) for all non-standard mortgages and for standard mortgages with loan-to-value ratios above 80%. APRA’s regulations currently set out a number of circumstances in which a loan may be considered to be non-standard from an ADI’s perspective. The capital levels for Australian IRB ADIs are determined by their APRA-approved IRB models, which may or may not allocate capital credit for LMI. We believe that APRA and the IRB ADIs have not yet finalized internal models for residential mortgage risk, so we do not believe that the IRB ADIs currently benefit from an explicit reduction in their capital requirements for mortgages covered by mortgage insurance.

Under APRA rules, ADIs in Australia that are accredited as standardized receive a reduced capital incentive for using mortgage insurance for high loan-to-value mortgage loans in Australia. ADIs that are considered to be advanced accredited and determine their own capital estimates, are currently working with the mortgage insurers and APRA to determine the appropriate level of incentive mortgage insurance provides for high loan-to-value mortgage loans. The rules also provide that ADIs would be able to acquire mortgage insurance covering less of the exposure to the loan than existing requirements with reduced capital incentives. Accordingly, lenders in Australia may be able to reduce their use of mortgage insurance for high loan-to-value ratio mortgages, or limit their use to the higher risk portions of their portfolios, which may have an adverse effect on our mortgage insurance business in Australia.

Basel Framework

In December 2017, the Basel Committee published the finalization of the post-crisis reforms to the Basel framework. Among other issues, the Basel Committee addressed variability in risk-weighted assets, including residential real estate. Currently national supervisors are considering how to implement these reforms. Because these reforms are not yet implemented by national supervisors, we cannot predict the mortgage insurance benefits, if any, that ultimately will be provided to lenders, or how any such benefits may affect the opportunities for the growth of mortgage insurance. If countries implement the Basel framework in a manner that does not reward lenders for using mortgage insurance on high loan-to-value mortgage loans, or if lenders conclude that mortgage insurance does not provide sufficient capital incentives, then we may have to revise our product offerings to meet the new requirements and our results of operations may be materially adversely affected.

We may not be able to continue to mitigate the impact of Regulations XXX or AXXX and, therefore, we may incur higher operating costs that could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.

We have increased term and universal life insurance statutory reserves in response to Regulations XXX and AXXX and have taken steps to mitigate the impact these regulations have had on our business, including increasing premium rates and implementing reserve funding structures. One way that we and other insurance companies have mitigated the impact of these regulations is through captive reinsurance companies and/or special purpose vehicles. If we were to discontinue our use of captive life reinsurance subsidiaries to finance statutory reserves in response to regulatory changes on a prospective basis, the reasonably likely impact would be increased costs related to alternative financing, such as third-party reinsurance, which would adversely impact our consolidated results of operations and financial condition. In addition, we cannot be certain that affordable alternative financing would be available.

On March 7, 2016, we suspended sales of our traditional life insurance products. While we are no longer writing new life insurance business, we cannot provide assurance that we will be able to continue to implement actions to mitigate further impacts of Regulations XXX or AXXX on our in-force term and universal life insurance products which are not currently part of reserve funding structures or which may be part of existing reserve arrangements and need refinancing.

 

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Additionally, there may be future regulatory, tax or other impacts to existing reserve funding structures and/or future refinancing, which could require us to increase statutory reserves or incur higher operating and/or tax costs. For example, effective January 1, 2017, the NAIC adopted an amended version of AG 48, which was subsequently codified in the Term and Universal Life Insurance Reserve Financing Model Regulation. This regulation becomes effective when formally adopted by the states, however, it is not clear what additional changes or state variations may emerge as the states begin to adopt this regulation. As a result, there is the potential for additional requirements making it more difficult and/or expensive for us to mitigate the impact of Regulations XXX and AXXX. To date, four states have implemented the Term and Universal Life Insurance Reserve Financing Model Regulation, including Virginia, which is the state regulator for GLAIC, one of our principal life insurance subsidiaries.

The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act subjects us to additional federal regulation, and we cannot predict the effect of such regulation on our business, results of operations or financial condition.

The Dodd-Frank Act made extensive changes to the laws regulating financial services firms and required various federal agencies to adopt a broad range of new implementing rules and regulations, many of which have taken effect, including some provisions that became effective in 2018. For example, in December 2018, the SEC adopted a final rule related to certain provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act. The new rule requires companies to describe practices and policies pertaining to transactions that hedge, or are designed to hedge, the market value of equity securities granted as compensation to any employee, including officers or directors. See “Item 1—Business—Regulation.”

Among other provisions, the Dodd-Frank Act established new framework of regulation of the OTC derivatives markets. As the new marketplace continues to evolve, we may have to alter or limit the way we use derivatives in the future, which could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations and financial condition. We are subject to similar trade reporting, documentation, central trading and clearing and OTC margining requirements when we transact with foreign derivatives counterparties. The Dodd-Frank Act and foreign derivatives requirements expose us to operational, compliance, execution and other risks, including central counterparty insolvency risk.

The Dodd-Frank Act established the FIO within the Department of the Treasury to perform various functions with respect to insurance, including serving as a non-voting member of the FSOC and making recommendations to the FSOC regarding insurers that may be designated for more stringent oversight by the FSOC. We have not been designated to receive oversight by the FSOC, but there can be no assurances that it will not happen in the future.

On May 24, 2018, the Reform Act was signed into law. Instead of repealing the Dodd-Frank Act, the Reform Act focused largely on providing relief for smaller banking institutions with total assets below $10 billion and re-defining asset thresholds for a systemically important financial institution. The Reform Act also directs the Director of FIO and the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve to support increased transparency at global insurance or international standard-setting regulatory or supervisory forums, and to achieve consensus positions with the states through the NAIC prior to taking a position on any insurance proposal by a global insurance regulatory or supervisory forum. We cannot predict the requirements of all of the regulations adopted under the Dodd-Frank Act or the Reform Act, the effect such legislation or regulations will have on financial markets generally, or on our businesses specifically, the additional costs associated with compliance with such regulations or legislation, or any changes to our operations that may be necessary to comply with the Dodd-Frank Act and the regulations thereunder, any of which could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations, cash flows or financial condition. We also cannot predict whether other federal initiatives will be adopted or what impact, if any, such initiatives, if adopted as laws, may have on our business, financial condition or results of operations.

 

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Changes in tax laws could have a material adverse effect on our business, cash flows, results of operations or financial condition.

Various tax regulations, including but not limited to the TCJA, require the preparation of complex computations, significant judgments and estimates in interpreting their respective provisions. These aspects are inherently difficult to interpret and apply, and the U.S. Treasury Department, the IRS and other standard-setting bodies could interpret these aspects differently than us. In addition, these departments could issue guidance on how provisions of tax regulations and the TCJA should be applied or administered that could be different from our interpretation. Therefore, even though we believe we have applied tax laws and regulations appropriately in our financial statements, including the provisions of the TCJA, it is possible that we have interpreted the rules differently and therefore applied the impacts to our financial results in a way that differs from those of these authoritative bodies. Likewise, changes in tax laws or regulations may be proposed or enacted that could adversely affect our overall tax liability and results of operations or financial condition. Changes in tax laws and regulations that impact our customers and counterparties or the economy may also impact our financial condition and results of operations. There can be no assurance that changes in tax laws or regulations, both within the U.S. and the other jurisdictions in which we operate, will not materially and/or adversely affect our effective tax rate, tax payments, financial condition and results of operations.

We are subject to regular review and audit by both domestic and foreign tax authorities as well as subject to the prospective and retrospective effects of changing tax regulations and legislation. The ultimate tax outcome may materially differ from the tax amounts recorded in our consolidated financial statements and may materially affect our income tax provision, net income (loss), cash flows or operations.

In addition, the TCJA had an immediate impact to our capital through a reduction in the statutory admitted deferred tax asset and an impact to certain cash flow scenario testing included in the RBC calculation. Following the reduction in the federal corporate income tax rate, the NAIC revised the factors used for calculating the RBC of insurance companies, which was effective in 2018. The revised factors increased the required RBC amount, resulting in a further reduction in our life insurance subsidiaries’ RBC ratios. Any reduction in the RBC ratios of our insurance subsidiaries could adversely affect their financial strength ratings, and could materially and adversely impact our financial condition and results of operations.

Changes in accounting and reporting standards issued by the Financial Accounting Standards Board or other standard-setting bodies and insurance regulators could materially adversely affect our financial condition and results of operations.

Our financial statements are subject to the application of U.S. GAAP, which is periodically revised and/or expanded. Accordingly, from time to time, we are required to adopt new or revised accounting standards issued by recognized authoritative bodies, including the Financial Accounting Standards Board. It is possible that future accounting and reporting standards we are required to adopt could change the current accounting treatment that we apply to our financial statements and that such changes could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations. In addition, the required adoption of future accounting and reporting standards may result in significant costs to implement. For example, new accounting guidance (that is not yet effective for us) related to long-duration insurance contracts and financial instruments could result in increased earnings volatility as well as other comprehensive income (loss). In addition, the implementation of these or other proposals could require us to make significant changes to systems and use additional resources, resulting in significant incremental costs to implement the proposals.

 

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Liquidity, Financial Strength Ratings, Credit and Counterparty Risks

Our internal sources of liquidity may be insufficient to meet our needs and our access to capital may be limited or unavailable. Under such conditions, we may seek additional capital but may be unable to obtain it.

We need liquidity to pay our operating expenses, interest on our debt, maturing debt obligations and to meet any statutory capital requirements of our subsidiaries. Genworth Holdings currently has approximately $3.6 billion of outstanding debt that matures between 2020 and 2066, including $0.4 billion that matures in 2020 and $1.1 billion that matures in 2021. Our existing cash resources are not sufficient to repay all outstanding debt as it becomes due, and therefore we will be required to rely on a combination of other potential liquidity sources to repay or refinance debt as it becomes due, including existing and future cash resources, new borrowings, such as the Term Loan Genworth Holdings closed in March 2018, and/or other potential sources of liquidity such as issuing additional equity or asset sales. Market conditions and a variety of other factors may make it difficult or impracticable to generate additional liquidity on favorable terms or at all. Any failure to repay or refinance our debt as it becomes due would have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

Due to the delay in the closing of the China Oceanwide transaction, we entered into the Term Loan with an aggregate principal amount of $450 million, which closed in March 2018. Proceeds of $441 million from the Term Loan were used together with $175 million of cash on hand to retire the principal and accrued interest of the May 2018 senior notes. In the absence of the transaction with China Oceanwide, we may need to pursue asset sales to address our debt maturities, including potential strategic sales of our mortgage insurance businesses in Canada and/or Australia. We have and would continue to evaluate options to insulate our U.S. mortgage insurance business from additional ratings pressure, including a potential partial sale, in the event the transaction with China Oceanwide cannot be completed. The availability of additional funding will depend on a variety of factors such as market conditions, regulatory considerations, the general availability of credit, the overall availability of credit to the financial services industry, the level of activity and availability of reinsurance, our credit ratings and credit capacity and the performance of and outlook for our business.

We may not be able to raise borrowings on favorable terms or at all, based on our credit ratings and financial condition. There is no guarantee that any of these factors will improve in the future when we would seek additional borrowings. Disruptions, volatility and uncertainty in the financial markets and downgrades in our credit ratings may force us to delay raising capital, issue shorter term securities than would be optimal, bear an unattractive cost of capital or be unable to raise capital at any price.

We do not currently have a revolving credit facility at the Genworth Holdings level to provide liquidity. To the extent we need additional funding to satisfy our additional liquidity needs, there can be no assurance that we will be able to enter into a new credit facility on terms (or at targeted amounts) acceptable to us or at all.

Similarly, market conditions and a variety of other factors may make it difficult or impracticable to generate additional liquidity through asset sales or the issuance of additional equity, and any issuance of equity in such circumstances could be highly dilutive to our stockholders.

For a further discussion of our liquidity, see “Part II—Item 7—Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations—Liquidity and Capital Resources.”

As holding companies, we and Genworth Holdings depend on the ability of our respective subsidiaries to pay dividends and make other payments and distributions to each of us and to meet our obligations.

We and Genworth Holdings each act as a holding company for our respective subsidiaries and do not have any significant operations of our own. Dividends from our respective subsidiaries, permitted payments to us

 

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under tax sharing and expense reimbursement arrangements with our subsidiaries and proceeds from borrowings are our principal sources of cash to meet our obligations. These obligations include operating expenses and interest and principal on current and any future borrowings and amounts owed to GE under the Tax Matters Agreement. If the cash we receive from our respective subsidiaries pursuant to dividends and tax sharing and expense reimbursement arrangements is insufficient to fund any of these obligations, or if a subsidiary is unable or unwilling for any reason to pay dividends to either of us, we or Genworth Holdings may be required to raise cash through, among other things, the incurrence of debt (including convertible or exchangeable debt), the sale of assets or the issuance of equity.

The payment of dividends and other distributions by our insurance subsidiaries is dependent on, among other things, the performance of the subsidiaries, corporate law restrictions, and insurance laws and regulations. In general, dividends in excess of prescribed limits are deemed “extraordinary” and require insurance regulatory approval. In addition, insurance regulators may prohibit the payment of ordinary dividends or other payments by the insurance subsidiaries (such as a payment under a tax sharing agreement or for employee or other services) if they determine that such payment could be adverse to policyholders or contractholders. Moreover, as a consequence of our past adverse financial results, the regulators that have governance over our international mortgage insurance subsidiaries may impose additional restrictions over such subsidiaries using the broad prudential authorities available to the major regulators. Courts typically grant regulators significant deference when considering challenges of an insurance company to a determination by insurance regulators to grant or withhold approvals with respect to dividends and other distributions.

Our liquidity and capital positions are highly dependent on the performance of our mortgage insurance subsidiaries and their ability to pay dividends to us as anticipated. Given the performance of our U.S. life insurance businesses, we do not expect dividends to be paid by these businesses in the foreseeable future. The evaluation of future dividend sources, including determining which businesses will provide such dividends, and our overall liquidity plans are subject to current and future market conditions, among other factors, which are subject to change.

In addition, as a public company that is traded on the TSX, Genworth Canada is subject to securities laws and regulations in each province in Canada, as well as the rules of the TSX. These applicable laws, regulations and rules include but are not limited to, obligations and procedures in respect of the equal and fair treatment of all shareholders of Genworth Canada. Although the board of directors of Genworth Canada is composed of a majority of Genworth nominees, under Canadian law each director has an obligation to act honestly and in good faith with a view to the best interests of Genworth Canada. Moreover, as a public company that is traded on the ASX, Genworth Australia and its subsidiaries are subject to Australian securities laws and regulations, as well as the rules of the ASX. These applicable laws, regulations and rules include but are not limited to, obligations and procedures in respect of the equal and fair treatment of all shareholders of Genworth Australia. Although the board of directors of Genworth Australia is currently composed of a majority of Genworth designated directors, under Australian law each director has an obligation to exercise their powers and discharge their duties in good faith in the best interests of Genworth Australia and for a proper purpose. Accordingly, actions taken by Genworth Canada and Genworth Australia and their respective boards of directors (including the payment of dividends to us) are subject to, and may be limited by, the laws, regulations and rules applicable to such entities.

Adverse rating agency actions have resulted in a loss of business and adversely affected our results of operations, financial condition and business and future adverse rating actions could have a further and more significant adverse impact on us.

Financial strength ratings, which various rating agencies publish as measures of an insurance company’s ability to meet contractholder and policyholder obligations, are important to maintaining public confidence in our products, the ability to market our products and our competitive position. Credit ratings, which rating agencies publish as measures of an entity’s ability to repay its indebtedness, are important to our ability to raise capital through the issuance of debt and other forms of credit and to the cost of such financing.

 

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Over the last several years, the ratings of our holding company and several of our insurance companies, most notably our U.S. life insurance subsidiaries, have been downgraded, placed on negative outlook and/or put on review for potential downgrade on various occasions. A ratings downgrade, negative outlook or review could occur (and has occurred) for a variety of reasons, including reasons specifically related to our company, generally related to our industry or the broader financial services industry or as a result of changes by the rating agencies in their methodologies or rating criteria. We may be at risk of additional ratings downgrades in the future. A negative outlook on our ratings or a downgrade in any of our financial strength or credit ratings, the announcement of a potential downgrade, negative outlook or review, or customer, investor, regulator or other concerns about the possibility of a downgrade, negative outlook or review, could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations, financial condition and business.

See “Item 1—Business—Financial Strength Ratings” for information regarding the current financial strength ratings of our principal insurance subsidiaries.

The direct or indirect effects of such adverse ratings actions or any future actions could include, but are not limited to:

 

   

reducing new sales of our products or limiting the business opportunities we are presented with;

 

   

adversely affecting our relationships with distributors, including the loss of exclusivity under certain agreements with our independent sales intermediaries and distribution partners;

 

   

causing us to lose key distributors that have ratings requirements that we may no longer satisfy (or resulting in our renegotiation of new, less favorable arrangements with those distributors);

 

   

requiring us to modify some of our existing products or services to remain competitive, or introduce new products or services;

 

   

materially increasing the number or amount of policy surrenders, withdrawals and loans by contractholders and policyholders;

 

   

requiring us to post additional collateral for our derivatives or hedging agreements (including those providing us with protection against certain foreign currency exchange movement, interest rate fluctuation and equity market risk);

 

   

requiring us to provide support, or to arrange for third-party support, in the form of collateral, capital contributions or letters of credit under the terms of certain of our reinsurance, securitization and other agreements, or otherwise securing our commercial counterparties for the perceived risk of our financial strength;

 

   

adversely affecting our ability to maintain reinsurance or obtain new reinsurance or obtain it on reasonable pricing and other terms;

 

   

limiting our ability to enter into new derivative transactions thereby increasing additional asset adequacy or other statutory reserves and lowering statutory capital, reducing our financial flexibility;

 

   

increasing the capital charge associated with affiliated investments within certain of our U.S. life insurance businesses thereby lowering capital and RBC of these subsidiaries and negatively impacting our financial flexibility;

 

   

regulators requiring certain of our subsidiaries to maintain additional capital, limiting thereby our financial flexibility and requiring us to raise additional capital;

 

   

adversely affecting our ability to raise capital;

 

   

increasing our cost of borrowing and making it more difficult to borrow in the public debt markets or enter into a credit agreement; and

 

   

making it more difficult to execute strategic plans to effectively address our current business challenges.

 

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Sales of our long-term care insurance products have been negatively impacted by our lower ratings and certain distributor suspensions driven mostly by rating agency actions. We expect that our sales will continue to be adversely impacted by our current ratings. Any further adverse ratings announcements or actions likely would have, or intensify, the adverse impact of the direct or indirect effects discussed above (among others), all of which could have a material adverse impact on our results of operations, financial condition and business.

Under PMIERs, the GSEs have substantially revised their eligibility requirements and no longer primarily base such requirements on maintenance of specific ratings levels. In lieu of ratings criteria, the GSEs, under PMIERs, have adopted new financial requirements. See “—If we are unable to continue to meet the requirements mandated by PMIERs or PMIERs 2.0 because the GSEs amend them or the GSEs’ interpretation of the financial requirements requires us to hold amounts of capital that are higher than we have planned or otherwise, we may not be eligible to write new insurance on loans acquired by the GSEs, which would have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition” for additional information regarding the requirements under PMIERs. However, under PMIERs, the GSEs now require maintenance of at least one rating with a rating agency acceptable to the respective GSEs. Ratings downgrades that result in our inability to insure new mortgage loans sold to the GSEs, or the transfer by the GSEs of our existing policies to an alternative mortgage insurer, would have a materially adverse effect on our results of operations and financial condition. Further, our relationships with our mortgage insurance customers may be adversely affected by the ratings assigned to our holding company or other operating subsidiaries which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

Defaults by counterparties to our reinsurance arrangements or to derivative instruments we use to hedge our business risks, or defaults by us on agreements we have with these counterparties, may expose us to risks we sought to mitigate, which could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations and financial condition.

We routinely execute reinsurance and derivative transactions with reinsurers, brokers/dealers, commercial banks, investment banks and other institutional clients to mitigate our risks in various circumstances and to hedge various business risks. Many of these transactions expose us to credit risk in the event of default of our counterparty or client or change in collateral value. Reinsurance does not relieve us of our direct liability to our policyholders, even when the reinsurer is liable to us. Accordingly, we bear credit risk with respect to our reinsurers. We cannot be sure that our reinsurers will pay the reinsurance recoverable owed to us now or in the future or that they will pay these recoverables on a timely basis. A reinsurer’s insolvency, inability or unwillingness to make payments under the terms of its reinsurance agreement with us could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations. Collateral is often posted by the counterparty to offset this risk, however, we bear the risk that the collateral declines in value or otherwise is inadequate to fully compensate us in the event of a default. We also enter into a variety of derivative instruments, including options and interest rate and currency swaps with a number of counterparties. If our counterparties fail or refuse to honor their obligations under the derivative instruments, and collateral posted, if any, is inadequate, our hedges of the related risk will be ineffective. In addition, if we trigger downgrade provisions on risk-hedging or reinsurance arrangements, the counterparties to these arrangements may be able to terminate our arrangements with them or require us to take other measures, such as post additional collateral, contribute capital or provide letters of credit. Given our current ratings, we are actively engaged with our counterparties and have agreed to terms with most of them concerning our collateral arrangements. In most cases, we have agreed to post excess collateral to maintain our existing derivative agreements. Although we believe this has allowed us to maintain effective hedging relationships with our counterparties, it has added some additional strain on liquidity and there is no assurance that we can maintain these current arrangements in the foreseeable future or at all. For example, some counterparties have indicated that they reserve their rights to take action against us, and one counterparty took action against us during October 2017. This counterparty terminated approximately $800 million in notional value with us, which we re-hedged using financial futures.

We ceded to UFLIC our in-force structured settlements block of business issued prior to 2004, certain variable annuity business issued prior to 2004 and the long-term care insurance assumed from Brighthouse Life

 

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Insurance Company, formerly known as MetLife Insurance Company USA. UFLIC has established trust accounts for our benefit to secure its obligations under the reinsurance arrangements. GE is obligated to maintain UFLIC’s RBC above a specified minimum level pursuant to a Capital Maintenance Agreement. If UFLIC becomes insolvent notwithstanding this agreement, and the amounts in the trust accounts are insufficient to pay UFLIC’s obligations to us, it could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations. The loss of material risk-hedging or reinsurance arrangements could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.

Defaults or other events impacting the value of our fixed maturity securities portfolio may reduce our income.

We are subject to the risk that the issuers or guarantors of fixed maturity securities we own may default on principal or interest payments they owe us. As of December 31, 2018, fixed maturity securities of $59.7 billion in our investment portfolio represented 83% of our total cash, cash equivalents, restricted cash and invested assets. Events reducing the value of our investment portfolio other than on a temporary basis could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition. Levels of write-downs or impairments are impacted by our assessment of the financial condition of the issuer, whether or not the issuer is expected to pay its principal and interest obligations, our expected recoveries in the event of a default or circumstances that would require us to sell securities which have declined in value.

Defaults on our commercial mortgage loans or the mortgage loans underlying our investments in commercial mortgage-backed securities and volatility in performance may adversely affect our profitability.

Our commercial mortgage loans and investments in commercial mortgage-backed securities face default risk. Commercial mortgage loans are stated on our consolidated balance sheets at unpaid principal balance, adjusted for any unamortized premium or discount, deferred fees or expenses, and are net of impairments and valuation allowances. We establish valuation allowances for estimated impairments as of the balance sheet date based on information, such as the market value of the underlying real estate securing the loan, any third-party guarantees on the loan balance or any cross collateral agreements and their impact on expected recovery rates. Commercial mortgage-backed securities are stated on our consolidated balance sheets at fair value.

Further, any concentration of geographic, sector or counterparty exposure in our commercial mortgage loans or the mortgage loans underlying our investments in commercial mortgage-backed securities may have adverse effects on our investment portfolio and consequently on our consolidated results of operations or financial condition. While we seek to mitigate this risk by having a broadly diversified portfolio, events or developments that have a negative effect on any particular geographic region, sector or counterparty may have a greater adverse effect on the investment portfolios to the extent that the portfolios are exposed to such geographic region, sector or counterparty.

Operational Risks

If we are unable to retain, attract and motivate qualified employees or senior management, our results of operations, financial condition and business operations may be adversely impacted.

Our success is largely dependent on our ability to retain, attract and motivate qualified employees and senior management. We face intense competition in our industry for key employees with demonstrated ability, including actuarial, finance, legal, investment, risk, compliance and other professionals. Our ability to retain, attract and motivate experienced and qualified employees and senior management has been more challenging in light of our recent financial difficulties and past announcements concerning expense reductions, as well as the demands being placed on our employees. In addition, our ability to attract, recruit, retain and motivate current

 

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and prospective employees may be adversely impacted by our proposed transaction with China Oceanwide. We cannot be sure we will be able to attract, retain and motivate the desired workforce, and our failure to do so could have a material adverse effect on results of operations, financial condition and business operations. In addition, we may not be able to meet regulatory requirements relating to required expertise in various professional positions.

Managing key employee succession and retention is also critical to our success. We would be adversely affected if we fail to adequately plan for the succession of our senior management and other key employees. While we have succession plans and long-term compensation plans, including retention programs, designed to retain our employees, our succession plans may not operate effectively and our compensation plans cannot guarantee that the services of these employees will continue to be available to us.

Our risk management programs may not be effective in identifying or adequate in controlling or mitigating the risks we face.

We have developed risk management programs that include risk appetite, limits, identification, quantification, governance, policies and procedures and seek to appropriately identify, monitor, measure, control, mitigate and report the types of risks to which we are subject. We regularly review our risk management programs and work to update them on an ongoing basis to be consistent with evolving global best market practices. However, our risk management programs may not fully control or mitigate all of the risks we face in our business or anticipate all potential material negative events.

Many of our methods for managing certain financial risks (e.g. credit, market, insurance and underwriting risks) are based on observed historical market behaviors and/or historical, statistically-based models. Historical measures may not accurately predict future exposures, which could be significantly greater than historical measures have indicated. We have also established internal risk limits based upon these historical, statistically-based models and we monitor compliance with these limits. Our internal risk limits may be insufficient and our monitoring may not detect all violations (inadvertent or otherwise) of these limits. Other risk management methods are based on our evaluation of information regarding markets, customers and customer behavior, macroeconomic and environmental conditions, catastrophic occurrences and potential changing paradigms that are publicly available or otherwise accessible to us. This collective information may not always be accurate, complete, up to date or properly considered, interpreted or evaluated in our analyses. Moreover, the models and other parts of our risk management programs we rely on in managing various aspects of our business may prove in practice to be less predictive than we expect for a variety of reasons, including as a result of issues arising in the construction, implementation, interpretation or use of the models or other programs, the use of inaccurate assumptions or use of short-term financial metrics that do not reveal long-term trends. The limitations of our models and other parts of our risk management programs may be material, and could lead us to make wrong or sub-optimal decisions in managing our risk and other aspects of our business and this could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations, financial condition and business.

Management of operational, legal, franchise and global regulatory risks requires, among other things, methods to appropriately identify all such key risks, systems to record incidents and policies and procedures designed to detect, record and address all such risks and occurrences. Management of technology risks requires methods to ensure our systems, processes and people are maintaining the confidentiality, availably and integrity of our information, ensuring technology is enabling our overall strategy, and our ability to comply with applicable laws and regulations. If our risk management framework does not effectively identify, measure and control our risks, we could suffer unexpected losses or be adversely affected and that could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition.

We employ various strategies, including hedging and reinsurance, to mitigate financial risks inherent in our business and operations. These risks include current or future changes in the fair value of our assets and liabilities, current or future changes in cash flows, the effect of interest rates, changes in equity markets, credit

 

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spread movements, the occurrence of credit and counterparty defaults, currency fluctuations, changes in global housing prices, and changes in mortality, morbidity and lapses. We seek to control these risks by, among other things, entering into reinsurance contracts and derivative instruments. Such contracts and instruments may not always be available to us and subject us to counterparty credit risk. Developing effective strategies for dealing with these risks is a complex process, and no strategy can fully insulate us from such risks. The execution of these strategies also introduces operational risks and considerations. See “—Reinsurance may not be available, affordable or adequate to protect us against losses” and “—Defaults by counterparties to our reinsurance arrangements or to derivative instruments we use to hedge our business risks, or defaults by us on agreements we have with these counterparties, may expose us to risks we sought to mitigate, which could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations and financial condition” for more information about risks inherent in our reinsurance and hedging strategies.

We may choose to retain certain levels of financial and/or non-financial risk, even when it is possible to mitigate these risks. The decision to retain certain levels of financial risk is predicated on our belief that the expected future returns that we will realize from retaining the risk, in relation to the level of risk retained, is favorable, but it may turn out that our expectations are incorrect and we incur material costs or suffer other adverse consequences that arise from the retained risk.

Our performance is highly dependent on our ability to manage risks that arise from day-to-day business activities, including underwriting, claims processing, policy administration and servicing, execution of our investment and hedging strategy, actuarial estimates and calculations, financial and tax reporting and other activities, many of which are very complex. We seek to monitor and control our exposure to risks arising out of or related to these activities through a variety of internal controls, management review processes and other mechanisms. However, the occurrence of unforeseen events, or the occurrence of events of a greater magnitude than expected, including those arising from inadequate or ineffective controls, a failure in processes, procedures or systems implemented by us or a failure on the part of employees upon which we rely in this regard, may have a material adverse effect on our financial condition or results of operations.

Past or future misconduct by our employees or employees of our vendors or suppliers could result in violations of laws by us, regulatory sanctions against us and/or serious reputational, legal or financial harm to our business, and the precautions we employ to prevent and detect this activity may not be effective in all cases. Although we employ controls and procedures designed to monitor the business decisions and activities of these individuals to prevent us from engaging in inappropriate activities, excessive risk taking, fraud or security breaches, these individuals may take such risks regardless of such controls and procedures and such controls and procedures may fail to detect all such decisions and activities. Our compensation policies and procedures are reviewed by us as part of our overall risk management program, but it is possible that such compensation policies and practices could inadvertently incentivize excessive or inappropriate risk taking. If these individuals take excessive or inappropriate risks, those risks could harm our reputation and have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition.

Our reliance on key customer or distribution relationships could cause us to lose significant sales if one or more of those relationships terminate or are reduced.

Our businesses depend on our relationships with our customers, and in particular, our relationships with our largest lending customers in our mortgage insurance businesses. Our customers place insurance with us directly on loans that they originate and they also do business with us indirectly, primarily in the United States, through purchases of loans that already have our mortgage insurance coverage. Our relationships with our customers may influence both the amount of business they do with us directly and also their willingness to continue to approve us as a mortgage insurance provider for loans that they purchase. Particularly in Canada and Australia where a large portion of our business is concentrated with a small number of customers, the loss of business from significant customers has had and could in the future have an adverse effect on the amount of new business we are able to write and consequently, our financial condition and results of operations. Maintaining our business

 

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relationships and business volumes with our largest lending customers remains critical to the success of our business.

We cannot be certain that any loss of business from significant customers, or any single lender, would be replaced by other customers, existing or new. As a result of current market conditions and increased regulatory requirements, our lending customers may decide to write business only with a limited number of mortgage insurers or only with certain mortgage insurers, based on their views with respect to an insurer’s pricing, service levels, underwriting guidelines, loss mitigation practices, financial strength, ratings or other factors.

As discussed in “Part I—Item 1—Business,” our mortgage insurance businesses in Canada and Australia are highly concentrated in a small number of key distribution partners, which increases our risks and exposure in the event one or more of these partners terminate or reduce their relationship with us. Any termination, reduction or material change in relationship with a key distribution partner could have a material adverse effect on our future sales for one or more products. In addition, in Australia, where mortgage insurance is not required on high loan-to-value loans, some lenders self-insure a portion of their originations. If our lending customers in this market increase the self-insurance or other alternatives to mortgage insurance, this could have an unfavorable impact on the amount of new business we are able to write and consequently, our financial condition and results of operations.

We distribute our products through a wide variety of distribution methods, including through relationships with key distribution partners (including lender customers of our mortgage insurance businesses). These distribution partners are an integral part of our business model. We are at risk that key distribution partners may merge, change their distribution model affecting how our products are sold, or terminate their distribution contracts or relationships with us. In addition, timing of key distributor adoption of our new product offerings may impact sales of those products. Some distributors have, and in the future others may, elect to terminate or reduce their distribution relationships with us for a variety of reasons, including as a result of our recent financial challenges (including adverse ratings actions). Likewise, in the future, other distributors may terminate or reduce their relationships with us as a result of, among other things, these challenges as well as future adverse developments in our business or adverse rating agency actions or concerns about market-related risks, commission levels or the breadth of our product offerings.

Competitors could negatively affect our ability to maintain or increase our market share and profitability.

Our businesses are subject to intense competition. We believe the principal competitive factors in the sale of our products are product features, product investment returns, price, commission structure, marketing and distribution arrangements, brand, reputation, financial strength ratings and service. In many of our product lines, we face competition from competitors that have greater market share or breadth of distribution, offer a broader range of products, services or features, assume a greater level of risk, have lower profitability expectations or have higher financial strength ratings than we do. Our financial challenges have adversely and directly impacted the competitiveness of our life, annuity and long-term care insurance businesses, and indirectly adversely impacted our mortgage insurance businesses. In addition, many competitors offer similar products and use similar distribution channels. The appointment of a receiver to rehabilitate or liquidate or take other adverse regulatory actions against a significant competitor could also negatively impact our businesses if such actions were to impact consumer confidence in industry products and services.

The U.S. private mortgage insurance industry remains highly competitive with currently six active mortgage insurers, including us. Some of these private mortgage insurers, particularly new entrants, may have short- to mid-term business goals that differ from ours. For example, we believe that in order to achieve operational scale some competitors have sought to increase their market share through lower pricing on various products. In addition, not all of our mortgage insurance products have the same return on capital profile. Single premium insurance coverage, for instance, has been priced in the market at levels that currently generate lower lifetime premiums and require higher lifetime capital than monthly products. To the extent that some of our competitors

 

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are willing to set lower pricing and accept lower returns than we find acceptable, we may lose business opportunities involving products of this type and this may affect our overall business relationship with certain customers. If we match lower pricing on these products, we will experience a similar reduction in returns on capital. In addition, as competitors transition to delivering prices to lenders with limited pricing information, or opaque pricing, compared to prevailing rate cards, we expect price competition will intensify. Depending upon the degree to which we undertake or match such pricing practices, there may be a material adverse impact on our business, results of operations and financial condition.

We compete with government-owned and government-sponsored enterprises in our mortgage insurance businesses, and this may put us at a competitive disadvantage on pricing and other terms and conditions.

Our U.S. mortgage insurance business competes with the FHA and the VA, as well as certain local- and state-level housing finance agencies. In particular, since 2008, there has been a significant increase in the number of loans insured by the FHA. Separately, the government-owned and government-sponsored enterprises, including Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, may (and within certain product offerings do) compete with our U.S. mortgage insurance business through certain of their risk-sharing insurance programs. Those competitors may establish pricing terms and business practices that may be influenced by motives such as advancing social housing policy or stabilizing the mortgage lending industry, which may not be consistent with maximizing return on capital or other profitability measures. In addition, those governmental enterprises typically do not have the same capital requirements that we and other mortgage insurance companies have and therefore may have financial flexibility in their pricing and capacity that could put us at a competitive disadvantage. In the event that a government-owned or sponsored entity in one of our markets determines to change prices significantly or alter the terms and conditions of its mortgage insurance or other credit enhancement products in furtherance of social or other goals rather than a profit or risk management motive, we may be unable to compete in that market effectively, which could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.

Like our U.S. mortgage insurance business, our international mortgage insurance businesses compete with government-owned and government-sponsored enterprises. These competitors may establish pricing terms and business practices that may be influenced by motives such as advancing social housing policy or stabilizing the mortgage lending industry, which may not be consistent with maximizing return on capital or other profitability measures. In the event that a government-owned or sponsored entity in one of our markets determines to reduce prices significantly or alter the terms and conditions of its mortgage insurance or other credit enhancement products in furtherance of social or other goals rather than a profit motive, we may be unable to compete in that market effectively, which could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations. For example, in Canada, we compete with CMHC, a corporation owned by the Canadian government. CMHC is a sovereign entity that provides mortgage lenders a lower capital charge and a 100% government guarantee as compared to loans covered by our policy which benefit from a 90% government guarantee. CMHC also operates the Canada Mortgage Bond and the National Housing Act Mortgage-Back Securities programs, which provide lenders the ability to efficiently guarantee and securitize their mortgage loan portfolios. If we are unable to effectively distinguish ourselves competitively with our Canadian mortgage lender customers, under current market conditions or in the future, we may be unable to compete effectively with CMHC as a result of the more favorable capital relief it can provide or the other products and incentives that it offers to lenders. Additionally, in times of economic stress, customers may choose CMHC as a result of being a higher rated sovereign entity regardless of our ability to distinguish ourselves competitively from CMHC.

Conditions in the international financial markets could lead other countries to nationalize our competitors or establish competing governmental agencies, which would further limit our competitive position in international markets and, therefore, materially affect our results of operations.

 

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Our business could be adversely impacted from deficiencies in our disclosure controls and procedures or internal control over financial reporting.

The design and effectiveness of our disclosure controls and procedures and internal control over financial reporting may not prevent all errors, misstatements or misrepresentations. While management continually reviews the effectiveness of our disclosure controls and procedures and internal control over financial reporting, there can be no guarantee that our internal control over financial reporting will be effective in accomplishing all control objectives all of the time. Any material weaknesses in internal control over financial reporting, such as we have reported in the past, or any other failure to maintain effective disclosure controls and procedures could result in material errors in our financial statements or untimely filings, which could cause investors to lose confidence in our reported financial information, and a decline in our stock price.

Our computer systems may fail or be compromised, and unanticipated problems could materially adversely impact our disaster recovery systems and business continuity plans, which could damage our reputation, impair our ability to conduct business effectively and materially adversely affect our financial condition and results of operations.

Our business is highly dependent upon the effective operation of our computer systems. We also have arrangements in place with our partners and other third-party service providers through which we share and receive information. We rely on these systems throughout our business for a variety of functions, including processing claims and applications, providing information to customers and distributors, performing actuarial analyses and maintaining financial records. Despite the implementation of security and back-up measures, our computer systems and those of our partners and third-party service providers have been and may be vulnerable to physical or electronic intrusions, computer viruses or other attacks, programming errors and similar disruptive problems. The failure of these systems for any reason could cause significant interruptions to our operations, which could result in a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition or results of operations.

Technology continues to expand and plays an ever increasing role in our business. While it is our goal to safeguard information assets from physical theft and cybersecurity threats, there can be no assurance that our information security will detect and protect information assets from these ever increasing risks. Information assets include both information itself in the form of computer data, written materials, knowledge and supporting processes, and the information technology systems, networks, other electronic devices and storage media used to store, process, retrieve and transmit that information. As more information is used and shared by our employees, customers and suppliers, both within and outside our company, cybersecurity threats become expansive in nature. Confidentiality, integrity and availability of information are essential to maintaining our reputation, legal position and ability to conduct our operations. Although we have implemented controls and continue to train our employees, a cybersecurity event could still occur which would cause damage to our reputation with our customers, distributors and other stakeholders and could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition or results of operations.

We retain confidential information in our computer systems, and we rely on commercial technologies to maintain the security of those systems, including computers or mobile devices. Anyone who is able to circumvent our security measures and penetrate our computer systems or misuse authorized access could access, view, misappropriate, alter, or delete any information in the systems, including personally identifiable information, personal health information and proprietary business information. Our employees, distribution partners and other vendors use portable computers or mobile devices which may contain similar information to that in our computer systems, and these devices have been and can be lost, stolen or damaged, and therefore subject to the same risks as our other computer systems. In addition, an increasing number of states and foreign countries require that affected parties be notified or other actions be taken (which could involve significant costs to us) if a security breach results in the inappropriate disclosure of personally identifiable information. We have experienced occasional, actual or attempted breaches of our cybersecurity, although to date none of these

 

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breaches has had a material effect on our business, operations or reputation. Any compromise of the security of our computer systems or those of our partners and third-party service providers that results in inappropriate disclosure of personally identifiable customer information could damage our reputation in the marketplace, deter people from purchasing our products, subject us to significant civil and criminal liability and require us to incur significant technical, legal and other expenses.

The area of cybersecurity has come under increased scrutiny by insurance regulators. On March 1, 2017, New York’s cybersecurity regulation for financial services institutions, including banking and insurance entities, became effective, and on October 24, 2017, the NAIC adopted the Insurance Data Security Model Law, which establishes standards for data security and for the investigation of and notification of insurance commissioners of cybersecurity events. See “Item 1. BusinessRegulationOther Laws and RegulationsCybersecurity.”

In addition, unanticipated problems with, or failures of, our disaster recovery systems and business continuity plans could have a material adverse impact on our ability to conduct business and on our results of operations and financial condition, particularly if those problems affect our information technology systems and destroy, lose or otherwise compromise valuable data. In addition, in the event that a significant number of our employees were unavailable in the event of a disaster, our ability to effectively conduct business could be severely compromised. The failure of our disaster recovery systems and business continuity plans could adversely impact our profitability and our business.

Insurance and Product-Related Risks

Our financial condition, results of operations, long-term care insurance products and/or our reputation in the market may be adversely affected if we are not able to increase premiums and associated benefit reductions on our in-force long-term care insurance policies by enough or quickly enough; and the increased premiums or associated benefit reductions currently being implemented, as well as any future in-force rate actions, may lower product demand.

The continued viability of our long-term care insurance business, as well as GLIC and GLICNY, is based on our ability to obtain significant premium increases and associated benefit reductions on our in-force long-term care insurance products, as warranted and actuarially justified. The adequacy of our current long-term care insurance reserves also depends significantly on certain assumptions regarding our ability to successfully execute our in-force management rate action plan through increased premiums and associated benefit reductions. We include assumptions for future in-force rate actions, which includes assumptions for significant premium rate increases and associated benefit reductions that have been approved or are anticipated to be approved (including premium rate increases and associated benefit reductions not yet filed), in our determination of loss recognition testing of our long-term care insurance reserves under U.S. GAAP and asset adequacy testing of our statutory long-term care insurance reserves (except for our New York insurance subsidiary).

Although the terms of our long-term care insurance policies permit us to increase premiums under certain circumstances during the premium-paying period, these increases generally require regulatory approval, which can often take a long time to obtain and may not be obtained in all relevant jurisdictions or for the full amounts requested. In addition, some states are considering adopting long-term care insurance rate increase legislation that would further limit increases in long-term care insurance premium rates beyond the rate stability legislation previously adopted in certain states, which would adversely impact our ability to achieve anticipated rate increases. Some states have refused to approve actuarially justified rate actions and as of December 31, 2018, we were in litigation with one state that has refused to approve actuarially justified rate actions.

We will not be able to realize our future premium rate increases and associated benefit reductions in the future if we cannot obtain the required regulatory approvals. In this event, we would have to increase our long-term care insurance reserves by amounts that would likely be material and would result in a material adverse

 

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impact. Moreover, we may not be able to sufficiently mitigate the impact of unexpected adverse experience through increased premiums and associated benefit reductions. Given our recent operating performance in our long-term care insurance business and the ongoing pressure to earnings from higher incurred claims, absent the future increased premiums and associated benefit reductions, our results of operations, capital levels, RBC and financial condition would be materially adversely affected. In addition, if the timing of our future increased premiums and associated benefit reductions takes longer to achieve than originally assumed, we would likely record higher reserves with no offsetting premiums and associated benefit reductions from our in-force management rate action plan to mitigate the negative impact, which would likely result in an operating loss for our long-term care insurance business.

Rate increases by us or our competitors could also adversely affect our reputation in the markets in which we operate, adversely impact our ability to continue to market and sell new long-term care insurance products, make it more difficult for us to obtain future premium rate increases and associated benefit reductions and adversely impact our ability to retain existing policyholders and agents. Policyholders may be unwilling or unable to pay the increased premiums we will seek to charge. We cannot predict how our policyholders (or potential future policyholders), agents, competitors and regulators may react to any in-force rate increases, nor can we predict if regulators will approve requested in-force rate increases. We may also be forced to stop selling our long-term care insurance products in markets where we cannot achieve satisfactory in-force rate increases, which will cause a further decrease in our sales.

Reinsurance may not be available, affordable or adequate to protect us against losses.

As part of our overall risk and capital management strategy, we have historically purchased reinsurance from external reinsurers as well as provided internal reinsurance support for certain risks underwritten by our various business segments. These reinsurance arrangements enable our businesses to transfer risks in exchange for some of the associated economic benefits and, as a result, improve our statutory capital position and manage risk to within our tolerance level. Some of these reinsurance arrangements are indefinite, but others require periodic renewals (such as reinsurance contracts in Australia). For these arrangements, at the end of the base term, we can elect a runoff term to continue coverage, with reducing amounts of regulatory capital benefits, or attempt to negotiate a renewal. The availability and cost of reinsurance protection are impacted by our operating and financial performance, including ratings, as well as conditions beyond our control. For example, our financial challenges and adverse rating actions may reduce the availability of certain types of reinsurance and make it more costly when it is available, as reinsurers are less willing to take on credit risk in a volatile market. Accordingly, we may be forced to incur additional expenses for reinsurance or may not be able to obtain new reinsurance or renew existing reinsurance arrangements on acceptable terms, or at all, which could increase our risk and adversely affect our ability to write future business or obtain statutory capital credit for new reinsurance or could require us to make capital contributions to maintain regulatory capital requirements. See “—If we are unable to continue to meet the requirements mandated by PMIERs or PMIERs 2.0 because the GSEs amend them or the GSEs’ interpretation of the financial requirements requires us to hold amounts of capital that are higher than we have planned or otherwise, we may not be eligible to write new insurance on loans acquired by the GSEs, which would have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition.”

We cannot be sure of the extent of benefits we will realize from loss mitigation actions or programs in our mortgage insurance businesses in the future.

As part of our loss mitigation efforts in the United States, Canada and Australia, we routinely investigate insured loans and evaluate the related servicing to ensure compliance with applicable guidelines and to detect possible fraud or misrepresentation. As a result, we have, and may in the future, rescind coverage on loans that do not meet our guidelines or curtail the amount of claims payable for non-compliance. In the past, we recognized significant benefits from taking action on these investigations and evaluations under our master policies. While we believe these actions are valid and expect additional actions based on future investigations and evaluations, we can give no assurance on the extent to which we may continue to see such rescissions or curtailments. In addition, insured lenders may object to our actions, as has occurred from time to time in the past.

 

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If disputed by the insured and a legal proceeding were instituted, the validity of our actions would be determined by arbitration or judicial proceedings unless otherwise settled. In the near term, sales could be reduced or eliminated as a result of a dispute with one or more lenders and such disputes could have an adverse effect on our long-term relationships with those lenders that are impacted. Further, our loss reserving methodology includes provisions for loans within our delinquency inventory that will be rescinded or have their claims curtailed. A variance between ultimate action rates and these estimates could have a material adverse effect on our financial position and results of operations.

In the United States, the mortgage finance industry (with government support) has adopted various programs to modify delinquent loans to make them more affordable to borrowers with the goal of reducing the number of foreclosures. In all of our mortgage insurance businesses, regardless of jurisdiction, our master policies contain covenants that require cooperation and loss mitigation by the insured. The effect on us of a loan modification depends on re-default rates, which in turn can be affected by factors such as changes in home values and unemployment. Our estimates of the number of loans qualifying for modification programs is based on management judgment as informed by past experience and current market conditions but are inherently uncertain. We cannot predict what the actual volume of loan modifications will be or the ultimate re-default rate, and therefore, we cannot be certain whether these efforts will provide material benefits to us.

The premiums we agree to charge upon writing a mortgage insurance policy may not adequately compensate us for the risks and costs associated with the coverage we provide for the entire duration of that policy.

We establish renewal premium rates for the duration of a mortgage insurance policy upon issuance, and we cannot cancel the policy or adjust the premiums after the policy is issued. As a result, we cannot offset the impact of unanticipated claims with premium increases on policies in-force, and we cannot refuse to renew mortgage insurance coverage. In addition, our premium rates vary with the perceived risk of a claim on the insured loan, which takes into account factors such as the loan-to-value ratio, our long-term historical loss experience, whether the mortgage provides for fixed payments or variable payments, the term of the mortgage, the borrower’s credit history and the level of documentation and verification of the borrower’s income and assets. Our ability to properly determine eligibility and accurate pricing for the mortgage insurance we issue is dependent upon our underwriting and other operational routines. These underwriting routines may vary across the jurisdictions in which we do business. Deficiencies in actual practice in this area could have a material adverse impact on our results. In the event the premiums we agree to charge upon writing a mortgage insurance policy may not adequately compensate us for the risks and costs associated with the coverage, it may have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operation and financial condition.

A significant portion of our mortgage insurance coverage consists of mortgage loans with high loan-to-value ratios, which typically have claim incidence rates substantially higher than mortgage loans with lower loan-to-value ratios. In Canada and Australia, the risks of having a portfolio with a significant portion of high loan-to-value mortgages are greater than in the United States because we generally agree to cover 100% of the losses associated with mortgage defaults in those markets, compared to percentages in the United States that typically range between 10% and 35% of the loan amount. Although we take these factors into account in setting premiums, the difference in premium rates may not be sufficient to compensate us for the greater risks associated with mortgage loans bearing higher loan-to-value ratios or 100% cover.

A decrease in the volume of high loan-to-value home mortgage originations or an increase in the volume of mortgage insurance cancellations could result in a decline in our revenue in our mortgage insurance businesses.

We provide mortgage insurance primarily for high loan-to-value mortgages. Factors that could lead to a decrease in the volume of high loan-to-value mortgage originations include, but are not limited to:

 

   

an increase in the level of home mortgage interest rates and, in the United States, a reduction or loss of mortgage interest deductibility for federal income tax purposes;

 

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implementation of more rigorous mortgage lending regulation, such as under APRA Prudential Practice Guides in Australia;

 

   

a decline in economic conditions generally, or in conditions in regional and local economies;

 

   

the level of consumer confidence, which may be adversely affected by economic instability, war or terrorist events;

 

   

an increase in the price of homes relative to income levels;

 

   

adverse population trends, including lower homeownership rates;

 

   

high rates of home price appreciation, which for refinancings affect whether refinanced loans have loan-to-value ratios that require mortgage insurance; and

 

   

changes in government housing policy encouraging loans to first-time home buyers.

A decline in the volume of high loan-to-value mortgage originations would reduce the demand for mortgage insurance and, therefore, could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.

In addition, a significant percentage of the premiums we earn each year in our U.S. mortgage insurance business are renewal premiums from insurance policies written in previous years. We estimate that approximately 88%, 88% and 87%, respectively, of our U.S. gross premiums earned in each of the years ended December 31, 2018, 2017 and 2016 were renewal premiums. As a result, the length of time insurance remains in-force is an important determinant of our mortgage insurance revenues. Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and many other mortgage investors in the United States generally permit a homeowner to ask the loan servicer to cancel the borrower’s obligation to pay for mortgage insurance when the principal amount of the mortgage falls below 80% of the home’s value. Factors that tend to reduce the length of time our mortgage insurance remains in-force include:

 

   

declining interest rates, which may result in the refinancing of the mortgages underlying our insurance policies with new mortgage loans that may not require mortgage insurance or that we do not insure;

 

   

significant appreciation in the value of homes, which causes the size of the mortgage to decrease below 80% of the value of the home and enables the borrower to request cancellation of the mortgage insurance; and

 

   

changes in mortgage insurance cancellation requirements under applicable federal law or mortgage insurance cancellation practices by mortgage lenders and investors.

Our U.S. policy flow persistency rates were 84%, 82% and 78% for the years ended December 31, 2018, 2017 and 2016, respectively. A decrease in persistency in the U.S. market generally would reduce the amount of our insurance in-force and could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations. However, higher persistency on certain products, especially A minus, Alt-A, ARMs and certain 100% loan-to-value loans, could have a material adverse effect if claims generated by such products remain elevated or increase.

The amount of mortgage insurance we write could decline significantly if alternatives to private mortgage insurance are used or lower coverage levels of mortgage insurance are selected.

There are a variety of alternatives to private mortgage insurance that may reduce the amount of mortgage insurance we write. These alternatives include:

 

   

originating mortgages in the United States that consist of two simultaneous loans, known as “simultaneous seconds,” comprising a first mortgage with a loan-to-value ratio of 80% and a simultaneous second mortgage for the excess portion of the loan, instead of a single mortgage with a loan-to-value ratio of more than 80%;

 

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using government mortgage insurance programs;

 

   

holding mortgages in the lenders’ own loan portfolios and self-insuring;

 

   

using programs, such as those offered by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in the United States, requiring lower mortgage insurance coverage levels;

 

   

originating and securitizing loans in mortgage-backed securities whose underlying mortgages are not insured with private mortgage insurance or which are structured so that the risk of default lies with the investor, rather than a private mortgage insurer; and

 

   

using risk-sharing insurance programs, credit default swaps or similar instruments, instead of private mortgage insurance, to transfer credit risk on mortgages.

A decline in the use of private mortgage insurance in connection with high loan-to-value home mortgages for any reason would reduce the demand for flow mortgage insurance which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

Potential liabilities in connection with our U.S. contract underwriting services could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.

We offer contract underwriting services to certain of our mortgage lenders in the United States, pursuant to which our employees and contractors work directly with the lender to determine whether the data relating to a borrower and a proposed loan contained in a mortgage loan application file complies with the lender’s loan underwriting guidelines or the investor’s loan purchase requirements. In connection with that service, we also compile the application data and submit it to the automated underwriting systems of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which independently analyze the data to determine if the proposed loan complies with their investor requirements.

Under the terms of our contract underwriting agreements, we agree to indemnify the lender against losses incurred in the event that we make material errors in determining whether loans processed by our contract underwriters meet specified underwriting or purchase criteria, subject to contractual limitations on liability. As a result, we assume credit and processing risk in connection with our contract underwriting services. If our reserves for potential claims in connection with our contract underwriting services are inadequate as a result of differences from our estimates and assumptions or other reasons, we may be required to increase our underlying reserves, which could materially adversely affect our results of operations and financial condition.

Medical advances, such as genetic research and diagnostic imaging, and related legislation could materially adversely affect the financial performance of our life insurance, long-term care insurance and annuity businesses.

Genetic testing research and discovery is advancing at a rapid pace. Though some of this research is focused on identifying the genes associated with rare diseases, much of the research is focused on identifying the genes associated with an increased risk of various diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, cancer and Alzheimer’s disease. Diagnostic testing utilizing various blood panels or imaging techniques may allow clinicians to detect similar diseases during an earlier phase. We believe that if an individual learns through such testing that they are predisposed to a condition that may reduce their life expectancy or increase their chances of requiring long-term care, they potentially will be more likely to purchase life and long-term care insurance policies or not permit their existing policy to lapse. In contrast, if an individual learns that they lack the genetic predisposition to develop the conditions that reduce longevity or require long-term care, they potentially will be less likely to purchase life and long-term care insurance products, but more likely to purchase certain annuity products and permit their life and long-term care insurance policies to lapse.

Being able to access and use the medical information (including the results of genetic and diagnostic testing) known to our prospective policyholders is important to ensure that an underwriting risk assessment matches the

 

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anticipated risk priced into our life and long-term care insurance products, as well as our annuity products. Currently, there are some state level restrictions related to an insurer’s access and use of genetic information, and periodically new genetic testing legislation is being introduced. However, further restrictions on the access and use of such medical information could create a mismatch between an assessed risk and the product pricing. Such a mismatch has the potential to increase product pricing resulting in a decrease in sales and purchasers at increased risk becoming the more likely buyer. The net result of this could cause a deterioration in the risk profile of our portfolio which could lead to payments to our policyholders and contractholders that are materially higher than anticipated.

In addition to earlier diagnosis or knowledge of disease risk, medical advances may also lead to newer forms of preventive care which could improve an individual’s overall health and longevity. If this were to occur, the duration of payments made by us under certain forms of our annuity contracts likely would increase thereby reducing our profitability on those products.

Other Risks

The occurrence of natural or man-made disasters or a pandemic could materially adversely affect our financial condition and results of operations.

We are exposed to various risks arising out of natural disasters, including earthquakes, hurricanes, floods and tornadoes, and man-made disasters, including acts of terrorism and military actions and pandemics. For example, a natural or man-made disaster or a pandemic could disrupt our computer systems and our ability to conduct or process business, as well as lead to unexpected changes in persistency rates as policyholders and contractholders who are affected by the disaster may be unable to meet their contractual obligations, such as payment of premiums on our insurance policies, deposits into our investment products, and mortgage payments on loans insured by our mortgage insurance policies. They could also significantly increase our mortality and morbidity experience above the assumptions we used in pricing our insurance and investment products. The continued threat of terrorism and ongoing military actions may cause significant volatility in global financial markets, and a natural or man-made disaster or a pandemic could trigger an economic downturn in the areas directly or indirectly affected by the disaster. These consequences could, among other things, result in a decline in business and increased claims from those areas, as well as an adverse effect on home prices in those areas, which could result in increased loss experience in our mortgage insurance businesses. Disasters or a pandemic also could disrupt public and private infrastructure, including communications and financial services, which could disrupt our normal business operations.

A natural or man-made disaster or a pandemic could also disrupt the operations of our counterparties or result in increased prices for the products and services they provide to us. For example, a natural or man-made disaster or a pandemic could lead to increased reinsurance prices or reduced availability of reinsurance and potentially cause us to retain more risk than we otherwise would retain if we were able to obtain reinsurance at lower prices. In addition, a disaster or a pandemic could adversely affect the value of the assets in our investment portfolio if it affects companies’ ability to pay principal or interest on their securities or the value of the underlying collateral of structured securities.

We have significant deferred tax assets, and any impairments of or valuation allowances against these deferred tax assets in the future could materially adversely affect our results of operations and financial condition.

We currently utilize significant deferred tax assets to offset taxable income. The extent to which we can utilize deferred tax assets may be limited for various reasons, including but not limited to changes in tax rules or regulations and if projected future taxable income becomes insufficient to recognize the full benefit of our NOL carryforwards. Additionally, our ability to fully use these tax assets could also be adversely affected if we have

 

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an “ownership change” within the meaning of Section 382 of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended. An ownership change is generally defined as a greater than 50% increase in equity ownership by “5% shareholders” (as that term is defined for purposes of Section 382) in any three-year period. Future changes in our stock ownership, depending on the magnitude, including the purchase or sale of our common stock by 5% shareholders, and issuances or redemptions of common stock by us, could result in an ownership change that would trigger the imposition of limitations under Section 382. Accordingly, there can be no assurance that in the future we will not experience limitations with respect to recognizing the benefits of our NOL carryforwards and other tax attributes for which limitations could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations, cash flows or financial condition.

During 2016, we recorded a valuation allowance of $258 million on deferred tax assets related to foreign tax credits that we no longer expected to realize. This valuation allowance was released in 2017 principally due to the TCJA and from improvements in business performance, mostly in our U.S. mortgage insurance business, as well as lower operating earnings volatility in our U.S. life insurance businesses. See “—Changes in tax laws could have a material adverse effect on our business, cash flows, results of operations or financial condition.”

We have agreed to make payments to GE based on the projected amounts of certain tax savings we expect to realize as a result of our IPO. We will remain obligated to make these payments even if we do not realize the related tax savings and the payments could be accelerated in the event of certain changes in control.

Under the Tax Matters Agreement, we have an obligation to pay GE a fixed amount over approximately the next five years. This fixed obligation, the estimated present value of which was $90 million and $119 million as of December 31, 2018 and 2017, respectively, equals 80% (subject to a cumulative $640 million maximum amount) of the tax savings projected as a result of our IPO in 2004. Even if we fail to generate sufficient taxable income to realize the projected tax savings, we will remain obligated to pay GE, and this could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations. We could also, subject to regulatory approval, be required to pay GE on an accelerated basis in the event of certain changes in control of our company.

Provisions of our certificate of incorporation and bylaws and our Tax Matters Agreement with GE may discourage takeover attempts and business combinations that stockholders might consider in their best interests.

Our certificate of incorporation and bylaws include provisions that may have anti-takeover effects and may delay, deter or prevent a takeover attempt that our stockholders might consider in their best interests. For example, our certificate of incorporation and bylaws:

 

   

permit our Board of Directors to issue one or more series of preferred stock;

 

   

limit the ability of stockholders to remove directors;

 

   

limit the ability of stockholders to fill vacancies on our Board of Directors;

 

   

limit the ability of stockholders to call special meetings of stockholders and take action by written consent; and

 

   

impose advance notice requirements for stockholder proposals and nominations of directors to be considered at stockholder meetings.

Under our Tax Matters Agreement with GE, if any person or group of persons other than GE or its affiliates gains the power to direct the management and policies of our company, we could become obligated immediately to pay to GE the total present value of all remaining tax benefit payments due to GE over the full term of the agreement. The estimated present value of our fixed obligation as of December 31, 2018 and 2017 was $90 million and $119 million, respectively. Similarly, if any person or group of persons other than us or our

 

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affiliates gains effective control of one of our subsidiaries, we could become obligated to pay to GE the total present value of all such payments due to GE allocable to that subsidiary, unless the subsidiary assumes the obligation to pay these future amounts under the Tax Matters Agreement and certain conditions are met. The acceleration of payments would be subject to the approval of certain state insurance regulators, and we are obligated to use our reasonable best efforts to seek these approvals. This feature of the agreement could adversely affect a potential merger or sale of our company. It could also limit our flexibility to dispose of one or more of our subsidiaries, with adverse implications for any business strategy dependent on such dispositions.

Risks Relating to Our Common Stock

The Board of Directors has decided to suspend dividends on our common stock until further notice.

We paid quarterly dividends on our common stock from our IPO in May 2004 until November 2008 when the Board of Directors decided to suspend the payment of dividends on our common stock to enhance our liquidity and capital position as a result of the global financial crisis and the challenging economic environment. We cannot assure you when, whether or at what level we will resume paying dividends on our common stock.

Our stock price will fluctuate.

Stock markets in general, and our common stock in particular, have experienced significant price and volume volatility. The market price and volume of our common stock may continue to be subject to significant fluctuations due not only to general stock market conditions but also to a change in sentiment in the market regarding our industry generally, as well as investor concern about, among other things, some of our products (including long-term care insurance), our operations, reserves, ratings, business prospects, liquidity and capital positions. In addition to the risk factors discussed above, the price and volume volatility of our common stock may be affected by, among other issues:

 

   

failure to complete the proposed transaction with China Oceanwide or to complete it in the timeframe, terms or manner currently anticipated;

 

   

our financial performance and condition and future prospects;

 

   

operating results that vary from the expectations of securities analysts and investors;

 

   

operating and securities price performance of companies that investors consider to be comparable to us;

 

   

announcements of strategic developments, acquisitions and other material events by us or our competitors;

 

   

changes in global financial markets and global economies and general market conditions;

 

   

rating agency announcements or actions with respect to the ratings of our company and our subsidiaries or our competitors;

 

   

changes in laws and regulations affecting our business; and

 

   

market prices for our equity securities.

Stock price volatility and a decrease in our stock price could make it difficult for us to raise equity capital or, if we are able to raise equity capital, could result in substantial dilution to our existing stockholders.

Item 1B. Unresolved Staff Comments

We have no unresolved comments from the staff of the SEC.

 

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Item 2. Properties

We own our headquarters facility in Richmond, Virginia, which consists of approximately 461,000 square feet in four buildings, as well as one facility in Lynchburg, Virginia with approximately 199,000 square feet. In addition, we lease one office space with approximately 92,000 square feet in Lynchburg, Virginia and another 207,000 square feet of office space in 7 locations throughout the United States. We also lease approximately 135,000 square feet in 8 locations outside the United States.

Most of our leases in the United States and other countries have lease terms of three to five years. Although some leases have longer terms, no lease has an expiration date beyond 2028. Our aggregate annual rental expense under all leases was $11 million during the year ended December 31, 2018.

We believe our properties are adequate for our business as presently conducted.

Item 3. Legal Proceedings

See note 21 in our consolidated financial statements under “Part II—Item 8—Financial Statements and Supplementary Data” for a description of material pending litigation and regulatory matters affecting us.

Item 4. Mine Safety Disclosures

Not applicable.

 

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PART II

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

Market for Common Stock

Our Class A Common Stock is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “GNW.” As of February 19, 2019, we had 301 holders of record of our Class A Common Stock.

Common Stock Performance Graph

The following performance graph and related information shall not be deemed “soliciting material” nor to be “filed” with the SEC, nor shall such information be incorporated by reference into any future filings under the Securities Act of 1933 or the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, each as amended, except to the extent we specifically incorporate it by reference into such filing.

In November 2015, we were included in the S&P MidCap 400 Index, which is more representative of our total market capitalization. The following graph compares the cumulative total stockholder return on our Class A Common Stock with the cumulative total stockholder return on the S&P 500 Stock Index, S&P 500 Insurance Index, S&P MidCap 400 Index and S&P MidCap 400 Insurance Index.

 

 

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     2013      2014      2015      2016      2017      2018  

Genworth Financial, Inc.

   $ 100.00    $ 54.73    $ 24.02    $ 24.53    $ 20.03    $ 30.01

S&P 500®

   $ 100.00    $ 113.69    $ 115.26    $ 129.05    $ 157.22    $ 150.33

S&P 500 Insurance Index

   $ 100.00    $ 108.29    $ 110.81    $ 130.29    $ 151.38    $ 134.42

S&P MidCap 400 Index

   $ 100.00    $ 109.77    $ 107.38    $ 129.65    $ 150.71    $ 134.01

S&P MidCap 400 Insurance Index

   $ 100.00    $ 112.06    $ 124.11    $ 156.54    $ 184.30    $ 181.04

 

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Dividends

In November 2008, to enhance our liquidity and capital position in the challenging market environment, our Board of Directors suspended the payment of dividends on our common stock indefinitely. The declaration and payment of future dividends to holders of our common stock will be at the discretion of our Board of Directors and will depend on many factors including our receipt of dividends from our operating subsidiaries, our financial condition and results of operations, the capital requirements of our subsidiaries, legal requirements, regulatory constraints, our debt obligations, our credit and financial strength ratings and such other factors as the Board of Directors deems relevant. We cannot assure you when, whether or at what level we will resume paying dividends on our common stock.

See “Item 7—Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” for additional information.

We act as a holding company for our subsidiaries and do not have any significant operations of our own. As a result, our ability to pay dividends in the future will depend on receiving dividends from our subsidiaries. Our insurance subsidiaries are subject to the laws of the jurisdictions in which they are domiciled and licensed and consequently are limited in the amount of dividends that they can pay. See “Part I—Item 1—Business—Regulation.”

 

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Item 6. Selected Financial Data

The following table sets forth selected financial information. The selected financial information as of December 31, 2018 and 2017 and for the years ended December 31, 2018, 2017 and 2016 has been derived from our audited consolidated financial statements, which are included elsewhere herewith. You should read this information in conjunction with the information under “Item 7—Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations,” our audited consolidated financial statements and the related notes which are included in “Item 8—Financial Statements and Supplementary Data.”

 

    Years ended December 31,  

(Amounts in millions, except per share amounts)

  2018     2017     2016     2015     2014  

Consolidated Statements of Income Information

         

Revenues:

         

Premiums

  $ 4,519   $ 4,004   $ 4,160   $ 4,579   $ 4,700

Net investment income

    3,262     3,200     3,159     3,138     3,142

Net investment gains (losses)

    (146     265     72     (75     (22

Policy fees and other income

    795     826     978     906     909
 

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Total revenues

    8,430     8,295     8,369     8,548     8,729
 

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Benefits and expenses:

         

Benefits and operating expenses

    7,683     7,282     7,712     8,144     9,595

Interest expense

    299     284     337     419     433
 

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Total benefits and expenses

    7,982     7,566     8,049     8,563     10,028
 

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Income (loss) from continuing operations before income taxes

    448     729     320     (15     (1,299

Provision (benefit) for income taxes

    151     (207     358     (9     (94
 

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Income (loss) from continuing operations

    297     936     (38     (6     (1,205

Income (loss) from discontinued operations, net of taxes (1)

    —         (9     (29     (407     157
 

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Net income (loss)

    297     927     (67     (413     (1,048

Less: net income attributable to noncontrolling interests (2)

    178     110     210     202     196
 

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Net income (loss) available to Genworth Financial, Inc.’s common stockholders

  $ 119   $ 817   $ (277   $ (615   $ (1,244
 

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Income (loss) from continuing operations available to Genworth Financial, Inc.’s common stockholders per share:

         

Basic

  $ 0.24   $ 1.66   $ (0.50   $ (0.42   $ (2.82
 

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Diluted (3)

  $ 0.24   $ 1.65   $ (0.50   $ (0.42   $ (2.82
 

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Income (loss) from discontinued operations, net of taxes, available to Genworth Financial, Inc.’s common stockholders per share:

         

Basic (1)

  $ —       $ (0.02   $ (0.06   $ (0.82   $ 0.32
 

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Diluted (1)

  $ —       $ (0.02   $ (0.06   $ (0.82   $ 0.32
 

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Net income (loss) available to Genworth Financial, Inc.’s common stockholders per share:

         

Basic

  $ 0.24   $ 1.64   $ (0.56   $ (1.24   $ (2.51
 

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Diluted (3)

  $ 0.24   $ 1.63   $ (0.56   $ (1.24   $ (2.51
 

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Weighted-average common shares outstanding: (4)

         

Basic

    500.4     499.0     498.3     497.4     496.4
 

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Diluted (3)

    504.2     501.4     498.3     497.4     496.4
 

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Cash dividends declared per common share

  $ —       $ —       $ —       $ —       $ —    
 

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

 

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     Years ended December 31,  

(Amounts in millions)

   2018     2017     2016     2015     2014  

Selected Segment Information

          

Total revenues:

          

U.S. Mortgage Insurance

   $ 841   $ 772   $ 726   $ 665   $ 639

Canada Mortgage Insurance

     526     780     645     564     669

Australia Mortgage Insurance

     427     (40     440     474     537

U.S. Life Insurance

     6,318     6,471     6,250     6,545     6,587

Runoff

     294     339     302     259     275

Corporate and Other

     24     (27     6     41     22
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Total

   $ 8,430   $ 8,295   $ 8,369   $ 8,548   $ 8,729
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Income (loss) from continuing operations available to Genworth Financial, Inc.’s common stockholders:

          

U.S. Mortgage Insurance

   $ 490   $ 311   $ 249   $ 179   $ 91

Canada Mortgage Insurance

     125     204     159     140     167

Australia Mortgage Insurance

     70     (79     65     103     27

U.S. Life Insurance

     (348     112     (146     (253     (1,405

Runoff

     13     61     25     (5     14

Corporate and Other

     (231     217     (600     (372     (295
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Total

   $ 119   $ 826   $ (248   $ (208   $ (1,401
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Consolidated Balance Sheet Information

          

Total investments

   $ 70,114   $ 73,392   $ 71,569   $ 69,128   $ 71,773

All other assets (5)

     30,809     31,905     33,089     37,176     37,400

Assets held for sale (1)

     —         —         —         127     2,143
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Total assets

   $ 100,923   $ 105,297   $ 104,658   $ 106,431   $ 111,316
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Policyholder liabilities

   $ 74,833   $ 76,228   $ 75,359   $ 74,087   $ 73,313

Non-recourse funding obligations

     311     310     310     1,920     1,981

Long-term borrowings

     4,025     4,224     4,180     4,570     4,612

All other liabilities

     7,565     9,207     10,342     11,090     13,519

Liabilities held for sale (1)

     —         —         —         127     1,094
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Total liabilities

   $ 86,734   $ 89,969   $ 90,191   $ 91,794   $ 94,519
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Accumulated other comprehensive income (loss)

   $ 2,044   $ 3,027   $ 3,094   $ 3,010   $ 4,446

Noncontrolling interests (2)

   $ 1,739   $ 1,910   $ 1,823   $ 1,813   $ 1,874

Total equity

   $ 14,189   $ 15,328   $ 14,467   $ 14,637   $ 16,797

U.S. Statutory Financial Information (6)

          

Statutory capital and surplus (7)

   $ 5,303   $ 5,793   $ 5,575   $ 5,631   $ 5,409

Asset valuation reserve

   $ 415   $ 381   $ 351   $ 339   $ 311

 

(1)

On May 9, 2016, GMICO, our wholly-owned indirect subsidiary, sold our European mortgage insurance business, which was accounted for as held for sale and its financial position was separately reported for all periods presented. On December 1, 2015, we sold our lifestyle protection insurance business, which was accounted for as discontinued operations and its financial position and results of operations were separately reported for all periods presented. See note 24 in our consolidated financial statements under “Item 8—Financial Statements and Supplementary Data” for additional information.

(2)

Noncontrolling interests relate to the third-party public ownership of our Australian and Canadian mortgage insurance businesses. On May 21, 2014, Genworth Australia, a holding company for our Australian mortgage insurance business, completed an IPO of 220 million of its ordinary shares. Following completion of the initial offering, we beneficially owned 66.2% of the ordinary shares of Genworth Australia. On

 

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  May 15, 2015, we sold 92.3 million of our shares in Genworth Australia at AUD$3.08 per ordinary share. Following completion of this offering, we beneficially own approximately 52.0% of the ordinary shares of Genworth Australia through subsidiaries. We completed an IPO of our Canadian mortgage insurance business in July 2009 which reduced our ownership percentage to 57.5%. We currently hold approximately 57.0% of the outstanding common shares of Genworth Canada on a consolidated basis through subsidiaries. See note 23 in our consolidated financial statements under “Item 8—Financial Statements and Supplementary Data” for additional information related to noncontrolling interests.
(3)

Under applicable accounting guidance, companies in a loss position are required to use basic weighted-average common shares outstanding in the calculation of diluted loss per share. Therefore, as a result of our loss from continuing operations available to Genworth Financial, Inc.’s common stockholders and net loss available to Genworth Financial, Inc.’s common stockholders for the years ended December 31, 2016, 2015 and 2014, we were required to use basic weighted-average common shares outstanding in the calculation of diluted loss per share, as the inclusion of shares for stock options, restricted stock units (“RSUs”) and stock appreciation rights (“SARs”) of 2.0 million, 1.6 million and 5.6 million, respectively, would have been antidilutive to the calculation. If we had not incurred a loss from continuing operations available to Genworth Financial, Inc.’s common stockholders and net loss available to Genworth Financial, Inc.’s common stockholders for the years ended December 31, 2016, 2015 and 2014, dilutive potential weighted-average common shares outstanding would have been 500.3 million, 499.0 million and 502.0 million, respectively.

(4)

The number of shares used in our calculation of diluted earnings per common share in 2018 and 2017 was affected by stock options, RSUs and SARs and was calculated using the treasury method.

(5)

We have several significant reinsurance transactions with UFLIC, an affiliate of GE, our former parent company, in which we ceded certain blocks of structured settlement annuities, variable annuities and long-term care insurance. As a result of these transactions, we transferred investment securities to UFLIC and recorded a reinsurance recoverable that was included in “all other assets.” For a discussion of this transaction, refer to note 8 in our consolidated financial statements under “Item 8—Financial Statements and Supplementary Data.”

(6)

We derived the U.S. Statutory Financial Information from Annual Statements of our U.S. domiciled insurance company subsidiaries that were filed with the insurance departments in states where we are domiciled and were prepared in accordance with statutory accounting practices prescribed or permitted by the insurance departments in states where we are domiciled. These statutory accounting practices vary in certain material respects from U.S. GAAP.

(7)

Combined statutory capital and surplus for our U.S. domiciled insurance subsidiaries includes surplus notes issued by our U.S. life insurance subsidiaries and statutorily required contingency reserves held by our U.S. mortgage insurance subsidiaries. The combined statutory capital and surplus as of December 31, 2015 was re-presented as if the merger of Brookfield Life and Annuity Insurance Company Limited with and into GLIC occurred on January 1, 2015 in accordance with the statutory merger method. However, we did not re-present the combined statutory net loss for the year ended December 31, 2014 in accordance with statutory accounting practices and, therefore, the amounts are not comparable.

 

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

The following discussion and analysis of our consolidated financial condition and results of operations should be read in conjunction with our audited consolidated financial statements and related notes included in “Item 8—Financial Statements and Supplementary Data.”

Overview

Our business

We are dedicated to helping meet the homeownership and long-term care needs of our customers. We are headquartered in Richmond, Virginia. We facilitate homeownership in the United States and internationally by providing mortgage insurance products that allow people to purchase homes with low down payments while protecting lenders against the risk of default. Through our homeownership education and assistance programs, we also help people keep their homes when they experience financial difficulties. We offer individual and group long-term care insurance products to meet consumer needs for long-term care. On March 7, 2016, we suspended sales of our traditional life insurance and fixed annuity products. We have the following five operating business segments: U.S. Mortgage Insurance; Canada Mortgage Insurance; Australia Mortgage Insurance; U.S. Life Insurance; and Runoff. We also have Corporate and Other activities.

Our financial information

The financial information in this Annual Report on Form 10-K has been derived from our consolidated financial statements.

Revenues and expenses

Our revenues consist primarily of the following:

 

   

U.S. Mortgage Insurance. The revenues in our U.S. Mortgage Insurance segment consist primarily of:

 

   

net premiums earned on U.S. mortgage insurance policies;

 

   

net investment income and net investment gains (losses) on the segment’s separate investment portfolio; and

 

   

fee revenues from contract underwriting services.

 

   

Canada Mortgage Insurance. The revenues in our Canada Mortgage Insurance segment consist primarily of:

 

   

net premiums earned on Canada mortgage insurance policies; and

 

   

net investment income and net investment gains (losses) on the segment’s separate investment portfolio.

 

   

Australia Mortgage Insurance. The revenues in our Australia Mortgage Insurance segment consist primarily of:

 

   

net premiums earned on Australia mortgage insurance policies; and

 

   

net investment income and net investment gains (losses) on the segment’s separate investment portfolio.

 

   

U.S. Life Insurance. The revenues in our U.S. Life Insurance segment consist primarily of:

 

   

net premiums earned on individual and group long-term care insurance, individual term life insurance and single premium immediate annuities with life contingencies;

 

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net investment income and net investment gains (losses) on the segment’s separate investment portfolios; and

 

   

policy fees and other income, including surrender charges, mortality and expense risk charges, and other administrative charges.

 

   

Runoff. The revenues in our Runoff segment consist primarily of:

 

   

net investment income and net investment gains (losses) on the segment’s separate investment portfolios; and

 

   

policy fees and other income, including mortality and expense risk charges, primarily from variable annuity contracts, and other administrative charges.

 

   

Corporate and Other. The revenues in Corporate and Other activities consist primarily of:

 

   

net premiums earned primarily on mortgage insurance policies in certain smaller international mortgage insurance businesses;

 

   

unallocated net investment income and net investment gains (losses); and

 

   

policy fees and other income from other businesses that are managed outside of our operating segments and eliminations of inter-segment transactions.

Our expenses consist primarily of the following:

 

   

benefits provided to policyholders and contractholders and changes in reserves;

 

   

interest credited on general account balances;

 

   

acquisition and operating expenses, including commissions, marketing expenses, legal expenses, policy and contract servicing costs, overhead and other general expenses that are not capitalized (shown net of deferrals);

 

   

amortization of DAC and other intangible assets;

 

   

interest and other financing expenses; and

 

   

income taxes.

We allocate corporate expenses to each of our operating segments using various methodologies, including based on the amount of capital allocated to each operating segment.

On December 22, 2017, the TCJA was signed into law. The TCJA reduced the U.S. corporate federal income tax rate to 21% effective for taxable years beginning on January 1, 2018 and migrated the worldwide tax system to a territorial international tax system. Therefore, beginning on January 1, 2018 we taxed our international businesses at their local statutory tax rates and our domestic businesses at the new enacted tax rate of 21%. We allocate our consolidated provision for income taxes to our operating segments. Our allocation methodology applies a specific tax rate to the pre-tax income (loss) of each segment, which is then adjusted in each segment to reflect the tax attributes of items unique to that segment such as foreign income. The difference between the consolidated provision for income taxes and the sum of the provision for income taxes in each segment is reflected in Corporate and Other activities.

The effective tax rates disclosed herein are calculated using whole dollars. As a result, the percentages shown may differ from an effective tax rate calculated using rounded numbers.

 

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Executive Summary of Financial Results

Below is an executive summary of our consolidated financial results for the periods indicated. Amounts below are net of taxes, unless otherwise indicated. Beginning in 2018, after-tax amounts assumed a tax rate of 21% compared to 35% in 2017 and 2016.

2018 compared to 2017

 

   

We had net income available to Genworth Financial, Inc.’s common stockholders of $119 million and $817 million in 2018 and 2017, respectively. Adjusted operating income available to Genworth Financial, Inc.’s common stockholders was $179 million and $696 million in 2018 and 2017, respectively.

 

   

Our U.S. Mortgage Insurance segment had adjusted operating income available to Genworth Financial, Inc.’s common stockholders of $490 million and $311 million in 2018 and 2017, respectively. The increase was primarily from lower losses, which included a $22 million favorable reserve adjustment in 2018 principally from lower expected claim rates. The increase was also attributable to higher premiums due to an increase in mortgage insurance in-force, higher investment income and lower taxes in 2018. The year ended December 31, 2017 included a $10 million favorable reserve adjustment.

 

   

Our Canada Mortgage Insurance segment had adjusted operating income available to Genworth Financial, Inc.’s common stockholders of $187 million and $157 million in 2018 and 2017, respectively. The increase was principally driven by lower income taxes and a decrease in stock-based compensation expense, partially offset by higher losses in 2018.

 

   

Our Australia Mortgage Insurance segment had adjusted operating income available to Genworth Financial, Inc.’s common stockholders of $76 million in 2018 compared to an adjusted operating loss available to Genworth Financial, Inc.’s common stockholders of $88 million in 2017. The increase to income in 2018 from a loss in 2017 was primarily driven by a net unfavorable adjustment of $141 million from a review of our premium earnings pattern in 2017, which also resulted in higher earned premiums on our existing insurance in-force in 2018 (see “—Critical Accounting Estimates—Unearned premiums” for additional information). The increase was partially offset by lower net investment income in 2018.

 

   

Our U.S. Life Insurance segment had an adjusted operating loss available to Genworth Financial, Inc.’s common stockholders of $376 million in 2018 compared to adjusted operating income available to Genworth Financial, Inc.’s common stockholders of $22 million in 2017. The decrease from income in 2017 to a loss in 2018 was principally related to our long-term care and life insurance businesses. Our long-term care insurance business had an adjusted operating loss available to Genworth Financial, Inc.’s common stockholders of $348 million in 2018 compared to adjusted operating income available to Genworth Financial, Inc.’s common stockholders of $59 million in 2017. The decrease to a loss in 2018 from income in 2017 was predominantly attributable to the completion of our annual review of our claim reserves in the fourth quarter of 2018 which resulted in higher claim reserves of $230 million (see “—Critical Accounting Estimates—Liability for policy and contract claims” for additional information). We also refined our estimate of unreported policy terminations, which resulted in an unfavorable reserve adjustment of $28 million in 2018. The decrease was also related to unfavorable existing claim performance from higher utilization of available benefits and lower terminations, as well as higher severity of new claims in 2018. These decreases were partially offset by higher premiums and associated benefit reductions in 2018 from in-force rate actions approved and implemented. For more information on in-force rate actions see “—Significant Developments—U.S. Life Insurance.” The adjusted operating loss in our life insurance business increased $28 million primarily from higher ceded reinsurance and unfavorable mortality in our universal and term universal life insurance products. These increases were partially offset by favorable mortality in our term life insurance products, lower taxes and 2017 transactions that did not recur: a $20 million net unfavorable term

 

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conversion mortality assumption correction and a net $15 million unfavorable model refinement. Adjusted operating income in our fixed annuities business increased $37 million mainly attributable to $41 million of lower unfavorable charges in connection with loss recognition testing in our fixed immediate annuity products (see “—Critical Accounting Estimates—Future policy benefits” for additional information) and from lower interest credited in 2018. These decreases were partially offset by lower investment income in 2018.

 

   

Corporate and Other Activities had an adjusted operating loss available to Genworth Financial, Inc.’s common stockholders of $233 million in 2018 compared to adjusted operating income available to Genworth Financial, Inc.’s common stockholders of $243 million in 2017. The decrease to a loss in 2018 from income in 2017 was primarily driven by changes resulting from the implementation of the TCJA in December 2017 that did not recur. In the fourth quarter of 2017, we recorded a net tax benefit of $456 million primarily attributable to a $258 million release of a valuation allowance, the impact from changes in the federal tax rates and the release of shareholder liability taxes. These decreases in 2017 were partially offset by higher transition taxes, $11 million of higher taxes associated with our tax allocation methodology, which was driven by the premium earnings pattern review in our Australia mortgage insurance business and other items. The year ended December 31, 2018 included lower operating costs, partially offset by higher interest expense.

2017 compared to 2016

 

   

We had net income available to Genworth Financial, Inc.’s common stockholders of $817 million in 2017 and a net loss available to Genworth Financial, Inc.’s common stockholders of $277 million in 2016. Adjusted operating income available to Genworth Financial, Inc.’s common stockholders was $696 million in 2017 compared to an adjusted operating loss available to Genworth Financial, Inc.’s common stockholders of $316 million in 2016.

 

   

Corporate and Other Activities had adjusted operating income available to Genworth Financial, Inc.’s common stockholders of $243 million in 2017 compared to an adjusted operating loss available to Genworth Financial, Inc.’s common stockholders of $587 million in 2016 largely related to changes in U.S. tax legislation under the TCJA (see “—Regulation—Changes in tax law”). In the fourth quarter of 2017, we recorded a net tax benefit of $456 million primarily attributable to a $258 million release of a valuation allowance recorded in 2016, the impact from changes in the federal tax rates and the release of shareholder liability taxes. These decreases were partially offset by higher transition taxes, $11 million of higher taxes associated with our tax allocation methodology, which was driven by the premium earnings pattern review in our Australia mortgage insurance business and other items. The adjusted operating loss available to Genworth Financial, Inc.’s common stockholders in 2016 was primarily related to tax charges of $258 million recorded on deferred tax assets related to foreign tax credits that we did not expect to realize in 2016 and higher legal fees and expenses.

 

   

Our U.S. Life Insurance segment had adjusted operating income available to Genworth Financial, Inc.’s common stockholders of $22 million in 2017 compared to an adjusted operating loss available to Genworth Financial, Inc.’s common stockholders of $215 million in 2016. The increase from a loss in 2016 to income in 2017 was largely driven by our long-term care insurance business predominantly attributable to higher claim reserves of $283 million in 2016 as a result of the completion of our annual review of our claim reserves conducted during the third quarter of 2016. The adjusted operating loss available to Genworth Financial, Inc.’s common stockholders in our life insurance business decreased $4 million primarily from a less unfavorable unlocking of $122 million in our universal and term universal life insurance products as part of our annual review of assumptions in the fourth quarter of 2017 compared to 2016. Adjusted operating income decreased $26 million in our fixed annuities business primarily due to the impact of loss recognition testing that resulted in $33 million of unfavorable charges in our fixed immediate annuity products primarily driven by the low interest rate environment in 2017 (for additional information on these transactions for each of our U.S. life insurance businesses see “—Critical Accounting Estimates”).

 

105


   

Our U.S. Mortgage Insurance segment had adjusted operating income available to Genworth Financial, Inc.’s common stockholders of $311 million and $250 million in 2017 and 2016, respectively. The increase was mainly attributable to lower losses from favorable net cures and aging of existing delinquencies and a continued decline in new delinquencies in 2017. The increase was also attributable to higher premiums due to an increase in mortgage insurance in-force in 2017.

 

   

Our Canada Mortgage Insurance segment had adjusted operating income available to Genworth Financial, Inc.’s common stockholders of $157 million and $146 million in 2017 and 2016, respectively. The increase was principally driven by lower losses and higher premiums, partially offset by lower tax benefits in 2017.

 

   

Our Australia Mortgage Insurance segment had an adjusted operating loss available to Genworth Financial, Inc.’s common stockholders of $88 million in 2017 compared to adjusted operating income available Genworth Financial, Inc.’s common stockholders of $62 million in 2016. The decrease to a loss in 2017 from income in 2016 was primarily driven by a net unfavorable adjustment of $141 million from a review of our premium earnings pattern in 2017. The review indicated an observed and expected continuation of a longer duration between policy inception and first loss event (see “—Critical Accounting Estimates” for additional information). The decrease was also attributable to lower investment income in 2017.

Significant Developments

The periods under review include, among others, the following significant developments.

U.S. Mortgage Insurance

 

   

PMIERs compliance. As of December 31, 2018 and 2017, our U.S. mortgage insurance business was compliant with the PMIERs capital requirements, with a prudent buffer. We estimate our U.S. mortgage insurance business had available assets of approximately 129% of the required assets under PMIERs as of December 31, 2018 compared to approximately 121% as of December 31, 2017. As of December 31, 2018 and 2017, the PMIERs sufficiency ratios were in excess of approximately $750 million and $550 million, respectively, of available assets above the PMIERs requirements. The increase in 2018 was driven in part, by positive operating cash flows and a reduction in delinquent loans. For additional information related to PMIERs, see “Item 1—Business—Regulation—Mortgage Insurance Regulation—Other U.S. regulation.”

 

   

PMIERs 2.0. The GSEs published revisions to PMIERs, referred to as PMIERs 2.0, on September 27, 2018 with an effective date of March 31, 2019. If PMIERs 2.0 had been effective as of December 31, 2018, we estimate that the sufficiency ratio would have been approximately 120%, or more than $550 million of available assets above the PMIERs 2.0 requirements. This difference is primarily due to the elimination of any credit for future premiums in PMIERs 2.0 that had previously been allowed on insurance policies written in 2008 or earlier.

 

   

Dividends paid. Our U.S. mortgage insurance business paid $50 million of dividends in 2018. The evaluation of future dividends is subject to capital requirements of our U.S. mortgage insurance subsidiaries, capital needs of our holding companies and market conditions, among other factors, which are subject to change.

U.S. Life Insurance

 

   

In-force rate actions in our long-term care insurance business. As part of our strategy for our long-term care insurance business, we have been implementing, and expect to continue to pursue, significant premium rate increases and associated benefit reductions on older generation blocks of business in order to bring those blocks closer to a break-even point over time and reduce the strain on earnings and

 

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capital. We are also requesting premium rate increases and associated benefit reductions on newer blocks of business, as needed, some of which may be significant, to help bring their loss ratios back towards their original pricing. For all of these in-force rate action filings, we received 120 filing approvals from 33 states in 2018, representing a weighted-average increase of 45% on approximately $875 million in annualized in-force premiums, or approximately $400 million of incremental annual premiums. This was approximately a 100% increase compared to 2017. We also submitted 97 new filings in 30 states in 2018 on approximately $848 million in annualized in-force premiums.

 

   

Cumulative economic benefit from in-force rate actions. Since the completion of our 2018 loss recognition testing, we received additional approvals which further reduced our future in-force rate actions. Given the approvals we have received, we estimate that the cumulative economic benefit of our rate increases through 2018 equals approximately $10.5 billion, on a net present value basis, or approximately 65% of the total amount required under our multi-year in-force rate action plan in our long-term care insurance business. For additional information on the impact in-force rate actions have on loss recognition testing of our long-term care insurance business, see “—Critical Accounting Estimates—Future policy benefits.”

 

   

Completion of annual long-term care insurance claims assumption review. We conduct a detailed review of our claim reserve assumptions for our long-term care insurance business annually. During the fourth quarter of 2018, we completed our annual review of our long-term care insurance claim reserve assumptions. Based on this review we updated several assumptions and methodologies, including benefit utilization rates, claim termination rates and other assumptions, that resulted in a charge to net income (loss) of $230 million. In 2017, we did not make any significant changes to the assumptions or methodologies. However, in 2016, we recorded a charge of $283 million to net income (loss) based upon the completion of our annual claims assumption review. See “—Critical Accounting Estimates—Liability for policy and contract claims” for additional information.

 

   

Long-term care insurance margins. We complete our assumption reviews annually for our long-term care insurance business. In the fourth quarter of 2018, we completed our annual assumption review for our long-term care insurance business and our U.S. GAAP margins remained in the same range as our 2017 margins. For additional information on reserves, see “—Critical Accounting Estimates—Future policy benefits.”

 

   

Completion of life insurance assumption review. We complete our assumption reviews annually for our universal and term universal life insurance products. In the fourth quarter of 2018, as a result of the review, we recorded a $91 million unfavorable adjustment to net income (loss) in our universal and term universal life insurance products. The negative impact was primarily driven by lower expected growth in interest rates and emerging mortality experience mostly in our term universal life insurance product. In the fourth quarter of 2017, we recorded a $74 million unfavorable adjustment to net income (loss) in our universal and term universal life insurance products. The negative impact was primarily driven by emerging mortality experience and from prolonged low interest rates. For additional information see “—Critical Accounting Estimates—Policyholder account balances.”

Liquidity and Capital Resources

 

   

Secured Term Loan. On March 7, 2018, Genworth Holdings entered into a $450 million Term Loan, which matures in March 2023 and was issued at a 0.5% discount. Principal payments under the agreement are due quarterly, which commenced on June 30, 2018, and are payable in equal amounts of 0.25% per quarter of the original principal amount with the remaining balance due at maturity. At our option, the Term Loan will bear interest at either an adjusted London Interbank Offered Rate (“LIBOR”) no lower than 1.0% plus a margin of 4.5% per annum or an alternate base rate plus a margin of 3.5% per annum. As of December 31, 2018, the interest rate on the Term Loan was 7.0%. The Term Loan is unconditionally guaranteed by Genworth Financial, and GFIH has provided a limited recourse guarantee to the lenders of Genworth Holdings’ outstanding Term Loan, which is secured by

 

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GFIH’s ownership interest in Genworth Canada’s outstanding common shares. GFIH is our indirect wholly-owned subsidiary and owns approximately 40.5% of the outstanding common stock of Genworth Canada. The Term Loan is subject to other terms and conditions, including but not limited to: voluntary prepayments subject to prepayment penalties, mandatory prepayments in the event of certain asset sales or the incurrence of further indebtedness by Genworth Financial and various financial covenants.

 

   

Redemption of Genworth Holdings’ May 2018 senior notes. On May 22, 2018, Genworth Holdings redeemed $597 million of its 6.52% senior notes that were issued in May 2008 and matured in May 2018. A cash payment of $616 million comprising net proceeds of $441 million from the Term Loan and $175 million of existing cash on hand was used to fully redeem the principal and accrued interest balance of the May 2018 senior notes.

 

   

Genworth Holdings’ bond consent solicitations. On October 4, 2018, Genworth Holdings completed a bond consent solicitation whereby it amended its senior notes indenture to clarify that GLAIC and the subsidiaries of GLIC, GLAIC and GLICNY are excluded from the class of subsidiaries for which a bankruptcy, insolvency or other similar proceeding would result in an event of default under the indenture. In the fourth quarter of 2018, we paid $11 million of total fees, which consisted of bond consent fees, broker, advisor and investment banking fees. The bond consent fees of $5 million were deferred and the remaining fees of $6 million were expensed in the fourth quarter of 2018. In 2016, Genworth Holdings paid total fees related to a bond consent solicitation of approximately $61 million, including bond consent fees of $43 million, which were deferred, as well as broker, advisor and investment banking fees of $18 million, which were expensed.

 

   

Amended Genworth Canada Credit Facility. On October 26, 2018, Genworth Canada, our majority-owned subsidiary, amended its existing credit agreement whereby the syndicated senior unsecured revolving credit facility was increased from CAD$200 million to CAD$300 million. The maturity date was extended to September 29, 2023. Any borrowings under Genworth Canada’s credit facility will bear interest at a rate per annum equal to, at the option of Genworth Canada, either a fixed rate or a variable rate pursuant to the terms of the amended credit agreement. The credit facility includes customary representations, warranties, covenants, terms and conditions.

 

   

Redemption of Genworth Holdings’ 2016 notes. In January 2016, Genworth Holdings redeemed $298 million of its 8.625% senior notes due 2016 issued in December 2009 (the “2016 Notes”) and paid a make-whole premium of approximately $20 million pre-tax in addition to accrued and unpaid interest using cash proceeds received from the sale of our lifestyle protection insurance business.

 

   

Repurchase of Genworth Holdings senior notes. During 2016, we repurchased $28 million principal amount of Genworth Holdings’ notes with various maturity dates for a pre-tax gain of $4 million and paid accrued and unpaid interest thereon.

 

   

Redemption of non-recourse funding obligations. During 2016, in connection with a life block transaction, River Lake Insurance Company (“River Lake”), our indirect wholly-owned subsidiary, redeemed $975 million of its total outstanding floating rate subordinated notes due in 2033 and River Lake Insurance Company II (“River Lake II”), our indirect wholly-owned subsidiary, redeemed $645 million of its total outstanding floating rate subordinated notes due in 2035 for a pre-tax loss of $9 million from the write-off of deferred borrowing costs.

Regulation and Taxes

 

   

The effective tax rate increased to 33.7% for the year ended December 31, 2018 from (28.4)% for the year ended December 31, 2017. The increase in the effective tax rate was primarily due to the impacts of tax reform in 2017 that did not recur. In 2017, we released $258 million of our valuation allowance principally from the TCJA and improvements in business performance, mostly in our U.S. mortgage

 

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insurance business, as well as lower operating earnings volatility in our U.S. life insurance businesses. In addition, changes in the taxation of foreign operations also benefited the 2017 effective tax rate. The 2018 effective tax rate also included the rate differential on our foreign subsidiaries, which are now taxed at a higher marginal rate than our U.S. businesses, and tax expense related to gains on forward starting swaps settled prior to the enactment of the TCJA, which are tax effected at 35% as they are amortized into net investment income. See note 13 in our consolidated financial statements under “Item 8—Financial Statements and Supplementary Data” for additional information.

Dispositions

 

   

Completed sale of our mortgage insurance business in Europe. On May 9, 2016, we completed the sale of our European mortgage insurance business to AmTrust Financial Services, Inc., and finalized the accounting of the sale through a purchase price adjustment by recording a net after-tax gain of $18 million comprised of a pre-tax loss of $9 million and a tax benefit of $27 million primarily related to the reversal of a deferred tax valuation allowance. The sale was completed based upon the final receipt of net proceeds of approximately $50 million. The $18 million net gain refined the previously recognized loss on sale of $140 million recorded in 2015. See note 24 in our consolidated financial statements under “Item 8—Financial Statements and Supplementary Data” for additional information.

 

   

Completed sale of a life insurance block. In 2015, GLAIC, our indirect wholly-owned subsidiary, entered into a Master Agreement (the “Master Agreement”) for a life block transaction with Protective Life Insurance Company (“Protective Life”). Pursuant to the Master Agreement, GLAIC and Protective Life agreed to enter into a reinsurance agreement (the “Reinsurance Agreement”), under the terms of which Protective Life would coinsure certain term life insurance business of GLAIC, net of third-party reinsurance. The Reinsurance Agreement was entered into in January 2016. This transaction generated capital in excess of $150 million in aggregate to Genworth, including tax benefits of approximately $175 million to Genworth Holdings that was settled in July 2016, and was previously committed by Genworth Holdings to enable a Genworth intermediate holding company to purchase GLAIC from GLIC to complete the GLAIC unstacking. See “Item 1—Business—Strategic Update—China Oceanwide Transaction” for additional details on the cash commitment of $175 million.

 

   

Sale of our lifestyle protection insurance business. On December 1, 2015, we completed the sale of our lifestyle protection insurance business and received approximately $400 million of net proceeds, and recorded an after-tax loss of approximately $381 million, net of taxes of $155 million. During 2017 and 2016, we recorded additional losses of $9 million and $29 million, respectively. See note 24 in our consolidated financial statements under “Item 8—Financial Statements and Supplementary Data” for additional information.

Business trends and conditions

Our business is, and we expect will continue to be, influenced by a number of industry-wide and product-specific trends and conditions. We have described certain material trends and conditions in the relevant consolidated and segment discussions below.

Critical Accounting Estimates

The accounting estimates (including sensitivities) discussed in this section are those that we consider to be particularly critical to an understanding of our consolidated financial statements because their application places the most significant demands on our ability to judge the effect of inherently uncertain matters on our financial results. The sensitivities included in this section involve matters that are also inherently uncertain and involve the exercise of significant judgment in selecting the factors and amounts used in the sensitivities. Small changes in the amounts used in the sensitivities or the use of different factors could result in materially different outcomes from those reflected in the sensitivities. For all of these accounting estimates, we caution that future events seldom develop as estimated and management’s best estimates often require adjustment.

 

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Valuation of fixed maturity securities. Our portfolio of fixed maturity securities comprises primarily investment grade securities, which are carried at fair value.

Estimates of fair values for fixed maturity securities are obtained primarily from industry-standard pricing methodologies utilizing market observable inputs. For our less liquid securities, such as our privately placed securities, we utilize independent market data to employ alternative valuation methods commonly used in the financial services industry to estimate fair value. Based on the market observability of the inputs used in estimating the fair value, the pricing level is assigned.

The following tables summarize the primary sources of data considered when determining fair value of each class of fixed maturity securities as of December 31:

 

     2018  

(Amounts in millions)

   Total      Level 1      Level 2      Level 3  

Fixed maturity securities:

           

Pricing services

   $ 54,162    $ —        $ 54,162    $ —    

Broker quotes

     389      —          —          389

Internal models

     5,110      —          1,623      3,487
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

Total fixed maturity securities

   $ 59,661    $ —        $ 55,785    $ 3,876
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

 

     2017  

(Amounts in millions)

   Total      Level 1      Level 2      Level 3  

Fixed maturity securities:

           

Pricing services

   $ 56,947    $ —        $ 56,947    $ —    

Broker quotes

     615      —          —          615

Internal models

     4,963      —          1,628      3,335
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

Total fixed maturity securities

   $ 62,525    $ —        $ 58,575    $ 3,950
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

See notes 2, 4 and 16 in our consolidated financial statements under “Item 8—Financial Statements and Supplementary Data” for additional information related to the valuation of fixed maturity securities and a description of the fair value measurement estimates and level assignments.

Other-than-temporary impairments on available-for-sale securities. As of each balance sheet date, we evaluate securities in an unrealized loss position for other-than-temporary impairments. For debt securities, we consider all available information relevant to the collectability of the security, including information about past events, current conditions, and reasonable and supportable forecasts, when developing the estimate of cash flows expected to be collected.

See notes 2 and 4 in our consolidated financial statements under “Item 8—Financial Statements and Supplementary Data” for additional information related to other-than-temporary impairments on available-for-sale securities.

Derivatives. We enter into freestanding derivative transactions primarily to manage the risk associated with variability in cash flows. We also use derivative instruments to hedge certain currency exposures. Additionally, we purchase investment securities, issue certain insurance policies and engage in certain reinsurance contracts that have embedded derivatives. The associated financial statement risk is the volatility in net income (loss) which can result from among other things: (i) changes in the fair value of derivatives not qualifying as accounting hedges; (ii) changes in the fair value of embedded derivatives required to be bifurcated from the related host contract; and (iii) counterparty default. Accounting for derivatives is complex, as evidenced by significant authoritative interpretations of the primary accounting standards which continue to evolve. See notes

 

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2, 5 and 16 in our consolidated financial statements under “Item 8—Financial Statements and Supplementary Data” for an additional description of derivative instruments and fair value measurements of derivative instruments.

Deferred acquisition costs. DAC represents costs that are directly related to the successful acquisition of new and renewal insurance policies and investment contracts which are deferred and amortized over the estimated life of the related insurance policies. These costs primarily include commissions in excess of ultimate renewal commissions and underwriting and contract and policy issuance expenses for policies successfully acquired. DAC is subsequently amortized to expense in relation to the anticipated recognition of premiums or gross profits.

The amortization of DAC for traditional long-duration insurance products (including term life insurance, life-contingent structured settlements and immediate annuities and long-term care insurance) is determined as a level proportion of premium based on accepted actuarial methods and reasonable assumptions including related to investment returns, health care experience (including type of care and cost of care), policyholder persistency or lapses (i.e., the probability that a policy or contract will remain in-force from one period to the next), insured mortality (i.e., life expectancy or longevity), insured morbidity (i.e., frequency and severity of claim, including claim termination rates and benefit utilization rates) and expenses, established when the contract or policy is issued. U.S. GAAP requires that assumptions for these types of products not be modified (or unlocked) unless recoverability testing, also known as loss recognition testing, deems them to be inadequate. Amortization is adjusted each period to reflect actual lapses or terminations. Accordingly, we could experience accelerated amortization of DAC and a charge to net income (loss) if policies lapse or terminate earlier than originally assumed, or if we fail recoverability testing.

Amortization of DAC for deferred annuity and universal life insurance contracts is based on expected gross profits. Expected gross profits are adjusted quarterly to reflect actual experience to date or for the unlocking of underlying key assumptions including interest rates, policyholder persistency or lapses, insured mortality and expenses. The estimation of expected gross profits is subject to change given the inherent uncertainty as to the underlying key assumptions employed and the long duration of our policy or contract liabilities. Changes in expected gross profits reflecting the unlocking of underlying key assumptions could result in a material increase or decrease in the amortization of DAC depending on the magnitude of the change in underlying assumptions. Significant factors that could result in a material increase or decrease in DAC amortization for these products include material changes in withdrawal or lapse rates, investment spreads or mortality assumptions. For the years ended December 31, 2018, 2017 and 2016, key assumptions were unlocked in our U.S. Life Insurance and Runoff segments to reflect our current expectation of future investment spreads, lapse rates and mortality.

We review DAC for recoverability at least annually. For deferred annuity and universal life insurance contracts, if the present value of estimated future gross profits is less than the unamortized DAC for a line of business, a charge to net income (loss) is recorded for additional DAC amortization. For traditional long-duration and short-duration contracts, if the benefit reserves plus anticipated future premiums and interest income for a line of business are less than the current estimate of future benefits and expenses (including any unamortized DAC), a charge to net income (loss) is recorded for additional DAC amortization or for increased benefit reserves. The evaluation of DAC recoverability is subject to inherent uncertainty and requires significant judgment and estimates to determine the present values of future premiums, estimated gross profits and expected losses and expenses of our businesses.

The amortization of DAC for mortgage insurance is based on expected gross margins. Expected gross margins, defined as premiums less losses, are set based on assumptions for future persistency and loss development of the business. These assumptions are updated for actual experience to date or as our expectations of future experience are revised based on experience studies. Due to the inherent uncertainties in making assumptions about future events, materially different experience from expected results in persistency or loss development could result in a material increase or decrease to DAC amortization. For the years ended

 

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December 31, 2018, 2017 and 2016, assumptions were unlocked in our mortgage insurance businesses to reflect our current expectation of future persistency and loss projections.

The DAC amortization methodology for our variable products (variable annuities and variable universal life insurance) includes a long-term average appreciation assumption of 7.5% to 8.0%. When actual returns vary from the expected 7.5% to 8.0%, we assume a reversion to the expected return over a three-year period.

The following table sets forth the increase (decrease) in amortization of DAC related to unlocking of underlying key assumptions by segment for the years ended December 31:

 

(Amounts in millions)

   2018      2017      2016  

U.S. Life Insurance

   $ (3    $ 13    $ 128

Australia Mortgage Insurance

     —          (18      —    

Runoff

     (2      (2      (2
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

Total

   $ (5    $ (7    $ 126
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

Impacts on DAC from assumption reviews

U.S. Life Insurance segment

In the fourth quarter of 2017, as part of our annual review of assumptions, we increased DAC amortization by $23 million in our universal and term universal life insurance products, reflecting updated assumptions primarily for emerging mortality experience and lower long-term interest rates. Also in connection with our fourth quarter of 2017 review of assumptions, we decreased DAC amortization by $10 million in our single premium deferred annuity products predominantly from lower investment yields in 2017.

In the fourth quarter of 2016, as part of our annual review of assumptions, we increased DAC amortization by $144 million in our universal and term universal life insurance products, reflecting updated assumptions primarily for mortality experience in older age populations, partially offset by updated assumptions related to future policy charges.

Select sensitivities for persistency, long-term interest rates and mortality are more fully discussed under “—Insurance liabilities and reserves—Policyholder account balances” below.

Australia Mortgage Insurance segment

As part of our annual premium earnings pattern review, we decreased DAC amortization by $18 million in our mortgage insurance business in Australia in the fourth quarter of 2017. The review indicated an observed and expected continuation of a longer duration between policy inception and first loss event. This was primarily attributable to the economic downturn in mining regions, which comprised a large proportion of incurred losses in 2017, and a prolonged low interest rate environment resulting in robust housing markets in other parts of the country. The review resulted in a refinement of premium recognition factors and a cumulative adjustment that was applied retrospectively as of October 1, 2017. As a result of these changes, earned premiums and amortization of DAC increased in 2018 and are expected to remain at this higher level over the next several years on our existing insurance in-force as compared to 2017, but normalize thereafter as the premiums will be earned over a longer period of time. The application of the new premium earnings pattern only impacts the timing of our premium recognition, as the amount of total earned premiums recognized over the lifetime of the policies is unchanged. See “—Critical Accounting Estimates—Unearned premiums” below for additional details on our Australian mortgage insurance business premium earnings pattern review.

Impacts on DAC from loss recognition testing

As discussed above, U.S. GAAP prohibits a change (or unlocking) of assumptions on traditional long-duration insurance products unless recoverability testing, also known as loss recognition testing, deems them to

 

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be inadequate. In 2016, given we experienced historically low interest rate spreads, which impacted the margins of our fixed immediate annuity products, we performed our loss recognition testing and determined that we had a premium deficiency that resulted in negative margin of $32 million on our fixed immediate annuity products. As a result, in 2016, we wrote off the entire DAC balance for our fixed immediate annuity products of $14 million through amortization.

Given the premium deficiency that existed in 2016, we perform loss recognition testing on our fixed immediate annuity products more frequently than annually. In the fourth quarter of 2018 and throughout 2017, we determined we had premium deficiencies on our fixed immediate annuity product, which resulted in higher future policy benefits as the DAC associated with these products was fully written off in 2016. Additional information related to the premium deficiencies of our fixed immediate annuity products is more fully discussed under “Critical Accounting Estimates—Insurance liabilities and reserves—Future policy benefits.” As of December 31, 2018 and 2017, we believe all of our other businesses had sufficient future income and therefore the related DAC was recoverable.

Shadow accounting adjustments

In addition, we are required to analyze the impacts from net unrealized investment gains and losses on our available-for-sale investment securities backing insurance liabilities, as if those unrealized investment gains and losses were realized. These “shadow accounting” adjustments result in the recognition of unrealized gains and losses on related insurance assets and liabilities in a manner consistent with the recognition of the unrealized gains and losses on available-for-sale investment securities within the statements of comprehensive income and changes in equity. Changes to net unrealized investment (gains) losses may increase or decrease the ending DAC balance. Similar to a loss recognition event, when the DAC balance is reduced to zero, additional insurance liabilities are established if necessary. Unlike a loss recognition event, based on changes in net unrealized investment (gains) losses, these shadow adjustments may reverse from period to period. As of December 31, 2018, due primarily to an increase in interest rates decreasing unrealized gains, we decreased the amount recorded in the accumulated effect of net unrealized gains, with an offsetting amount recorded in other comprehensive income (loss). As of December 31, 2017, due primarily to the decline in interest rates increasing unrealized investments gains, we reduced the DAC balance of our long-term care insurance business to zero, a cumulative decrease in the accumulated effect of net unrealized investment gains of approximately $1.3 billion with an offsetting amount recorded in other comprehensive income (loss). In addition, we increased our future policy benefit reserves in our long-term care insurance business by a cumulative amount of approximately $1.0 billion as of December 31, 2017, with an offsetting amount recorded in other comprehensive income (loss). There was no impact to net income (loss) in 2018 or 2017.

See notes 2 and 6 in our consolidated financial statements under “Item 8—Financial Statements and Supplementary Data” for additional information related to DAC.

Present value of future profits. In conjunction with the acquisition of a block of insurance policies or investment contracts, a portion of the purchase price is assigned to the right to receive future gross profits arising from these insurance and investment contracts. This intangible asset, called PVFP, represents the actuarially estimated present value of future cash flows from the acquired policies. PVFP is amortized, net of accreted interest, in a manner similar to the amortization of DAC.

We regularly review our assumptions and periodically test PVFP for recoverability in a manner similar to our treatment of DAC. As of December 31, 2018 and 2017, we believe all of our businesses had sufficient future income, therefore, the related PVFP was recoverable based on our current best estimate of assumptions.

For the years ended December 31, 2018, 2017 and 2016, there were no charges to income (loss) as a result of our PVFP recoverability testing.

 

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See notes 2 and 7 in our consolidated financial statements under “Item 8—Financial Statements and Supplementary Data” for additional information related to PVFP.

Insurance liabilities and reserves. We calculate and maintain reserves for the estimated future payment of claims to our policyholders and contractholders based on actuarial assumptions and in accordance with U.S. GAAP and industry practice. We build these reserves as the estimated value of those obligations increases, and we release these reserves as those future obligations are paid, experience changes or policies lapse. The reserves we establish reflect estimates and actuarial assumptions and methodologies with regard to our future experience. These estimates and actuarial assumptions and methodologies involve the exercise of significant judgment and are inherently uncertain. These estimates and actuarial assumptions and methodologies are subjected to a variety of internal reviews and, in some cases, external independent reviews. Our future financial results depend significantly upon the extent to which our actual future experience is consistent with the assumptions we have used in determining our reserves as well as the assumptions originally used in pricing our products. Small changes in assumptions or small deviations of actual experience from assumptions can have, and in the past had, material impacts on our reserves, results of operations and financial condition.

Many factors, and changes in these factors, can affect future experience including, but not limited to: interest rates; investment returns and volatility; economic and social conditions, such as inflation, unemployment, home price appreciation or depreciation, and healthcare experience (including type of care and cost of care); policyholder persistency or lapses (i.e., the probability that a policy or contract will remain in-force from one period to the next); insured mortality (i.e., life expectancy or longevity); insured morbidity (i.e., frequency and severity of claim, including claim termination rates and benefit utilization rates); future premium increases and associated benefit reductions; expenses; and doctrines of legal liability and damage awards in litigation. Because these assumptions relate to factors that are not known in advance, change over time, are difficult to accurately predict and are inherently uncertain, we cannot determine with precision the ultimate amounts we will pay for actual claims or the timing of those payments. Small changes in assumptions or small deviations of actual experience from assumptions can have, and in the past had, material impacts on our reserve levels, results of operations and financial condition. Moreover, we may not be able to mitigate the impact of unexpected adverse experience by increasing premiums and/or other charges to policyholders (where we have the right to do so) or by offering benefit reductions as an alternative to increasing premiums.

Insurance reserves differ for long- and short-duration insurance policies. Measurement of reserves for long-duration insurance contracts (such as life insurance, annuity and long-term care insurance products) is based on approved actuarial methods, and includes assumptions about mortality, morbidity, lapses, interest rates and other factors. Short-duration contracts are accounted for based on actuarial estimates of the amount of loss inherent in that period’s claims, including losses incurred for which claims have not been reported. Short-duration contract loss estimates rely on actuarial observations of ultimate loss experience for similar historical events.

Future policy benefits

The liability for future policy benefits is equal to the present value of future benefits and expenses, less the present value of expected future gross premiums based on assumptions including investment returns, health care experience (including type of care and cost of care), policyholder persistency or lapses (i.e., the probability that a policy or contract will remain in-force from one period to the next), insured mortality (i.e., life expectancy or longevity), insured morbidity (i.e., frequency and severity of claim, including claim termination rates and benefit utilization rates) and expenses. In our long-term care insurance business, our assumptions also include significant premium rate increases and associated benefit reductions that have been filed and approved or are anticipated to be approved (including premium rate increases and associated benefit reductions not yet filed). The liability for future policy benefits is reviewed at least annually as a part of our loss recognition testing using current assumptions based on the manner of acquiring, servicing and measuring the profitability of the insurance contracts. Loss recognition testing is generally performed at the line of business level, with acquired blocks and certain reinsured blocks tested separately. Changes in how we manage certain polices could require separate loss recognition testing and could result in future charges to income (loss).

 

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Long-term care insurance block, excluding our acquired block

We annually perform loss recognition testing for the liability for future policy benefits for our long-term care insurance products in the aggregate, excluding our acquired block of long-term care insurance, which is tested separately. The results of historic loss recognition testing were mostly driven by changes to assumptions and methodologies primarily impacting claim termination rates, most significantly in later-duration claims, and benefit utilization rates. Claim termination rates refer to the expected rates at which claims end. Benefit utilization rates estimate how much of the available policy benefits are expected to be used. We include assumptions in our loss recognition testing for significant premium rate increases and associated benefit reductions that have been approved or are anticipated to be approved (including premium rate increases and associated benefit reductions not yet filed). Our assumption for future in-force rate actions is based on our best estimate of the rate increases we expect given our claim cost expectations and uses our historical experience from rate increase approvals. In addition, we review other assumptions, particularly related to claim frequency, lapse rates, morbidity, mortality improvement and expenses, and update these assumptions as appropriate.

In 2018 and 2017, the results of our loss recognition testing on our long-term care insurance block, excluding the acquired block, indicated that our DAC was recoverable and reserves were sufficient, with a margin of approximately $0.3 billion to $0.6 billion as of December 31, 2018 compared to approximately $0.4 billion to $0.8 billion as of December 31, 2017. The change in the estimated margin reflected a moderate impact from higher expected future claims, mostly offset by an increase in benefits of future expected increased premiums and associated benefit reductions. Claim severity assumptions used in our loss recognition testing were consistent with the updated assumptions utilized in our review of our long-term care insurance claim reserve completed in the fourth quarter 2018. These updated claim severity assumptions had a limited impact on the margin of our long-term care insurance block, excluding the acquired block, as the increased later duration utilization assumptions for policies with lifetime benefits were mostly offset by favorable changes to assumptions for early claim durations. The margin reflected an assumption for future in-force rate actions (anticipated to be approved, including premium rate increases and associated benefit reductions not yet filed) of approximately $6.2 billion in 2018 and approximately $7.9 billion in 2017. In 2018, we received significant in-force rate action approvals and added limited new future unapproved in-force rate actions, which together reduced our future in-force rate actions. A change in the expected amount of in-force rate actions would impact the results of our long-term care insurance margin testing, whereby any unexpected reduction in the amount of in-force rate actions would negatively impact our margins and could result in a premium deficiency.

We assume a static discount rate that is in line with our current portfolio yield. Our discount rate assumption for our long-term care insurance block, excluding the acquired block, was 5.3% in 2018 and 2017. This rate represents our expected investment returns based on the portfolio of assets supporting the net U.S. GAAP liability as of the calculation date and, therefore, excluded the benefits of qualifying hedge gains that are not currently amortizing. In the select sensitivities below, for both our long-term care insurance block excluding our acquired block and our acquired block, the 25 basis point decrease in the discount rate refers to a reduction in our portfolio yields. As of December 31, 2018 and 2017, the liability for future policy benefits associated with our long-term care insurance block, excluding the acquired block, was $21.6 billion and $20.9 billion, respectively.

The impact on our 2018 long-term care insurance loss recognition testing margin for select sensitivities, rounded to the nearest whole dollar, were as follows:

 

(Amounts in millions)

   Other Block
(Excluding
the Acquired
Block)
 

Sensitivities on 2018 loss recognition testing:

  

5% relative increase in future claim costs

   $ (2,300

Discount rate decrease of 25 basis points

   $ (1,200

10% reduction in benefit of future in-force rate actions

   $ (600

The margin impacts in the table above are each discrete and do not reflect the impact one factor may have on another. For example, the increases in claim costs do not include any offsetting impacts from potential future

 

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in-force rate actions. Any such offset from in-force rate actions would primarily impact our long-term care insurance block, excluding the acquired block.

Any future adverse changes in our assumptions could result in both the impairment of DAC associated with our long-term care insurance products as well as the establishment of additional future policy benefit reserves. Any favorable changes would result in additional margin in our loss recognition test and would result in higher income over the remaining duration of the in-force block. Our positive margin for our long-term care insurance business, excluding the acquired block, is dependent on our assumptions regarding our ability to successfully implement our in-force management strategy involving premium increases and associated benefit reductions. For our long-term care insurance block, excluding the acquired block, any adverse changes in assumptions would only be reflected in net income (loss) to the extent the margin was reduced below zero.

Profits followed by losses

With respect to our long-term care insurance block, excluding the acquired block, while loss recognition testing supports that in the aggregate our reserves are sufficient, our future projections indicate we have projected profits in earlier periods followed by projected losses in later periods. In addition, as a result of the completion of our annual review of our claim reserves and loss recognition testing in the fourth quarter of 2018, reflecting the establishment of higher initial claim liabilities and current estimates of future in-force rate actions, as well as other factors, we have a new projected reserve pattern. As a result of this pattern of projected profits followed by projected losses, we will ratably accrue additional future policy benefit reserves over the profitable periods, currently expected to be through 2032, by the amounts necessary to offset estimated losses during the periods that follow. Such additional reserves are updated each period and calculated based on our estimate of the amount necessary to offset the losses in future periods utilizing expected income and current best estimate assumptions based on actual and anticipated experience, consistent with our loss recognition testing. We adjust the accrual rate prospectively, over the remaining profit periods, without any catch-up adjustment. During the years ended December 31, 2018 and 2017, we increased our long-term care insurance future policy benefit reserves by $8 million and $72 million, respectively, to accrue for profits followed by losses. As of December 31, 2018, the total amount accrued for profits followed by losses was $110 million. The accrual is impacted by the pattern and present value of expected future losses and is updated annually at the time in which we perform loss recognition testing. During the fourth quarter of 2018, we updated our loss recognition testing assumptions, which included changes in assumptions and methodologies from our annual claims review completed in the fourth quarter of 2018 as well as updates to our future in-force rate actions. As a result of the change in our expected reserve pattern, the updated forecast now projects a decrease in the present value of both expected future losses and profits, even though the total loss recognition testing margin was relatively consistent with 2017. The present value of expected losses was approximately $1.1 billion and $2.8 billion as of December 31, 2018 and 2017, respectively. As of December 31, 2018, we estimate a factor of approximately 76% of those profits on our long-term care insurance block, excluding the acquired block, will be accrued in the future to offset estimated future losses during later periods. In 2017, we estimated a factor of approximately 83% to ratably accrue additional future policy benefits. The decrease in the factor was largely driven by the updated profit pattern from the changes in assumptions and methodologies from our annual claims review completed in the fourth quarter of 2018 as well as updates to our future in-force rate actions. There may be future adjustments to this estimate reflecting any variety of new and adverse trends that could result in increases to future policy benefit reserves for our profits followed by losses accrual, and such future increases could possibly be material to our results of operations and financial condition and liquidity.

Acquired block of long-term care insurance

In 2014, we had a premium deficiency in our acquired block of long-term care insurance; therefore, our assumptions that were updated in connection with the premium deficiency have remained locked-in. These updated assumptions will remain locked-in unless, and until such time as, another premium deficiency occurs. Due to the premium deficiency that existed in 2014, we monitor our acquired block more frequently than annually.

 

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In 2018, our acquired block of long-term care insurance had positive margin of approximately $200 million to $400 million, and approximately $100 million to $200 million in 2017. Our discount rate assumption was 7.02% in 2018 and 2017. As of December 31, 2018 and 2017, the liability for future policy benefits associated with our acquired block of long-term care insurance was $1.9 billion and $2.4 billion, respectively.

The impact on our 2018 long-term care insurance loss recognition testing margin for select sensitivities, rounded to the nearest whole dollar, were as follows:

 

(Amounts in millions)

   Acquired
Block
 

Sensitivities on 2018 loss recognition testing margin:

  

5% relative increase in future claim costs

   $ (140

Discount rate decrease of 25 basis points

   $ (40

10% reduction in benefit of future in-force rate actions

   $ (10

The margin impacts in the table above are each discrete and do not reflect the impact one factor may have on another. For example, the increases in claim costs do not include any offsetting impacts from potential future in-force rate actions. Our acquired block would not benefit significantly from additional in-force rate actions as it is older, and therefore, there is a higher likelihood that adverse changes could result in additional losses on that block.

The impacts of future adverse changes in our assumptions would result in the establishment of additional future policy benefit reserves and would be immediately reflected in net income (loss) if our margin for this block is again reduced below zero. Any favorable variation would result in additional margin but no immediate benefit to income (loss), and would result in higher income recognition over the remaining duration of the in-force block.

In addition, we are required to analyze the impacts from net unrealized investment gains and losses on our available-for-sale investment securities backing insurance liabilities, as if those unrealized investment gains and losses were realized. These “shadow accounting” adjustments result in the recognition of unrealized gains and losses on related insurance assets and liabilities in a manner consistent with the recognition of the unrealized gains and losses on available-for-sale investment securities within the statements of comprehensive income and changes in equity. Similar to a loss recognition event, when the DAC balance is reduced to zero, additional insurance liabilities are established if necessary. Unlike a loss recognition event, based on changes in net unrealized investment (gains) losses, these shadow adjustments may reverse from period to period. See “—Critical Accounting Estimates—Deferred acquisition costs” for additional details.

Term and whole life insurance

Similar to our long-term care insurance products, we annually perform loss recognition testing for the liability for future policy benefits for our term and whole life insurance products in the aggregate, excluding our acquired block, which is tested separately. The margin of our term and whole life insurance products has fluctuated over the years. As of December 31, 2018 and 2017, we had margin of approximately zero to $200 million and zero to $100 million, respectively, and a DAC balance of $1.3 billion in each period on our term and whole life insurance products, excluding the acquired block. If our margin is reduced below zero for our term and whole life insurance products, excluding our acquired block, we would amortize DAC up to the amount of DAC recorded on our balance sheet and if DAC was fully written off, establish additional future policy benefit reserves, either of which would result in a charge to net income (loss).

As of December 31, 2018 and 2017, we had margin of approximately zero to $300 million and a PVFP balance of $77 million and $82 million, respectively, on our acquired block of term and whole life insurance products. If our margin is reduced below zero for our acquired block of term and whole life insurance products,

 

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we would amortize PVFP up to the amount of PVFP recorded on our balance sheet and if PVFP was fully written off, establish additional future policy benefit reserves, either of which would result in a charge to net income (loss).

The risks we face mostly include adverse variations in mortality and lapse assumptions. Adverse experience in one or all of these risks could result in the DAC associated with our term and whole life insurance products, excluding our acquired block and PVFP associated with our acquired block of term and whole life insurance products to no longer be fully recoverable as well as the required establishment of additional future policy benefit reserves. Any favorable variation would result in additional margin in our DAC and PVFP loss recognition analysis and would result in higher income recognition over the remaining duration of the in-force block. The sensitivities in the table below are changes that we consider to be reasonably possible given historical changes in market conditions and our experience with these products. Furthermore, adverse variations in our mortality and lapse assumptions would primarily impact our term and whole life insurance products, excluding our acquired block, therefore, the sensitivities in the table below only include impacts to our loss recognition testing margin on this block.

 

(Amounts in millions)

   Other Block
(Excluding
the Acquired
Block)
 

Sensitivities on 2018 loss recognition testing:

  

2% higher mortality

   $ (80

10% increase in lapses

   $ (400

The margin impacts in the table above are each discrete and do not reflect the impact one factor may have on another.

Fixed immediate annuities

Historically low interest rate spreads have impacted the margins of our fixed immediate annuity products. In 2018, 2017 and 2016, we performed loss recognition testing and determined that we had premium deficiencies in our fixed immediate annuity products. In 2016, the premium deficiency resulted in negative margin of $32 million on our fixed immediate annuity products, primarily driven by the low interest rate environment. As a result, in 2016, we wrote off the entire DAC balance for our fixed immediate annuity products of $14 million through amortization. In addition, primarily as a result of our fixed immediate annuity loss recognition testing in 2018, 2017 and 2016, we increased our future policy benefit reserves and recognized expenses of $22 million, $89 million and $24 million, respectively. The premium deficiency test results were primarily driven by the low interest rate environment and updated assumptions to future policy charges. The updated assumptions will remain locked-in until such time as we determine another premium deficiency exists. The impacts of future adverse changes in our assumptions would result in the establishment of additional future policy benefit reserves and would be immediately reflected in net income (loss) if our margin for this block is again reduced below zero. Any favorable variation would result in additional margin but no immediate benefit to net income (loss), and would result in higher income recognition over the remaining duration of the in-force block. Due to the premium deficiencies that existed in 2018, 2017 and 2016, we monitor our fixed immediate annuity products more frequently than annually.

The risks we face include adverse variations in interest rates, credit spreads and/or mortality. Adverse experience in one or all of these risks would result in the establishment of additional benefit reserves and would be immediately reflected in net income (loss) if our margin for this block is again reduced to below zero. As of December 31, 2018, for our fixed immediate annuity products, we estimate that a combined 50 basis point reduction in interest rates or credit spreads from the December 31, 2018 levels, or 2% lower mortality, scenarios that we consider to be reasonably possible given historical changes in market conditions and experience on these products, would result in additional future policy benefit reserves and a charge to net income (loss) of approximately $23 million or $24 million, respectively.

 

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Policyholder account balances

The liability for policyholder account balances represents the contract value that has accrued to the benefit of the policyholder as of the balance sheet date for investment-type and universal and term universal life insurance contracts. We are also required to establish additional benefit reserves for guarantees or product features in addition to the contract value where the additional benefit reserves are calculated by applying a benefit ratio to accumulated contractholder assessments, and then deducting accumulated paid claims. The benefit ratio is equal to the ratio of benefits to assessments, accumulated with interest and considering both past and anticipated future experience.

In the fourth quarter of 2018, as part of our annual review of assumptions, we increased the liability for policyholder account balances by $119 million for our universal and term universal life insurance products due principally to lower expected growth in interest rates and emerging mortality experience mostly in our term universal life insurance product. In the fourth quarter of 2017, as part of our annual review of assumptions, we increased the liability for policyholder account balances by $70 million for our universal and term universal life insurance products, reflecting updated assumptions primarily for emerging mortality experience and from prolonged low interest rates. In the fourth quarter of 2016, as part of our annual review of assumptions, we increased the liability for policyholder account balances by $202 million for our universal and term universal life insurance products, reflecting updated assumptions primarily for mortality experience in older age populations.

As of December 31, 2018 and 2017, we had DAC of $577 million and $413 million, respectively, and total policyholder account balances including reserves in excess of the contract value of $8.2 billion and $8.0 billion, respectively, related to our universal and term universal life insurance products. As of December 31, 2018, for our universal and term universal life insurance products, 2% higher mortality would result in a charge to net income (loss) of approximately $63 million. This is an adverse change that we consider to be reasonably possible given historical changes in experience of these products. Adverse experience in persistency and long-term interest rates could also result in the DAC amortization associated with these products being accelerated as well as the establishment of higher additional benefit reserves. Any favorable changes in these assumptions would result in lower DAC amortization as well as a reduction in the liability for policyholder account balances.

Liability for policy and contract claims

The liability for policy and contract claims represents the amount needed to provide for the estimated ultimate cost of settling claims relating to insured events that have occurred on or before the end of the respective reporting period. The estimated liability includes requirements for future payments of: (a) claims that have been reported to the insurer; (b) claims related to insured events that have occurred but that have not been reported to the insurer as of the date the liability is estimated; and (c) claim adjustment expenses. Claim adjustment expenses include costs incurred in the claim settlement process such as legal fees and costs to record, process and adjust claims.

Our liability for policy and contract claims is reviewed regularly, with changes in our estimates of future claims recorded through net income (loss).

 

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The following table sets forth our recorded liability for policy and contract claims by business as of December 31:

 

(Amounts in millions)

   2018      2017  

Long-term care insurance

   $ 9,516    $ 8,548

U.S. mortgage insurance

     296      455

Life insurance

     243      244

Australia mortgage insurance

     196      218

Canada mortgage insurance

     84      87

Fixed annuities

     23      24

Runoff

     14      11

Other mortgage insurance

     7      7
  

 

 

    

 

 

 

Total liability for policy and contract claims

   $ 10,379    $ 9,594
  

 

 

    

 

 

 

Long-term care insurance

The liability for policy and contract claims, also known as claim reserves, for our long-term care insurance products represents the present value of the amount needed to provide for the estimated ultimate cost of settling claims relating to insured events that have occurred on or before the end of the respective reporting period. Key assumptions include investment returns, health care experience (including type of care and cost of care), policyholder persistency or lapses (i.e., the probability that a policy or contract will remain in-force from one period to the next), insured mortality (i.e., life expectancy or longevity), insured morbidity (i.e., frequency and severity of claim, including claim termination rates and benefit utilization rates) and expenses. Our discount rate assumption assumes a static discount rate in line with our current portfolio yield.

We annually complete our review of assumptions and methodologies relating to our long-term care insurance claim reserves. During the fourth quarter of 2018, we completed our annual review of our long-term care insurance claim reserve assumptions and methodologies. Based on this review, we updated several assumptions and methodologies, including benefit utilization rates, claim termination rates and other assumptions. The primary impact related to increasing later duration utilization assumptions for claims with lifetime benefits. As a result of this review, we increased our long-term care insurance claim reserves by $308 million and increased reinsurance recoverables by $17 million in the fourth quarter of 2018.

During the third quarter of 2017, we completed our review of assumptions and methodologies relating to our claim reserves of our long-term care insurance business and determined, based on our experience, no adjustments were required.

During the third quarter of 2016, we completed our annual review of our long-term care insurance claim reserve assumptions. Based on this review, we updated several assumptions and methodologies primarily impacting claim termination rates, benefit utilization rates and incurred but not reported reserves. The primary impact of assumption changes was from an overall lowering of claim termination rate assumptions for longer duration claims, particularly for reimbursement claims. We also updated our claim termination rate assumptions to reflect differences between product types, separating our indemnity and reimbursement blocks that were previously combined, and modestly refined our utilization rate assumptions and methodologies as well as refined our methodology primarily related to the calculation of incurred but not reported reserves to better reflect the aging of the in-force blocks. As a result of this review, we increased our long-term care insurance claim reserves by $460 million and increased reinsurance recoverables by $25 million in the third quarter of 2016. In addition, certain of our third-party reinsurance counterparties updated their assumptions and methodologies, which increased our long-term care insurance claim reserves by $222 million with an offsetting increase in reinsurance recoverables of $222 million in the fourth quarter of 2016.

 

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Mortgage insurance

Estimates of mortgage insurance reserves for losses and loss adjustment expenses are based on notices of mortgage loan defaults and estimates of defaults that have been incurred but have not been reported by loan servicers, using assumptions developed based on past experience and our expectation of future development. These assumptions include claim rates for loans in default, the average amount paid for loans that result in a claim and provisions for loans within our delinquency inventory that will be rescinded or modified (collectively referred to as “loss mitigation actions”) based on the effects that such loss mitigation actions have had on our historical claim frequency rates, including an estimate for reinstatement of previously rescinded coverage. Each of these inherently judgmental assumptions is established in a respective geography based on historical and expected experience. We have established processes, as well as contractual rights, to ensure we receive timely information from loan servicers to aid us in the establishment of our estimates. In addition, when we have obtained sufficient facts and circumstances through our investigative process, we have the unilateral right under our master policies and at law to rescind coverage on the underlying loan certificate as if coverage never existed. As is common accounting practice in the mortgage insurance industry and in accordance with U.S. GAAP, loss reserves are not established for future claims on insured loans that are not currently in default.

Management reviews the loss reserves quarterly for adequacy, and if indicated, updates the assumptions used for estimating and calculating such reserves based on actual experience and our historical frequency of claim and severity of loss rates that are applied to the current population of delinquencies. Factors considered in establishing loss reserves include claim frequency patterns (reflecting the loss mitigation actions on such claim patterns), the aged category of the delinquency (i.e., age and progression of delinquency to claim) and loan coverage percentage. The establishment of our mortgage insurance loss reserves is subject to inherent uncertainty and requires judgment. The actual amount of the claim payments may vary significantly from the loss reserve estimates. Our estimates could be adversely affected by several factors, including, but not limited to, a deterioration of regional or national economic conditions leading to a reduction in borrowers’ income and thus their ability to make mortgage payments, a drop in housing values that could expose us to greater loss on resale of properties obtained through foreclosure proceedings and an adverse change in the effectiveness of loss mitigation actions that could result in an increase in the frequency of expected claim rates. Our estimates are also affected by the extent of fraud and misrepresentation that we uncover in the loans that we have insured and the coverage upon which we have consequently rescinded or may rescind going forward. Our loss reserving methodology includes estimates of the number of loans in our delinquency inventory that will be rescinded or modified, as well as estimates of the number of loans for which coverage may be reinstated under certain conditions following a rescission action.

In considering the potential sensitivity of the factors underlying management’s best estimate of our mortgage insurance reserves for losses, it is possible that even a relatively small change in estimated delinquency-to-claim rate (“frequency”) or a relatively small percentage change in estimated claim amount (“severity”) could have a significant impact on reserves and, correspondingly, on results of operations. For example, based on our actual experience during the three-year period ended December 31, 2018 in our U.S. mortgage insurance business, a quarterly change of 3% in the average frequency reserve factor would change the gross reserve amount for such quarter by approximately $24 million for our U.S. mortgage insurance business. Based on our actual experience during 2018, a quarterly change of, for example, $1,000 increase in the severity of our average reserves combined with a 1% change in the average frequency reserve factor would change the gross reserve amount by approximately $3 million and $9 million for our mortgage insurance businesses in Canada and Australia, respectively, based on current exchange rates.

Unearned premiums. In our mortgage insurance businesses in Canada and Australia, the majority of our insurance contracts are single premium. We also have single premium insurance contracts in our U.S. mortgage insurance business, although these products make up a smaller portion of our product mix in the United States. As of December 31, 2018, we had $0.4 billion of unearned premiums related to our U.S. mortgage insurance business. The majority of our insurance contracts in our U.S. mortgage insurance business have recurring

 

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premiums, as discussed below. For single premium insurance contracts, we recognize premiums over the policy life in accordance with the expected pattern of risk emergence. We recognize a portion of the revenue in premiums earned in the current period, while the remaining portion is deferred as unearned premiums, and earned over time in accordance with the expected pattern of risk emergence. If single premium policies are cancelled and the premium is non-refundable, then the remaining unearned premium related to each cancelled policy is recognized as earned premiums upon notification of the cancellation, if not included in our expected earnings pattern. The expected pattern of risk emergence on which we base premium recognition is inherently judgmental and is based on actuarial analysis of historical and expected experience. In our mortgage insurance businesses in Canada and Australia, we recognize unearned premiums over a period of up to 12 years, most of which are recognized between two and six years from issue date. The recognition of earned premiums for our mortgage insurance businesses involves significant estimates and assumptions as to future loss development and policy cancellations. These assumptions are based on our historical experience and our expectations of future performance, which are highly dependent on assumptions as to long-term macroeconomic conditions including interest rates, home price appreciation and the rate of unemployment. We regularly review our expected pattern of risk emergence and make adjustments based on actual experience and changes in our expectation of future performance with any adjustments reflected in current period income (loss). Changes in market conditions could cause a decline in mortgage originations, mortgage insurance penetration rates or our market share, all of which could impact new insurance written. For example, a decline in flow new insurance written of $1.0 billion in Canada and Australia would result in a reduction in earned premiums of approximately $7 million and $2 million, respectively, in the first full year following the decline in flow new insurance written based on current pricing and expected pattern of risk emergence. However, this decline would be partially offset by the recognition of earned premiums from established unearned premium reserves primarily from the last three years of business.

As of December 31, 2018 and 2017, we had $3.5 billion and $4.0 billion, respectively, of unearned premiums, of which $1.5 billion and $1.7 billion, respectively, related to our mortgage insurance business in Canada, $1.1 billion and $1.3 billion, respectively, related to our mortgage insurance business in Australia and $0.4 billion related to our U.S. mortgage insurance business. For the year ended December 31, 2018, adjustments made to our expected pattern of risk emergence and policy cancellation assumptions resulted in an increase of $3 million in earned premiums in our Canada mortgage insurance business. There were no adjustments to earned premiums in our other mortgage insurance businesses for the year ended December 31, 2018. For the year ended December 31, 2017, we decreased earned premiums by $468 million in our mortgage insurance business in Australia as a result of adjustments made to our expected pattern of risk emergence. Our annual premium earnings pattern review in 2017 indicated an observed and expected continuation of a longer duration between policy inception and first loss event. This was primarily attributable to the economic downturn in mining regions, which comprised a large proportion of incurred losses in 2017, and a prolonged low interest rate environment resulting in robust housing markets in other parts of the country. The review resulted in a refinement of premium recognition factors and a cumulative adjustment that was applied retrospectively as of October 1, 2017. As a result of these changes, earned premiums and amortization of DAC increased in 2018 and is expected to remain at this higher level over the next several years on our existing insurance in-force as compared to 2017, but normalize thereafter as the premiums will be earned over a longer period of time. The application of the new premium earnings pattern only impacts the timing of our premium recognition, as the amount of total earned premiums recognized over the lifetime of the policies is unchanged. There were no adjustments to earned premiums in our other mortgage insurance businesses for the year ended December 31, 2017. For the year ended December 31, 2016, we had no adjustments to any of our mortgage insurance businesses.

Our expected pattern of risk emergence for our mortgage insurance businesses is subject to change given the inherent uncertainty as to the underlying loss development and policy cancellation assumptions and the long duration of our international mortgage insurance policy contracts. Actual experience that is different than expected loss development or policy cancellations could result in further material increases or decreases in the recognition of earned premiums depending on the magnitude of the difference between actual and expected experience. Additional loss development emergence and policy cancellation variations could result in further

 

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increases or decreases in unearned premiums and could impact operating results depending on the magnitude of variation experienced (assuming other assumptions held constant).

In our U.S. mortgage insurance business, the majority of our insurance contracts have recurring premiums. We recognize recurring premiums over the terms of the related insurance policy on a pro-rata basis (i.e., monthly). Changes in market conditions could cause a decline in mortgage originations, mortgage insurance penetration rates and our market share, all of which could impact new insurance written. For example, a decline in flow new insurance written of $1.0 billion would result in a reduction in earned premiums of approximately $4 million in the first full year. Likewise, if flow persistency declined on our existing insurance in-force by 10%, earned premiums would decline by approximately $77 million during the first full year, potentially offset by lower reserves due to policies no longer being in-force.

The remaining portion of our unearned premiums primarily relates to our long-term care insurance business where the underlying assumptions related to premium recognition are not subject to significant uncertainty. Accordingly, changes in underlying assumptions as to premium recognition we consider being reasonably possible for this business would not result in a material impact on our results of operations.

Valuation of deferred tax assets. Deferred tax assets represent the tax benefit of future deductible temporary differences and operating loss and tax credit carryforwards. Deferred tax assets are measured using the enacted tax rates expected to be in effect when such benefits are realized if there is no change in tax law. Under U.S. GAAP, we test the value of deferred tax assets for impairment on a quarterly basis at our taxpaying component level within each tax jurisdiction, consistent with our filed tax returns. Deferred tax assets are reduced by a valuation allowance if, based on the weight of available evidence, it is more likely than not that some portion, or all, of the deferred tax assets will not be realized. In determining the need for a valuation allowance, we consider carryback capacity, reversal of taxable temporary differences, future taxable income and tax planning strategies. Tax planning strategies are actions that are prudent and feasible, that an entity ordinarily might not take, but would take to prevent an operating loss or tax credit carryforward from expiring unused. The determination of the valuation allowance for our deferred tax assets requires management to make certain judgments and assumptions regarding future operations that are based on our historical experience and our expectations of future performance. Our judgments and assumptions are subject to change given the inherent uncertainty in predicting future performance, which is impacted by, but not limited to, policyholder behavior, competitor pricing, new product introductions, and specific industry and market conditions. Based on our analysis, we believe it is more likely than not that the results of future operations and reversal of taxable temporary differences will generate sufficient taxable income to enable us to realize the deferred tax assets for which we have not established valuation allowances.

As of December 31, 2018, we had a net deferred tax asset of $712 million. We had a consolidated gross deferred tax asset of $298 million related to NOL carryforwards. In the United States, we had $1.3 billion of federal NOLs as of December 31, 2018, which, if unused, will expire beginning in 2028. Foreign tax credit carryforwards amounted to $265 million as of December 31, 2018, which, if unused, will begin to expire in 2024. As of December 31, 2018, we had a $334 million valuation allowance related to state deferred tax assets and foreign net operating losses.

In 2017, we released $258 million of our valuation of allowance that was recorded in 2016 related to judgments regarding the future realization of certain foreign tax credits. In light of our 2017 financial projections, which included the impact of changes in U.S. tax legislation under the TCJA and improvements in business performance, mostly in our U.S. mortgage insurance business, as well as lower operating earnings volatility in our U.S. life insurance business, we believed that it is more likely than not that the benefits of these foreign tax credits will be realized (see “Regulation—Changes in tax law”). The financial projections did not include any benefits or aspects of the proposed transaction with China Oceanwide nor did they assume any charges associated with tax attribute limitations that would occur with a change in ownership.

 

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We are in a three-year cumulative pre-tax income position in our U.S. jurisdiction as of December 31, 2018, however, we have been in a three-year cumulative loss position in recent years. A cumulative loss position is considered significant negative evidence in assessing the realizability of our deferred tax assets. Our ability to realize our net deferred tax asset of $712 million, which includes $563 million related to NOL and foreign tax credit carryforwards, is primarily dependent upon generating sufficient taxable income in future years. Management has concluded that there is sufficient positive evidence to support the expected realization of the net operating losses and foreign tax credit carryforwards. This positive evidence includes the fact that: (i) we are currently in a cumulative three-year income position; (ii) our U.S. operating forecasts are profitable, which include: in-force premium rate increases and associated benefit reductions already obtained in our long-term care insurance business, favorable development in interest rates, improvements in business performance driven mostly by our U.S. mortgage insurance business and favorable changes in U.S. tax legislation under the TCJA; and (iii) overall domestic losses that we have incurred are now, under the TCJA, allowed to be reclassified as foreign source income to the extent of 100% of domestic source income produced in subsequent years, and such resulting foreign source income, along with future projections of foreign source income, is sufficient to cover the foreign tax credits being carried forward. After consideration of all available evidence, we have concluded that it is more likely than not that our deferred tax assets, with the exception of certain foreign net operating losses and state deferred tax assets for which a valuation allowance has been established, will be realized. If our actual results do not validate the current projections of pre-tax income, we may be required to record an additional valuation allowance which could have a material impact on our consolidated financial statements in future periods.

Contingent liabilities. A liability is contingent if the amount is not presently known, but may become known in the future as a result of the occurrence of some uncertain future event. We estimate our contingent liabilities based on management’s estimates about the probability of outcomes and their ability to estimate the range of exposure. Accounting standards require that a liability be recorded if management determines that it is probable that a loss has occurred and the loss can be reasonably estimated. In addition, it must be probable that the loss will be confirmed by some future event. As part of the estimation process, management is required to make assumptions about matters that are by their nature highly uncertain.

The assessment of contingent liabilities, including legal and income tax contingencies, involves the use of estimates, assumptions and judgments. Management’s estimates are based on their belief that future events will validate the current assumptions regarding the ultimate outcome of these exposures. However, there can be no assurance that future events, such as court decisions or IRS positions, will not differ from management’s assessments. Whenever practicable, management consults with third-party experts (including attorneys, accountants and claims administrators) to assist with the gathering and evaluation of information related to contingent liabilities. Based on internally and/or externally prepared evaluations, management makes a determination whether the potential exposure requires accrual in the consolidated financial statements.

Consolidated

General Trends and Conditions

The stability of both the financial markets and global economies in which we operate impacts the sales, revenue growth and profitability trends of our businesses as well as the value of assets and liabilities. The U.S. and international financial markets in which we operate have been impacted by concerns regarding regulatory changes, global trade, modest global growth and the rate and strength of recovery. During 2018, the global economy improved and most countries in which we conduct business saw improved levels of gross domestic product (“GDP”) growth. Many economic forecasts show the rate of GDP growth will slow in 2019 due to U.S. and China trade tensions, declining oil prices, and global growth concerns, but still maintain a healthy range of sustainable growth. Likewise, historic low interest rates have started to rise given actions taken by the U.S. Federal Reserve and other central banks. Although the U.S. Federal Reserve increased its benchmark lending rate 25 basis points in December 2018, long-term interest rates remained at low levels. The U.S. Federal Reserve projected two additional rate increases in 2019 and one in 2020, which is modified from its September

 

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forecast of three increases in 2019 and one increase in 2020. The modification in the forecast relates to the economic concerns relating to the projected slow down in GDP growth in 2019. Given this forecast, we expect interest rates will continue to rise in 2019, but we remain uncertain at the pace in which this increase will occur and its ultimate impact on our businesses. The decision for additional rate increases during 2018 was anticipated and indicates increased confidence in the United States economy as unemployment has reached multi-decade lows and economic growth was strong in 2018. Likewise, inflation remains relatively stable but long-term forecasts remain uncertain. The U.S. Treasury yield curve steepened in the fourth quarter of 2018 with short-term interest rates decreasing on expectation of a slower pace of rate increases, while long-term interest rates decreased at a lesser extent. Credit markets experienced spread widening in the fourth quarter of 2018 driven by a constructive economic backdrop, strong profit margins, higher corporate earnings and a lower supply of bonds which is expected to have higher demand during 2019. For a discussion of the risks associated with interest rates, see “Item 1A—Risk Factors—Interest rates and changes in rates could materially adversely affect our business and profitability.”

Varied levels of economic growth, coupled with uncertain economic outlooks, changes in government policy, regulatory and tax reforms, and other changes in market conditions, influenced, and we believe will continue to influence, investment and spending decisions by consumers and businesses as they adjust their consumption, debt, capital and risk profiles in response to these conditions. These trends change as investor confidence in the markets and the outlook for some consumers and businesses shift. As a result, our sales, revenues and profitability trends of certain insurance and investment products as well as the value of assets and liabilities have been and could be further impacted going forward. In particular, factors such as government spending, monetary policies, the volatility and strength of the capital markets, further changes in tax policy and/or in U.S. tax legislation under the TCJA, international trade and the impact of global financial regulation reform will continue to affect economic and business outlooks, level of interest rates and consumer behaviors moving forward.

The U.S. and international governments, the U.S. Federal Reserve, other central banks and other legislative and regulatory bodies have taken certain actions in past years to support the economy and capital markets, influence interest rates, influence housing markets and mortgage servicing and provide liquidity to promote economic growth. These include various mortgage restructuring programs implemented or under consideration by the GSEs, lenders, servicers and the U.S. government. Outside of the United States, various governments and central banks have taken actions to stimulate economies, stabilize financial systems and improve market liquidity. For example, in Canada, actions in certain regions have been taken to stabilize rising home prices to mitigate the potential for inflation on real estate values. This has had a negative impact on sales and has slowed home price appreciation in those regions. However, in aggregate, these actions had a positive effect in the short term on the economies of these countries and their markets; however, there can be no assurance as to the future impact these types of actions may have on the economic and financial markets, including levels of interest rates and volatility. A U.S. or global recession or regional or global financial crisis could materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.

Consolidated Results of Operations

The following is a discussion of our consolidated results of operations. For a discussion of our segment results, see “—Results of Operations and Selected Financial and Operating Performance Measures by Segment.”

 

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The following table sets forth the consolidated results of operations for the periods indicated:

 

     Years ended December 31,     Increase (decrease) and percentage
change
 

(Amounts in millions)

   2018     2017     2016     2018 vs. 2017     2017 vs. 2016  

Revenues:

              

Premiums

   $ 4,519   $ 4,004   $ 4,160   $ 515     13   $ (156     (4 )% 

Net investment income

     3,262     3,200     3,159     62     2     41     1

Net investment gains (losses)

     (146     265     72     (411     (155 )%      193     NM  (1)  

Policy fees and other income

     795     826     978     (31     (4 )%      (152     (16 )% 
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

     

 

 

   

Total revenues

     8,430     8,295     8,369     135     2     (74     (1 )% 
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

     

 

 

   

Benefits and expenses:

              

Benefits and other changes in policy reserves

     5,684     5,179     5,245     505     10     (66     (1 )% 

Interest credited

     611     646     696     (35     (5 )%      (50     (7 )% 

Acquisition and operating expenses, net of deferrals

     997     1,022     1,273     (25     (2 )%      (251     (20 )% 

Amortization of deferred acquisition costs and intangibles

     391     435     498     (44     (10 )%      (63     (13 )% 

Interest expense

     299     284     337     15     5     (53     (16 )% 
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

     

 

 

   

Total benefits and expenses

     7,982     7,566     8,049     416     5     (483     (6 )% 
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

     

 

 

   

Income from continuing operations before income taxes

     448     729     320     (281     (39 )%      409     128

Provision (benefit) for income taxes

     151     (207     358     358     173     (565     (158 )% 
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

     

 

 

   

Income (loss) from continuing operations

     297     936     (38     (639     (68 )%      974     NM  (1)  

Loss from discontinued operations, net of taxes

     —         (9     (29     9     100     20     69
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

     

 

 

   

Net income (loss)

     297     927     (67     (630     (68 )%      994     NM  (1)  

Less: net income attributable to noncontrolling interests

     178     110     210     68     62     (100     (48 )% 
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

     

 

 

   

Net income (loss) available to Genworth Financial, Inc.’s common stockholders

   $ 119   $ 817   $ (277   $ (698     (85 )%    $ 1,094     NM  (1)  
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

     

 

 

   

 

(1)

We define “NM” as not meaningful for increases or decreases greater than 200%.

2018 compared to 2017

Premiums. Premiums consist primarily of premiums earned on insurance products for mortgage, long-term care, life and accident and health insurance, single premium immediate annuities and structured settlements with life contingencies.

 

   

Our Australia Mortgage Insurance segment increased $513 million predominantly from a review of our premium earnings pattern in 2017, which reduced our earned premiums by $468 million in 2017 and increased our earned premiums on our existing insurance in-force in 2018 (see “—Critical Accounting Estimates—Unearned premiums” for additional information). The increase was also attributable to a new structured insurance transaction and higher policy cancellations resulting from an initiative implemented in 2018 to more promptly identify loans that have been discharged or refinanced using newly available data.

 

   

Our U.S. Mortgage Insurance segment increased $51 million mainly attributable to higher average flow insurance in-force, partially offset by lower average rates on our mortgage insurance in-force in 2018.

 

   

Our Canada Mortgage Insurance segment increased $6 million primarily from changes in foreign exchange rates in 2018.

 

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Our U.S. Life Insurance segment decreased $55 million. Our long-term care insurance business increased $68 million largely from $70 million of increased premiums in 2018 from in-force rate actions approved and implemented and from a $60 million unfavorable correction in 2017 related to certain limited pay policies that had reached their paid up status that did not recur. These increases were partially offset by policy terminations in 2018. O