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, 2020 Commission File No. 000-03978

 

UNICO AMERICAN CORPORATION

(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)

 

                                        Nevada 95-2583928
(State or other jurisdiction of incorporation or organization) (IRS Employer Identification No.)
   
26050 Mureau Road, Calabasas, California 91302
(Address of Principal Executive Offices) (Zip Code)

 

Registrant's telephone number, including area code: (818) 591-9800

 

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

 

 

Title of each class Trading Symbol(s) Name Of Each Exchange On Which Registered
Common Stock, No Par Value UNAM  The Nasdaq Global Market

 

Securities registered pursuant to section 12(g) of the Act:

None

(Title of Class)

 

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

 

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

 

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15 (d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the Registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days. Yes X No __

 

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit and post such files). Yes X  No___

 

 

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, a smaller reporting company or an emerging growth company. See the definitions of “large accelerator filer,” “accelerator 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 X Smaller reporting company X Emerging growth company___

 

If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act.

 

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has filed a report on and attestation to its management’s assessment of the effectiveness of its internal control over financial reporting under Section 404(b) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (15 U.S.C. 7262(b)) by the registered public accounting firm that prepared or issued its audit report.___

 

 

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act).

Yes No

 

The aggregate market value of registrant’s voting and non-voting common equity held by non-affiliates as of June 30, 2020, the last business day of Registrant’s most recently completed second fiscal quarter, was $15,026,506.

 

 

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Indicate the number of shares outstanding of each of the issuer’s classes of common stock, as of the latest practicable date.

Class Outstanding at March 31, 2021

Common Stock, no par value per share 5,304,885

  

Portions of the definitive proxy statement that Registrant intends to file pursuant to Regulation 14(a) by a date no later than 120 days after December 31, 2020, to be used in connection with the annual meeting of shareholders, are incorporated herein by reference into Part III hereof. If such definitive proxy statement is not filed in the 120-day period, the information called for by Part III will be filed as an amendment to this Form 10-K not later than the end of the 120-day period. 

 

 

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UNICO AMERICAN CORPORATION

INDEX TO FORM 10-K

 

      Page No.
PART I       5  
Item 1 Business     5  
     Insurance Company Operation     6  
     Other Insurance Operations     13  
     Investments     13  
     Competition     14  
     Employees     15  
     Concentration of Risks     15  
Item 1A Risk Factors     15  
Item 1B Unresolved Staff Comments     28  
Item 2 Properties     28  
Item 3 Legal Proceedings     28  
Item 4 Mine Safety Disclosures     29  
PART II       29  
Item 5 Market for Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities     29  
Item 6 Selected Financial Data     29  
Item 7 Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations     30  
Item 7A Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures about Market Risk     55  
Item 8 Financial Statements and Supplementary Data     56  
Item 9 Changes in and Disagreements with Accountants on Accounting and Financial Disclosure     86  
Item 9A Controls and Procedures     86  
Item 9B Other Information     86  
PART III       87  
Items 10-14       87  
PART IV       88  
Item 15 Exhibits and Financial Statement Schedules     88  
Item 16 Form 10-K Summary     88  
SIGNATURES       89  
Financial Statement Schedules       90  

 

 

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Forward Looking Statements

This Form 10-K, and the documents incorporated by reference in this document, our press releases and oral statements made from time to time by us or on our behalf, may contain “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the federal securities laws, including Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (or “the Securities Act”), and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (or “the Exchange Act”). In this context, forward-looking statements are not historical facts and include statements about our plans, objectives, beliefs and expectations. Forward-looking statements include statements preceded by, followed by, or that include the words “believes,” “expects,” “anticipates,” “seeks,” “plans,” “estimates,” “intends,” “projects,” “targets,” “should,” “could,” “may,” “will,” “can,” “can have,” “likely,” the negatives thereof or similar words and expressions. These forward-looking statements are contained throughout this Form 10-K, including, but not limited to, statements found in Part I – Item 1 – “Business” and Part II – Item 7 – “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations.”

 

Forward-looking statements are only predictions and are not guarantees of future performance. These statements are based on current expectations and assumptions involving judgments about, among other things, future economic, competitive and market conditions and future business decisions, all of which are difficult or impossible to predict accurately and many of which are beyond our control. These predictions are also affected by known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause our actual results to be materially different from those expressed or implied by any forward-looking statement. Many of these factors are beyond our ability to control or predict. Our actual results could differ materially from the results contemplated by these forward-looking statements due to a number of factors. Such factors include, but are not limited to, the following:

· substantial historical net losses, which may continue in the future;

· failure to meet minimum capital and surplus requirements;

· vulnerability to climate change and significant catastrophic property loss;

· the impact of the recent coronavirus pandemic;

· ability to adjust claims accurately;

· insufficiency of loss and loss adjustment expense reserves to cover future losses;

· ability to realize deferred tax assets;

· the negative impact of emerging claim and coverage issues;

· ability to accurately underwrite risks and charge adequate premium;

· ability to obtain reinsurance or collect from reinsurers and or losses in excess of reinsurance limits;

· excess underwriting capacity and unfavorable premium rates;

· extensive regulation and legislative changes;

· risk management framework could prove inadequate;

· reliance on subsidiaries to satisfy obligations, including privacy and data protection laws;

· downgrade in financial strength rating or long-term issuer credit rating by A.M. Best;

· changes in interest rates;

· investments subject to credit, prepayment and other risks;

· geographic concentration;

· single operating location;

· reliance on independent insurance agents and brokers;

· insufficient reserve for doubtful accounts;

· litigation;

· enforceability of exclusions and limitations in policies;

· difficulty to acquire necessary data;

· reliance on information technology systems;

· systems damage, failures, interruptions, cyber-attacks and intrusions, or unauthorized data disclosures;

· delays and cost overruns in connection with the upgrade of its legacy information technology system;

· ability to attract, develop and retain employees and maintain appropriate staffing levels;

· insolvency, financial difficulties, or default in performance of obligations by parties with significant contracts or

relationships

· ability to effectively compete;

· levy assessments by various underwriting pools and programs;

· maximization of long-term value which may sometimes conflict with short-term earnings expectations;

· control by a small number of stockholders;

· difficulty in effecting a change of control or sale of any subsidiaries;

· limited trading of stock;

· changes in accounting standards issued by the Financial Accounting Standards Board;

· changes in federal or state tax laws;

· ability to prevent or detect acts of fraud with disclosure controls and procedures;

· change in general economic conditions;

· dependence on key personnel;

· no assurance of dividend declaration in the future so returns may be limited to stock value;

· significant costs and substantial management time devoted to operating as a public company; and

· failure to maintain effective system of internal controls.

 

 

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Please see Part I - Item 1A – “Risk Factors” of this Form 10-K, as well as other documents we file with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) from time-to-time, for other important factors that could cause our actual results to differ materially from our current expectations and from the forward-looking statements discussed herein. Because of these and other risks, uncertainties and assumptions, you should not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements. In addition, these statements speak only as of the date of this Form 10-K and, except as may be required by law, we undertake no obligation to revise or update publicly any forward-looking statements for any reason.

 

PART I

Item 1. Business.

Unico American Corporation is an insurance holding company. Currently, the Company’s subsidiary Crusader Insurance Company (“Crusader”) underwrites commercial property and casualty insurance, the Company’s subsidiaries Unifax Insurance Systems, Inc. (“Unifax”) and American Insurance Brokers, Inc. (“AIB”) provide marketing and various underwriting support services related to property, casualty, health and life insurance, the Company’s subsidiary American Acceptance Company (“AAC”) provides insurance premium financing, the Company’s subsidiary Insurance Club, Inc., dba AAQHC, an Administrator (“AAQHC”) provides membership association services, and the Company’s subsidiary U.S. Risk Managers, Inc. (“U.S. Risk”) provides claims adjustment services. Unico American Corporation is referred to herein as the "Company" or "Unico" and such references include both the corporation and its subsidiaries, all of which are wholly owned unless otherwise indicated. Unico was incorporated under the laws of Nevada in 1969. Add U.S. Risk.

 

Descriptions of the Company’s operations in the following paragraphs are categorized between the Company’s primary segment, the insurance company operation, and other insurance operations. The insurance company operation is conducted through Crusader, Unico’s property and casualty insurance company. Revenues from insurance company operation and other insurance operations for the years ended December 31, 2020, 2019, and 2018 are as follows:

    2020   2019   2018
   

Total

Revenues

 

Percent of Total Company

Revenues

 

Total

Revenues

 

Percent of Total Company Revenues

 

Total

Revenues

 

Percent of Total Company Revenues

                         
Insurance company operation   $ 30,485,161       93.6 %   $ 28,945,799       92.3 %   $ 31,028,500       92.3 %
                                                 
Other Insurance operations                                                
Gross commissions and fees:                                                
Health insurance program commission income     727,515       2.2 %     939,689       3.0 %     944,755       2.9 %
Brokerage fee income     1,006,505       3.1 %     1,146,420       3.6 %     1,408,592       4.2 %
Association operations membership and fee income     93,243       0.3 %     90,549       0.3 %     76,035       0.2 %
Total gross commission and fee income     1,827,263       5.6 %     2,176,658       6.9 %     2,429,382       7.3 %
Finance fees earned     240,589       0.8 %     239,524       0.8 %     144,925       0.4 %
Other income     7,098       —         10,833       —         9,989       —    
Total other insurance operations     2,074,950       6.4 %     2,427,015       7.7 %     2,584,296       7.7 %
Total revenues   $ 32,560,111       100.0 %   $ 31,372,814       100.0 %   $ 33,612,796       100.0 %

 

 

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INSURANCE COMPANY OPERATION

General

The Company’s insurance company operation is conducted through Crusader. Crusader is a multiple line property and casualty insurance company that began transacting business on January 1, 1985. From 2004 until June 2014, all of Crusader’s business was written in the state of California. Crusader’s business remains concentrated in California (99.9%, 99.9%, and 99.8% of gross written premium (before reinsurance ceded under reinsurance treaties) in 2020, 2019, and 2018, respectively). Crusader underwrites three statutory annual statement lines of business: (1) commercial multiple peril (“CMP”), (2) liability other than automobile and products, and (3) fire. During the years ended December 31, 2020, 2019, and 2018, CMP policies comprised 99.6%, 98.3%, and 98.4% of Crusader’s gross written premium, respectively. CMP policies include both property and liability coverages. Commercial property coverage insures against loss or damage to buildings, inventory and equipment from natural disasters, including hurricanes, windstorms, hail, water, explosions, severe winter weather, and other events such as theft and vandalism, fires, storms, and financial loss due to business interruption resulting from covered property damage. However, Crusader does not write earthquake coverage. Commercial liability coverage insures against third party liability from accidents occurring on the insured’s premises or arising out of its operation. In addition to CMP policies, Crusader also writes separate policies to insure commercial property and commercial liability risks on a mono-line basis which provides either commercial property or commercial liability coverage, but not both. Crusader is domiciled in California; and, as of December 31, 2020, Crusader is licensed as an admitted insurance carrier in the states of Arizona, California, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington.

 

Production and Servicing of Policies

Crusader sells its insurance policies through Unifax Insurance Systems, Inc. (“Unifax”), a subsidiary of the Company and Crusader’s sister corporation and exclusive general agent. All policies are produced by a network of independent brokers and agents.

 

The property casualty insurance marketplace continues to be intensely competitive. While Crusader attempts to meet such competition with competitive prices, its emphasis is on service, innovation, promotion, and distribution. Crusader believes that rate adequacy is more important than premium growth and that underwriting profit (net earned premium less losses and loss adjustment expenses and policy acquisition costs) is its primary goal. The Company believes that it can grow its sales and profitability through improved specialization and sales incentives, currently focused in four underwriting verticals: (1) Transportation, (2) Food, Beverage & Entertainment, (3) Garage & Mercantile, and (4) Apartments & Commercial Buildings.

 

Adjusting of Claims

Effective April 2020, the management and adjustment of claims of Crusader is managed by U.S. Risk, a subsidiary of the Company and sister corporation of Crusader. U.S. Risk currently manages all of the claims of Crusader with a staff of in-house claim adjusters. This staff adjusts claims and oversees all outside claim services such as attorneys, independent or outside claim adjusters, investigators, and experts as necessary. On April 23, 2020, the California Department of Insurance (“CA DOI”) advised Crusader of its non-disapproval of the move from Crusader’s claims adjusting function to U.S. Risk. U.S. Risk plans to offer claims adjusting services to non-affiliated entities in addition to the claims services provided to Crusader. To date, U.S. Risk is providing claims management services only to Crusader. All claims services being provided by U.S. Risk to Crusader are subject to the ultimate control of Crusader.

 

Reinsurance

A reinsurance transaction occurs when an insurance company transfers (cedes) a portion of its exposure on policies written to a reinsurer that assumes that risk for a premium (ceded premium). Reinsurance does not legally discharge Crusader from primary liability under its policies. If the reinsurer fails to meet its obligations, Crusader must nonetheless pay its policy obligations. Crusader’s primary excess of loss reinsurance agreements, or treaties, during the years ended December 31, 2020, 2019, and 2018 are as follows:

 

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Loss Year

 

 

Reinsurers

  A.M. Best Rating  

 

Retention

             
  2020     Renaissance Reinsurance U.S. Inc.
& Hannover Ruck SE
  A+
A+
  $ 500,000  
                     
  2019     Renaissance Reinsurance U.S. Inc.
& Hannover Ruck SE
  A+
A+
  $ 500,000  
                     
  2018     Renaissance Reinsurance U.S. Inc.
& Hannover Ruck SE
  A+
A+
  $ 500,000  

Reinsurance treaties are generally structured in layers, with different negotiated economic terms and retention of participation, or liability, in each layer. In calendar years 2020 and 2019, Crusader retained a participation in its excess of loss reinsurance treaties of 0% in its 1st layer (reinsured losses between $500,000 and $1,000,000), 0% in its 2nd layer (reinsured losses between $1,000,000 and $4,000,000), and 0% in its property and casualty clash treaty. In calendar year 2018, Crusader retained a participation in its excess of loss reinsurance treaties of 5% in its 1st layer (reinsured losses between $500,000 and $1,000,000), 0% in its 2nd layer (reinsured losses between $1,000,000 and $4,000,000), and 0% in its property and casualty clash treaty.

 

Crusader also has catastrophe reinsurance treaties from various highly rated California authorized and California unauthorized reinsurance companies. These reinsurance treaties help protect Crusader against losses in excess of certain retentions from catastrophic events that may occur on property risks which Crusader insures. In calendar years 2020, 2019, and 2018, Crusader retained a participation in its catastrophe excess of loss reinsurance treaties of 5% in its 1st layer (reinsured losses between $1,000,000 and $10,000,000) and 0% in its 2nd layer (reinsured losses between $10,000,000 and $46,000,000).

 

Crusader has no reinsurance recoverable balances in dispute.

 

Crusader evaluates each of its ceded reinsurance treaties at its inception to determine if there is sufficient risk transfer to allow the contract to be accounted for as reinsurance under current accounting literature. As of December 31, 2020, all such ceded contracts are accounted for as risk transfer reinsurance.

 

The aggregate amount of ceded earned premium to Crusader’s reinsurers was $8,096,700, $7,220,734, and $6,478,500 for the years ended December 31, 2020, 2019, and 2018, respectively.

 

On most of the premium that Crusader cedes to the reinsurer, the reinsurer pays a commission to Crusader that includes a reimbursement of the cost of acquiring the portion of the premium that is ceded. Crusader intends to continue obtaining reinsurance although the availability and cost may vary from time to time. The unpaid losses ceded to the reinsurer are recorded as an asset on the balance sheet.

 

In 2020, Crusader entered into a 100% Quota Share Agreement with United Specialty Insurance Company (“USIC”) in which Crusader accepted and assumed reinsurance ceded to it by USIC for commercial property and liability insurance written by USIC on a surplus lines basis. The assumed premium ceded to Crusader was $304,030 for year ended December 31, 2020, the assumed losses for the business ceded to Crusader by USIC was $89,204 for the year ended December 31, 2020.

 

Unpaid Losses and Loss Adjustment Expenses

Crusader maintains reserves for losses and loss adjustment expenses with respect to both reported and unreported losses. When a claim for loss is reported to Crusader, a reserve is established for the expected cost to settle the claim, including estimates of any related legal expense and other costs associated with resolving the claim. These reserves are called “case” reserves. In addition, Crusader also establishes reserves at the end of each reporting period for losses that have occurred but have not yet been reported to Crusader. These incurred but not reported losses are referred to as “IBNR” reserves.

 

Crusader establishes reserves for reported losses based on historical experience, upon case-by-case evaluation of facts surrounding each known loss, and upon the related policy provisions. The amount of reserves for unreported losses is estimated by analysis of historical and statistical information. The ultimate liability of Crusader may be greater or less than estimated reserves. Reserves are monitored and adjusted when appropriate and are reflected in the statement of operations in the period of adjustment. Reserves for losses and loss adjustment expenses are estimated to cover the future amounts needed to pay claims and related expenses with respect to insured events that have occurred.

 

 

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Crusader does not discount to a present value the portion of loss and loss adjustment expense reserves expected to be paid in future periods. Federal tax law, however, requires Crusader to discount loss and loss adjustment expense reserves for federal income tax purposes.

 

In 2020, Crusader experienced a significant increase in loss and loss adjustment expense reserves due to a $9,399,547 strengthening of IBNR reserves.

 

Net Written Premium to Statutory Surplus Ratio

The following table shows, for the periods indicated, Crusader's statutory ratio of net written premium (after reinsurance ceded) to statutory surplus. Since each property and casualty insurance company has different capital needs, an "acceptable" ratio of net written premium to statutory surplus for one company may be inapplicable to another. While there is no statutory requirement applicable to Crusader that establishes a permissible net premium to surplus ratio, guidelines established by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (“NAIC”) provide that such ratio should generally be no greater than 3 to 1.

    Year ended December 31
Statutory Accounting Basis:   2020   2019   2018
             
Net written premium   $ 28,564,082     $ 28,650,820     $ 25,874,020  
Statutory surplus   $ 26,893,515     $ 46,498,960     $ 50,148,258  
Ratio     1.1 to 1       0.6 to 1       0.5 to 1  

 

Crusader’s results herein are reported in accordance with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles (“GAAP”). These results differ from Crusader’s financial results reported in accordance with Statutory Accounting Principles (“SAP”) as prescribed or permitted by insurance regulatory authorities. Crusader is required to file financial statements with insurance regulatory authorities prepared on a SAP basis.

 

SAP differs in certain respects from GAAP. The more significant of these differences that apply to Crusader are:

 

· Under GAAP, policy acquisition costs such as commissions, premium taxes and other costs incurred in connection with the successful acquisition of new and renewal business are capitalized and amortized on a pro rata basis over the period in which the related premium is earned, rather than expensed as incurred as required by SAP.
· Certain assets included in balance sheets under GAAP are designated as “non-admitted assets” and are charged directly against statutory surplus under SAP. Non-admitted assets primarily include premium receivables that are outstanding over 90 days, federal deferred tax assets in excess of statutory limitations, furniture, equipment, leasehold improvements, and prepaid expenses.
· Under GAAP, amounts related to ceded reinsurance are shown on a gross basis as prepaid reinsurance premium and reinsurance recoverable, rather than netted against unearned premium reserves and loss and loss adjustment expense reserves, respectively, as required by SAP.
· Under GAAP, fixed maturity securities that are classified as available-for-sale are reported at estimated fair values, rather than at amortized cost or the lower of amortized cost or market, depending on the specific type of security, as required by SAP.
· The differing treatment of income and expense items results in a corresponding difference in federal income tax expense. Under GAAP reporting, changes in deferred income taxes are reflected as an item of income tax benefit or expense. As required by SAP, federal income taxes are recorded as income tax benefit or expense when payable and deferred taxes, subject to limitations, are recognized but only to the extent that they do not exceed a specified percentage of statutory surplus. Changes in deferred taxes are recorded directly to statutory surplus.

 

Regulation

Crusader is regulated by the CA DOI and by the insurance departments of other states in which Crusader is authorized to transact insurance. The insurance departments have broad regulatory, supervisory, and administrative powers over insurers that transact business in their states. These powers relate primarily to the standards of solvency which must be met and maintained; the licensing of insurers and their agents; the nature and limitation of insurers' investments; the prior approval of rates, rules, and forms; the issuance of securities by insurers; periodic financial and market conduct examinations of the affairs of insurers; the annual and other reports required to be filed on the financial condition and results of operations of such insurers or for other purposes; and the establishment of reserves required to be maintained for unearned premium, losses, and other purposes. The regulations and supervision by the insurance departments are designed principally for the benefit and protection of policyholders of insurance companies and not for the stockholders of the insurance companies or stockholders of the Company. The insurance departments may perform market conduct examinations of Crusader to ensure compliance with applicable laws and regulations with respect to rating, underwriting and claims handling practices. The most recent market conduct examination of Crusader was conducted by the CA DOI and covered Crusader’s rating and underwriting practices in California during the period June 1, 2015, through August 31, 2015.  The examination report was adopted by the CA DOI on January 9, 2017.  All issues identified during the examination were resolved to the satisfaction of the CA DOI and Crusader.  None of the issues identified during the examination had any material effect on Crusader.  The CA DOI also conducts periodic financial examinations of Crusader. During 2017, the CA DOI completed a financial examination of Crusader’s December 31, 2015, statutory financial statements. On June 23, 2017, a report of examination was officially filed and became part of the records of the CA DOI. Crusader has complied with all comments and recommendations identified in the report of examination, and none of the issues in that report of examination had any material effect on Crusader.

 

 

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Crusader is subject to risk-based capital (“RBC”) requirements. RBC is a method developed by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners and adopted in the California Insurance Code to determine the minimum amount of statutory capital appropriate for an insurance company to support its overall business operations in consideration of its size and risk profile.

 

The RBC provides standards for calculating a variable regulatory capital requirement related to a company's current operations and its risk exposures (asset risk, underwriting risk, credit risk and off-balance sheet risk). These standards are intended to serve as a diagnostic solvency tool for insurance regulators that establish uniform capital levels and specific authority levels for actions when an insurer falls below minimum capital levels. The RBC specifies four distinct action levels at which either the insurance company or its domiciliary regulator must take certain actions. Generally, if a company’s RBC is at the Company Action Level, a heightened level of regulatory supervision will occur. A regulator can intervene with increasing degrees of authority over a domestic insurer if its RBC is equal to or less than 200% of its computed authorized control level RBC. A company's RBC is required to be disclosed in its statutory annual statement. The RBC is not intended to be used as a rating or ranking tool nor is it to be used in premium rate making or approval. Crusader’s adjusted capital at December 31, 2020, was 278% of the authorized control level RBC.

 

The following table sets forth the different levels of risk-based capital that may trigger regulatory involvement and the corresponding actions that may result.

LEVEL   TRIGGER   CORRECTIVE ACTION
         
Company Action Level  

Adjusted capital less than 200% of authorized control level or adjusted capital less than 300% accompanied by a combined ratio of 120% or greater 

  The insurer must submit a comprehensive plan to the insurance commissioner.
Regulatory Action Level   Adjusted capital less than 150% of authorized control level   In addition to above, insurer is subject to examination, analysis and specific corrective action.
Authorized Control Level   Adjusted capital less than 100% of authorized control level   In addition to both of the above, insurance commissioner may place insurer under regulatory control.
Mandatory Control Level   Adjusted capital less than 70% of authorized control level   Insurer must be placed under regulatory control.

 

Crusader’s adjusted capital was above 200% of the Company Action Level but less than 300% of the Authorized Control Level as of December 31, 2020. That RBC percentage triggered a trend test under the RBC. If the RBC level is greater than 200% but less than 300% and if the combined ratio is greater than 120% for the year most recently ended, a Company Action Level Event is deemed to have occurred. The occurrence of the Company Action Level Event required Crusader to submit an RBC Plan to the CA DOI to address what actions will be taken to correct the conditions that resulted in the Company Action Level Event.

 

 

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Crusader has submitted to the insurance commissioner of the CA DOI a comprehensive plan to increase the adjusted capital above 300% to resolve the company action level event and is awaiting response from the CA DOI (“RBC Plan”). The CA DOI has sixty days following the submission of an RBC Plan to determine whether the RBC Plan should be implemented or if such plan is unsatisfactory. In the event that the CA DOI finds the RBC Plan to be unsatisfactory, the CA DOI must notify Crusader of proposed revisions that will make the plan satisfactory in the judgment of the CA DOI. In such event, Crusader would be required to submit a Revised RBC Plan to address and incorporate the changes requested by the CA DOI. The CA DOI does have the discretion after notification that an RBC Plan or Revised RBC Plan is unsatisfactory to notify the insurer that a Regulatory Action Level Event has occurred subject to the right of the insurer to request a hearing.

 

Insurance Regulatory Information System (“IRIS”) was developed by a committee of state insurance regulators primarily to assist state insurance departments in executing their statutory mandate to oversee the financial condition of insurance companies. IRIS helps those companies that merit highest priority in the allocation of the regulators’ resources on the basis of 13 financial ratios that are calculated annually. The analytical phase is a review of statutory annual statements and the financial ratios. The ratios and trends are valuable in pointing to companies likely to experience financial difficulties but are not themselves indicative of adverse financial condition. The ratio and benchmark comparisons are mechanically produced and are not intended to replace the state insurance departments’ own in-depth financial analysis or on-site examinations.

 

An unusual range of ratio results has been established from studies of the ratios of companies that have become insolvent or have experienced financial difficulties. In the analytical phase, companies that receive four or more financial ratio values outside the usual range are analyzed in order to identify those companies that appear to require immediate regulatory action. Subsequently, a more comprehensive review of the ratio results and an insurer’s statutory annual statement is performed to confirm that an insurer’s situation calls for increased or close regulatory attention.

 

In 2020, Crusader was outside the usual value range on the following three of the 13 IRIS ratio tests:

 

IRIS Ratio

 

 

Unusual Value

  Crusader’s Result
         
5 – two-year overall operating ratio   Over 100%     126.0 %
7 – gross change in policyholders’  surplus   Over 50% or under -10%     -42.0 %
8 – change in adjusted policyholders’ surplus   Over 25% or under -10%     -42.0 %

 

For the year ended December 31, 2020, Crusader was outside the usual value range on IRIS ratio 5, 7 and 8 due primarily to Crusader’s statutory net loss of $12,862,588. Crusader’s statutory net loss during the year ended December 31, 2020, was due primarily to increases in IBNR reserves associated with the Apartments & Commercial Buildings and Transportation verticals resulting from higher estimates for expected claims frequency, claims severity and ultimate incurred losses and loss adjustment expenses.

 

In 2019, Crusader was outside the usual value range on the following one of the 13 IRIS ratio tests:

 

IRIS Ratio

 

 

Unusual Value

  Crusader’s Result
               
5 – two-year overall operating ratio   Over 100%       106.0 %

 

For the year ended December 31, 2019, Crusader was outside the usual value range on IRIS ratio 5 due primarily to Crusader’s statutory net loss of $2,190,703. Crusader’s statutory net loss during the year ended December 31, 2019, was due primarily to adverse development of insured events of prior years.

 

In 2018, Crusader was outside the usual value range on the following one of the 13 IRIS ratio tests:

 

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IRIS Ratio

 

 

Unusual Value

  Crusader’s Result
               
5 – two-year overall operating ratio   Over 100%       113.0 %

 

For the year ended December 31, 2018, Crusader was outside the usual value range on IRIS ratio 5 due primarily to Crusader’s statutory net loss of $453,966. Crusader’s statutory net loss during the year ended December 31, 2018, was due primarily to adverse development of insured events of prior years.

 

California Insurance Guarantee Association

The California Insurance Guarantee Association (“CIGA”) was created to provide for payment of claims for which insolvent insurers of most casualty lines are liable but which such insurers’ assets as insufficient to satisfy. The Company is subject to assessment by CIGA for its pro-rata share of such claims based on written premium in the particular line in the year preceding the assessment by insurers writing that line of insurance in California. Such assessments are based upon estimates of losses to be incurred in liquidating an insolvent insurer. Assessments are recouped through a mandated surcharge to policyholders the year after the assessment. No assessment was made by CIGA for the 2020, 2019, and 2018 calendar years.

 

Holding Company Act

Crusader is subject to regulation by the CA DOI pursuant to the provisions of the California Insurance Holding Company System Regulatory Act (the "Holding Company Act"). Pursuant to the Holding Company Act, the CA DOI may examine the affairs of Crusader at any time. Certain transactions defined to be of an extraordinary type may not be effected without the prior approval of the CA DOI. Such transactions include, but are not limited to, sales, purchases, exchanges, loans and extensions of credit, and investments made within the immediately preceding 12 months involving the lesser of 3% of admitted assets or 25% of statutory surplus as of the preceding December 31. An extraordinary transaction also includes a dividend which, together with other dividends or distributions made within the preceding 12 months, exceeds the greater of 10% of the insurance company's statutory surplus as of the preceding December 31 or the insurance company's net income for the preceding calendar year. An insurance company is also required to notify the CA DOI of any dividend after declaration, but prior to payment.

 

The Holding Company Act also provides that the acquisition or change of control of a California domiciled insurance company or of any person who controls such an insurance company cannot be consummated without the prior approval of the insurance commissioner. In general, a presumption of control arises from the ownership of voting securities and securities that are convertible into voting securities, which in the aggregate constitute 10% or more of the voting securities of a California insurance company or a person who controls a California insurance company, such as Crusader. A person seeking to acquire control, directly or indirectly, of the Company must generally file with the insurance commissioner an application for change of control containing certain information required by statute and published regulations and provide a copy of the application to the Company. The Holding Company Act also effectively restricts the Company from consummating certain reorganizations or mergers without prior regulatory approval. The Company is in compliance with the Holding Company Act.

 

Rating

Insurance companies are rated to provide both industry participants and insurance consumers with meaningful information on specific insurance companies. Higher ratings generally indicate financial stability and a strong ability to pay claims. These ratings are based upon factors relevant to policyholders and are not directed toward protection of investors. Such ratings are neither a rating of securities nor a recommendation to buy, hold or sell any security and may be revised or withdrawn at any time. Ratings focus primarily on the following factors: capital resources, financial strength, demonstrated management expertise in the insurance business, credit analysis, systems development, market segment position and growth opportunities, marketing, sales conduct practices, investment operations, enterprise risk management, minimum statutory surplus requirements and capital sufficiency to meet projected growth, as well as access to such traditional capital as may be necessary to continue to meet standards for capital adequacy.

 

The claims-paying abilities of insurers are rated to provide both insurance consumers and industry participants with comparative information on specific insurance companies. Claims-paying ratings are important for the marketing of certain insurance products.

  

 

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On January 17, 2019, A.M. Best Company (“A.M. Best”) downgraded Crusader’s Financial Strength Rating (“FSR”) to B++ (Good) from A- (Excellent) and its Long-Term Issuer Credit Rating (“Long-Term ICR”) to “bbb+” from “a-“. The outlook of the FSR was revised at that time to stable from negative while the outlook of the Long-Term ICR remained negative.  The rating downgrades reflected a revision in A.M. Best’s assessment of Crusader’s operating performance to adequate from strong.

 

On January 30, 2020, A.M. Best affirmed Crusader’s FSR of B++ (Good) and further downgraded Crusader’s Long-Term ICR to “bbb” from “bbb+”. The outlook of the FSR of Crusader remains stable while the outlook of the Long-Term ICR of Crusader was revised to stable from negative.  Also on January 30, 2020, A.M Best downgraded the Long-Term ICR of Unico to “bb” from “bb+”. The outlook of the Long-Term ICR of Unico was revised to stable from negative.

 

On February 5, 2021, A.M. Best affirmed the FSR of B++ (Good) and Long-Term ICR of “bbb” of Crusader and revised Crusader’s FSR and Long-Term ICR outlooks to negative from stable. Additionally, A.M. Best affirmed the Long-Term ICR of “bb” of Unico and revised Unico’s Long-Term ICR outlook to negative from stable.

 

According to A.M. Best, the negative outlooks capture A.M. Best’s concerns with Crusader’s declining underwriting performance, the Company’s overall capitalization, and the execution risk associated with implementing strategic operating changes to address these conditions.

 

The Long-Term ICRs reflect Crusader’s balance sheet strength, which A.M. Best categorizes as very strong, as well as its marginal operating performance, limited business profile and marginal enterprise risk management.

 

Terrorism Risk Insurance Act of 2002

On November 26, 2002, the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act of 2002 (the “Act”) was signed into law. The Act was extended in 2005, reauthorized in 2007, 2017 and 2019, and is set to expire on December 31, 2027. The Act establishes a program within the Department of the Treasury in which the federal government will share the risk of loss from acts of terrorism with the insurance industry. Federal participation will be triggered when the Secretary of the Treasury, in concurrence with the Secretary of State and the Attorney General of the United States, certifies an act to be an act of terrorism. No act shall be certified as an act of terrorism unless the terrorist act results in aggregate losses in excess of $5 million.

 

Under the reauthorized Act, the federal government will pay the following percentages of covered terrorism losses exceeding the statutorily established deductible for the reported years and remaining years under the Act:

 

Loss Year   Coverage Percentage  
       
  2018   82 %
  2019   81 %
  2020-2027   80 %

 

All property and casualty insurance companies are required to participate in the program to the extent that they must make available property and casualty insurance coverage for terrorism that does not differ materially from the terms, amounts and other coverage limitations applicable to losses arising from events other than acts of terrorism.

 

The Company does not write policies on properties considered targets of terrorist activities such as airports, large hotels, large office structures, amusement parks, landmark defined structures, or other large scale public facilities. In addition, there is not a high concentration of policies in any one area where increased exposure to terrorist threats exist. Consequently, the Company believes its exposure relating to acts of terrorism is low. Crusader received $56,975, $64,330, and $94,014 in terrorism coverage premium from approximately 5%, 5%, and 6% of its policyholders during the years ended December 31, 2020, 2019, and 2018, respectively. Crusader’s terrorism deductible was $6,791,640, $7,046,682, and $7,799,966 during the years ended December 31, 2020, 2019, and 2018, respectively. Crusader’s 2021 terrorism deductible is $7,252,974.

 

 

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Data Privacy and Security

The Company may be subject to a range of complicated, diverse, and expanding federal, state, and local laws and regulations governing the collection, use, storage, and transfer of personal information. In California, where the Company is headquartered and conducts business, certain laws such as the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 (“CCPA”), the California Privacy Rights Act (“CPRA”), and California Insurance Information Privacy and Protection Act (“IIPPA”) may directly impact the Company’s operations. At the federal level, standards set forth by the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”), the privacy and security rules under the Gramm-Leach Bliley Act (GLBA), and the privacy and security rules under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) as amended by the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH), and their respective implementing regulations may, from time to time, impact the Company depending on the nature of the Company’s operations and the types of suppliers and vendors utilized by the Company.

 

OTHER INSURANCE OPERATIONS

General Agency Operations

Unifax primarily sells and services CMP business insurance policies for Crusader in California.

 

As a general agent, this subsidiary markets, rates, underwrites, inspects and issues policies, bills and collects insurance premiums, and maintains accounting and statistical data. Unifax is the exclusive general agent for Crusader. The Company's marketing is conducted through advertising to independent insurance agents and brokers. For its services, the general agent receives a commission (based on the written premium) from the insurance company and, in some cases, a policy fee from the customer. This subsidiary holds licenses issued by the CA DOI and other states where applicable.

 

Insurance Premium Finance Operation

American Acceptance Corporation (“AAC”), a subsidiary of the Company, is a licensed insurance premium finance company that provides insurance purchasers with the ability to pay their insurance premium on an installment basis. The premium finance company pays the insurance premium to the insurance company in return for a premium finance note from the insured. These notes are paid off by the insured in nine monthly installments and are secured by the unearned premium held by the insurance company. AAC provides premium financing solely for Crusader and assumed USIC policies that are produced by Unifax in California.

 

Association Operation

Insurance Club, Inc., dba AAQHC, An Administrator (“AAQHC”) (formerly American Association for Quality Health Care), a subsidiary of the Company, is a membership association and a third party administrator. AAQHC provides various consumer benefits to its members, including participation in group dental, vision, and life insurance policies that it negotiates. AAQHC also provides services as a third party administrator and is licensed by the CA DOI. For these services, AAQHC receives membership and fee income from its members.

 

Health Insurance Operation

American Insurance Brokers, Inc. (“AIB”), a subsidiary of the Company, markets health insurance in California as a general agency and an independent broker through non-affiliated insurance companies for individuals and groups. The services provided consist of marketing, sales and customer service. For these services AIB receives commissions from insurance companies. AIB holds licenses issued by the CA DOI.

 

Claims Management

In March 2020, the Company re-activated its U.S. Risk subsidiary so that it can provide claims adjustment services to non-affiliated insurers and to self-insurers on a fee-for-service basis (i.e., where Crusader will not be underwriting the risk), providing the potential for an alternative revenue source to the Company.

 

INVESTMENTS

The Company’s Board of Directors approved investment guidelines which reflect the Company’s risk, balance sheet, and profile.

 

 

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Under the Company’s investment guidelines, investments may only include U.S. Treasury notes, U.S. government agency notes, mortgage-backed securities (including pass through securities and collateralized mortgage obligations) that are backed by agency and non-agency collateral, commercial mortgage-backed securities, U.S. corporate obligations, asset backed securities, (including but not limited to credit card, automobile and home equity backed securities), tax-exempt bonds, preferred stocks, common stocks, commercial paper, repurchase agreements (treasuries only), mutual funds, exchange traded funds, bank certificates of deposits and time deposits. The investment guidelines provide for certain investment limitations in each investment category.

 

Unless agreed to in advance in writing by Crusader, investments in the following types of securities are prohibited:

 

    Mortgage loans, except for mortgage backed securities issued by an agency of the U.S. government.
    Derivative mortgage-backed securities including interest only, principal only and inverse floating rate securities.
    All fixed maturity real estate securities, except mortgage-backed securities (including pass through securities and collateralized mortgage obligations) that are backed by agency and non-agency collateral and commercial mortgage-backed securities.
    Options and futures contracts.
    All non-U.S. dollar denominated securities.
    Any security that would not be in compliance with the regulations of Crusader’s state of domicile.

 

An independent investment advisor manages Crusader’s investments.  The advisor’s role currently is limited to maintaining Crusader’s portfolio within the investment guidelines and providing investment accounting services to the Company.  The investments continue to be held by Crusader’s current custodian, Union Bank Global Custody Services.

  

COMPETITION

Insurance Company and General Agency Operations (Property and Casualty)

The property and casualty markets in which the Company operates are highly competitive. Property and casualty insurers generally compete on many factors, including price, commission rates, consumer recognition, coverages offered, financial stability, customer service and geographic coverage. Competition is also affected by the pace of technological developments. An insurer’s ability to innovate, develop and implement new applications and other technology can affect its competitive position. The Company continues to invest in technology in order to compete more effectively in the insurance marketplace. The marketplace is highly cyclical, characterized by periods of high premium rates and shortages of underwriting capacity followed by periods of severe price competition and excess underwriting capacity.

 

The profitability of insurers is affected by many factors including premium adequacy, the frequency and severity of claims, state regulations, interest rates, general business conditions, and court decisions redefining and expanding the extent of coverage. One of the challenging and unique features of the property and casualty insurance business is the fact that since premiums are collected before losses are paid, its products are normally priced before its costs are known.

 

Additional information regarding competition in the insurance marketplace is discussed in Item 7 - “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations - Results of Operations.”

 

Insurance Premium Financing Operation

AAC’s insurance premium financing operation currently finances policies produced only through its sister company, Unifax. Consequently, AAC’s growth is primarily dependent on the growth of Crusader and Unifax business. From July 2010 to March 1, 2018, AAC offered 0% financing on policies produced by Unifax for Crusader. Effective March 1, 2018, the annual percentage rate charged on AAC new loans increased from 0% to a single fixed interest rate. Effective April 1, 2019, the Company converted from the single fixed interest rate for all financed policies to a tiered interest rate structure under which different fixed interest rates are charged based on amount of underlying financed premium. The Company believes the interest rates charged by AAC are competitive and will not have a negative impact on its business.

 

 

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Health Insurance Operation

The health insurance market is uncertain due to changes in healthcare insurance mandated by recent federal legislation. AIB markets a variety of health and life insurance products to individuals and groups. These same products are offered by most of the Company’s competitors; thus service, reliability and stability are important to obtain and retain customers.

 

 

EMPLOYEES

As of March 31, 2021, the Company employed 76 persons of which 76 are full time employees at its facility located in Calabasas, California. The Company has no collective bargaining agreements and believes its relations with its employees are excellent.

 

 CONCENTRATION OF RISKS

99.9%, 99.9%, and 99.8% of Crusader’s gross written premium was derived from California during the years ended December 31, 2020, 2019, and 2018, respectively. In 2020, approximately 30% and 56% of the $727,515 commission income from the Company’s health insurance program was from Guardian Life Insurance Company of America dental and group life plan programs and Blue Shield Care Trust health and life insurance programs, respectively. In 2019, approximately 39% and 49% of the $939,689 commission income from the Company’s health insurance program was from Guardian Life Insurance Company of America dental and group life plan programs and Blue Shield Care Trust health and life insurance programs, respectively. In 2018, approximately 37% and 46% of the $944,755 commission income from the Company’s health insurance program was from Guardian Life Insurance Company of America dental and group life plan programs and Blue Shield Care Trust health and life insurance programs, respectively.

 

Crusader’s reinsurance recoverable on paid and unpaid losses and loss adjustment expenses is as follows:

 

        Year ended December 31

Name of Reinsurer

 

A.M.Best Rating (1)

 

2020

 

2019

 

2018

                 
Renaissance Reinsurance U.S. Inc.   A+   $ 11,906,416     $ 8,095,647     $ 4,911,922  
Hannover Ruck SE   A+     10,673,173       6,869,914       4,142,308  
TOA Reinsurance Company of America   A     295,188       438,308       476,101  
Other   A     172       7,827       (48 )
Total       $ 22,874,949     $ 15,411,696     $ 9,530,283  

(1) A.M. Best ratings are as of December 31, 2020.

  

Item 1A. Risk Factors.

An investment in the Company’s securities involves a high degree of risk. The Company operates in a dynamic and rapidly changing industry that involves numerous risks and uncertainties. The risks and uncertainties described below are not the only ones the Company faces. Other risks and uncertainties, including those that the Company does not currently consider material, may impair the Company’s business. If any of the risks discussed below actually occur, the Company’s business, financial condition, operating results or cash flows could be materially adversely affected. This could cause the value of the Company’s securities to decline, and you may lose all or part of your investment.

 

RISKS RELATED TO THE COMPANY’S BUSINESS AND INDUSTRY

 

The Company has a history of net losses and could continue to incur substantial net losses in the future.

The Company has incurred recurring net losses on an annual basis over the last several years. The Company incurred net losses of $21,491,113, $3,115,703, and $3,169,559 for the years ended December 31, 2020, 2019, and 2018, respectively. Although the Company was able to slightly increase revenues in fiscal year 2020, increases in its expenses significantly outpaced revenue growth, and the Company generated a loss for the year.  To achieve profitability and growth, the Company may need to change certain aspects of its business model.  As such, the Company faces risks, expenses and uncertainties related to its specific business model, as well as those typically encountered by similar companies.  While the Company continues to work towards profitability and growth, it may not realize sufficient revenues or be able to achieve cost reductions to reach that goal. 

 

 

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The principal driver of the Company’s losses to date is its insured losses and loss adjustment expenses associated with insured events by its customers. Establishing adequate premium rates is necessary to generate sufficient revenue to offset losses, loss adjustment expenses and other costs. If the Company does not accurately assess the risks that it underwrites, the premiums that it charges may not be adequate to cover its losses and expenses, which would continue to adversely affect its results of operations and profitability. Moreover, as the Company continues to invest in its business, it expects certain expenses to continue to increase in the near term. Such expenses may occur in the areas of information technology, marketing and advertising, consumer-facing technologies, core insurance operations services and lines of business not presently offered by the Company. These investments may not result in increased revenue or growth in the Company’s business. If the Company fails to manage its losses or to grow its revenue sufficiently to keep pace with its investments and other expenses, its business will be seriously harmed.

 

Crusader is subject to minimum capital and surplus requirements, and any failure to meet these requirements could subject Crusader to regulatory action.

Crusader is subject to RBC standards and other minimum capital and surplus requirements imposed under applicable laws of its state of domicile. The RBC standards adopted by California and the NAIC require Crusader to report the results of RBC calculations to its domiciliary insurance regulator and the NAIC. If Crusader fails to meet these standards and requirements, the CA DOI may require specified actions to be taken, which could have a material and adverse impact on the Company’s competitiveness, operational flexibility, financial condition, and results of operations.

 

Crusader’s adjusted capital below 300% as of December 31, 2020, and combined loss ratio in excess of 120% for the year ended December 31, 2020, triggered a Company Action Level Event. Crusader has submitted to the insurance commissioner of the CA DOI a comprehensive plan to increase the adjusted capital above 300% to resolve the Company Action Level Event and is awaiting response from the CA DOI.

 

Crusader may be adversely affected if it cannot obtain additional capital for its business and operations. The strength of an insurer is measured in large part by is policyholder surplus. Crusader has sustained net losses for several years which have decreased its policyholder surplus. The Company does not have current resources to infuse additional capital into Crusader to increase its policyholder surplus.

 

The Company’s business is vulnerable to climate change and significant catastrophic property loss, which could have an adverse effect on its financial condition and results of operations.

The Company faces a significant risk of loss in the ordinary course of its business for property damage resulting from climate change, natural disasters, man-made catastrophes and other catastrophic events, particularly hurricanes, earthquakes, hail storms, explosions, tropical storms, fires, sinkholes, war, acts of terrorism, severe winter weather and other natural and man-made disasters. Such events typically increase the frequency and severity of commercial property claims.  Because catastrophic loss events are by their nature unpredictable, historical results of operations may not be indicative of future results of operations, and the occurrence of claims from catastrophic events may result in substantial volatility in the Company’s financial condition and results of operations from period to period. In addition, catastrophic events could harm the financial condition of issuers of obligations the Company holds in its investment portfolio, resulting in impairments to these investments, and the financial condition of the Company’s reinsurers, thereby increasing the probability of default on reinsurance recoveries. Although the Company attempts to manage its exposure to such events, the occurrence of one or more major catastrophes in any given period could have a material and adverse impact on the Company’s financial condition and results of operations and could result in substantial outflows of cash as losses are paid.

 

The Company’s business may be adversely affected by the recent coronavirus pandemic.

In December 2019, a novel strain of coronavirus, SARS CoV-2 (COVID-19), emerged in China, rapidly spread to other countries, including the United States, and has been declared to be a pandemic by the World Health Organization.  The coronavirus pandemic has resulted in numerous deaths, adversely impacted global commercial activity and resulted in extensive governmental responses, including quarantines, prohibitions on travel and the closure of offices, businesses, restaurants, schools, retail stores and other public venues. The coronavirus pandemic and any preventative or protective actions that the Company, its clients, their respective suppliers, or governments may take in respect of COVID-19 may disrupt the Company’s business and the business of its clients.  If global, national or regional economies are unable to substantially reopen, or, if reopened, are forced to close again, these disruptions will be exacerbated. The Company is diligently working to ensure that it can operate with minimal disruption, and to mitigate the impact of the pandemic on its employees’ health and safety.  However, given the interconnectivity of the global economy and the possible rate of future global transmission, the full extent to which the coronavirus pandemic could affect the global economy is unknown and its impact may extend beyond the areas which are currently known to be impacted.  Any resulting financial impact will depend on future developments and cannot be reasonably estimated at this time, but may materially affect the business, financial condition and results of operations of the Company. The Company has experienced a decrease in new business submissions and renewals related to the pandemic in its Bars/Taverns market sector niche as a result of government regulations, such as shelter-in-place orders and in-door dining limitations, which has adversely impacted the gross written premium for that niche.

 

 

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Additionally, the continued pandemic has led to severe disruption and volatility in the global capital markets, which could increase the Company’s cost of capital, and adversely affect the Company’s ability to access the capital and debt markets, and adversely affect the value of the Company’s investment portfolio. It is possible that the continued spread of the coronavirus could cause an economic slowdown or recession (which could adversely affect the demand for the Company’s insurance products and increase delinquencies and defaults by its customers) or cause other unpredictable events, each of which could adversely affect the business, results of operations or financial condition of the Company.

 

The Company’s success may depend on its ability to adjust claims accurately.

Many factors can affect the Company’s ability to adjust claims accurately, including the following:

    the training, experience, and skill of the Company’s claims representatives,
    continued access to independent or outside adjusters,
    the extent of fraudulent or inflated claims and the Company’s ability to recognize and respond to, such claims
    the claims organization’s culture and the effectiveness of its management, and
    the Company’s ability to develop or select and implement appropriate procedures, technologies, and systems to support claims functions.

The Company’s failure to pay claims fairly, accurately, and in a timely manner, or to deploy claims resources appropriately, could result in unanticipated costs, lead to material litigation, undermine customer goodwill and the Company’s reputation in the marketplace, impair its brand image and, as a result, materially adversely affect its competitiveness, financial results, prospects, and liquidity.

 

Loss and loss adjustment expense reserves are based on estimates and may not be sufficient to cover future losses.

Loss and loss adjustment expense reserves represent an estimate of amounts needed to pay and administer claims with respect to insured events that have occurred, including events that have occurred but have not yet been reported to Crusader. If claims exceed the related reserves, the Company may not have sufficient funds available to satisfy all such claims, and in any event, the Company’s operating results and financial condition would be adversely affected. There is a high level of uncertainty inherent in the evaluation of the required loss and loss adjustment expense reserves for Crusader. The long-tailed nature of liability claims and the volatility of jury awards exacerbate that uncertainty. The difficulty in estimating the loss and loss adjustment expense reserves contributed to adverse development of insured events of prior years in the amount of $7,959,048 which Crusader experienced in 2020. During the twelve months ended December 31, 2020, the Company reevaluated certain assumptions used in its process for estimating loss and loss adjustment reserves due to its experiences in Crusader’s Apartments & Commercial Buildings and Transportation verticals as well as changes in market conditions. This reevaluation resulted in a $9,399,547 increase in Crusader’s IBNR reserves, net of reinsurance, which was a primary contributor to the increase of $12,066,793 in losses and loss adjustment expenses from $22,576,127 recognized for the twelve months ended December 31, 2019 to $34,642,920 recognized for the twelve months ended December 31, 2020. Crusader sets loss and loss adjustment expense reserves at each balance sheet date based upon management’s best estimate of the ultimate payments that it anticipates will be made to settle all losses incurred and related loss adjustment expenses incurred as of that date for both reported and unreported losses. The ultimate cost of claims is dependent upon future events, the outcomes of which are affected by many factors. Crusader claim reserving procedures and settlement philosophy, current and perceived social and economic inflation, current and future court rulings and jury attitudes, improvements in medical technology, and many other economic, scientific, legal, political, and social factors all can have significant effects on the ultimate costs of claims. Changes in Crusader operations and management philosophy also may cause actual developments to vary from the past. Since the emergence and disposition of claims are subject to uncertainties, the net amounts that will ultimately be paid to settle claims may vary significantly from the estimated amounts provided for in the accompanying consolidated financial statements. Any adjustments to reserves are reflected in the operating results of the periods in which they are made.

 

 

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Any inability of the Company to realize its deferred tax assets may have a materially adverse effect on the Company’s financial condition and results of operations.

The Company recognizes deferred tax assets and liabilities for the future tax consequences related to differences between the financial statement carrying amounts of existing assets and liabilities and the respective tax bases, and for tax credits.  The Company evaluates its deferred tax assets for recoverability based on available evidence, including assumptions about future profitability, reversal patterns of recorded deferred tax assets and deferred tax liabilities, and capital gain generation. Some or all of the Company’s unused deferred tax assets could expire if the Company is unable to generate taxable income of a sufficient nature in the future to utilize them.

 

If the Company determines it is more-likely-than-not that it would not be able to realize all or a portion of its deferred tax assets in the future, the Company would reduce the deferred tax asset through a charge to earnings in the period in which the determination is made. This charge could have a materially adverse effect on the Company’s results of operations and financial condition. In light of the net losses that were generated in recent years, for the twelve months ended December 31, 2020, the Company has established a valuation allowance for the aggregate amount of the federal and state net operating losses and other deferred tax assets in the amount of $10,557,080 that, in management’s judgment, are not more-likely-than-not to be realized. In addition, the assumptions used to make this determination are subject to change from period to period based on changes in tax laws or variances between the Company’s projected operating performance and actual results. As a result, management’s judgment is required in assessing the possible need for a deferred tax asset valuation allowance.

 

The Company may be negatively impacted by emerging claim and coverage issues.

As insurance industry practices and legal, judicial, social and other environmental conditions change, unexpected and unintended issues related to claims and coverage may emerge, including new or expanded theories of liability. This phenomenon is sometimes referred to as “social inflation.” These or other changes could impose new financial obligations on the Company by extending coverage beyond its underwriting intent or otherwise require the Company to make unplanned modifications to the products and services that the Company provides, or cause the delay or cancellation of products and services that the Company provides. Examples of emerging claims and coverage issues include, without limitation:

 

    Judicial expansion of policy coverage and a greater propensity to grant claimants more favorable amounts and the impact of new theories of liability.
    Plaintiffs targeting property and casualty insurers, including the Company, in purported class action litigation relating to claims-handling and other practices.
    Social and litigation trends, including higher and more frequent claims, more favorable judgments and legislated increases.
    Medical developments that link health issues to particular causes, resulting in liability claims.
    Claims relating to unanticipated consequences of current or new technologies, including cyber security related risks.
    Claims relating to potentially changing climate conditions.
    Increased claims due to third party funding of litigation.

 

In some instances, these changes may not become apparent for some time after the Company has issued insurance policies that are affected by the changes. As a result, the full extent of liability under the Company’s insurance policies may not be known for many years after a policy is issued. For example, social changes and litigation trends have resulted in significantly larger verdicts awarded by juries in recent years in connection with altercations in bars and taverns, and in significantly larger settlements on cases which do not go to trial in connection with tenants-rights, rent-control, property-utilization and property-maintenance laws, as well as other forms of social inflation, and these trends may continue. In addition, the potential passage of new legislation designed to expand the right to sue, to remove limitations on recovery, to extend the statutes of limitations or otherwise to repeal or weaken tort reforms could have an adverse impact on the Company’s business.

 

 

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The Company’s success depends on its ability to accurately underwrite risks and to charge adequate premium to policyholders.

The Company’s financial condition, liquidity and results of operations largely depend on the Company’s ability to underwrite and set premium accurately for the risks it faces. Premium rate adequacy is necessary to generate sufficient premium to offset losses, loss adjustment expenses, underwriting expenses, and to earn a profit. In order to price its products accurately, the Company must collect and properly analyze a substantial volume of data; develop, test and apply appropriate rating formulas; closely monitor and timely recognize changes in trends; and project both severity and frequency of losses with reasonable accuracy. The Company’s ability to undertake these efforts successfully is subject to a number of risks and uncertainties, including, without limitation:

 

    Availability of sufficient reliable data.
    Incorrect or incomplete analysis of available data.
    Uncertainties inherent in estimates and assumptions.
    Selection and application of appropriate rating formulae or other pricing methodologies.
    Adoption of successful pricing strategies.
    Prediction of policyholder retention (e.g., policy life expectancy).
    Unanticipated court decisions, legislation or regulatory action.
    Ongoing changes in the Company’s claim settlement practices.
    Unexpected inflation.
    Social changes, particularly those affecting litigation patterns.

 

Such risks may result in the Company’s pricing being based on outdated, inadequate, or inaccurate data, or inappropriate analyses, assumptions, or methodologies, and may cause the Company to estimate incorrectly future changes in the frequency or severity of claims. As a result, the Company could underprice risks, which would negatively affect the Company’s margins, or it could overprice risks, which could reduce the Company’s volume and competitiveness. The Company’s ability to accurately underwrite risks in insurance contracts depends in part on its ability to forecast such changes and trends.  If it is not successful in doing so, the Company’s operating results, financial condition, and cash flow could be materially adversely affected.

 

Inability to obtain reinsurance or to collect ceded losses and loss adjustment expenses could adversely affect Crusader’s ability to write new policies.

The availability, amount and cost of reinsurance depend on market conditions and may vary significantly. Any decrease in the amount of Crusader’s reinsurance will increase the risk of loss and could materially adversely affect its business and financial condition. Lack of reasonably priced reinsurance may preclude Crusader from writing certain risks or may reduce Crusader’s underwriting profit due to higher cost of reinsurance, both of which could materially adversely affect its business and financial condition. Ceded reinsurance does not discharge Crusader’s direct obligations under the policies it writes, which exposes Crusader to credit risk with regard to its reinsurance counterparties. Crusader remains liable to its policyholders even if it is unable to make recoveries that it believes it is entitled to under the reinsurance contracts. Losses may not be recovered from the reinsurers until claims are paid, which may create timing and liquidity risk. Additionally, any losses in excess of Crusader’s reinsurance limits would remain direct obligations of Crusader and would therefore have a negative impact on the Company’s financial condition and results of operations.

 

The property and casualty insurance business is historically cyclical in nature, and the Company may experience periods with excess underwriting capacity and unfavorable premium rates, which could adversely affect our business.

Historically, insurers have experienced significant fluctuations in operating results due to competition, frequency and severity of catastrophic events, levels of capacity, adverse litigation trends, regulatory constraints, general economic conditions and other factors.  The supply of insurance is related to prevailing prices, the level of insured losses and the level of capital available to the industry that, in turn, may fluctuate in response to changes in rates of return on investments being earned in the insurance industry.  As a result, the insurance business historically has been a cyclical industry characterized by periods of intense price competition due to excessive underwriting capacity as well as periods when shortages of capacity increased premium levels.  Demand for insurance depends on numerous factors, including the frequency and severity of catastrophic events, levels of capacity, the introduction of new capital providers, and general economic conditions.  All of these factors fluctuate and may contribute to price declines generally in the insurance industry.

 

 

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The Company cannot predict with certainty whether market conditions will improve, remain constant or deteriorate.  Negative market conditions may impair the Company’s ability to underwrite insurance at rates it considers appropriate and commensurate relative to the risk assumed.  If the Company cannot underwrite insurance at appropriate rates, its ability to transact business will be materially and adversely affected.  Any of these factors could lead to an adverse effect on the Company’s business, financial condition and results of operations.

 

The insurance business is subject to extensive regulation and such regulation may become more extensive in the future, which may adversely affect the Company’s business, financial condition and results of operations.

Crusader is subject to extensive regulations and supervision in the states in which it operates or is licensed to conduct business. These regulations are generally designed to protect the interests of policyholders and not necessarily the interests of insurers, their stockholders or other investors. The regulations relate to authorization for lines of business, capital and surplus requirements, investment limitations, underwriting limitations, transactions with affiliates, dividend limitations, changes in control, premium rates and a variety of other financial and nonfinancial components of an insurance company’s business. These powers include, among other things, the ability to:

    Place limitations on Crusader’s investments and dividends.
    Place limitations on Crusader’s ability to transact business with its affiliates.
    Establish standards of solvency including minimum reserves and capital surplus requirements.
    Prescribe the form and content of and to examine Crusader’s financial statements.

 

Federal legislation currently does not directly impact the property and casualty business, but the business can be indirectly affected by changes in federal regulations. From time to time, the U.S. Congress and certain federal agencies investigate the current condition of the insurance industry to determine whether federal regulation is necessary. The Company cannot predict whether, and to what extent, new laws and regulations that would affect its business will be adopted, the timing of any such adoption and what effects, if any, they may have on the Company’s business, financial condition, and results of operations. The Company is unable to predict whether such laws will be enacted and how and to what extent this could affect the Company.

 

Crusader, along with other licensed insurers, is required to bear a portion of the losses suffered by some insureds as the result of impaired or insolvent insurance companies. In addition, Crusader must participate in mandatory arrangements to provide various types of insurance coverage to individuals or other entities that otherwise are unable to purchase that coverage from private insurers. The effect of these and similar arrangements could reduce its profitability in any given period or limit its ability to grow the business. The NAIC and state insurance regulators are continually reexamining existing laws and regulations, specifically focusing on modifications to statutory accounting principles, interpretations of existing laws and the development of new laws and regulations.

 

Many states have adopted measures related to the NAIC’s Solvency Modernization Initiative (“SMI”), which have included model regulations that require insurers to summarize their key risks and risk management strategies to regulators. The SMI resulted in a 2010 amendment to the NAIC’s Model Insurance Holding Company System Regulatory Act, which requires the ultimate controlling person in an insurer’s holding company structure to identify and report material enterprise risks to the state insurance regulator. The SMI also produced the NAIC Risk Management and Own Risk Solvency Model Act (“ORSA”), which requires insurers meeting premium thresholds to maintain a risk management framework, and annually submit a comprehensive report designed to assess the adequacy of an insurer’s risk management practices, including risks related to the insurer’s future solvency position. The Company is currently exempt from providing an ORSA summary report as it does not meet the minimum premium requirements. On the federal level, the Dodd-Frank Act, enacted in July 2010, mandated significant changes to the regulation of U.S. insurance effective as of July 21, 2011. Currently, the impact of these regulations has not materially affected the Company’s business. Any proposed or future state or federal legislation or NAIC initiatives, if adopted, may be more restrictive on the ability of Crusader to conduct business and/or may result in higher costs.

 

The extensive regulation to which the Company is subject may affect the cost of or demand for the Company’s products and may limit the ability to obtain rate increases or to take other actions that the Company might desire to do in order to increase its profitability.

 

 

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The Company’s risk management framework could prove inadequate, which could adversely affect the Company.

The Company’s risk management framework is designed to identify, monitor and mitigate risks that could have a negative impact on the Company’s financial condition or reputation. This framework includes departments or groups dedicated to risk management, information security, disaster recovery and other information technology-related risks, business continuity, legal and compliance, compensation structures and other human resource matters, vendor management and internal audit, among others. Many of the processes are overseen by these departments function at the enterprise level, but many also function through, or rely to a certain degree upon, risk mitigation efforts in local operating groups. Similarly, with respect to the risks the Company assumes in the ordinary course of its business the Company employs localized as well as centralized risk mitigation efforts. If the Company’s risk mitigation efforts prove inadequate, the Company could be adversely affected.

 

Unico is a holding company that relies on its subsidiaries to satisfy its obligations.

As a holding company, Unico does not generate revenue sufficient to pay operating expenses or stockholders’ dividends. Consequently, Unico relies on the ability of its subsidiaries to meet its obligations. The ability of Crusader to pay dividends to Unico is regulated by state insurance laws, which limit the amount of, and in certain circumstances may prohibit the payment of, cash dividends. The inability of Crusader to pay dividends in an amount sufficient to enable Unico to meet its cash requirements could have a materially adverse effect on the Company’s results of operations, financial condition, and its ability to pay dividends to its shareholders.

 

Past and future downgrades in the financial strength rating or long-term issuer credit rating of Crusader could reduce the amount of business it may be able to write.

Rating agencies rate insurance companies based on financial strength as an indication of an ability to pay claims. The financial strength rating of A.M. Best is subject to periodic review using, among other things, proprietary capital adequacy models and is subject to revision or withdrawal at any time. Insurance financial strength ratings are directed toward the concerns of policyholders and insurance agents and are not intended for the protection of investors. Crusader and Unico have experienced downgrades in such ratings in the past, and may experience further downgrades in the future. Any downgrade in Crusader’s A.M. Best rating could cause a reduction in the number of policies it writes and could have a materially adverse effect on the Company’s results of operations and financial position.

 

On January 17, 2019, A.M. Best downgraded Crusader’s FSR to B++ (Good) from A- (Excellent) and its Long-Term ICR to “bbb+” from “a-“. The outlook of the FSR was revised at that time to stable from negative while the outlook of the Long-Term ICR remained negative.  The rating downgrades reflected a revision in A.M. Best’s assessment of Crusader’s operating performance to adequate from strong.

 

On January 30, 2020, A.M. Best affirmed Crusader’s FSR of B++ (Good) and further downgraded Crusader’s Long-Term ICR to “bbb” from “bbb+”. The outlook of the FSR of Crusader remains stable while the outlook of the Long-Term ICR of Crusader was revised to stable from negative.  Also on January 30, 2020, A.M Best downgraded the Long-Term ICR of Unico to “bb” from “bb+”. The outlook of the Long-Term ICR of Unico was revised to stable from negative.

 

On February 5, 2021, A.M. Best Company affirmed the FSR of B++ (Good) and Long-Term ICR” of “bbb” of Crusader and revised Crusader’s FSR and Long-Term ICR outlooks to negative from stable. Additionally, A.M. Best affirmed the Long-Term ICR of “bb” of Unico and revised Unico’s Long-Term ICR outlook to negative from stable.

 

According to A.M. Best, the negative outlooks capture A.M. Best’s concerns with Crusader’s declining underwriting performance, the Company’s overall capitalization and the execution risk associated with implementing strategic operating changes to address these conditions.

 

The Long-Term ICRs reflect Crusader’s balance sheet strength, which A.M. Best categorizes as very strong, as well as its marginal operating performance, limited business profile and marginal enterprise risk management.

 

 

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The Company’s earnings may be affected by changes in interest rates.

Investment income is an important component of the Company’s revenues and net income. The ability to achieve investment objectives is affected by factors that are beyond the Company’s control. Many of the instruments in which the Company may invest are subject to interest rate risk. Interest rates are highly sensitive to many factors, including governmental monetary policies and domestic and international economic and political conditions. Any significant decline in investment income as a result of falling interest rates or general market conditions may have an adverse effect on net income and, as a result, on the Company’s stockholders' equity and statutory surplus.

 

The outlook for the Company’s investment income is dependent on the composition of its investment portfolio, the future direction of interest rates and the amount of cash flows from operations that are available for investment. The fair values of fixed maturity investments that are available-for-sale fluctuate with changes in interest rates and cause fluctuations in stockholders' equity.

 

The Company’s investments may be subject to credit, prepayment and other risks.

The Company’s investment guidelines allow investing in new classes of securities which are subject to additional risks. Rating errors by agencies, such as Moody’s, Standard & Poor’s, and Fitch, and/or economic downturn may create credit risk, a decline in interest rates may create prepayment risk, and a decrease in tax rates may reduce attractiveness of state and municipal bonds and may impact their market valuation. Any significant loss on investments or general market downturn may have an adverse effect on the Company’s stockholders' equity and statutory surplus and its business.

 

The Company’s geographic concentration ties its performance to the business, economic, and regulatory conditions in California.

The Company’s insurance business is concentrated in California (99.9% of gross written premium (before reinsurance ceded) in 2020 and 2019). Accordingly, unfavorable business, economic or regulatory conditions in the state of California could negatively impact the Company’s performance. In addition, California is exposed to severe natural perils, such as earthquakes and fires along with the possibility of terrorist acts. Accordingly, the Company could suffer losses as a result of catastrophic events, and such losses could be magnified as a result of its business concentration in California.

 

The Company’s single operating location exposes it to geographic risk.

The Company conducts its business from a single facility located in the Calabasas building. The Company may not be able to access the building due to natural disasters, civil unrests, closures of public roads or utilities, or other unforeseen events. While the Company has procedures and insurance in place to mitigate short-term access limitations to the building, an extended building access limitation may have an adverse impact on the Company’s results of operation.

 

The Company relies on independent insurance agents and brokers.

The failure or inability of independent insurance agents and brokers to market the Company’s insurance programs successfully could have a materially adverse effect on its business, financial condition and results of operations. Independent brokers are not obligated to promote the Company’s insurance programs and may sell competitors' insurance programs. The Company’s business largely depends on the marketing efforts of independent brokers and on the Company’s ability to offer insurance programs and services that meet the requirements of the customers of those brokers.

 

The Company’s reserve for doubtful accounts is based on estimates.

The Company may not be able to collect the premiums it estimates are collectible from its agents and brokers and, therefore, the Company’s reserve for doubtful accounts may not be sufficient.

 

Litigation may have an adverse effect on the Company’s business.

The Company’s is routinely involved in litigation, which can be unpredictable and costly, and may result in negative effects on the Company’s business, reputation, financial condition or results of operations. By virtue of the nature of its business, the Company is subject to numerous legal proceedings in which it may be named as either plaintiff or defendant. Such disputes may concern the issuance or non-issuance of individual insurance policies, coverage disputes or other matters. In addition, the insurance industry is the target of class action lawsuits and other types of litigation, some of which involve claims for substantial and/or indeterminate amounts and the outcomes of which are unpredictable. This litigation can be based on a variety of issues including insurance and claim settlement practices. Although the Company has not been the target of any specific class action lawsuits, it is possible that a lawsuit of this type could have a negative impact on the Company’s business.

 

 

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The exclusions and limitations in the Company’s policies may not be enforceable.

Many of the Company’s policies include exclusions or other conditions that define and limit coverage; these exclusions and conditions are designed to manage the Company’s exposure to certain types of risks and expanding theories of legal liability. In addition, many of the Company’s policies limit the period during which a policyholder may bring a claim under the policy; this period in many cases is shorter than the statutory period under which these claims can be brought by the policyholders. While these exclusions and limitations help the Company assess and control its loss exposure, it is possible that a court or regulatory authority could nullify or void an exclusion or limitation, or legislation could be enacted modifying or barring the use of these exclusions and limitations. This could result in higher than anticipated losses and loss adjustment expenses by extending coverage beyond the Company’s underwriting intent or increasing the number or size of claims, which could have a materially adverse effect on the Company’s operating results. In some instances, these changes may not become apparent for some time after the Company has issued the insurance policies that are affected by the changes. As a result, the full extent of liability under the Company’s insurance policies may not be known for many years after a policy is issued.

 

The Company may find it difficult to acquire necessary data.

Certain data used and supplied by the Company are subject to regulation at the federal, state, and local level. Compliance with these emerging laws and regulations has not had a material adverse effect on the Company’s operations to date. However, federal, state, and local laws and regulations in the United States designed to protect the public from the misuse of personal information in the marketplace and adverse publicity or potential litigation concerning the commercial use of such information may affect the Company’s operations and could result in substantial regulatory compliance expense, litigation expense, and loss of revenue. The vendors and suppliers of the Company face similar burdens. As a result of these and other factors, the Company may find it financially difficult or burdensome to acquire necessary data.  

 

The Company relies on its information technology systems, and the data within those systems, to manage many aspects of its business. Cybersecurity risks, the failure of these systems to operate properly, and/or the failure to maintain the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of policyholder and claims data, including personal identifying information, could result in a materially adverse effect on the Company’s business, reputation, financial condition and results of operations.

The Company collects and retains large volumes of internal and policyholder data, including personal identifying information. The Company uses this information for a variety of business purposes, including but not limited to underwriting, claims, billing, and administration. The Company also collects and retains the personal identifying information of its employees and job applicants. The Company therefore depends on the security, accuracy, reliability, and proper functioning of its information technology systems to effectively manage many aspects of its business, including underwriting, policy acquisition, claims processing and handling, accounting, reserving and actuarial processes and policies, job applications, employee management, and maintaining its policyholder data.

 

The failure of hardware or software that supports the Company’s information technology systems or the loss of data contained in the systems could disrupt its business and could result in decreased premiums, increased overhead costs, and inaccurate reporting, all of which could have a materially adverse effect on the Company’s business, financial condition, and results of operations. In addition, despite system redundancy, the implementation of security measures and the existence of a disaster recovery plan for the Company’s information technology systems, these systems are vulnerable to damage or interruption from events such as:

    Earthquake, fire, flood, and other natural disasters.
    Terrorism acts and attacks by computer viruses or hackers.
    Power loss.
    Unauthorized access.
    Computer systems or data network failure.

 

It is possible that a system failure, accident, security breach, or unauthorized internal or external knowledge, or misuse of confidential Company data could result in a material disruption to the Company’s business and reputation, as well as an increased risk of remedial and other expenses, fines, or lawsuits.

 

 

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Although the Company seeks to mitigate the impact and severity of potential cyber threats more generally, not every risk or liability can be mitigated against. To the extent that a critical system fails or is not properly implemented and the failure cannot be corrected in a timely manner, the Company may experience disruptions to the business that could have a materially adverse effect on the Company’s results of operations. In addition, the costs associated with the development or acquisition of new computer software, such as in the case of the Company’s planned replacement of its policy administration system, may result in impairment charges if such acquisition or development is not successfully implemented. Any such impairment charges may adversely impact the Company’s results of operation.

 

During the first quarter of 2020, the Company concluded an investigation regarding potential unauthorized access to non-public personal information as a result of a vulnerability in one of the Company’s websites. The investigation identified non-public personal information pertaining to approximately 15 individuals that likely were accessed without authorization. These 15 individuals were notified and offered complimentary credit monitoring services, and the vulnerability was remediated. While the incident did not have a material impact on the Company’s business, it increases the risk associated with future incidents, investigations, and lawsuits, particularly the risk of damage to the Company’s reputation.

 

In conducting its business and delivering its products and services, the Company also uses various third party vendors and service providers. These service providers and the systems they utilize are typically subject to the same types of security-related risks the Company faces. The Company provides certain of these vendors with data, including non-public personal identifying information. There is no guarantee that the Company’s due diligence or ongoing vendor oversight will be sufficient to ensure the integrity and security of the systems used by these vendors or the protection of information that resides thereon. Adverse consequences for the Company in the event of a significant event involving the systems of its vendors or the information provided to the vendors, among others, could delay the Company’s delivery of products and services, result in a direct or indirect financial loss, and/or result in loss of business and/or reputational damage.

 

Certain laws and contracts the Company has entered into require it to notify various parties, including consumers or customers, in the event of certain actual or potential data breaches or systems failures, including those of the Company’s service providers. These notifications can result, among other things, in the loss of customers, lawsuits, adverse publicity, diversion of management’s time and energy, the attention of regulatory authorities, fines and disruptions in sales. If the Company or its service providers fail to comply with applicable regulations and contractual requirements, the Company could be exposed to lawsuits, governmental proceedings or the imposition of fines, among other consequences.

 

Any inability to prevent or adequately respond to the issues described above could disrupt the Company’s business, inhibit its ability to retain existing customers or attract new customers, otherwise harm its reputation and/or result in financial losses, litigation, increased costs or other adverse consequences that could be material to the Company.

 

Data privacy and security laws and regulations are continuing to change.

The legal and regulatory environment in the United States governing data privacy and security is becoming increasingly complex, and continues to evolve. An increasing number of federal and state laws and regulations apply to the collection, use, retention, protection, disclosure, transfer, and otherwise processing of personal data, including HIPAA, HITECH, the GLBA, the CCPA, CPRA, and IIPPA. The effects of these laws, including the cost of compliance and required changes in the manner in which the Company conducts its business, are not fully known and are potentially significant, and the failure to comply could adversely affect the Company. The Company has, and continues to incur costs to comply with these laws and to respond to inquiries about its compliance with the same. Maintaining compliance with applicable data privacy and security laws and regulations may increase the Company’s operating costs and adversely impact its ability to market products and service policyholders. Any inability to prevent or adequately respond to these legal and regulatory challenges could disrupt the Company’s business, inhibit its ability to retain existing customers or attract new customers, otherwise harm its reputation and/or result in financial losses, litigation, increased costs, or other adverse consequences that could be material to the Company.

 

 

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The Company has experienced delays and cost overruns in connection with the upgrade of its legacy information technology system.

In 2018, the Company identified the need to replace or upgrade its legacy information technology system to process its smaller premium accounts more efficiently. At that time, the Company determined that the cost to replace its legacy IT system would be between $4 million and $8 million, and the installation of such a system would take between two to four years. After weighing the time and expense involved against the anticipated benefit from such an investment, the Company opted for what it then perceived to be a less expensive upgrade to its legacy system, an upgrade that then seemed to offer more incremental benefits in a shorter timeframe. While initially expected to be completed by the end of 2019, the system upgrade is now expected to be completed by the end of the first quarter of 2021, due to unexpected technical challenges and personnel changes. The Company has also experienced repeated cost overruns in connection with the system upgrade, which have adversely impacted the Company’s results of operations. The Company believes that the failure to have replaced or upgraded its legacy information technology system has contributed to its operating losses in recent years. If the Company experiences further delays or cost overruns, its results of operations may be adversely affected in future periods.

 

The ability of the Company to attract, develop and retain employees and to maintain appropriate staffing levels is critical to the Company’s success.

The Company must hire and train new employees and retain current employees to handle its operations. The failure of the Company to successfully hire and retain a sufficient number of skilled employees could have an adverse effect on the Company’s business. In the third quarter of 2020, the Company’s management team underwent significant changes, including the retirement of its former Chairman of the Board, Chief Executive Officer and President, who was replaced by Ronald Closser as the Interim Chairman of the Board, Chief Executive Officer and President. Upon the end of the term of Ronald Closser’s employment agreement in the first quarter of 2021, Michael Budnitsky was appointed as the Interim Chief Executive Officer and President. If the Company is unsuccessful in hiring and retaining a permanent Chief Executive Officer and President, as well as other key employees, the resulting disruption could have a significant adverse effect on the Company’s operations.

 

The Company’s financial condition may be adversely affected if one or more parties that have significant contracts or relationships with the Company become insolvent, experience other financial difficulties, or default in the performance of obligations.

The Company’s business is dependent on the performance by third parties of their responsibilities under various contractual or services arrangements. These include, for example, contracts for the acquisition of goods and services (such as telecommunications and information technology facilities, equipment and support, and other systems and services that are integral to its operations), agreements with independent or outside claim adjusters, agreements with other insurance carriers to sell products that the Company does not offer, and arrangements for transferring certain risks (including reinsurance used in connection with certain insurance products and corporate insurance policies). The Company is also dependent on its dealings with banks and other financial institutions. If one or more of these parties were to default in the performance of their obligations or determine to abandon or terminate support for a system, product, or service that is significant to the Company’s business, it could suffer significant financial losses and operational interruptions or other problems, which could in turn adversely affect its financial performance, cash flows, or results of operations and cause damage to its brand and reputation.

 

The property casualty insurance industry is highly competitive, and the Company may not be able to compete effectively against larger and/or better capitalized companies.

The Company faces intense competition in the property and casualty insurance industry. Competition in the property and casualty marketplace is based on many factors including premiums charged, services provided, financial strength ratings assigned by independent rating agencies, speed of claims payments, reputation, perceived financial strength, technology, and general experience. The Company competes with many regional and national property and casualty insurance companies. Many of these competitors are better capitalized than the Company, have greater financial, marketing and management resources than the Company, and have higher A.M. Best ratings. The superior capitalization, resources and ratings of the Company’s competitors may enable them to offer lower rates, to withstand larger losses, and to more effectively take advantage of new marketing opportunities and attract new customers. Intense competitive pressure on prices can result from the actions of even a single large competitor. The Company’s competition may also become increasingly better capitalized in the future as the traditional barriers between insurance companies and banks and other financial institutions erode and as the property and casualty industry continues to consolidate.

 

 

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The Company may undertake strategic marketing and operating initiatives to improve its competitive position and drive growth. If the Company is unable to successfully implement new strategic initiatives or if the Company’s marketing campaigns do not attract new customers, the Company’s competitive position may be harmed, which could adversely affect the Company’s business and results of operations.

 

Crusader is a participant in various underwriting pools and programs which have legal power to levy assessments to Crusader.

As an admitted insurer in several states, Crusader is obligated to participate in various underwriting pools and programs run at federal and state levels.  Examples include, but not limited to, a program established by the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act of 2002 within the Department of the Treasury, California Assigned Risk Plan, California FAIR Plan, and California Insurance Guarantee Association.  These underwriting pools and programs have legal powers to assess their participants for net losses sustained in these underwriting pools and programs operations.  Such assessments could have an adverse effect on the Company’s financial condition and results of operations.

 

RISKS RELATED TO THE COMPANY’S STOCK

The Company’s primary goal is to maximize the long-term value of the enterprise which may sometimes conflict with short-term earnings expectations.

The Company does not manage its business to maximize short-term stock performance. It also does not provide earnings estimates to the market and does not comment on earnings estimates by analysts. As a result, its reported results for a particular period may vary, perhaps significantly, from investors’ expectations, which could result in significant volatility in the price of its common shares.

 

In addition, due to the Company’s focus on the long-term value of an enterprise, it may undertake business strategies and establish related financial goals for a specific year that are designed to enhance its longer-term performance, while understanding that such strategies may not always similarly benefit short-term results, such as its annual underwriting profit or earnings per share.

 

The Company is controlled by a small number of shareholders who will be able to exert significant influence over matters requiring shareholder approval.

A small number of holders of the Company’s stock own a majority of the voting power of the Company. Accordingly, those holders have the ability to exert significant influence on the outcome of corporate actions, involving the Company requiring shareholder approval, including the election of directors, change of control transactions or any other significant corporate transactions. This concentration of ownership may conflict with the interests of the Company’s other shareholders.

 

Insurance laws make it difficult to effect a change of control of the Company or the sale of any subsidiaries.

To acquire control of a U.S. insurance company or any holding company of a U.S. insurance company, prior written approval must be obtained from the Department of Insurance in the state where the insurer is domiciled. The Department of Insurance of the state will consider a number of factors relating to the acquirer and the transaction prior to granting approval of the application to acquire control of the insurer or the holding company. These laws and regulations may discourage potential acquisition proposals and may delay, deter or prevent a change of control of the Company or the sale by the Company of any of its insurance subsidiaries, including transactions that some or all of the Company’s shareholders might consider to be desirable.

 

The trading market for the Company’s stock is relatively illiquid.

There has been relatively limited trading volume in the market for the Company’s common stock, and a more active, liquid public trading market may not develop or may not be sustained. Limited liquidity in the trading market for the Company’s common stock may adversely affect shareholders’ ability to sell their shares of common stock at the time they wish to sell them or at a price that they considers acceptable.

 

 

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GENERAL RISK FACTORS

 

Changes in accounting standards issued by the Financial Accounting Standards Board (“FASB”) or other standard-setting bodies may adversely affect the Company’s consolidated financial statements.

The Company’s consolidated financial statements are subject to the application of GAAP, which is periodically revised and/or expanded. Accordingly, the Company is required to adopt new or revised accounting standards from time to time issued by recognized authoritative bodies, including the FASB. It is possible that future changes the Company is required to adopt could change the current accounting treatment that the Company applies to its consolidated financial statements and that such changes could have a material effect on the Company’s financial condition and results of operations.

 

Changes in federal or state tax laws could have a materially adverse effect on the Company’s financial condition and results of operations.

The Company’s financial condition and results of operations are dependent, in part, on tax policy implemented at the federal and/or state level. The Company’s results are also subject to federal and state tax rules applicable to dividends received from its subsidiaries. Additionally, changes in tax laws could have an adverse effect on deferred tax assets and liabilities included in the Company’s consolidated balance sheets and results of operations. The Company cannot predict whether any tax legislation will be enacted in the near future or whether any such changes to existing federal or state tax law would have a material adverse effect on the Company's financial condition and results of operations.

 

The Company’s disclosure controls and procedures may not prevent or detect all acts of fraud.

The Company’s disclosure controls and procedures are designed to reasonably ensure that information required to be disclosed in reports filed or submitted under the Securities Exchange Act is accumulated and communicated to management and is recorded, processed, summarized, and reported within the time periods specified in the SEC’s rules and forms. The Company’s management believes that any disclosure controls and procedures or internal controls and procedures, no matter how well conceived and operated, can provide only reasonable, not absolute, assurance that the objectives of the control system are met. Because of the inherent limitations in all control systems, they cannot provide absolute assurance that all control issues and instances of fraud, if any, within the Company have been prevented or detected. These inherent limitations include the realities that judgments in decision making can be faulty and that breakdowns can occur because of a simple error or mistake. Additionally, controls can be circumvented by the individual acts of some persons, by collusion of two or more people, or by an unauthorized override of the controls. The design of any system of controls also is based in part upon certain assumptions about the likelihood of future events, and the Company cannot ensure that any design will succeed in achieving its stated goals under all potential future conditions. Accordingly, because of the inherent limitations in a cost effective control system, misstatements due to error or fraud may occur and may not be detected.

 

Changes in general economic conditions may have an adverse effect on the Company’s revenues and profitability.

The Company’s financial condition and results of operations may be negatively impacted by national and local economic conditions, such as recessions, increased levels of unemployment, inflation and the disruption in the financial markets. The Company is not able to predict the effect of these factors or their duration and severity.

 

The Company depends on key personnel, the loss of which could negatively impact its business.

The Company’s current and future success is dependent to a large extent on the retention and continued service of its key personnel, which includes its executive officers. The loss or unavailability of any key personnel, which includes its executive officers, could have an adverse effect on the Company’s financial condition and results of operations.

 

The Company cannot assure you that it will declare or pay dividends on its common shares in the future so any returns may be limited to the value of its stock.

The Company currently anticipates that it will retain future earnings for the development, operation and expansion of its business and does not anticipate declaring or paying any cash dividends for the foreseeable future.  Any return to shareholders will therefore be limited to appreciation in value of their stock, if any.

 

 

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In addition, any determination to declare or pay future dividends to the Company’s shareholders will be at the discretion of the Company’s Board and will depend on a variety of factors, including (1) the Company’s financial condition, liquidity, results of operations (including its ability to generate cash flow in excess of expenses and its expected or actual net income), retained earnings and collateral and capital requirements, (2) general business conditions, (3) legal, tax and regulatory limitations, (4) contractual prohibitions and other restrictions, (5) the effect of a dividend or dividends upon the Company’s financial strength ratings and (6) any other factors that the Board deems relevant.

 

The Company incurs significant costs as a result of operating as a public company, and its management is required to devote substantial time to related compliance initiatives.

As a public company, the Company incurs significant legal, accounting and other expenses that it did not incur as a private company.  In addition, the Company is subject to the reporting requirements of the Exchange Act, which require, among other things, that it files with the SEC, annual, quarterly and current reports with respect to its business and financial condition.  The Company is also subject to other reporting and corporate governance requirements, including certain requirements of Nasdaq and provisions of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and the regulations promulgated thereunder, which imposes significant compliance obligations upon it.

 

The Sarbanes-Oxley Act and the Dodd-Frank Act, as well as rules subsequently implemented by the SEC and Nasdaq, have increased regulation of, and imposed enhanced disclosure and corporate governance requirements on, public companies.  Our efforts to comply with these laws, regulations and standards have increased the Company’s operating costs and may divert management’s time and attention from revenue-generating activities.

 

Failure to maintain an effective system of internal control over financial reporting may have an adverse effect on the Company’s stock price.

Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 and the related rules and regulations promulgated by the SEC require the Company to include in its Form 10-K a report by its management regarding the effectiveness of the Company’s internal control over financial reporting. The report includes, among other things, an assessment of the effectiveness of the Company’s internal control over financial reporting as of the end of its fiscal year, including a statement as to whether or not the Company’s internal control over financial reporting is effective. This assessment must include disclosure of any material weaknesses in the Company’s internal control over financial reporting identified by management. Areas of the Company’s internal control over financial reporting may require improvement from time to time. If management is unable to assert that the Company’s internal control over financial reporting is effective now or in any future period, investors may lose confidence in the accuracy and completeness of the Company’s financial reports, which could have an adverse effect on its stock price.

 

Item 1B. Unresolved Staff Comments.

None.

 

Item 2. Properties.

On September 26, 2013, Crusader purchased land and a two-story building located at 26050 Mureau Road, Calabasas, California (the “Headquarters”). The Company moved its home office to this location on October 9, 2015, and has been occupying the building through the present time. On February 12, 2021, Crusader sold the Headquarters, the leasehold improvements and substantially all existing furniture, fixtures and equipment to a third party for a sale price of $12,695,000, and leased back a portion of the Headquarters for continued use as the Company’s home office.

 

Item 3. Legal Proceedings.

The Company, by virtue of the nature of the business conducted by it, becomes involved in numerous legal proceedings in which it may be named as either plaintiff or defendant. Incidental actions are sometimes brought by customers or others that relate to disputes concerning the issuance or non-issuance of individual insurance policies or other matters. In addition, the Company resorts to legal proceedings from time to time in order to enforce collection of premiums, commissions, or fees for the services rendered to customers or to their agents. These routine items of litigation do not materially affect the Company’s operations and are handled on a routine basis through independent counsel.

 

 

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Item 4. Mine Safety Disclosures.

Not applicable. 

 

PART II

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

The Company's common stock is traded on the Nasdaq Global Market under the symbol "UNAM." As of March 31, 2021, the number of shareholders of record of the Company's common stock was 179. That number does not include beneficial owners of the Company’s common stock held in the name of nominees.

 

There were no cash dividends declared or paid by the Company in the years ending December 31, 2020 and 2019, respectively. The Company considers its profitability, cash requirements, capital requirements, general business conditions and other factors prior to the declaration of cash dividends.

 

On August 10, 2020, the Board authorized a share repurchase program (the “2020 Program”) for up to $5,000,000 of the currently outstanding shares of the Company’s common stock. The 2020 Program is effective immediately and replaces the Company’s existing share repurchase program that was adopted by the Board on December 19, 2008 (the “2008 Program”) to acquire from time to time up to an aggregate of 500,000 shares of the Company’s common stock. The purchases under the 2020 Program may be made from time to time in the open market, through block trades, 10b5-1 trading plans, privately negotiated transactions or otherwise and in accordance with applicable laws, rules and regulations. The timing and actual number of the shares repurchased under the 2020 Program will depend on a variety of factors including price, market conditions and corporate and regulatory requirements. The Company intends to fund the share repurchases under the 2020 Program from cash on hand. The 2020 Program does not commit the Company to repurchase shares of its common stock and it may be amended, suspended or discontinued at any time. During the three months ended December 31, 2020, the Company repurchased its shares under the 2020 Program in unsolicited transactions as follows:

 

    Total Number of Shares Purchased   Average Price Paid Per Share   Total Number of Shares Purchased as Part of Publicly Announced Programs   Maximum Dollar Value that May Yet Be Purchased Under the Program
Period                
  October 1 – 31, 2020     —         —         —       $ 4,996,721  
  November 1 – 30, 2020     —         —         —         4,996,721  
  December 1 – 31, 2020     227     $ 5.35       227       4,995,507  
       Total     227     $ 5.35       227     $ 4,995,507  

 

The Company has remaining authority under the 2020 Program to repurchase up to $4,995,507 of the currently outstanding shares of the Company’s common stock as of December 31, 2020. The Company has retired or will retire all stock repurchased under the 2020 Program and 2008 Program.

 

Item 6. Selected Financial Data.

As a smaller reporting company, the Company has elected to comply with certain scaled disclosure reporting obligations, and therefore does not have to provide the information required by this Item.

 

 

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

 

Forward-Looking Statements

This Management's Discussion and Analysis (“MD&A”) is intended to provide an understanding of the Company’s financial condition and results of operations by focusing on changes in certain key measures from year to year. This MD&A should be read in conjunction with the Company’s consolidated financial statements and notes thereto.  This discussion contains forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties.  The Company’s actual results could differ materially from those anticipated in these forward-looking statements as a result of various factors, including those discussed elsewhere in this Annual Report on Form 10-K, particularly in Item 1A – “Risk Factors.”

 

Overview

General

Unico American Corporation is an insurance holding company. Currently, the Company’s subsidiary Crusader Insurance Company (“Crusader”) underwrites commercial property and casualty insurance, the Company’s subsidiaries Unifax Insurance Systems, Inc. (“Unifax”) and American Insurance Brokers, Inc. (“AIB”) provide marketing and various underwriting support services related to property, casualty, health and life insurance, the Company’s subsidiary American Acceptance Company (“AAC”) provides insurance premium financing, and the Company’s subsidiary Insurance Club, Inc., dba AAQHC, an Administrator (“AAQHC”) provides membership association services.

 

Total revenues for the year ended December 31, 2020, were $32,560,111 compared to $31,372,814 for the year ended December 31, 2019, an increase of $1,187,297. The Company’s net loss for the year ended December 31, 2020 was $21,491,113 compared to net loss of $3,115,703 for the year ended December 31, 2019.

 

Repeated and sustained underwriting losses in Crusader’s Apartments & Commercial Buildings vertical and growth in the Transportation vertical, a product which is generally known for its difficulty to be underwritten profitably, coupled with changes in market conditions, caused Crusader’s management to reevaluate the assumptions used in its process for estimating loss and loss adjustment expense reserves. This reevaluation resulted in a $9,399,547 increase in Crusader’s IBNR reserves, net of reinsurance, which was a primary contributor to the $12,066,793 increase in losses and loss adjustment expenses of $34,642,920 recognized for the twelve months ended December 31, 2020 compared to $22,576,127 recognized for the twelve months ended December 31, 2019.

 

Another significant contributor to the Company’s increased net loss for the year ended December 31, 2020 was an increase in income tax expense of $3,681,785 during the twelve months ended December 31, 2020, due primarily to an increase in the valuation allowance related to deferred tax assets on federal net operating losses.

 

This overview discusses some of the relevant factors that management considers in evaluating the Company's performance, prospects and risks. It is not all inclusive and is meant to be read in conjunction with the entirety of the MD&A, the Company's consolidated financial statements and notes thereto, and all other items contained within this Annual Report on Form 10-K.

 

As a result of the ongoing coronavirus (“COVID-19”) pandemic, economic uncertainties have arisen, which negatively impacted and may continue to negatively impact the fair value of investments, day to day administration of the Company’s business and the Company’s results of operations, financial condition and prospects.

 

The effects of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic were a major contributor to the variability in fair value of the Company’s fixed income and equity investments during the twelve months ended December 31, 2020, and the economic uncertainty caused by the pandemic may lead to further investment valuation volatility. In addition, the recent decline in investment yields resulted in lower reinvestment rates, compared to the previous years, which will cap the Company’s investment portfolio’s ability to generate higher levels of investment income, absent a larger invested asset base or a change in investment philosophy.

 

 

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Although the COVID-19 pandemic did not have a material impact on Crusader’s overall gross written premium (direct and assumed written premium before cessions to reinsurers under reinsurance treaties) during the twelve months ended December 31, 2020, Crusader has experienced a decrease in new business submissions and renewals related to the pandemic in its Bars/Taverns market sector niche as a result of government regulations, such as shelter-in-place orders and in-door dining limitations, which had adversely impacted the gross written premium for that niche.

 

Crusader has received a number of coronavirus-related business interruption claims. While the Company does not believe it is exposed to substantial risk from those claims under the insurance policies written by Crusader, the individual circumstances of each such claim are reviewed to fulfill Crusader’s obligation to its policyholders if coverage applies. Further, there may be impacts to the timing of loss emergence and ultimate loss ratios for certain of Crusader’s products due to postponements of civil court cases, extensions of various statutes of limitations, changes in settlement trends and other new legislative, regulatory or judicial developments, which could result in loss reserve deficiencies and negative impact on results of operations.

 

The Company’s financial results for the twelve months ended December 31, 2020, do not fully reflect the potential adverse impacts that the ongoing coronavirus pandemic has had or will have on its business due to a high degree of uncertainty around this relatively new and continuously evolving environment. The financial impact of these uncertainties is unknown at this time but could result in a material adverse effect on the Company’s business, results of operations, financial condition and prospects.

 

While the coronavirus pandemic is also affecting the Company’s internal operations, the Company implemented a plan at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic to help its operations continue effectively during the ongoing pandemic, including processes to limit the spread of COVID-19 among employees. For example, the Company modified its business practices in accordance with social distancing and safety guidelines, allowing many employees work-from-home arrangements, flexible work schedules, and restricted business travel. The Company’s employees are following the guidelines and approximately 75% are working from their homes. The Company will follow governmental safety guidelines to determine when to remove the coronavirus-related business restrictions and to allow employees working from home to return to the workplace. At this point, the Company does not have an estimate on when these changes will occur. While the pandemic has created new challenges for the Company, the Company’s ability to maintain its operations, internal controls and relationships has not been adversely affected.

 

The Company’s financial performance suffered in recent years, reporting net losses for each fiscal year beginning with the year ended December 31, 2015. While losses in recent years have been driven primarily by losses from Crusader’s policies and their high loss ratios, management believes that other contributing factors include (1) the growth of some of the Company’s non-routine expenses relative to flat or declining revenues, (2) the failure to replace or upgrade the Company’s legacy IT system in order to process Crusader’s smaller premium accounts more efficiently, and (3) the failure to shift focus to larger premium accounts and fee-for-service operations.

 

In light of the challenges faced and operational results, the Company has taken several steps to improve its results. To improve Crusader's loss ratios, beginning in January 2017, the Company made significant changes in its staffing and in its pricing and risk selection practices. To improve revenues the Company is working to improve its sales in the markets that it has historically served, to gain access to markets that it has not previously served, and to generate new sources of revenue on a fee-for-service basis. For example, the Company also re-activated its U.S. Risk Managers, Inc. subsidiary so that it can provide claims adjustment services to non-affiliated insurers and to self-insurers on a fee-for-service basis (i.e., where Crusader will not be underwriting the risk), providing the potential for an alternative revenue source to the Company.

 

On April 1, 2020, Crusader and Unifax, entered into a reinsurance arrangement with United Specialty Insurance Company (“USIC”), pursuant to which USIC would underwrite property and casualty insurance policies by and through Unifax and such policies would be reinsured by Crusader. On September 2, 2020, the Company placed a moratorium on placing any new risks with USIC by Unifax pending negotiations among Crusader, Unifax, and USIC pursuant to the issues raised by the DOI regarding the structure of the reinsurance arrangement and its compliance with the California Insurance Holding Company System Act (the “Insurance Act”).

 

 

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On November 24, 2020, as a result of such negotiations with the DOI, Crusader, Unifax and USIC agreed to rescind certain agreements by and among USIC, Crusader and Unifax. The effect of such rescissions was that the rescinded agreements were deemed never to have existed and no insurance policies were deemed issued, and no premium deemed written, collected or reported with respect to those agreements. Further, on November 24, 2020, the parties entered into various restructured arrangements in order to address the issues raised by the DOI with respect to California insurance laws. In particular, the parties eliminated all intercompany duties so that the arrangement would not require prior approval by the DOI under the Insurance Act. Details of the restructured arrangements with USIC include the following:

 

  • On November 24, 2020, USIC and Crusader entered into a new Quota Share Reinsurance Agreement, effective April 1, 2020, (the “New Reinsurance Agreement”), pursuant to which Crusader will reinsure all of USIC’s liability for policies issued by USIC and produced by Unifax for property, general liability, CMP property, CMP liability and other miscellaneous coverages, subject to certain maximum policy limits. Policies placed with USIC by Unifax and reinsured with Crusader prior to November 24, 2020 remain in place without interruption or change and are subject to the New Reinsurance Agreement.

 

  • On November 24, 2020, USIC and Unifax entered into a Surplus Line Broker Agreement, effective April 1, 2020 (the “Broker Agreement”), pursuant to which, and subject to the terms, conditions and limitations set forth therein, USIC authorized Unifax to act as its broker and agent for the purpose of producing and administering certain specified classes of insurance policies, which are the subject of the New Reinsurance Agreement. Under the Broker Agreement, Unifax is entitled to retain a commission for policies produced based on a percentage of the premiums on business placed with USIC. Unifax has agreed to indemnify and hold USIC harmless from any losses relating to the Broker Agreement. The Broker Agreement may be terminated in specified events, including by any party upon 90 days written notice to the other parties and automatically upon cancellation or termination of the New Reinsurance Agreement.

 

  • On November 24, 2020, USIC and U.S. Risk Managers, Inc. (“U.S. Risk”) entered into a Claims Administration Agreement, effective as of April 1, 2020 (the “Claims Administration Agreement”). Pursuant to the Claims Administration Agreement, USIC appointed U.S. Risk, which is a licensed claims adjuster in the state of California, to adjust and settle claims on its behalf in connection with the surplus lines policies issued by USIC in connection with the New Reinsurance Agreement. U.S. Risk will be paid a fee by Unifax on behalf of USIC based on a percentage of earned premium. U.S. Risk will establish an account for payment of claims by U.S. Risk (the “Loss Fund Account”) pursuant to the Claims Administration Agreement. Pursuant to the terms of the New Reinsurance Agreement, Crusader will fund the Loss Fund Account provided for in the Claims Administration Agreement on behalf of USIC.U.S. Risk has agreed to indemnify and hold USIC harmless from any losses relating to the Claims Administration Agreement. The Claims Administration Agreement may be terminated in specified events, including by any party upon 90 days written notice to the other parties and automatically upon cancellation or termination of the Broker Agreement.

In 2018, the Company determined that the cost to replace its legacy IT system would be between $4,000,000 and $8,000,000, and the installation of such a system would take between two to four years. After weighing the time and expense involved against the anticipated benefit from such an investment, the Company opted for what it then perceived to be a less expensive upgrade to its legacy system, an upgrade that then seemed to offer more incremental benefits in a shorter timeframe. While initially expected to be completed by the end of 2019, at a cost of approximately $300,000, excluding costs of Unico’s employees involved in the upgrade, the system upgrade is now expected to be completed by the end of first quarter of 2021 at a cost not to exceed $1,500,000, excluding costs of Unico’s employees involved in the upgrade, due to unexpected technical challenges. In light of the significant delays and increases in cost associated with its legacy upgrade project, the Company has deployed additional resources toward the management of this project and has renegotiated the relationship that it has with the non-affiliated vendor working on this project.

  

Revenue and Income Generation

The Company receives its revenues primarily from earned premium derived from the insurance company operation, commission and fee income generated from the insurance agency operations, finance fee income from the premium finance operations, and investment income from cash generated primarily from the insurance company operation. The insurance company operation generated approximately 94% of the Company’s total revenue for the years ended December 31, 2020 and 2019. None of the Company’s other operations is individually material to consolidated revenues.

 

 

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Insurance Company Operation

As of December 31, 2020, Crusader was licensed as an admitted insurance carrier in the states of Arizona, California, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington. From 2004 until June 2014, all of Crusader’s business was written in the state of California. Crusader’s business remains concentrated in California (99.9% of gross written premium, which represents written premium before cession to reinsurers, in the years ended 2020 and 2019)). During the years ended December 31, 2020 and 2019, 99.6% and 98.3% of Crusader’s business was CMP policies, respectively.

 

Crusader’s total gross written premium (direct and assumed written premium before cessions to reinsurers under reinsurance treaties), as reported on Crusader’s statutory financial statements, was produced geographically as follows:

    Year ended December 31
    2020   2019
         
California   $ 36,618,013     $ 35,773,506  
Arizona     24,817       31,593  
Washington     —         (1,149 )
Total gross written premium   $ 36,642,830     $ 35,803,950  

 

Crusader believes that it can grow its sales and profitability through improved specialization and sales incentives. Crusader currently focuses in four underwriting verticals: (1) Transportation, (2) Food, Beverage & Entertainment, (3) Garage & Mercantile, and (4) Apartments & Commercial Buildings. Crusader also is evaluating the possibility of expanding its operations geographically, on an admitted or non-admitted basis, so as to offer similar products in other states, but the timing of any such expansion is not yet determined.

 

Written premium is a non-GAAP financial measure that is defined, under SAP, as the contractually determined amount charged by the insurance company to the policyholder for the effective period of the contract based on the expectation of risk, policy benefits, and expenses associated with the coverage provided by the terms of the policies. Written premium is a required statutory measure. Written premium is defined under GAAP in Accounting Standards Codification Topic 405, “Liabilities,” as “premiums on all policies an entity has issued in a period.” Earned premium, the most directly comparable GAAP measure to written premium, represents the portion of written premium that is recognized as income in the financial statements for the period presented and earned on a pro-rata basis over the terms of the policies. Written premium is intended to reflect production levels and is meant as supplemental information and not intended to replace earned premium. Such information should be read in connection with the Company’s GAAP financial results.

 

The following is a reconciliation of gross written premium (direct and assumed written premium before cessions to reinsurers under reinsurance treaties) to net earned premium (after premium ceded to reinsurers under reinsurance treaties):

 

    Year ended December 31
    2020   2019
         
Direct written premium   $ 36,338,800     $ 35,803,950  
Assumed written premium     304,030       —    
Less: written premium ceded to reinsurers     (8,078,748 )     (7,153,130 )
Net written premium     28,564,082       28,650,820  
Change in direct unearned premium     (230,570 )     (1,845,748 )
Change in assumed unearned premium     (147,391 )     —    
Change in ceded unearned premium     (17,953 )     (67,604 )
Net earned premium   $ 28,168,168     $ 26,737,468  

 

The insurance company operation’s underwriting profitability is defined by pre-tax underwriting gain or loss which is calculated as net earned premium less losses and loss adjustment expenses and policy acquisition costs.

 

 

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Crusader’s underwriting loss before income taxes is as follows:

    Year ended December 31
    2020   2019
         
Net written premium   $ 28,564,082     $ 28,650,820  
Change in net unearned premium     (395,914 )     (1,913,352 )
Net earned premium     28,168,168       26,737,468  
Less:                
Losses and loss adjustment expenses     34,642,920       22,576,127  
Policy acquisition costs     4,898,807       4,960,846  
Total underwriting expenses     39,541,727       27,536,973  
Underwriting loss before income taxes   $ (11,373,559 )   $ (799,505 )

 

Underwriting gain or loss before income taxes is a non-GAAP financial measure. Underwriting gain or loss before income taxes represents one measure of the pretax profitability of the insurance company operation and is derived by subtracting losses and loss adjustment expenses, and policy acquisition costs from net earned premium, which are all GAAP financial measures. Management believes disclosure of underwriting profit or loss before income taxes is useful supplemental information that helps align the reader’s understanding with management’s view of insurance company operations profitability. Each of these captions is presented in the Consolidated Statements of Operations but is not subtotaled.

 

The following is a reconciliation of Crusader’s underwriting loss before income taxes to the Company’s loss before taxes: 

    Year ended December 31
    2020   2019
         
Underwriting loss before income taxes   $ (11,373,559 )   $ (799,505 )
Insurance company operation revenues:                
Net Investment income     1,988,243       2,097,942  
Net realized investment gains (losses)     97,771       (12,661 )
Net unrealized investment gains on equity securities     198,266       —    
Other income     32,713       123,050  
Other insurance operations revenues:                
Gross commissions and fees     1,827,263       2,176,658  
Finance charges and fees earned     240,589       239,524  
Other income     7,098       10,833  
Less expenses:                
Salaries and employee benefits     6,364,170       4,067,852  
Commissions to agents/brokers     95,315       173,796  
Other operating expenses     4,502,414       2,844,083  
Loss before taxes   $ (17,943,515 )   $ (3,249,890 )

 

Unearned premiums represent premium applicable to the unexpired terms of policies in force. The Company evaluates its unearned premiums periodically for premium deficiencies by comparing the sum of expected claim costs, unamortized deferred policy acquisition costs, and maintenance costs partially offset by net investment income to related unearned premiums. To the extent that any of the Company’s programs become unprofitable, a premium deficiency reserve may be required. The Company recognized a premium deficiency of $150,000 as of December 31, 2020. The Company did not carry a premium deficiency reserve as of December 31, 2019. The premium deficiency was recorded as a reduction in deferred policy acquisition costs.

 

The insurance company operation combined ratio is the sum of (1) the ratio of net losses and loss adjustment expenses incurred (including a provision for IBNR) to net earned premium (loss ratio) and (2) the ratio of policy acquisition costs to net earned premium (expense ratio). If the combined ratio is below 100%, an insurance company has an underwriting profit; if it is above 100%, the company has an underwriting loss.

 

 

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The following table shows the loss ratios, expense ratios, and combined ratios of Crusader:

    Year ended December 31
    2020   2019
         
Loss ratio (1)     123 %     84 %
Expense ratio (2)     38 %     34 %
Combined ratio (3)     161 %     118 %

 

(1) Loss ratio is defined as losses and loss adjustment expenses divided by net earned premium.

(2) Expense ratio is defined as a sum of policy acquisition costs and portions of indirect salaries and employee benefits and other operating expenses allocation to the insurance company operations, reduced by allocation of gross commissions and fees and other income, divided by net earned premium.

(3) Combined ratio is defined as a sum of loss ratio and expense ratio.

The following table provides an analysis of losses and loss adjustment expenses:

    Year ended December 31
    2020   2019
Losses and loss adjustment expenses                
                 
  Provision for insured events of current year   $ 26,683,872     $ 19,384,942  
  Development of insured events of prior years     7,959,048       3,191,185  
Total losses and loss adjustment expenses   $ 34,642,920     $ 22,576,127  

 

On February 5, 2021, A.M. Best Company revised the outlooks to negative from stable and affirmed the FSR of B++ (Good) and Long-Term ICR of “bbb” of Crusader. Additionally, A.M. Best has revised the outlook to negative from stable and affirmed the Long-Term ICR of “bb” of the Company. Crusader is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Company.

 

The negative outlooks capture A.M. Best’s concerns with Crusader’s declining underwriting performance, the Company’s overall capitalization and the execution risk associated with implementing strategic operating changes to address these conditions.

 

The Long-Term ICRs reflect Crusader’s balance sheet strength, which A.M. Best categorizes as very strong, as well as its marginal operating performance, limited business profile and marginal enterprise risk management.

 

Some of Crusader’s policyholders, or the lenders, landlords or clients of Crusader’s policyholders, require insurance from a company that has an A.M. Best FSR of “A-” or higher, and the A.M. Best’s changed ratings of Crusader may also have a negative impact on Crusader’s reputation. Therefore, Crusader’s and Unico’s changed ratings may have a negative impact on the Company’s revenue and results of operations. The Company cannot quantify the impact that the rating changes have had or will have on its revenue and results of operations, and the Company cannot determine if or when Crusader might regain the “A-” FSR from A.M. Best.

 

The reinsurance arrangement with USIC allows Unifax to offer its customers policies written on USIC paper, which has A.M. Best FSR of “A,” when such rating is required.

 

The property and casualty insurance business is cyclical in nature. The conditions of a “soft market” include premium rates that are stable or falling and insurance is readily available. Contrarily, “hard market” conditions occur during periods in which premium rates rise and coverage may be more difficult to find. The Company believes that the California property and casualty insurance market is relatively mature and intensely competitive, with different products in different stages of the soft/hard market cycle at any given time.

 

Other Insurance Operations

The Company’s revenues from other insurance operations consist of commissions, fees, investment and other income. Excluding investment and other income, these operations accounted for approximately 6% and 8% of total revenues for the years ended December 31, 2020 and 2019, respectively.

 

 

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Investments

The Company generated revenues from its total invested assets of $83,617,720 (fixed maturities at amortized cost, equity securities at cost and short-term investments at fair value) and $84,997,226 (fixed maturities at amortized cost and short-term investments at fair value) as of December 31, 2020 and 2019, respectively.

 

Net investment income (net of investment expenses) decreased $109,699 (5%) for the year ended December 31, 2020, as compared to the year ended December 31, 2019. This decrease in net investment income was due primarily to decrease in the average invested assets. 

 

Due to the current interest rate environment, the current target effective duration for the Company’s investment portfolio is between 2.0 and 4.0 years. As of December 31, 2020, all of the Company’s investments are in U.S. Treasury securities, corporate fixed maturity securities, agency mortgage-backed securities, equity securities, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (“FDIC”) insured certificates of deposit, and short-term investments. All of the Company’s investments, except for the certificates of deposit, are readily marketable. As of December 31, 2020, the weighted average maturity of the Company’s investments was approximately 8.0 years, and the effective duration for available-for-sale investments (investments managed under the investment guidelines) was 2.9 years.

 

Liquidity and Capital Resources

 

The most significant liquidity risk faced by the Company is adverse development of the insurance company’s loss and loss adjustment expense reserves.  Based on the Company’s current loss and loss expense reserves and expected current and future payments, the Company believes that there are no current liquidity issues.  However, no assurance can be given that the Company’s estimate of ultimate loss and loss adjustment expense reserves will be sufficient.

 

Crusader has a significant amount of cash, cash equivalents and investments as a result of its holdings of unearned premium reserves, its reserves for loss and loss adjustment expense payments and its capital and surplus.  Crusader's loss and loss adjustment expense payments are the most significant cash flow requirement of the Company.  These payments are continually monitored and projected to ensure that the Company has the liquidity to cover these payments without the need to liquidate its investments.  Cash, cash equivalents, and investments (at amortized cost) of the Company at December 31, 2020, were $87,575,700 compared to $90,778,865 at December 31, 2019.  Crusader's cash, cash equivalents, and investments were 98% and 99% of the total cash, cash equivalents, and investments (at amortized cost) held by the Company as of December 31, 2020 and 2019, respectively.

 

As of December 31, 2020, all of the Company’s investments are in U.S. Treasury securities, FDIC insured certificates of deposit, corporate fixed maturity securities, agency mortgage-backed securities, equity securities and short-term investments. All of the Company’s investments except for the certificates of deposit, are readily marketable.

 

The composition of Company’s investment portfolio is as follows:

 

    December 31, 2020   December 31, 2019
    Amortized   Fair   Amortized   Fair
    Cost   Value   Cost   Value
                 
Fixed maturities:                                
U.S. Treasury securities   $ 10,596,808     $ 10,832,181     $ 15,105,795     $ 15,235,332  
Corporate securities     44,159,926       46,451,905       41,953,378       43,029,333  
Agency mortgage-backed securities     25,314,546       26,125,608       24,943,238       25,235,045  
Certificates of deposit     798,000       798,000       798,000       798,000  
Total fixed maturity investments     80,869,280       84,207,694       82,800,411       84,297,710  
Equity securities     2,548,440       2,746,706       —         —    
Short-term cash investments     200,000       200,000       2,196,815       2,196,815  
Total investments   $ 83,617,720     $ 87,154,400     $ 84,997,226     $ 86,494,525  

 

 

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The short-term investments include U.S. Treasury bills and certificates of deposit that are all highly rated and have initial maturities between three and twelve months. Amortized costs of the short-term investments approximate their fair values.

 

The Company is required to classify its debt securities into one of three categories: held-to-maturity, available-for-sale, or trading securities. Although part of the Company's investments in fixed maturity securities is classified as available-for-sale and, while the Company may sell investment securities from time to time in response to economic, regulatory and market conditions, its investment guidelines place primary emphasis on buying and holding high-quality investments to maturity.

 

The Company’s Board of Directors has approved investment guidelines which reflect the Company’s risk, balance sheet, and profile.

 

Under the Company’s investment guidelines, investments may only include U.S. Treasury notes, U.S. government agency notes, mortgage-backed securities (including pass through securities and collateralized mortgage obligations) that are backed by agency and non-agency collateral, commercial mortgage-backed securities, U.S. corporate obligations, asset backed securities (including but not limited to credit card, automobile and home equity backed securities), tax-exempt bonds, preferred stocks, common stocks, commercial paper, repurchase agreements (treasuries only), mutual funds, exchange traded funds, bank certificates of deposits and time deposits. The investment guidelines provide for certain investment limitations in each investment category.

 

Unless agreed to in advance in writing by Crusader, investments in the following types of securities are prohibited:

 

    Mortgage loans, except for mortgage backed securities issued by an agency of the U.S. government.
    Derivative mortgage-backed securities including interest only, principal only and inverse floating rate securities.
    All fixed maturity real estate securities, except mortgage-backed securities (including pass through securities and collateralized mortgage obligations) that are backed by agency and non-agency collateral and commercial mortgage-backed securities.
    Options and futures contracts.
    All non-U.S. dollar denominated securities.
    Any security that would not be in compliance with the regulations of Crusader’s state of domicile.

 

An independent investment advisor manages Crusader’s investments.  The advisor’s role currently is limited to maintaining Crusader’s portfolio within the investment guidelines and providing investment accounting services to the Company.  Primarily all investments continue to be held by Crusader’s current custodian, Union Bank Global Custody Services.

 

As of December 31, 2020, one corporate security, included in available-for-sale fixed maturities, was held as collateral with Comerica Bank & Trust, N. A. (“Comerica”), pursuant to the reinsurance trust agreement among Crusader, USIC and Comerica to secure payment of Crusader’s liabilities and performance of its obligations under the reinsurance arrangement with USIC. The estimated fair value and amortized cost of that security was $824,500 and $787,653 on December 31, 2020, respectively.

 

On August 10, 2020, the Board authorized a share repurchase program (the “2020 Program”) for up to $5,000,000 of the currently outstanding shares of the Company’s common stock. The 2020 Program is effective immediately and replaces the Company’s existing share repurchase program that was adopted by the Board on December 19, 2008 (the “2008 Program”) to acquire from time to time up to an aggregate of 500,000 shares of the Company’s common stock. The purchases under the 2020 Program may be made from time to time in the open market, through block trades, 10b5-1 trading plans, privately negotiated transactions or otherwise and in accordance with applicable laws, rules and regulations. The timing and actual number of the shares repurchased under the 2020 Program will depend on a variety of factors including price, market conditions and corporate and regulatory requirements. The Company intends to fund the share repurchases under the 2020 Program from cash on hand. The 2020 Program does not commit the Company to repurchase shares of its common stock and it may be amended, suspended or discontinued at any time. The Company repurchased its shares under the 2020 Program and 2008 Program in unsolicited transactions as follows:

 

 

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    December 31   December 31
    2020   2019
         
2020 Program                
Number of shares repurchased     857       —    
Cost of shares repurchased                
   Allocated to retained earnings   $ 4,071     $   —    
   Allocated to capital     422       —    
      Total cost of shares repurchased   $ 4,493     $ —    
                 
2008 Program                
Number of shares repurchased     978       383  
Cost of shares repurchased                
   Allocated to retained earnings   $ 5,760     $ 2,108  
   Allocated to capital     480       188  
      Total cost of shares repurchased   $ 6,240     $ 2,296  

 

The Company has remaining authority under the 2020 Program to repurchase up to $4,995,507 of the currently outstanding shares of the Company’s common stock as of December 31, 2020. The Company has retired or will retire all stock repurchased under the 2020 Program and 2008 Program.

 

The Company reported net cash used by operating activities for each of the years ended December 31, 2020 and 2019.  Cash used by operating activities in 2020 was $2,436,399 compared to $3,163,210 in 2019.  Fluctuations in cash flows from operating activities relate to changes in loss and loss adjustment expense payments, unearned premium holdings, and the timing of the collection and the payment of insurance-related receivables and payables. Although the Consolidated Statements of Cash Flows reflect net cash used by operating activities, the Company does not anticipate future liquidity problems, and the Company believes it continues to be well capitalized and adequately reserved. 

 

While material capital expenditures may be funded through borrowings, the Company believes that its cash, cash equivalents, and short-term investments at December 31, 2020, net of statutory deposits of $710,000 and California insurance company statutory dividend restrictions applicable to Crusader plus the cash to be generated from operations, should be sufficient to meet its operating requirements during the next 12 months without the necessity of borrowing funds.

 

Crusader's statutory capital and surplus as of December 31, 2020, was $26,893,515, a decrease of $19,605,445 (42%) from December 31, 2019. On each of September 14, 2020, and May 20, 2020, Crusader paid cash dividends of $2,000,000 to Unico, its parent and sole shareholder. These two dividends totaling $4,000,000 were used primarily for general corporate purposes. During the year ended December 31, 2019, Crusader issued cash dividends of $2,000,000 to Unico, its parent and sole shareholder. Based on Crusader’s statutory surplus for the year ended December 31, 2020, the maximum aggregate dividend that could be made by Crusader to Unico without prior regulatory approval in 2021 is $2,689,352.

 

During the years ended December 31, 2020 and 2019, no cash dividends were declared or issued by the Company to its shareholders. Declaration of future cash dividends, if any, will be subject to the Company’s profitability, cash requirements, capital requirements, and general business conditions, among other factors.

 

As a California insurance company, Crusader is obligated to pay a premium tax on gross written premium in all states that Crusader is admitted. Premium taxes are deferred and amortized as the related premium is earned. The premium tax is in lieu of state franchise taxes and is not included in the provision for state taxes.

 

Results of Operations

General

Total revenues for the year ended December 31, 2020, were $32,560,111, an increase of $1,187,297 (4%) compared to $31,372,814 for the year ended December 31, 2019. For the year ended December 31, 2020, the Company had loss before taxes of $17,943,515 compared to loss before taxes of $3,249,890 for the year ended December 31, 2019. For the year ended December 31, 2020, the Company had net loss of $21,491,113 compared to net loss of $3,115,703 for the year ended December 31, 2019.

 

 

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The increase in total revenues for the year ended December 31, 2020, compared to the year ended December 31, 2019, was due primarily to an increase in net earned premium of $1,430,700 (5%).

 

The increase in net loss for the year ended December 31, 2020, compared to the year ended December 31, 2019, was due primarily to an increase in losses and loss adjustment expenses of $12,066,793 (53%), increase in salaries and employee benefits of $2,296,318 (56%), an increase in other operating expenses of $1,658,331 (58%), and an increase in income tax expense of $3,681,785 (2744%), partially offset by the increase in net earned premium.

 

During the twelve months ended December 31, 2020, the Company reevaluated certain assumptions used in its process for estimating loss and loss adjustment reserves due to its experiences in Crusader’s Apartments & Commercial Buildings and Transportation verticals as well as changes in market conditions. This reevaluation resulted in a $9,399,547 increase in Crusader’s IBNR reserves, net of reinsurance, which was a primary contributor to the increase of $12,066,793 in losses and loss adjustment expenses from $22,576,127 recognized for the twelve months ended December 31, 2019 to $34,642,920 recognized for the twelve months ended December 31, 2020.

 

The increase in salaries and employee benefits during the twelve months ended December 31, 2020 of $2,296,318 was due primarily to costs associated with a termination of an employment agreement with an executive, increases in executive compensation, increases in employee benefits due to higher medical insurance rates, and vacation accruals due to less vacation taken by the employees as a result of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

 

The increase in other operating expenses of $1,658,331 during the twelve months ended December 31, 2020, was due primarily to increases in legal, depreciation and communication expenses, fees associated with the reinsurance arrangement with USIC, and higher board of director fees.

 

The increase in income tax expense of $3,681,785 during the twelve months ended December 31, 2020, was due primarily to an increase in the valuation allowance related to deferred tax assets on federal net operating losses.

 

The effect of inflation on the Company’s net loss during the years ended December 31, 2020 and 2019 was not significant.

 

Revenues

Crusader Premium

Crusader’s primary lines of business are written on Commercial Multi Peril policies. These policies represented approximately 99.6% and 98.3% of Crusader’s total written premium for the years ended December 31, 2020 and 2019, respectively.

 

Gross written premium (direct and assumed written premium before cessions to reinsurers under reinsurance treaties) reported on Crusader’s statutory financial statements increased $838,880 (2%) to $36,642,830 for the year ended December 31, 2020, compared to $35,803,950 for the year ended December 31, 2019.

 

The increase in gross written premium for the year ended December 31, 2020, was due primarily to growth in the Company’s Transportation vertical, transacted by Crusader. The Transportation vertical transacts insurance primarily for long-haul trucking operations that are domiciled in California. The growth in the Company’s Transportation vertical was partially offset by coronavirus-related contraction in the Food, Beverage & Entertainment underwriting vertical for Crusader.

 

Although the ongoing coronavirus pandemic did not have a significant impact on Crusader’s overall gross written premium (direct and assumed written premium before cessions to reinsurers under reinsurance treaties) during the year ended December 31, 2020, Crusader has experienced a decrease in new business submissions and renewals related to the pandemic in its Bars/Taverns market sector niche as a result of government regulations, such as shelter-in-place orders and in-door dining limitations, which had adversely impacted the gross written premium for that niche.

 

Written premium

Written premium is a required statutory measure. Written premium is a non-GAAP financial measure that is defined, under SAP, as the contractually determined amount charged by the insurance company to the policyholder for the effective period of the contract based on the expectation of risk, policy benefits, and expenses associated with the coverage provided by the terms of the policies.

 

 

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Written premium is defined under GAAP in Accounting Standards Codification Topic 405, “Liabilities,” as “premiums on all policies an entity has issued in a period.” Earned premium, the most directly comparable GAAP measure to written premium, represents the portion of written premium that is recognized as income in the financial statements for the period presented and earned on a pro-rata basis over the terms of the policies. Written premium is intended to reflect production levels and is meant as supplemental information and not intended to replace earned premium. Such information should be read in connection with the Company’s GAAP financial results.

 

Gross earned premium

Gross earned premium (direct and assumed earned premium before cessions to reinsurers under reinsurance treaties) increased $2,306,667 (7%) to $36,264,869 for the year ended December 31, 2020, compared to $33,958,202 for the year ended December 31, 2019. The Company writes annual policies. Earned premium represents a portion of written premium that is recognized as income in the financial statements for the period presented and earned daily on a pro-rata basis over the terms of the policies, and, therefore, premiums earned in the current year are related to policies written during both the current year and immediately preceding year. The increase in gross earned premium for the year ended December 31, 2020, was due primarily to an increase in gross written premium in 2019.

 

Ceded earned premium

Ceded earned premium (premium ceded to reinsurers under reinsurance treaties) increased $875,967 (12%) to $8,096,701 for the year ended December 31, 2020, compared to $7,220,734 for the year ended December 31, 2019. Ceded earned premium as a percentage of gross earned premium was 22% for the year ended December 31, 2020, and 21% for the year ended December 31, 2019. The increase in the ceded earned premium as a percentage of gross earned premium for the year ended December 31, 2020, compared to the year ended December 31, 2019, was due primarily to higher gross earned premium subject to reinsurance treaties and higher rates on excess of loss reinsurance treaties.

 

Reinsurance treaties are generally structured in layers, with different negotiated economic terms and retention of participation, or liability, in each layer. In calendar years 2020 and 2019, Crusader retained participation in its excess of loss reinsurance treaties of 0% in its 1st layer (reinsured losses between $500,000 and $1,000,000), 0% in its 2nd layer (reinsured losses between $1,000,000 and $4,000,000), and 0% in its property and casualty clash treaty.

 

Crusader also has catastrophe reinsurance treaties from various highly rated California authorized and California unauthorized reinsurance companies. These reinsurance treaties help protect Crusader against losses in excess of certain retentions from catastrophic events that may occur on property risks which Crusader insures. In calendar years 2020 and 2019, Crusader retained a participation in its catastrophe excess of loss reinsurance treaties of 5% in its 1st layer (reinsured losses between $1,000,000 and $10,000,000) and 0% in its 2nd layer (reinsured losses between $10,000,000 and $46,000,000).

 

Crusader evaluates each of its ceded reinsurance contracts at its inception to determine if there is a sufficient risk transfer to allow the contract to be accounted for as reinsurance under current accounting literature. As of December 31, 2020, all such ceded contracts are accounted for as risk transfer reinsurance.

 

A tabular presentation of Crusader’s direct, assumed, ceded and net earned premium is as follows:

    Year ended December 31
    2020   2019
         
Direct earned premium   $ 36,108,230     $ 33,958,202  
Assumed earned premium     156,639       —    
Ceded earned premium     (8,096,701 )     (7,220,734 )
Net earned premium   $ 28,168,168     $ 26,737,468  
Ratio of ceded earned premium to gross earned premium (direct and assumed earned premium)     22 %     21 %

 

 

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Investment Income, Net Realized Investment Gains and Losses, and

Net Unrealized Investment Gains on Equity Securities

Net investment income decreased $109,699 (5%) to $1,988,243 for the year ended December 31, 2020, compared to $2,097,942 for the year ended December 31, 2019. This decrease in net investment income was due primarily to a decrease in average invested assets. The Company had net realized investment gains of $97,771 and net unrealized investment gains on equity securities of $198,266, for the year ended December 31, 2020, compared to net realized investment losses of $12,661 and no net unrealized investment gains on equity securities for the year ended December 31, 2019.

 

Net investment income, excluding net realized investment losses/gains, and yields on Company’s average invested assets are as follows:

    Year ended December 31
    2020   2019
         
Average invested assets (1) – at amortized cost   $ 84,307,473     $ 89,350,796  
                 
Net investment income from:                
Invested assets (2)   $ 1,984,548     $ 2,051,428  
Cash equivalents     3,695       46,528  
Total   $ 1,988,243     $ 2,097,956  
                 
Yield on average invested assets (3)     2.4 %     2.3 %

(1) The average is based on the beginning and ending balances of the amortized cost of the invested assets for each respective year.

(2) Investment income from invested assets included $133,679 of investment expense for the year ended December 31, 2020, compared to $129,842 for the year ended December 31, 2019.

(3) Annualized yield on average invested assets did not include the investment income from cash equivalents.

 

The par value, amortized cost, estimated market value and weighted average yield of fixed maturity investments at December 31, 2020, by contractual maturity are as follows:

 

Maturities by Calendar Year

 

 

Par Value

  Amortized Cost  

 

Fair Value

 

Weighted Average Yield

                 
Due in one year   $ 11,070,641     $ 11,064,202     $ 11,169,232       2.57 %
Due after one year through five years     30,065,671       30,090,910       31,260,694       2.59 %
Due after five years through ten years     18,363,570       18,476,051       19,806,444       2.51 %
Due after ten years and beyond     20,927,571       21,238,117       21,971,324       2.63 %
Total   $ 80,427,453     $ 80,869,280     $ 84,207,694       2.58 %

 

Expected maturities will differ from contractual maturities because borrowers may have the right to call or prepay obligations with or without penalties.

 

The weighted average maturity of the Company’s investments was approximately 8.0 years as of December 31, 2020, and 7.7 years as of December 31, 2019.

 

As of December 31, 2020, all of the Company’s investments are in U.S. Treasury securities, FDIC insured certificates of deposit, corporate fixed maturity securities, agency mortgage-backed securities, equity securities and short-term investments. The investments in the certificates of deposit are classified as held-to-maturity investments, and all other fixed maturity investments are classified as available-for-sale. All of the Company’s investments, except for the certificates of deposit, are readily marketable. The following table sets forth the composition of the investment portfolio of the Company at the dates indicated:

 

 

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    December 31, 2020   December 31, 2019
    Amortized   Fair   Amortized   Fair
Type of Security   Cost   Value   Cost   Value
                 
Available-for-sale fixed maturity investments:                                
U.S. Treasury securities   $ 10,596,808     $ 10,832,181     $ 15,105,795     $ 15,235,332  
Corporate securities     44,159,926       46,451,905       41,953,378       43,029,333  
Agency mortgage-backed securities     25,314,546       26,125,608       24,943,238       25,235,045  
Held-to-maturity fixed maturity investments:                                
Certificates of deposit     798,000       798,000       798,000       798,000  
Total fixed maturity investments     80,869,280       84,207,694       82,800,411       84,297,710  
Equity securities     2,548,440       2,746,706       —         —    
Short-term cash investments:                                
U.S. Treasury bills     —         —         1,996,815       1,996,815  
Certificates of deposit     200,000       200,000       200,000       200,000  
Short-term cash investments     200,000       200,000       2,196,815       2,196,815  
Total investments   $ 83,617,720     $ 87,154,400     $ 84,997,226     $ 86,494,525  

 

A summary of estimated fair value and gross unrealized losses in a gross unrealized loss position by the length of time in which the securities have continually been in that position is shown below:

 

    Less than 12 Months   12 Months or Longer
   

Estimated

Fair Value

 

Gross Unrealized

Losses

 

Number of Securities

 

Estimated

Fair Value

 

Gross Unrealized

Losses

 

Number of Securities

December 31, 2020                        
U.S. Treasury securities   $ —       $ —         —       $ —       $ —         —    
Corporate securities     2,101,986       (55,847 )     2       —         —         —    
Agency mortgage-backed securities     3,223,329       (22,274 )     12       —         —         —    
Total debt securities     5,325,315       (78,121 )     14       —         —         —    
Equity securities     723,346       (37,357 )     25       —         —         —    
Total   $ 6,048,661     $ (115,478 )     39     $ —       $ —         —    

 

    Less than 12 Months   12 Months or Longer
   

Estimated

Fair Value

 

Gross Unrealized

Losses

 

Number of Securities

 

Estimated

Fair Value

 

Gross Unrealized

Losses

 

Number of Securities

December 31, 2019                        
U.S. Treasury securities   $ 1,996,562     $ (253 )     1     $ 1,002,031     $ (775 )     1  
Corporate securities     999,818       (56 )     1       —         —         —    
Agency mortgage-backed securities     750,058       (1,950 )     2       —         —         —    
Total   $ 3,746,438     $ (2,259 )     4     $ 1,002,031     $ (775 )     1  

 

While the fair value of Company’s investment portfolio at December 31, 2020, has recovered from the declines recorded for the three months ended March 31, 2020, the effects of the coronavirus pandemic were a major contributor to the variability in fair value of the Company’s fixed income and equity investments during the year ended December 31, 2020, and the economic uncertainty caused by the pandemic may lead to further investment valuation volatility. In addition, the recent decline in investment yields resulted in lower reinvestment rates, compared to the previous years, which will cap the Company’s investment portfolio’s ability to generate higher levels of investment income, absent a larger invested asset base or a change in investment philosophy

 

The Company closely monitors its investments. If an unrealized loss is determined to be other-than-temporary, it is written off as a realized loss through the Consolidated Statements of Operations. The Company’s methodology of assessing other-than-temporary impairments is based on security-specific analysis as of the balance sheet date and considers various factors including the length of time to maturity and the extent to which the fair value has been less than the cost, the financial condition and the near-term prospects of the issuer, and whether the debtor is current on its contractually obligated interest and principal payments. During the year ended December 31, 2020, one fixed maturity corporate security experienced a significant decline in market value; the market and book value of that security at December 31, 2020, was $867,375 and $910,893, respectively. The unrealized losses on all securities as of December 31, 2020 and December 31, 2019, were determined to be temporary.

 

 

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Although the Company does not intend to sell its fixed maturity investments prior to maturity, the Company may sell investment securities from time to time in response to cash flow requirements, economic, regulatory, and/or market conditions or investment securities may be called by their issuers prior to the securities’ maturity. The fixed maturity securities previously held by the Company were sold and called prior to maturity as follows:

 

    December 31   December 31
    2020   2019
         
Fixed maturities securities sold                
Number of securities sold     15       3  
Amortized cost of sold securities   $ 5,529,470     $ 2,997,098  
Realized gains (losses) on sales   $ 52,053     $ (12,679 )
                 
Fixed maturities securities called                
Number of securities called     4       1  
Amortized cost of called securities   $ 2,449,503     $ 999,982  
Realized gains on calls   $ 497     $ 18  

 

The unrealized gains or losses from fixed maturities are reported as “Accumulated other comprehensive income or loss,” which is a separate component of stockholders’ equity, net of any deferred tax effect.

 

Other Income

Other income included in insurance company operation and other insurance operations decreased $94,072 (70%) to $39,811 for year ended December 31, 2020, compared to $133,883 for the year ended December 31, 2019. The decrease during the year ended December 31, 2020, is due primarily to decreases in rental income of $27,277 and Crusader’s share of California FAIR Plan Equity of $58,646.

 

Gross commissions and fees

Gross commissions and fees decreased $349,395 (16%) to $1,827,263 for the year ended December 31, 2020, compared to $2,176,658 for the year ended December 31, 2019.

 

The comparison of gross commission and fees for the year ended December 31, 2020, to the year ended December 31, 2019, is as follows:

    Year ended December 31
    2020   2019
         
Brokerage fee income   $ 1,006,505     $ 1,146,420  
Health insurance program     727,515       939,689  
Membership and fee income     93,243       90,549  
Gross commissions and fees   $ 1,827,263     $ 2,176,658  

 

Unifax sells and services insurance policies for Crusader and USIC. For these brokerage services, Unifax receives commissions from insurance companies and fees from policyholders. The commissions paid by Crusader to Unifax are eliminated as intercompany transactions and are not reflected as income in the consolidated financial statements. Policy fee income received by Unifax is related to the Crusader policies and service fee income received by Unifax is related to the USIC policies. For financial statement reporting purposes, brokerage fees are earned ratably over the life of the related insurance policy. The unearned portion of the brokerage fees is recorded as a liability on the Consolidated Balance Sheets under “Accrued expenses and other liabilities.” The earned portion of the brokerage fees charged to the policyholder by Unifax is recognized as income in the consolidated financial statements. Brokerage fee income for the year ended December 31, 2020, decreased $139,915 (12%) as compared to the year ended December 31, 2019. This decrease in brokerage fee income in 2020 compared to 2019 was primarily the result of a 826 (13%) decrease in the number of policies issued of 5,401 during 2020 compared to 6,227 policies issued during 2019.

 

 

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AIB markets health insurance in California through non-affiliated insurance companies for individuals and groups. For these services, AIB receives commission based on the premium that it writes. Commission income for the year ended December 31, 2020, decreased $212,174 (23%) compared to the year ended December 31, 2019. The decrease in commission income is primarily a result of a loss of a large group account.

 

In 2020, approximately 30% and 56% of the commission income from health insurance sales was from Guardian Life Insurance Company of America dental and group life plan programs and the Blue Shield Care Trust health and life insurance programs, respectively. In 2019, approximately 39% and 49% of the commission income from health insurance sales was from Guardian Life Insurance Company of America dental and group life plan programs and the Blue Shield Care Trust health and life insurance programs, respectively.

 

AAQHC is a third party administrator for contracted insurance companies and is a membership association that provides various consumer benefits to its members, including participation in group health care insurance policies that AAQHC negotiates for the association. For these services, AAQHC receives membership and fee income from its members. Membership and fee income for the year ended December 31, 2020, increased $2,694 (3%) compared to the year ended December 31, 2019. The increase is a result of an increase in administration fees.

 

Finance charges and fees earned

Finance charges and fees earned consist of finance charges, late fees, returned check fees and payment processing fees. These charges and fees earned by AAC increased $1,065 (0%) to $240,589 for the year ended December 31, 2020, compared to $239,524 for the year ended December 31, 2019, due primarily to the increase in earned finance charges as a result of the change in annual percentage rate charged on AAC new loans from a single fixed interest rate to a tiered interest rate structure effective April 1, 2019 offset by a decrease in number of polices financed. During the year ended December 31, 2020, AAC issued 1,111 loans and had 821 loans outstanding as of December 31, 2020. During the year ended December 31, 2019, AAC issued 1,547 loans and had 1,173 loans outstanding as of December 31, 2019. AAC provides premium financing only for Crusader and USIC policies produced by Unifax in California. The number of loans issued decreased by 436 (28%) during 2020 when compared to 2019. The average premium financed by AAC was $6,477 and $5,672 in 2020 and 2019, respectively. During 2020, 48% of all Unifax generated policies were financed and 43% of those policies were financed by AAC. During 2019, 44% of all Unifax generated policies were financed and 56% of those policies were financed by AAC.

 

Expenses

Losses and Loss Adjustment Expenses

 

Crusader’s emerging loss ratios for each accident year are reviewed in detail at the end of each quarter as part of the reserve review process. Losses and loss adjustment expenses for the calendar years ended December 31, 2020 and 2019 were $34,642,920 and $22,576,127, respectively. Loss ratio, which is calculated by dividing losses and loss adjustment expenses by net earned premium, was 123% for the year ended December 31, 2020, compared to 85% for the year ended December 31, 2019. 

 

Losses and loss adjustment expenses and loss ratios are as follows:

  Year ended December 31
 

2020

  2020 Loss Ratio  

2019

  2019 Loss Ratio
               
Net earned premium $ 28,168,168             $ 26,737,468          
                               
Losses and loss adjustment expenses:                              
Provision for insured events of current year   26,683,872       95 %     19,384,942       72 %
Development of insured events of prior years   7,959,048       28 %     3,191,185       12 %
Total losses and loss adjustment expenses $ 34,642,920       123 %   $ 22,576,127       84 %

 

Some lines of insurance are commonly referred to as "long-tail" lines because of the extended time required before claims are ultimately settled. Lines of insurance in which claims are settled relatively quickly are called "short-tail" lines. It is generally more difficult to estimate loss reserves for long-tail lines because of the long period of time that elapses between the occurrence of a claim and its final disposition and the difficulty of estimating the settlement value of the claim. Crusader’s short-tail lines consist of its property coverages, and its long-tail lines consist of its liability coverages. However, Crusader’s long-tail liability claims tend to be settled relatively quicker than other long-tail lines not underwritten by Crusader, such as workers’ compensation, professional liability, umbrella liability, and medical malpractice. Since trends develop over longer periods of time on long-tail lines of business, the Company generally gives credibility to those trends more slowly than for short-tail or less volatile lines of business.

 

 

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The difficulty in estimating the loss and loss adjustment expense reserves contributed to adverse development of insured events of prior years in the amount of $7,959,048 which Crusader experienced in 2020. During the twelve months ended December 31, 2020, the Company reevaluated certain assumptions used in its process for estimating loss and loss adjustment reserves due to its experiences in Crusader’s Apartments & Commercial Buildings and Transportation verticals as well as changes in market conditions. This reevaluation resulted in a $9,399,547 increase in Crusader’s IBNR reserves, net of reinsurance, which was a primary contributor to the increase of $12,066,793 in losses and loss adjustment expenses from $22,576,127 recognized for the twelve months ended December 31, 2019 to $34,642,920 recognized for the twelve months ended December 31, 2020. Crusader sets loss and loss adjustment expense reserves at each balance sheet date based upon management’s best estimate of the ultimate payments that it anticipates will be made to settle all losses incurred and related loss adjustment expenses incurred as of that date for both reported and unreported losses. The ultimate cost of claims is dependent upon future events, the outcomes of which are affected by many factors. Crusader claim reserving procedures and settlement philosophy, current and perceived social and economic inflation, current and future court rulings and jury attitudes, improvements in medical technology, and many other economic, scientific, legal, political, and social factors all can have significant effects on the ultimate costs of claims. Changes in Crusader operations and management philosophy also may cause actual developments to vary from the past. Since the emergence and disposition of claims are subject to uncertainties, the net amounts that will ultimately be paid to settle claims may vary significantly from the estimated amounts provided for in the accompanying consolidated financial statements. Any adjustments to reserves are reflected in the operating results of the periods in which they are made.

 

The $26,683,872 provision for insured events of current year for the year ended December 31, 2020, was $7,298,930 higher than the $19,384,942 provision for insured events of current year for the year ended December 31, 2019, due primarily to increased IBNR reserves associated with the Apartments & Commercial Buildings and Transportation verticals. The increases in IBNR reserves were due to higher actuarially developed ultimate incurred losses and loss adjustment expenses primarily as a result of elevated expected claims severity.

 

The $7,959,048 adverse development of insured events of prior years for the year ended December 31, 2020, was $4,767,863 higher than the $3,191,185 adverse development of insured events of prior year for the year ended December 31, 2019, due primarily to increases in 2018 and 2019 accident year IBNR reserves associated with the Apartments & Commercial Buildings and Transportation verticals. The increases in IBNR were due to higher actuarially developed ultimate incurred losses and loss adjustment expenses primarily as a result of elevated expected claims severity.

 

Crusader has received 151 coronavirus-related business interruption claims through December 31, 2020. While the Company does not believe it is exposed to substantial risk from those claims under the insurance policies written by Crusader or USIC, the individual circumstances of each such claim are reviewed to fulfill Crusader’s obligation to its policyholders if coverage applies. Further, there may be impacts to the timing of loss emergence and ultimate loss ratios for certain Crusader’s products due to postponements of civil court cases, extensions of various statutes of limitations, changes in settlement trends and other new legislative, regulatory or judicial developments which could result in loss reserve deficiencies and negative impact on results of operations.

 

Crusader has received seven claims related to the recent civil unrest through December 31, 2020. Crusader has sufficient excess of loss and catastrophe reinsurance treaties to protect from exposure of such claims. The Company believes the losses and loss adjustment expenses associated with those claims will not exceed Crusader’s $500,000 excess of loss reinsurance treaty retention.

 

 

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The following table breaks out adverse (favorable) development from total losses and loss adjustment expenses by accident year is as follows:

    Year ended December 31
    2020   2019
                 

 

Accident Year

 

Adverse

(Favorable) Development

 

 

% of Total

 

Adverse

(Favorable) Development

 

 

% of Total

                 
  Prior to 2011     $ 64,196       1 %   $ 67,320       2 %
  2011       (6,000 )     —         60,490       2 %
  2012       (27,901 )     —         117,414       4 %
  2013       (56,367 )     (1 )%     459,602       14 %
  2014       149,181       2 %     (139,187 )     (4 )%
  2015       1,559,422       20 %     1,452,170       45 %
  2016       663,546       8 %     1,547,242       48 %
  2017       1,201,175       15 %     404,322       13 %
  2018       2,539,483       32 %     (778,188 )     (24 )%
  2019       1,872,313       23 %     —         —    
     Total prior accident years     $ 7,959,048       100 %   $ 3,191,185       100 %

 

At the end of each fiscal quarter, Crusader’s loss and loss adjustment expense reserves for each accident year (i.e., for all claims incurred within each year) are re-evaluated independently by the Company’s president, the Company’s chief financial officer, and by an independent consulting actuary. Generally accepted actuarial methods, including the widely used Bornhuetter-Ferguson and loss development methods, are employed to estimate ultimate claims costs. An actuarial central estimate of the ultimate claims costs and IBNR reserves is ultimately determined by management and tested for reasonableness by the independent consulting actuary.

 

Repeated and sustained underwriting losses in Crusader’s Apartments & Commercial Buildings vertical and growth in Crusader’s Transportation vertical, a product which is generally known for its difficulty to be underwritten profitably, coupled with changes in the market conditions and increases in social inflation (discussed below), caused Crusader management to reevaluate the assumptions used in its process for estimating loss and loss adjustment expense reserves. This reevaluation and the use of updated assumptions led to higher estimates for expected claims frequency, claims severity and ultimate incurred losses and loss adjustment expenses during the quarterly reevaluation of the loss and loss adjustment expense reserves as of September 30, 2020. The increase in the ultimate incurred losses and loss adjustment expenses manifested primarily through higher IBNR reserves as of December 31, 2020 for 2018, 2019, and 2020 accident year claims pertaining to Apartments & Commercial Buildings and Transportation liability coverages.

 

Crusader attributes much of its adverse loss development experienced in the three most recent years ending December 31, 2020, to social inflation. Used here, social inflation is a term that encompasses a relatively new adverse trend related to society’s application of the law when it comes to insurance.  In this context, social inflation is generally described by the rising costs of insurance claims due to societal trends which results in increased litigation, broader definitions of liability and contractual interpretations, plaintiff friendly legal decisions, larger compensatory jury awards, and larger awards for non-economic damages  Crusader has experienced increased costs due to social inflation in all three of its largest market sector niches, Long-haul Transportation, Residential Apartment Buildings, and Bars/Taverns, resulting in higher-than-expected frequency and severity of third-party liability claims.

 

The variability of Crusader’s losses and loss adjustment expenses for the periods presented is primarily due to the small and diverse population of Crusader’s policyholders and claims, which may result in greater fluctuations in claim frequency and/or severity. In addition, Crusader’s reinsurance retention, which is relatively high in relationship to its net earned premium, can result in increased loss ratio volatility when large losses are incurred in a relatively short period of time. Nevertheless, management believes that its reinsurance retention is reasonable given the amount of Crusader’s surplus and its goal to minimize ceded premium.

 

The preparation of the Company’s consolidated financial statements requires estimation of certain liabilities, most significantly the liability for unpaid losses and loss adjustment expenses. Management makes its best estimate of the liability for these unpaid claims costs as of the end of each fiscal quarter. Due to the inherent uncertainties in estimating the Crusader’s unpaid claims costs, actual loss and loss adjustment expense payments are expected to vary, perhaps significantly, from any estimate made prior to the settling of all claims. Variability is inherent in establishing loss and loss adjustment expense reserves, especially for a small insurer such as Crusader. For any given line of insurance, accident year, or other group of claims, there is a continuum of possible loss and loss adjustment expense reserve estimates, each having its own unique degree of propriety or reasonableness. Due to the complexity and nature of the insurance claims process, there are potentially an infinite number of reasonably likely scenarios. Management draws on its collective experience to judgmentally determine its best estimate. In addition to applying a variety of standard actuarial methods to the data, an extensive series of diagnostic tests are applied to the resultant loss and loss adjustment expense reserve estimates to determine management’s best estimate of the unpaid claims liability. Among the statistics reviewed for each accident year are: loss and loss adjustment expense development patterns; frequencies; severities; and ratios of loss to premium, loss adjustment expense to premium, and loss adjustment expense to loss.

 

 

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When there is clear evidence that the actual claims costs emerged are different than expected for any prior accident year, the claims cost estimates for that year are revised accordingly. If the claims costs that emerge are less favorable than initially anticipated, generally, Crusader increases its loss and loss adjustment expense reserves immediately. However, if the claims costs that emerge are more favorable than initially anticipated, generally, Crusader reduces its loss and loss adjustment expense reserves over time while it continues to assess the validity of the observed trends based on the subsequent emerged claim costs.

 

The establishment of loss and loss adjustment expense reserves is a detailed process as there are many factors that can ultimately affect the final settlement of a claim. Estimates are based on a variety of industry data and on Crusader’s current and historical accident year claims data, including but not limited to reported claim counts, open claim counts, closed claim counts, closed claim counts with payments, paid losses, paid loss adjustment expenses, case loss reserves, case loss adjustment expense reserves, earned premiums and policy exposures, salvage and subrogation, and unallocated loss adjustment expenses paid. Many other factors, including changes in reinsurance, changes in pricing, changes in policy forms and coverage, changes in underwriting and risk selection, legislative changes, results of litigation and inflation are also taken into account.

 

Based on the loss and loss adjustment expense reserve estimates as of December 31, 2020, the estimated ultimate loss ratio is within five percentage points of the initial expected loss ratio in 8 of Crusader’s 36 years. Since Crusader’s net earned premium in 2020 was $28,168,168, a difference between the accident year 2020 actual and initial expected loss ratios of five percentage points will or may ultimately impact losses and loss adjustment expenses by $1,408,408. The estimated ultimate loss ratio is within ten percentage points of the initial expected loss ratio in 13 of Crusader’s 36 years. A ten percentage point difference between the accident year 2020 actual and the initial expected loss ratios will or may ultimately impact losses and loss adjustment expenses by $2,816,817. The estimated ultimate loss ratio is within twenty percentage points of the initial expected loss ratio in 28 of Crusader’s 36 years. A twenty percentage point difference between the accident year 2020 actual and the initial expected loss ratios will or may ultimately impact losses and loss adjustment expenses by $5,633,634.

 

Loss and Loss Adjustment Expense Reserves

Crusader's liability for unpaid loss and loss adjustment expense reserves consists of case reserves and reserves for IBNR claims. Case reserves are established by claims personnel based on a review of the facts known at the time the claim is reported and are subsequently revised as more information about a claim becomes known. IBNR is estimated using various actuarial methods and techniques and includes (1) reserves for losses and loss adjustment expenses on claims that have occurred but for which claims have not yet been reported to Crusader, and (2) a provision for expected future development on case reserves for information not currently known.

 

Crusader’s loss and loss adjustment expense reserves are as follows:

    Year ended December 31
    2020   2019
         
Gross reserves:                
Case reserves   $ 26,363,695     $ 23,663,743  
IBNR reserves     48,529,814       31,402,737  
Total gross reserves   $ 74,893,509     $ 55,066,480  
                 
Reserves net of reinsurance:                
Case reserves   $ 21,027,703     $ 18,128,008  
IBNR reserves     31,612,164       22,212,617  
Total net reserves   $ 52,639,867     $ 40,340,625  

 

 

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Reserves for losses and loss adjustment expenses before reinsurance for each of Crusader’s lines of business are as follows:

 

Year ended December 31

Line of Business   2020   2019
                 
  CMP   $ 73,545,182       98.2 %   $ 54,270,633       98.6 %
  Other liability     1,283,174       1.7 %     776,957       1.4 %
  Other     65,153       0.1 %     18,890       0.0 %
     Total   $ 74,893,509       100.0 %   $ 55,066,480       100.0 %

 

The Company‘s consolidated financial statements include estimated reserves for both reported and unreported claims. The Company sets these reserves at each quarterly balance sheet date based upon management’s best estimate of the ultimate loss and loss adjustment expense payments that it anticipates will be made to settle all reported and unreported claims.

 

The following table is a roll forward of Crusader’s loss and loss adjustment expense reserves, including a reconciliation of the beginning and ending balance sheet liability for the periods indicated:

    Year ended December 31
    2020   2019
         
Reserve for unpaid losses and loss adjustment expenses at beginning of year – net of reinsurance   $ 40,340,625     $ 42,125,553  
                 
Incurred losses and loss adjustment expenses:                
Provision for insured events of current year     26,683,872       19,384,942  
Provision for incurred events of prior years     7,959,048       3,191,185  
Total incurred losses and loss adjustment expenses     34,642,920       22,576,127  
                 
Payments:                
Losses and loss adjustment expenses attributable to insured events of the current year     8,285,021       6,210,475  
Losses and loss adjustment expenses attributable to insured events of prior years     14,058,657       18,150,580  
Total payments     22,343,678       24,361,055  
                 
Reserve for unpaid losses and loss adjustment expenses at end of year – net of reinsurance     52,639,867       40,340,625  
Reinsurance recoverable on unpaid losses and loss adjustment expenses at end of year     22,253,642       14,725,855  
Reserve for unpaid losses and loss adjustment expenses at end of year per balance sheet, gross of reinsurance   $ 74,893,509     $ 55,066,480  

 

Since underwriting profit is a significant part of income, a small percentage change in reserve estimates may result in a substantial effect on future reported earnings. Such changes might result from a variety of factors, including claims costs emerging in a different pattern than the average historical development patterns.

 

If future development ultimately differs by five percent from Crusader’s 2020 net reserve, $2,631,993 would be reflected in future periods as an increase or decrease in the development of insured events of prior years and would be recognized in the Company’s Consolidated Statements of Operations in future periods. If future development ultimately differs by ten percent from Crusader’s 2020 net reserve, $5,263,987 would be reflected in future periods as an increase or decrease in the development of insured events of prior years and would be recognized in the Company’s Consolidated Statements of Operations in future periods.

 

Policy Acquisition Costs

Policy acquisition costs decreased $62,039 (1%) to $4,898,807 for the year ended December 31, 2020, compared to $4,960,846 for the year ended December 31, 2019. Policy acquisition costs consist of commissions, premium taxes, inspection fees, and certain other underwriting costs that are directly related to and vary with the successful production of Crusader insurance policies. These costs include both Crusader expenses and the allocated expenses of other Unico subsidiaries. Crusader's reinsurers pay Crusader a ceding commission, which is primarily a reimbursement of the acquisition cost related to the ceded premium. No ceding commission is received on ceded premium associated with property facultative excess of loss or catastrophe excess of loss reinsurance treaties. Policy acquisition costs, net of ceding commission, are deferred and amortized as the related premiums are earned. The Company annually reevaluates its acquisition costs to determine that costs related to successful policy acquisition are capitalized and deferred.

 

 

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Policy acquisition costs and the ratio to net earned premium are as follows:

    Year ended December 31
    2020   2019
         
Policy acquisition costs   $ 4,898,807     $ 4,960,846  
Ratio to net earned premium (GAAP ratio)     17 %     19 %

 

Policy acquisition costs decreased in the year ended December 31, 2020, compared to the year ended December 31, 2019, due primarily to increase of ceding commission that Crusader received as a result of increase in premium ceded to its reinsurers.

 

Salaries and Employee Benefits

Total salaries and employee benefits incurred increased $2,334,794 (30%) to $10,058,536 for the year ended December 31, 2020, compared to $7,723,742 for the year ended December 31, 2019.

 

Salaries and employee benefits incurred and charged to operating expenses are as follows:

    Year ended December 31
    2020   2019
         
Total salaries and employee benefits incurred   $ 10,058,536     $ 7,723,742  
Less: charged to losses and loss adjustment expenses     (2,027,978 )     (2,025,088 )
Less: capitalized to policy acquisition costs     (1,383,315 )     (1,320,792 )
Less: capitalized to IT system upgrade     (283,073 )     (310,010 )
Net amount charged to operating expenses   $ 6,364,170     $ 4,067,852  

 

The increase in the total salaries and employee benefits incurred for the year ended December 31, 2020, compared to the year ended December 31, 2019, was due primarily to costs associated with a termination of an employment agreement with an executive, increases in executive compensation, increases in employee benefits due to higher medical insurance rates, and vacation accruals due to less vacation taken by the employees as a result of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. 

 

Commissions to Agents/Brokers

Commissions to agents/brokers (not including commissions on Crusader and USIC policies that are reflected in policy acquisition costs) are generally related to gross commission income from the health insurance program. Commissions to agents and brokers decreased $78,481 (45%) to $95,315 for the year ended December 31, 2020, as compared to $173,796 for the year ended December 31, 2019. This fluctuation in commissions to agents/brokers was due primarily to lower commissions associated with loss of a large group account.

 

Other Operating Expenses

Other operating expenses increased $1,658,331 (58%) to $4,502,414 for the year ended December 31, 2020, compared to $2,844,083 for the year ended December 31, 2019. The increase in other operating expenses for the year ended December 31, 2020, compared to the year ended December 31, 2019, was due primarily to increases in legal, depreciation and communication expenses, fees associated with the reinsurance arrangement with USIC, and higher board of director fees.

 

Income Tax Expense/Benefit

Income tax expense was $3,547,598 (-20% of pre-tax loss) for the twelve months ended December 31, 2020 and income tax benefit was $134,187 (4% of pre-tax loss) for the twelve months ended December 31, 2019. The fluctuation in the income tax rate as a percentage of pre-tax loss for the twelve months ended December 31, 2020, when compared to the twelve months ended December 31, 2019, is primarily due to an increase in the valuation allowance related to deferred tax assets on federal net operating losses.

 

 

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As of December 31, 2020, the Company had deferred tax assets of $7,769,603 generated from $36,998,110 of federal net operating loss carryforwards that will begin to expire in 2035 and deferred tax assets of $2,402,438 generated from state net operating loss carryforwards which expire between 2028 and 2040. In connection with preparation of its consolidated financial statements, the Company periodically performs an analysis of future income projections to determine the adequacy of the valuation allowance. In light of the net losses that were generated in recent years, for the twelve months ended December 31, 2020, the Company has established a valuation allowance for the aggregate amount of the federal and state net operating losses and other deferred tax assets in the amount of $10,557,080 that, in management’s judgment, are not more-likely-than-not to be realized. For the year ended December 31, 2019, the Company carried a valuation allowance on deferred tax assets generated from federal and state net operating losses in the amount of $600,000 and $1,931,665, respectively.

 

Critical Accounting Policies

The preparation of financial statements in conformity with GAAP requires management to make estimates and assumptions that affect the reported amounts of certain assets and liabilities and disclosure of contingent assets and liabilities at the date of the financial statements and the reported amounts of revenues and expenses during the reporting period. While every effort is made to ensure the integrity of such estimates, actual results could differ.

 

Management believes the Company’s current critical accounting policies comprise the following:

 

Losses and Loss Adjustment Expenses

The preparation of the Company’s consolidated financial statements requires estimation of certain liabilities, most significantly the liability for unpaid losses and loss adjustment expenses. Management makes its best estimate of the liability for these unpaid claims costs as of the end of each fiscal quarter. Due to the inherent uncertainties in estimating the Company’s unpaid claims costs, actual loss and loss adjustment expense payments are expected to vary, perhaps significantly, from any estimate made prior to the settling of all claims. Variability is inherent in establishing loss and loss adjustment expense reserves, especially for a small insurer such as Crusader. For any given line of insurance, accident year, or other group of claims, there is a continuum of possible loss and loss adjustment expense reserve estimates, each having its own unique degree of propriety or reasonableness. Due to the complexity and nature of the insurance claims process, there are potentially an infinite number of reasonably likely scenarios. Management draws on its collective experience to judgmentally determine its best estimate. In addition to applying a variety of standard actuarial methods to the data, extensive series of diagnostic tests are applied to the resultant loss and loss adjustment expense reserve estimates to determine management’s best estimate of the unpaid claims liability. Among the statistics reviewed for each accident year are: loss and loss adjustment expense development patterns; frequencies; severities; and ratios of loss to premium, loss adjustment expense to premium, and loss adjustment expense to loss.

 

When there is clear evidence that the actual claims costs emerged are different than expected for any prior accident year, the claims cost estimates for that year are revised accordingly. If the claims costs that emerge are less favorable than initially anticipated, generally, the Company increases its loss and loss adjustment expense reserves immediately. However, if the claims costs that emerge are more favorable than initially anticipated, generally, the Company reduces its loss and loss adjustment expense reserves over time while it continues to assess the validity of the observed trends based on the subsequent emerged claims costs.

 

Some lines of insurance are commonly referred to as "long-tail" lines because of the extended time required before claims are ultimately settled. Lines of insurance in which claims are settled relatively quicker are called "short-tail" lines. It is generally more difficult to estimate loss reserves for long-tail lines because of the long period of time that elapses between the occurrence of a claim and its final disposition and the difficulty of estimating the settlement value of the claim. Crusader’s short-tail lines consist of its property coverages, and its long-tail lines consist of its liability coverages. However, compared to other long-tail liability lines that are not underwritten by Crusader, such as workers’ compensation, professional liability, umbrella liability, and medical malpractice, Crusader’s liability claims tend to be settled relatively quicker. Since trends develop over longer periods of time on long-tail lines of business, the Company generally gives credibility to those trends more slowly than for short-tail or less volatile lines of business.

 

Crusader underwrites three statutory annual statement lines of business: (1) CMP, (2) liability other than automobile and products, and (3) fire. CMP policies comprised 99.6% and 98.3% of Crusader’s 2020 and 2019 gross written premium, respectively. CMP policies include both property and liability coverages. For all of Crusader’s coverages and lines of business, Crusader’s actuarial loss and loss adjustment expense reserving methods require assumptions that can be grouped into two key categories: (1) expected loss and loss adjustment expense development patterns and (2) expected loss and loss adjustment expense per premium dollar.

 

 

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The Company also segregates most of its business into smaller homogeneous categories primarily for management’s internal detailed reserve review and analysis. These homogeneous categories used by the Company include various combinations and special groupings of its lines of business, programs types, states and coverages. Some categories exclude certain items and/or others include certain items. Not all categories are defined in the same way. This analysis includes the tracking of historical claims costs and development patterns separately for each of these uniquely defined categories. Generally, neither the liability development patterns nor the property development patterns vary significantly by category.

 

The establishment of loss and loss adjustment expense reserves is a detailed process as there are many factors that can ultimately affect the final settlement of a claim and, therefore, the reserve that is needed. Estimates are based on a variety of industry data and on Crusader’s current and historical accident year claims data, including but not limited to reported claim counts, open claim counts, closed claim counts, closed claim counts with payments, paid losses, paid loss adjustment expenses, case loss reserves, case loss adjustment expense reserves, earned premium and policy exposures, salvage and subrogation, and unallocated loss adjustment expenses paid. Many other factors, including changes in reinsurance, changes in pricing, changes in policy forms and coverage, changes in underwriting and risk selection, legislative changes, results of litigation and inflation are also taken into account.

 

At the end of each fiscal quarter, the Company’s loss and loss adjustment reserves for each accident year (i.e., for all claims incurred within each year) are re-evaluated independently by the Company’s president, the Company’s chief financial officer, and by an independent consulting actuary.  Generally accepted actuarial methods, including the widely used Bornhuetter-Ferguson and loss development methods, are employed to estimate ultimate claims costs. An actuarial central estimate of the ultimate claims costs and IBNR reserves is ultimately determined by management and tested for reasonableness by the independent consulting actuary.

 

Each year, management compares the actual claims costs that emerge to the claims costs that were expected to emerge and evaluates whether any observed significant differences are due to normal variances in the development process that occur from time to time, particularly in an insurer the size of Crusader, or if they are an indication that changes in the key reserve assumptions or methodologies are appropriate. Repeated and sustained underwriting losses in Crusader’s Apartments & Commercial Buildings vertical and growth in Crusader’s Transportation vertical, a product which is generally known for its difficulty to be underwritten profitably, coupled with changes in the market conditions and increases in social inflation caused Crusader management to reevaluate the assumptions used in its process for estimating loss and loss adjustment expense reserves during the year ended December 31, 2020.

 

Crusader’s actuarially based loss and loss adjustment expense reserve methodology does not include an implicit or explicit provision for uncertainty. Insurance claims costs are inherently uncertain. There is not a precise means of quantifying in advance a provision for uncertainty when determining an appropriate liability for unpaid claims costs. Rather, the potential for claims costs being less than estimated and the potential for claims costs being more than estimated are considered when selecting the parameters to be used in the application of the actuarial methods and when testing the estimates for reasonableness. Management believes that its recorded loss and loss adjustment expense reserves make reasonable provision for its liability for unpaid claims costs.

 

The differences between actual and expected claims costs are typically not due to one specific factor but to a combination of many factors such as the period of time between the initial occurrence and the final settlement of the claim, current and perceived social and economic inflation, and many other economic, legal, political, and social factors. The information that management uses to arrive at its booked reserve estimate comes from many sources within the Company, including its accounting, claims, and underwriting departments. Informed managerial judgment is applied throughout the reserving process. In addition, time can be a critical part of reserving determinations since the longer the span between the incidence of a loss and the payment or settlement of the claim, the more variable the ultimate settlement amount will tend to be. Accordingly, short-tail claims, such as the emergence of property damage claims costs, tend to be subject to less variability than the emergence of long-tail liability claims costs. The liability for unpaid losses and loss adjustment expenses is based upon the accumulation of individual case estimates for losses reported prior to the close of the accounting period plus estimates based on experience and industry data for development of case estimates and for unreported losses and loss adjustment expenses. Since the emergence and disposition of claims are subject to uncertainties, the net amounts that will ultimately be paid to settle claims should be expected to vary, perhaps significantly, from the estimated amounts provided for in the accompanying consolidated financial statements. Any adjustments to reserves are reflected in the operating results of the periods in which they are made. Management believes that the aggregate reserves for losses and loss adjustment expenses are reasonable and adequate to cover the cost of claims, both reported and unreported.

 

 

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The Company must estimate its ultimate losses and loss adjustment expenses using a very small claim population size. At the beginning of 2020, Crusader had 510 open claim files. During 2020, 793 new claim files were opened and 811 claim files were closed, leaving 492 open claim files at the end of 2020. Due to the small size of Crusader and the related small population of claims, Crusader’s losses and loss adjustment expenses for any accident year can vary significantly from the initial expectations. Due to the small number of claims, changes in claim frequency and/or severity can materially affect Crusader’s reserve estimate. The potential variability from management’s best estimate cannot be measured from any meaningful statistical basis due to the numerous uncertainties in the claims reserving process and the small population of claims.

 

At each quarterly review, actual claims costs that emerge are compared with the claims costs that were expected to emerge during that development period. Sometimes the previous claims costs estimates prove to have been too high; sometimes they prove to have been too low. The fluctuation in development of insured events of prior years underscores the inherent uncertainty in insurance claims costs, especially for a relatively small insurer, such as Crusader. While the Company believes the reserves were adequate at December 31, 2020 after the reevaluation, adverse or (favorable) development may emerge in the future.

    Year ended December 31
    2020   2019
         
Net reserves for unpaid losses and loss adjustment expenses at beginning of year   $ 40,340,625     $ 42,125,553  
Adverse development of insured events of prior years   $ 7,959,048     $ 3,191,185  
Percentage of adverse development to beginning reserves     20 %     8 %

 

Any adjustments to reserves are reflected in the operating results of the periods in which they are made. Management believes that the aggregate reserves for losses and loss adjustment expenses make reasonable provision for all unpaid losses and loss adjustment expenses of the Company.

 

The changes in estimates of prior accident year incurred losses and loss adjustment expenses was due primarily to increases in IBNR reserves associated with the Apartments & Commercial Buildings and Transportation verticals resulting from higher estimates for expected claims frequency, claims severity and ultimate incurred losses and loss adjustment expenses during the re-evaluation of the loss and loss adjustment expense reserves.

 

The Company applies judgment in determining estimates for reserves associated with anticipated recoveries of salvage and subrogation on paid losses and loss adjustment expenses. During the year ended December 31, 2019, the Company changed that estimate to be in-line with its historic salvage and subrogation recovery success pattern. The impact of that change was a $968,400 reduction in losses and loss adjustment expenses for the year ended December 31, 2019, and in unpaid losses and loss adjustment expenses. The change was accounted for as a change in accounting estimate.

 

Reinsurance

Crusader’s recoverable from reinsurers represents an estimate of the amount of future loss and loss adjustment expense payments that will be recoverable from Crusader’s reinsurers. These estimates are based upon estimates of the ultimate losses and loss adjustment expenses that Crusader expects to incur and the portion of those losses that are expected to be allocable to reinsurers based upon the terms of the reinsurance agreements. Given the uncertainty of the ultimate amounts of losses and loss adjustment expenses, the estimates may vary significantly from the eventual outcome. Crusader’s estimate of the amounts recoverable from reinsurers is regularly reviewed and updated by management as new data becomes available. Crusader’s assessment of the collectability of the recorded amounts recoverable from reinsurers is based primarily upon public financial statements and rating agency data. Any adjustments necessary are reflected in the current operations. Crusader evaluates each of its ceded reinsurance contracts at its inception to determine if there is sufficient risk transfer to allow the contract to be accounted for as reinsurance under current accounting literature. At December 31, 2020, all such ceded contracts are accounted for as risk transfer reinsurance.

 

 

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The following tables provide the effect of reinsurance on the Company’s consolidated financial statements:

 

The effect of reinsurance on financial position is as follows:

    Year ended December 31
    2020   2019
         
Ceded losses and loss adjustment expenses recoverable on excess of loss treaties:                
Ceded case loss and loss adjustment expense reserves recoverable   $ 5,335,992     $ 5,535,735  
Ceded IBNR loss and loss adjustment expense reserves recoverable     16,917,650       9,190,120  
Total ceded loss and loss adjustment expense reserves recoverable   $ 22,253,642     $ 14,725,855  

  

The effect of reinsurance on the results of operations is as follows:

 

The effect of reinsurance on earned premium is as follows:

    Year ended December 31
    2020   2019
         
Direct earned premium   $ 36,108,230     $ 33,958,202  
Assumed earned premium     156,639       —    
Ceded earned premium     (8,096,701 )     (7,220,734 )
Net premium earned   $ 28,168,168     $ 26,737,468  
Ratio of ceded earned premium to gross earned premium (direct and assumed earned premium)     22 %     21 %

  

The effect of reinsurance on losses and loss adjustment expenses is as follows:

    Year ended December 31
    2020   2019
         
Direct losses and loss adjustment expenses incurred   $ 48,971,172     $ 36,712,252  
Assumed losses and loss adjustment expenses incurred     89,204       —    
Ceded losses and loss adjustment expenses incurred on excess of loss treaties:                
Ceded paid losses and loss adjustment expenses     (6,889,668 )     (8,941,872 )
Change in ceded case reserves     199,742       (1,742,853 )
Change in ceded IBNR reserves     (7,727,530 )     (3,451,400 )
Total ceded losses and loss adjustment expenses incurred     (14,417,456 )     (14,136,125 )
Net losses and loss adjustment expenses incurred   $ 34,642,920     $ 22,576,127  

 

Ceded premium and ceded losses and loss adjustment expenses are as follows:

 

    Year ended December 31
    2020   2019
         
Ceded earned premium   $ 8,096,701     $ 7,220,734  
Ceded losses and loss adjustment expenses incurred     (14,417,456 )     (14,136,125 )
Ceded earned premium less ceded losses and loss adjustment expenses incurred   $ (6,320,755 )   $ (6,915,391 )

 

 

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The effect of reinsurance on cash flow is the sum of the effect of reinsurance on the results of operations reflected above and the following changes in reinsurance recoverable:

    Year ended December 31
    2020   2019
                 
Change in reinsurance recoverable on ceded paid and unpaid losses and loss adjustment expenses   $ (7,463,253 )   $ (5,881,413 )

 

There were no losses subject to catastrophe reinsurance treaties coverage incurred during the years ended December 31, 2020 and 2019.

 

There have been no changes in key assumptions of estimating future ceded losses and loss adjustment expenses. The changes in estimates of prior accident year ceded incurred losses and loss adjustment expenses are attributed to the passage of time and a greater amount of actual loss data available for each accident year.

 

Crusader’s reinsurance strategy is to protect Crusader against liabilities in excess of certain retentions, including major or catastrophic losses that may occur from any one or more of the property and/or casualty risks which it insures. On an annual basis, or sooner if warranted, Crusader evaluates whether any changes to its retention, participation, or retained limits are necessary. Loss and loss adjustment expense reserves are determined separately on both a direct basis and a net of reinsurance basis, and the ceded reserves are determined by subtraction. Therefore, reinsurance recoverable is determined in a manner consistent with the associated loss reserves. There have been no recent changes in key assumptions underlying the estimation of loss and loss adjustment expense reserves, and no changes are anticipated. Ceded paid losses and loss adjustment expenses are determined by the terms of the individual treaties. The Company continually monitors and evaluates the collectability of reinsurance recoverable to determine if any allowance is necessary.

 

For years ended December 31, 2020 and 2019, Crusader wrote 99.9% of its business in the state of California. The types of businesses and the coverage limits written by Crusader are not considered difficult lines for obtaining reinsurance. In addition, because the major catastrophe exposure is primarily from riots and from fire following earthquakes, Crusader does not anticipate significant limitations on its ability to cede future losses on a basis consistent with its historical results.

 

Investments

The Company’s fixed maturity investments are classified either as held-to-maturity or available-for-sale and are stated at fair value. Although part of the Company's investments is classified as available-for-sale and the Company may sell investment securities from time to time in response to economic and market conditions, or investment securities may be called by their issuers prior to the securities’ maturity, its investment guidelines place primary emphasis on buying and holding high-quality investments to maturity. Short-term investments are carried at cost, which approximates fair value. The Company started investing in common stock equity securities during the year ended December 31, 2020. The Company’s equity securities allocation is intended to enhance the return of and provide diversification for the total investment portfolio. The unrealized gains or losses from fixed maturities are reported as “Accumulated other comprehensive income,” which is a separate component of stockholders’ equity, net of any deferred tax effect. The net unrealized investment gains on equity securities is reported in the Consolidated Statements of Operations. When a decline in the value of a fixed maturity is considered other-than-temporary, a loss is recognized in the Consolidated Statements of Operations. Realized gains and losses are included in the Consolidated Statements of Operations based on the specific identification method.

 

Deferred Tax Assets

The provision for federal income taxes is computed on the basis of income as reported for financial reporting purposes. Deferred income taxes reflect the net tax effects of temporary differences between the carrying amounts of assets and liabilities for financial reporting purposes and the amounts used for income tax purposes, and are measured using the enacted tax rates and laws expected to apply to taxable income in the years in which those temporary differences are expected to be recovered or settled. Income tax expense provisions increase or decrease in the same period in which a change in tax rates is enacted.

 

 

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At each balance sheet date, management assesses the need to establish a valuation allowance that reduces deferred tax assets when it is more-likely-than-not that any portion of the deferred tax asset will not be realized. The ultimate realization of deferred tax assets is dependent upon generating sufficient taxable income of the appropriate character within the carryback and carryforward periods available under the tax law. Management considers the reversal of deferred tax liabilities, projected future taxable income of an appropriate nature and tax-planning strategies when making this assessment. In connection with preparation of its consolidated financial statements, the Company periodically performs an analysis of future income projections to determine the adequacy of the valuation allowance. In light of the net losses that were generated in recent years, for the twelve months ended December 31, 2020, the Company has established a valuation allowance for the aggregate amount of the federal and state net operating losses and other deferred tax assets in the amount of $10,557,080 that, in management’s judgment, are not more-likely-than-not to be realized. For the year ended December 31, 2019, the Company carried a valuation allowance on deferred tax assets generated from federal and state net operating losses in the amount of $600,000 and $1,931,665, respectively.

 

Off-Balance Sheet Arrangements

The Company does not have any off-balance sheet arrangements that are currently material or reasonably likely to be material to its consolidated financial position or results of operations.

 

Item 7A. Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk.

As a smaller reporting company, the Company has elected to comply with certain scaled disclosure reporting obligations, and therefore does not have to provide the information required by this Item.

 

 

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Item 8. Financial Statements and Supplementary Data.

 

INDEX TO

CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

    Page Number
     
Report of Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm     57  
Consolidated Balance Sheets as of December 31, 2020 and 2019     59  
Consolidated Statements of Operations for the Years Ended December 31, 2020 and 2019     60  
Consolidated Statements of Comprehensive Loss for the Years Ended December 31, 2020 and 2019     61  

Consolidated Statements of Changes in Stockholders' Equity for the Years Ended December 31, 2020 and 2019

    62  
Consolidated Statements of Cash Flows for the Years Ended December 31, 2020 and 2019     63  
Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements     64  

 

 

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 REPORT OF INDEPENDENT REGISTERED PUBLIC ACCOUNTING FIRM

 

 

To the Board of Directors and Stockholders of

Unico American Corporation and Subsidiaries

 

Opinion on the Financial Statements

 

We have audited the accompanying consolidated balance sheets of Unico American Corporation and Subsidiaries (the "Company") as of December 31, 2020 and 2019, the related consolidated statements of operations, comprehensive loss, changes in stockholders’ equity, and cash flows, for each of the years in the two-year period ended December 31, 2020, and the related notes and Schedules II and III (collectively referred to as the "consolidated financial statements"). In our opinion, the consolidated financial statements present fairly, in all material respects, the financial position of the Company as of December 31, 2020 and 2019, and the results of its operations and its cash flows for each of the years in the two-year period ended December 31, 2020, in conformity with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America.

 

Basis for Opinion

 

These consolidated financial statements are the responsibility of the Company's management. Our responsibility is to express an opinion on the Company's consolidated financial statements based on our audits. We are a public accounting firm registered with the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (United States) ("PCAOB") and are required to be independent with respect to the Company in accordance with the U.S. federal securities laws and the applicable rules and regulations of the Securities and Exchange Commission and the PCAOB.

 

We conducted our audits in accordance with the standards of the PCAOB. Those standards require that we plan and perform the audit to obtain reasonable assurance about whether the consolidated financial statements are free of material misstatement, whether due to error or fraud. The Company is not required to have, nor were we engaged to perform, an audit of internal control over financial reporting. As part of our audits, we are required to obtain an understanding of internal control over financial reporting, but not for the purpose of expressing an opinion on the effectiveness of the Company’s internal control over financial reporting. Accordingly, we express no such opinion.

 

Our audits included performing procedures to assess the risks of material misstatement of the consolidated financial statements, whether due to error or fraud, and performing procedures that respond to those risks. Such procedures included examining, on a test basis, evidence regarding the amounts and disclosures in the consolidated financial statements. Our audits also included evaluating the accounting principles used and significant estimates made by management, as well as evaluating the overall presentation of the consolidated financial statements. We believe that our audits provide a reasonable basis for our opinion.

 

Critical Audit Matters

 

The critical audit matters communicated below are matters arising from the current period audit of the consolidated financial statements that were communicated or required to be communicated to the audit committee and that: (1) relate to accounts or disclosures that are material to the consolidated financial statements and (2) involved our especially challenging, subjective, or complex judgments. The communication of critical audit matters does not alter in any way our opinion on the consolidated financial statements, taken as a whole, and we are not, by communicating the critical audit matters below, providing separate opinions on the critical audit matters or on the accounts or disclosures to which they relate.

 

Unpaid Losses and Loss Adjustment Expenses

 

 

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As of December 31, 2020, unpaid losses and loss adjustment expenses (“loss reserves”), were $74,893,509. As described in Notes 1 and 8 to the consolidated financial statements, loss reserves are management’s best estimate of the ultimate net cost of all reported and unreported losses and loss adjustment expenses incurred, less payments made. There are significant judgments involved in calculating this estimate as well as inherent uncertainties of the ultimate loss settlement cost.

 

We identified the evaluation of loss reserves as a critical audit matter due to the complexity and subjective judgment required to audit management’s best estimate, which required assessing the selected methods and assumptions, such as paid and incurred loss development factors, used to estimate loss reserves. Specialized actuarial skills, training, and knowledge were needed to evaluate the Company’s actuarial methodologies and the estimate of future claim payment and reporting patterns.

 

We tested the completeness of the underlying data generated from the Company’s policy administration system by reconciling it to the data used by the Company’s actuary. We tested the accuracy of the data on a sample basis by tracing it to source documents. Furthermore, we engaged an independent actuary with specialized skills, training, and knowledge to assist in assessing management’s methodologies used to estimate loss reserves by comparing it to generally accepted actuarial methods; evaluating management’s estimates by lines of business by performing independent analysis of loss reserves using the Company’s underlying historical claims data; and developing a reserve range based on actuarial methodologies and comparing it to the Company’s total recorded loss reserves.

 

/s/JLK Rosenberger LLP

 

We have served as the Company’s auditor since 2015.

 

Glendale, California

March 31, 2021

 

 

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UNICO AMERICAN CORPORATION

AND SUBSIDIARIES

 

CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS

AS OF DECEMBER 31

  

    2020   2019
ASSETS                
Investments:                
Available-for-sale:                
Fixed maturities, at fair value (amortized cost: $80,071,280 at December 31, 2020, and $82,002,411 at December 31, 2019)   $ 83,409,694     $ 83,499,710  
Held-to-maturity:                
Fixed maturities, at amortized cost (fair value: $798,000 at December 31, 2020, and $798,000 at December 31, 2019)     798,000       798,000  
Equity securities, at fair value (cost: $2,548,440 at December 31, 2020 and $0 at December 31, 2019)     2,746,706       —    
Short-term investments, at fair value     200,000       2,196,815  
Total Investments     87,154,400       86,494,525  
Cash and cash equivalents     3,957,980       5,781,639  
Accrued investment income     402,046       397,302  
Receivables, net     3,321,337       4,019,437  
Reinsurance recoverable:                
Paid losses and loss adjustment expenses     621,307       685,841  
Unpaid losses and loss adjustment expenses     22,253,642       14,725,855  
Deferred policy acquisition costs     3,503,248       3,619,594  
Real estate held for sale, net     8,335,017       —    
Property and equipment, net     2,038,415       10,226,595  
Deferred income taxes     —         3,925,432  
Other assets     313,363       430,305  
Total Assets   $ 131,900,755     $ 130,306,525  
                 
LIABILITIES AND STOCKHOLDERS' EQUITY                
                 
LIABILITIES                
Unpaid losses and loss adjustment expenses   $ 74,893,509     $ 55,066,480  
Unearned premium     18,188,298       17,810,337  
Advance premium and premium deposits     208,538       219,083  
Accrued expenses and other liabilities     3,577,450       2,130,300  
Total Liabilities   $ 96,867,795     $ 75,226,200  
                 
Commitments and contingencies                
                 
STOCKHOLDERS'  EQUITY                
Common stock, no par value – authorized 10,000,000 shares; 5,304,885 and 5,306,720 shares issued and outstanding at December 31, 2020 and 2019, respectively   $ 3,771,767     $ 3,772,669  
Accumulated other comprehensive income     2,637,347       1,182,866  
Retained earnings     28,623,846       50,124,790  
Total Stockholders’ Equity   $ 35,032,960     $ 55,080,325  
                 
Total Liabilities and Stockholders' Equity   $ 131,900,755     $ 130,306,525  

  

See accompanying notes to consolidated financial statements.

 

 

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UNICO AMERICAN CORPORATION

AND SUBSIDIARIES

 

 CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF OPERATIONS

FOR THE YEARS ENDED DECEMBER 31

 

 

 

 

    2020   2019
REVENUES                
Insurance company operation:                
Net earned premium   $ 28,168,168     $ 26,737,468  
Net investment income     1,988,243       2,097,942  
Net realized investment gains (losses)     97,771       (12,661 )
Net unrealized investments gains on    equity securities     198,266       —    
Other income     32,713       123,050  
Total Insurance Company Operation     30,485,161       28,945,799  
                 
Other insurance operations:                
Gross commissions and fees     1,827,263       2,176,658  
Finance fees earned     240,589       239,524  
Other income     7,098       10,833  
Total Revenues     32,560,111       31,372,814  
                 
EXPENSES                
Losses and loss adjustment expenses     34,642,920       22,576,127  
Policy acquisition costs     4,898,807       4,960,846  
Salaries and employee benefits     6,364,170       4,067,852  
Commissions to agents/brokers     95,315       173,796  
Other operating expenses     4,502,414       2,844,083  
Total Expenses     50,503,626       34,622,704  
                 
Loss before taxes     (17,943,515 )     (3,249,890 )
Income tax expense (benefit)     3,547,598       (134,187 )
                 
Net Loss   $ (21,491,113 )   $ (3,115,703 )
                 
                 
PER SHARE DATA:                
Basic                
Loss per share   $ (4.05 )   $ (0.59 )
Weighted average shares     5,305,829       5,306,879  
Diluted                
Loss per share   $ (4.05 )   $ (0.59 )
Weighted average shares     5,305,829       5,306,879  

 

See accompanying notes to consolidated financial statements.

 

 

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UNICO AMERICAN CORPORATION

AND SUBSIDIARIES

 

CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF COMPREHENSIVE LOSS

FOR THE YEARS ENDED DECEMBER 31

 

 

    2020   2019
         
Net loss   $ (21,491,113 )   $ (3,115,703 )
Other changes in comprehensive income (loss):                
Changes in unrealized gains on securities classified as available-for-sale arising during the period, net of income tax     1,454,481       2,282,902  
Comprehensive Loss   $ (20,036,632 )   $ (832,801 )

 

See accompanying notes to consolidated financial statements.

 

 

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UNICO AMERICAN CORPORATION

AND SUBSIDIARIES

 

CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF CHANGES IN STOCKHOLDERS’ EQUITY

FOR THE YEARS ENDED DECEMBER 31, 2020 AND 2019

 

 

                 
        Accumulated        
    Common Shares        Other        
    Issued and       Comprehensive   Retained    
    Outstanding   Amount   Income (Loss)   Earnings   Total
                     
Balance – December 31, 2018     5,307,103     $ 3,772,857     $ (1,100,036 )   $ 53,242,601     $ 55,915,422  
                                         
Shares repurchased     (383 )     (188 )     —         (2,108 )     (2,296 )
Change in unrealized gain (loss), net of deferred income tax     —         —         2,282,902       —         2,282,902  
Net loss     —         —         —         (3,115,703 )     (3,115,703 )
Balance – December 31, 2019     5,306,720     $ 3,772,669     $ 1,182,866     $ 50,124,790     $ 55,080,325  
                                         
Shares repurchased     (1,835 )     (902 )     —         (9,831 )     (10,733 )
Change in unrealized gain (loss), net of deferred income tax     —         —         1,454,481       —         1,454,481  
Net loss     —         —         —         (21,491,113 )     (21,491,113 )
Balance – December 31, 2020     5,304,885     $ 3,771,767     $ 2,637,347     $ 28,623,846     $ 35,032,960  

  

See accompanying notes to consolidated financial statements.

 

 

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UNICO AMERICAN CORPORATION AND SUBSIDIARIES

 

CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF CASH FLOWS

FOR THE YEARS ENDED DECEMBER 31

 

 

    2020   2019
         
Cash flows from operating activities:                
Net loss   $ (21,491,113 )   $ (3,115,703 )
Adjustments to reconcile net loss to net cash from operations:                
Depreciation and amortization     673,895       565,876  
Bond amortization, net     33,072       (19,874 )
Bad debt expense     6,451       7,881  
Net realized investment losses (gains)     (97,771 )     12,661  
Net unrealized investment gains on equity securities     (198,266 )     —    
Changes in assets and liabilities:                
Net receivables and accrued investment income     686,905       (97,770 )
Reinsurance recoverable     (7,463,253 )     (5,881,413 )
Deferred policy acquisition costs     116,346       (129,866 )
Other assets     116,942       127,138  
Unpaid losses and loss adjustment expenses     19,827,029       3,409,325  
Unearned premium     377,961       1,845,748  
Advance premium and premium deposits     (10,545 )     (15,359 )
Accrued expenses and other liabilities     1,447,150       284,942  
Income taxes current/deferred     3,538,798       (156,796 )
Net Cash Used by Operating Activities     (2,436,399 )     (3,163,210 )
                 
Cash flows from investing activities:                
Purchase of fixed maturity investments     (20,580,448 )     (10,975,077 )
Purchase of equity securities     (2,548,440 )     —    
Proceeds from maturity of fixed maturity investments     16,050,870       10,137,673  
Proceeds from sale or call of investments     6,525,408       3,472,794  
Net decrease in short-term investments     1,996,815       2,494,139  
Additions to property and equipment     (820,732 )     (1,100,146 )
Net Cash Provided by Investing Activities     623,473       4,029,383  
                 
Cash flows from financing activities:                
Repurchase of common stock     (10,733 )     (2,296 )
Net Cash Used by Financing Activities     (10,733 )     (2,296 )
                 
Net increase (decrease) in cash and cash equivalents     (1,823,659 )     863,877  
Cash and cash equivalents at beginning of year     5,781,639       4,917,762  
Cash and Cash Equivalents at End of Year   $ 3,957,980     $ 5,781,639  
                 
Supplemental cash flow information                
Cash paid during the period for:     —         —    
Interest                
Income taxes   $ 8,800     $ 8,800  

 

See accompanying notes to consolidated financial statements.

 

 

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UNICO AMERICAN CORPORATION

AND SUBSIDIARIES

 

NOTES TO CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

DECEMBER 31, 2020

 

 

NOTE 1 - SUMMARY OF SIGNIFICANT ACCOUNTING POLICIES

Nature of Business

Unico American Corporation (the “Company” or “Unico”) is an insurance holding company that underwrites property and casualty insurance through its insurance company subsidiary; provides property, casualty, and health insurance through its agency subsidiaries; and provides insurance premium financing and membership association services through its other subsidiaries. References to Unico or the Company include both the corporation and its subsidiaries, all of which are wholly owned. Unico was incorporated under the laws of Nevada in 1969.

 

Principles of Consolidation

The accompanying consolidated financial statements include the accounts of Unico American Corporation and its subsidiaries. All significant intercompany accounts and transactions have been eliminated in consolidation.

 

Basis of Presentation

The consolidated financial statements have been prepared in conformity with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles (“GAAP”). As described in Note 14, the Company's insurance subsidiary also files financial statements with regulatory agencies prepared on a statutory basis of accounting that differs from GAAP. Certain reclassifications have been made to prior period amounts to conform to the current year’s presentation.

 

Use of Estimates in the Preparation of the Financial Statements

The preparation of financial statements in conformity with GAAP requires the Company to make estimates and assumptions that affect its reported amounts of assets and liabilities and its disclosure of any contingent assets and liabilities at the date of its financial statements, as well as its reported amounts of revenues and expenses during the reporting period. The most significant assumptions in the preparation of these consolidated financial statements relate to losses and loss adjustment expenses. While every effort is made to ensure the integrity of such estimates, actual results may differ.

 

Investments

The Company’s fixed maturity investments are classified either as held-to-maturity or available-for-sale and are stated at fair value. Although part of the Company's investments is classified as available-for-sale and the Company may sell investment securities from time to time in response to economic and market conditions, or investment securities may be called by their issuers prior to the securities’ maturity, its investment guidelines place primary emphasis on buying and holding high-quality investments to maturity. Short-term investments are carried at cost, which approximates fair value. Equity securities are reported at fair value. The Company’s equity securities allocation is intended to enhance the return of and provide diversification for the total investment portfolio. The unrealized gains or losses from fixed maturities are reported as “Accumulated other comprehensive income (loss),” which is a separate component of stockholders’ equity, net of any deferred tax effect. The net unrealized investment gains on equity securities are reported in the Consolidated Statements of Operations. When a decline in the value of a fixed maturity is considered other-than-temporary, a loss is recognized in the Consolidated Statements of Operations. Realized gains and losses are included in the Consolidated Statements of Operations based on the specific identification method.

 

The Company has a comprehensive portfolio monitoring process to identify and evaluate each fixed income security whose carrying value may be other-than-temporarily impaired. For each fixed income security in an unrealized loss position, the Company assesses whether it is more likely than not that the Company will be required to sell the security before recovery of the amortized cost basis for reasons such as liquidity, contractual or regulatory purposes, or the credit quality of the underlying security. If a security meets this criteria, the security's decline in fair value is considered other than temporary and is recorded as a net realized investment loss in the Consolidated Statements of Operations and in the Consolidated Statements of Comprehensive Income (Loss) based on the specific identification method. There were no realized investments gains (losses) from other than temporary impairments for any of the periods presented in the accompanying Consolidated Statements of Operations. For each fixed income security that the Company does not intend to sell or for which it is more likely than not that the Company would not be required to sell before an anticipated recovery in value, the Company separates the credit loss component of the impairment, if any, from the amount related to all other factors and reports the credit loss component in net realized investment gains (losses). There was no credit loss component for any of the periods presented in the accompanying Consolidated Statements of Operations.

 

 

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The short-term investments include U.S. Treasury bills, certificates of deposit, and commercial paper that are all highly rated and have initial maturity between three and twelve months.

 

Fair Value of Financial Instruments

The Company employs a fair value hierarchy that prioritizes the inputs for valuation techniques used to measure fair value. The fair value of a financial instrument is the amount that would be received to sell an asset or paid to transfer a liability in an orderly transaction between market participants at the measurement date (the exit price). Financial assets and financial liabilities recorded on the Consolidated Balance Sheets at fair value are categorized based on the reliability of inputs to the valuation techniques. (See Note 5.)

 

The Company has used the following methods and assumptions in estimating its fair value disclosures for instruments carried at fair value:

 

  • Available-for-sale fixed securities, equity securities, and short-term investments – Fair values are obtained from widely accepted third party vendors.

The Company has used the following methods and assumptions for estimating fair value for other financial instruments not carried at fair value:

 

  • Cash and cash equivalents – The carrying amounts reported in the Consolidated Balance Sheets approximate their fair values given the short-term nature of these instruments.

 

  • Long-term certificates of deposit – The carrying amounts reported in the Consolidated Balance Sheets for these instruments are at amortized cost which approximates their fair value

 

  • Receivables, net – The carrying amounts reported in the Consolidated Balance Sheets approximate their fair values given the short-term nature of these instruments.

 

  • Accrued expenses and other liabilities – The carrying amounts reported in the Consolidated Balance Sheets approximate the fair values given the short-term nature of these instruments.

 

Property and Equipment

All property and equipment held for use is stated at cost less accumulated depreciation and amortization on the Consolidated Balance Sheets.

 

Depreciation on Crusader Insurance Company (“Crusader”), the Company’s subsidiary, owned building, located at 26050 Mureau Road, Calabasas, California, is computed using the straight-line method over 39 years. Improvements to the building structure are amortized over the useful life of the improvements. Depreciation on furniture, fixtures and equipment in the Calabasas building is computed using the straight-line method over 3 to 15 years. Amortization of tenant improvements in the Calabasas building was being computed using the shorter of the useful life of the tenant improvements or the remaining years of the lease.

 

Income Taxes

The Company and its subsidiaries file consolidated federal and state income tax returns. Pursuant to the tax allocation agreement, Crusader and American Acceptance Corporation (“AAC”), a subsidiary of Unico, are allocated taxes or tax credits in the case of losses, at current corporate rates based on their own taxable income or loss. The Company files income tax returns under U.S. federal and various state jurisdictions. The Company is subject to examination by U.S. federal income tax authorities for tax returns filed starting at taxable year 2017 and California state income tax authorities for tax returns filed starting at taxable year 2016. There are no ongoing examinations of income tax returns by federal or state tax authorities.

 

As a California insurance company, Crusader is obligated to pay a premium tax on direct written premium in all states that Crusader is admitted. Premium taxes are deferred and amortized as the related premium is earned. The premium tax is in lieu of state franchise taxes and is not included in the provision for state taxes.

 

 

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The provision for federal income taxes is computed on the basis of income as reported for financial reporting purposes. Deferred income taxes reflect the net tax effects of temporary differences between the carrying amounts of assets and liabilities for financial reporting purposes and the amounts used for income tax purposes, and are measured using the enacted tax rates and laws expected to apply to taxable income in the years in which those temporary differences are expected to be recovered or settled. Income tax expense provisions increase or decrease in the same period in which a change in tax rates is enacted.

 

At each balance sheet date, management assesses the need to establish a valuation allowance that reduces deferred tax assets when it is more-likely-than-not that any portion of the deferred tax asset will not be realized. The ultimate realization of deferred tax assets is dependent upon generating sufficient taxable income of the appropriate character within the carryback and carryforward periods available under the tax law. Management considers the reversal of deferred tax liabilities, projected future taxable income of an appropriate nature and tax-planning strategies when making this assessment. In connection with preparation of its consolidated financial statements, the Company periodically performs an analysis of future income projections to determine the adequacy of the valuation allowance. In light of the net losses that were generated in recent years, for the twelve months ended December 31, 2020, the Company has established a valuation allowance for the aggregate amount of the federal and state net operating losses and other deferred tax assets in the amount of $10,557,080 that, in management’s judgment, are not more-likely-than-not to be realized. For the year ended December 31, 2019, the Company carried a valuation allowance on deferred tax assets generated from federal and state net operating losses in the amount of $600,000 and $1,931,665, respectively.

 

Earnings Per Share

Basic earnings per share exclude the impact of common share equivalents and are based upon the weighted average common shares outstanding. Diluted earnings per share utilize the average market price per share when applying the treasury stock method in determining common share dilution. When outstanding stock options are dilutive, they are treated as common share equivalents for purposes of computing diluted earnings per share and represent the difference between basic and diluted weighted average shares outstanding. In loss periods, the options are excluded from the calculation of diluted earnings per share, as the inclusion of such options would have an anti-dilutive effect.

 

Revenue Recognition

a. General Agency Operations

Commissions from sales of health insurance are earned in income based on the satisfaction of a single performance obligation.  Marketing, selling, billing, collecting, and administering health insurance policies are a series of distinct services combined as a one performance obligation, which is recognized in income monthly over the policy period.   Premiums are collected upon the initial sale of health insurance policies and then monthly upon each subsequent periodic payment.   As a result there are limited accounts receivable.  Policy fee income is recognized on a pro-rata basis over the terms of the policies.

 

b. Insurance Company Operation

Premium is earned on a pro-rata basis over the terms of the policies. Premium applicable to the unexpired terms of policies in force are recorded as unearned premium.

 

c. Insurance Premium Financing Operations

Premium finance interest may be charged to policyholders who choose to finance insurance premium. Interest may be charged at rates that vary with the amount of premium financed. Premium finance interest, if any, is recognized using a method that approximates the interest (actuarial) method. Other charges and fees earned include late fees, returned check fees and payment processing fees that are earned when recorded.

 

Losses and Loss Adjustment Expenses

The liability for unpaid losses and loss adjustment expenses is based upon the accumulation of individual case estimates for losses reported prior to the close of the accounting period plus estimates based on experience and industry data for development of case estimates and for incurred but unreported losses and loss adjustment expenses.

 

 

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There is a high level of uncertainty inherent in the evaluation of the required loss and loss adjustment expense reserves for Crusader. The long-tailed nature of liability claims and the volatility of jury awards exacerbate that uncertainty. Crusader records loss and loss adjustment expense reserves at each balance sheet date based upon management’s best estimate of the ultimate payments that it anticipates will be made to settle all losses incurred and related expenses incurred as of that date for both reported and unreported losses. The ultimate cost of claims is dependent upon future events, the outcomes of which are affected by many factors. Crusader’s claim reserving procedures and settlement philosophy, current and perceived social and economic inflation, current and future court rulings and jury attitudes, improvements in medical technology, and many other economic, scientific, legal, political, and social factors all can have significant effects on the ultimate costs of claims. Changes in Company operations and management philosophy also may cause actual developments to vary from the past. Since the emergence and disposition of claims are subject to uncertainties, the net amounts that will ultimately be paid to settle claims may vary significantly from the estimated amounts provided for in the accompanying consolidated financial statements. Any adjustments to reserves are reflected in the operating results of the periods in which they are made. Management believes that the aggregate reserves for losses and loss adjustment expenses are reasonable and adequate to cover the cost of claims, both reported and unreported.

 

The Company applies judgment in determining estimates for reserves associated with anticipated recoveries of salvage and subrogation on paid losses and loss adjustment expenses. During the year ended December 31, 2019, the Company changed that estimate to be in-line with its historic salvage and subrogation recovery success pattern. The impact of that change was a $968,400 reduction in losses and loss adjustment expenses for the year ended December 31, 2019, and in unpaid losses and loss adjustment expenses. The change was accounted for as a change in accounting estimate.

 

Restricted Funds

Restricted funds are as follows:

    Year ended December 31
    2020   2019
         
Premium trust funds (1)   $ 1,595,135     $ 1,758,915  
Assigned to state agencies (2)     710,000       710,000  
Funds held as collateral (3)     787,653       —    
Total restricted funds   $ 3,092,788     $ 2,468,915  

 

(1) As required by law, the Company segregates from its operating accounts the premium collected from insureds that are payable to insurance companies into separate trust accounts.

 

(2) $510,000 included in fixed maturity investments as of December 31, 2020 and 2019, and $200,000 included in short-term investments as of December 31, 2020 and 2019, are statutory deposits assigned to and held by the California State Treasurer and the Insurance Commissioner of the State of Nevada. These deposits are required for writing certain lines of business in California and for admission in states other than California.

 

(3) Funds held as collateral by Comerica Bank & Trust, N. A. (“Comerica”) included in available-for-sale fixed maturities pursuant to the reinsurance trust agreement among Crusader, United Specialty Insurance Company (“USIC”) and Comerica to secure payment of Crusader’s liabilities and performance of its obligations under the reinsurance arrangement with USIC.

 

Deferred Policy Acquisition Costs

Policy acquisition costs consist of commissions, premium taxes, inspection fees, and certain other underwriting costs, which are related to the successful production of Crusader insurance policies. Policy acquisition costs that are eligible for deferral are deferred and amortized as the related premium is earned and are limited to their estimated realizable value based on the related unearned premium plus investment income less anticipated losses and loss adjustment expenses. Ceding commission applicable to the unexpired terms of policies in force is recorded as unearned ceding commission, which is included in deferred policy acquisition costs.

 

Reinsurance

Crusader employs reinsurance to provide greater diversification of business allowing management to control exposure to potential losses arising from large risks by reinsuring certain levels of risk in various areas of exposure, to reduce the loss that may arise from catastrophes, and to provide additional capacity for growth. Prepaid reinsurance premium and reinsurance receivables are reported as assets and represent ceded unearned premium and reinsurance recoverable on both paid and unpaid losses and loss adjustment expenses, respectively. Amounts recoverable from reinsurers are estimated in a manner consistent with the claim liability associated with the reinsured policies. Crusader evaluates each of its ceded reinsurance contracts at its inception to determine if there is sufficient risk transfer to allow the contract to be accounted for as reinsurance under current accounting literature. As of December 31, 2020, all such ceded contracts are accounted for as risk transfer reinsurance.

 

 

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Crusader evaluates and monitors the financial condition of its reinsurers and factors such as collection periods, disputes, applicable coverage defenses and other factors to assess the need for any allowance against anticipated reinsurance recoveries. No such allowance was considered necessary at December 31, 2020 or 2019.

 

Concentration of Risks

99.9% of Crusader’s gross written premium was derived from California during the years ended December 31, 2020 and 2019. In 2020, approximately 30% and 56% of the $727,515 commission income from the Company’s health insurance program was from Guardian Life Insurance Company of America dental and group life plan programs and Blue Shield Care Trust health and life insurance programs, respectively. In 2019, approximately 39% and 49% of the $939,689 commission income from the Company’s health insurance program was from Guardian Life Insurance Company of America dental and group life plan programs and Blue Shield Care Trust health and life insurance programs, respectively.

 

Crusader’s reinsurance recoverable on paid and unpaid losses and loss adjustment expenses is as follows:

 

        Year ended December 31

Name of Reinsurer

A.M. Best Rating (1)

 

2020

 

2019

             
Renaissance Reinsurance U.S. Inc.   A+   $ 11,906,416     $ 8,095,647  
Hannover Ruck SE   A+     10,673,173       6,869,914  
TOA Reinsurance Company of America   A     295,188       438,308  
Other   A     172       7,827  
Total       $ 22,874,949     $ 15,411,696  

(1) A.M. Best ratings are as of December 31, 2020.

 

Stock-Based Compensation

Share-based compensation expense for all share-based payment awards is based on the grant-date fair value estimated in accordance with the provisions of ASC Topic 718, “Compensation - Stock Compensation” using the modified prospective transition method.

 

Recently Issued Accounting Standards

Recently adopted standards

 

In February 2016, the FASB issued ASU 2016-02 “Leases.” ASU 2016-02 requires lessees to recognize on the balance sheet the assets and liabilities for the rights and obligations created by all leases, including those historically accounted for as operating leases. The Company adopted ASU 2016-02 effective January 1, 2019. The adoption of ASU 2016-02 did not have a material impact to the Consolidated Statements of Operations and the Consolidated Balance Sheets.

 

In August, 2018, the FASB issued ASU 2018-13 “Fair Value Measurement: Disclosure Framework – Changes to the Disclosure Requirements for Fair Value Measurement.” ASU 2018-13 modifies the disclosure requirements for assets and liabilities measured at fair value. The amendments in this ASU require certain existing disclosure requirements to be modified or removed, and certain new disclosure requirements to be added. In addition, this ASU allows entities to exercise more discretion when considering fair value measurement disclosures. This ASU is effective for annual and interim reporting periods beginning after December 15, 2019. The Company adopted ASU 2018-13 effective January 1, 2020. The adoption of ASU 2018-13 did not have a material impact to the Company’s disclosures.

 

 

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Standards not yet adopted

In June 2016, the FASB issued ASU 2016-13 “Measurement of Credit Losses on Financial Instruments.” ASU 2016-13 replaces the current incurred loss methodology for recognizing credit losses with a current expected credit loss model, which requires the measurement of all expected credit losses for financial assets held at the reporting date based on historical experience, current conditions, and reasonable and supportable forecasts. ASU 2016-13 also requires enhanced disclosures for better understanding of significant estimates and judgments used in estimating credit losses. The Company is currently evaluating the effect ASU 2016-13 will have on the Company's consolidated financial statements, but expects the primary changes to be (i) the use of the expected credit loss model for its premium receivables and reinsurance recoverables and (ii) the presentation of credit losses within the available-for-sale fixed maturities portfolio through an allowance method rather than as a direct write-down. ASU 2016-13 will primarily impact the Company’s available-for-sale fixed maturities portfolio and reinsurance recoverables. In November 2019, the FASB issued ASU 2019-10 “Financial Instruments – Credit Losses, Derivatives and Hedging, and Leases.” ASU 2019-10 updated the effective date for implementing ASU 2016-13 for smaller reporting entities, and that effective date will be for fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2022. Since the Company’s fixed income portfolio is invested primarily in higher rated bonds and the reinsurance is purchased from financially strong reinsurers, the Company believes the adoption of ASU 2016-13 will not have a material impact to the Consolidated Statements of Operations and the Consolidated Balance Sheets.

 

In December of 2019, the FASB issued Accounting Standards Update No. 2019-12, Income Taxes (Topic 740): Simplifying the Accounting for Income Taxes or ASU 2019-12.  ASU 2019-12 is expected to reduce the cost and complexity related to the accounting for income taxes. The ASU removes specific exceptions to the general principles in Topic 740 and improves the financial statement preparer's application of income tax related guidance. The ASU is effective for fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2020, including interim periods within those fiscal years. Early adoption is permitted. The Company is currently evaluating the impact that the adoption of this guidance will have on its consolidated financial statements.

 

NOTE 2 – CASH AND CASH EQUIVALENTS

The following table provides a reconciliation of cash and cash equivalents reported within the Consolidated Balance Sheets to the amounts shown in the Consolidated Statements of Cash Flows:

  Year ended December 31
    2020   2019
         
Cash   $ 3,383,048     $ 2,490,902  
Cash equivalents     574,932       3,290,737  
Cash and cash equivalents   $ 3,957,980     $ 5,781,639  

 

Cash equivalents were comprised of highly liquid investments with initial maturity of 90 days or less. As of December 31, 2020 and 2019, cash equivalents included custodial trust, bank money market accounts, and a bank savings account.

 

NOTE 3 – ADVANCE PREMIUM AND PREMIUM DEPOSITS

The insurance company operation records an advance premium liability that represents the deposits on written premium on policies that have been submitted to the Company and are bound, billed, and recorded prior to their effective date of coverage. The advance premium is not included in written premium or in the liability for unearned premium.

 

Some of the Company’s health and life programs require payments of premium prior to the effective date of coverage; and, accordingly, invoices are sent out as early as two months prior to the coverage effective date. Insurance premium received for coverage months effective after the balance sheet date are recorded as advance premium.

 

NOTE 4 – INVESTMENTS

A summary of investment income, net of investment expenses, net realized gains, and net unrealized investment gains on equity securities is as follows:

  Year ended December 31
  2020 2019
       
Fixed maturities $ 2,068,592     $ 2,162,142  
Equities   28,727       —    
Short-term investments and cash equivalents   24,603       65,642  
Gross investment income   2,121,922       2,227,784  
Less investment expenses   (133,679 )     (129,842 )
Net investment income   1,988,243       2,097,942  
Net realized gains (losses)   97,771       (12,661 )
Net unrealized gains on equity securities   198,266       —    
Net investment income, realized gains (losses) and unrealized gains $ 2,284,280     $ 2,085,281  

 

 

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The amortized cost and estimated fair value of fixed maturity investments at December 31, 2020, by contractual maturity are as follows:

 

Amortized

Cost

  Estimated Fair Value
         
Due in one year or less   $ 11,064,202     $ 11,169,232  
Due after one year through five years     30,090,910       31,260,694  
Due after five years through ten years     18,476,051       19,806,444  
Due after ten years and beyond     21,238,117       21,971,324  
Total fixed maturities   $ 80,869,280     $ 84,207,694  

 

Expected maturities will differ from contractual maturities because borrowers may have the right to call or prepay obligations with or without penalties.

 

The amortized cost and estimated fair values of investments in fixed maturities by category are as follows:

 

Amortized

Cost

Gross

Unrealized Gains

 

Gross

Unrealized Losses

 

Estimated Fair Value

December 31, 2020                
Available-for-sale fixed maturities:                                
U.S. Treasury securities   $ 10,596,808     $ 235,373     $ —       $ 10,832,181  
Corporate securities     44,159,926       2,347,826       (55,847 )     46,451,905  
Agency mortgage-backed securities     25,314,546       833,336       (22,274 )     26,125,608  
Held-to-maturity fixed maturities:                                
  Certificates of deposit     798,000       —         —         798,000  
Total fixed maturities   $ 80,869,280     $ 3,416,535     $ (78,121 )   $ 84,207,694  
                                 
December 31, 2019                                
Available-for-sale fixed maturities:                                
U.S. Treasury securities   $ 15,105,795     $ 130,564     $ (1,027 )   $ 15,235,332  
Corporate securities     41,953,378       1,076,012       (57 )     43,029,333  
Agency mortgage-backed securities     24,943,238       293,757       (1,950 )     25,235,045  
Held-to-maturity fixed maturities:                                
  Certificates of deposit     798,000       —         —         798,000  
Total fixed maturities   $ 82,800,411     $ 1,500,333     $ (3,034 )   $ 84,297,710  

 

As of December 31, 2020, one corporate security, included in available-for-sale fixed maturities, was held as collateral with Comerica, pursuant to the reinsurance trust agreement among Crusader, USIC and Comerica to secure payment of Crusader’s liabilities and performance of its obligations under the reinsurance arrangement with USIC. The estimated fair value and amortized cost of that security was $824,500 and $787,653 on December 31, 2020, respectively.

 

 

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A summary of the unrealized gains (losses) on investments carried at fair value and the applicable deferred federal income taxes is as follows:

    Year ended December 31
    2020   2019
         
Gross unrealized gains of fixed maturities   $ 3,416,535     $ 1,500,333  
Gross unrealized losses of fixed maturities     (78,121 )     (3,034 )
Net unrealized gains on investments     3,338,414       1,497,299  
Deferred federal tax expense     (701,067 )     (314,433 )
Net unrealized gains, net of deferred income taxes   $ 2,637,347     $ 1,182,866  

 

A summary of estimated fair value and gross unrealized losses in a gross unrealized loss position by the length of time in which the securities have continually been in that position is shown below:

    Less than 12 Months   12 Months or Longer
    Estimated
Fair Value
  Gross Unrealized
Losses
  Number of Securities   Estimated
Fair Value
  Gross Unrealized
Losses
  Number of Securities
December 31, 2020                        
U.S. Treasury securities   $ —       $ —         —       $ —       $ —         —    
Corporate securities     2,101,986       (55,847 )     2       —         —         —    
Agency mortgage-backed securities     3,223,329       (22,274 )     12       —         —         —    
Total debt securities     5,325,315       (78,121 )     14       —         —         —    
Equity securities     723,346       (37,357 )     25       —         —         —    
Total   $ 6,048,661     $ (115,478 )     39     $ —       $ —         —    

 

 

    Less than 12 Months   12 Months or Longer
   

Estimated

Fair Value

 

Gross Unrealized

Losses

 

Number of Securities

 

Estimated

Fair Value

 

Gross Unrealized

Losses

 

Number of Securities

December 31, 2019                        
U.S. Treasury securities   $ 1,996,562     $ (253 )     1     $ 1,002,031     $ (775 )     1  
Corporate securities     999,818       (56 )     1       —         —         —    
Agency mortgage-backed securities     750,058       (1,950 )     2       —         —         —    
Total   $ 3,746,438     $ (2,259 )     4     $ 1,002,031     $ (775 )     1  

 

The Company monitors its investments closely. If an unrealized loss is determined to be other-than-temporary, it is written off as a realized loss through the Consolidated Statements of Operations. The Company’s methodology of assessing other-than-temporary impairments is based on security-specific analysis as of the balance sheet date and considers various factors including the length of time to maturity and the extent to which the fair value has been less than the cost, the financial condition and the near-term prospects of the issuer, and whether the debtor is current on its contractually obligated interest and principal payments. The unrealized losses as of December 31, 2020, and December 31, 2019, were determined to be temporary.

 

Although the Company does not intend to sell its fixed maturity investments prior to maturity, the Company may sell investment securities from time to time in response to cash flow requirements, economic and/or market conditions or investment securities may be called by their issuers prior to the securities’ maturity.

 

    December 31   December 31
    2020   2019
                 
Fixed maturities securities sold                
Number of securities sold     15       3  
Amortized cost of sold securities   $ 5,529,470     $ 2,997,098  
Realized gains (losses) on sales   $ 52,053     $ (12,679 )
                 
Fixed maturities securities called                
Number of securities called     4       1  
Amortized cost of called securities   $ 2,449,503     $ 999,982  
Realized gains on calls   $ 497     $ 18  

 

 

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The unrealized gains or losses from fixed maturities are reported as “Accumulated other comprehensive income or loss,” which is a separate component of stockholders’ equity, net of any deferred tax effect.

 

The Company started investing in common stock equity securities during the year ended December 31, 2020. The Company’s equity securities allocation is intended to enhance the return of and provide diversification for the total investment portfolio. A summary of equity securities is shown below:

    December 31   December 31
    2020   2019
         
Cost   $ 2,548,440     $ —    
Unrealized gain     198,266       —    
Fair market value of equity securities   $ 2,746,706     $ —    

 

The Company’s investment in certificates of deposit included $598,000 of brokered certificates of deposit as of December 31, 2020 and 2019. All of the Company’s certificates of deposit are within the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (“FDIC”) insured permissible limits. Due to the nature of the Company’s business, certain bank accounts may exceed FDIC insured permissible limits.

 

The following securities from three different banks represent statutory deposits that are assigned to and held by the California State Treasurer and the Insurance Commissioner of the State of Nevada. These deposits are required for writing certain lines of business in California and for admission in the state of Nevada.

 

    Year ended December 31
    2020   2019
         
Certificates of deposit   $ 200,000     $ 200,000  
Short-term investments     200,000       200,000  
Total state held deposits   $ 400,000     $ 400,000  

 

Short-term investments have an initial maturity of one year or less and consist of the following:

    Year ended December 31
    2020   2019
         
U.S. Treasury bills   $ —       $ 1,996,815  
Certificates of deposit     200,000       200,000  
Total short-term investments   $ 200,000     $ 2,196,815  

 

NOTE 5 – FAIR VALUE OF FINANCIAL INSTRUMENTS

In determining the fair value of its financial instruments, the Company employs a fair value hierarchy that prioritizes the inputs for the valuation techniques used to measure fair value. The fair value of a financial instrument is the amount that would be received to sell an asset or paid to transfer a liability in an orderly transaction between market participants at the measurement date (the exit price). Financial assets and financial liabilities recorded on the Consolidated Balance Sheets at fair value are categorized based on the reliability of inputs for the valuation techniques as follows:

 

Level 1 – Financial assets and financial liabilities whose values are based on unadjusted quoted prices in active markets for identical assets or liabilities as of the reporting date.

 

Level 2 – Financial assets and financial liabilities whose values are based on quoted prices for similar assets or liabilities in active markets; quoted prices for identical or similar assets or liabilities in non-active markets; or valuation models whose inputs are observable, directly or indirectly, for substantially the full term of the asset or liability as of the reporting date.

 

Level 3 – Financial assets and financial liabilities whose values are based on prices or valuation techniques that require inputs that are both unobservable and significant to the overall fair value measurement. These inputs reflect the Company’s estimates of the assumptions that market participants would use in valuing the financial assets and financial liabilities as of the reporting date.

 

 

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The hierarchy gives the highest priority to Level 1 inputs and the lowest priority to Level 3 inputs. In certain cases, the inputs used to measure fair value may fall into different levels of the fair value hierarchy. In such cases, the fair value hierarchy level within which the fair value measurement in its entirety falls has been determined based on the lowest level input that is significant to the fair value measurement in its entirety. Thus, a Level 3 fair value measurement may include inputs that are observable (Level 1 or Level 2) or unobservable (Level 3). The Company’s assessment of the significance of a particular input to the fair value measurement in its entirety requires judgment and considers factors specific to the asset or liability.

 

The following table presents information about the Company’s financial instruments and their estimated fair values, which are measured on a recurring basis, allocated among the three levels within the fair value hierarchy as of December 31, 2020 and 2019:

    Level 1   Level 2   Level 3   Total
December 31, 2020                
Financial instruments:                                
  Available-for-sale fixed maturities:                                
U.S. Treasury securities   $ 10,832,181     $ —       $ —       $ 10,832,181  
Corporate securities     —         46,451,905       —         46,451,905  
Agency mortgage-backed securities     —         26,125,608       —         26,125,608  
  Equity securities     2,746,706       —         —         2,746,706  
  Short-term investments     200,000       —         —         200,000  
Total financial instruments at fair value   $ 13,778,887     $ 72,577,513     $ —       $ 86,356,400  
                                 
December 31, 2019                                
Financial instruments:                                
  Available-for-sale fixed maturities:                                
U.S. Treasury securities   $ 15,235,332     $ —       $ —       $ 15,235,332  
Corporate securities     —         43,029,333       —         43,029,333  
Agency mortgage-backed securities     —         25,235,045       —         25,235,045  
  Short-term investments     2,196,815       —         —         2,196,815  
Total financial instruments at fair value   $ 17,432,147     $ 68,264,378     $ —       $ 85,696,525  

 

Fair value measurements are not adjusted for transaction costs. The Company recognizes transfers between levels at either the actual date of the event or a change in circumstances that caused the transfer. The Company did not have any transfers between Levels 1, 2 and 3 of the fair value hierarchy during the years ended December 31, 2020 and 2019.

 

As a result of the spread of the ongoing coronavirus (“COVID-19”) pandemic, economic uncertainties have arisen which are likely to impact the fair value of investments, day to day administration of the business and premium volume. While the Company does not believe it is exposed to substantial risk from coronavirus-related claims under the insurance policies written by Crusader, it is likely that the fair value of its investment portfolio will be adversely affected by the volatility in the capital markets, as well as general economic conditions as a result of the coronavirus and governmental responses to the pandemic. The financial impact of these uncertainties is unknown at this time.

 

NOTE 6 – REAL ESTATE HELD FOR SALE, NET AND PROPERTY AND EQUIPMENT, NET

Property and equipment consist of the following:

    Year ended December 31
    2020   2019
         
Real estate held for sale, located in Calabasas, California   $ 10,202,676     $ —    
Accumulated depreciation and amortization     (1,867,659 )     —    
Real estate held for sale, net   $ 8,335,017     $ —    
                 
Building and tenant improvements, located in Calabasas, California     —         8,411,541  
Furniture, fixtures, equipment     2,191,411       2,110,653  
Computer software     467,275       459,899  
Accumulated depreciation and amortization     (2,423,617 )     (3,617,381 )
Computer software under development     1,803,346       1,074,398  
Land located in Calabasas, California     —         1,787,485  
Property and equipment, net   $ 2,038,415     $ 10,226,595  

 

 

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Real estate held for sale, owned by Crusader, includes land, building, and leasehold improvements. On September 29, 2020, the real estate was listed for sale at a price of $12,999,000. Upon the listing, the Company stopped recording the depreciation expense on the Calabasas building and the leasehold improvements in the Calabasas building. On October 23, 2020, Crusader entered into an agreement to sell the building, the leasehold improvements and substantially all existing furniture, fixtures and equipment for a sale price of $12,695,000. The building was sold on February 12, 2021.

 

Through the date of the real estate listing, depreciation on the Calabasas building was computed using the straight line method over 39 years. Depreciation on furniture, fixtures, and equipment in the Calabasas building is computed using the straight line method over 3 to 15 years. Through the date of the real estate listing, amortization of leasehold improvements in the Calabasas building was computed using the shorter of the useful life of the leasehold improvements or the remaining years of the lease. Depreciation and amortization expense on all property and equipment for the years ended December 31, 2020 and 2019 were $673,895 and $565,876, respectively.

 

For the years ended December 31, 2020 and 2019, the Calabasas building has generated rental revenue from non-affiliated tenants in the amount of $150,319 and $177,596, and incurred operating expenses in the amount of $677,930 and $669,359, which included depreciation, respectively. These amounts are included in “Other income” from insurance company operation and other operating expenses, respectively, in the Company’s Consolidated Statements of Operations.

 

The total square footage of the Calabasas building is 46,884, including common areas. As of December 31, 2020, 6,942 square feet of the Calabasas building was leased to non-affiliated entities and 7,539 square feet was vacant and available to be leased to non-affiliated entities.

 

The Company capitalizes certain computer software costs purchased from outside vendors for internal use or incurred internally to upgrade the existing systems. These costs also include configuration and customization activities, coding, testing and installation. Training costs and maintenance are expensed as incurred, while upgrade and enhancements are capitalized if it is probable that such expenditure will result in additional functionality. The capitalized costs are not depreciated until the software is placed into production.

 

NOTE 7 – RECEIVABLES, NET

Receivables, net, include premium, commissions and notes receivable and are as follows:

    Year ended December 31
    2020   2019
         
Premium and commission receivable   $ 2,476,679     $ 2,178,476  
Premium finance notes receivable     2,036,960       3,041,931  
Total premium and notes receivable     4,513,639       5,220,407  
Allowance for doubtful accounts     (1,192,302 )     (1,200,970 )
Receivables, net   $ 3,321,337     $ 4,019,437  

 

Premium receivable and premium finance notes receivables are substantially secured by unearned premium and funds held as security for performance. Premium finance notes receivable represents the balance due to AAC, the Company's premium finance subsidiary, from policyholders who elected to finance their premium over a nine-month term. These notes are net of unearned finance charges and credit loss reserves.

 

Bad debt expense was $6,450 and $7,881 for the years ended December 31, 2020 and 2019, respectively.

 

 

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NOTE 8 – UNPAID LOSSES AND LOSS ADJUSTMENT EXPENSES

Crusader’s loss and loss adjustment expense case and incurred but not reported (“IBNR”) reserves are as follows:

 

    Year ended December 31
    2020   2019
         
Gross reserves:                
Case reserves   $ 26,363,695     $ 23,663,743  
IBNR reserves     48,529,814       31,402,737  
Total gross reserves   $ 74,893,509     $ 55,066,480  
                 
Reserves net of reinsurance:                
Case reserves   $ 21,027,703     $ 18,128,008  
IBNR reserves     31,612,164       22,212,617  
Total net reserves   $ 52,639,867     $ 40,340,625  

 

Reserves for losses and loss adjustment expenses before reinsurance for each of Crusader’s lines of business are as follows:

 

    Year ended December 31
Line of Business   2020   2019
                 
  CMP   $ 73,545,181       98.2 %   $ 54,270,633       98.6 %
  Other liability     1,283,174       1.7 %     776,957       1.4 %
  Other     65,154       0.1 %     18,890       0.0 %
     Total   $ 74,893,509       100.0 %   $ 55,066,480       100.0 %

 

The Company‘s consolidated financial statements include estimated reserves for unpaid losses and related loss adjustment expenses of the insurance company operation. Crusader sets loss and loss adjustment expense reserves at each balance sheet date based upon management’s best estimate of the ultimate payments that it anticipates will be made to settle all losses incurred and all related loss adjustment expenses incurred as of that date for both reported and unreported claims.

 

The following table provides an analysis of the roll forward of Crusader’s loss and loss adjustment expense reserves, including a reconciliation of the ending balance sheet liability for the periods indicated:

    Year ended December 31
    2020   2019
         
Reserve for unpaid losses and loss adjustment expenses at beginning of year – net of reinsurance   $ 40,340,625     $ 42,125,553  
                 
Incurred losses and loss adjustment expenses:                
Provision for insured events of current year     26,683,872       19,384,942  
Provision for incurred events of prior years     7,959,048       3,191,185  
Total incurred losses and loss adjustment expenses     34,642,920       22,576,127  
                 
Payments:                
Losses and loss adjustment expenses attributable to insured events of the current year     8,285,021       6,210,475  
Losses and loss adjustment expenses attributable to insured events of prior years     14,058,657       18,150,580  
Total payments     22,343,678       24,361,055  
                 
Reserve for unpaid losses and loss adjustment expenses at end of year – net of reinsurance     52,639,867       40,340,625  
Reinsurance recoverable on unpaid losses and loss adjustment expenses at end of year     22,253,642       14,725,855  
Reserve for unpaid losses and loss adjustment expenses at end of year per balance sheet, gross of reinsurance   $ 74,893,509     $ 55,066,480  

 

 

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The $26,683,872 provision for insured events of current year for the year ended December 31, 2020, was $7,298,930 higher than the $19,384,942 provision for insured events of current year for the year ended December 31, 2019, due primarily to increased IBNR reserves associated with the Apartments & Commercial Buildings and Transportation verticals. The increases in IBNR reserves were due to higher actuarially developed ultimate incurred losses and loss adjustment expenses primarily as a result of elevated expected claims severity.

 

The $7,959,048 adverse development of insured events of prior years for the year ended December 31, 2020, was $4,767,863 higher than the $3,191,185 adverse development of insured events of prior year for the year ended December 31, 2019, due primarily to increases in 2018 and 2019 accident year IBNR reserves associated with the Apartments & Commercial Buildings and Transportation verticals. The increases in IBNR were due to higher actuarially developed ultimate incurred losses and loss adjustment expenses primarily as a result of elevated expected claims severity.

 

At each review period, actual claims costs that emerge are compared with the claims costs that were expected to emerge during that development period. Sometimes the previous claims costs estimates prove to have been too high; sometimes they prove to have been too low. The fluctuation in development of insured events of prior years’ underscores the inherent uncertainty in insurance claims costs, especially for a relatively small insurer, such as Crusader. Management reviews claims costs that appear to be different from the historical claims costs to determine whether those differences are a normal part of the process or an indication that a change in reserve assumptions is appropriate. Management concluded that the differences noted above are differences between actual and expected claims costs that emerge from time to time, particularly in an insurer the size of Crusader.

 

The following table presents loss development information by accident year, including cumulative incurred and paid losses and allocated loss adjustment expenses (“ALAE”), net of reinsurance, as well as cumulative claim frequency and the total of incurred but not reported liabilities plus expected development on reported claims as of December 31, 2020:

 

 

 

 

 

Accident Year

     

 

 

Cumulative Incurred

     

 

 

Cumulative

Paid

      Total of Incurred But Not Reported Liabilities Plus Expected Development on Reported Claims      

 

 

Cumulative Number of Reported Claims

 
                                     
  2011     $ 19,150,281     $ 19,150,278     $ —         1,020  
  2012       18,327,346       18,020,565       222       967  
  2013       22,802,931       22,802,275       2       849  
  2014       18,048,285       17,806,537       150,672       760  
  2015       24,495,614       21,502,400       635,716       749  
  2016       26,337,621       23,326,143       1,565,938       803  
  2017       25,091,934       18,869,369       3,060,474       807  
  2018       20,670,880       12,129,118       6,146,217       605  
  2019       19,182,851       7,603,418       7,134,966       639  
  2020       24,302,958       6,004,292       12,910,459       699  
  Total     $ 218,410,701     $ 167,214,395     $ 31,604,666          

 

The following table reconciles the above cumulative incurred and paid data to Crusader’s loss and loss adjustment expense reserves:

 

 

    Year ended December 31
    2020   2019
         
Cumulative incurred losses and ALAE   $ 218,410,701     $ 203,000,161  
Less cumulative paid losses and ALAE     (167,214,395 )     (164,132,073 )
Reserve for unpaid losses and ALAE (latest 10 accident years)     51,196,306       38,868,088  
Reserves for unpaid losses and ALAE (beyond latest 10 accident years)     79,703       126,042  
Reserves for unpaid unallocated loss adjustment expenses     1,363,858       1,346,495  
Reserve for unpaid losses and loss adjustment expenses, net of reinsurance     52,639,867       40,340,625  
Reinsurance recoverable on unpaid losses and loss adjustment expenses     22,253,642       14,725,855  
Reserve for unpaid losses and loss adjustment expenses, gross of reinsurance   $ 74,893,509     $ 55,066,480  

  

 

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Crusader’s liability for unpaid loss and loss adjustment expense reserves consists of case reserves and reserves for IBNR claims. Case reserves are established by claims personnel based on a review of the facts known at the time the claim is reported and are subsequently revised as more information about a claim becomes known. IBNR is estimated using various actuarial methods and techniques and includes (1) reserves for losses and loss adjustment expenses on claims that have occurred but for which claims have not yet been reported to Crusader, and (2) a provision for expected future development on case reserves for information not currently known.

 

At the end of each fiscal quarter, Crusader’s reserves for each accident year (i.e., for all claims occurring within each year) are re-evaluated independently by the Company’s president, the Company’s chief financial officer, and an independent consulting actuary.  Generally accepted actuarial methods, including the widely used Bornhuetter-Ferguson and loss development methods, are employed to estimate ultimate claims costs. An actuarial central estimate of the ultimate claims costs and IBNR reserves is ultimately determined by management and tested for reasonableness by the independent consulting actuary.

 

The Company determines the number of reported claims based on the number of loss events. A claim is considered a single loss event, per policy, and it may include multiple claimants and multiple coverages on a single policy. The cumulative number of reported claims is a sum of open claims, closed claims, and claims closed without payment.

 

NOTE 9 – DEFERRED POLICY ACQUISITION COSTS

The following table provides an analysis of the roll forward of the Company’s deferred policy acquisition costs:

    Year ended December 31
  2020   2019
         
Deferred policy acquisition costs at beginning of year   $ 3,619,594     $ 3,489,728  
Policy acquisition costs deferred during year     4,782,461       5,090,712  
Policy acquisition costs amortized during year     (4,898,807 )     (4,960,846 )
Deferred policy acquisition costs at end of year   $ 3,503,248     $ 3,619,594  

 

Deferred policy acquisition costs consist of commissions (net of ceding commission), premium taxes, inspection fees, and certain other underwriting costs, which are related to and vary with the production of Crusader policies. Policy acquisition costs are deferred and amortized as the related premium is earned. Deferred acquisition costs are reviewed to determine if they are recoverable from future income on insurance policies generated from these costs, including investment income. The Company recognized a premium deficiency of $150,000 as of December 31, 2020. The Company did not carry a premium deficiency reserve as of December 31, 2019.

 

NOTE 10 – ACCRUED EXPENSES AND OTHER LIABILITIES

Accrued expenses and other liabilities consist of the following:

    Year ended December 31
    2020   2019
         
Premium payable   $ 393,466     $ 480,078  
Unearned policy fee income     454,883       520,064  
Retirement plans     145,473       112,827  
Accrued salaries and employee benefits     973,504       501,414  
Commission payable     869       1,764  
Security deposit  for Calabasas building sale     380,850       —    
Other     1,228,405       514,153  
Total accrued expenses and other liabilities   $ 3,577,450     $ 2,130,300  

 

NOTE 11 – COMMITMENTS AND CONTINGENCIES

Crusader is also subject to regulatory and governmental examinations, requests for information, inquiries, investigations, and threatened legal actions and proceedings by state regulators and others. Crusader receives numerous requests, orders for documents, and information in connection with various aspects of its regulated activities. Regulatory and governmental requests for information, inquires, certain examinations and investigations are routinely handed by Crusader. Crusader may involve outside counsel in regulatory matters depending on the nature of the matter.

 

 

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The Company establishes reserves for lawsuits, regulatory actions and other contingencies for which the Company is able to estimate its potential exposure and believes a loss is probable. For loss contingencies believed to be reasonably possible, the Company discloses the nature of the loss contingency, an estimate of the possible loss, a range of loss, or a statement that such an estimate cannot be made.

 

Likewise, the Company is sometimes named as a cross-defendant in litigation, which is principally directed against an insured who was issued a policy of insurance directly or indirectly through the Company. Incidental actions related to disputes concerning the issuance or non-issuance of individual policies are sometimes brought by customers or others. These items are also handled on a routine basis by counsel, and they do not generally affect the operations of the Company. Management is confident that the ultimate outcome of pending litigation should not have an adverse effect on the Company’s consolidated results of operations or financial position. The Company vigorously defends itself unless a reasonable settlement appears appropriate.

 

NOTE 12 – REINSURANCE

A reinsurance transaction occurs when an insurance company transfers (cedes) a portion of its exposure on policies written to a reinsurer that assumes that risk for a premium (ceded premium). Reinsurance does not legally discharge the Company from primary liability under its policies. If the reinsurer fails to meet its obligations, the Company must nonetheless pay its policy obligations.

 

Crusader’s primary excess of loss reinsurance agreements during the years ended December 31, 2020 and 2019 are as follows:

 

Loss Year

  Reinsurers

  A.M. Best Rating  

Retention

             
  2020     Renaissance Reinsurance U.S. Inc.
& Hannover Ruck SE
  A+
A+
  $ 500,000  
                     
  2019     Renaissance Reinsurance U.S. Inc.
& Hannover Ruck SE
  A+
A+
  $ 500,000  

  

Reinsurance treaties are generally structured in layers, with different negotiated economic terms and retention of participation, or liability, in each layer. In calendar years 2020 and 2019, Crusader retained a participation in its excess of loss reinsurance treaties of 0% in its 1st layer (reinsured losses between $500,000 and $1,000,000), 0% in its 2nd layer (reinsured losses between $1,000,000 and $4,000,000), and 0% in its property and casualty clash treaty.

 

Crusader also has catastrophe reinsurance treaties from various highly rated California authorized and California unauthorized reinsurance companies. These reinsurance treaties help protect Crusader against losses in excess of certain retentions from catastrophic events that may occur on property risks which Crusader insures. In calendar years 2020 and 2019, Crusader retained a participation in its catastrophe excess of loss reinsurance treaties of 5% in its 1st layer (reinsured losses between $1,000,000 and $10,000,000) and 0% in its 2nd layer (reinsured losses between $10,000,000 and $46,000,000).

 

On April 1, 2020, Crusader and Unifax Insurance Systems, Inc. (“Unifax”), a subsidiary of the Company, entered into a reinsurance arrangement with United Specialty Insurance Company (“USIC”), pursuant to which USIC would underwrite property and casualty insurance policies by and through Unifax and such policies would be reinsured by Crusader. On September 2, 2020, the Company placed a moratorium on placing any new risks with USIC by Unifax pending negotiations among Crusader, Unifax, and USIC pursuant to the issues raised by the DOI regarding the structure of the reinsurance arrangement and its compliance with the California Insurance Holding Company System Act (the “Insurance Act”).

 

 

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On November 24, 2020, as a result of such negotiations with the DOI, Crusader, Unifax and USIC agreed to rescind certain agreements by and among USIC, Crusader and Unifax. The effect of such rescissions was that the rescinded agreements were deemed never to have existed and no insurance policies were deemed issued, and no premium deemed written, collected or reported with respect to those agreements. Further, on November 24, 2020, the parties entered into various restructured arrangements in order to address the issues raised by the DOI with respect to California insurance laws. In particular, the parties eliminated all intercompany duties so that the arrangement would not require prior approval by the DOI under the Insurance Act. Details of the restructured arrangements with USIC include the following:

 

  • On November 24, 2020, USIC and Crusader entered into a new Quota Share Reinsurance Agreement, effective April 1, 2020, (the “New Reinsurance Agreement”), pursuant to which Crusader will reinsure all of USIC’s liability for policies issued by USIC and produced by Unifax for property, general liability, CMP property, CMP liability and other miscellaneous coverages, subject to certain maximum policy limits. Policies placed with USIC by Unifax and reinsured with Crusader prior to November 24, 2020 remain in place without interruption or change and are subject to the New Reinsurance Agreement.

 

  • On November 24, 2020, USIC and Unifax entered into a Surplus Line Broker Agreement, effective April 1, 2020 (the “Broker Agreement”), pursuant to which, and subject to the terms, conditions and limitations set forth therein, USIC authorized Unifax to act as its broker and agent for the purpose of producing and administering certain specified classes of insurance policies, which are the subject of the New Reinsurance Agreement. Under the Broker Agreement, Unifax is entitled to retain a commission for policies produced based on a percentage of the premiums on business placed with USIC. Unifax has agreed to indemnify and hold USIC harmless from any losses relating to the Broker Agreement. The Broker Agreement may be terminated in specified events, including by any party upon 90 days written notice to the other parties and automatically upon cancellation or termination of the New Reinsurance Agreement.

 

  • On November 24, 2020, USIC and U.S. Risk Managers, Inc. (“U.S. Risk”), a subsidiary of the Company, entered into a Claims Administration Agreement, effective as of April 1, 2020 (the “Claims Administration Agreement”). Pursuant to the Claims Administration Agreement, USIC appointed U.S. Risk, which is a licensed claims adjuster in the state of California, to adjust and settle claims on its behalf in connection with the surplus lines policies issued by USIC in connection with the New Reinsurance Agreement. U.S. Risk will be paid a fee by Unifax on behalf of USIC based on a percentage of earned premium. U.S. Risk will establish an account for payment of claims by U.S. Risk (the “Loss Fund Account”) pursuant to the Claims Administration Agreement. Pursuant to the terms of the New Reinsurance Agreement, Crusader will fund the Loss Fund Account provided for in the Claims Administration Agreement on behalf of USIC.U.S. Risk has agreed to indemnify and hold USIC harmless from any losses relating to the Claims Administration Agreement. The Claims Administration Agreement may be terminated in specified events, including by any party upon 90 days written notice to the other parties and automatically upon cancellation or termination of the Broker Agreement.

 

Crusader has no reinsurance recoverable balances in dispute.

 

On most of the premium that Crusader cedes to the reinsurer, the reinsurer pays a commission to Crusader that includes a reimbursement of the cost of acquiring the portion of the premium that is ceded. Crusader intends to continue obtaining reinsurance although the availability and cost may vary from time to time. The unpaid losses and loss adjustment expenses ceded to the reinsurer are recorded as an asset on the Consolidated Balance Sheets.

 

The effect of reinsurance on written premium, earned premium, and incurred losses and loss adjustment expenses is as follows:

    Year ended December 31
    2020   2019
Written premium:                
Direct   $ 36,338,800     $ 35,803,950  
Assumed     304,030       —    
Ceded     (8,078,748 )     (7,153,130 )
Net written premium   $ 28,564,082     $ 28,650,820  
                 
Earned premium:                
Direct   $ 36,108,230     $ 33,958,202  
Assumed     156,639       —    
Ceded     (8,096,701 )     (7,220,734 )
Net earned premium   $ 28,168,168     $ 26,737,468  
                 
Incurred losses and loss adjustment expenses:                
Direct   $ 48,971,172     $ 36,712,252  
Assumed     89,204       —    
Ceded     (14,417,456 )     (14,136,125 )
Net incurred losses and loss adjustment expenses   $ 34,642,920     $ 22,576,127  

 

Ceded earned premium as a percentage of gross earned premium (direct and assumed earned premium) was 22% in 2020 and 21% in 2019.

 

 

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NOTE 13 – PROFIT SHARING PLAN

The Unico American Corporation Profit Sharing Plan (“Plan”) covers Company’s employees who are at least 21 years of age and have met certain service and eligibility requirements. Unico American Corporation is the Plan sponsor and the Plan administrator. Fidelity Management Trust Company is the Plan trustee. The Plan is intended to be a qualified retirement plan under the Internal Revenue Code. As required by the Plan, on an annual basis, the Company must contribute 3% of participants’ eligible compensation to the account of each participant. In addition, pursuant to the terms of the Plan, the Company may contribute to participants an amount determined by the Board. Under the Plan, participants have the option to make 401(k) and/or Roth 401(k) deferral contributions which are not matched by the Company. Participants must be employed by the Company on the last day of the Plan year and must have met certain service and eligibility requirements to be eligible for a contribution. Participants are eligible to request a distribution of their vested account balance upon death, retirement, minimum required distributions and termination of employment.

 

Contributions to the Plan are as follows:

  Year ended December 31, 2020     $ 154,331  
  Year ended December 31, 2019     $ 138,670  

 

NOTE 14 – STATUTORY CAPITAL AND SURPLUS

Crusader is required to file statutory financial statements with insurance regulatory authorities prepared on an accounting basis prescribed or permitted by such authorities. Statutory accounting practices differ in certain respects from GAAP. The more significant of the differences for statutory accounting practices are (a) policy acquisition and commission costs are expensed when incurred rather than over the periods covered by the policies; (b) fixed maturity securities are reported at amortized cost, or the lower of amortized cost or fair value, depending on the quality of the security as specified by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (“NAIC”); (c) non-admitted assets are charged directly against surplus; (d) loss and loss adjustment expense reserves and unearned premium reserves are stated net of reinsurance; (e) federal income taxes are recorded when payable and deferred taxes, subject to limitations, are recognized but only to the extent that they do not exceed a specified percentage of statutory surplus; and (f) changes in deferred taxes are recorded directly to surplus as regards policyholders. Additionally, the cash flow presentation is not consistent with GAAP and reconciliation from net income to cash provided by operations is not presented. Comprehensive income is not presented under statutory accounting practices.

 

Crusader’s statutory capital and surplus are as follows:

  As of December 31, 2020     $ 26,893,515  
  As of December 31, 2019     $ 46,498,960  

 

Crusader’s statutory net loss is as follows:

  Year ended December 31, 2020     $ (12,862,588 )
  Year ended December 31, 2019     $ (2,190,703 )

 

The California Department of Insurance (“CA DOI”) conducts periodic financial examinations of Crusader. During 2017, the CA DOI completed a financial examination of Crusader’s December 31, 2015, statutory financial statements. On June 23, 2017, a report of examination was officially filed and became part of the records of the CA DOI. The Company has complied with all comments and recommendations identified in the report of examination, and none of the issues in that report of examination had any material effect on Crusader.

 

 

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The Company believes that Crusader’s statutory capital and surplus are sufficient to support the written premium guidelines established by the NAIC.

 

Crusader is restricted in the amount of dividends it may pay to its parent in any 12-month period without prior approval of the CA DOI. Presently, without prior regulatory approval, Crusader may pay a dividend in any 12-month period to Unico up to the greater of (a) 10% of its statutory surplus or (b) its statutory net income for the preceding calendar year. Based on Crusader’s statutory surplus for the year ended December 31, 2020, the maximum dividend that could be made by Crusader to Unico without prior regulatory approval in 2021 is $2,689,351. During the years ended December 31, 2020 and 2019, Crusader issued cash dividends of $4,000,000 and $2,000,000 to Unico, respectively.

 

The NAIC uses a Risk-Based Capital (“RBC”) Model Law for property and casualty companies. The RBC Model Law is intended to provide standards for calculating a variable regulatory capital requirement related to a company’s current operations and its risk exposures (asset risk, underwriting risk, credit risk and off-balance sheet risk). These standards are intended to serve as a diagnostic solvency tool for regulators that establishes uniform capital levels and specific authority levels for regulatory intervention when an insurer falls below minimum capital levels. The RBC Model Law specifies four distinct action levels at which a regulator can intervene with increasing degrees of authority over a domestic insurer if its RBC is equal to or less than 200% of its computed authorized control level RBC. A company’s RBC is required to be disclosed in its statutory annual statement. The RBC is not intended to be used as a rating or ranking tool nor is it to be used in premium rate making or approval. Crusader’s adjusted capital at December 31, 2020, was 278% of authorized control level RBC.

 

Crusader’s adjusted capital below 300% as of December 31, 2020, and combined loss ratio in excess of 120% for the year ended December 31, 2020, triggered a company action level event. Crusader has submitted to the insurance commissioner of the CA DOI a comprehensive plan to increase the adjusted capital above 300% to resolve the company action level event and is awaiting response from the CA DOI.

 

NOTE 15 – STOCK PLANS

The Unico American Corporation 2011 Incentive Stock Plan (“2011 Plan”) covers 200,000 shares of the Company’s common stock (subject to adjustment in the case of stock splits, reverse stock splits, stock dividends, etc.) and was approved by shareholders on May 26, 2011. The 2011 Plan terminates on May 13, 2021. Options to purchase 8,760 and 91,240 shares of common stock were granted under the 2011 Plan to one non-executive employee during the years ended December 31, 2012 and 2011, respectively. Due to termination of the employee during 2017, all options granted under the 2011 Plan became null and void.

 

No options were granted to employees or non-employees during the years ended December 31, 2020 and 2019. As of December 31, 2020 and 2019, there was no unrecognized compensation cost. There were no stock options outstanding at December 31, 2020 and 2019. As of December 31, 2020, 100,000 share of the Company’s common stock were available under the 2011 Plan.

 

NOTE 16 – TAXES ON INCOME

The provision for taxes on income consists of the following:

    Year ended December 31
    2020   2019
Federal expense (benefit):                
Current   $ —       $ 13,809  
Deferred     3,566,840       (51,809 )
Total tax expense (benefit)   $ 3,566,840     $ (38,000 )
                 
State expense (benefit):                
Current   $ 8,800     $ 8,800  
Deferred     (28,042 )     (104,987 )
Total tax benefit   $ (19,242 )   $ (96,187 )
                 
Total expense (benefit):                
Current   $ 8,800     $ 22,609  
Deferred     3,538,798       (156,796 )
Total tax expense (benefit)   $ 3,547,598     $ (134,187 )

 

 

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The income tax provision reflected in the Consolidated Statements of Operations is different than the expected federal income tax rate of 21% on income as shown in the following table:

    Year ended December 31
    2020   2019
         
Computed income tax benefit at 21%   $ (3,768,138 )   $ (682,477 )
Tax effect of:                
State tax benefit, net of federal tax benefit     (572,511 )     (139,765 )
Change in valuation allowance – state net operating losses     557,310       63,777  
Change in valuation allowance – federal     7,319,959       600,000  
Other, including nondeductible expenses     10,920       23,989  
Other – prior year true up     58       289  
Income tax expense (benefit)   $ 3,547,598     $ (134,187 )

 

Significant components of the Company’s net deferred tax assets and liabilities are as follows:

    Year ended December 31
    2020   2019
Deferred tax assets:                
Discount on loss reserves   $ 531,845     $ 329,065  
Unearned premium     759,659       747,217  
Unearned commission income     438,574       432,969  
Unearned policy fee income     127,293       145,533  
Net operating loss carryforwards     7,769,603       4,145,783  
State net operating loss carryforwards     2,402,438       1,931,665  
Bad debt reserve     333,649       336,075  
Other     237,803       205,292  
Total gross deferred tax assets     12,600,864       8,273,599  
Less valuation allowance     10,557,080       2,531,665  
Total deferred tax assets   $ 2,043,784     $ 5,741,934  
                 
Deferred tax liabilities:                
Policy acquisition costs