People First

Annual Report 2019

Photo of Lisa Corless, President and CEO.

From the President

In any great story, you'll often find a subplot that compliments the central theme, weaving in essential details that give context and purpose to the main narrative.

In 2019, AF Group followed this proven formula to create another best-selling performance that reflected unprecedented success in our work to become a leading-edge and strategically diversified top 50 specialty carrier. Along this journey, our story featured remarkable, behind-the-scenes effort by our teammates, who delivered yet another outstanding year of service to our agents, policyholders and injured workers.

I remain so proud of our team as we worked together to build our credibility and prominence in specialty insurance. Certainly, the “people first” foundation and culture we have established is a winning combination that will serve our organization for years to come, in a storyline that continues to unfold, one exciting chapter at a time.

Signature of Lisa Corless, President and CEO.
Lisa Corless
President and CEO

Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day-in and day-out.

Robert Collier

Collective Financial Performance

Year Ended December 31

AF Group logo.

With a team of more than 1,500 teammates across the nation, AF Group and its brands achieved outstanding success in 2019, reaching $2 billion in premium for the first time in company history and combined ratio results that again outperformed our peers — all while facing increasing competition and a softening market.

Collectively, this success was the result of sustained excellence by our workers’ compensation brands, complimented by continued progress in our strategic diversification efforts — specifically through limited risk-bearing opportunities, new servicing carrier contracts and expansion of our commercial auto operations.

The year was highlighted by an upgraded A.M. Best rating and selection as a Ward’s 50 company for superior underwriting, claim and operational excellence — honors that reinforce AF Group’s resilience in difficult markets, our strong financial position and our ability to produce consistent and profitable results through exceptional performance.

*Dollars in Thousands

Year Ended December 31

*Dollars in Thousands

Workers’ Compensation Performance

Accident Fund, United Heartland, Third Coast Underwriters, and CompWest Insurance logos.

AF Group’s workers’ compensation brands continued to build on more than a century of success and partnership, generating strong revenue and record retention from customers who value our ability to protect businesses and provide exceptional care to injured workers.

Significant Achievements

  • Record number of policies written and above-plan premium retention by Accident Fund
  • Growth for United Heartland with the addition of four new core states and $5.2 million in new business
  • Strong overall results for CompWest with expanded class codes
  • Record-breaking written premium by Third Coast Underwriters, including reaching $100 million for the first time

Selected Financial Data

*Dollars in Thousands

Diversification Performance

Fundamental Underwriters, AF Specialty, and Assigned Risk Solutions logos.

AF Group’s long-term strategy to build new, diversified sources of revenue materialized through our exploration and delivery of specialty products to meet new and unique customer needs.

Significant Achievements

  • Fronting services provided by AF Specialty led to an 76% increase in fronting premium in 2019
  • Fundamental Underwriters expanded its commercial auto product to 19 states by year’s end
  • Assigned Risk Solutions added four new servicing carrier states, bringing the total to six state contracts

Selected Financial Data

*Dollars in Thousands

2019 Milestones

Employee Award Recipients

Leader of the Year

Rita Ramsey
Service Center

Employee of the Year

Arthur J. Miller
Government Affairs

Community Impact

A spirit of enduring altruism remains a valued component of AF Group’s culture and is reflected in the desire of our teammates to make a lasting impact upon the communities in which we work and live.

This spirit was brought to life in many ways in 2019, including the success of our annual Caring and Sharing Community Campaign, where employees pledged $294,000 — matched dollar-for-dollar by AF Group — to 33 local and national nonprofits, promoting health and human services, economic development, education and diversity.

Additionally, AF Group teammates earned the Heavyweight Award for collecting more than 5,000 pounds of food during Downtown Lansing's Food Fight to benefit the Greater Lansing Food Bank. Nearly $19,000 in gifts and gift cards were donated during the holidays to those in need in our communities.

As a company, AF Group also continued its second annual “Give Back Big” holiday initiative, donating $56,000 to 14 nonprofits selected by our brands across the country.

Charitable Giving by the Numbers

$678k in Corporate Donations. $295k in Employee Donations. 5011lbs of Food Contributed. 268 Pints of Blood. 121 Charitable Groups Supported. 2351 Hours Volunteered.
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