Customer and community impact highlight Nationwide 2020 results
Columbus, OH - During a year marked by a global pandemic, economic recession, financial market volatility and significant weather activity, Nationwide continued to deliver extraordinary care to members, partners and communities and ended 2020 in a strong financial position.
“When we look back on what was one of the most challenging years of our lives, we’re proud of what we were able to do to help our customers and partners manage their own unique challenges,” said Nationwide Chief Executive Officer Kirt Walker. “Whether it was providing auto premium relief, offering deferred payments or enabling households to access emergency funds from their retirement accounts without extra fees, our focus on our customers, on our people and on our communities set us apart as a company that is committed to providing protection with extraordinary care. We were able to do all of this because of our strong foundation of financial strength and stability.”
Operating revenue was steady year-over-year at $26.6 billion. Nationwide's key measure of profitability—net operating income—was $797 million. The company paid $16.9 billion in claims and benefits to members.
Among key customer and community impact highlights:
- As the pandemic accelerated consumer willingness to adopt usage-based solutions and a heightened sensitivity to price, Nationwide saw 30 percent of new auto business enrolled in SmartRide and SmartMiles—earning savings of up to 40 percent for safe driving. Nationwide expects 70 percent of all new auto business to be through usage-based solutions by 2025.
- To help customers access emergency funds to manage the economic challenges posed by the pandemic, Nationwide processed more than $1.2 billion in emergency COVID-19 loans and distributions payments from retirement savings products while waiving fees for these transactions.
- Last spring and summer, Nationwide offered auto, home and life policyholders the option to defer premium payments to help make ends meet in their households. Of the more than 50,000 policyholder accounts that took advantage of this option, more than 80 percent have caught up or are in the process of catching up on those payments.
- The company launched the Nationwide Express platform for independent agents, allowing them to turn around customer quotes for new business in as little as a minute, making it easier to do business in an increasingly digital environment.
- It launched a new suite of “in plan” income guarantee retirement plan solutions to help savers secure their retirement nest egg amid historic market volatility.
- COVID relief grants made through the Nationwide Foundation provided shelter or stable housing for more than 9,300 families and more than 28,000 individuals in communities across the country.
- To address systemic racism, Nationwide deployed an associate-led Social Justice Task Force that resulted in a $3 million plan consisting of four new initiatives plus the expansion of six existing programs. Funding supports new Habitat for Humanity projects, expanded partnerships with historically Black colleges and universities, expanded internship and hiring opportunities, amplification of the company’s supplier diversity program, as well as new partnerships with the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, the Equal Justice Initiative and sponsorship of the National Fair Housing Alliance’s Keys Unlock Dreams program.
- Nationwide increased its commitment to clean power initiatives by investing more than $200M in the acquisition of 245 megawatts of solar power generation in North Carolina, Texas and Louisiana.
- In response to the pandemic, Nationwide successfully transitioned 98 percent of the workforce to a work-from-home posture last spring. The transition was so successful, Nationwide was able to accelerate a multi-year corporate real estate strategy. The result will be a hybrid work-from-office/work-from-home model, featuring four main campuses across the country and resulting in significant savings long-term with the goal of passing those savings along to customers.
“Nationwide’s diverse product offerings are an advantage for us, and that proved to be the case once again last year. Our financial services businesses delivered strong bottom-line results, contributing substantially to Nationwide’s overall profitability,” said Nationwide Chief Financial Officer Mark Thresher. “In property and casualty, total direct written premium exceeded prior year results. While profitability was a challenge due to significant weather and wildfire activity in the third quarter, we achieved underwriting gains in both personal and commercial lines non-weather results.”
Total policyholders’ equity grew to $28.6 billion in 2020, up from $26 billion in 2019.
“We entered 2020 from a position of strength and with significant momentum,” Walker added. “Through the year we continued to grow and achieved a profit in an incredibly challenging business environment. This allowed us to serve our members and communities, and effectively manage the impacts of the pandemic and historic weather-related claims in the third quarter. And, we did all of this with nearly all of our associates working in a remote environment. As we look ahead, we’re optimistic. The future is now, and we have never been more ready – ready to protect our members, our partners and our communities – all with extraordinary care.”
Nationwide, a Fortune 100 company based in Columbus, Ohio, is one of the largest and strongest diversified insurance and financial services organizations in the United States. Nationwide is rated A+ by both A.M. Best and Standard & Poor’s. An industry leader in driving customer-focused innovation, Nationwide provides a full range of insurance and financial services products including auto, business, homeowners, farm and life insurance; public and private sector retirement plans, annuities and mutual funds; excess & surplus, specialty and surety; pet, motorcycle and boat insurance. For more information, visit www.nationwide.com. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.