ProAssurance Announces Special Dividend

Dec 02, 2015, 16:18 ET from ProAssurance Corporation

BIRMINGHAM, Ala., Dec. 2, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- The ProAssurance Corporation (NYSE: PRA) Board of Directors has authorized a special dividend of $1.00 per common share and a regular quarterly dividend of $0.31 per common share. Both dividends will be paid on January 8, 2016 to shareholders who own our stock as of December 24, 2015.

"Our commitment to enhancing the value of ProAssurance for our shareholders and our insureds is unwavering. Today's dividend actions provide a responsible return of capital to shareholders while maintaining the financial flexibility required to respond to emerging opportunities and assuring our policyholders that we have the financial strength to keep our insurance promises," said W. Stancil Starnes, our Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.

Starnes also noted an impressive record of capital management activity throughout 2015. He said, "We have declared $120.0 million in regular and special dividends, and have returned $167.5 million to investors through share repurchase. Since our current management team began working together in the summer of 2007, we have returned more than $1.4 billion to shareholders through buybacks and declared dividends while deploying more than $750 million in strategic acquisitions that will allow us to effectively respond to the evolving demands of a changing market."

ProAssurance's dividend policy, which was affirmed by the Board today, anticipates a total annual dividend of $1.24 per common share to be paid in equal quarterly installments. However, any decision to pay future cash dividends will be subject to the Board's final determination after a comprehensive review of the company's financial performance, future expectations and other factors deemed relevant by the Board.

Our Board also set May 25, 2016 as the date of the 2016 Annual Meeting of Shareholders to be held at our headquarters in Birmingham, Alabama. The record date for the meeting is April 1, 2016.

About ProAssurance

ProAssurance Corporation is an industry-leading specialty insurer with extensive expertise in healthcare professional liability, products liability for medical technology and life sciences, legal professional liability, and workers' compensation insurance. ProAssurance is recognized as one of the top performing insurance companies in America by virtue of our inclusion in the Ward's 50 for the past nine years. ProAssurance Group is rated "A+" (Superior) by A.M. Best; ProAssurance and its operating subsidiaries are rated "A" (Strong) by Fitch Ratings.

For the latest on ProAssurance and its industry-leading suite of products and services, follow @ProAssurance on Twitter, or you may connect with the Company on LinkedIn or follow us on Facebook to be kept up-to-date on cutting edge risk management and practice enhancement programs. ProAssurance's YouTube channel regularly presents thought provoking, insightful videos that communicate effective practice management, patient safety and risk management strategies.

Caution Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

Statements in this news release that are not historical fact or that convey our view of future business, events or trends are specifically identified as forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are based upon our estimates and anticipation of future events and highlight certain risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to vary materially from our expected results. We expressly claim the safe harbor provisions of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, for any forward-looking statements in this news release. Forward-looking statements represent our outlook only as of the date of this news release. Except as required by law or regulation, we do not undertake and specifically decline any obligation to publicly release the result of any revisions that may be made to any forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date of such statements or to reflect the occurrence of anticipated or unanticipated events.

Forward-looking statements are generally identified by words such as, but not limited to, "anticipate," "believe," "estimate," "expect," "hope," "hopeful," "intend," "likely," "may," "optimistic," "possible," "potential," "preliminary," "project," "should," "will," and other analogous expressions. When we address topics such as liquidity and capital requirements, the value of our investments, return on equity, financial ratios, net income, premiums, losses and loss reserves, premium rates and retention of current business, competition and market conditions, the expansion of product lines, the development or acquisition of business in new geographical areas, the availability of acceptable reinsurance, actions by regulators and rating agencies, court actions, legislative actions, payment or performance of obligations under indebtedness, payment of dividends, and other similar matters, we are making forward-looking statements.

These forward-looking statements are subject to significant risks, assumptions and uncertainties, including, among other things, the following factors that could affect the actual outcome of future events:

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changes in general economic conditions, including the impact of inflation or deflation and unemployment;

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our ability to maintain our dividend payments;

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regulatory, legislative and judicial actions or decisions that could affect our business plans or operations;

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the enactment or repeal of tort reforms;

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formation or dissolution of state-sponsored insurance entities providing coverages now offered by ProAssurance which could remove or add sizable numbers of insureds from or to the private insurance market;

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changes in the interest rate environment;

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changes in U.S. laws or government regulations regarding financial markets or market activity that may affect the U.S. economy and our business;

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changes in the ability of the U.S. government to meet its obligations that may affect the U.S. economy and our business;

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performance of financial markets affecting the fair value of our investments or making it difficult to determine the value of our investments;

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changes in requirements or accounting policies and practices that may be adopted by our regulatory agencies, the Financial Accounting Standards Board, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, or the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and that may affect our business;

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changes in laws or government regulations affecting the financial services industry, the property and casualty insurance industry or particular insurance lines underwritten by our subsidiaries;

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the effects of changes in the healthcare delivery system, including, but not limited to, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (the Healthcare Reform Act);

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consolidation of healthcare providers resulting in entities that are more likely to self-insure a substantial portion of their healthcare professional liability risk;

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uncertainties inherent in the estimate of our loss and loss adjustment expense reserve and reinsurance recoverable;

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changes in the availability, cost, quality, or collectability of insurance/reinsurance;

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the results of litigation, including pre- or post-trial motions, trials and/or appeals we undertake;

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allegations of bad faith which may arise from our handling of any particular claim, including failure to settle;

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loss or consolidation of independent agents, agencies, brokers, or brokerage firms;

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changes in our organization, compensation and benefit plans;

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changes in the business or competitive environment may limit the effectiveness of our business strategy and impact our revenues;

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our ability to retain and recruit senior management;

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the availability, integrity and security of our technology infrastructure;

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the impact of a catastrophic event, as it relates to both our operations and our insured risks;

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the impact of acts of terrorism and acts of war;

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the effects of terrorism related insurance legislation and laws;

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assessments from guaranty funds;

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our ability to achieve continued growth through expansion into other states or through acquisitions or business combinations;

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changes to the ratings assigned by rating agencies to our insurance subsidiaries, individually or as a group;

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provisions in our charter documents, Delaware law and state insurance laws may impede attempts to replace or remove management or may impede a takeover;

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state insurance restrictions may prohibit assets held by our insurance subsidiaries, including cash and investment securities, from being used for general corporate purposes;

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taxing authorities can take exception to our tax positions and cause us to incur significant amounts of legal and accounting costs and, if our defense is not successful, additional tax costs, including interest and penalties; and

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expected benefits from completed and proposed acquisitions may not be achieved or may be delayed longer than expected due to business disruption; loss of customers, employees and key agents; increased operating costs or inability to achieve cost savings; and assumption of greater than expected liabilities, among other reasons.

 

Additional risks that could arise from our membership in the Lloyd's of London market (Lloyd's) and our participation in Syndicate 1729 include, but are not limited to, the following:

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members of Lloyd's are subject to levies by the Council of Lloyd's based on a percentage of the member's underwriting capacity, currently a maximum of 3%, but can be increased by Lloyd's;

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Syndicate operating results can be affected by decisions made by the Council of Lloyd's over which the management of Syndicate 1729 has little ability to control, such as a decision to not approve the business plan of the Syndicate, or a decision to increase the capital required to continue operations, and by our obligation to pay levies to Lloyd's;

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Lloyd's insurance and reinsurance relationships and distribution channels could be disrupted or Lloyd's trading licenses could be revoked making it more difficult for Syndicate 1729 to distribute and market its products; and

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rating agencies could downgrade their ratings of Lloyd's as a whole.

Our results may differ materially from those we expect and discuss in any forward-looking statements. The principal risk factors that may cause these differences are described in "Item 1A, Risk Factors" in our Form 10-K and other documents we file with the Securities and Exchange Commission, such as our current reports on Form 8-K, and our regular reports on Form 10-Q.

We caution readers not to place undue reliance on any such forward-looking statements, which are based upon conditions existing only as of the date made, and advise readers that these factors could affect our financial performance and could cause actual results for future periods to differ materially from any opinions or statements expressed with respect to future periods in any current statements. Except as required by law or regulations, we do not undertake and specifically decline any obligation to publicly release the result of any revisions that may be made to any forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date of such statements or to reflect the occurrence of anticipated or unanticipated events.

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SOURCE ProAssurance Corporation



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