• Filing Date: 2020-03-06
  • Form Type: 10-K
  • Description: Annual report
v3.19.3.a.u2
Summary of Significant Accounting Policies (Policies)
12 Months Ended
Dec. 31, 2019
Accounting Policies [Abstract]  
Basis of Presentation

Basis of Presentation. The accompanying financial statements have been prepared in conformity with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America (“U.S. GAAP”).

Adoption of New Accounting Standards

 

Adoption of New Accounting Standards.

In February 2016, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (“FASB”) issued Accounting Standards Update No. 2016-02 (“ASU 2016-02”), Leases (Topic 842). The guidance establishes new principles that lessees and lessors will apply to report useful information to users of financial statements about the amount, timing, and uncertainty of cash flows arising from a lease. ASU 2016-02 is effective for the Company January 1, 2019 and supersedes accounting for leases prescribed in Topic 840, Leases. ASU 2016-02 leaves lessor accounting substantially unchanged. The key change affecting the Company is the requirement that operating leases be recorded on the balance sheet. Topic 842 was subsequently amended by ASU No. 2018-01, Land Easement Practical Expedient for Transition to Topic 842; ASU No. 2018-10, Codification Improvements to Topic 842, Leases; ASU No. 2018-11, Targeted Improvements; ASU No. 2018-20, Narrow-Scope Improvements for Lessors; and ASU No. 2019-01, Codification Improvements to Topic 842. The new standard establishes a right-of-use (“ROU”) model that requires a lessee to recognize a ROU asset and lease liability on the balance sheet for all leases with a term longer than 12 months. Leases will be classified as finance or operating, with classification affecting the pattern and classification of expense recognition in the income statement. The Company was initially required to use a modified retrospective method and apply this standard at the beginning of the earliest comparative period presented in the financial statements. Subsequently, the FASB permitted the application of this standard at the beginning of the adoption period as an alternative.

 

Effective January 1, 2019, the Company adopted the new standard using the effective date as its date of initial application. As a result, financial information is not updated and the disclosures required under the new standard are not provided for dates and periods prior to January 1, 2019. The Company elected a package of practical expedients, which permits the Company to not reassess under the new standard its prior conclusions about lease identification, lease classification, and initial direct costs. Upon adoption, the Company, as a lessee, recognized ROU assets of approximately $771 and lease liabilities of approximately $812 for all operating leases except for those that have a lease term of 12 months or less.

Principles of Consolidation

 

Principles of Consolidation. The accompanying consolidated financial statements include the accounts of HCI Group, Inc. and its majority-owned and controlled subsidiaries. All significant intercompany accounts and transactions have been eliminated in consolidation. In addition, the Company evaluates its relationships or investments for consolidation pursuant to authoritative accounting guidance related to the consolidation of variable interest entities under the Variable Interest Model prescribed by the FASB. A variable interest entity is consolidated when the Company has the power to direct activities that most significantly impact the economic performance of the variable interest entity and has the obligation to absorb losses or the right to receive benefits from the variable interest entity that could potentially be significant to the variable interest entity. When a variable interest entity is not consolidated, the Company uses the equity method to account for the investment. Under this method, the carrying value is generally the Company’s share of the net asset value of the unconsolidated entity, and changes in the Company’s share of the net asset value are recorded in net investment income.

Use of Estimates

 

Use of Estimates. The preparation of the consolidated financial statements in conformity with U.S. GAAP requires management to make estimates and assumptions that affect the reported amounts of assets and liabilities as well as the disclosure of contingent assets and liabilities at the date of the consolidated financial statements and the reported amounts of revenues and expenses during the reporting period. Actual results may differ materially from these estimates. Material estimates that are particularly susceptible to significant change in the near term are primarily related to losses and loss adjustment expenses, reinsurance with retrospective provisions, reinsurance recoverable, deferred income taxes, and stock-based compensation expense.

Cash and Cash Equivalents

 

Cash and Cash Equivalents. The Company considers all short-term highly liquid investments with original maturities of less than three months to be cash and cash equivalents. At December 31, 2019 and 2018, cash and cash equivalents consisted of cash on deposit with financial institutions and securities brokerage firms, commercial paper, and certificates of deposit.

Available-for-Sale Fixed-Maturity Securities

Available-for-Sale Fixed-Maturity Securities. Fixed-maturity securities include debt securities and redeemable preferred stock. The Company’s available-for-sale securities are carried at fair value. Temporary changes in the fair value of available-for-sale securities are excluded from net investment income and reported in stockholders’ equity as a component of accumulated other comprehensive income, net of deferred income taxes. Realized investment gains and losses from sales are recorded on the trade date and are determined using the first-in first-out (FIFO) method. Investment income is recognized as earned and discounts or premiums arising from the purchase of debt securities are recognized in investment income using the interest method over the estimated remaining term of the security. Gains and losses from call redemptions and repayments are charged to investment income.

 

The Company reviews fixed-maturity securities for other-than-temporary impairment on a monthly basis. When the fair value of any investment is lower than its cost, an assessment is made to determine whether the decline is temporary or other-than-temporary. If the decline is determined to be other-than-temporary, the investment is written down to fair value and an impairment loss is recognized in income in the period in which the Company makes such determination.

 

When reviewing impaired securities, the Company considers its ability and intent to hold these securities and whether it is probable that the Company will be required to sell these securities prior to their anticipated recovery or maturity. For the fixed-maturity securities that the Company intends to sell or it is probable that the Company will have to sell before recovery or maturity, the unrealized losses are recognized as other-than-temporary losses in income. In instances where there are credit related losses associated with the impaired fixed-maturity securities for which the Company asserts that it does not have the intent to sell, and it is probable that the Company will not be required to sell until a market price recovery or maturity, the amount of the other-than-temporary impairment loss related to credit losses is recognized in income, and the amount of the other-than-temporary impairment loss related to other non-credit factors such as changes in interest rates or market conditions is recorded as a component of accumulated other comprehensive income.

 

When determining impairment due to a credit related loss, the Company carefully considers factors such as the issuer’s financial ratios and condition, the security’s current ratings and maturity date, and overall market conditions in estimating the cash flows expected to be collected. The expected cash flows discounted at the effective interest rate of the security implicit at the date of acquisition is then compared with the security’s amortized cost at the measurement date. A credit loss is incurred when the present value of the expected cash flows is less than the security’s amortized cost. The Company considers various factors in determining whether an individual security is other-than-temporarily impaired (see Available-for-Sale Fixed-Maturity Securities in Note 5 -- “Investments”).

Equity Securities

 

Equity Securities. Equity securities represent ownership interests held by the Company in entities for investment purposes.  Unrealized holding gains and losses related to equity securities are reported in the consolidated statement of income as net unrealized investment gains and losses. Realized investment gains and losses from sales are recorded on the trade date and are determined using the first-in first-out method (see Equity Securities in Note 5 -- “Investments”). Prior to January 1, 2018, these equity securities were classified as either available-for-sale or trading and were carried at fair value on the Company’s consolidated balance sheet. Unrealized holding gains and losses from the changes in the fair values of available-for-sale equity securities were reported in accumulated other comprehensive income.

Short Term Investment

Short-Term Investments. Short-term investments include certificates of deposit issued by financial institutions and commercial paper with original maturities of more than three months but less than one year at date of acquisition. These short-term investments are carried at cost or amortized cost, which approximates fair value.

Limited Partnerships Investments

 

Limited Partnership Investments. The Company has interests in limited partnerships that are not registered under the United Stated Securities Act of 1933, as amended, the securities laws of any state or the securities laws of any other jurisdictions. The partnership interests cannot be resold in the public market and any withdrawal is subject to the terms and conditions of the partnership agreement. The Company has no influence over partnership operating and financial policies. The Company did not elect the fair value option and, therefore, uses the equity method to account for these investments (see Limited Partnership Investments in Note 5 -- “Investments”). The Company generally recognizes its share of the limited partnership’s earnings or losses on a three-month lag.

 

Pursuant to U.S. GAAP, these limited partnerships which are private equity funds must measure their investments at fair value and reflect the unrealized gains and losses in the fair value of their investments on their statement of income. As a result, the carrying value of limited partnership investments at each reporting date approximates their estimated fair value.

Investment in Unconsolidated Joint Venture

 

Investment in Unconsolidated Joint Venture. The Company has a 90% equity interest in a limited liability company (treated as a joint venture under U.S. GAAP) that owns land for lease or for sale. The joint venture was determined to be a variable interest entity as it lacks sufficient equity to finance its activities without additional subordinated financial support. Despite having a majority equity interest, the Company does not have the power to direct the activities that most significantly impact the economic performance of the joint venture and, accordingly, is not required to consolidate the joint venture as its primary beneficiary. As a result, the Company uses the equity method to account for this investment.

 

When evidence indicates an impairment may occur, the Company evaluates whether a decline in value is other than temporary. Evidence may include continuing operating losses of the joint venture, a declining occupancy rate, a decrease in real estate value, and an oversupply of rental property in close vicinity to the investment property. Should available evidence indicate the recovery of the initial investment is less likely, the Company would compare the carrying value of the investment with its expected residual value and recognize an impairment loss in earnings.

Assets Held For Sale

 

Assets Held for Sale. Assets held for sale are valued at the lower of the carrying value or fair value less costs to sell. Assets are classified as held for sale when the following criteria are met: (i) management has the authority and commits to a plan to sell the asset; (ii) the asset is available for immediate sale in its present condition; (iii) there is an active program to locate a buyer and the plan to sell the asset has been initiated; (iv) the sale of the asset is probable within one year; (v) the property is being actively marketed at a reasonable sale price relative to its current fair value; and (vi) it is unlikely that the plan to sell will be withdrawn or that significant changes to the plan will be made.

 

In determining the fair value of the assets less costs to sell, the Company primarily relies on the value determined by an independent appraiser. If the estimated fair value less costs to sell is less than the carrying value of the asset, the asset is written down to its estimated fair value less costs to sell and an impairment loss is recognized in the consolidated statement of income. Depreciation is not recorded while assets are classified as held for sale.

Real Estate Investments

 

Real Estate Investments. Real estate investments include real estate and the related assets purchased for investment purposes (see Note 5 -- “Investments”). Real estate and the related depreciable assets are carried at cost, net of accumulated depreciation, which is included in net investment income and allocated over the estimated useful life of the asset using the straight-line method of depreciation. Land is not depreciated. Real estate is evaluated for impairment when events or circumstances indicate the carrying value of the real estate may not be recoverable.

Deferred Policy Acquisition Costs

 

Deferred policy acquisition costs. Deferred policy acquisition costs (“DAC”) represent direct costs to acquire insurance contracts and consist of premium taxes and commissions paid to outside agents at the time of collection of the policy premium. DAC is amortized over the life of the related policy in relation to the amount of gross premiums earned.

 

The method followed in computing DAC limits the amount of such deferred costs to their estimated realizable value, which gives effect to the gross premium earned, related investment income, unpaid losses and loss adjustment expenses and certain other costs expected to be incurred as the premium is earned.

 

DAC is reviewed to determine if it is recoverable from future premium income, including investment income. If such costs are determined to be unrecoverable, they are expensed at the time of determination. The amount of DAC considered recoverable could be reduced in the near term if the estimates of total revenues discussed above are reduced or permanently impaired as a result of the disposition of a line of business. The amount of amortization of DAC could be revised in the near term if any of the estimates discussed above are revised.

Property and Equipment

 

Property and Equipment. Property and equipment is stated at cost less accumulated depreciation and amortization, which is included in other operating expenses. Depreciation is calculated on a straight-line basis over the estimated useful lives as follows: building, 39 years; computer hardware and software, 3 years; and office and furniture equipment, 3 to 7 years. Leasehold improvements are amortized over the shorter of the lease term or the asset’s useful life. Land is not depreciated. Expenditures for improvements are capitalized to the property accounts. Replacements and maintenance and repairs that do not improve or extend the life of the respective assets are expensed as incurred. The Company capitalizes both internal and external costs for internally developed software during the application development stage. During the preliminary project and post-implementation stage, internal-use software development costs are expensed as incurred. Capitalized software costs are depreciated on a straight-line basis over the estimated useful life of 7 years.

Impairment of Long-Lived Assets

 

Impairment of Long-Lived Assets. Long-lived assets, such as property and equipment, are reviewed for impairment annually or whenever events or changes in circumstances indicate that the carrying amount of the assets may not be recoverable. The Company assesses the recoverability of long-lived assets by determining whether the assets can be recovered from undiscounted future cash flows. Recoverability of long-lived assets is dependent upon, among other things, the Company’s ability to maintain profitability, so as to be able to meet its obligations when they become due. In the opinion of management, based upon current information and projections, long-lived assets will be recovered over the period of benefit.

Intangible Assets

 

Intangible Assets. Intangibles consist of the value attributable to the acquired in-place leases and the primary, or anchor, tenant relationships. The value attributable to the anchor tenant relationship represents the economic benefits of having a nationally recognized retailer as the lead tenant, which draws consumer traffic and other tenants to the retail center. These intangibles are amortized to expense over the related lease term. Amortization of the intangibles related to real estate investments is reflected in net investment income in the consolidated statement of income. The Company reviews these intangible assets for impairment annually or when events or changes in circumstances indicate the carrying value may not be recoverable. In the event the Company determines the carrying value is not recoverable, an impairment loss is recorded in the Company’s consolidated statement of income.

Leases

Leases. The Company leases office equipment, storage units, and office space from non-affiliates under terms ranging from one month up to ten years. In assessing whether a contract is or contains a lease, the Company first determines whether there is an identified asset in the contract. The Company then determines whether the contract conveys the right to obtain substantially all of the economic benefits from use of the identified asset or the right to direct the use of the identified asset. The Company elects not to record any lease with a term of 12 months or less on the consolidated balance sheet. For such short-term leases, the Company recognizes the lease payments in expense on a straight-line basis over the lease term.

 

If the contract is or contains a lease and the Company has the right to control the use of the identified asset, the ROU asset and the lease liability is measured from the lease component of the contract and recognized on the consolidated balance sheet. In measuring the lease liability, the Company uses its incremental borrowing rate for a loan secured by a similar asset that has a term similar to the lease term to discount the lease payments. The contract is further evaluated to determine the classification of the lease as to whether it is finance or operating. If the lease is a finance lease, the ROU asset is depreciated to depreciation expense over the shorter of the useful life of the asset or the lease term. Interest expense is recorded in connection with the lease liability using the effective interest method. If the lease is an operating lease, the ROU asset is amortized to lease expense on a straight-line basis over the lease term. For the presentation of finance leases on the Company’s consolidated balance sheet, ROU assets and corresponding lease liabilities are included with property and equipment, net, and long-term debt, respectively. For the presentation of operating leases on the Company’s consolidated balance sheet, ROU assets and corresponding lease liabilities are included with other assets and other liabilities, respectively.

 

The Company as a lessor leases its commercial and retail properties, boat slips, and docks to non-affiliates at various terms. If the contract gives the Company’s customer the right to control the use of the identified asset, revenue is recognized on a straight-line basis over the lease term. Initial direct costs incurred by the Company are deferred and amortized on a straight-line basis over the lease term. The Company also records an unbilled receivable, which is the amount by which straight-line revenue exceeds the amount billed in accordance with the lease.

Lease Acquisition Costs

Lease Acquisition Costs. Lease acquisition costs represent capitalized costs of finding and acquiring tenants such as leasing commissions, legal, and marketing expenses. The costs are included in other assets in the consolidated balance sheet. The Company amortizes these costs in other operating expenses on a straight-line basis over the term of a lease.

Long-Term Debt

 

Long-Term Debt. Long-term debt includes debt instruments and finance lease obligations. A debt instrument is generally classified as a liability and carried at amortized cost, net of any discount and issuance costs. At issuance, a debt instrument with embedded features such as conversion and redemption options is evaluated to determine whether bifurcation and derivative accounting is applicable. If such instrument is not subject to derivative accounting, it is further evaluated to determine if the Company is required to separately account for the liability and equity components.

 

To determine the carrying values of the liability and equity components at issuance, the Company measures the fair value of a similar liability, including any embedded features other than the conversion option, and assigns such value to the liability component. The liability component’s fair value is then subtracted from the initial proceeds to determine the carrying value of the debt instrument’s equity component, which is included in additional paid-in capital.

 

Any embedded feature other than the conversion option is evaluated at issuance to determine if it is probable that such embedded feature will be exercised. If the Company concludes that the exercisability of that embedded feature is not probable, the embedded feature is considered to be non-substantive and would not impact the initial measurement and expected life of the debt instrument’s liability component.

 

Transaction costs related to issuing a debt instrument that embodies both liability and equity components are allocated to the liability and equity components in proportion to the allocation of the proceeds and accounted for as debt issuance costs and equity issuance costs, respectively. Debt issuance costs are capitalized and presented as a deduction from the carrying value of the debt. Both debt discount and deferred debt issuance costs are amortized to interest expense over the expected life of the debt instrument using the effective interest method. Equity issuance costs are a reduction to the proceeds allocated to the equity component.

Prepaid Stock Repurchase Forward Contract

 

Prepaid Share Repurchase Forward Contract. A prepaid share repurchase forward contract is generally a contract that allows the Company to buy from the counterparty a specified number of common shares at a specific time at a given forward price. The Company entered into such a contract and evaluated the characteristics of the forward contract to determine whether it met the definition of a derivative financial instrument pursuant to U.S. GAAP. The Company determined the forward contract is an equity contract on the Company’s common shares requiring physical settlement in common shares of the Company. As such, the transaction is recognized as a component of stockholders’ equity with a charge to additional paid-in capital equal to the prepayment amount, which represents the cash paid to the counterparty. There will be no recognition in earnings for changes in fair value in subsequent periods.

Losses and Loss Adjustment Expenses

 

Losses and Loss Adjustment Expenses. Reserves for losses and loss adjustment expenses (“LAE”) are determined by establishing liabilities in amounts estimated to cover incurred losses and LAE. Such reserves are determined based on the assessment of claims reported and the development of pending claims. These reserves are based on individual case estimates for the reported losses and LAE and estimates of such amounts that are incurred but not reported. Changes in the estimated liability are charged or credited to income as the losses and LAE are settled.

 

The estimates of unpaid losses and LAE are subject to trends in claim severity and frequency and are continually reviewed. As part of the process, the Company reviews historical data and considers various factors, including known and anticipated regulatory and legal developments, changes in social attitudes, inflation and economic conditions. As experience develops and other data becomes available, these estimates are revised, as required, resulting in increases or decreases to the existing unpaid losses and LAE. Adjustments are reflected in the results of operations in the period in which they are made and the liabilities may deviate substantially from prior estimates. Losses and LAE ceded to or recovered from reinsurers are recorded as a reduction to losses and LAE on the consolidated statement of income.

Advance Premiums

 

Advance Premiums. Premium payments received prior to the policy effective date are recorded as advance premiums. Once the policy is in force, the premiums are recorded as described under “Premium Revenue” below.

Reinsurance

 

Reinsurance. In the normal course of business, the Company seeks to reduce the loss that may arise from catastrophes or other events by reinsuring certain levels of risk in various areas of exposure with other insurance enterprises or reinsurers. The Company contracts with a number of reinsurers to secure its annual reinsurance coverage, which generally becomes effective June 1st each year. The Company purchases reinsurance each year taking into consideration probable maximum losses and reinsurance market conditions. Amounts recoverable from reinsurers are estimated in a manner consistent with the applicable reinsurance contract or contracts. Reinsurance premiums and reserves related to reinsured business are accounted for on a basis consistent with those used in accounting for the original policies issued and the terms of the reinsurance contracts. Premiums ceded to other companies have been reported as a reduction of gross premiums earned. Prepaid reinsurance premiums represent the unexpired portion of premiums ceded to reinsurers.

 

One of the Company’s current reinsurance contracts contains retrospective provisions including terms and conditions that adjust premiums based on the loss experience under the contracts. In such cases, a with-and-without method is used to estimate the asset or liability amount to be recognized at each reporting date. The amount of the estimate is the difference between the net contract costs before and after the loss experience under the contract. Estimates related to premium adjustments are recognized in ceded premiums earned. These estimates are reviewed monthly based on the loss experience to date and as adjustments become necessary. Such adjustments are reflected in the Company’s current operations and recorded in other assets until received upon the expiration of the contracts.

 

The Company receives ceding commissions from ceding gross written premiums to a third-party reinsurer under one flood quota share reinsurance contract. The ceding commissions represent the reimbursement of the Company’s policy acquisition, underwriting and other operating expenses. Ceding commissions received cover a portion of premium taxes and agent commissions capitalized by the Company and a portion of non-capitalized acquisition costs and other underwriting expenses. Ceding commissions are recognized to income on a pro-rata basis over the terms of the policies reinsured, the amount of which is included in policy acquisition and other underwriting expenses in the consolidated statement of income. The unearned portion of ceding commissions that represents recovery of capitalized acquisition costs is classified as a reduction of deferred policy acquisition costs whereas the remaining unearned balance is classified as deferred revenue in other liabilities.

Premium Revenue

 

Premium Revenue. Premium revenue is earned on a daily pro-rata basis over the term of the policies and is included in gross premiums earned. Unearned premiums represent the portion of the premiums attributable to the unexpired policy term. The Company reviews its policy detail and establishes an allowance for any amount outstanding for more than 90 days. At December 31, 2019 and 2018, allowances for uncollectible premiums were $528 and $558, respectively.

Policy Fees

 

Policy Fees. Policy fees represent nonrefundable fees for insurance coverage, which are intended to reimburse a portion of the costs incurred to underwrite the policy. Policy fees are recognized ratably over the policy coverage period.

Florida Insurance Guaranty Association Assessments

 

Florida Insurance Guaranty Association Assessments. The Company’s Florida insurance subsidiaries may be assessed by the state guaranty association. The assessments are intended to be used for the payment of covered claims of insolvent insurance entities. The assessments are generally based on a percentage of premiums written during or following the year of insolvency. Liabilities are recognized when the assessments are probable to be imposed on the premiums on which they are expected to be based and the amounts can be reasonably estimated. The insurer is permitted by Florida statutes to recover the entire amount of assessments from in-force and future policyholders through policy surcharges. U.S. GAAP provides that the Company should record an asset based on the amount of written or obligated-to-write premiums and limited to the amounts recoverable over the life of the in-force policies.

Foreign Currency

 

Foreign Currency. The functional currency of the Company’s Indian subsidiary is the U.S. dollar. As such, the monetary assets and liabilities of this subsidiary are remeasured into U.S. dollars at the exchange rate in effect on the balance sheet date. Non-monetary assets and liabilities are remeasured using historical rates. Expenses recorded in the local currency are remeasured at the prevailing exchange rate. Exchange gains and losses resulting from these remeasurements are included in other operating expenses.

Income Taxes

 

Income Taxes. The Company files consolidated federal and state income tax returns and allocates taxes among its wholly owned subsidiaries in accordance with a written tax-allocation agreement.

 

The Company accounts for income taxes in accordance with U.S. GAAP, resulting in two components of income tax expense: current and deferred. Current income tax expense reflects taxes to be paid or refunded for the current period by applying the provisions of the enacted tax law to the taxable income or excess of deductions over revenues. The Company determines deferred income taxes using the liability (or balance sheet) method. Under this method, the net deferred tax asset or liability is based on the tax effects of the differences between the book and tax bases of assets and liabilities, and enacted changes in tax rates and laws are recognized in the period in which they occur.

 

Deferred income tax expense results from changes in deferred tax assets and liabilities between periods. Deferred tax assets are recognized if it is more likely than not, based on the technical merits, that the tax position will be realized or sustained upon examination. The term “more likely than not” means a likelihood of more than fifty percent; the terms “examined” and “upon examination” also include resolution of the related appeals or litigation processes, if any. A tax position that meets the more-likely-than-not recognition threshold is initially and subsequently measured as the largest amount of tax benefit that has a greater than fifty percent likelihood of being realized upon settlement with a taxing authority that has full knowledge of all relevant information. The determination of whether or not a tax position has met the more-likely-than-not recognition threshold considers the facts, circumstances, and information available at the reporting date and is subject to management’s judgment. Deferred tax assets are reduced by a valuation allowance if, based on the weight of evidence available, it is more likely than not that some portion or all of a deferred tax asset will not be realized. As of December 31, 2019, management is not aware of any uncertain tax positions that would have a material effect on the Company’s consolidated financial statements.

Fair Value of Financial Instruments

 

Fair Value of Financial Instruments. The carrying amounts for the Company’s cash and cash equivalents approximate their fair values at December 31, 2019 and 2018. Fair values for securities or financial instruments are based on the framework for measuring fair value established by U.S. GAAP (see Note 7 -- “Fair Value Measurements”).

Stock-Based Compensation

 

Stock-Based Compensation. The Company accounts for stock-based compensation under the fair value recognition provisions of U.S. GAAP which requires the measurement and recognition of compensation for all stock-based awards made to employees and directors based on estimated fair values. In accordance with U.S. GAAP, the fair value of stock-based awards is generally recognized as compensation expense over the requisite service period, which is defined as the period during which a recipient is required to provide service in exchange for an award. Forfeitures of the Company’s stock-based awards are accounted for as they occur. The Company uses a straight-line attribution method for all grants that include only a service condition. The Company’s outstanding stock-based awards include stock options and restricted stock awards with service conditions. Compensation expense related to all awards is included in general and administrative personnel expenses. The Company receives a windfall tax benefit for certain stock option exercises and for restricted stock awards if these awards vest at a higher value than the value used to recognize compensation expense. In the event the restricted stock awards vest at a lower value than the value used to recognize compensation expense, the Company experiences a tax shortfall. The Company recognizes tax windfalls and shortfalls in the consolidated statement of income.

Basic and diluted earnings (loss) per common share

 

Basic and diluted earnings (loss) per common share. Basic earnings (loss) per common share is computed by dividing net income (loss) attributable to common stockholders by the weighted-average number of common shares outstanding for the period. U.S. GAAP requires the inclusion of restricted stock as participating securities since holders of the Company’s restricted stock have the right to share in dividends, if declared, equally with common stockholders. In addition, the intrinsic value of restricted stock declines when the Company experiences operating losses. As a result, holders of the Company’s restricted stock are allocated a proportional share of net income and loss determined by dividing total weighted-average shares of restricted stock by the sum of total weighted-average common shares and shares of restricted stock (the “two-class method”). Diluted earnings (loss) per common share reflect the potential dilution that could occur if securities or other contracts to issue common stock were exercised or converted as well as participating equities. During loss periods, common stock equivalents such as stock options and convertible debt are excluded from the calculation of diluted loss per share, as the inclusion would have an anti-dilutive effect. See Note 19 -- “Earnings Per Share” for potentially dilutive securities at December 31, 2019, 2018 and 2017.

Statutory Accounting Practices

 

Statutory Accounting Practices. The Company’s U.S. insurance subsidiaries comply with statutory accounting practices prescribed by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. There are no state prescribed or permitted practices that have been adopted by the Company’s U.S. subsidiaries. In addition, the Company’s Bermuda insurance subsidiary prepares and files financial statements in accordance with the prescribed regulatory accounting practices of the Bermuda Monetary Authority.