Nationwide Insurance isn’t always on your side. The Columbus, Ohio-based insurer has announced another round of layoffs in 2017. This time, the financial services company announced plans to eliminate around 30 positions in Des Moines, Iowa.
The job cuts will take place at the end of 2017. Most of the 30 employees will receive more than 60 days’ notice, a severance package, and job placement assistance. Nationwide is one of the largest private employees in the Des Moines area, with around 4,400 jobs.
Eric Hardgrove, a spokesperson for Nationwide Insurance, maintains that the insurer is “strong and table” and that the job cuts are a result of plans announced in 2014 to restructure all operations under one brand.
“Like most large organizations, we’re always investing in certain areas and constricting in others as we manage our business,” Hardgrove said.
Nationwide Insurance’s Earlier Layoffs in 2017
Nationwide has been on a cutting spree in 2017. The insurance company kicked off 2017 announcing plans to eliminate 138 jobs throughout the year at its Titan Insurance subsidiary office in Highland Hills, Ohio. Nationwide said the company is moving away from non-standard auto insurance policies.
Nationwide Insurance entered into an agreement with National General Holdings Corp (NASDAQ:NGHC) in December 2016 whereby National General acquired personal and commercial non-standard vehicle in-force policies from Nationwide as its transitioned out of that business (insurance for high-risk drivers).
At the time, Hardgrove noted, “It’s not really a focus of our core business lines. We are always evaluating our business going forward and we decided the non-standard is not in alignment with where we are headed.”
The 138 positions being eliminated came in seven groups, with the first layoffs of 2017 happening in March and the last in December.
Fast-forward to October, and Nationwide announced another raft of layoffs. This time, the insurer said it was laying off 400 employees at offices across the country. The layoffs took place in the fall and came from various business lines. Nationwide did not provide a reason for the layoffs.
“Like most large organizations, we’re always investing in certain areas and constricting in others as we manage our business,” Nationwide said in a statement.
The layoffs come as insurers across the country struggle to improve their margins. Costs have been on the rise from traffic accidents linked to distracted driving. Insurers have also been hit with losses from numerous natural disasters in 2017.
In 2016, Nationwide reported operating profit of $910.0 million; it’s smallest profit since 2012 and a 26% decrease from the $1.23 billion recorded in 2015.
“Nationwide insurance cuts 30 jobs in Des Moines,” Des Moines Register, December 20, 2017.
“2016 WARN Notices,” Ohio Department of Family Jobs and Services, last accessed December 21, 2017.
“National General Enters into Renewal Rights Transaction with Nationwide For its Non-Standard Auto Business,” National General Holdings Corp, December 8, 2016.
“Nationwide Insurance to cut 138 positions in Highland Hills office throughout 2017,” Crain’s Cleveland Business, January 3, 2017.
“2016 Annual Report,” Nationwide Insurance, last accessed December 21, 2017.