What Are Admitted Assets?

Insurance companies typically classify their assets into one of three categories: admitted assets, invested assets, and non-admitted or other assets. In contrast with most companies that follow GAAP accounting principles, they use statutory accounting (STAT) set by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) to report financial data.

Under STAT accounting, some assets have no value. Admitted assets are assets of an insurance company permitted by state law to be included in the company's financial statements, usually the balance sheet. Although each state has discretion over its insurance laws, there is a consensus over which assets are suitable to use when determining the insurance company's solvency. Admitted assets often include mortgages, accounts receivable, stocks, and bonds. The assets must be liquid and available to pay claims when necessary.

Key Takeaways

  • Admitted assets are assets that, by law, are included in a company's annual financial statements.
  • Admitted assets must be liquid and hold measurable value.
  • Each state regulates what constitutes an admitted asset.
  • Non-admitted assets are assets that have no value to fulfill policyholder obligations and cannot be easily converted to cash.

Understanding Admitted Assets

Admitted assets generally include assets that are liquid and whose value can be assessed or receivables that can reasonably be expected to be paid. Since admitted assets are a critical component for computing capital adequacy to state insurance regulators, they have a much narrower definition than might be applied under Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP), which assigns value to most assets and uses all assets in determining the value of a company. Admitted assets help determine the solvency of a company, especially when evaluating the ability to pay an abnormally large amount of claims at once.

Admitted Assets vs. Non-admitted Assets

As the name suggests, non-admitted assets are assets prohibited by law from being admitted in the evaluation of the financial condition of a company. In short, they are not included in the annual financial statements as they have little to no value in statutory reporting.

Non-admitted assets are assets with economic values that cannot fulfill policyholder obligations. Also, they are either difficult to sell or are not easily converted to cash (it takes one or more years to convert non-admitted assets to cash) because of encumbrances—such as liens—or third-party interests (e.g., reinsurance companies).

Non-admitted assets are more useful than what they are immediately purposed for. They can also be looked at as a source of collateral or used to calculate a company's leverage. Common examples of non-admitted assets include office furniture, prepaid expenses, and fixtures. Most intangible assets (e.g., trade names, trademarks, and patents), non-bankable checks, and stock held as collateral for loans are non-admitted assets. However, each state determines what qualifies as an admitted or non-admitted asset.

Insurers are primarily concerned with whether they are financially capable of paying out their claims. Excluding non-admitted assets and including admitted assets give them a clearer picture as to whether this responsibility is compromised or possible.