The property/casualty companies headquartered in the Northeast came out with third-quarter earnings – with virtually all companies posting weaker results compared to one year ago. Same phrases came up again and again: CAT loss, lower profit, net loss, higher combined ratios, and, of course, Hurricane Irene. Their bottom line was hurt by unusually high catastrophe losses, a challenging investment landscape and soft market conditions. But most insurers saw their premium volumes grow. Many also expressed optimism about the rate environment going forward. Here are some highlights of their Q3 financials.
Liberty Mutual Group reported a net loss of $111 million. CAT losses came in at $596 million (with $323 million of that stemming from Hurricane Irene). The insurer added an asbestos/environmental charge of $339 million. Net written premiums were $8.16 billion. Net investment income was $881 million. The consolidated combined ratio was 110.5 percent.
Marsh & McLennan Companies reported $130 million net profit. Profit from continuing operations was up 4 percent. Net profit fell because of a $72 million charge for the early repayment of debts. The revenue was $2.8 billion.
American International Group reported a net loss of $4.1 billion. Chartis reported operating income of $442 million. Chartis had $574 million CAT losses (including $372 million related to Irene, $80 million related to Tropical Storm Lee, and $79 million related to Typhoons Roke and Talas). The combined ratio was 106.4. Net premiums went up 0.7 percent.
Selective Insurance Group reported net loss of $20.1 million. CAT losses were $43.8 million. Total net premiums written were $396.8 million. Net investment income was $27.0 million. Statutory Combined ratio was 116.4 percent.
Hartford Financial Services Group posted break-even, zero net income. Core earnings were $33 million. The company cited CAT losses and volatility in securities tied to its variable-annuities portfolio. Net investment income was $1.1 billion. The Hartford sustained $134 million in overall CAT losses. P/C commercial written premiums were $1.55 billion. P/C commercial combined ratio was 104.8 percent. Consumer markets written premiums were $964 million, with a combined ratio of 106.8 percent.
Tower Group reported a net loss of $16.4 million attributable to common shareholders. The company had $60 million loss from Irene and net after-tax loss reserve strengthening of $6.3 million. Net premiums written were $468.7 million. Net investment income was $31.4 million. For the combined insurance segments, the net combined ratio was 109.9 percent.
Transatlantic Holdings had $68 million net income. Profit fell because of $71 million pre-tax CAT costs. Net premiums written were $956 million. Net investment income was $118 million. The combined ratio was 94.3 percent.
Markel Corp. reported $54.7 million net income. The result was hurt by increased CAT losses as well as losses from programs now in run-off. The combined ratio was 100 percent. The insurer’s earned premiums were $509 million. The net investment income was $62 million.
Erie Indemnity, the managing company for Erie Insurance Exchange, Erie Insurance Group’s reciprocal insurance company, reported $47 million profit. Also, Erie Insurance Group reported a net loss of $180 million. P/C operations had a net loss of $80 million. Net premiums earned were $1.05 billion. The statutory combined ratio totaled 105.4 percent.
The Hanover Insurance Group reported a net loss of $9.7 million, driven by $64.7 million CAT losses. The combined ratio was 106.8 percent. Net premiums written surpassed $1 billion.
Alleghany Corp. reported $19.2 million net earnings. The company saw a decrease in pre-tax net earnings at P/C and surety insurance operations. They suffered from the rising loss and loss adjustment expenses, mostly from higher CAT and other larger property losses.
W.R. Berkley reported $77 million net profit. The profit decline compared to a year ago was caused by $51 million CAT losses. Net investment income was $114 million. Premiums written rose 14 percent. The GAAP combined ratio was 99.1 percent.