Liberty Mutual Insurance reported this week $465 million profit for its third quarter, a swing from a loss of $112 million a year earlier. The insurer’s profit for the first nine months of 2012 came in at $1.056 billion, up from $78 million during the first nine months of 2011.
The Boston-headquartered insurer’s third-quarter results also benefited from modest catastrophe losses, as was the case with other major carriers that reported their third-quarter earnings so far, including The Travelers Companies Inc. and The Chubb Corp.
Net written premium for the third quarter were $8.651 billion, up 6.3 percent over the same period in 2011.
The total combined ratio for the quarter was 98.5 percent (83.5 for personal insurance, 108.9 percent for commercial insurance, 103.2 for international, and 84.5 percent for global specialty), improving from 110.7 percent over the same period in 2011 (103.4 for personal insurance, 118.9 for commercial insurance, 101.9 for international, and 85.2 for global specialty).
Overall, the CAT losses made up just 0.5 percent of the total combined ratio for the third quarter, compared with 8.2 percent of the combined ratio one year ago. For the first nine month of 2012, the total combined ratio was 101.7 percent, improving from 108.6 percent over the same period in 2011.
Net investment income for the third quarter was $755 million, falling 14 percent from $881 during the same period in 2011.
“Improved core operating results along with modest catastrophe losses led to much improved net income of $465 million in the quarter,” said President and CEO David Long. The company’s earnings conference call, originally scheduled for Tuesday, was cancelled due to Hurricane Sandy.
“Growth remained robust at 6 percent, with positive real growth where we targeted – personal lines and international – and contraction in underpriced commercial business. Positive price momentum exists across most lines with the magnitude of increases targeted to where it is needed most, workers compensation and property. This pricing trend will continue given the persistent low yield environment,” said CEO Long.