Allstate Corp. reported its second quarter profit rose 49 percent due to higher premiums and despite higher catastrophe losses. Net income rose to $645 million, up from $434 million for the same quarter last year.
Property/casualty premiums were up for all three brands underwriting brands: Allstate brand premiums increased 5.0 percent, Encompass premiums improved 8.3 percent and Esurance premiums climbed 15.3 percent, compared to second quarter 2013.
Allstate Financial premiums declined by 10.5 percent due to the sale of Lincoln Benefit Life.
Operating income was $445 million in the second quarter of 2014, compared to $529 million in the same period of 2013. The company said the decrease in operating income was driven by catastrophe losses of $936 million, pre-tax, which were 44.7 percent higher than in the second quarter of 2013.
The property/casualty combined ratio was 97.4 for the second quarter of 2014, 1.3 points higher than the prior year quarter due to higher catastrophe losses. The underlying combined ratio of 84.7 for the second quarter was 2.2 points lower than in the same period of last year. The combined ratio for homeowners business was 98.6 percent in the second quarter, higher than the 95.2 percent recorded a year earlier for the same quarter. The auto combined ratio was 95.4 percent.
“Allstate delivered strong results in the second quarter through continued focus on our five 2014 operating priorities,” said Thomas J. Wilson, chairman, president and chief executive officer of The Allstate Corp.
The company has been raising its homeowners rates for its brands and taking actions to improve the loss ratio at Esurance.
He said Allstate’s telematics offering, Drivewise, “continues to grow rapidly and the customer value proposition is being expanded.”
The Allstate brand, which serves consumers using local Allstate agencies, grew insurance policies in force by 1.5 percent in the second quarter. The company said this growth was driven by a 450,000 policy increase in Allstate auto, 2.3 percent higher than the second quarter of 2013, and a 37,000 increase in other personal lines, 0.9 percent higher than the second quarter of 2013.
The rate of decline in homeowners continued to decelerate, as there were 28,000 fewer policies in force, or 0.5 percent less than the second quarter of 2013, the company said.
Online seller Esurance grew insurance policies in force by 17.5 percent, or 213,000 policies. Esurance’s rate of policy growth has slowed from prior periods, reflecting the impact of actions designed to improve the loss ratio, according to the company.
Encompass, Allstate’s independent agency channel, grew insurance policies in force by 4.8 percent, or 59,000 policies.
Allstate fared better than some of its competitors in the second quarter. Travelers reported that its second quarter profit fell to $683 million, down from $925 million in he second quarter last year, as hail and wind storms in the United States increased catastrophe losses.
Also, Chubb Corp. reported that net income in the second quarter fell 14 percent to $499 million from $579 million due to losses from severe weather and residential and commercial property fires.