Selective Posts Lower Profit, Hampered by CAT Loss, Weaker Investments

By | July 26, 2012

Branchville, N.J.-based Selective Insurance Group Inc. posted $0.3 million for its second-quarter profit, down from $1.5 million profit reported during the same period one year ago.

The insurer said Wednesday that its results were hampered by catastrophe losses during the quarter.

“The industry experienced heavy catastrophe losses due to wind, hail, thunderstorms and tornadoes in the second quarter,” said CEO Gregory Murphy.

“Selective’s catastrophe losses for the quarter were $30 million or 7.7 points on a statutory combined ratio of 106.2 percent. A derecho at the end of June combined with an April event accounted for more than 85 percent of our total catastrophe losses,” the CEO said. One year ago, catastrophe losses were $38.1 million.

Additionally, to a lesser extent, the quarter was also hurt by lower investment income of $26 million, which reflects lower-than-expected alternative investment results and the continuing pressure from the low interest rate environment, according to CEO Murphy. The second-quarter investment income was down 13 percent compared to one year ago.

The GAAP combined ratio for the quarter was 106.9, improving from 109.6 one year ago. (The statutory combined ratio was 106.2, improving from 109.5 one year ago.)

The total net premiums written for the second quarter were up 14 percent to $425.6 million. Commercial Lines net premiums written were up 15 percent to $348.8 million, including $28.3 million from excess and surplus (E&S) lines. Personal Lines net premiums written rose 8 percent to $76.8 million. Favorable prior year statutory reserve development on casualty lines totaled $5 million, the same amount as the prior-year period.

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