Selective Insurance Q1 Profit Up 18% to $21.3M

April 26, 2013

Branchville, N.J.-based Selective Insurance Group said its 2013 first quarter net income came in at $21.3 million, a 17.7 percent increase from $18.1 million reported during the first quarter of 2012.

Total net premiums written for the first quarter were $450.1 million, up 7 percent from a year ago. Standard Commercial Lines net premiums written were $353.2 million and Standard Personal Lines net premiums written were $68.6 million while the Excess and Surplus Lines net premiums written were $28.4 million.

The GAAP combined ratio was 97.1 percent for the latest quarter compared to 100.4 percent during the first quarter of 2012.

Net investment income, after tax, remained flat at $24.8 million for the first quarter and the total revenue was $459.9 million compared to $419.3 million one year ago.

“Market conditions improved in all areas of our insurance operations and I’m extremely confident about Selective’s positioning in the marketplace,” CEO Gregory E. Murphy said.

“Standard commercial lines represent 79 percent of all our premiums and renewal price increased 7.5 percent while maintaining solid retention at 83 percent — another key measure of market stability,” Murphy said.

Murphy added that company has been achieving rate increases for the past 16 quarters using sophisticated underwriting tools to balance price and retention. “As low interest rates continue to pressure investment yields, the industry is being forced to improve underwriting margins, mainly through price increases,” he said.

“We continue to make progress on our three-year profit improvement plan, which includes renewal price increases between 5-8 percent per year. We exceeded our 2012 pricing target, and for 2013 expect to meet our 7.6 percent target and maintain solid retention.”

Murphy also said the company’s personal lines unit continues to successfully execute on profit improvement strategies, driven primarily by renewal price increases of 8.5 percent and strong retention of 87 percent.

“We have maintained our conservative investment strategy,” he also said. “The quarter’s after-tax investment income was $25 million, flat compared to 2012, with higher alternative investment returns that were offset by lower yields on our fixed maturity securities.”

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