Main Street America Reports $44 Million Underwriting Profit in 2008

March 16, 2009

Florida-based Main Street America Group reported it achieved a $43.6 million underwriting profit in 2008, the largest in its 85-year history and 38 percent higher than its 2007 underwriting profit of $31.7 million.

The super regional property/casualty carrier’s corporate combined ratio was 94.9, which it said was one of its best ever, and better than its 2007 combined ratio of 95.8.

Several of its operating units also achieved strong combined ratios in 2008 including commercial lines (89.4); surety (85.5); Jacksonville Region (81.6), which includes Florida and Georgia; and Syracuse Region (93.4), which includes New York State and Pennsylvania.

“We continued to focus on only writing business that is profitable as we maintained our underwriting and pricing discipline,” said Main Street America chairman, president and chief executive officer Tom Van Berkel.

At year-end 2008, Main Street America had $1.8 billion in assets, surplus of $607 million and a premium-to-surplus ratio that improved to 1.33:1. Direct written premium was $805 million, compared to $839 million in 2007.

Net income for 2008 was $27.5 million, compared to $83.6 million in 2007.

The company’s “A” (Excellent) rating was affirmed by A.M. Best with a stable outlook.

During 2008, Main Street America acquired Great Lakes Casualty Insurance Co., a personal auto carrier based in Grand Rapids, Mich., and established its new Midwest Region office in Grand Rapids. The company said it plans to launch Personal Auto MVP in Michigan this spring, followed by its commercial and homeowners’ products before year-end.

The regional insurance company also entered five other new states in 2008: Arizona, Nevada, Oklahoma, Texas and Utah. Main Street America is being represented exclusively by The Leavitt Group, one of the largest independent agency networks in the United States, in Arizona, Nevada and Utah, where it is currently offering its full line of commercial products.

The insurer also launched new small business owners’ product, Main Line BOP, which features four programs – condominium associations, garages, restaurants and light manufacturing – and 106 new classes for a total of nearly 500 classes.

Source: Main Street America

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