CNA Reports Solid Q4 and Year 2017 Despite Catastrophes

February 13, 2018

Insurer CNA saw its fourth quarter 2017 combined ratio improve and its quarterly net income dip only slightly despite catastrophe losses. For the full year 2017, it achieved net income of nearly $900 million, which was higher than the year before.

CNA reported $223 million in net income in the 2017 fourth quarter, versus $241 million during the same period in 2016. For the year, CNA booked $899 million in net income, up from $859 million in 2016.

CNA Chairman and CEO Dino Robusto sees even better days ahead.

“The strength of our fourth-quarter and full-year results combined with our heightened underwriting focus and execution provide excellent momentum going into 2018,” Robusto said in prepared remarks.

Net income in the quarter included a charge of $83 million relating to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

Property/casualty net written premiums hit $1.6 billion for Q4, versus more than $1.5 billion in the 2016 fourth quarter. P/C operations produced a combined ratio of 94, an improvement over 99.9 from the same, year-ago period. CNA said that favorable net prior period development helped improve the loss ratio.

P/C net investment income was $305 million for the quarter, down from $322 million in Q4 2016.

For the specialty division, net written premiums were $671 million for the 2017 fourth quarter, virtually unchanged from $672 million in the 2016 fourth quarter. The combined ratio reached 89.6, worsened from the 85.6 number achieved in the same, year-ago period.

Commercial net written premiums for Q4 landed at $713 million, higher than the $669 million fixture achieved in Q4 2016. The commercial insurance combined ratio was 95.1 for the quarter, an improvement over the 100.8 combined ratio from the 2016 fourth quarter.

International insurance generated $217 million in net written premiums during Q4, better than the $184 million produced over the same period in 2016. The combined ratio was 96.7, but that worsened from an 86.1 combined ratio due mostly to catastrophe costs.

Net investment income came in at $366 million after tax for Q4, down a bit from $379 million in the 2016 fourth quarter. For all of 2017, net investment income surpassed $1.46 billion compared with $1.4 billion in 2016. Limited partnership helped drive the 12-month increase, CNA said.

Other CNA Results

Q4 2017 Results – Property & Casualty Operations

  • Property & Casualty Operations’ core income was $263 million for the fourth quarter of 2017 compared with $217 million in the prior year quarter. The increase was driven by higher favorable net prior period loss reserve development and improved current accident year underwriting results.
  • The combined ratio excluding catastrophes and development decreased 2.5 points as compared with the prior year quarter.
  • The combined ratio decreased 5.9 points as compared with the prior year quarter. Net catastrophe losses were $38 million, or 2.3 points of the loss ratio in the quarter as compared with $28 million, or 1.8 points of the loss ratio, for the prior year quarter.
  • Net written premiums grew five percent in the quarter.

Full Year 2017 Results – Property & Casualty Operations

  • Property & Casualty Operations’ core income was $959 million for the full year 2017 compared with $982 million in the prior year. This decrease was due to higher net catastrophe losses partially offset by improved non-catastrophe current accident year underwriting results.
  • The combined ratio excluding catastrophes and development decreased 2.4 points as compared with the prior year.
  • The combined ratio increased 1.2 points as compared with the prior year. Net catastrophe losses were $380 million, or 6.0 points of the loss ratio for the full year as compared with $165 million, or 2.6 points of the loss ratio, for the prior year.
  • Net written premiums grew one percent for the full year.

Specialty

  • Core income decreased $24 million for the fourth quarter of 2017 compared with the prior year. For the full year, core income decreased $40 million.
  • The combined ratio excluding catastrophes and development decreased 1.1 points as compared with the prior year quarter. For the full year, the combined ratio excluding catastrophes and development decreased 1.3 points.
  • The combined ratio increased 4.0 points as compared with the prior year quarter. Net catastrophe losses were $2 million, or 0.3 points of the loss ratio in the quarter down from $4 million, or 0.5 points of the loss ratio, for the prior year quarter. For the full year, the combined ratio increased 3.0 points driven by a lower level of favorable development.
  • Net written premiums were consistent with the prior year quarter and consistent with the prior full year.

Commercial

  • Core income increased $76 million for the fourth quarter of 2017 compared with the prior year quarter. For the full year, core income increased $30 million.
  • The combined ratio excluding catastrophes and development decreased 5.7 points as compared with the prior year quarter. For the full year, the combined ratio excluding catastrophes and development decreased 3.2 points.
  • The combined ratio decreased 20.6 points as compared with the prior year quarter. Net catastrophe losses were $32 million, or 4.4 points of the loss ratio in the fourth quarter of 2017 compared with $21 million, or 3.0 points of the loss ratio, for the prior year quarter. For the full year, the combined ratio decreased 2.1 points.
  • Net written premiums increased seven percent in the quarter, For the full year, net written premiums grew one percent.

Source: CNA