Catastrophe claims and a disappointing investment performance drove commercial lines insurer CNA Financial Corp. to an $84 million loss in the fourth quarter of 2018.
The quarter’s $84 million net loss compare to $223 million in net income in the same quarter of 2017.
The overall property/casualty combined ratio for Q4 was 105.4, compared to 94 in the same period of 2017. CNA’s commercial combined ratio hit 113.3, versus 98.2 in the 2017 fourth quarter. Its specialty insurance combined ratio was better at 91.2, although it was higher than the 88.6 a year earlier.
Net investment income for the quarter came in at $127 million, a drop from $305 million in the 2017 fourth quarter.
While the fourth quarter was disappointing, CNA CEO Dino Robusto saw positive things in the full-year results. “While the combination of limited partnership investment returns and catastrophe losses drove a loss in the fourth quarter, we made significant progress in 2018,” Robusto said in prepared remarks. “Both our all-in combined ratio and underlying combined ratio improved for the year, we achieved meaningful premium growth and we are continuing to get needed rate increases.”
CNA’s property/casualty net written premiums nearly hit $1.66 billion, up from the $1.6 billion in Q4 2017.
• CNA’s full year 2018 P/C combined ratio was 96.7, compared to 97.1 in 2017.
• The insurer’s full-year P/C net written premiums surpassed $6.8 billion for 2018, up from $6.5 billion in 2018.
• P/C net investment income for the year reached $996 million, but that’s down from $1.2 billion in 2017.
• CNA’s net written premium for its international business grew to $256 million in Q4, up from $217 million in the 2017 fourth quarter. They’re at $1 billion for the full year, compared to $881 million in 2017.
• Specialty net written premiums reached $682 million during Q4, compared to $665 million in the 2017 fourth quarter. For the year, premiums surpassed $2.7 billion, essentially flat compared to 2017.
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