Bellevue, Wash.-based Unigard Insurance Companies reported an outstanding first quarter combined ratio of 83.0 percent, which represents a strong showing compared to current U.S. insurance industry projections and further builds on the company’s solid 2004 performance. First quarter revenues were steady at $75.9 direct premiums written.
“We are pleased to report excellent performance across all major lines of our business during the first quarter, in spite of what is clearly a more competitive market than a year ago,” said Peter Christen, president and CEO. “In addition to maintaining consistent underwriting discipline and vigilant expense control, we have several initiatives planned for 2005 that support our core strategies for continued profitable growth.”
These include a new auto product to be released late summer, automation enhancements to help agents more easily submit home and auto policy applications, and a targeted marketing plan to fuel growth in the farm and agricultural sector, which represents a key business niche for Unigard.
“Our extraordinary first quarter results uphold our favorable outlook for the remainder of 2005 and also affirm our core strategies over the long-term,” Christen said.
The strong showing builds on the company’s successful 2004 year-end results, when Unigard reported a statutory combined ratio of 92.3 percent and total direct written premiums of $301.8 million.
Winterthur U.S. Holdings Inc., based in Sun Prairie, Wis., and parent company for Unigard and General Casualty Insurance Companies, also recorded stellar first quarter results. The group reported pre-tax net income of $60 million for first quarter 2005. In 2004 WUSH reported pre-tax net income of $133.7 million and a policyholders’ surplus balance of $811.7 million.
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