State Auto, CinFin Report Q1 Estimated Catastrophe Losses

NU Online News Service, April 13, 11:17 a.m. EST

State Auto Financial Corp. says results for the first quarter will include pre-tax catastrophe losses of between $19 million and $21 million.

The Columbus, Ohio-based super-regional holding company says 85 percent of the losses came from Kentucky, Indiana and Tennessee and are primarily related to early March tornadoes, and wind and hail in the southern United States that moved into the Ohio Valley.

State Auto is scheduled to release results for the first quarter on May 3.

Last year State Auto turned to the reinsurance market for a homeowners’ quota-share treaty in order to deal with historic loss trends, because price increases of 30 percent over the last three years haven’t helped.

State Auto’s group of insurance companies turned in a combined ratio of 116.3 in 2011 while posting a net loss of $146.8 million on more than $230 million in catastrophe losses.

Cincinnati Financial Corp. also gave a look at first-quarter cat losses.

Cincinnati Financial says it expects pre-tax catastrophe losses from its group of insurance companies of between $85 million and $95 million—mostly from two storms that happened in the Midwest and Southeast in late February and early march.

These losses will likely add about 10.5 to 11.5 points to the quarterly combined ratio, expected to be between 98 and 101, says Cincinnati Financial.

In a statement, Steven J. Johnston, president and chief executive officer, says new business and renewal price increases drove an 8 percent net written premium growth in the first quarter.

The personal- and commercial-lines insurer didn’t turn an underwriting profit until the fourth quarter last year when it posted $98 million in pre-tax earnings on underwriting—which was also its best quarterly underwriting profit since 2007.

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