Selective Insurance Profit Up For Quarter

NU Online News Service, Aug. 6, 9:59 a.m. EDT?Selective Insurance Group Inc., Branchville, N.J., posted a $19.7 million second-quarter profit, a 140 percent increase over the $8.2 million it recorded for the period last year.

The company’s overall statutory combined ratio also showed an improvement, down nearly five points to 99.6 percent compared to the year-ago period. Revenue from continuing operations for the past quarter jumped 15 percent over the 2002 second quarter, to $333.1 million, Selective said.

“Our ongoing pricing and underwriting initiatives, coupled with favorable weather, produced a statutory combined ratio below 100 percent for the quarter,” commented Gregory Murphy, chief executive officer at Selective.

The strong results reflected 13 straight quarters of double-digit renewal price increases, Mr. Murphy said.

He noted that the company’s commercial lines premium growth was 16 percent for the quarter, “driven by the price increases, a 35 percent increase in new business to $62 million and better retention of renewal business.”

Mr. Murphy said the company commercial lines outlook “remains favorable as increases in premiums continue to outpace loss trends.”

Selective, which has been expanding its business beyond its traditional stronghold in New Jersey to the rest of the nation, offer various commercial policies. They include workers’ compensation, commercial auto, property and liability insurance.

The company’s personal lines include homeowners and auto insurance, while other lines offered are flood insurance, managed care services, and professional employer organization products and services. Last year, it posted $41.9 million in profit, with $1.18 billion in sales.