PROTECTIVE SWINGS TO BLACK ON INVESTMENT GAINS
US commercial insurer Protective Insurance swung to fourth-quarter net earnings of $3.8m from a net loss of $24.6m, largely reflecting a $24m swing in realised and unrealised investment gains. Operating income per share came in at 5¢ versus a loss of 58¢ and beat analysts’ forecast of a 4¢ loss. The combined ratio improved by 6.4 points to 105.8%, as the underwriting loss narrowed to $6.4m from $14.5m. The group attributed the improvement to significant rate increases across its commercial motor book, non-renewal of unprofitable risks and prudent use of facultative and aggregate stop-loss reinsurance. Gross written premiums fell 7.2% to $141.7m. For the full year, the Indiana-based group swung to net income of $7.3m from a loss of $34.1m on a $38.6m swing in investment gains. With the underwriting loss narrowing to $30.5m from $37.1m, the combined ratio improved by 1.8 points to 106.8%. Annual gross written premiums fell 1.3% to $574.9m.
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