Cincinnati Financial Corp. (CINF: Quote) said it estimates its first-quarter property casualty combined ratio will be in the range of 98 percent to 101 percent, with improved core underwriting results offsetting significant storm-related losses.
The Cincinnati Insurance Companies' property casualty group anticipates the quarter's results to include pretax catastrophe losses of about $85 million to $95 million, with slightly more than half of that total from its personal lines insurance segment. The estimated impact of those losses on the first-quarter combined ratio would be approximately 10.5 to 11.5 percentage points, based on estimated property casualty earned premiums. That impact is higher than the company's historical 10-year average of 3.0 percentage points for the first quarter and 5.4 points on a full-year basis.
Substantially all of the first-quarter catastrophe losses were from two storms causing significant damage in the Midwest and Southeast in late February and early March.
Steven Johnston, president and chief executive officer, commented, "Before the effects of catastrophes, our combined ratio continued the favorable trend of fourth-quarter 2011, reflecting our improved pricing precision and successful initiatives to contain loss costs, as well as improving market conditions. Healthy new business and renewal price increases contributed to first-quarter net written premium growth of approximately 8 percent..."
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by RTT Staff Writer
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