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Liberty Mutual reports higher net income, change in business mix

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Liberty Mutual Holding Co. reported $276 million in net income for the first quarter of 2015, a 4.2% increase over last year, despite increased catastrophe losses.

The insurer reported net written premiums of $9.40 billion in the first quarter of 2015, up 7.0% from the same period last year, and its combined ratio improved to 97.1% from 99.5%.

“The first quarter of 2015 resulted in solid net income … despite severe winter weather and market pressures in the energy sector,” Liberty Mutual's Chairman and CEO David H. Long said, in a statement.

Catastrophe losses increased 1.8% to $496 million.

Liberty Mutual continues to diversify and shrink some of its workers comp business.

Driven by targeted exposure reductions, partially offset by rate increases, workers comp voluntary net written premiums fell 5.2% to $525 million in the first quarter. Voluntary workers comp is for employers who are not forced to participate in the residual market pool. Meanwhile, workers comp involuntary net written premiums fell 26.3% to $28 million.

In addition, specialty insurance net written premiums increased 20.7% to $897 million in the first quarter.

“The (specialty insurance) increase primarily reflects reduced reinsurance costs due to rate reductions and program changes resulting from the centralization of external reinsurance purchasing,” Liberty Mutual said in a statement.