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Chubb's 1st quarter net income drops 31.6%; cat losses push up combined ratio


First quarter net income at Warren, New Jersey-based Chubb Corporation dropped 31.6% to $449 million, the company said Thursday.

Net written premiums were virtually flat at $3.06 billion while investment income slipped 2.8% to $341.0 million for the three months ended March 31.

The insurer's combined ratio climbed to 93.2% from 84.6% in the year-ago quarter. Chubb listed the effects of catastrophes on the combined ratio as 6.6% for first quarter 2014 compared with just 0.6% in the year-ago quarter.

The company said its first quarter results “were adversely affected by catastrophe losses of $199 million before tax related mostly to severe winter weather in the United States,” compared with just $18 million in the first quarter of 2013.

“Chubb produced solid results in the first quarter of 2014,” said Chubb Chairman, President and CEO John D. Finnegan in the statement.

“Results were adversely impacted by several factors, including catastrophe and non-catastrophe losses related to severe winter weather in the United States,” he said. “Chubb also suffered an unusually high level of homeowners fire losses after many quarters with relatively benign loss experience.”

He added, however, “We remain encouraged by the mid-to-high-single-digit increases in our rate change metrics that we achieved in all of our business units during the first quarter, while enjoying an overall increase in renewal retention.”