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Driven by lower results in its property/casualty operations and a charge to its long-term care business, CNA Financial Corp. on Monday reported a $70 million net loss for the fourth quarter of 2015 vs. $198 million in net income for the comparable period a year ago.
CNA's property/casualty operations' net income was $176 million for the fourth quarter, a 45.3% decline from $322 million in the prior-year quarter.
In addition, the Chicago-based insurer's life and group noncore segment included a $198 million after-tax charge related to recognition of a premium deficiency and a small deficiency in claims reserves in its long-term care business, the company said in its statement.
In its property/casualty operations, net premiums written for the quarter increased 1.9% from the prior year quarter, to $1.59 billion, said the company. It reported a 98.9% combined ratio, vs. 91.8% for the prior year quarter.
For the full 2015 year, the company reported $479 million in net income, a 30.7% decrease from 2014.
The property/casualty operation's net income was $914 million, an 11.3% decrease. Net premiums written decreased 1.8%, to $6.42 billion, while the combined ratio was 95.4%, vs. 97.7% for the prior year.
“Our capital position remains very strong” and property/casualty income “continues to remain stable,” said Chairman and CEO Thomas F. Motamed during CNA's earnings call Monday.
Mr. Motamed said the insurer's 95.4% combined ratio for 2015 “is the lowest it has been for five years, specialty continues to be a profitable and resilient business in a challenging environment,” and CNA's commercial segment “continues to show improvement in the underlying loss ratio.”
CNA's commercial segment, which works with an independent agency distribution system and a network of brokers, had a 101.5% combined ratio, including a 65.1% expense ratio, in 2015 vs. a 109.3% combined, including a 75.3% expense ratio, in 2014.
“We continue to invest in people, technology, processes and tools for the future,” Mr. Motamed added.
Profits and premiums fell slightly during the third quarter for CNA Financial Corp. as the insurer said its underwriting results were offset by a decrease in net investment income.