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Tax law, cat losses to reduce Hartford results by close to $1B

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The Hartford Financial Services Group Inc. said Monday it estimates its fourth-quarter financial results will be reduced by about $850 million because of the new U.S. tax law’s impact, and by $117 million aftertax by catastrophe losses, primarily because of the California wildfires’ impact on its personal lines segment.

The Hartford, Connecticut-based insurer said the $850 million charge from the new tax law is primarily because of the reduction in the U.S. corporate tax rate to 21% from 35%, effective Jan. 1, 2018, and its impact on the company’s net deferred tax asset position. It said the final amount will depend on fourth-quarter results, and the charge will not affect core earnings.

It said the fourth-quarter results will reflect cat losses of about $180 million pretax, and $117 million aftertax, which includes the benefit of favorable loss reserve development on prior quarter 2017 catastrophes and anticipated reinsurance recoveries for fourth-quarter 2017 cat losses that were ceded to the company’s 2017 property cat aggregate reinsurance treaty.

The Hartford, which will release its fourth-quarter 2017 financial results Feb. 8, reported net third-quarter income of $293 million.