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Hartford profit rises in 2019 first quarter

Posted On: May. 2, 2019 10:34 AM CST


Hartford Financial Services Group Inc. on Wednesday reported a 6% increase in net income for the first quarter of 2019 to $630 million.

Revenue increased 5.3%, to $4.94 billion for the quarter, the insurer said in its report.

The combined ratio for commercial property/casualty lines was 96.1% vs. 93.3% for the comparable quarter a year ago.

“First-quarter results were strong, and all of The Hartford’s businesses performed well, making meaningful contributions to financial results and the execution of strategic goals,” Chris Swift, Hartford’s chairman and CEO, said in a statement.

 “Margins remain in line or better than our expectations, with the increase in the property and casualty expense ratio due to planned investments and marketing spend,” he said.

“In addition, our capital generation and balance sheet remain strong, supporting our plans to begin share repurchases in the second quarter under the $1.0 billion authorization announced this February.”

In 2018’s fourth quarter, Hartford reported $196 million in net income compared with a $3.7 billion net loss in the prior-year period, which included a big loss related to the sale of its life and annuity runoff business and a charged related to U.S. tax reform.

Hartford also said Wednesday it had entered into a definitive agreement with Berkshire Hathaway Inc. unit National Indemnity Co. for an aggregate excess-of-loss reinsurance treaty for Navigators Group Inc.

Hartford’s $2.1 billion all-cash deal to acquire Navigators was announced in August 2018.

Hartford said the treaty, which is subject to regulatory approval and will be effective after the acquisition’s closing, provides up to $300 million of coverage for potential adverse prior-year reserve development in excess of $100 million above Navigators’ Dec. 31, 2018, loss reserves of $1.8 billion, subject to limited exclusions.

Hartford said the premium paid for the reinsurance treaty is about $91 million before tax, or $72 million after tax, and will be reflected in the insurer’s net income in the quarter in which the transaction closes.