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CNA Financial Corp’s third-quarter 2019 net income slid to $107 million, down from $336 million in the third quarter of 2018, in large part due to the after-tax charge for unlocking active life reserves in its life and group segment, the insurer reported Monday.
Chicago-based CNA, a unit of New York-based Loews Corp., reported third-quarter net written premium in its property/casualty operations of $1.71 billion, up 8% from the third quarter of 2018. The combined ratio worsened again, increasing to 97.6% in the third quarter from 95.7% in the second quarter and 94.2% in the same quarter last year.
Commercial net premiums grew to $775 million, an increase of 11% from the third quarter of 2018. International increased slightly to $201 million from $196 million in the same period of 2018, and specialty grew 6% to $732 million in the third quarter compared with the same quarter in 2018.
CNA's life and group segment reported a core loss of $122 million. The results included a $170 million after-tax charge related to unlocking active life reserves due to a recognized premium deficiency discovered via a gross premium valuation. The insurer also experienced a $44 million after-tax reduction in claim reserves resulting from its annual claim experience study, and in the second quarter CNA also reported a $24 million reduction in long-term care claims reserves due to the study results.
The third-quarter results reflect CNA’s “continued good underwriting performance, accelerated price increases and strong growth across our U.S. operations,” Chairman and CEO Dino Robusto said on a conference call with analysts.
A consistently more aggressive plaintiff’s bar has had an impact on CNA’s umbrella book, said Mr. Robusto, particularly with severity on auto claims in excess layers, which has led the company to reduce umbrella accounts with larger exposures and increase attachment points on more auto-exposed accounts.
CNA Financial Corp. posted a 2018 fourth-quarter loss of $84 million compared with a profit of $223 million in the same period of 2017, as higher catastrophe losses and lower investment earnings weighed on results, the insurer said in an earnings statement Monday.