Selective Swings to a $5.8M Profit

April 30, 2010

Despite sizable losses from late season, East Coast storms, New Jersey-based Selective Insurance Group swung to a first quarter profit of $5.8 million, a positive change from the $12.9 million the insurer lost in the year-ago quarter.

The profits include catastrophe losses of approximately $24 million, an amount that CEO Gregory E. Murphy called “the highest we have seen in a single quarter in more than 20 years… Three snow storms in February and two severe rain and wind storms in March impacted key states in our footprint in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic.”

The losses put upward pressure on rates, Murphy said. “Our commercial lines renewal pure price was up 3.4 percent due to the hard work of our agents and underwriters.”

Net premiums written for the insurer fell slightly to $368 million, down from $376 million in the same quarter last year. Personal Lines net premiums written were up 12 percent to $56.2 million.

The insurer had a statutory combined ratio of 102, a slight increase from the 100.2 ratio in the first quarter of 2009. In commercial lines, the combined ratio was 101.9, up from 99.1 in the year-ago quarter.

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