Travelers Sees Record Profits

January 26, 2010

The Travelers Cos. saw its fourth-quarter profits climb 60 percent, driven largely by investment gains.

The insurer posted record net income for the quarter of $1.285 billion and full year net income of $3.622 billion. It marked the best quarter for profits Travelers has seen since 2002.

“Our retention rates remained high and the impact of renewal rate changes on premiums remained positive across all three of our business segments,” said Jay Fishman, chairman and chief executive officer of Travelers.

Total revenue in the fourth quarter was $6.456 billion, up 11 percent from the year-ago period. The insurer saw a 4-percent decline in net written premiums from the fourth quarter a year ago, which the insurer attributed to reduced insured exposures due to lower levels of economic activity.

Travelers fourth-quarter combined ratio was 83.4, down from 85.9 in the fourth quarter of 2008. For the year, Travelers combined ratio was 89.2, down from 91.9 in 2008.

Travelers Business Insurance segment had a combined ratio of 78.8, down from 85.7 in the prior-year period. “Business Insurance achieved strong underwriting results in the quarter as evidenced by its combined ratio. Although the impact on net written premiums from the economic downturn remained evident during the quarter, we once again produced positive renewal rate changes, strong retentions and stable new business levels,” said Brian MacLean, president and chief operating officer.

Travelers Personal Insurance segment had a combined ratio of 90.4 in the fourth quarter, up from 85.6 in the prior-year period. Personal Insurance net written premiums for the fourth quarter increased 3 percent to $1.735 billion. The company attributed the increase to continued positive renewal premium changes and strong retention rates. “Although we experienced a seasonality impact within our automobile business, we are pleased with our rate levels and new business quality,” MacLean said.

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