Seattle-based Safeco has announced its fourth quarter and year-end results. The company reported its net income for the fourth quarter of 2005 was $190.7 million, compared with $179.8 million during the same period the previous year. For the full year, Safeco reported net income of $691.1 million, compared with $562.4 million in 2004.
The company’s overall property and casualty combined ratio was 89.1 for the fourth quarter, compared with 88.8 the same period in 2004. The combined ratio is the percentage of each premium dollar spent on claims and expenses. The lower the ratio, the better the performance, Safeco said.
Pretax catastrophe losses for the fourth quarter were $51.4 million, primarily due to estimated losses from Hurricane Wilma during the quarter. After reinsurance, the company reported pretax catastrophe losses were $267.4 million for the year, compared with $275.6 million in 2004.
“As was the case in Florida a year ago, Safeco’s 2005 hurricane losses were disproportionately lower than our market share in the affected Gulf Coast states due to our managed risk appetite in coastal areas,” said Paula Rosput Reynolds, president and CEO. “This in no way minimizes the tremendous loss experienced by our customer and agents, or the heroic efforts of our claims and service personnel to help people through the recovery process.”
Looking ahead, Reynolds said the company expects trends in 2005 to carry into 2006. “We will continue to leverage our business model — enhancing our Safeco Now online sales-and-service platform, expanding our points of distribution, and remaining vigilant in our risk selection,” she said.
For more information, a conference call of Safeco’s results can be heard online at www.safeco.com/irewebcast.
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