Following improved financial performance for the last quarter of 2000, the Co-operators General Insurance Co. reported a net loss of $20 million for the first quarter of this year, equal to 107c a common share against last year’s first quarter profit of $2 million which translated to earnings of 3c a share. Gross written premiums for the latest reporting period rose marginally to $321 million compared with the 2000 first quarter total of $315 million. The claims ratio for this year’s first quarter jumped to 93.3% from last year’s first quarter ratio of 80.7%. Expenses boosted the combined ratio for the latest reporting period to 124.7% compared with the 111.9% struck at the end of the 2000 first quarter. "Like most of the rest of the Canadian property and casualty insurance industry, we are seeing a sharp reduction in earnings resulting from higher losses in claims. Our controllable expenses are on target, and we have put in place an action plan we are confident will lead to improved results. However, we incurred roughly four times the number of catastrophic personal injury claims we would normally see in the first quarter, says president Terry Squire.