Co-operators General Insurance Co. (TSE: CCS.PR.A) produced a net taxed loss of $2.2 million for the first quarter of this year compared with a $20 million loss reported for the same period of 2001. This translates to a loss of 18c a share for the latest reporting period. The significant improvement in the insurers’ financial performance came about as a result of stronger pricing over the past year, which is now feeding through to the bottom-line. The insurer increased gross written premiums during the first quarter of this year by 4.6% to $336 million (1-Q 2001: $321 million) while net earned premiums rose year-on-year by 8.5% to $331 million (1-Q 2001: 305 million). The company was able to reduce its loss ratio to 82% for the first quarter of this year against the 93.3% shown at the end of March 2001. Overall, the combined ratio for the 2002 first quarter clocked in at 112.5% compared with the 124.7% reported a year ago. "Although far from satisfactory, these results are a welcome improvement over the devastating loss incurred during the first quarter of 2001," says Co-operators’ CEO Kathy Bardswick.