Canadian Underwriter

Loss ratio drops 3.6 points for CNA Financial

February 8, 2016   by Canadian Underwriter

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Commercial insurer CNA Financial Corp. released Monday its results for the full year and final quarter of 2015, reporting a 2% drop in net written premiums and a 2.3-point improvement in its combined ratio.

Net written premiums were $6.421 billion in 2015 and $6.536 billion in 2014. All figures are in United States dollars.

CNA reported a 2% decrease, overall, in net written premiums, in property and casualty insurance, from 2014 to 2015

The loss ratio was 61% in 2015, down 3.6 points from 64.6% 2014. The combined ratio was 95.4% in 2015, down 2.3 points from 97.7% in 2014.

CNA’s operations include Continental Casualty Company, The Continental Insurance Company and Western Surety Company.

CNA started offering specialty lines in Canada in January, 2015. At the time, CNA officials said they would start offering directors’ and officers’ liability and technology liability, among other lines, in Canada, CNA had already been writing insurance for the manufacturing, construction and marine/cargo segments.

During the final quarter of 2015, CNA reported net written premiums of $1.585 billion, up 2% from $1.555 billion in Q4 2014. The loss ratio in the latest quarter was 62.9%, a 3.3-point deterioration from 59.6% in Q4 2014. The Q4 combined ratio deteriorated by 7.1 points, from 91.8% in Q4 2014 to 98.9% in the most recent quarter.

The effect of catastrophic impacts on the combined ratio was 2.4 points in Q4 2015 and 0.6 point in the same period in 2014.

In 2015, CNA had net written premiums of $2.781 billion in specialty, $2.818 billion in commercial and $822 million in international.

The coverages provided under specialty include professional liability while international is provided by CNA’s Lloyd’s operations. CNA owns Hardy Underwriting Bermuda Ltd., which manages and provides capacity to Lloyd’s Syndicate 382.

In its commercial segment, CNA reported a combined ratio of 101.5% in 2015, down 7.8 points from 109.3% in 2014. During the fourth quarter, the combined ratio was 99.6% in 2015, up from 96.8% in 2014.

In specialty, CNA reported a combined ratio of 88.7% in 2015, up from 87.6% in 2014. The combined ratio in specialty was 95% in the latest quarter, up from 88.4% in Q4 2014.

The combined ratio in international was 97.6% in 2015, up from 92.4% in 2014. The Q4 2015 combined ratio was 109.9% in 2015, up 23 points from 86.9% in 2014.

Company-wide, CNA reported net income of $479 million in 2015, down 30.7% from $691 million in 2014.

In P&C, CNA’s net operating income was $966 million in 2015, down from $1.01 billion in 2014, “primarily due to lower net investment income, partially offset by improved underwriting results,” CNA stated in a release. “Catastrophe losses for the full year were $95 million, after tax, as compared with $102 million, after tax, in the prior year.”

CNA is majority-owned by Loews Corp., which also owns Diamond Offshore Drilling Inc., Boardwalk Pipeline Partners and Loews Hotels & Resorts.