Canadian Underwriter

The Hartford reports 2008 Q3 loss of US$2.6 billion

October 30, 2008   by Canadian Underwriter

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The Hartford Financial Services Group Inc. (NYSE: HIG) has reported a 2008 Q3 net loss of US$2.6 billion, compared to a 2007 Q3 profit of US$851 million.
“This was an extremely difficult quarter for the company,” Ramani Ayer, The Hartford’s chairman and CEO, said in a press release. “Volatile credit and equity markets and the largest catastrophe in the past three years significantly affected our results.
“Earlier this month, we took decisive action to fortify our capital by securing a US$2.5-billion investment from Allianz. The Hartford is financially strong with the liquidity and capital to meet our commitments to our customers.”
On the plus side, Ayer noted, The Hartford’s property and casualty ongoing operations reported a 91.8% accident year combined ratio (COR) before catastrophe losses.
This compares with a COR of 90.6% over the same period last year.
“This is a very good performance at this point in the cycle,” Ayer said. “Our group benefits business delivered strong sales and premium growth while maintaining pricing discipline, and deposits in mutual funds and retirement plans were very good.”
Written premiums for The Hartford’s property and casualty operations in 2008 Q3 were US$2.6 billion, down 1% from the prior year.
Property and casualty ongoing operations reported a net loss of US$666 million for 2008 Q3, including the effect of a US$825-million net realized capital loss after-tax.
The company projected 2008 Q4 pre-tax losses of US$60 million.

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