American Safety Insurance Holdings’ fourth-quarter 2012 results suffered more from a reserve charge than Superstorm Sandy losses, but both combined to put red ink on the bottom line.

Still, while the company reported a net loss of $0.6 million or 6 cents per share for the quarter, for the full year results net earnings were positive—coming in at $11.8 million, or $1.14 per share, compared to $10.8 million, or $1.01 per diluted share, for the year ended 2011.

For the quarter, the company also reported:

• Gross written premiums up 15.7 percent to $78.8 million

• The combined ratio improving to 116.6, compared to 124.0 in fourth-quarter 2011

The 116.6 fourth-quarter 2012 combined ratio includes $5.9 million, or 8.7 points, from Sandy, and $9.0 million, or 13.4 points, or prior-year reserve strengthening, coming mainly from reinsurance division. The company said the reinsurance strengthening related to four casualty contracts that were non-renewed in prior years.

For the year, American Safety reported:

• Gross written premiums up 6.9 percent to $319.2 million

• The combined ratio falling to 108.1, compared to 111.8 in 2011

The 2012 combined ratio included prior-year loss reserve strengthening of $9.0 million, or 3.5 combined-ratio points, and $11.4 million, or 4.5 points, of property-catastrophe losses.

In a statement announcing the results, Stephen R. Crim, Chief Executive Officer, said: “We are confident that the steps we have taken to leverage strategic investments in our excess and surplus lines product platform, shift the profile of our reinsurance business, and to de-emphasize specialty programs will produce improved underwriting results going forward.”

Source: American Safety Insurance Holdings, Ltd