Travelers took a big Q4 hit from a tax-cut-related charge and catastrophe-related expenses but still pulled in a profit.
The insurer booked $551 million in net income, or $1.98 per share, during the 2017 fourth quarter versus $949 million, or $3.28 per diluted share, in the same period a year ago.
Travelers cited a $129 million one-time charge regarding the new Trump tax cuts along with larger catastrophe losses as factors behind the results. Higher net favorable prior-year reserve development in the current quarter helped offset those numbers, the insurer added, as did improved pricing.
Travelers’ combined ratio for Q4 jumped to 95.5 versus 90 in Q4 2016. For the full year, its combined ratio was just under 98 compared to 92 in 2016.
For the full year, Travelers reported $2 billion in net income, or $7.33 per share, compared to $3 billion in 2016, or $10.28 per share. Travelers largely blames higher catastrophe losses in the 2017 second half for the drop, a surge of multiple hurricanes, wildfires and earthquakes that adversely affected many insurers and reinsurers.
Travelers Chairman and CEO Alan Schnitzer said that the insurer performed well despite difficult circumstances affecting the industry at large.
“From a position of strength, we continue to invest in our competitive advantages, focusing on extending our lead in risk expertise; improving the experience for customers, agents and brokers; and enhancing productivity and efficiency,” Schnitzer said in prepared remarks. “We are encouraged by the pricing environment, the opportunities afforded by a more level playing field for domestic insurers as a result of corporate tax reform and the prospect of a strengthening economy.”
Here are additional highlights of Travelers’ consolidated Q4 and year-end results:
- Net investment income landed at $601 million versus $627 million in Q4 2016.
- Travelers reported a $266 million underwriting gain in Q4 compared to $590 million over the same period a year ago.
- Consolidated net written premiums surpassed $6.4 billion in Q4 2017, an increase over $6 billion reported in the 2016 fourth quarter. All divisions saw gains, including business insurance, bond & specialty insurance and personal insurance. Schnitzer credited an improved pricing environment for those gains.
- For the year, consolidated net written premiums came in over $26.2 billion, up from more than $24.95 billion in 2016.
Sources: The Travelers Companies