Insurer Travelers Companies Inc.’s quarterly profit beat analysts’ estimates on Thursday, as improved underwriting and lower catastrophe losses offset a decline in net investment income.

New York-based Travelers, often seen as a bellwether for the insurance sector, said its net written premiums rose 3 percent to $7.06 billion in the first quarter, with growth across all business lines.

Catastrophe losses, net of reinsurance, fell by $161 million to $193 million. The company’s consolidated combined ratio for the 2019 first quarter was 93.7 versus 95.5 over the same, year-ago period.

Net investment income, which is how much the company earns from investments, fell 3.5 percent to $582 million due to lower private equity returns.

Insurers typically invest money they get from premiums in bonds and equities to earn profits, and a downturn in markets spells bad news for them.

The company’s net income rose 19 percent to $796 million, or $2.99 per share, in the quarter ended March 31. Core income was $2.83 per share, which beat analysts’ estimates of $2.74 per share, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

*Carrier Management added additional material to this story.