Utica National posted modest sales growth through the first nine months of 2010 and hit its targets for loss ratio and net income in a marketplace that continued to be highly competitive.
Utica National's direct written premiums of $481.5 million were up by $8 million from this time a year ago. “While this was about a percent less than planned, it was a good result considering that the property-casualty insurance industry is predicted to shrink again this year,” said J. Douglas Robinson, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer.
Losses incurred were better than planned, thanks in part to relatively mild weather during the year. And while Utica had a loss in the underwriting of insurance of $40.1 million – after subtracting losses and expenses from earned premium – the underwriting loss was $1.8 million better than planned. Other income of $67.6 million, mostly investment income and realized capital gains, offset the loss and was also ahead of plan.
This left net income, after taxes and adjustments to the Policyholders’ Security Fund, of $25.7 million. This was $7.4 million ahead of plan, and increased the Fund to $792.3 million. “We’re pleased with our results to-date, which compare very favorably with those of the companies against which we benchmark ourselves,” Mr. Robinson said.
Utica had excellent sales results in Workers Compensation and Personal Lines, both of which posted strong growth and came in above goal. “We’ve made significant improvements to our Personal Lines products, our pricing and the technology we needed to efficiently write this business, and this effort has continued to bring us record-setting new business results,” Mr. Robinson said.
He added that Utica has also recently made significant improvements to its small commercial business system and pricing for Commercial Auto, adding 330 Commercial Auto classes to its “Commercial Edge” system, which allows agents to rate and submit this business electronically from their office.
Utica National also has put considerable effort into safety seminars for the educational institutions that it insures, which make up a significant part of the company’s business. “We’ve worked hard this year to get the message out to our school insurance clients on bullying, and cyber-bullying, topics that are getting considerable attention in the national media,” he said. “It’s an important risk management topic for schools but also goes somewhat ‘beyond the business’ for us, as an effort that can have a significant, favorable impact on schools and on society in general.”