Travelers reported an increase in quarterly profit last week, beating analysts’ estimates. The jump was driven in part by an increase in returns from investments and lower catastrophe claims.
Travelers posted a core income of $1.26 billion ($4.91 per share) in the fourth quarter, up from $867 million ($3.32 per share) a year earlier, according to a Reuters report. Analysts had predicted a profit of $3.18 per share on average, according to data from Refinitiv.
Travelers said net written premiums rose 3% to $7.27 billion for the quarter.
The insurer’s strong fourth quarter comes amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, which has not impacted property and casualty insurers as severely as many market watchers expected – primarily because of pandemic-related exclusions in their contracts, according to Reuters.
Read more: Travelers beats Q3 profit expectations
Travelers reported $31 million in pre-tax COVID losses for Q4. The insurer is adding communicable disease exclusions to some policies as workplaces reopen. It is also being cautious in its approach to potential future upcoming workers’ compensation losses, Reuters said.
Underwriting gains were $955 million in Q4, up from $513 million a year earlier, while pre-tax net investment was up 10% to $677 million. Travelers reported a combined ratio of 86.7%, down from 92.4% the previous year.
Travelers posted catastrophe loss net of reinsurance of $29 million in Q4, down from $85 million the year prior. Full-year losses rose to $1.6 billion, driven by weather events and civil unrest in the US, Reuters reported.