January 22, 2019

Travelers 4Q profits rise 12.7%

HBJ File Photo
HBJ File Photo
The Travelers Cos. headquarters in Hartford.

The Travelers Cos., which has major Hartford operations, said its fourth quarter profits rose 12.7 percent as the property and casualty insurer grew across all of its business segments.

For three months ended Dec. 31, the New York company on Tuesday reported net income of $621 million, or $2.13 a diluted share, up from $551 million, or $1.98 a diluted shared in the year-ago period.

Alan Schnitzer, Travelers' CEO and chairman, said the company's entire portfolio of business segments netted more in the fourth quarter, including workers' compensation, surety, management liability and personal auto product lines.

The company recorded higher profits in the final quarter of 2018 despite spending $610 million on pre-tax catastrophe claims, up about 18.1 percent from $499 million in the year-ago period.

The surge in catastrophe losses was partially offset by an increase in underlying underwriting gains of $106 million and a 5 percent, or $29 million, increase in net investment income. Travelers also benefited from a lower U.S. corporate income tax rate.

Also during the quarter, Schnitzer said the company continued pursuing its "ambitious innovation agenda" as it became the exclusive provider of U.S. auto insurance claim management for California ridesharing company Lyft.

For the year, Travelers said its net income rose $467 million to more than $2.5 billion.

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