Chaucer and commercial lines drive growth at Hanover
The Hanover Insurance Group has posted a strong set of results for the second quarter driven by growth in the insurers’ commercial lines and Chaucer business.
The group’s net income hit $82.6 million in the quarter compared with $53.4 million for the second quarter of 2013.
Its net premiums written also increased to $1.3 billion, up 2.7 percent compared with $1.2 billion in the same period of the year prior. The growth was primarily driven by its Chaucer business where net premiums written hit $364.4 million, an increase of 4 percent, and the commercial segment where net premiums written increased 3.7 percent to $521 million.
The combined ratio fell to 96.8 percent in the quarter from 98.4 percent in the second quarter of 2013.
"We are very pleased with our second quarter results that produced an annualised operating ROE of 9.7 percent," said Frederick Eppinger, president and chief executive officer at The Hanover. "The overall underlying combined ratio improved by 1 point, driven by solid underwriting improvement in domestic businesses, and continued strong results at Chaucer. Book value per share increased to $63.65, up over 7 percent year-to-date.
"We are encouraged by the positive momentum shift in Personal Lines, where net written premiums grew modestly as rate increases and new business acceleration outpaced the effect of continued exposure management actions. At the same time, we continued to achieve healthy growth in commercial lines, in light of exposure and underwriting initiatives in middle market business. As importantly, we achieved solid pricing increases with 7 percent in core commercial and 6 percent in personal lines with strong retention, reflecting the effectiveness of our distinctive value proposition and unique approach to independent agents and brokers.
"These financial trends further support our confidence in the effectiveness of our strategic initiatives and drive us closer to our ultimate goal of delivering top quartile performance," Eppinger said.