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April 20, 2021

Travelers overcomes record catastrophe losses for Q1 gains

travlers hartford offices insurance HBJ File Photo

Property and casualty insurer Travelers Cos. today reported a 23% rise in first-quarter profits despite facing its highest-ever level of first-quarter catastrophe-related losses.

The company, which has major operations in Hartford, turned in earnings of $733 million, or $2.87 per diluted share, up from $600 million, or $2.33 per diluted share, in the year-ago period. Core income rose from $676 million, or $2.62 per diluted share, in the first quarter of 2020 to $699 million, or $2.73 per diluted share, in the first quarter of 2021.

Revenues reached $8.3 billion, compared to $7.9 billion, and net written premiums grew from $7.3 billion to $7.5 billion.

During a conference call with analysts this morning, Travelers Chairman and CEO Alan Schnitzer attributed the upswing to strong underlying underwriting income, as well as higher levels of favorable prior-year reserve development and net investment income.

Those factors more than offset record catastrophe losses of $835 million pre-tax for the quarter, up from $333 million pre-tax in the first three months of 2020.

Travelers officials said winter storms and wind storms were responsible for the dramatic climb in catastrophe-related costs.

According to Schnitzer, the company has been bringing on a growing number of climatologists and other scientists to help guide decision-making in light of increasingly unpredictable weather in many parts of the world.

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