Baldwin & Lyons reports lower profit, higher revenue

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Baldwin & Lyons Inc., an Indianapolis-based insurer of car and truck fleets, saw profit drop in the third quarter compared to a year ago, despite an uptick in revenue.

The company announced Thursday morning that it earned $9.2 million, or 62 cents per share, in the third quarter ended Sept. 30. Earnings in the year-ago quarter were $14.3 million, or 97 cents per share.

Quarterly revenue rose to $67.3 million, up from $65.5 million last year.

The insurer's underlying business, which excludes investment gains and losses, produced $2.6 million, or 17 cents per share, compared with $4.3 million, or 29 cents per share, a year ago.

Baldwin & Lyons' underwriting loss was $400,000 in the third quarter, compared with a gain of $2.4 million the prior year. "Unusual catastrophe activity" in the reinsurance portfolio affected the recent quarter's results, Baldwin & Lyons said. The largest loss, presently estimated at $4 million, came from the New Zealand earthquake.

Losses in personal auto insurance continued at "too high a level," the company said, and losses in fleet transportation were up slightly.

Quarterly premiums written by Baldwin & Lyons insurance subsidiaries increased 11 percent compared to the third quarter a year ago and were up 23 percent over the first nine months of the year. The increase includes higher volume on traditional products, including fleets, as well as new products, such as commercial multi-peril and casualty reinsurance.

Net premiums also rose by 17 percent, to $52.6 million, the company said. Both existing and new products were up significantly in the third quarter, the company said.

Baldwin & Lyons shares were up 5 cents in morning trading, to $24.50 each.


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