Disasters sink Baldwin & Lyons quarterly results

Earthquakes and flooding took a toll on Baldwin & Lyons Inc.’s first quarter results, the Indianapolis-based insurer announced Thursday morning.

The company suffered an overall loss of $15.2 million, or $1.02 per share, compared to a profit of $545,000, or 4 cents per share, in the first quarter a year earlier.

The insurer said an operating loss of $14.2 million “was sustained during the first quarter as the result of unprecedented catastrophe losses during the period, including the Japan and New Zealand earthquakes and extensive flooding in Australia.”

The insurer warned investors about the losses in mid April.

Baldwin & Lyons had an operating loss of $1.5 million a year ago on what was then its worst-ever first quarter for catastrophic claims.

Investment losses for the most recent quarter were $1 million after taxes, compared to investment gains of $2.1 million in the same quarter of 2010.

Quarterly revenue rose to $60.4 million, up from $59.1 million a year ago.

On a positive note, Baldwin & Lyons saw a 10-percent surge in premiums written during the quarter compared to the year-ago period, with equal growth in fleet transportation products and casualty reinsurance.

The company’s stock was up 6 cents per share early Thursday, to $21.94 per share.

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