Mother Nature again slams insurer Baldwin & Lyons

Catastrophic tornadoes in Alabama and Missouri ripped apart second quarter results for Indianapolis-based insurer Baldwin & Lyons Inc.

The company said Thursday morning that it suffered an overall loss of $5.5 million, or 38 cents per share, for the period ended June 30, compared to a profit of $4.96 million, or 46 cents per share, in the same quarter a year earlier. Revenue was $66.5 million, up from $58.1 million during the same span in 2010.

The company said the "unprecedented series of spring storms" in Tuscaloosa and Joplin reduced its operating income by $10.1 million, or 68 cents per share. Its operating loss, excluding investment gains and losses, was $4.2 million, or 29 cents per share. That compares to a operating gain of $6.8 million for the second quarter of 2010.

Bad weather has been a major headache for Baldwin & Lyons; Mother Nature's toll to the company so far this year is $26 million after tax credits, the company reported.

Investment losses for the most recent quarter were $1.2 million net of taxes, compared to investment losses of $1.8 million in the same quarter of 2010.

On a positive note, Baldwin & Lyons achieved a 17-percent increase in premiums written during the quarter, compared to a year earlier. The company's reinsurance segment grew by 64 percent, and fleet transportation products were up 10 percent.

The company's shares finished Wednesday trading at $23.94, down from a 52-week high of $25.38 reached on July 13.

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