The insurer attributes this deviation to higher net catastrophe losses of $ 91 billion, as well as lower investment returns on its limited partnership and common equity portfolios of $ 143 million. CNA also experienced higher non-catastrophe losses due to increased property losses and increased professional liability losses in its London operations.
Despite experiencing a loss in the fourth quarter, CNA has "made significant progress in 2018," said Chairman and CEO Dino E. Robusto. The company reported a full-year P & C combined ratio of 96.7%, a decrease of 97.1% in 2017, as well as 4% net written premium growth in its P & C business compared to the fourth quarter of 2017.
"Although the combination of investment returns with limited partnerships and catastrophe losses caused a loss in the fourth quarter, we made significant progress in 2018," Robusto said. "Both our all-in combined ratio and the underlying combined ratio improved during the year, we achieved meaningful premium growth and we continue to implement the required interest rate increases."
CNA's specialty saw an increase in net premiums of 3% for the fourth quarter of 2018, from $ 665 million to $ 682 million. The unit's core revenue, however, fell from $ 141 million to $ 98 million, a dip that was once again attributed to catastrophe losses. For the full year, net written premiums from CNA for special activities were consistent with 2017.
The company's commercial unit also saw some modest improvements for the full year 2018. The net premiums booked increased by 5%, or 3% after adjusting for the small business premium adjustments. CNA's international activities also contributed 4% more premiums in 2018 than in the previous year and registered $ 6.8 million compared to $ 6.5 million. For the full year, the combined ratio in international activity improved by 0.4%.