Allied World’s Q1 Investment Income Rises 20%; Combined Ratio Worsens to 96%

First, the good news about Allied Worlds 2016 first quarter: investment income grew by nearly 20 percent.

Many other things for Allied World Assurance Company Holdings AG, however, were on a downward trajectory compared to the same period in 2015, including net income, gross written premiums and reinsurance.

Also, Allied Worlds combined ratio worsened to 96 for the quarter, compared to 88.1 in the 2015 first quarter.

Allied World President and CEO Scott Carmilani noted both the investment gains and challenging marketing conditions, but said that the insurer continues to persevere through prudent business practices.

Although market conditions remain challenging, we continue to find attractive opportunities while maintaining our strong focus on risk selection and capital management, Carmilani said in prepared remarks.

Net income for the Swiss property/casualty insurer and reinsurer came in at $74.1 million, or $0.81 per diluted share during Q1, versus $124 million, or $1.27 per diluted share, over the same period last year. Net investment income landed at $53.3 million, a 19.5 percent jump compared to $44.6 million generated in the 2015 first quarter.

Gross written premiums were booked at $863.5 million, 1.9 percent lower than the $880.6 million in gross written premiums produced during Q1 in 2015.

Broken down, Allied Worlds Global Markets insurance segment grew 90.6 percent during the 2016 first quarter versus a year ago, thanks to acquired Asian operations. Allied Worlds North American insurance segment stayed flat, though its reinsurance segment dropped 16 percent year-over-year, thanks to the reduction in property catastrophe risk as well as non-renewal of some property/casualty treaties.

Allied World noted it repurchased more than 1.9 million common shares through April 18 from the beginning of 2016, at a cost of $66.7 million, or $34.42 per share.

Source: Allied World

This article first appeared in Insurance Journals sister publication, Carrier Management.

How to Get a Jump-Start on Your 2016 Taxes

You might have a strong desire to push the e-file button and forget your income taxes until next year. But that could be a big mistake, since your income tax return presents an opportunity to evaluate your financial life. Since the data is freshest right after you complete your tax return, now is the time to take a look at the numbers and see if there are any opportunities for planning your financial life in the coming year. Heres how to start your 2016 tax planning:

[See: How to Reduce Your Tax Bill by Saving for Retirement.]

Look for tax savings opportunities. Saving for retirement can qualify you for tax breaks. If youre young and in a lower tax bracket (less than 25 percent), you could focus on building tax-free investment growth with a Roth account, such as a Roth IRA, Roth 401(k) or Roth 403(b). As your income increases and you jump into a higher tax bracket, your focus may shift to minimizing taxes. You can lower your current income through contributions to your employer retirement plan, such as a traditional 401(k), 403(b) or 457(b).

You can also structure your investments in a tax-efficient manner. If you have a lot of investment income showing up on your return each year, it might make sense to shift some of those ordinary income holdings (like bonds) into IRAs or other retirement accounts that provide tax-deferred growth.

If youre quickly approaching an income threshold that will phase out your child tax credit, student loan interest deduction or real estate losses deduction, you can use the review time to see if you can lower your income to qualify for more tax perks.

[Read: Tax Breaks for People Over 50.]

Examine whether your withholding was done in the most efficient manner. If you ended up with a large tax refund, you may want to request a W-4 from human resources to adjust your tax withholding so that you can actually use those funds throughout the year rather than providing Uncle Sam with an interest-free loan. If you had a large tax bill due, you may also want to adjust your W-4 so that you do not have to scramble to find extra funds when April rolls around.

If you have reportable income from a side job, look into whether you could benefit from opening a solo retirement plan like a SEP IRA or solo 401(k). You may want to consult a tax professional to make sure you open the right retirement account for the 1099-MISC income you earn.

Make sure you take all possible deductions. Finding every adjustment or deduction that you are entitled to could lower your taxes in the future. A little advance planning can sometimes help you qualify for more deductions. Here are some ways you might be able to qualify for additional tax savings:

  • Maximize your contributions to charity.
  • See if there were any personal property taxes paid (like those on vehicles).
  • Consider loading up your health savings account.
  • Look for miscellaneous itemized deductions, such as unreimbursed employee expenses, investment advisory fees, tax preparation fees and safe deposit boxes.

Maximize workplace benefits. Your employer may offer opportunities for tax savings you can benefit from such as flexible spending accounts. FSAs can help cover medical and dependent care costs and save you money on taxes.

Another idea is to pay for your disability insurance premiums with after-tax money. This may sound counterintuitive, since typically you try to maximize tax savings as much as possible. But if you ever do become disabled and have to use the disability policy, the government will allow you to receive the insurance benefits tax-free if you made the premium payments without a tax deduction. The benefit outweighs the negligible current tax benefit.

[Read: 10 Financial Perks of Growing Older.]

Make your income tax return tie into your financial plan. Take a look at the big picture your tax return fits into. Think about the change from last year and what the coming year will look like.

If your financial life is very complicated and provides only a limited benefit for the headache or time invested, take steps to simplify your financial life. If you have many bank accounts, several rental properties or investment transactions that take days to enter on your return (thus increasing your tax preparation fees) with no tangible monetary benefit, its time to make some changes and streamline your situation.

While most people dont look forward to tax season, it can be a useful time of year to evaluate your financial progress. Take some time to review your return to use it as a tool moving forward. With a little advance planning you might be able to trim your tax bill and structure a more tax-efficient financial situation.

Brian Preston and Bo Hanson are fee-only financial planners who host the podcast, The Money-Guy Show.

Legislature votes to repeal Hall tax on investment income

The House and Senate voted Friday to repeal the states Hall tax on investment income, now at 6 percent, over a period the next six years at the rate of 1 percent per year.

From Richard Lockers report:

Gov. Bill Haslam said later he would have preferred a bill with just a one-time tax cut, from the current 6 percent to 5 percent, leaving any additional cuts to future legislatures depending on the states fiscal condition at the time. But he stopped short of saying whether he will sign it into law or veto it.

I would have been much more comfortable with having something that just did it this year, where we know what the states fiscal situation is every time we make that decision. But the General Assembly felt like it was good to put in a point certain (to totally repeal the tax) by 2022, the governor said during a post-session news conference with legislative leaders.

Like everything else, we will take it and study it and over the course of time will come back with a response, he said.

If Haslam approves the Hall tax bill, the tax rate drops from 6 to 5 percent effective with tax year 2016 on tax returns due by April 15, 2017. It also declares that the legislative intent is for the tax be reduced by 1 percentage point annually starting next year. The tax would be eliminated starting with tax year 2022.

The state Department of Revenue says 204,944 taxpayers filed Hall income tax returns for tax year 2014. (Returns for 2015 were due Monday and have not been fully compiled.) The average liability per 2014 return was $1,446. However, its worth noting that the median liability per return was $266, which means that half of the returns filed had a liability of $266 or less, said Revenue Department spokeswoman Kelly Nolan Cortesi.

Taxpayers 65 and older are exempt from the Hall tax if their total income from all sources is $68,000 or less for joint filers and $37,000 or less for single filers. In addition, the first $1,250 in taxable dividend and interest earnings for all single filers and the first $2,500 for all joint filers is tax-exempt.

The tax isnt levied on interest earnned on savings accounts, certificates of deposit, government bonds, credit unions, bank money-market accounts and dividends from bank stock, insurance companies, credit unions and other sources.

The Hall tax, enacted in 1929, generated total revenue of $303.4 million in fiscal year 2014-15 — $197.9 million to the state and $105.5 to cities and counties. Under the law, 62.5 percent of its revenue is retained by the state and 37.5 percent is sent to the municipality where the taxpayer resides — or to the county if the taxpayer lives in an unincorporated area.

Cities and counties that receive the most money opposed the absence of a provision for replacing the lost tax revenue.

Memphis received $14.8 million in Hall tax revenue in fiscal year 2015, Nashville $14.6 million, Knoxville $10 million, Knox County $3.3 million, Germantown $3.1 million, Belle Meade $2.1 million, Shelby County $1.5 million, Collierville $1.2 million and Williamson County $1.2 million, according to the Revenue Department.

Endurance Specialty Holdings Pockets $11 Mln in Q1 Net Investment Income After Mark-to-Market Losses Erode Gains …

Endurance Specialty Holdings Ltd. (NYSE:ENH) tonight said it is expecting around $11 million in Q1 net investment income, a return of 98 basis points on the total investment portfolio for the specialty casualty insurance and reinsurance. Net investment income during the three months ended March 31 was negative affected by around $28 million of mark-to-market losses for its other investment portfolio. Those losses also partially offset approximately $39 million of net investment income from the companys available-for-sale securities. Endurance Specialty is scheduled to report its complete Q1 financial results on May 2.

The stock is down 0.42% or $0.27 after the news, hitting $64.32 per share. About 181,053 shares traded hands. Endurance Specialty Holdings Ltd. (NYSE:ENH) has risen 3.61% since September 8, 2015 and is uptrending. It has underperformed by 2.13% the SP500.

Endurance Specialty Holdings Ltd., through its subsidiaries, underwrites specialty lines of personal and commercial property and casualty insurance and reinsurance worldwide. It operates in two segments, Insurance and Reinsurance. The Insurance segment provides agriculture insurance covering multi-peril crop insurance, crop hail, livestock risk protection, and other agriculture risk management products, as well as casualty insurance, healthcare liability insurance, and contract and commercial surety insurance.

This segment also offers professional lines of insurance products, including directorsÂ’ and officersÂ’ liability, errors and omissions, employment practices liability, environmental liability, fiduciary, and pension trust liability insurance; and property insurance, inland marine, ocean marine, marine war, energy, and aviation insurance. The Reinsurance segment provides catastrophe reinsurance for catastrophic perils primarily for property and workersÂ’ compensation business; property reinsurance for property insurance policies; and casualty reinsurance for third party liability exposures, such as automobile, general, and umbrella liabilities, as well as for workersÂ’ compensation. This segment also offers specialty line of business, including the reinsurance of aviation and space business, proportional and non-proportional reinsurance of hull and cargo insurance business, proportional and excess of loss coverages of contract and commercial surety business, personal accident coverages, political risk coverages, weather risk management products, and agriculture coverages for weather related perils, as well as protection from yield and price risks; and professional line of business reinsurance. The company distributes its products directly, as well as through independent agents, and insurance and reinsurance brokers. Endurance Specialty Holdings Ltd. was founded in 2001 and is based in Pembroke, Bermuda.

Argus Group’s ratings affirmed by AM Best

AM Best has affirmed the ratings of Bermudian insurance group Argus.

The agency gave Argus Insurance and Bermuda Life Insurance Company a financial strength rating of B++.

“The ratings affirmations reflect the Argus Group’s consolidated positive earnings, the strengthening of its capital metrics and improvement of its asset quality,” stated AM Best.

The agency added that Argus underwriting and net income results had been driven mostly by strong positive earnings in the employee benefits segment.

It added: “In addition, the Argus Group has been transitioning its investment portfolio to higher quality lower risk assets.

“As a result, asset valuation writedowns have been minimal and the stabilisation of the investment portfolio has resulted in stronger investment income.”

However, AM Best said Argus had been hit by an earnings decline due to rising interest rates on the value of the fixed income portfolio.

The agency report said that the impact of hurricanes Fay and Gonzalo in 2014 had affected the year-end results.

“Additionally, although the Argus Group is gradually growing its European property/casualty operation, the geographic diversification of consolidated premium and earnings remains low,” stated AM Best.

The agency also retained the two group subsidiaries issuer credit ratings of bbb-, and affirmed Argus Group’s issuer credit rating at bb-.

The outlook for all the ratings is stable.

Travelers Misses Q1 Earnings on Cat Losses, Ups Dividend

The Travelers Companies Inc.s (TRV – Analyst Report) first-quarter 2016 operating earnings of $2.33 per share missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $2.57 by 9.3%. Earnings also declined 7.9% year over year.

The decline in earnings can be attributed to higher catastrophe losses mainly due to the occurrence of hail storms in Texas in late March. Catastrophe losses dragged the bottom line by 69 cents per share in the quarter.

Quarter in Detail

Net written premiums rose 4.6% year over year to $6.2 billion. The company experienced higher levels of retention, new business volumes and positive renewal premium changes in each business segment in the quarter.

Net investment income declined around 8.1% year over year to $544 million. The downside was attributable to lesser returns in fixed income portfolio owing to lower reinvestment rates. Also, lesser returns in the non-fixed income portfolio due lower hedge fund returns hurt net investment income.

Total revenue of Travelers inched up 1% from the year-ago quarter to $6.7 billion. Revenues beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $6.6 billion by 1.8%.

Travelers underwriting gains plunged 31% to $428 million. Combined ratio deteriorated 340 basis points (bps) year over year to 92.3% on higher catastrophe losses and lower net favorable prior year reserve development, partially offset by a lower underlying combined ratio.

At the end of the first quarter, statutory capital and surplus was $20.6 billion and the debt-to-capital ratio (excluding after-tax net unrealized investment gains) was 22.1% comfortably within the companys target range of 1525%.

Adjusted book value per were $76.63 per share, increasing 7% year over year.

Segment Update

Travelers Business and International Insurance unit reported net written premiums of $3.9 billion, up 3.1% year over year.

Combined ratio deteriorated 150 bps year over year to 94.8%. The deterioration was attributable to higher catastrophe losses and a higher underlying combined ratio, partially offset by higher net favorable prior-year reserve development.

Operating income of $476 million decreased 7.6% on lower investment income and higher catastrophe losses.

Bond amp; Specialty Insurance: Net written premiums increased 3% year over year to $492 million on higher volume in Surety as well as increased retention rates, positive renewal premium changes and a rise in new business volume in Management Liability.

Combined ratio improved 680 bps year over year to 69.3%.

Operating income surged 16.1% year over year to $144 million due to higher net favorable prior-year reserve development and a higher underlying underwriting gain.

Personal Insurance: Net written premiums increased 8.5% year over year to $1.7 billion.

Combined ratio deteriorated 1020 bps year over year to 93.7% due to lower net favorable prior year reserve development and higher catastrophe losses, partially offset by a lower underlying combined ratio.

Operating income of $139 million plunged 44.8% due to higher catastrophe losses and lower net favorable prior year reserve development, partially offset by a higher underlying underwriting gain.

Dividend and Share Repurchase

The property amp; casualty (Pamp;C) insurer returned total capital of $790 million to its shareholders. This included the buyback of 5.6 million shares worth $609 million in the reported quarter.

The companys board of directors also approved a dividend hike of 10%, which translates to 67 cents per share. The dividend is payable on Jun 30, to shareholders on record at the close of business on Jun 10, 2016.

Zacks Rank and Performance of Other Pamp;C Insurers

Travelers currently holds a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). Some other Pamp;C insurers too recently released their first-quarter earnings results. While the bottom line at RLI Corp. (RLI – Analyst Report) and First American Financial Corp. (FAF – Snapshot Report) beat their respective Zacks Consensus Estimates, Progressive Corp. (PGR – Analyst Report) missed the same in the first quarter.

Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report

MGIC Investment (MTG) Lags Q1 Earnings: Stock to Suffer?

MGIC Investment Corporation (MTG – Analyst Report) reported first-quarter 2016 adjusted net income per share of 19 cents, which missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 23 cents by 17.4%.

Net income plunged 46.8% year on year from 32 cents per share due to a decline in net realized investment gains and higher losses.

Currently, the stock is trading at $7.11. We expect the release to lead to stock movement.

Operational Update

MGIC Investments total operating revenue of $256 million improved 4.9% year over year on higher premiums earned, investment income and other income. The top line however missed Zacks Consensus Estimate by 1.2%.

New insurance written was $8.3 billion in the reported quarter, down 7.7% from $9 billion in first-quarter 2015.

As of Mar 31, 2016, the companys primary insurance in force was $175 billion, up by 5.4% year on year, and covered approximately one million mortgages.

Persistency, or the percentage of insurance remaining in force from the year before, was 79.9% as of Mar 31, 2016 compared with 81.6% as of Mar 31, 2015.

Percentage of delinquent loans including bulk loans was 5.6% on Mar 31, 2016 against 7.4% on Mar 31, 2015.

Primary delinquent inventory declined 21.6% year over year to $55.6 billion.

Net underwriting and other expenses totaled $41.7 million, up 1.7% year over year.

Losses in the quarter widened 3.9% to $85 million. A $22 million reduction in losses in first quarter of 2015 was due to positive development on the companys primary loss reserve. This amount reduced to $5 million in the first quarter of 2016 thus reducing overall margins. Total losses and expenses increased 15.8% year over year to $154.9 million. This was partially offset by a 15.3% year-over-year decline in interest expenses to $14.7 million.

Financial Update

Book value per share, a measure of net worth, more than doubled year over year to $6.88 as of Mar 31, 2016 from $3.49 as of Mar 31, 2015.

As of Mar 31, 2016, MGIC Investment had approximately $4.6 billion in cash and investments, flat year over year.

In the first quarter, the company repurchased $138.3 million 5% convertible senior notes, due 2017, for $143.4 million plus accrued interest. MGIC Investment also bought $132.7 million par value of its 9% convertible junior debentures, due 2063, for $150.7 million plus accrued interest.

Zacks Rank and Stocks to Consider

MGIC Investment presently carries a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell). Some better-ranked stocks in the multiline insurance industry are (AXAHY – Snapshot Report), Metlife Inc. (MET – Analyst Report) and Swiss Reinsurance Company (SSREY – Snapshot Report). While AXA Group sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), both MetLifeand Swiss Reinsurance hold a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report gt;gt;

China Life forecasts Q1 profit halved on declining investment income

BEIJING, April 20 China Life Insurance Co Ltd
forecast on Wednesday a 55 percent to 60
percent tumble in its first-quarter net profit compared with the
same period a year earlier due to a drop in investment income.

A change of discount rate assumption of reserves of
traditional insurance contracts also caused the estimated profit
drop, Asia Pacifics biggest insurer by market value said in a
regulatory filing.

China Lifes net profit was 12.27 billion yuan ($1.9
billion) for the first quarter of 2015.

Chinas weakening economic growth and falling interest rates
are challenging life insurers profitability. As traditional
investment returns fall, some insurers aggressively increase
their exposures to equities and alternative investments to boost
income, which further builds up investment risks.

In March, Moodys changed its outlook for the Chinese life
insurance industry to negative from stable, citing Chinas lower
interest rates environment as the key threat for insurers
credit profiles.

Lower rates mean that the insurers – which derived 60
percent to 80 percent of their 2014 investment income from
interest income from deposits and fixed income securities –
will see a significant drop in investment yields, Moodys said
in a mid-March note.

Smaller Chinese life insurers with more aggressive risk
appetites could be more vulnerable to potentially significant
investment losses following Chinas stock market correction,
Fitch said in a January report.

China Life is due to report its first-quarter results next
($1 = 6.4655 Chinese yuan renminbi)

(Reporting By Shu Zhang and Matthew Miller; Editing by
Muralikumar Anantharaman)

First Trust Dynamic Europe Equity Income Fund Declares its Monthly Common Share Distribution of $0.121 Per Share …

The majority, and possibly all, of this distribution will be paid out of
net investment income earned by the Fund. A portion of this distribution
may come from net short-term realized capital gains or return of
capital. The final determination of the source and tax status of all
distributions paid in 2016 will be made after the end of 2016.

The Fund is a non-diversified, closed-end management investment company
that seeks to provide a high level of current income. As a secondary
objective, the Fund seeks to focus on capital appreciation. The Fund
will seek to achieve its investment objective by investing at least 80%
of its Managed Assets in a portfolio of equity securities of European
companies of any market capitalization, including, but not limited to,
common and preferred stocks that pay dividends, depositary receipts and
real estate investment trusts. The Fund will seek to focus its equity
investments on income-producing securities. The Fund will also seek to
utilize a dynamic currency hedging process, which will include, at the
discretion of the portfolio managers, the use of forward foreign
currency exchange contracts to hedge a portion of the Fund’s currency
exposure. To generate additional income, the Fund will write (or sell)
call options on portfolio equity securities and certain broad-based
securities indices in an amount up to 40% of the value of its Managed

First Trust Advisors LP, the Fund’s investment advisor, along with its
affiliate, First Trust Portfolios LP, are privately-held companies
which provide a variety of investment services, including asset
management and financial advisory services, with collective assets under
management or supervision of approximately $96 billion as of March 31,
2016 through unit investment trusts, exchange-traded funds, closed-end
funds, mutual funds and separate managed accounts.

Henderson Global Investors (North America) Inc. (“Henderson”) serves as
the Fund’s investment sub-advisor. Henderson is an indirect,
wholly-owned subsidiary of Henderson Group plc (“Henderson Group”), a
London-based global investment management firm that provides a full
spectrum of investment products and services to clients around the
world. First Trust Advisors LP and Henderson have engaged Henderson
Investment Management Limited, a registered investment adviser and an
indirect, wholly-owned subsidiary of Henderson Group, as the
sub-sub-advisor responsible for certain investment decisions of the
Fund. With offices in 19 cities and more than 1,000 employees worldwide,
Henderson Group managed approximately $135.6 billion in assets as of
December 31, 2015.

Past performance is no assurance of future results. Investment return
and market value of an investment in the Fund will fluctuate. Shares,
when sold, may be worth more or less than their original cost.

Principal Risk Factors: Investment in this Fund involves no operating
history risk, is not a complete investment program, investment and
market risk, market discount from net asset value risk, conversion risk,
non-diversified status risk, management risk and reliance on key
personnel, common stock risk, non-US securities risk, European markets
risk, emerging markets risk, foreign currency risk, geographic
concentration risk, market disruption and geopolitical risk,
redenomination risk, preferred stock risk, real estate investment trust
risk, credit and below investment grade securities risk, fixed income
securities risk, US government debt securities risk, non-US
Government debt securities risk, illiquid and restricted securities
risk, income risk, derivative transactions risk, option overlay strategy
risk, forward foreign currency exchange contracts risk, counterparty
risk, leverage risk, initial public offering (“IPO”) risk, quarterly
special distribution program risk, valuation risk, inflation/deflation
risk, portfolio turnover risk, potential conflicts of interest risk, tax
risk, risk related to anti-takeover provisions and secondary market for
the Fund’s common shares. The risks of investing in the Fund are spelled
out in the prospectus, shareholder reports and other regulatory filings.

The Fund’s daily closing New York Stock Exchange price and net asset
value per share as well as other information can be found at
or by calling 1-800-988-5891.

Donegal Group Reports $11.8M Q1 Net Income

Donegal Group Inc. reported net income of $11.8 million for the first quarter of 2016, a 73 percent increase over $6.9 million for the first quarter of 2015.

The Marietta, Pennsylvania-based insurer said net premiums written for the 2016 first quarter were $170.1 million ($85.3 million in personal lines and $84.8 million in commercial lines). Thats up 8.6 percent from $156.6 million ($80.9 million in personal lines and $75.7 million in commercial lines) during the same period in 2015.

The company said the increase in net premiums written reflects organic growth in both personal and commercial lines.

The GAAP combined ratio for the 2016 first quarter was 94.0 percent, improving from 98.8 percent a year ago.

Net investment income for the quarter was $5.5 million, a 12 percent jump from $4.9 million a year ago.

Donegal Group Chief Financial Officer Jeff Miller said during Wednesdays earnings conference call that both personal and commercial lines segments were profitable for the first quarter, as a result of decreased weather related claims, fewer large fire losses, and a general decline in the volume of the incoming casualty claims.

Miller said the major drivers of the premium growth were strong commercial lines in new business growth, an increase in personal lines policy count and modest premium rate increases in most business lines.

Further commenting on the weather, Miller said the companys weather-related losses of $6.9 million for the first quarter were lower compared to $8.8 million losses one year ago, and also lower than the $8.5 million average for the first quarters of the previous five years.

Our first quarter results have historically reflected the impact of winter weather claim activity and that was certainly the case last year when we experienced sub-freezing temperatures that contributed to frozen pipe claims, Miller said.

Fortunately, we did not experience a recurrence of such extreme temperatures in 2016.

And while there was a significant snow event in January and a wind event in February, Donegal Groups operating regions enjoyed relatively mild winter weather, he said.

Miller also said Donegal Group sustained very few large commercial fire losses during the first quarter. The company also saw a significant decline in the number of fire losses in its homeowners line.

We attribute the decrease to comparatively warmer temperatures in 2016, he said. Combination of decreases in both weather and fire losses led to excellent combined ratios in our commercial multi-peril and homeowners lines.

Commenting on pricing trends, Donegal Group President and CEO Kevin G. Burke said the company filed rate increases in the homeowners for the 2 percent-to-3.5 percent range, depending upon the state and subsidiary. Meanwhile, rate increases in personal auto ranged in the low single digits, depending upon the state and subsidiary.

And in commercial lines, renewal premium increases during the 2016 first quarter generally ranged from 3 percent to 5 percent. We continue to see opportunities to obtain modest renewal premium increases, Burke said, but there is increased competition for quality accounts.