Specialty re/insurer Argo Group has reported a fourth quarter 2020 net loss of $19.7 million, up from the $103.3 million loss posted for the prior year quarter.
Operating loss in the fourth quarter was $18.2 million compared to an operating loss of $73.9 million for the prior year quarter.
The company’s combined ratio in Q4 improved to 110% against 126% in 2019.
Total catastrophe losses were $51 million, of which $38.3 million was related to natural catastrophes and $12.7 million was related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Approximately half of the reported natural catastrophe losses were due to events that happened late in the third quarter.
Net investment income of $33.7 million decreased 1.5% compared to the 2019 fourth quarter. Net investment income excluding alternatives decreased 30.3% to $23.5 million.
Net unfavorable reserve development, which for the fourth consecutive quarter was modest for the 2020 fourth quarter at $1.6 million, or 0.3 points compared with $76.5 million or 17.9 points in the prior year quarter.
“We are encouraged by the improved underlying margins of our business during the quarter, as well as the actions taken to create a more focused and efficient company,” said Argo Chief Executive Officer Kevin J. Rehnberg.
“While heightened 2020 catastrophe and COVID-19 losses resulted in a disappointing financial outcome, we made significant progress on our strategic objectives and achieved meaningful growth in most of our top-performing businesses – including Argo Pro, Construction and Inland Marine.
“We expect a sustained positive growth trajectory and continued benefits from market conditions throughout 2021, with the capital to meet those opportunities.”