Old Republic Declines as Claims Costs Fuel Insurer’s Loss

Jan. 24 (Bloomberg) -- Old Republic International Corp., the insurer that stopped selling coverage backing home loans, fell the most since October after posting a fourth-quarter loss on an increase in claims costs.

The insurer dropped 4.8 percent to $11.10 at 4 p.m. in New York, the second-biggest decline in the 83-company Standard and Poor’s Midcap Financials Index.

The net loss was $20.2 million, and compares with a profit of $55.2 million a year earlier, the Chicago-based insurer said in a statement today. The company spent 99.7 cents of every premium dollar on claims and expenses, up from 91.7 a year earlier, at its main businesses.

“Higher loss costs for the aggregated commercial automobile, general liability, and workers’ compensation coverages were most responsible for this uptrend,” the company said in the statement. “Workers’ compensation produced the greatest adverse impact.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Elizabeth Bunn in New York at ebunn1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dan Kraut at dkraut2@bloomberg.net