Tighter underwriting helped boost performance

Travelers has turned a 2008 third-quarter underwriting loss of $288m (£176.3m) into a $524m profit for the same period this year.

The US-based insurer, which has a Lloyd’s syndicate and Travelers UK business, said tighter underwriting helped to improve its performance. It improved its combined ratio from 104.7% to 89.7%.

Chairman Jay Fishman said: “These results were driven by underwriting profitability in each of our business segments and increased net investment income, as our non-fixed income portfolio yield improved to a positive level.

“We were once again successful in achieving positive renewal rate changes across all of our business segments, although net written premiums were down modestly, largely attributable to declining economic activity in recent quarters.”

The company repurchased $1bn of common shares in the third quarter.