Safety Insurance Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:SAFT) today reported first quarter 2011 results. Net loss for the quarter ended March 31, 2011 was $4.0 million, or $0.26 per diluted share, compared to net income of $12.8 million, or $0.85 per diluted share, for the comparable 2010 period. Safety’s book value per share decreased to $42.33 at March 31, 2011 from $43.37 at December 31, 2010. Safety paid $0.50 per share in dividends to investors during the quarter ended March 31, 2011 compared to $0.40 per share during the comparable 2010 period. Safety paid $1.80 per share in dividends to investors during the year ended December 31, 2010.
The quarter ended March 31, 2011 was marked by unusually severe winter weather in New England and the frequency and closeness of events combined to produce elevated catastrophe and non-catastrophe claims activity throughout our personal and commercial property lines. For the quarter ended March 31, 2011, loss and loss adjustment expenses incurred increased by $32.9 million, or 37.2%, to $121.6 million from $88.7 million for the comparable 2010 period. Loss, expense, and combined ratios calculated under U.S. generally accepted accounting principles for the quarter ended March 31, 2011 were 84.1%, 29.5%, and 113.6%, respectively, compared to 66.6%, 31.4%, and 98.0%, respectively, for the comparable 2010 period. Total prior year favorable development included in the pre-tax results for the quarter ended March 31, 2011 was $9.7 million compared to $12.5 million for the comparable 2010 period.
Direct written premiums for the quarter ended March 31, 2011 increased by $10.0 million, or 6.5%, to $164.1 million from $154.1 million for the comparable 2010 period. The 2011 increase occurred primarily in our personal automobile and homeowners business lines, both of which experienced an increase of 2.0% in average written premium per exposure and increases of 2.3% and 15.6%, respectively, in written exposures.
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