At that time, some responses may be made by others in the room with us, including Executive Committee Chairman, Jack Schiff Jr.; Chairman of the Board, Ken Stecher; Executive Vice President, J.F. Scherer; Principal Accounting Officer, Eric Matthews; Chief Investment Officer, Marty Hollenbeck; and Chief Claims Officer, Marty Mullen.
Please note that some of the matters to be discussed today are forward-looking. These forward-looking statements involve certain risks and uncertainties. With respect to these risks and uncertainties, we direct your attention to our news release and to our various filings with the SEC. Also a reconciliation of non-GAAP measures was provided with the news release. Statutory accounting data is prepared in accordance with statutory accounting rules, and therefore is not reconciled to GAAP.
With that, I'll turn the call over to Steve.
Steven JohnstonThank you, Dennis. Good morning and thank you for joining us today. My comments on the second quarter parallel several I made at our last earnings call. Investment income remained steady and our investment portfolio continues to grow. Mike will discuss investment details in a few moments. Underwriting performance before the effects of catastrophes was very much improved compared with the year ago, similar to recent quarters. On the other hand catastrophe losses continued above historical norms for us and for many in our industry. Previously announced second quarter catastrophe losses added nearly 18 points to our combined ratio. Improved underwriting performance in part reflected pricing for property casualty policies that continue to increase. Overall, pricing was up a bit from the first quarter. Each of our Property Casualty segments again had healthy levels of net written premium growth. They each grew at a double-digit pace during the second quarter and our Life Insurance segments earned premium rose likewise. Factoring out reinsurance effects property casualty written premiums rose 12%, and were satisfied because more precise and overall higher pricing was a large contributor.