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Cincinnati Financial's CEO Discusses Q2 2012 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

Commercial Lines renewal pricing moved somewhat higher in the second quarter compared with the first. Overall, average increases were in the mid single-digit range, including the blending effect of three year policies. Renewals of workers compensation and smaller commercial property policies again experienced stronger pricing during the second quarter than most of our other lines of business.

Our Excess and Surplus line segment had a higher renewal price for the 22 consecutive month, again in a high single-digit range. And personalized premiums continued to experience rate increases over successive years with renewal premiums up 11% for the second quarter and first half of 2012.

Policy retention for Commercial and Personal Lines continues to remain steady in its contribution to total written premiums. The contribution of new businesses is increasing in significance, reflecting benefits from both higher pricing and the cumulative effect of new agency appointments.

Property Casualty new business premiums in the second quarter were 12% higher than a year ago. Recently appointed agencies again drove that growth. As of June 30, we have appointed 93 new agencies on pace toward a full-year target of 130.

Our pricing analytics and modeling tools indicate that our new business pricing is adequate and stronger overall than for our renewal business. These tools help us determine when to walk away from business that we believe is underpriced as well as when to have the confidence to compete for good accounts.

We are studying our property book of business and identifying opportunities to improve underwriting results for the property lines. Our approach is similar to the multifaceted effort that has been improving our workers compensation results. We've already put in place some of the pieces and in the future we will further discuss plans and progress.

Over time, we'll also benefit from earning the rate increases we've taken on property coverages. On a written premium basis in recent quarters, those property rate increases have outpaced the increase that's taken on much of our non-property business.

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