Our reinsurance segment reported gross premiums written of $318 million in the quarter, down 7% from the third quarter of 2011 and driven by our catastrophe and property lines of business. For the nine months ended September 30, 2012, gross premiums written were $1.7 billion, down 9% from the comparable period in 2011 largely as a result of the repositioning of our catastrophe reinsurance portfolio throughout the year.
Our reinsurance segment reported underwriting income of $79 million for the quarter, compared to $50 million for the third quarter of 2011. The segment’s combined ratio decreased from 89.5% in the third quarter of 2011 to 83.1% for the current quarter. This included a reduction in the current accident year loss ratio from 73.5% in the third quarter of 2011 to 61.6% this quarter, with the difference largely attributable to a significant decrease in the level of natural catastrophe-related losses. Third quarter 2011 results included aggregate pre-tax net losses (net of reinstatement premiums) of $50 million, or 10.8 points, related to Danish flooding, Hurricane Irene and first half 2011 catastrophe events. Comparatively, during the third quarter of 2012, we recognized aggregate pre-tax net losses (net of reinstatement premiums) of $40 million resulting from the impact of severe drought conditions on U.S. crops, $10 million for Hurricane Isaac and a combined $22 million reduction in our estimate for first and second quarter 2012 U.S. weather events; in aggregate, this contributed 6.1 points to the ratio. The remaining decrease in the third quarter current accident year loss ratio was driven by reduced exposure and loss experience related to aggregate property reinsurance of regional insurance companies in the U.S. Net favorable prior period reserve development was $29 million, or 6.3 points, this quarter compared with $46 million, or 9.7 points, in the third quarter of 2011. For the nine months ended September 30, 2012, our reinsurance segment reported underwriting income of $226 million, compared with an underwriting loss of $355 million for the comparable period of 2011. The significant decrease in the level of natural catastrophe activity was the primary driver of this variance.