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Baldwin & Lyons Announces Results For Quarter And Twelve Months

Premiums written and assumed for the twelve months of 2012 totaled a record $341.3 million, as the planned reductions in volume from private passenger automobile, commercial multi-peril and property reinsurance businesses were more than offset with higher premium from fleet transportation, primary professional liability and casualty reinsurance products.

Net premium earned of $61.4 million for the fourth quarter of 2012 was 4% lower than the record premium earned in the fourth quarter of 2011. The majority of this decline was related to the planned reductions in the products lines mentioned above, most notably the property products within the reinsurance segment. For the twelve months, earned premium decreased 3% to $237.5 million, as planned product reductions and reinsurance treaty changes were largely offset by increased premium written in fleet transportation and other product groups.

The Company's consolidated combined ratio for the fourth quarter was 93.8%, before consideration of fee income. Including fee income, underwriting income was $4.3 million, producing a combined ratio of 93.0%. All major product groups were profitable for the quarter including property reinsurance. With the property reinsurance program changes instituted in the past year and purchased reinsurance protection, superstorm Sandy was essentially a non-event for the Company. Reinsurance recoveries and reinstatement premium offset expected Sandy losses to produce a nearly zero effect on the Company's results. For the twelve months, the consolidated combined ratio was 88.9%, producing twelve month record underwriting income of $26.3 million before consideration of fee income, and $28.6 million, also a record of 88.0%, after consideration of fees. Profitability from all major product groups, combined with the lack of any major catastrophic losses to the Company, contributed to the favorable annual results. Pre-tax operating income for the twelve months, before investment income, totaled a record $27.7 million.

While investment income for the fourth quarter rallied 3% over the prior year primarily due to the acceleration of dividends paid on many equity security holdings, investment income continues to suffer from historically low available yields. Pre-tax investment income for the full year was 7% lower than 2011 and after-tax investment income was 9% lower despite the fact that cash flow from operations remained positive at $58.9 million for the year. Realized gains in the fourth quarter were modest but $9 million in pre-tax realized gains were produced for the year.

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