| Source: Donegal Group, Inc. Donegal Group, Inc.
Marietta, Pennsylvania, UNITED STATES
MARIETTA, Pa., April 27, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Donegal Group Inc. (NASDAQ: DGICA) and (NASDAQ: DGICB) today reported its financial results for the first quarter of 2023.
Significant Items for First Quarter of 2023 (all comparisons to first quarter of 2022):
1The “Definitions of Non-GAAP and Operating Measures” section of this release defines and reconciles data that we prepare on an accounting basis other than U.S. generally accepted accounting principles (“GAAP”).
“We believe our solid premium growth in the first quarter of 2023 is a testament to the successful launch of our new personal lines product suite in 2022, solid independent agency relationships and superior claims handling capabilities and reputation. We remain cautious of the current macro-economic environment and ongoing impact of inflation. For our personal lines segment, we are taking actions to moderate our growth until we have better clarity on rate adequacy and stabilization of loss costs. For our commercial lines segment, we successfully deployed the next major release within our systems modernization project, which will add three commercial lines to our modernized operating platform for policies effective beginning in June 2023 in three states. The new lines include a new businessowners product as well as modernized commercial automobile and commercial umbrella products. We expect to roll out these new products in our remaining 21 states in the third quarter of 2023 and further expect that our enhanced capability to compete for small commercial accounts will generate additional premium growth as the year progresses.” said Kevin G. Burke, President and Chief Executive Officer.
He continued, “From a profitability standpoint, weather and large fire losses were elevated when compared to the prior-year quarter, but we experienced incremental improvement from prior consecutive quarters in 2022. While weather conditions within our operating region were close to average for the majority of the first quarter of 2023, claim activity from significant winds on the final day of the quarter pushed the weather impact above our previous five-year first quarter average. To combat ongoing inflationary pressures, we continue to implement substantial premium rate increases in nearly every line of business. We also believe that our ongoing strategic and transformational implementations, which are already yielding positive impact, will gain momentum and enhance long-term shareholder value creation.”
Donegal Group is an insurance holding company whose insurance subsidiaries and affiliates offer property and casualty lines of insurance in three Mid-Atlantic states (Delaware, Maryland and Pennsylvania), three New England states (Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont), six Southern states (Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia), eight Midwestern states (Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Nebraska, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin) and four Southwestern states (Colorado, New Mexico, Texas and Utah). Donegal Mutual Insurance Company and the insurance subsidiaries of Donegal Group conduct business together as the Donegal Insurance Group.
Net Premiums Written
The 8.6% increase in net premiums written for the first quarter of 2023 compared to the first quarter of 2022, as shown in the table above, represents 4.2% growth in commercial lines net premiums written and 17.7% growth in personal lines net premiums written. The $18.9 million increase in net premiums written for the first quarter of 2023 compared to the first quarter of 2022 included:
We evaluate the performance of our commercial lines and personal lines segments primarily based upon the underwriting results of our insurance subsidiaries as determined under statutory accounting practices. The following table presents comparative details with respect to the GAAP and statutory combined ratios1 for the three months ended March 31, 2023 and 2022:
For the first quarter of 2023, the loss ratio increased to 64.2%, compared to 59.2% for the first quarter of 2022. Weather-related losses were $14.1 million, or 6.5 percentage points of the loss ratio, for the first quarter of 2023, compared to $8.0 million, or 4.0 percentage points of the loss ratio, for the first quarter of 2022. The first quarter of 2023 weather-related losses included $3.8 million related to the impact of significant wind activity on the last day of the quarter. The weather-related loss impact for the first quarter of 2023 was higher than our previous five-year first-quarter average of $9.0 million, or 4.8 percentage points of the loss ratio.
Large fire losses, which we define as individual fire losses in excess of $50,000, for the first quarter of 2023 were $10.9 million, or 5.1 percentage points of the loss ratio. That amount was modestly higher than the large fire losses of $9.6 million, or 4.8 percentage points of the loss ratio, for the first quarter of 2022. A $4.6 million increase in commercial property fire losses was partially offset by a $3.2 million decrease in homeowner fire losses.
Net favorable development of reserves for losses incurred in prior accident years of $8.3 million decreased the loss ratio for the first quarter of 2023 by 3.9 percentage points, compared to $16.5 million that decreased the loss ratio for the first quarter of 2022 by 8.3 percentage points. Our insurance subsidiaries experienced favorable development primarily in the workers’ compensation, commercial automobile and commercial multi-peril lines of business in the first quarter of 2023, with the majority of the impact relating to reserves for accident years 2021 and 2020.
The expense ratio was 36.4% for the first quarter of 2022, compared to 35.8% for the first quarter of 2022. The increase in the expense ratio primarily reflected higher technology systems-related expenses for the first quarter of 2023 compared to the prior-year quarter. The increase in technology systems-related expenses was primarily due to increased costs as we continue implementations with respect to our ongoing systems modernization project, a portion of which are allocated from Donegal Mutual Insurance Company to our insurance subsidiaries.
Donegal Group’s investment strategy is to generate an appropriate amount of after-tax income on its invested assets while minimizing credit risk through investment in high-quality securities. As a result, we had invested 94.9% of our consolidated investment portfolio in diversified, highly rated and marketable fixed-maturity securities at March 31, 2023.
Net investment income of $9.4 million for the first quarter of 2023 increased 20.2% compared to $7.9 million for the first quarter of 2022. The increase in net investment income reflected primarily an increase in average investment yield relative to the prior-year first quarter.
Our book value per share was $15.01 at March 31, 2023, compared to $14.79 at December 31, 2022, with the increase partially related to $4.0 million of after-tax unrealized gains within our available-for-sale fixed-maturity portfolio during 2023 that increased our book value by $0.13 per share.
Definitions of Non-GAAP and Operating Measures
We prepare our consolidated financial statements on the basis of GAAP. Our insurance subsidiaries also prepare financial statements based on statutory accounting principles state insurance regulators prescribe or permit (“SAP”). In addition to using GAAP-based performance measurements, we also utilize certain non-GAAP financial measures that we believe provide value in managing our business and for comparison to the financial results of our peers. These non-GAAP measures are net premiums written, operating income or loss and statutory combined ratio.
Net premiums written and operating income or loss are non-GAAP financial measures investors in insurance companies commonly use. We define net premiums written as the amount of full-term premiums our insurance subsidiaries record for policies effective within a given period less premiums our insurance subsidiaries cede to reinsurers. We define operating income or loss as net income or loss excluding after-tax net investment gains or losses, after-tax restructuring charges and other significant non-recurring items. Because our calculation of operating income or loss may differ from similar measures other companies use, investors should exercise caution when comparing our measure of operating income or loss to the measure of other companies.
The following table provides a reconciliation of net premiums earned to net premiums written for the periods indicated:
The following table provides a reconciliation of net income to operating income for the periods indicated:
The statutory combined ratio is a non-GAAP standard measurement of underwriting profitability that is based upon amounts determined under SAP. The statutory combined ratio is the sum of:
The statutory combined ratio does not reflect investment income, federal income taxes or other non-operating income or expense. A statutory combined ratio of less than 100% generally indicates underwriting profitability.
On April 20, 2023, we declared regular quarterly cash dividends of $0.17 per share for our Class A common stock and $0.1525 per share for our Class B common stock, which are payable on May 15, 2023 to stockholders of record as of the close of business on May 1, 2023.
At approximately 8:30 am EST on Thursday, April 27, 2023, we will make available in the Investors section of our website a pre-recorded audio webcast featuring management commentary and a question and answer session. You may listen to the pre-recorded webcast by accessing the link on our website at http://investors.donegalgroup.com. A supplemental investor presentation is also available via our website.
About the Company
Donegal Group Inc. is an insurance holding company whose insurance subsidiaries and affiliates offer property and casualty lines of insurance in certain Mid-Atlantic, Midwestern, New England, Southern and Southwestern states. Donegal Mutual Insurance Company and the insurance subsidiaries of Donegal Group Inc. conduct business together as the Donegal Insurance Group. The Donegal Insurance Group has an A.M. Best rating of A (Excellent).
The Class A common stock and Class B common stock of Donegal Group Inc. trade on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the symbols DGICA and DGICB, respectively. We are focused on several primary strategies, including achieving sustained excellent financial performance, strategically modernizing our operations and processes to transform our business, capitalizing on opportunities to grow profitably and delivering a superior experience to our agents and customers.
We base all statements contained in this release that are not historic facts on our current expectations. Such statements are forward-looking in nature (as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995) and necessarily involve risks and uncertainties. Forward-looking statements we make may be identified by our use of words such as “will,” “expect,” “intend,” “plan,” “anticipate,” “believe,” “seek,” “estimate” and similar expressions. Our actual results could vary materially from our forward-looking statements. The factors that could cause our actual results to vary materially from the forward-looking statements we have previously made include, but are not limited to, adverse litigation and other trends that could increase our loss costs (including labor shortages and escalating medical, automobile and property repair costs), adverse and catastrophic weather events (including from changing climate conditions), our ability to maintain profitable operations (including our ability to underwrite risks effectively and charge adequate premium rates), prolonged economic challenges resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, the adequacy of the loss and loss expense reserves of our insurance subsidiaries, the availability and successful operation of the information technology systems our insurance subsidiaries utilize, the successful development of new information technology systems to allow our insurance subsidiaries to compete effectively, business and economic conditions in the areas in which we and our insurance subsidiaries operate, interest rates, competition from various insurance and other financial businesses, terrorism, the availability and cost of reinsurance, legal and judicial developments (including those related to COVID-19 business interruption coverage exclusions), changes in regulatory requirements, our ability to attract and retain independent insurance agents, changes in our A.M. Best rating and the other risks that we describe from time to time in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. We disclaim any obligation to update such statements or to announce publicly the results of any revisions that we may make to any forward-looking statements to reflect the occurrence of anticipated or unanticipated events or circumstances after the date of such statements.
Investor Relations Contacts
Karin Daly, Vice President, The Equity Group Inc.
Phone: (212) 836-9623
Jeffrey D. Miller, Executive Vice President & Chief Financial Officer
Phone: (717) 426-1931