DeRidder, LA – AMERISAFE, Inc. (Nasdaq: AMSF), a specialty provider of workers’ compensation insurance focused on high hazard industries, recently announced results for the third quarter ended September 30, 2019.
G. Janelle Frost, President and Chief Executive Officer, observed, “AMERISAFE continued to produce an attractive return on equity this quarter supported by favorable loss ratios and expense management. Our response to the soft insurance cycle hinged on our providing quality services with disciplined underwriting as competition and declining rates lowered premiums.”
Gross premiums written in the third quarter of 2019 decreased by $2.7 million, or 3.2%, compared with the third quarter of 2018, primarily due to lower voluntary premiums on policies written in the quarter, which were 8.6% lower than the third quarter of 2018.
Payroll audits and related premium adjustments increased premiums written by $2.0 million in the third quarter of 2019, compared to a decrease in premiums written of $2.1 million in the third quarter of 2018.
The current accident year loss ratio for the third quarter was 72.5%, unchanged from the first half of 2019, and an increase of 1.0 percentage point from the 71.5% ratio for accident year 2018. During the quarter, the Company experienced favorable net loss development for prior accident years, which reduced loss and loss adjustment expenses by $15.6 million, primarily from accident years 2014 through 2017.
For the quarter ended September 30, 2019, the underwriting expense ratio was 23.3% compared with 24.2% in the same quarter in 2018. The decrease in the expense ratio was due to lower loss based assessments, premium based assessments and commissions compared with the third quarter of 2018.
The effective tax rate for the quarter ended September 30, 2019 was 19.6%, compared with 19.5% for the third quarter of 2018.
Net investment income for the quarter ended September 30, 2019, increased 4.8% to $8.3 million from $7.9 million in the third quarter of 2018, due to slightly higher investment yields on fixed-income securities.
As of September 30, 2019, the carrying value of AMERISAFE’s investment portfolio, including cash and cash equivalents, was $1.2 billion.
In an accompanying press release the Company announced a special cash dividend of $3.50 per share, payable on November 20, 2019, to shareholders of record as of November 13, 2019.
In addition, the Company’s Board of Directors declared a regular quarterly cash dividend of $0.25 per share, payable on December 27, 2019 to shareholders of record as of December 13, 2019.
Book value per share at September 30, 2019 was $24.29, an increase of 14.3% from $21.26 at December 31, 2018.
The complete results release is available here: AMERISAFE Q3 2019 Results