General Casualty: reports strong first quarter financial results

Contact:
Anne M. Smith
Communications Manager

Phone: (608) 825-5498

E-mail: [email protected]

(Sun Prairie, Wis.) — General Casualty Insurance Companies recently reported outstanding first quarter financial results, which represent a strong showing compared to current U.S. insurance industry projections* and further build on the company’s solid 2004 performance.

General Casualty reported a first quarter statutory combined ratio of 91.7 percent.** First quarter revenues were steady at $304.6 million in direct premiums written.

“General Casualty had a great start to 2005, not only achieving financial success but also making significant strides in a number of areas that pave the way for a successful future,” said Pete McPartland, president and CEO. “We achieved strong results across all major lines of business, and our business units have further enhanced our ability to deliver efficient, high-quality service to our agents and policyholders.”

The company has continued to introduce new products and services for agents and customers in its newest region in the South, which was formerly sister company Southern Guaranty. It has nearly completed product and system conversion in its Eastern Region, a process begun three years ago with the acquisition of Blue Ridge Insurance Company, and is actively growing its business in key areas of Connecticut, Pennsylvania and New York. General Casualty also recently made changes in its personal lines operations which will enable the company to service policies and expand its personal lines book more efficiently.

These positive results build on the company’s successful 2004 year-end results, when General Casualty reported a statutory combined ratio of 98.4 percent and total direct written premiums of $1.19 million.

Winterthur U.S. Holdings, Inc., also based in Sun Prairie and parent company for General Casualty and Unigard Insurance Companies (Bellevue, Wash.), also recorded stellar first quarter results. The group reported pre-tax net income of $60 million for first quarter 2005. In 2004 WUSH reported pre-tax net income of $133.7 million and a policyholders’ surplus balance of $811.7.

* Conning and Research Consulting, Inc., in a forecast published earlier this year, projected a 2005 combined ratio for the industry of 99.0.

**The combined ratio (calculated according to statutory accounting principles) is a key industry measure of underwriting profitability, excluding investment income, which is calculated by comparing incurred losses to earned premium and expenses to written premium. The lower the combined ratio is, the more profitable the company. A combined ratio of 100 means that for every premium dollar, the company paid out an equal amount (one dollar) in claims and expenses.

Note to the editor: General Casualty Insurance Companies, headquartered in Sun Prairie, has insured autos, homes and businesses since 1925. General Casualty markets its products through 1,500 independent insurance agencies in 25 states. The company has built a reputation for exceptional claims service and financial strength, consistently earning high ratings from insurance analyst A.M. Best. General Casualty employs 1,800 people in 15 offices and reported direct written premiums of $1.2 billion in 2004. For more information visit generalcasualty.com.

The company’s 2004 annual report is available in printed form and as a downloadable PDF on generalcasualty.com.

General Casualty is a member of Winterthur U.S. Holdings, Inc. (WUSH), based in Sun Prairie, which oversees and provides business services to General Casualty (Sun Prairie) and Unigard (Bellevue, Wash.). Winterthur’s U.S. operations recorded direct written premiums last year of $1.5 billion and employ 2,200 people in offices throughout the U.S.

Winterthur Group is a leading Swiss insurance company with head office in Winterthur. As an international company, the Group provides a broad range of property and liability insurance products, as well as insurance solutions in life and pensions that are tailored to the individual needs of private and corporate clients. Winterthur Group has approximately 19,500 employees worldwide. The company achieved a premium volume of CHF 21.4 billion in 2004 and reported assets under management of CHF 139.6 billion as of December 31, 2004.

Credit Suisse Group is a leading global financial services company headquartered in Zurich. It provides private clients and small and medium-sized companies with private banking and financial advisory services, and pension and insurance solutions from Winterthur. In the area of investment banking, it serves global institutional, corporate, government and individual clients in its role as a financial intermediary. Credit Suisse Group’s registered shares (CSGN) are listed in Switzerland and in the form of American Depositary Shares (CSR) in New York. The Group employs around 60,000 staff worldwide. As of December 31, 2004, it reported assets under management of CHF 1,220.7 billion.

This news release may contain forward-looking statements as described in our corporate disclosure on forward-looking information. For a complete copy of our corporate statement please go to generalcasualty.com/aboutgc/newsCenter/forward.htm.