“Sugarcoated” the news was not; so, I’m guessing the “right people” took note of Sam Friedman’s View from the Pressbox:
There is a phrase in journalism called “burying the lead,” meaning you fail to put the most important part of the news story right up in the first paragraph. When reporters do this, it’s just poor or lazy writing. But when sources are guilty of this sin in their press releases, it’s called “spin”–putting the best face on bad news. That’s the case with the latest industry-wide financial results reported by ISO and PCI.
Indeed, the two groups chose to “lead” with reassurances that the industry remains in good financial shape, boasting that insurers have $437.1 billion in policyholder surplus, $554.4 billion in loss and loss adjustment expense reserves to cover claims that already were filed, and another $201.5 billion in unearned premium reserves to cover losses arising during policies in effect on March 31.
It’s hard to spin a $1.3 billion first-quarter loss—the worst results it has recorded in more than 20 years, the Insurance Services Office said. The numbers are not hard to believe; but, whether they tell the whole story is an entirely different matter.
Jersey City, N.J.-based ISO said the p&c industry recorded net loss after taxes for the first three months of this year compared to net income of $8.5 billion for the same period last year.
The poor results were blamed on a combination of losses on underwriting and deterioration in investment results…ISO said the industry saw a net loss after taxes on annualized overall rate of return on average policyholders surplus. The overall rate of return on surplus dropped to negative 1.2 percent for the first quarter of this year compared to a positive 6.6 percent for the same period last year…ISO reported that net written premiums, on a comparative basis, dropped close to 4 percent, or $4 billion, to $106.4 billion. Net earned premiums declined 2 percent, or $2.3 billion, to $1.5.6 billion.