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UNITED STATES
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549
_________________________
FORM 10-Q
(Mark One)
QUARTERLY REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the quarterly period ended March 31, 2024
OR
TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the transition period from ___________    to ___________

Commission File No. 001-12257
 ______________________________
MERCURY GENERAL CORPORATION
(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)
 ________________________________
California95-2211612
(State or other jurisdiction of
incorporation or organization)
(I.R.S. Employer
Identification No.)
4484 Wilshire Boulevard
Los Angeles, California90010
(Address of principal executive offices)(Zip Code)
Registrant’s telephone number, including area code: (323937-1060
 _______________________________
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:
Title of Each ClassTrading Symbol(s)Name of Each Exchange on Which Registered
Common StockMCYNew York Stock Exchange
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days.    Yes      No  
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit such files).    Yes  ☒    No 
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, a smaller reporting company, or an emerging growth company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer,” “smaller reporting company,” and "emerging growth company" in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act. 
Large accelerated filer  Accelerated filer
Non-accelerated filer  Smaller reporting company
Emerging growth company
If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act.
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in the Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act).    Yes ☐    No  
At April 25, 2024, the registrant had issued and outstanding an aggregate of 55,371,127 shares of its Common Stock.




MERCURY GENERAL CORPORATION
INDEX TO FORM 10-Q
 
  Page
Item 1
Item 2
Item 3
Item 4
Item 1
Item 1A
Item 2
Item 3
Item 4
Item 5
Item 6
2

PART I - FINANCIAL INFORMATION
 
Item 1. Financial Statements

MERCURY GENERAL CORPORATION AND SUBSIDIARIES
CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS
(in thousands)

March 31, 2024December 31, 2023
 (unaudited) 
ASSETS
Investments, at fair value:
Fixed maturity securities (amortized cost $4,574,492; $4,394,983)
$4,489,552 $4,319,336 
Equity securities (cost $690,856; $654,939)
801,108 730,693 
Short-term investments (cost $163,454; $179,375)
162,466 178,491 
Total investments5,453,126 5,228,520 
Cash530,085 550,903 
Receivables:
Premiums682,473 607,025 
       Allowance for credit losses on premiums receivable (5,800)(5,300)
             Premiums receivable, net of allowance for credit losses676,673 601,725 
Accrued investment income61,198 59,128 
Other30,040 25,603 
Total receivables767,911 686,456 
Reinsurance recoverables (net of allowance for credit losses $0; $12)
29,964 31,947 
Deferred policy acquisition costs307,938 293,844 
Fixed assets (net of accumulated depreciation $330,764; $322,729)
152,462 151,183 
Operating lease right-of-use assets14,371 14,406 
Current income taxes 4,081 
Deferred income taxes31,367 33,013 
Goodwill42,796 42,796 
Other intangible assets, net8,353 8,333 
Other assets57,595 57,915 
Total assets$7,395,968 $7,103,397 
LIABILITIES AND SHAREHOLDERS’ EQUITY
Loss and loss adjustment expense reserves$2,859,220 $2,785,702 
Unearned premiums1,854,184 1,735,660 
Notes payable573,829 573,729 
Accounts payable and accrued expenses178,086 175,219 
Operating lease liabilities14,425 14,231 
Current income taxes6,628  
Other liabilities305,569 270,711 
Total liabilities5,791,941 5,555,252 
Commitments and contingencies
Shareholders’ equity:
Common stock without par value or stated value:
       Authorized 70,000 shares; issued and outstanding 55,371; 55,371
98,947 98,947 
 Retained earnings1,505,080 1,449,198 
Total shareholders’ equity1,604,027 1,548,145 
Total liabilities and shareholders’ equity$7,395,968 $7,103,397 

See accompanying Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements.
3

MERCURY GENERAL CORPORATION AND SUBSIDIARIES
CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF OPERATIONS
(in thousands, except per share data)
(unaudited)
 
 Three Months Ended March 31,
 20242023
Revenues:
Net premiums earned$1,166,679 $1,004,704 
Net investment income 65,018 51,973 
Net realized investment gains38,192 49,008 
Other4,196 894 
Total revenues1,274,085 1,106,579 
Expenses:
Losses and loss adjustment expenses903,965 929,529 
Policy acquisition costs196,040 164,507 
Other operating expenses77,087 69,690 
Interest7,773 4,931 
Total expenses1,184,865 1,168,657 
Income (loss) before income taxes89,220 (62,078)
Income tax expense (benefit) 15,758 (16,790)
Net income (loss)$73,462 $(45,288)
Net income (loss) per share:
Basic$1.33 $(0.82)
Diluted $1.33 $(0.82)
Weighted average shares outstanding:
Basic55,371 55,371 
Diluted55,372 55,371 






















 

See accompanying Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements.
4

MERCURY GENERAL CORPORATION AND SUBSIDIARIES
CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF SHAREHOLDERS’ EQUITY
(in thousands)
(unaudited)

 Three Months Ended March 31,
 20242023
Common stock, beginning of period$98,947 $98,947 
Common stock, end of period98,947 98,947 
Retained earnings, beginning of period1,449,198 1,423,184 
Net income (loss)73,462 (45,288)
Dividends paid to shareholders(17,580)(17,580)
Retained earnings, end of period1,505,080 1,360,316 
Total shareholders’ equity, end of period$1,604,027 $1,459,263 


































See accompanying Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements.
5

MERCURY GENERAL CORPORATION AND SUBSIDIARIES
CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF CASH FLOWS
(in thousands)
(unaudited)
 Three Months Ended March 31,
 20242023
CASH FLOWS FROM OPERATING ACTIVITIES
Net income (loss) $73,462 $(45,288)
Adjustments to reconcile net income to net cash provided by operating activities:
Depreciation and amortization17,337 17,411 
Net realized investment gains(38,192)(49,008)
Net losses on sales of fixed assets 1,784 
(Increase) decrease in premiums receivable(74,948)3,085 
Decrease (increase) in reinsurance recoverables1,983 (6,831)
Changes in current and deferred income taxes12,355 (16,791)
(Increase) decrease in deferred policy acquisition costs(14,094)84 
Increase in loss and loss adjustment expense reserves73,518 92,651 
Increase in unearned premiums118,524 5,690 
Increase in accounts payable and accrued expenses3,615 442 
Other, net19,066 14,944 
Net cash provided by operating activities192,626 18,173 
CASH FLOWS FROM INVESTING ACTIVITIES
Fixed maturity securities available for sale in nature:
Purchases(419,763)(175,292)
Sales116,837 97,702 
Calls or maturities114,300 52,898 
Equity securities available for sale in nature:
Purchases(399,522)(297,805)
Sales365,377 320,113 
Calls7,185  
Changes in securities payable and receivable10,783 (37,650)
Decrease (increase) in short-term investments 16,151 (23,435)
Purchases of fixed assets(10,271)(8,685)
Sales of fixed assets 1,008 
Other, net4,044 1,646 
Net cash used in investing activities(194,879)(69,500)
CASH FLOWS FROM FINANCING ACTIVITIES
Dividends paid to shareholders(17,580)(17,580)
Payments on finance lease obligations(985)(489)
Proceeds from bank borrowing 50,000 
Net cash (used in) provided by financing activities(18,565)31,931 
Net decrease in cash(20,818)(19,396)
Cash:
Beginning of the year550,903 289,776 
End of period$530,085 $270,380 
SUPPLEMENTAL CASH FLOW DISCLOSURE
Interest paid$11,741 $8,315 
Income taxes paid, net$3,404 $ 






See accompanying Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements.
6

MERCURY GENERAL CORPORATION AND SUBSIDIARIES
NOTES TO CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS
(unaudited)

1. General

Consolidation and Basis of Presentation
The interim consolidated financial statements include the accounts of Mercury General Corporation and its subsidiaries (referred to herein collectively as the “Company”). For the list of the Company’s subsidiaries, see Note 1. Summary of Significant Accounting Policies of the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements in the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2023. These interim financial statements have been prepared in conformity with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles (“GAAP”), which differ in some respects from those filed in reports to insurance regulatory authorities. The financial data of the Company included herein are unaudited. In the opinion of management, all material adjustments of a normal recurring nature have been made to present fairly the Company’s financial position at March 31, 2024 and the results of operations and cash flows for the periods presented. All intercompany transactions and balances have been eliminated.

Certain financial information that is normally included in annual financial statements prepared in accordance with GAAP, but that is not required for interim reporting purposes, has been omitted from the accompanying interim consolidated financial statements and related notes. Readers are urged to review the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2023 for more complete descriptions and discussions. Operating results and cash flows for the three months ended March 31, 2024 are not necessarily indicative of the results that may be expected for the year ending December 31, 2024.

Certain prior period amounts have been reclassified to conform to the current period presentation.

Use of Estimates
The preparation of financial statements in conformity with GAAP requires management to make estimates and assumptions that affect the reported amounts of assets and liabilities, disclosures of contingent assets and liabilities at the date of the financial statements, and the reported amounts of revenues and expenses during the reporting period. These estimates require the Company to apply complex assumptions and judgments, and often the Company must make estimates about the effects of matters that are inherently uncertain and will likely change in subsequent periods. The most significant assumptions in the preparation of these consolidated financial statements relate to reserves for losses and loss adjustment expenses ("LAE"). Actual results could differ from those estimates. See Note 1. Summary of Significant Accounting Policies of the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements in the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2023.
Earnings (Loss) per Share
There were no potentially dilutive securities with anti-dilutive effect for the three months ended March 31, 2024. Potentially dilutive securities representing 17,500 shares of common stock were excluded from the computation of diluted loss per share for the three months ended March 31, 2023, because their effect would have been anti-dilutive.
Dividends per Share
The Company declared and paid a dividend per share of $0.3175 during each of the three-month periods ended March 31, 2024 and 2023.
Deferred Policy Acquisition Costs
Deferred policy acquisition costs consist of commissions paid to outside agents, premium taxes, salaries, and certain other underwriting costs that are incremental or directly related to the successful acquisition of new and renewal insurance contracts and are amortized over the life of the related policy in proportion to premiums earned. Deferred policy acquisition costs are limited to the amount that will remain after deducting from unearned premiums and anticipated investment income, the estimated losses and loss adjustment expenses, and the servicing costs that will be incurred as premiums are earned. The Company’s deferred policy acquisition costs are further limited by excluding those costs not directly related to the successful acquisition of insurance contracts. Deferred policy acquisition cost amortization was $196.0 million and $164.5 million for the three months ended March 31, 2024 and 2023, respectively. The Company does not defer advertising expenditures but expenses them as incurred. The Company recorded net advertising expense of approximately $3.3 million and $1.9 million for the three months ended March 31, 2024 and 2023, respectively.

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Fixed Assets

A fixed asset classified as held for sale is measured at the lower of its carrying amount or fair value less cost to sell, and is presented separately from other fixed assets. An office building located in Brea, California was classified as a property held for sale at September 30, 2023, and $10.8 million of the property held for sale, which represented the carrying amount of the property on that date, was included in other assets in the Company's consolidated balance sheets at March 31, 2024. The Company is actively engaged in selling this office building as most of its employees currently work from home and this property is being used on a limited basis.

Reinsurance

Unearned premiums and loss and loss adjustment expense reserves are stated in the accompanying consolidated financial statements before deductions for ceded reinsurance. Unearned premiums and loss and loss adjustment expense reserves that are ceded to reinsurers are carried in other assets and reinsurance recoverables, respectively, in the Company's consolidated balance sheets. Earned premiums and losses and loss adjustment expenses are stated net of deductions for ceded reinsurance.
The Company is the assuming reinsurer under a Catastrophe Participation Reinsurance Contract (the "Contract") effective through December 31, 2025. The Company reimburses up to $30 million in losses for a proportional share of a portfolio of catastrophe losses under the Contract, to the extent the actual loss ratio exceeds the threshold loss ratio of 73.5%. If the actual loss ratio is less than the threshold loss ratio, the Company is eligible to receive a certain portion of the underwriting profit.

The Company is party to a Catastrophe Reinsurance Treaty (the "Treaty") covering a wide range of perils that is effective through June 30, 2024. The Treaty provides $1,111 million of coverage on a per occurrence basis after covered catastrophe losses exceed the $100 million Company retention limit and 95% of such losses between $100 million and $140 million are retained by the Company. The Treaty specifically excludes coverage for any Florida business and for California earthquake losses on fixed property policies, such as homeowners, but does cover losses from fires following an earthquake. The Treaty provides for one full reinstatement of coverage limits with a minor exception at certain upper layers of coverage, and includes some additional minor territorial and coverage restrictions.

The effect of reinsurance on property and casualty premiums written and earned was as follows:

Three Months Ended March 31,
20242023
 (Amounts in thousands)
Premiums Written
Direct $1,294,475 $1,012,238 
Ceded(31,299)(23,391)
Assumed15,159 15,031 
     Net$1,278,335 $1,003,878 
Premiums Earned
Direct$1,186,585 $1,016,870 
Ceded(31,079)(23,198)
Assumed3,863 3,890 
     Net$1,159,369 $997,562 

The Company recognized ceded premiums earned of approximately $31.1 million and $23.2 million for the three months ended March 31, 2024 and 2023, respectively, which are included in net premiums earned in its consolidated statements of operations. The Company recognized ceded losses and loss adjustment expenses of approximately $(0.8) million and $7.5 million for the three months ended March 31, 2024 and 2023, respectively, which are included in losses and loss adjustment expenses in its consolidated statements of operations. The negative ceded losses and loss adjustment expenses for the three months ended March 31, 2024 were primarily the result of favorable development on prior years' catastrophe losses that had been ceded to the Company's reinsurers.

The Company's insurance subsidiaries, as primary insurers, are required to pay losses to the extent reinsurers are unable to discharge their obligations under the reinsurance agreements.


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Revenue from Contracts with Customers (Topic 606)

The Company's revenue from contracts with customers is commission income earned from third-party insurers by its 100% owned insurance agencies, which amounted to approximately $5.7 million and $4.8 million, with related expenses of $3.2 million and $2.9 million, for the three months ended March 31, 2024 and 2023, respectively. All of the commission income, net of related expenses, is included in other revenues in the Company's consolidated statements of operations, and in other income of the Property and Casualty business segment in the Company's segment reporting (see Note 13. Segment Information).

As of March 31, 2024 and December 31, 2023, the Company had no contract assets and contract liabilities, and no remaining performance obligations associated with unrecognized revenues.

Allowance for Credit Losses

Financial Instruments - Credit Losses (Topic 326) uses the "expected loss" methodology for recognizing credit losses for financial assets that are not accounted for at fair value through net income. The Company's investment portfolio, excluding accrued investment income, was not affected by Topic 326 as it applies the fair value option to all of its investments. The estimated allowance amounts for credit losses at March 31, 2024 and December 31, 2023 primarily related to premiums receivable.

Premiums Receivable

The majority of the Company's premiums receivable are short-term in nature and are due within a year, consistent with the policy term of its insurance policies sold. Generally, premiums are collected prior to providing risk coverage, minimizing the Company's exposure to credit risk. In estimating an allowance for uncollectible premiums receivable, the Company assesses customer balances and write-offs by state, line of business, and the year the premiums were written. The estimated allowance is based on historical write-off percentages adjusted for the effects of current trends and reasonable and supportable forecasts, as well as expected recoveries of amounts written off.

The following table presents a summary of changes in allowance for credit losses on premiums receivable:
 Three Months Ended March 31,
 20242023
 (Amounts in thousands)
Beginning balance$5,300 $5,800 
     Provision during the period for expected credit losses 1,116 1,136 
Write-off amounts during the period(813)(1,270)
Recoveries during the period of amounts previously written off 197 134 
Ending balance $5,800 $5,800 

Accrued Interest Receivables

The Company made certain accounting policy elections for its accrued interest receivables allowed under Topic 326: a) an election to present accrued interest receivable balances separately from the associated financial assets on the balance sheet, and b) an election not to measure an allowance for credit losses on accrued interest receivable amounts and instead write off uncollectible accrued interest amounts in a timely manner by reversing interest income. The Company's accrued interest receivable balances are included in accrued investment income receivable in its consolidated balance sheets. There were no accrued interest receivable amounts considered uncollectible or written off during the three months ended March 31, 2024 and 2023.

2. Recently Issued Accounting Standards

In March 2024, the Financial Accounting Standards Board ("FASB") issued Accounting Standards Update (“ASU”) 2024-01, "Compensation-Stock Compensation (Topic 718): Scope Application of Profits Interest and Similar Awards." ASU 2024-01 is intended to improve GAAP by adding an illustrative example that includes four fact patterns to demonstrate how an entity should apply the scope guidance in paragraph 718-10-15-3 to determine whether a profits interest award should be accounted for in accordance with Topic 718. The fact patterns in the illustrative example focus on the scope conditions in
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paragraph 718-10-15-3. The illustrative example is intended to reduce (1) complexity in determining whether a profits interest award is subject to the guidance in Topic 718 and (2) existing diversity in practice. ASU 2024-01 will be effective for the Company in the annual and interim periods beginning January 1, 2025, though early adoption is permitted. The Company is currently evaluating the impact of this ASU on its consolidated financial statements and related disclosures.

In December 2023, the FASB issued ASU 2023-09, "Income Taxes (Topic 740): Improvements to Income Tax Disclosures." ASU 2023-09 is intended to enhance the transparency and decision usefulness of income tax disclosures. The amendments in ASU 2023-09 address investor requests for enhanced income tax information primarily through changes to the rate reconciliation and income taxes paid information. ASU 2023-09 will be effective for the Company in the annual period beginning January 1, 2025, though early adoption is permitted. The Company is evaluating the presentational effect that ASU 2023-09 will have on its consolidated financial statements and expects presentation changes to its note on income taxes.

In November 2023, the FASB issued ASU 2023-07, "Segment Reporting (Topic 280): Improvements to Reportable Segment Disclosures." The amendments in ASU 2023-07 improve financial reporting by requiring disclosure of incremental segment information, including significant segment expenses, on an annual and interim basis for all public entities to enable investors to develop more useful financial analyses. Currently, Topic 280 requires that a public entity disclose certain information about its reportable segments. For example, a public entity is required to report a measure of segment profit or loss that the Chief Operating Decision Maker (“CODM”) uses to assess segment performance and make decisions about allocating resources. Topic 280 also requires other specified segment information, such as depreciation, amortization and depletion expense amounts, to be disclosed under certain circumstances. The amendments in ASU 2023-07 do not change or remove those disclosure requirements. The amendments in ASU 2023-07 also do not change how a public entity identifies its operating segments, aggregates those operating segments, or applies the quantitative thresholds to determine its reportable segments. The amendments in ASU 2023-07 are effective for fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2023, and interim periods within fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2024. Early adoption is permitted. The Company is currently evaluating the impact of this ASU on its consolidated financial statements and related disclosures.

In March 2020, the FASB issued ASU 2020-04, "Reference Rate Reform (Topic 848): Facilitation of the Effects of Reference Rate Reform on Financial Reporting." ASU 2020-04 provides optional expedients and exceptions for applying GAAP to contracts, hedging relationships, and other transactions affected by reference rate reform if certain criteria are met. The amendments in this ASU apply only to contracts, hedging relationships, and other transactions that reference LIBOR or other interbank offered rates expected to be discontinued because of reference rate reform. ASU 2020-04 was effective for all entities as of March 12, 2020 through December 31, 2022. In December 2022, the FASB issued ASU 2022-06, "Reference Rate Reform (Topic 848), Deferral of the Sunset Date of Topic 848," which defers the sunset date of Topic 848 from December 31, 2022 to December 31, 2024. The Company does not expect any material impact on its consolidated financial statements and related disclosures resulting from applying these ASUs.

3. Financial Instruments

Financial instruments recorded in the consolidated balance sheets include investments, note receivable, other receivables, options sold, accounts payable, and unsecured notes payable. Due to their short-term maturities, the carrying values of other receivables and accounts payable approximate their fair values. All investments are carried at fair value in the consolidated balance sheets.

The following table presents the fair values of financial instruments:
March 31, 2024December 31, 2023
 (Amounts in thousands)
Assets
Investments$5,453,126 $5,228,520 
Note receivable9,818 9,974 
Liabilities
Options sold1,928 1,955 
Notes payable560,618 557,710 
Investments
Interest and dividend income on investment holdings are recognized on an accrual basis at each measurement date and are included in net investment income in the Company’s consolidated statements of operations. The cost of investments sold is
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determined on a first-in and first-out method and realized gains and losses are included in net realized investment gains or losses in the Company's consolidated statements of operations.

In the normal course of investing activities, the Company either forms or enters into relationships with variable interest entities ("VIEs"). A VIE is an entity that either has investors that lack certain essential characteristics of a controlling financial interest, such as simple majority kick-out rights, or lacks sufficient funds to finance its own activities without financial support provided by other entities. The Company performs ongoing qualitative assessments of the VIEs to determine whether the Company has a controlling financial interest in the VIE and therefore is the primary beneficiary. The Company is deemed to have a controlling financial interest when it has both the ability to direct the activities that most significantly impact the economic performance of the VIE and the obligation to absorb losses or right to receive benefits from the VIE that could potentially be significant to the VIE. Based on the Company's assessment, if it determines it is the primary beneficiary, the Company consolidates the VIE in its consolidated financial statements.

From time to time, the Company forms special purpose investment vehicles to facilitate its investment activities involving derivative instruments such as total return swaps, or limited partnerships such as private equity funds. These special purpose investment vehicles are consolidated VIEs as the Company has determined it is the primary beneficiary of such VIEs. Creditors have no recourse against the Company in the event of default by these VIEs. The Company had no implied or unfunded commitments to these VIEs at March 31, 2024 and December 31, 2023. The Company's financial or other support provided to these VIEs and its loss exposure are limited to its collateral and original investment.

The Company invests, directly or indirectly through its consolidated VIEs, in limited partnerships or limited liability companies such as private equity funds. These investments are non-consolidated VIEs as the Company has determined it is not the primary beneficiary of such VIEs. The Company's maximum exposure to loss with respect to these VIEs is limited to the total carrying value that is included in equity securities in the Company's consolidated balance sheets. At March 31, 2024 and December 31, 2023, the Company had approximately $7 million and $8 million, respectively, in unfunded commitments to these VIEs.
    
Note Receivable

In March 2023, the Company completed the sale of an office building located in Clearwater, Florida, for a total sale price of approximately $19.6 million. $9.8 million of the total sale price was received in the form of a promissory note (the "Note") and the remainder in cash. The Note is secured by the property sold, and bears interest at an annual rate of 7.0% for the first two years, with an adjustment to the greater of 7.0% or the rate on a one-year U.S. Treasury Bill at the two-year anniversary for the remainder of the term. The term of the Note is four years and interest is paid in monthly installments. Interest earned on the Note is recognized in other revenues in the Company's consolidated statements of operations. The Company elected to apply the fair value option to the Note at the time it was first recognized. The fair value of note receivable is included in other assets in the Company's consolidated balance sheets, while the changes in fair value of note receivable are included in net realized investment gains or losses in the Company's consolidated statements of operations.

Options Sold
The Company writes covered call options through listed and over-the-counter exchanges. When the Company writes an option, an amount equal to the premium received by the Company is recorded as a liability and is subsequently adjusted to the current fair value of the option written. Premiums received from writing options that expire unexercised are treated by the Company as realized gains from investments on the expiration date. If a call option is exercised, the premium is added to the proceeds from the sale of the underlying security or currency in determining whether the Company has realized a gain or loss. The Company, as writer of an option, bears the market risk of an unfavorable change in the price of the security underlying the written option. Liabilities for covered call options are included in other liabilities in the Company's consolidated balance sheets.

Notes Payable
The fair values of the Company’s publicly traded $375 million unsecured notes at March 31, 2024 and December 31, 2023 and its $200 million drawn under the unsecured credit facility at March 31, 2024 and December 31, 2023 were obtained from a third party pricing service.

For additional disclosures regarding methods and assumptions used in estimating fair values, see Note 5. Fair Value Measurements.


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4. Fair Value Option

The Company applies the fair value option to all fixed maturity and equity investment securities, short-term investments, and note receivable. The primary reasons for electing the fair value option were simplification and cost-benefit considerations as well as the expansion of the use of fair value measurement by the Company consistent with the long-term measurement objectives of the FASB for accounting for financial instruments.

Gains or losses due to changes in fair value of financial instruments measured at fair value pursuant to application of the fair value option are included in net realized investment losses in the Company’s consolidated statements of operations.

The following table presents gains (losses) recognized due to changes in fair value of financial instruments pursuant to application of the fair value option:
 Three Months Ended March 31,
 20242023
(Amounts in thousands)
Fixed maturity securities$(9,294)$39,776 
Equity securities34,498 3,240 
Short-term investments(104)34 
       Total investment gains$25,100 $43,050 
Note receivable(156) 
       Total gains$24,944 $43,050 

5. Fair Value Measurements

The Company employs a fair value hierarchy that prioritizes the inputs to valuation techniques used to measure fair value. The fair value of a financial instrument is the amount that would be received to sell an asset or paid to transfer a liability in an orderly transaction between market participants at the measurement date using the exit price. Accordingly, when market observable data are not readily available, the Company’s own assumptions are used to reflect those that market participants would be presumed to use in pricing the asset or liability at the measurement date.

Assets and liabilities recorded at fair value on the consolidated balance sheets are categorized based on the level of judgment associated with inputs used to measure their fair values and the level of market price observability, as follows:

Level 1Unadjusted quoted prices are available in active markets for identical assets or liabilities as of the reporting date.
Level 2
Pricing inputs are other than quoted prices in active markets, which are based on the following:
 
•     Quoted prices for similar assets or liabilities in active markets;
 
•     Quoted prices for identical or similar assets or liabilities in non-active markets; or
 
•     Either directly or indirectly observable inputs as of the reporting date.
Level 3Pricing inputs are unobservable and significant to the overall fair value measurement, and the determination of fair value requires significant management judgment or estimation.

In certain cases, inputs used to measure fair value may fall into different levels of the fair value hierarchy. In such cases, the level in the fair value hierarchy within which the fair value measurement in its entirety falls has been determined based on the lowest level input that is significant to the fair value measurement in its entirety. Thus, a Level 3 fair value measurement may include inputs that are observable (Level 1 or Level 2) and unobservable (Level 3). The Company’s assessment of the significance of a particular input to the fair value measurement in its entirety requires judgment and consideration of factors specific to the asset or liability.

The Company uses prices and inputs that are current as of the measurement date, including during periods of market disruption. In periods of market disruption, the ability to observe prices and inputs may be reduced for many instruments. This condition could cause an instrument to be reclassified from Level 1 to Level 2, or from Level 2 to Level 3. The Company recognizes transfers between levels at either the actual date of the event or a change in circumstances that caused the transfer.



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Summary of Significant Valuation Techniques for Financial Assets and Financial Liabilities
The Company’s fair value measurements are based on the market approach, which utilizes market transaction data for the same or similar instruments. The Company obtained unadjusted fair values on 98.5% of its investment portfolio at fair value from an independent pricing service at March 31, 2024.

Level 1 measurements - Fair values of financial assets and financial liabilities are obtained from an independent pricing service, and are based on unadjusted quoted prices for identical assets or liabilities in active markets. Additional pricing services and closing exchange values are used as a comparison to ensure that reasonable fair values are used in pricing the investment portfolio.
U.S. government bonds and agencies /Short-term bonds: Valued using unadjusted quoted market prices for identical assets in active markets.
Common stock: Comprised of actively traded, exchange listed U.S. and international equity securities and valued based on unadjusted quoted prices for identical assets in active markets.
Money market instruments: Valued based on unadjusted quoted prices for identical assets in active markets.
Options sold: Comprised of free-standing exchange listed derivatives that are actively traded and valued based on unadjusted quoted prices for identical instruments in active markets.
Level 2 measurements - Fair values of financial assets and financial liabilities are obtained from an independent pricing service or outside brokers, and are based on prices for similar assets or liabilities in active markets or valuation models whose inputs are observable, directly or indirectly, for substantially the full term of the asset or liability. Additional pricing services are used as a comparison to ensure reliable fair values are used in pricing the investment portfolio.
Municipal securities: Valued based on models or matrices using inputs such as quoted prices for identical or similar assets in active markets.
Mortgage-backed securities: Comprised of securities that are collateralized by residential and commercial mortgage loans valued based on models or matrices using multiple observable inputs, such as benchmark yields, reported trades and broker/dealer quotes, for identical or similar assets in active markets. The Company had holdings of $32.4 million and $33.0 million at fair value in commercial mortgage-backed securities at March 31, 2024 and December 31, 2023, respectively.

Corporate securities/Short-term bonds: Valued based on a multi-dimensional model using multiple observable inputs, such as benchmark yields, reported trades, broker/dealer quotes and issue spreads, for identical or similar assets in active markets.
Non-redeemable preferred stock: Valued based on observable inputs, such as underlying and common stock of same issuer and appropriate spread over a comparable U.S. Treasury security, for identical or similar assets in active markets.
Collateralized loan obligations ("CLOs"): Valued based on underlying debt instruments and the appropriate benchmark spread for similar assets in active markets.
Other asset-backed securities: Comprised of securities that are collateralized by non-mortgage assets, such as automobile loans, valued based on models or matrices using multiple observable inputs, such as benchmark yields, reported trades and broker/dealer quotes, for identical or similar assets in active markets.
Note receivable: Valued based on observable inputs, such as benchmark yields, and considering any premium or discount for the differential between the stated interest rate and market interest rates, based on quoted market prices of similar instruments.
Level 3 measurements - Fair values of financial assets and financial liabilities are based on inputs that are both unobservable and significant to the overall fair value measurement, including any items in which the evaluated prices obtained elsewhere are deemed to be of a distressed trading level. At March 31, 2024 and December 31, 2023, the Company did not have any financial assets or financial liabilities based on Level 3 measurements.
Fair value measurement using NAV practical expedient - The fair value of the Company's investment in private equity funds measured at net asset value ("NAV") is determined using NAV as advised by the external fund managers and the third party administrators. The NAV of the Company's limited partnership or limited liability company interest in such a fund is based on the manager's and the administrator's valuation of the underlying holdings in accordance with the fund's governing documents and GAAP. In accordance with applicable accounting guidance, private equity funds measured at fair value using the NAV practical expedient are not classified in the fair value hierarchy. At March 31, 2024, the Company had capital invested in three
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such funds: the strategy of two such funds with a combined fair value of approximately $81.0 million at March 31, 2024 is to provide current income to investors by investing mainly in secured loans, CLOs or CLO issuers, and equity interests in vehicles established to purchase and warehouse loans; the strategy of the other such fund with a fair value of approximately $2.8 million at March 31, 2024 is to achieve long-term capital appreciation through privately-negotiated venture capital investments in seed- and early-stage portfolio companies with technology-enabled business models. The Company had approximately $7 million in unfunded commitments at March 31, 2024 with respect to the private equity funds measured at NAV. The underlying assets of the funds are expected to be liquidated over the period of approximately one year to nine years from March 31, 2024. In addition, the Company does not have the ability to redeem or withdraw from the funds, or to sell, assign, pledge or transfer its investment, without the consent from the General Partner or Managers of each fund, but will receive distributions based on the liquidation of the underlying assets and the interest proceeds from the underlying assets.
The Company’s financial instruments at fair value are reflected in the consolidated balance sheets on a trade-date basis. Related unrealized gains or losses are recognized in net realized investment gains or losses in the consolidated statements of operations. Fair value measurements are not adjusted for transaction costs.

The following tables present information about the Company’s assets and liabilities measured at fair value on a recurring basis, and indicate the fair value hierarchy of the valuation techniques utilized by the Company to determine such fair values:

 March 31, 2024
 Level 1Level 2Level 3Total
 (Amounts in thousands)
Assets
Fixed maturity securities:
U.S. government bonds and agencies$141,161 $59,183 $ $200,344 
Municipal securities 2,795,677  2,795,677 
Mortgage-backed securities  193,040  193,040 
Corporate securities 706,210  706,210 
Collateralized loan obligations 495,523  495,523 
Other asset-backed securities 98,758  98,758 
Total fixed maturity securities141,161 4,348,391  4,489,552 
Equity securities:
Common stock672,106   672,106 
Non-redeemable preferred stock 45,241  45,241 
Private equity funds measured at net asset value (1)
83,761 
Total equity securities672,106 45,241  801,108 
Short-term investments:
Short-term bonds12,140 1,830  13,970 
Money market instruments148,449   148,449 
Other47   47 
Total short-term investments160,636 1,830  162,466 
Other assets:
Note receivable
 9,818  9,818 
Total assets at fair value$973,903 $4,405,280 $ $5,462,944 
Liabilities
Other liabilities:
Options sold$1,928 $ $ $1,928 
Total liabilities at fair value$1,928 $ $ $1,928 
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 December 31, 2023
 Level 1Level 2Level 3Total
 (Amounts in thousands)
Assets
Fixed maturity securities:
U.S. government bonds and agencies$123,182 $51,268 $ $174,450 
Municipal securities 2,777,258  2,777,258 
Mortgage-backed securities  186,887  186,887 
Corporate securities 599,630  599,630 
Collateralized loan obligations 484,947  484,947 
Other asset-backed securities 96,164  96,164 
Total fixed maturity securities123,182 4,196,154  4,319,336 
Equity securities:
Common stock597,888  597,888 
Non-redeemable preferred stock 51,563  51,563 
Private equity funds measured at net asset value (1)
81,242 
Total equity securities597,888 51,563  730,693 
Short-term investments:
Short-term bonds12,015 1,838  13,853 
Money market instruments164,595   164,595 
Other43   43 
Total short-term investments176,653 1,838  178,491 
Other assets:
Note receivable 9,974  9,974 
Total assets at fair value$897,723 $4,259,529 $ $5,238,494 
Liabilities
Other liabilities:
Options sold$1,955 $ $ $1,955 
Total liabilities at fair value$1,955 $ $ $1,955 
__________ 
(1) The fair value is measured using the NAV practical expedient; therefore, it is not categorized within the fair value hierarchy. The fair value amount is presented in this table to permit reconciliation of the fair value hierarchy to the amounts presented in the Company's consolidated balance sheets.

There were no transfers between Levels 1, 2, and 3 of the fair value hierarchy during the three months ended March 31, 2024 and 2023.

At March 31, 2024, there were no material assets or liabilities measured at fair value on a nonrecurring basis.
Financial Instruments Disclosed, But Not Carried, at Fair Value
The following tables present the carrying value and fair value of the Company’s financial instruments disclosed, but not carried, at fair value, and the level within the fair value hierarchy at which such instruments are categorized:

 March 31, 2024
 Carrying ValueFair ValueLevel 1Level 2Level 3
 (Amounts in thousands)
Liabilities
Notes payable:
Unsecured notes$373,829 $360,611 $ $360,611 $ 
Unsecured credit facility200,000 200,007  200,007  
Total$573,829 $560,618 $ $560,618 $ 
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 December 31, 2023
 Carrying ValueFair ValueLevel 1Level 2Level 3
 (Amounts in thousands)
Liabilities
Notes payable:
Unsecured notes$373,729 $357,765 $ $357,765 $ 
Unsecured credit facility200,000 199,945  199,945  
Total$573,729 $557,710 $ $557,710 $ 

Unsecured Notes
The fair value of the Company’s publicly traded $375 million unsecured notes at March 31, 2024 and December 31, 2023 was based on the spreads above the risk-free yield curve. These spreads are generally obtained from the new issue market, secondary trading and broker-dealer quotes. See Note 11. Notes Payable for additional information on unsecured notes.

Unsecured Credit Facility
The fair values of the Company's $200 million drawn under the unsecured credit facility at March 31, 2024 and December 31, 2023 were based on the unadjusted quoted price for similar notes in active markets. See Note 11. Notes Payable for additional information on the unsecured credit facility.

6. Derivative Financial Instruments

The Company is exposed to certain risks relating to its ongoing business operations. The primary risk managed by using derivative instruments is equity price risk. Equity contracts (options sold) on various equity securities are intended to manage the price risk associated with forecasted purchases or sales of such securities. From time to time, the Company also enters into derivative contracts to enhance returns on its investment portfolio.
The following tables present the location and amounts of derivative fair values in the consolidated balance sheets and derivative gains or losses in the consolidated statements of operations:
 Derivatives
March 31, 2024December 31, 2023
 (Amount in thousands)
Options sold - Other liabilities$1,928 $1,955 
Total $1,928 $1,955 
 Gains Recognized in Net Income (Loss)
 Three Months Ended March 31,
20242023
 (Amounts in thousands)
Options sold - Net realized investment gains$4,316 $1,228 
Total$4,316 $1,228 

Most options sold consist of covered calls. The Company writes covered calls on underlying equity positions held as an enhanced income strategy that is permitted for the Company’s insurance subsidiaries under statutory regulations. The Company manages the risk associated with covered calls through strict capital limitations and asset diversification throughout various industries. See Note 5. Fair Value Measurements for additional disclosures regarding options sold.
7. Goodwill and Other Intangible Assets
Goodwill
There were no changes in the carrying amount of goodwill during the three months ended March 31, 2024 and 2023. No accumulated goodwill impairment losses existed at March 31, 2024 and December 31, 2023. Goodwill is reviewed annually for impairment and more frequently if potential impairment indicators exist. No impairment indicators were identified during the three months ended March 31, 2024 and 2023. All of the Company's goodwill is associated with the Property and Casualty
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business segment (See Note 13. Segment Information for additional information on the reportable business segment).
Other Intangible Assets
The following table presents the components of other intangible assets:
Gross Carrying
Amount
Accumulated
Amortization
Net Carrying
Amount
Useful Lives
 (Amounts in thousands)(in years)
As of March 31, 2024:
Customer relationships$55,107 $(53,769)$1,338 10
Trade names15,400 (9,785)5,615 24
Technology4,300 (4,300) 10
Insurance license1,400  1,400 Indefinite
Total other intangible assets, net$76,207 $(67,854)$8,353 
As of December 31, 2023:
Customer relationships$54,862 $(53,704)$1,158 11
Trade names15,400 (9,625)5,775 24
Technology4,300 (4,300) 10
Insurance license1,400  1,400 Indefinite
Total other intangible assets, net$75,962 $(67,629)$8,333 

Other intangible assets are reviewed annually for impairment and more frequently if potential impairment indicators exist. No impairment indicators were identified during the three months ended March 31, 2024 and 2023.

Other intangible assets with definite useful lives are amortized on a straight-line basis over their useful lives. Amortization expense for other intangible assets was $0.2 million for the three months ended March 31, 2024 and 2023.

The following table presents the estimated future amortization expense related to other intangible assets as of March 31, 2024:
YearAmortization Expense
 (Amounts in thousands)
Remainder of 2024$671 
2025856 
2026856 
2027856 
2028856 
Thereafter2,858 
Total$6,953 

8. Share-Based Compensation

In February 2015, the Company's Board of Directors (the "Board") adopted the 2015 Incentive Award Plan (the "2015 Plan"), replacing the 2005 Equity Incentive Plan which expired in January 2015. The 2015 Plan was approved at the Company's Annual Meeting of Shareholders in May 2015. A maximum of 4,900,000 shares of common stock are authorized for issuance under the 2015 Plan, with 4,830,000 shares of common stock available for future grant as of March 31, 2024 upon exercise of stock options, stock appreciation rights and other awards, or upon vesting of restricted stock unit ("RSU") or deferred stock awards.

In February 2024, the Board adopted the 2024 Long-Term Incentive Plan (the “LTIP”) to provide certain key employees with the right to receive cash awards providing an opportunity to participate in the appreciation of the Company’s value and in order to retain these key employees and reward them for contributing to the success of the Company. Participants in the LTIP may be granted a number of notional interests, or phantom stock units ("PSUs"). Each PSU represents the right to receive payment of the value of a share of the Company’s common stock upon vesting. PSUs may be granted subject to vesting
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conditions, which may include service-based and/or performance-based vesting conditions tied to corporate and/or individual achievement objectives. An employee must remain employed through the date of payment of an award to be eligible for any payout under the LTIP.

Stock Options

In February 2018, the Compensation Committee of the Board awarded a total of 80,000 stock options to four senior executives under the 2015 Plan, which vested over the four-year requisite service period and had a term of ten years from the date of grant, except for 10,000 of these stock options that were forfeited in February 2019 following the departure of a senior executive. The fair values of these stock options were estimated on the date of grant using a closed-form option valuation model (Black-Scholes).
As of March 31, 2024, 17,500 of the total stock options awarded and vested under the 2015 Plan have not been exercised, each with a remaining term of approximately 3.9 years.
Performance-based PSUs
In February 2024, the Compensation Committee of the Board granted a total "target" award of 196,620 performance-based PSUs to certain executive officers and other key employees of the Company. These performance-based PSUs are settled in cash upon vesting and accounted for as liability-based awards. The payout value of the performance-based PSUs granted under the LTIP will be determined based on the achievement of specific, pre-established corporate performance objectives, and in part on individual performance, during the applicable three-year performance period (the "Performance Cycle"). The maximum payout level for the performance-based PSUs is 150% of the “target” award.
The following table presents the summary of the performance-based PSU grants as of March 31, 2024:
    
Grant year2024
Three-year performance period ending December 31,
2026
Vesting shares, target196,620
Vesting shares, maximum294,930

These performance-based PSUs vest at the end of the Performance Cycle beginning with the year of the grant, and then only if, and to the extent that, the Company’s performance during the Performance Cycle achieves the threshold established by the Compensation Committee of the Board. Each annual performance result is determined based on the average of the Company’s annual market share growth and its annual combined ratio. The vested number of performance-based PSUs for each grantee is based on the average of the Company's three annual performance results combined with the individual's performance during the Performance Cycle. The cash payout amount for each unit of the vested performance-based PSUs is equal to the average closing price per share of the Company’s common stock for the 30 calendar days preceding the determination of the final number of vested PSUs for each grantee at the end of the Performance Cycle.

Liabilities for the expected cash payout and associated compensation expenses are recognized based on management’s best estimate of the number of the performance-based PSUs expected to be vested resulting from the probable outcome of the performance-based vesting conditions, combined with the market price of the Company's common stock at the end of each reporting period. If the performance-based vesting conditions are not expected to be met for the Performance Cycle, no compensation cost will be recognized and any recognized compensation cost will be reversed. The Company recorded approximately $0.8 million of share-based compensation expense associated with the performance-based PSUs for the three months ended March 31, 2024, which is included in other operating expenses in its consolidated statements of operations.

9. Income Taxes

For financial statement purposes, the Company recognizes tax benefits related to positions taken, or expected to be taken, on a tax return only if the positions are “more-likely-than-not” sustainable. Once this threshold has been met, the Company’s measurement of its expected tax benefits is recognized in its consolidated financial statements.

The total amount of unrecognized tax benefits related to tax uncertainties decreased by approximately $1.9 million during the three months ended March 31, 2024, primarily resulting from the payment of the assessed amount related to a California Franchise Tax Board audit for tax year 2011.

The Company and its subsidiaries file income tax returns with the Internal Revenue Service and the taxing authorities of
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various states. Tax years that remain subject to examination by major taxing jurisdictions are 2020 through 2022 for federal taxes, and 2011 and 2020 through 2022 for California state taxes. The Company has certain unresolved matters related to California state tax assessment for 2011 tax year that are not material to its consolidated financial statements. Tax years 2012 through 2019 for California state taxes have been resolved with no outstanding issues.

Deferred tax assets and liabilities are recognized for the estimated future tax consequences attributable to differences between the financial reporting basis and the respective tax basis of the Company’s assets and liabilities, and expected benefits of utilizing net operating loss, capital loss, and tax-credit carryforwards. The Company assesses the likelihood that its deferred tax assets will be realized and, to the extent management does not believe these assets are more likely than not to be realized, a valuation allowance is established. Deferred tax assets and liabilities are measured using enacted tax rates expected to apply to taxable income in the years in which those temporary differences are expected to be recovered or settled. The effect on deferred tax assets and liabilities of a change in tax rates or laws is recognized in net income (loss) in the period that includes the enactment date.

At March 31, 2024, the Company’s deferred income taxes were in a net asset position, which included a combination of ordinary and capital deferred tax expenses or benefits. In assessing the Company’s ability to realize deferred tax assets, management considers whether it is more likely than not that some portion or all of the deferred tax assets will not be realized. The ultimate realization of deferred tax assets is dependent upon generating sufficient taxable income of the appropriate character within the carryback and carryforward periods available under the tax law. Management considers the reversal of deferred tax liabilities, projected future taxable income of an appropriate nature, and tax planning strategies in making this assessment. The Company believes that through projected future taxable income of an appropriate nature, the use of prudent tax planning strategies, and the generation of capital gains, sufficient income will be realized in order to maximize the full benefits of its deferred tax assets. Although realization is not assured, management believes that it is more likely than not that the Company’s deferred tax assets will be realized.

10. Loss and Loss Adjustment Expense Reserves

The following table presents the activity in loss and loss adjustment expense reserves:
 Three Months Ended March 31,
 20242023
 (Amounts in thousands)
Gross reserves, beginning of period$2,785,702 $2,584,910 
Reinsurance recoverables on unpaid losses, beginning of period
(32,148)(25,322)
Net reserves, beginning of period2,753,554 2,559,588 
Incurred losses and loss adjustment expenses related to:
Current year909,810 945,013 
Prior years(5,845)(15,484)
Total incurred losses and loss adjustment expenses903,965 929,529 
Loss and loss adjustment expense payments related to:
Current year301,198 310,102 
Prior years527,348 531,755 
Total payments828,546 841,857 
Net reserves, end of period2,828,973 2,647,260 
Reinsurance recoverables on unpaid losses, end of period30,247 30,301 
Gross reserves, end of period$2,859,220 $2,677,561 

The decrease in the provision for insured events of prior years during the three months ended March 31, 2024 of $5.8 million was primarily attributable to lower than estimated loss adjustment expenses in the private passenger automobile line of insurance business, partially offset by unfavorable development on prior years' catastrophe losses. The decrease in the provision for insured events of prior years during the three months ended March 31, 2023 of $15.5 million was primarily attributable to lower than estimated losses and loss adjustment expenses in the homeowners line of insurance business.

For the three months ended March 31, 2024 and 2023, the Company incurred catastrophe losses net of reinsurance of approximately $72 million and $98 million, respectively. No reinsurance benefits were available for these losses as none of the catastrophe events during these periods individually resulted in losses in excess of the Company's retention limit. Catastrophe
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losses during the three months ended March 31, 2024 resulted primarily from winter storms and rainstorms in California and convective storms in Texas and Oklahoma. Catastrophe losses during the three months ended March 31, 2023 resulted primarily from winter storms and rainstorms in California, Texas and Oklahoma. The Company experienced unfavorable development of approximately $4 million on prior years' catastrophe losses for the three months ended March 31, 2024. There was no material development on prior years' catastrophe losses for the three months ended March 31, 2023.

11. Notes Payable

The following table presents information about the Company's notes payable:
LenderInterest RateMaturity DateMarch 31, 2024December 31, 2023
(Amounts in thousands)
Senior unsecured notes(1)
Publicly traded4.40%March 15, 2027$375,000 $375,000 
Unsecured credit facility(2)
Bank of America, Wells Fargo Bank, BMO Bank and U.S. Bank
Term SOFR plus 112.5-150.0 basis points
November 16, 2026200,000 200,000 
    Total principal amount575,000 575,000 
Less unamortized discount and debt issuance costs(3)
1,171 1,271 
Total debt$573,829 $573,729 
__________ 
(1)On March 8, 2017, the Company completed a public debt offering issuing $375 million of senior notes. The notes are unsecured, senior obligations of the Company with a 4.4% annual coupon payable on March 15 and September 15 of each year commencing September 15, 2017. The Company used the proceeds from the notes to pay off amounts outstanding under the existing loan and credit facilities and for general corporate purposes. The Company incurred debt issuance costs of approximately $3.4 million, inclusive of underwriters' fees. The notes were issued at a slight discount of 99.847% of par, resulting in the effective annualized interest rate, including debt issuance costs, of approximately 4.45%.
(2)On March 31, 2021, the Company entered into an unsecured $75 million five-year revolving credit facility. On November 18, 2022, the Company entered into the First Amendment to this credit facility. The First Amendment extended the maturity date of the loan to November 16, 2026 from March 31, 2026 with possible further extension if certain conditions are met, increased the aggregate commitments by all the lenders to $200 million from $75 million, and replaced the LIBOR with the Term SOFR. On November 30, 2023, the Company entered into the Second Amendment to this credit facility, which further increased the aggregate commitments by all the lenders to $250 million from $200 million. The interest rates on borrowings under the credit facility are based on the Company's debt to total capital ratio and range from Term SOFR plus 112.5 basis points when the ratio is under 20% to Term SOFR plus 150.0 basis points when the ratio is greater than or equal to 30%. Commitment fees for the undrawn portions of the credit facility range from 12.5 basis points when the ratio is under 20% to 22.5 basis points when the ratio is greater than or equal to 30%. The debt to total capital ratio is expressed as a percentage of (a) consolidated debt to (b) consolidated shareholders' equity plus consolidated debt. The Company's debt to total capital ratio was 26.4% at March 31, 2024, resulting in a 17.5 basis point commitment fee on any undrawn portion of the credit facility. As of April 25, 2024, a total of $200 million was drawn under this facility on a three-month revolving basis at an annual interest rate of approximately 6.79%, with $50 million available to be drawn. The Company contributed $150 million of the total amount drawn to the surplus of its consolidated insurance subsidiaries, and used the remainder for general corporate purposes.
(3)The unamortized discount and debt issuance costs are associated with the publicly traded $375 million senior unsecured notes. These are amortized to interest expense over the life of the notes, and the unamortized balance is presented in the Company's consolidated balance sheets as a direct deduction from the carrying amount of the debt. The unamortized costs of approximately $0.8 million associated with entering into the $250 million unsecured revolving credit facility maturing on November 16, 2026 are included in other assets in the Company's consolidated balance sheets and amortized to interest expense over the term of the credit facility.
12. Contingencies

The Company is, from time to time, named as a defendant in various lawsuits or regulatory actions incidental to its insurance business. The majority of lawsuits brought against the Company relate to insurance claims that arise in the normal course of business and are reserved for through the reserving process. For a discussion of the Company’s reserving methods, see the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2023.
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On September 10, 2021, the California Department of Insurance ("DOI") served the Company a Notice of Non-Compliance ("NNC"), alleging violations in connection with its 2014 Rating & Underwriting Examination Report, which was adopted by the California DOI in 2019. The NNC itemizes alleged violations, many of which management believes were corrected or otherwise resolved during the course of the examination, and seeks penalties. The Company has participated in lengthy and detailed discussions with the California DOI since the adoption of the examination report, in an attempt to address the issues deemed unresolved by the California DOI, and has taken several additional corrective actions approved by the California DOI. On August 1, 2022, the California DOI publicly announced its intention to pursue an administrative action against the Company with respect to certain outstanding issues. The Company served a written response to the NNC on September 29, 2022, along with written discovery requests. The response, consisting of a notice of defense, a motion to strike, and a motion to dismiss, challenges the NNC on procedural and substantive grounds. On November 9, 2022, the California DOI served objections and non-substantive responses to the Company's discovery requests. On November 14, 2023, the California DOI granted Consumer Watchdog's petition to intervene in the NNC, although the Company did not agree to allow its involvement in the mediation, which took place on March 4, 2024. The parties did not make any meaningful progress toward settlement, but are continuing settlement discussions. The parties are also conferring regarding the possible filing of an Amended NNC that would eliminate the resolved items and identify the remaining issues in dispute should the matter proceed to a hearing. The Company cannot reasonably predict the likelihood, timing or outcome of any hearing process or administrative action, nor can it reasonably estimate the amount of penalties, if any.

The Company establishes reserves for non-insurance claims related lawsuits, regulatory actions, and other contingencies when the Company believes a loss is probable and is able to estimate its potential exposure. For loss contingencies believed to be reasonably possible, the Company also discloses the nature of the loss contingency and an estimate of the possible loss, range of loss, or a statement that such an estimate cannot be made. In addition, the Company accrues for anticipated legal defense costs associated with such lawsuits and regulatory actions. While actual losses may differ from the amounts recorded and the ultimate outcome of the Company's pending actions is generally not yet determinable, the Company does not believe that the ultimate resolution of currently pending legal or regulatory proceedings, either individually or in the aggregate, will have a material adverse effect on its financial condition or cash flows.

In all cases, the Company vigorously defends itself unless a reasonable settlement appears appropriate. For a discussion of any additional regulatory or legal matters, see the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2023.

13. Segment Information

The Company is primarily engaged in writing personal automobile insurance and provides related property and casualty insurance products to its customers through 12 subsidiaries in 11 states, principally in California.
The Company has one reportable business segment - the Property and Casualty business segment.
The Company’s Chief Operating Decision Maker evaluates operating results based on pre-tax underwriting results which is calculated as net premiums earned less (a) losses and loss adjustment expenses and (b) underwriting expenses (policy acquisition costs and other operating expenses).
Expenses are allocated based on certain assumptions that are primarily related to premiums and losses. The Company’s net investment income, net realized investment gains or losses, other income, and interest expense are excluded in evaluating pretax underwriting profit. The Company does not allocate its assets, including investments, or income taxes in evaluating pre-tax underwriting profit.
Property and Casualty Lines
The Property and Casualty business segment offers several insurance products to the Company’s individual customers and small business customers. These insurance products are: private passenger automobile which is the Company’s primary business, and related insurance products such as homeowners, commercial automobile and commercial property. These related insurance products are primarily sold to the Company’s individual customers and small business customers, which increases retention of the Company’s private passenger automobile client base. The insurance products comprising the Property and Casualty business segment are sold through the same distribution channels, mainly through independent and 100% owned insurance agents, and go through a similar underwriting process.



21

Other Lines

The Other business segment represents net premiums written and earned from an operating segment that does not meet the quantitative thresholds required to be considered a reportable segment. This operating segment offers automobile mechanical protection warranties which are primarily sold through automobile dealerships and credit unions.

The following table presents the Company's operating results by reportable segment:
Three Months Ended March 31,
20242023
 Property & CasualtyOtherTotalProperty & CasualtyOtherTotal
(Amounts in millions)
Net premiums earned$1,159.4 $7.3 $1,166.7 $997.6 $7.1 $1,004.7 
Less:
Losses and loss adjustment expenses900.0 4.0 904.0 925.8 3.7 929.5 
Underwriting expenses269.3 3.8 273.1 230.8 3.5 234.3 
Underwriting loss(9.9)(0.5)(10.4)(159.0)(0.1)(159.1)
Investment income65.0 52.0 
Net realized investment gains38.2 49.0 
Other income4.2 0.9 
Interest expense(7.8)(4.9)
Pre-tax income (loss)$89.2 $(62.1)
Net income (loss)$73.5 $(45.3)

The following table presents the Company’s net premiums earned and direct premiums written by reportable segment and line of insurance business:
Three Months Ended March 31,
 20242023
 Property & CasualtyOtherTotalProperty & CasualtyOtherTotal
(Amounts in millions)
Private passenger automobile$754.3 $ $754.3 $660.6 $ $660.6 
Homeowners266.9  266.9 222.5  222.5 
Commercial automobile89.2  89.2 69.1  69.1 
Other49.0 7.3 56.3 45.4 7.1 52.5 
Net premiums earned$1,159.4 $7.3 $1,166.7 $997.6 $7.1 $1,004.7 
Private passenger automobile$825.5 $ $825.5 $634.3 $ $634.3 
Homeowners302.1  302.1 241.6  241.6 
Commercial automobile104.0  104.0 80.0  80.0 
Other62.9 6.6 69.5 56.3 6.4 62.7 
Direct premiums written$1,294.5 $6.6 $1,301.1 $1,012.2 $6.4 $1,018.6 



22

Item 2.Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations
Forward-Looking Statements

The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 provides a “safe harbor” for certain forward-looking statements. Certain statements contained in this report are forward-looking statements based on the Company’s current expectations and beliefs concerning future developments and their potential effects on the Company. There can be no assurance that future developments affecting the Company will be those anticipated by the Company. Actual results may differ from those projected in the forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements involve significant risks and uncertainties (some of which are beyond the control of the Company) and are subject to change based upon various factors, including but not limited to the following risks and uncertainties: changes in the demand for the Company’s insurance products, inflation and general economic conditions, including general market risks associated with the Company’s investment portfolio; the accuracy and adequacy of the Company’s pricing methodologies; catastrophes in the markets served by the Company; uncertainties related to estimates, assumptions and projections generally; the possibility that actual loss experience may vary adversely from the actuarial estimates made to determine the Company’s loss reserves in general; the Company’s ability to obtain and the timing of the approval of premium rate changes for insurance policies issued in the states where it operates; legislation adverse to the automobile insurance industry or business generally that may be enacted in the states where the Company operates; the Company’s success in managing its business in non-California states; the presence of competitors with greater financial resources and the impact of competitive pricing and marketing efforts; the Company's ability to successfully allocate the resources used in the states with reduced or exited operations to its operations in other states; changes in driving patterns and loss trends; acts of war and terrorist activities; pandemics, epidemics, widespread health emergencies, or outbreaks of infectious diseases; court decisions and trends in litigation and health care and auto repair costs; and legal, cybersecurity, regulatory and litigation risks. The Company undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as the result of new information, future events or otherwise. For a more detailed discussion of some of the foregoing risks and uncertainties, see the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K filed with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (the "SEC") on February 13, 2024.
OVERVIEW
A. General

The operating results of property and casualty insurance companies are subject to significant quarter-to-quarter and year-to-year fluctuations due to the effect of competition on pricing, the frequency and severity of losses, the effect of weather and natural disasters on losses, general economic conditions, the general regulatory environment in states in which an insurer operates, state regulation of insurance including premium rates, changes in fair value of investments, and other factors such as changes in tax laws. The property and casualty insurance industry has been highly cyclical, with periods of high premium rates and shortages of underwriting capacity followed by periods of severe price competition and excess capacity. These cycles can have a significant impact on the Company’s ability to grow and retain business.

This section discusses some of the relevant factors that management considers in evaluating the Company’s performance, prospects, and risks. It is not all-inclusive and is meant to be read in conjunction with the entirety of management’s discussion and analysis, the Company’s consolidated financial statements and notes thereto, and all other items contained within this Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q.

B. Business

The Company is primarily engaged in writing personal automobile insurance through 12 insurance subsidiaries (“Insurance Companies”) in 11 states, principally California. The Company also writes homeowners, commercial automobile, commercial property, mechanical protection, and umbrella insurance. The Company's insurance policies are mostly sold through independent agents who receive a commission for selling policies. The Company believes that it has thorough underwriting and claims handling processes that, together with its agent relationships, provide the Company with competitive advantages.





23

The following tables present direct premiums written, by state and line of insurance business, for the three months ended March 31, 2024 and 2023:

Three Months Ended March 31, 2024
(Dollars in thousands)
Private
Passenger  Automobile
HomeownersCommercial
Automobile
Other Lines (2)
Total
California $682,146 $208,000 $73,338 $65,643 $1,029,127 79.1 %
Texas34,054 51,372 18,197 1,486 105,109 8.1 %
Other states (1)
109,325 42,775 12,454 2,334 166,888 12.8 %
Total$825,525 $302,147 $103,989 $69,463 $1,301,124 100.0 %
63.5 %23.2 %8.0 %5.3 %100.0 %

Three Months Ended March 31, 2023
(Dollars in thousands)
Private
Passenger  Automobile
HomeownersCommercial
Automobile
Other Lines (2)
Total
California$509,017 $173,130 $56,482 $59,265 $797,894 78.4 %
Texas29,923 35,326 13,281 1,209 79,739 7.8 %
Other states (1)
95,366 33,120 10,227 2,215 140,928 13.8 %
Total$634,306 $241,576 $79,990 $62,689 $1,018,561 100.0 %
62.3 %23.6 %7.9 %6.2 %100.0 %
______________
(1) No individual state accounted for more than 5% of total direct premiums written.
(2) No individual line of insurance business accounted for more than 5% of total direct premiums written.

C. Regulatory and Legal Matters

The Department of Insurance (“DOI”) in each state in which the Company operates is responsible for conducting periodic financial, market conduct, and rating and underwriting examinations of the Insurance Companies in their states. Market conduct examinations typically review compliance with insurance statutes and regulations with respect to rating, underwriting, claims handling, billing, and other practices.

The following table presents a summary of recent and upcoming examinations:

StateExam TypeExam Period CoveredStatus
TXMarket Conduct2022Examination commenced in the fourth quarter of 2023.

During the course of and at the conclusion of the examinations, the examining DOI generally reports findings to the Company.

In January 2023, the California DOI approved a 6.9% rate increase on the private passenger automobile line of insurance business for Mercury Insurance Company ("MIC") and California Automobile Insurance Company ("CAIC"), consolidated subsidiaries of the Company. These rate increases became effective in March 2023. The California DOI approved an additional 6.99% rate increase on the private passenger automobile line of insurance business for MIC and CAIC in June 2023. These rate increases became effective in July 2023. In addition, in January 2024, the California DOI approved a 22.5% rate increase for MIC and a 3.8% rate increase for CAIC on the private passenger automobile line of insurance business. These rate increases became effective in February 2024. The private passenger automobile line of insurance business of MIC and CAIC represented approximately 47% and 6%, respectively, of the Company's total net premiums earned for the three months ended March 31, 2024.

In March 2023, the California DOI approved a 12.6% rate increase on the California homeowners line of insurance business. This rate increase became effective in May 2023. In March 2024, the California DOI approved an additional 6.99% rate increase on the California homeowners line of insurance business. This rate increase is expected to become effective in May 2024. The California homeowners line of insurance business represented approximately 16% of the Company's total net
24

premiums earned for the three months ended March 31, 2024.

The Company is, from time to time, named as a defendant in various lawsuits or regulatory actions incidental to its insurance business. The majority of lawsuits brought against the Company relate to insurance claims that arise in the normal course of business and are reserved for through the reserving process. For a discussion of the Company’s reserving methods, see the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2023.

The Company establishes reserves for non-insurance claims related lawsuits, regulatory actions, and other contingencies when the Company believes a loss is probable and is able to estimate its potential exposure. For loss contingencies believed to be reasonably possible, the Company also discloses the nature of the loss contingency and an estimate of the possible loss, range of loss, or a statement that such an estimate cannot be made. In addition, the Company accrues for anticipated legal defense costs associated with such lawsuits and regulatory actions. While actual losses may differ from the amounts recorded and the ultimate outcome of the Company's pending actions is generally not yet determinable, the Company does not believe that the ultimate resolution of currently pending legal or regulatory proceedings, either individually or in the aggregate, will have a material adverse effect on its financial condition or cash flows.

In all cases, the Company vigorously defends itself unless a reasonable settlement appears appropriate. For a discussion of any additional regulatory or legal matters, see the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2023, and Note 12. Contingencies of the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements of this Quarterly Report.

D. Critical Accounting Estimates

Loss and Loss Adjustment Expense Reserves ("Loss Reserves")

Preparation of the Company’s consolidated financial statements requires management’s judgment and estimates. The most significant is the estimate of loss reserves. Estimating loss reserves is a difficult process as many factors can ultimately affect the final settlement of a claim and, therefore, the loss reserve that is required. A key assumption in estimating loss reserves is the degree to which the historical data used to analyze reserves will be predictive of ultimate claim costs on incurred claims. Changes in the regulatory and legal environments, results of litigation, medical costs, the cost of repair materials, and labor rates, among other factors, can impact this assumption. In addition, time can be a critical part of reserving determinations since the longer the span between the incidence of a loss and the payment or settlement of a claim, the more variable the ultimate settlement amount could be. Accordingly, short-tail claims, such as property damage claims, tend to be more reasonably predictable than long-tail liability claims.

The Company calculates a loss reserve point estimate rather than a range. There is inherent uncertainty with estimates and this is particularly true with loss reserve estimates. This uncertainty comes from many factors which may include changes in claims reporting and settlement patterns, changes in the regulatory and legal environments, uncertainty over inflation rates, and uncertainty for unknown items. The Company does not make specific provisions for these uncertainties, rather it considers them in establishing its loss reserve by reviewing historical patterns and trends and projecting these out to current loss reserves. The underlying factors and assumptions that serve as the basis for preparing the loss reserve estimate include paid and incurred loss development factors, expected average costs per claim, inflation trends, expected loss ratios, industry data, and other relevant information.

The Company also engages independent actuarial consultants to review the Company’s loss reserves and to provide the annual actuarial opinions under statutory accounting principles as required by state regulation. The Company analyzes loss reserves quarterly primarily using the incurred loss, paid loss, average severity coupled with the claim count development methods, and the generalized linear model ("GLM") described below. When deciding among methods to use, the Company evaluates the credibility of each method based on the maturity of the data available and the claims settlement practices for each particular line of insurance business or coverage within a line of insurance business. The Company may also evaluate qualitative factors such as known changes in laws or legal rulings that could affect claims handling or other external environmental factors or internal factors that could affect the settlement of claims. When establishing the loss reserve, the Company will generally analyze the results from all of the methods used rather than relying on a single method. While these methods are designed to determine the ultimate losses on claims under the Company’s policies, there is inherent uncertainty in all actuarial models since they use historical data to project outcomes. The Company believes that the techniques it uses provide a reasonable basis in estimating loss reserves.

The incurred loss method analyzes historical incurred case loss (case reserves plus paid losses) development to estimate ultimate losses. The Company applies development factors against current case incurred losses by accident period to calculate ultimate expected losses. The Company believes that the incurred loss method provides a
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reasonable basis for evaluating ultimate losses, particularly in the Company’s larger, more established lines of insurance business which have a long operating history.
The paid loss method analyzes historical payment patterns to estimate the amount of losses yet to be paid.
The average severity method analyzes historical loss payments and/or incurred losses divided by closed claims and/or total claims to calculate an estimated average cost per claim. From this, the expected ultimate average cost per claim can be estimated. The average severity method coupled with the claim count development method provide meaningful information regarding inflation and frequency trends that the Company believes is useful in establishing loss reserves. The claim count development method analyzes historical claim count development to estimate future incurred claim count development for current claims. The Company applies these development factors against current claim counts by accident period to calculate ultimate expected claim counts.
The GLM determines an average severity for each percentile of claims that have been closed as a percentage of estimated ultimate claims. The average severities are applied to open claims to estimate the amount of losses yet to be paid. The GLM utilizes operational time, determined as a percentile of claims closed rather than a finite calendar period, which neutralizes the effect of changes in the timing of claims handling.

The Company analyzes catastrophe losses separately from non-catastrophe losses. For catastrophe losses, the Company generally determines claim counts based on claims reported and development expectations from previous catastrophes and applies an average expected loss per claim based on loss reserves established by adjusters and average losses on previous similar catastrophes. For catastrophe losses on individual properties that are expected to be total losses, the Company typically establishes reserves at the policy limits.
At March 31, 2024 and December 31, 2023, the Company recorded its point estimate of approximately $2.86 billion and $2.79 billion ($2.83 billion and $2.75 billion, net of reinsurance), respectively, in loss reserves, which included approximately $1.66 billion and $1.61 billion ($1.66 billion and $1.61 billion, net of reinsurance), respectively, of incurred but not reported loss reserves (“IBNR”). IBNR includes estimates, based upon past experience, of ultimate developed costs, which may differ from case estimates, unreported claims that occurred on or prior to March 31, 2024 and December 31, 2023, and estimated future payments for reopened claims. Management believes that the liability for loss reserves is adequate to cover the ultimate net cost of losses and loss adjustment expenses incurred to date; however, since the provisions are necessarily based upon estimates, the ultimate liability may be more or less than such provisions.
The Company evaluates its loss reserves quarterly. When management determines that the estimated ultimate claim cost requires a decrease for previously reported accident years, favorable development occurs and a reduction in losses and loss adjustment expenses is reported in the current period. If the estimated ultimate claim cost requires an increase for previously reported accident years, unfavorable development occurs and an increase in losses and loss adjustment expenses is reported in the current period.
For a further discussion of the Company’s reserving methods, see the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2023.


RESULTS OF OPERATIONS
Three Months Ended March 31, 2024 Compared to Three Months Ended March 31, 2023

Revenues

Net premiums earned increased 16.1% and net premiums written increased 27.2% for the three months ended March 31, 2024, from the corresponding period in 2023. The increases in net premiums earned and net premiums written were primarily due to rate increases and increases in the number of policies written in the California automobile and homeowners lines of insurance business.

Net premiums earned included ceded premiums earned of $31.1 million and $23.2 million for the three months ended March 31, 2024 and 2023, respectively. Net premiums written included ceded premiums written of $31.3 million and $23.4 million for the three months ended March 31, 2024 and 2023, respectively. The increases in ceded premiums earned and ceded premiums written resulted mostly from higher reinsurance coverage and rates and growth in the covered book of business.

Net premiums earned, a GAAP measure, represents the portion of net premiums written that is recognized as revenue in the financial statements for the periods presented and earned on a pro-rata basis over the term of the policies. Net premiums
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written is a non-GAAP financial measure which represents the premiums charged on policies issued during a fiscal period, net of any applicable reinsurance. Net premiums written is a statutory measure designed to determine production levels.

The following is a reconciliation of net premiums earned to net premiums written:
 Three Months Ended March 31,
 20242023
 (Amounts in thousands)
Net premiums earned$1,166,679 $1,004,704 
Change in net unearned premiums118,305 5,498 
Net premiums written$1,284,984 $1,010,202 

Expenses

Loss and expense ratios are used to interpret the underwriting experience of property and casualty insurance companies. The following table presents the Insurance Companies’ loss, expense, and combined ratios determined in accordance with GAAP:
 Three Months Ended March 31,
 20242023
Loss ratio77.5 %92.5 %
Expense ratio23.4 %23.3 %
Combined ratio100.9 %115.8 %

Loss ratio is calculated by dividing losses and loss adjustment expenses by net premiums earned. The loss ratio for the first quarter of 2024 and 2023 was affected by favorable development of approximately $6 million and $15 million, respectively, on prior accident years' loss and loss adjustment expense reserves. The favorable development for the first quarter of 2024 was primarily attributable to lower than estimated loss adjustment expenses in the private passenger automobile line of insurance business, partially offset by unfavorable development on prior years' catastrophe losses. The favorable development for the first quarter of 2023 was primarily attributable to lower than estimated losses and loss adjustment expenses in the homeowners line of insurance business.

In addition, the 2024 loss ratio was negatively impacted by approximately $68 million of catastrophe losses, excluding unfavorable development of approximately $4 million on prior years' catastrophe losses, primarily due to winter storms and rainstorms in California and convective storms in Texas and Oklahoma. The 2023 loss ratio was negatively impacted by approximately $98 million of catastrophe losses, primarily due to winter storms and rainstorms in California, Texas and Oklahoma. There was no material development on prior years' catastrophe losses for the three months ended March 31, 2023.

Excluding the effects of estimated prior periods’ loss development and catastrophe losses, the loss ratio was 72.2% and 84.3% for the first quarter of 2024 and 2023, respectively. The decrease in the loss ratio was primarily due to an increase in net premiums earned resulting from rate increases in the California automobile and homeowners lines of insurance business, partially offset by an increase in loss severity in the automobile line of insurance business.

Expense ratio is calculated by dividing the sum of policy acquisition costs and other operating expenses by net premiums earned. The expense ratio for the three months ended March 31, 2024 increased slightly compared to the corresponding period in 2023, which primarily resulted from increases in expenses for profitability-related accruals and advertising, mostly offset by the effects of the rate increases discussed above.

Combined ratio is equal to loss ratio plus expense ratio and is the key measure of underwriting performance traditionally used in the property and casualty insurance industry. A combined ratio under 100% generally reflects profitable underwriting results, and a combined ratio over 100% generally reflects unprofitable underwriting results.
Income tax expense (benefit) was $15.8 million and $(16.8) million for the three months ended March 31, 2024 and 2023, respectively. The increase in income tax expense was primarily due to a $151.3 million increase in total pre-tax income. The Company’s effective income tax rate can be affected by several factors. These generally relate to large changes in the composition of fully taxable income, including net realized investment gains or losses, tax-exempt investment income, non-deductible expenses, and periodically, non-routine tax items such as adjustments to unrecognized tax benefits related to tax
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uncertainties. Income tax expense of $15.8 million on pre-tax income of $89.2 million, including tax-exempt investment income of $20.5 million, resulted in an effective tax rate of 17.7%, below the statutory tax rate of 21%, for the three months ended March 31, 2024, and income tax benefit of $16.8 million on pre-tax loss of $62.1 million, including tax-exempt investment income of $22.0 million, resulted in an effective tax rate of 27.0%, above the statutory tax rate, for the corresponding period in 2023.

Investments

The following table presents the investment results of the Company:
 Three Months Ended March 31,
 20242023
 (Dollars in thousands)
Average invested assets at cost (1)
$5,358,848 $5,022,572 
Net investment income (2) (3)
Before income taxes$65,018 $51,973 
After income taxes$54,880 $44,795 
Average annual yield on investments (2) (3)
Before income taxes4.4 %4.0 %
After income taxes3.8 %3.5 %
Net realized investment gains$38,192 $49,008 
__________ 
(1) Fixed maturities and short-term bonds at amortized cost; equities and other short-term investments at cost. Average invested assets at cost are based on the monthly amortized cost of the invested assets excluding cash for each period.
(2) Net investment income includes approximately $5.6 million and $1.7 million of interest income earned on cash (approximately $4.5 million and $1.4 million after tax) for the three months ended March 31, 2024 and 2023, respectively. Average annual yield on investments does not include interest income earned on cash.
(3) Higher net investment income before and after income taxes for the three months ended March 31, 2024 compared to the corresponding period in 2023 resulted largely from higher average yield combined with higher average invested assets and cash. Average annual yield on investments before and after income taxes for the three months ended March 31, 2024 increased compared to the corresponding period in 2023, primarily due to the maturity and replacement of lower yielding investments purchased when market interest rates were lower with higher yielding investments, as a result of increasing overall market interest rates, as well as higher yields on investments based on floating interest rates.

The following tables present the components of net realized investment gains or losses included in net income (loss):
Three Months Ended March 31, 2024
Gains (Losses) Recognized in Net Income
 Sales
Changes in fair value
Total
 (Amounts in thousands)
Net realized investment gains (losses)
Fixed maturity securities (1)(2)
$(24)$(9,294)$(9,318)
Equity securities (1)(3)
8,956 34,498 43,454 
Short-term investments (1)
— (104)(104)
Note receivable (1)
— (156)(156)
Options sold4,404 (88)4,316 
Total$13,336 $24,856 $38,192 
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Three Months Ended March 31, 2023
Gains (Losses) Recognized in Net Loss
 SalesChanges in fair valueTotal
 (Amounts in thousands)
Net realized investment gains (losses)