In spite of a soft economy and low interest rates, the long-term care insurance (LTCI) unit at Genworth Financial Inc. (NYSE:GNW) managed to make money in the fourth quarter of 2012.
The Genworth LTCI unit is reporting $8 million in net income for the quarter on $826 million in revenue, compared with $33 million in net income on $775 million in revenue for the fourth quarter of 2011.
LTCI sales fell to $64 million, from $65 million. Individual LTCI sales increased 7.6 percent, to $60 million, and group LTCI sales fell to $4 million, from $9 million.
Sales through independent producers increased to $41 million, from $35 million.
Sales through dedicated sales specialists fell to $13 million, from $15 million, and sales through financial intermediaries held steady at $6 million.
The loss ratio increased to 76.2 percent, from 67.1 percent.
The gross benefits ratio, or benefits and other changes in policy reserves by net earned premium, increased to 126.4 percent, from 114.1 percent.
The company has filed LTCI rate increase applications in 49 states and received approvals for about 20 percent of the affected business, executives said.
Genworth as a whole is reporting $264 million in net income for the quarter on $2.5 billion in revenue, up from $175 million in net income on $2.6 billion in revenue for the fourth quarter of 2011.
Although the Genworth LTCI unit reported a profit, Thomas McInerney, the company's new president, said today during a conference call that he "was disappointed in the performance" of the unit.
The performance of the LTCI unit" hurt the results in the U.S. life insurance division," McInerney said.
The headwinds that the unit faces includes low interest rates, the long duration of the product, and changes in health care trends, McInerney said.
"We must remain diligent on risk management, premium rate actions, understanding loss trends on the in-force portfolio and working to design new products with improved risk-adjusted returns," McInerney said.
Over time, the company likely will shift the mix of its business more toward life insurance, as opposed to LTCI products, executives said.