As we enter Spring, we can look forward to warmer weather, allergies, and increased home selling and buying. In the worlds of finance officers and accountants, putting the finishing touches on 2018 year-end financials and wrapping up audits, are keeping us busy. Before we say goodbye to 2018, let’s look at Lighthouse’s 2018 financial year.
In 2018, Lighthouse grew its topline premium over 30% from $119 million to $162 million. This premium growth has come from all of the states that Lighthouse does business in – Texas, North Carolina, South Carolina, and our home state of Louisiana. The additional topline premium deferred some bottom-line income that the carrier otherwise would have recognized. This impact is normal when a carrier grows its premium and was expected.
While our premiums were growing with your support, our losses grew in 2018 for three reasons: 1) the additional risks added everyday losses; 2) some spring storms in Texas created additional losses; and 3) Hurricane Florence hit North Carolina in September. We have approximately 6,000 claims and an estimated $89 million in damages related to Hurricane Florence. We attached to our reinsurance program and retained $4.5 million in hurricane losses ourselves.
With our growth and the above-mentioned losses, the Company’s ownership invested an additional $10 million in capital to support the growth and the net loss of $3.5 million in 2018. By December 31, 2018, surplus was $32.7 million, which is an increase over 2017.
Lighthouse remains financially stable and prepared to service your policyholders as we move through 2019.
Written by Scot Moore, CFO