NU Online News Service, Feb. 5, 2004, 6:11 p.m. EST – Low interest rates and the weak economy hit UnumProvident Corp., Chattanooga, Tenn., hard in late 2003.[@@]
The disability insurer is reporting a $347.2 million net loss for the fourth quarter of 2003 on $2.5 billion in revenue, compared with $102 million in net income on $2.4 billion in revenue for the fourth quarter of 2002.
Total premium revenue went up slightly, and results for the company’s Colonial worksite marketing unit were strong. Sales of group short-term disability insurance rose 12%, to $60 million.
But sales of traditional individual and group disability insurance were down more than 10%, and the company said it had to take a $300 million charge during the quarter to cope with the fact that interest rates are low and look as if they will stay low.
The interest rate on the investments backing a long-term disability policy help determine the profitability of the policy.