EMC Insurance Group Inc. reported a net loss of $21.5 million, a $1 per share loss, for the quarter ended Dec. 31, compared to net income of $26.2 million or $1.23 per share for the prior-year quarter. The net loss amount reported for the fourth quarter of 2018 includes a record $18.5 million of catastrophe and storm losses in the reinsurance segment, compared to $1.9 million of total catastrophe and storm losses incurred in the fourth quarter of 2017. For the full year, EMC reported a net loss of $7.5 million, compared to net income of $39.2 million in 2017. “Nearly half of the record amount of catastrophe and storm losses incurred by the reinsurance segment in the fourth quarter are attributed to the California wildfires,” EMC President and CEO Bruce Kelley said in a release. “The reinsurance industry is placing greater emphasis on this peril following the second consecutive year of significant wildfire losses. As a result, programs with wildfire losses received the largest rate level increases during the Jan. 1 renewal season.” Kelley also said EMC’s transition out of the personal lines business is proceeding according to plan.