Cedar Rapids-based United Fire Group Inc. reported a consolidated net loss for the fourth quarter of $8.9 million, or 36 cents per diluted share, compared with a consolidated net loss of $23.2 million, or 93 cents per share, for the same period in 2019. For the year ended Dec. 31, the insurer’s consolidated net loss, including investment losses, was $112.7 million, or $4.50 per diluted share, compared with a profit of $14.8 million, or 58 cents per share, in 2019. "We are very disappointed with our fourth quarter and full year 2020 results," stated Randy Ramlo, UFG’s president and CEO. The company’s fourth-quarter results were negatively affected by ongoing social inflation resulting in an increase in severity of current accident year losses, Ramlo said. Social inflation refers to the rising costs of insurance claims due to increasing litigation, broader definitions of liability, more plaintiff-friendly legal decisions and larger compensatory jury awards. Also, full-year 2020 results were negatively affected by a historic level of catastrophic losses, among them the August derecho that hit Iowa and Hurricane Laura, which affected Louisiana. The company’s strategic plan, "One UFG boldly forward," contains a number of initiatives aimed at long-term profitability, portfolio diversification, sustainable growth and continuous innovation, Ramlo said.