Philadelphia-based mortgage insurer Radian Group (RDN) earned $231.9m ($2.82 per share) in Q209, up from a loss of $392.5m in Q208. Mortgage insurance claims of $167.7m were lower than projections. However, Radian said it expects to pay between $275 and $300m in claims during Q309. Radian said government programs to stem foreclosures are helping Radian’s bottom line. “While there are positive signs in today's economy, we remain aware of the challenges and uncertainties Radian continues to face in the near term, and the condition of the U.S. housing market,” Radian CEO S. A. Ibrahim said in a statement. “Our primary focus is on increasing our capital strength and financial flexibility, continuing to write high-quality new business, and positioning Radian for growth and success when markets recover.” Radian said it has improved the quality of the loans it insures. It wrote $5.5bn in new insurance in Q209, 99.9% of which are prime credit quality and 98.4% with a FICO score of 680 or greater. In addition 99.5% are fixed-rate mortgages and 73% had loan-to-value ratios of 90% or less. Write to Austin Kilgore.