General Insurance Article - A better year for US P&C insurers

 US Property/casualty insurers' operating profits improved in 2012, driven by reduced incurred losses from natural catastrophes and core loss ratio improvements from recent underwriting and pricing actions. Fitch Ratings' compilation of full-year GAAP 2012 financial results for a group of 48 publicly traded (re)insurers reveals a 75% improvement in operating earnings and operating return on equity of 7.3% versus 4.4% in 2011.

 A 5% increase in annual premium revenue and an underwriting combined ratio of 98.6 versus 103.4 in the prior year were the key contributors toward this earnings improvement. Declining investment income in the prolonged low interest rate environment and a reduced benefit from favourable loss reserve development modestly dampened the group's 2012 financial performance.

 Natural catastrophe-related losses were lower in 2012 but remained higher than historical norms. For the group, natural catastrophe related losses represented under 7% of earned premium versus 11% in 2011. While reinsurers were more deeply affected by global earthquake, tsunami, and flood losses in 2011, losses from October's superstorm Sandy were proportionally borne more by primary insurers.

 Based on this catastrophe experience, the group of 11 reinsurers examined reported the strongest improvement in profits for any individual subsegment, generating a 24 combined ratio improvement to 91in 2012, and rebounding from net losses in 2011.

 Despite this improvement in earnings, individual insurer performance remains below par in many instances. Only one-third of the companies in Fitch's universe generated an underwriting profit on an accident-year basis in 2012, and only one-quarter of companies reported an operating return on equity of 10% or higher for the year. Continued momentum in premium rate increases and a reversion towards historical insured catastrophe loss levels would promote further profitability improvement in 2013.  

Back to Index

Similar News to this Story

Willis Re appoint Head of London Market Reinsurance Claims
Claims veteran Steve Robson has joined Willis Re as head of London Market Reinsurance Claims. He brings extensive client-side experience and perspecti
Under 30s most likely to suffer poor mental health in winter
The end of winter may be in sight, but its effect on mental wellbeing – especially in younger workers – could have a lasting impact for the rest of th
Car thieves having a field day with keyless access
Insurance industry research body Thatcham Research has today published new security ratings taking into account the vulnerability of vehicles to keyle

Site Search

Exact   Any  

Latest Actuarial Jobs

Actuarial Login

 Jobseeker    Client
Reminder Logon

APA Sponsors

Actuarial Jobs & News Feeds

Jobs RSS News RSS


Be the first to contribute to our definitive actuarial reference forum. Built by actuaries for actuaries.