Private U.S. property/casualty insurers’ net income after taxes grew to $31.0 billion in first-half 2015 from $26.0 billion in first-half 2014, with insurers’ overall profitability as measured by their rate of return on average policyholders’ surplus growing to 9.2 percent from 7.8 percent, according to ISO, a Verisk Analytics business, and the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI).
Insurers’ combined ratio improved to 97.6 percent in first-half 2015 from 98.9 percent in first-half 2014. Net written premium growth remained unchanged at 4.1 percent for the first halves of 2014 and 2015. Net investment income increased to $23.4 billion in the first half of 2015 from $23.0 billion a year earlier, and realized capital gains increased to $8.2 billion from $7.2 billion, resulting in $31.6 billion in net investment gains for first-half 2015.
According to the report, a growth in earned premiums in excess of losses and loss adjustment expenses was credited for the improvement. Insured property losses due to U.S. catastrophes totaled $10.3 billion in the first half of 2015, a reduction of $2.3 billion from first half 2014 totals.
“While Old Man Winter did his best to disrupt things in the Northeast, during the first half of 2015 insurers overall incurred lower domestic catastrophe losses than they did during the first half of last year due to a relatively quiet tornado season and the slow start to hurricane season,” said Robert Gordon, PCI’s senior vice president for policy development and research. “Insurers’ combined ratio and rate of return all improved in the first half of 2015, while premium growth and investment income remained relatively stable.”
“Still, it’s important to note than U.S. catastrophe losses during the first half of 2015 were only slightly lower than the ten-year average,” said Beth Fitzgerald, president of ISO Solutions. “As the devastation caused by meteorological conditions associated with Hurricane Joaquin highlights, it’s crucial for insurers to remain disciplined in their underwriting and look at analytics to be ready not only for weather disasters but also for other major challenges the future may hold.”
The property/casualty insurance industry’s consolidated net income after taxes rose to $12.8 billion in second-quarter 2015, up from $12.1 billion in second-quarter 2014.
Property/casualty insurers’ annualized rate of return on average surplus increased to 7.6 percent in second-quarter 2015 from 7.3 percent a year earlier.
Net written premiums rose $5.5 billion, or 4.4 percent, to $130.6 billion in second-quarter 2015 from $125.1 billion in second-quarter 2014. The industry’s combined ratio improved to 99.4 percent in second-quarter 2015 from 100.6 percent in second-quarter 2014.
To view the full report from ISO and PCI visit: http://www.verisk.com/downloads/InsuranceResultsReport2015Q2.pdf
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