RAA: 15 of 19 U.S. Property-Casualty Reinsurers Post Underwriting Loss

NU Online News Service, Nov. 29, 10:59 a.m. EST

All but four from a group of 19 U.S. property and casualty reinsurers reported a net underwriting loss during the first nine months of the year.

A survey of reinsurers’ statutory underwriting results reveals the combined ratio for the group during the first nine months of 2011 was an unprofitable 108.8, according to the Reinsurance Association of America.

The group’s combined ratio during the same period in 2010 was 96.6.

Overall the group posted an underwriting loss of more than $2 billion.

Policyholder surplus after nine months this year is down to $104.9 billion from $107.5 billion a year ago, RAA says.

Net premiums were up to $20.5 billion compared to $18.3 billion in 2010 after nine months.

Swiss Reinsurance America Corp. reported a net underwriting gain of $71.7 million; Berkshire Hathaway’s General Re Group posted a gain of $44.9 million; Toa Reinsurance Company of America netted nearly $4 million; and SCOR U.S. Group/SCOR Re recorded an underwriting gain of $255,000.

Berkshire’s National Indemnity Co. posted the largest net underwriting loss, $840 million, after nine months. However, National Indemnity, by far, posted the largest net income during the same time, nearly $3.4 billion--which accounts for much of the reason why the group's total net income was $4.4 billion, down from $6.3 billion a year ago.

The largest net income loss ($98 million) during the first nine months for the group was recorded by American Agricultural Insurance Co., which also recorded a net underwriting loss of $123.4 million and a combined ratio of 145.2—which also led the group after nine months.

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