U.S. Reinsurers See Red in 2011 Underwriting Results

NU Online News Service, March 15, 9:21 a.m. EDT

The U.S. reinsurance industry was hit hard by catastrophes in 2011, producing a combined ratio of well over 100, according to one survey of U.S. reinsurance property and casualty underwriters.

The Reinsurance Association of America (RAA) surveyed 19 U.S. P&C reinsures and found their combined ratio in 2011 deteriorated by 11.8 points to 107.2 over the previous year.

The Washington-based association says it examined the statutory underwriting results of 19 reinsurers that wrote a total of $26.4 billion of net premium for all of 2011. That total was up from $23.3 billion for the previous year.

The survey says the industry held policyholder surplus of $108.4 billion at the end of 2011, just slightly higher than the $108.3 billion in 2010.

Among the reinsurers with the highest combined ratio were:

  • American Agricultural Insurance Co., with a combined ratio of 130.8, up from 104.4 in 2010.
  • EMC Reinsurance Co., with a combined ratio 118.1, up from 88 in 2010.
  • Endurance Reinsurance Corp. of America, with a combined ratio of 121.1, up from 91.5 in 2010.
  • Odyssey Reinsurance Group, with a combined ratio of 117.3, up from 98.8 in 2010.

The survey says that net profit for the 19 reinsurers as a whole was down 27 percent, or $2.42 billion, to $6.69 billion.

In a separate report, the Association of Bermuda Insurers and Reinsurers says that international reinsurers paid 24 percent of U.S. 2011 tornado losses for a total of $2.5 billion, with Bermuda reinsurers footing 40 percent of the losses.

Bradley Kading, president of the ABIR, explains that the figures produced from publicly reported data only covers three of the worst tornado events that struck the United States in 2011 (Alabama, Joplin and Springfield).

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