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Private U.S. property and casualty insurers’ net income after taxes grew to $44 billion in the first nine months of 2015, from $37.8 billion in the same period in 2014, with insurers’ overall profitability as measured by their rate of return on average policyholders’ surplus growing to 8.8% from 7.6%, according to a report from Jersey City, N.J.-based ISO and Chicago-based Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI).

Insurers’ combined ratio improved to 96.9% for the first nine months of 2015 from 97.7% in the same period of 2014. Net written premium growth increased to 4.1% for the first nine months of 2015 from 4% for same period in 2014. Net investment income increased to $34.8 billion for the period from $34.5 billion a year earlier, and realized capital gains increased slightly to $8.9 billion from $8.8 billion, resulting in $43.7 billion in net investment gains for the first nine months of 2015.

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