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Chubb reports best quarterly combined ratio in six years


Chubb Corp. posted its best quarterly combined ratio in the past six years in the fourth quarter of 2014, the Warren, New Jersey-based insurer said in an earnings release.

The combined ratio improved to 84.3% from 85.5% during the same period a year earlier. The improvement reflected a decrease in catastrophe losses as well as an improvement in its expense ratio, Chubb said in the earnings release, issued Thursday.

A decrease in investment income caused the insurer's 2014 fourth-quarter net income to decrease 1.9% from that of the same period in 2013 to $558 million. Investment income dropped 6.0% to $267 million, while net written premiums increased 3% to $3.1 billion.

For the full year, net income dropped 1.0% to $2.10 billion, again reflecting a drop in investment income. New written premiums increased 3% to $12.6 billion, but the combined ratio deteriorated slightly to 88.3% from 86.1%, partially due to higher catastrophe losses.

During a Thursday conference call after the earnings release, Chubb Chairman, President and CEO John D. Finnegan said the insurer had benefited from superior underwriting performance He also said Chubb was expecting another good year in 2015 even given low interest rates and the relative strength of the U.S. dollar.

In the earnings release, Mr. Finnegan said Chubb is “pleased that in the fourth quarter we continued to achieve renewal rate increases while maintaining high retention levels in all of our businesses.”