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Aspen posts loss amid changes in insurance portfolio

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Aspen Insurance Holdings Ltd. reported a net loss of $71.5 million for the fourth quarter of 2016, compared with a $117.9 million profit for the same period in 2015, as the Bermuda-based insurer and reinsurer continued to reposition its insurance business.

Gross written premium fell to $606.1 million, down 4.5% compared with the 2015 fourth quarter. Insurance gross written premium fell 8.7% to $409 million, “reflecting Aspen’s reduced appetite for programs and primary casualty business, and lower premiums in the marine, aviation and energy sub-segment,” Aspen said Wednesday in a statement.

Aspen CEO Chris O’Kane said in the statement: “While the repositioning of our insurance segment had a significant negative impact on the fourth quarter’s results, we are confident that the actions taken are the right ones.”
Reinsurance gross written premiums increased 5.5% in the fourth quarter to $197.1 million.

Aspen’s combined ratio deteriorated to 106.7% for the 2016 fourth quarter, compared with 91.8% in the prior-year period. The insurer and reinsurer reported $51.1 million in favorable reserve development during the quarter.

For the full year, profit fell 37% to $203.4 million, gross written premium increased 5% to $3.15 billion, and Aspen’s combined ratio worsened to 98.1% from 91.9% in 2015.