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RenaissanceRe reports 11.4% quarterly profit increase


A slow hurricane season and a benign liability environment assisted RenaissanceRe Holdings Ltd. as it reported net income $75.5 million in the third quarter of 2015, an increase of 11.4% over the third quarter of 2014.

In spite of the Tianjin port explosion in China and California wildfires, the reinsurer’s executives said they have seen another successful quarter.

“With the exception of the Tianjin explosions, this was a relatively quiet quarter in terms of cat losses,” Jeffrey Kelley, the Hamilton, Bermuda-based reinsurer’s chief operating officer and chief financial officer, said in a conference call Thursday. “We booked $8 million in claims for the Tianjin explosion and $9 million of claims for the California wildfires.”

Third-quarter gross written premiums increased to $369.64 million, a 83.9% rise over the third quarter of 2014, the reinsurer said Wednesday in a statement. Net premiums written in the catastrophe reinsurance segment for the quarter increased 32% over the same quarter last year to $55.18 million. Net premiums for the specialty reinsurance category saw a 152.1% increase to $155.99 million compared to third quarter 2014. The Lloyd’s segment slightly dipped 0.7% to $55.65 million from the third quarter of 2014.

Revenue went up 34.4% to $358.2 million for the third quarter of 2015. The combined ratio for the third quarter of 2015 deteriorated to 64.2% from 59.5% in the prior-year period.

Overall, RenRe’s CEO Kevin J. O'Donnell was positive about the third quarter’s results. “Our results benefited from the absence of land-falling U.S. hurricanes and favorable reserve development, offset in part by mark-to-market investment losses,” Mr. O’Donnell said Wednesday in a statement.

For the first nine months of 2015, RenRe total revenue increased 20.9% to $1.14 billion. Nine-month profit decreased 6.8% to $316.6 million. Net written premiums for the 2015 period were up 23.3% to $1.18 million. Combined ratio for the nine months of 2015 deteriorated to 65.9% from 55.9% in the prior-year period.

“For the 10th consecutive year, the biggest news to report in the third quarter is what didn’t happen,” Mr. O'Donnell said in the conference call Thursday. “Specifically, there wasn’t any U.S. land-falling hurricane. The odds of this long of a lucky streak is less than one percent … it’s only a matter of time before one strikes the U.S., and actual returns revert to expected returns.”

“Our market leadership is not predicated on luck but rather based on underwriting discipline, which means listening to clients to develop solutions, continuing to enhance our risk analytics and matching desirable risk with efficient capitol,” he added.