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U.S. property/casualty insurers see profit rise in 2015 third quarter


Net income rose 11.8% to $13.1 billion in third-quarter 2015 for U.S. property/casualty insurers, according to a new report from Insurance Services Office Inc., part of Verisk Analytics Inc., and the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America, the organizations said Thursday.

The insurers' net written premiums rose 4.1% percent, to $136 billion in third-quarter 2015, according to the report, “Property/Casualty Insurance Results: Nine-Months 2015.” The industry's combined ratio worsened to 95.7% percent in third-quarter 2015 from 95.5% during the year-ago period.

Property/casualty insurers' annualized rate of return on average surplus increased to 7.8% in third-quarter 2015 from 7.0% in the same period last year.

“In the first three quarters of 2015, insurers continued to face a difficult investment environment, and that is unlikely to improve in the immediate future,” Beth Fitzgerald, president of Jersey City, New Jersey ISO Solutions, said in the statement.

Net income after taxes grew 16.4% over the prior-year period to $44.0 billion in the first nine months of 2015 for private U.S. property/casualty insurers.

Property/casualty insurers' overall profitability as measured by their rate of return on average policyholders' surplus grew to 8.8% from 7.6%.

Net written premium growth increased to 4.1% for first nine months of 2015 to $392.7 billion from the same period last year, while net investment income rose 0.9% to $34.8 billion for the period.

The insurers' combined ratio improved to 96.9% percent for the nine months from 97.7% during the year-ago period, according to the report.

“Premium growth continues to be sluggish for commercial lines,” Robert Gordon, senior vice president for policy development and research with Chicago-based PCI, said in the statement.

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