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W.R. Berkley Corp. on Tuesday reported a 9.9% decrease in net income, to $119.3 million, in the fourth quarter of 2019.
The Greenwich, Connecticut-based insurer posted a 9.3% increase in net premiums written for the quarter, to $1.66 billion.
For the year, the insurer reported a 6.4% increase in net income, to $681.9 million. Net premiums written increased 6.7%, to $6.86 billion.
Rob Berkley, president and CEO, discussed the hardening market during a conference call with analysts Tuesday.
The low interest rate environment, frequency of catastrophic activity and social inflation “has finally gotten to the point where it is no longer solely being talked about, but is actually being acted upon,” Mr. Berkley said.
This became meaningful in the fourth quarter “and there is no sign of that slowing down,” he said.
Berkley’s rate increases are 8.9%, excluding workers compensation, said Mr. Berkley. That is “pure rate. That is not premium, if you will,” he said.
W.R. Berkley Corp. reported lower profits for the fourth quarter of 2018, but higher profits for the year overall despite elevated catastrophe risks and volatility in the securities markets.