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U.S. property/casualty insurers' aftertax net income dropped 70.5% to $7.98 billion during the first nine months of this year compared with a year earlier, according to a survey released Monday by the Insurance Services Office Inc. and the Property Casualty Insurers Assn. of America. Inc.
The survey found that P/C insurers' net underwriting losses grew to $34.91 billion during the first nine months of 2011 from $6.30 billion during the same period of 2010.
The industry's combined ratio deteriorated to 109.9% from 101.2% a year earlier.
“The deterioration in underwriting results is largely attributable to a spike in net losses and loss adjustment expenses—LLAE—from catastrophes,” the ISO and PCI said in a statement. “ISO estimates that insurers' net LLAE from catastrophes rose to $33.2 billion” in the first nine months 2011 from $10.8 billion in the first nine months 2010. “These amounts exclude LLAE that emerged after insurers closed their books for each period, but do include late-emerging LLAE from events in prior periods.”
The survey found that net investment gains partially offset the underwriting results, with investments rising 5.4% to $41.97 billion during the first nine months of this year.
Policyholders' surplus dropped 1.6% to $538.63 billion as of Sept. 30 vs. $547.19 billion at the end of 2010.
Net written premiums grew 3.1% to $334.53 billion during the first nine months of the year.
Property/casualty insurers' third-quarter net income fell 68.7% to $3.22 billion, according to the survey. Net written premiums rose 4.1% to $115.74 billion.