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U.S. property/casualty insurer's policyholder surplus reached a record $683.1 billion during the first half of this year, according to a report released Monday by A.M. Best Co. Inc.
But the report — “U.S. P/C Underwriting Result Weakens, But Policyholders' Surplus Sets Record” — found that the industry's first-half net income dropped 22.1% from that of the same period in 2013 to $27.0 billion That reflected in part continued erosion of investment income and a 31.4% drop in realized capital gains as well as increased catastrophe and non-catastrophe losses, according to Best.
Best noted that while market conditions have become “increasingly competitive for larger and more profitable accounts,” underwriters have been able to get rate increases on smaller commercial accounts “where rates remain below levels to support current exposures, such as commercial auto liability.”
The report added that while there have been some reports of rates dropping year-over-year for some lines, “these reports primarily reflect experience of large commercial accounts and do not appear to represent the industry's overall experience” based on data collected by Best.
Increased catastrophe losses driven by the past winter's severe weather helped drive down first quarter property and casualty insurers' profitability 39.8% to $13.9 billion, according to an A.M. Best Co. Inc. first quarter financial review of the sector issued Monday.