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U.S. reinsurers' premiums written, profit dropped in 2015

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Eighteen U.S. property/casualty reinsurers wrote $38.87 billion in net written premiums in 2015, an 18.6% decline from 2014, according to a survey of reinsurers' statutory underwriting results by the Washington-based Reinsurance Association of America.

The change in 2015 premium volume was due mainly to the one-time consideration for a loss-portfolio contract by Berkshire Hathaway Inc.'s National Indemnity Co. with affiliated insurer GEICO that was booked in 2014.

The loss-portfolio transaction also affected net income for the 18 reinsurers, which dropped 31.1% to $10.79 billion in 2015. National Indemnity's net income dropped 40% from its 2014 level to $7.18 billion.

The reinsurers' combined ratio deteriorated from 91.1% in 2014 to 92.6% last year, the RAA said recently in a statement.

Policyholder surplus was $130.42 billion at the end of last year, up less than 1% from the third quarter.