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W.R. Berkley profit rises, premium falls

Posted On: Apr. 25, 2017 10:13 AM CST

W.R. Berkley profit rises, premium falls

W.R. Berkley Corp. on Monday posted a higher profit for the first quarter of 2017 but a decrease in net written premiums, pulled down by lower revenue in its reinsurance sector.

The Greenwich, Connecticut-based insurer reported net income of $124.7 million for the first quarter, a 3.7% increase over the same period last year. 

While net written premium for its insurance business edged up 1% to $1.48 billion, its reinsurance business saw a 17.3% fall in net written premium to $152.7 million. Overall, net written premium edged down 1% to $1.65 billion.

Reinsurance prices have been falling for several years.

The first-quarter results included a previously announced $30 million addition to loss reserves to reflect the change in the U.K.’s discount rate for liability reserves, known as the Ogden rate. Several insurers with U.K. business have announced loss reserve increases as a result of the change.

While catastrophe losses were similar to the same period in 2016, the insurer’s loss ratio deteriorated to 95.7% in the 2017 first quarter from 93.5% last year.