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Property/casualty net premiums grow, profit falls in 2017: Best

Property/casualty net premiums grow, profit falls in 2017: Best

Profitability declined in the U.S. property/casualty industry in 2017 as increased losses and loss adjustment expenses offset growth in net premiums, according to an A.M. Best Co. report Monday.

Best called the 4.7% growth in net premiums written to $556.90 billion a “positive sign” for the industry even as catastrophe losses lead to higher combined ratios in commercial insurance and reinsurance, the Best report said.

The commercial lines segment of the U.S property/casualty industry saw net premiums written grow 1.8% to $192.40 billion, the report said.

Net income for the industry declined 9.3% to $37.80 billion as investment income grew 7.4% to $49.40 billion.

The industry posted a combined ratio of 104.0 in 2017, up from 100.9 in 2016 on higher losses from catastrophes, the Best report said.

The commercial lines segment saw its combined ratio worsen to 102.2% from 99.4% in 2016, and the U.S. reinsurance sector combined ratio worsened to 109.6% from 95.4% in 2016, the report said.

Best said that catastrophes in addition to hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria contributed to the losses, including severe thunderstorms, tornados and winter storms early in the year that generated nearly $18 billion in insured losses through the first six months of the year.



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