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Net income among property/casualty insurers rose 69.3% to $59.20 billion, according to statutory filings on lower catastrophe losses and higher investment income, ratings agency A.M. Best & Co. reported Wednesday.
Net premiums written jumped 10.8% to $617.4 billion, but Best said it estimates roughly half that gain was due to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. The premium growth seen in 2018 should continue through 2019, Best said.
Results were also bolstered by higher investment income, up 14.0% to $57.0 billion in 2018, according to Best.
Underwriting expenses, however, rose 10.7%, outpacing a 9.8% increase in net premiums earned and leading to an underwriting loss of $2.9 billion, still an improvement from the $25.3 billion underwriting loss in 2017, which was hurt by natural disasters, Best said.
The industry’s statutory combined ratio improved to 99.6% from 104.6% in 2017, the data showed, while the policyholder’s surplus grew 7.4% to $770.2 billion.
Property/casualty insurers and reinsurers saw improved underwriting results and a respite from catastrophe losses during the first half of 2018, according to a report from Fitch Ratings Inc. released Tuesday.