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Chubb Ltd. saw price increases accelerate and spread to more classes of business in the second quarter of 2019, Chairman and CEO Evan G. Greenberg told analysts Wednesday in reporting lower profit, but higher net premiums written for the quarter.
“The pricing environment continued to firm through the quarter, and we took advantage of some of the best pricing we’ve seen in years,” he said, with rates continuing to firm in the U.S., London wholesale and Australia and spreading to other markets.
“Given some of the market dislocation we have observed, including a reset of risk appetite on the part of some, this firming trend is sustainable and will likely continue to accelerate and spread,” Mr. Greenberg said during the call.
Rates continued to firm in the U.S. for major accounts and E&S Specialty to the middle market, he said.
In Chubb’s North America commercial business, overall prices increased on a written basis by about 7% in the second quarter versus a loss cost trend in the aggregate of just under 4.5%, he said.
“Pricing improved throughout the quarter in many property and casualty related areas, including general casualty, both primary and excess, D&O and professional lines,” he said.
Major account business in North America saw renewal price increases of 8.5%, with risk management pricing up 6.3%, excess casualty up almost 10%, property up 18.5%, while public company D&O rates increased by 11%, Mr. Greenberg said.
Middle market pricing was up over 4.5% overall, and excluding workers compensation it was up nearly 5%, he said.
“This is the best we’ve seen in a number of years,” he said.
Middle-market pricing for primary casualty was up 4.5%, property rates were up 6.5%, excess umbrella up over 6%, and public D&O rates were up 18%, he said.
Chubb reported a 2019 second-quarter net income of $1.15 billion, down 11.1% compared with the same period last year.
Its property/casualty combined ratio deteriorated slightly to 90.1% from 88.4% during the 2018 second quarter.
Net written premium for the 2019 second quarter increased to $8.34 billion, a 4.1% increase compared with the same period last year
For the first half, the insurer reported net income of $2.19 billion, down 7.8%, while net written premium increased 3.6% to $15.66 billion.
Chubb Ltd. reported first-quarter 2018 net income of $1.08 billion, the company said in a statement Tuesday after markets closed, off just 1% from the first quarter of 2017 as natural catastrophe losses took a toll on earnings, which were buoyed by better rates.