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Beazley PLC recorded a 48% drop in pre-tax profit to $191 million for 2022 as it reported an investment loss of $179.7 million, compared with gain of $116.4 million in 2021.
The company’s combined ratio improved to 89% from 93% in 2021. I
It booked a 14% rise in gross premium written to $5.3 billion after renewal rates increased an average 14% across the portfolio following a 24% rise in 2021.
All five underwriting divisions booked growth in premiums last year, led by cyber up 42% to $1.16 billion and boosted by average rate increases of 40%. Beazley said cyber rate increases moderated in 2022, from average rises of 88% in 2021, and the business expects flatter rates to continue through this year. Beazley said cyber business outside its core U.S. client base saw “exponential” growth in 2022.
“In Europe and across the globe, we are seeing large corporations seek greater cyber protection, and we expect the level of demand to continue,” Beazley CEO Adrian Cox.
Beazley’s MAP risks division, which combines marine with Beazley’s political, accident and contingency division and portfolio underwriting, recorded 23% growth in gross premiums to $1.11 billion in 2022. Beazley said claims booked to the division from exposure to the war in Ukraine dented MAP profits, which were down 45% to $91.6 million.
Mr. Cox said Beazley will use $404 million of new capital raised in November to “lean into the opportunity” coming out of the property market and target cyber growth.
Beazley’s property gross premiums rose 6% last year to $859.8 million. Although the property result was dampened by $120 million in losses from Hurricane Ian, its combined ratio improved to 98% from 106% in 2021.
Specialty risks remained Beazley’s largest unit after gross premiums increased 2% to $1.94 billion, with a rate increase of 2%.
Mr. Cox said Beazley “pulled back” from D&O risks in 2022 amid increased competition. “This is a caution we will maintain in 2023, although we believe the market will likely stabilize, with supply and demand coming more in line,” he said.
Looking ahead, Beazley expects to record higher net premium growth than gross premium growth this year following its move from a portfolio underwriting syndicate to a standalone and a reduction in reinsurance cover for cyber and specialty risks.