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The U.S private insurance industry saw a $26.9 billion net underwriting loss in 2022, more than six times the $3.8 billion loss in 2021 and the largest underwriting loss since 2011, according to preliminary estimates from Verisk Analytics Inc. and the American Property Casualty Insurance Association.
The results are consolidated estimates based on annual statements filed with insurance regulators by private property/casualty insurers domiciled in the United States, representing about 94% of business written by U.S. property/casualty insurers, the organizations said in a statement.
Net written premium for the insurers rose to $769.68 billion in 2022, an 8.3% increase from 2021, and net income fell 33.6% to $41.2 billion.
The group’s combined ratio deteriorated to 102.7% in 2022 from 99.6% in 2021.
“Hurricane Ian and the effects of inflation resulted in major losses for property insurers last year, while accident severity continued to plague personal and commercial auto lines,” Neil Spector, president of underwriting solutions at Verisk, said in the statement.
For the fourth quarter of 2022, industry net income fell 48% from the prior year period to $10.35 billion. The insurers’ policyholders’ surplus “recovered somewhat” from $911.7 billion at the end of the third quarter of 2022 to $952.4 billion by end of the fourth quarter but still lagged the $1.03 trillion at the end of 2021, the statement said.
Fourth quarter net written premiums increased 8.2% to $182.75 billion. The fourth-quarter combined ratio deteriorated to 104% from 100% in the fourth quarter of 2021.