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US property/casualty industry swings to underwriting gain


The U.S. property/casualty insurance industry recorded a $9.3 billion net underwriting gain in the first quarter of 2024, a sharp turnaround from the $8.5 billion loss recorded in the prior-year period, A.M. Best Co. Inc. said in a report issued Thursday.

The results were helped by a decline in severe convective storms and a reversal in the personal lines segment, Best said.

The industry’s combined ratio improved to 94.2%, from 102.5% in the prior-year period. Best estimates that catastrophe losses accounted for 5.1 points on the combined ratio in the first quarter of 2024, down from an estimated 7.6 points in the prior-year period when record severe convective storm losses impacted results.

Net income more than quadrupled to $39.9 billion due to a $10.2 billion change in net realized capital gains at National Indemnity Co. Net investment income rose to $20.1 billion, up 33.3% from $15.1 billion in the prior-year period.

Net premiums written grew 7.4% to $222.9 billion, while a 2.2% decline in incurred losses and loss adjustment expenses offset a 7.0% rise in other underwriting expenses.

Industry surplus increased to $1.1 trillion from $1.0 trillion at year-end 2023.

Data in the report was from companies whose first-quarter 2024 interim period statutory statements were received as of May 29, 2024, accounting for an estimated 98% of total industry net premiums written and 97% of policyholder surplus.