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Q1 underwriting result strongest since 2007: Fitch

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The aggregate combined ratio for a group of 40 North American insurers and reinsurers improved to 94% in first-quarter 2024, according to a research note from Fitch Ratings Inc.

It was the strongest first-quarter underwriting result since 2007, Fitch said. The aggregate combined ratio for the group improved to 94.2% for the full-year 2023 from 96.7% in 2022.

Overall, commercial lines underwriting results are forecast to remain profitable with modest loss ratio deterioration.

Fitch cautioned, however, that full-year results may not match first-quarter levels due to uncertainty regarding natural catastrophe exposures and loss reserve experience.

“The market faces considerable challenges regarding sustainability of commercial lines pricing to meet ongoing loss-cost inflation and heightened litigation-related risk in several segments,” the report said.

First-quarter net written premium growth of 10% was driven by favorable pricing conditions, according to the report.

Full-year 2023 aggregate written premium growth of 11% was driven by rate increases and exposure growth.