The Group attributes the significant increase (US$4.41 per diluted common share, compared to US$1.98) to higher net investment income, stronger equity market performance, and improved general insurance underwriting income.
AIG’s general insurance business reported gross written premium (GWP) of US$10.7 billion in the three moths ending March 31, 2021 – a 6% increase from the US$10.1 billion in Q1 of 2020. The Group’s general insurance combined ratio was 98.8%, inclusive of catastrophe losses, marking a 2.7-point improvement from 101.5% in the first three months of 2020.
Net premiums written (NWP) in the first quarter of 2021 increased 9% to US$6.5 billion due to strong growth in commercial lines insurance both in North America and AIG’s International business. The insurer said this growth reflects “continued strong rate increases across most lines, improved retention and higher new business volumes”.
The North America general insurance business saw the majority of AIG’s NWP in the quarter, securing a total of US$2.9 billion, of which close to US$2.8 billion was in commercial lines and the remaining US$143 million was in personal insurance. Meanwhile, AIG’s International general insurance business took in US$3.5 billion NWP in Q1, of which approximately US$2 billion was in commercial lines and US$1.5 billion was in personal insurance.
AIG’s personal insurance NPW decreased by 74% in North America. The firm explained: “The decrease in North America personal insurance net premiums written reflects the combined impact of the creation of Syndicate 2019, and cessions placed on AIG’s Private Client Group business, which occurred in the second quarter of 2020, and the impact of COVID-19 on travel premiums.”
The life and retirement business reported adjusted pre-tax income of US$941 million for Q1 of 2021, up 57% from US$601 million in the prior year quarter. Again, the insurer relates this jump partly to “higher net investment income” and “higher private equity returns”.
“AIG had an excellent start to the year and that is reflected in our first quarter results with growth in General Insurance and continued strong performance in Life and Retirement,” said Peter Zaffino, AIG’s president and CEO. “The successful repositioning of our global portfolio over the last three years allowed us to pivot from remediation to profitable growth, which we expect to continue throughout the year.
“Life and Retirement delivered another solid quarter, with adjusted pre-tax income growth driven by diversified product offerings and increased investment returns. With strong sales and profitability, this business continues to be a market leader in the protection and retirement savings industry.
“Our strong balance sheet and financial flexibility allow us to continue to invest in growth and core operating fundamentals with capital returns to shareholders when appropriate. During the first quarter we repurchased US$362 million of common stock and ended the quarter with US$7.9 billion of liquidity.
“I am immensely proud of our global colleagues and what we have accomplished together. Our first quarter results reflect significant momentum as we continue our pursuit to become a top performing company.”