When commenting on the Q4 2021 and full-year 2021 results reported by AXIS Capital, president and CEO Albert Benchimol said the global insurer is “excited for the future”.
Among the key figures published by the group, AXIS revealed that Q4 saw its gross premiums written increase by $214 million (up 16%) to $1.6 billion – up $211 million (or 19%) in the insurance segment, and $4 million (or 1%) in the reinsurance segment.
For the quarter, AXIS’s pre-tax catastrophe and weather-related losses, net of reinsurance, were $54 million ($42 million, after-tax), which was largely attributed to a series of weather-related events. The group reported no change to the net loss estimate of $360 million established in 2020 for the COVID-19 pandemic. Meanwhile, its net favourable prior year reserve development was $9 million compared to $7 million in 2020.
Q4 2021 saw the group deliver an improvement of 2.3 points in current accident year combined ratio, excluding catastrophe and weather-related losses, compared to the prior year, to 89.5%. It also reported an annualised return on average common equity of 16.4% and annualised operating return on average common equity of 15.1%.
For full-year 2021, AXIS noted that its gross premiums written increased by $859 million, or 13% ($786 million or 12% on a constant currency), to $7.7 billion – with its insurance segment up $845 million (or 21%) and its reinsurance segment up $14 million (or 1%). Meanwhile, net premiums written increased by $590 million, or 14% ($523 million or 12%, on a constant currency), to $4.9 billion – up $537 million (or 23%) for insurance and $53 million (or 3%) in reinsurance.
Pre-tax catastrophe and weather-related losses, net of reinsurance and reinstatement premiums, for full-year 2021 stood at $443 million ($378 million, after-tax), primarily due to Hurricane Ida, Winter Storms Uri and Viola, July European floods, and other weather-related events in 2021.
AXIS reported a net income available to common shareholders of $588 million and operating income of $436 million for full-year 2021. The year also saw an on average common equity of 12.2% and operating return on average common equity of 9.1%
Commenting on the fourth quarter 2021 financial results, Benchimol highlighted that it was a strong quarter and “a good finish to a year of meaningful progress”. Its results offer evidence that AXIS’s work in recent years to reposition its portfolio is delivering its intended outcome, he said, and the organisation is committed to sustaining this momentum and producing consistent profitable growth.
“In addition to driving significant improvement to our combined ratio, we continued to optimise balance and volatility in our portfolio as we drive PMLs lower across the entire curve,” he said. “Further, we continued to capitalise on favourable market conditions to build upon our well-established positions in some of the best performing specialty insurance markets.
“Within our insurance segment, we delivered both record new business growth and total premium, as we produced the largest and most diversified insurance portfolio in the company’s history. Our insurance business produced a combined ratio of 91.6% for the full year, and we’re focused on delivering performance in-line with the top ranks of the specialty insurance sector.”