US P&C insurance sector bounces back in Q1

New report spotlights significant improvement in sector's combined ratio

US P&C insurance sector bounces back in Q1

Insurance News

By Terry Gangcuangco

The US property and casualty insurance industry has turned things around following losses posted in the first quarter of 2023, according to AM Best’s analysis of P&C insurers’ Q1 financial results made available by May 29, 2024.

According to the “First Look: Three-Month 2024 US Property/Casualty Financial Results” report by AM Best, the industry enjoyed a net underwriting gain of $9.3 billion in the first quarter of 2024, a stark contrast to the $8.5 billion loss in the same period the previous year.

The companies whose data were used for the analysis cover about 98% of the total P&C industry’s net premiums written.

The report highlights a significant improvement in the sector’s combined ratio, which dropped to 94.2 in this year’s first quarter from 102.5 in Q1 2023. Catastrophe losses contributed an estimated 5.1 points to the combined ratio in the three-month period of 2024, down from 7.6 points a year earlier when the industry was hit by record severe convective storm losses.

The underwriting gain, along with a 33.3% rise in earned net investment income, propelled pre-tax operating income by 332.9%, reaching $30 billion. Additionally, according to AM Best, a $10.2 billion shift in net realized capital gains at National Indemnity Company led to the industry’s net income more than quadrupling to $39.9 billion.

AM Best also reported: “Industry surplus increased from the end of 2023 to $1.1 trillion, as a combined $44.2 billion of net income, change in unrealized gains, and contributed capital was reduced by $2.3 billion of other surplus losses and $5.1 billion of stockholder dividends.”

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