Second quarter underwriting losses were driven by continued poor performance of financial lines-focused companies (176% combined ratio) and a deterioration in the combined ratio of personal lines insurers (1,000 basis points to 106%)
Charlottesville, VA (Vocus) August 27, 2008
According to second quarter 2008 statutory insurance financial results recently made available by SNL Financial, 22 individual property and casualty companies reported underwriting losses of more than $100 million.
In a quarter that was generally regarded as unusually active for natural catastrophes, the P&C industry posted $4.49 billion in underwriting losses, according to data tabulated by SNL from nearly 97% of expected filers, representing more than 2,700 individual entities. SNL data shows that the loss is the largest for a second quarter since 2002, when the industry absorbed an $8.01 billion underwriting loss. That quarter saw the asbestos liability settlements of both PPG Industries and Pittsburgh Corning.
Tough bond and stock market conditions also provided a headwind to the P&C group in the second quarter as the industry saw substantial realized and unrealized capital losses. However, the industry proved resilient on the bottom line as it overcame underwriting and investment challenges to generate net income of more than $7 billion for the period.
"Second quarter underwriting losses were driven by continued poor performance of financial lines-focused companies (176% combined ratio) and a deterioration in the combined ratio of personal lines insurers (1,000 basis points to 106%)," said Jon Wright, Associate Director of Statutory Insurance Research at SNL. "Reinsurance and commercial lines companies continue to operate at an underwriting profit, albeit one that is becoming increasingly narrow."
Click here to find out which insurers outperformed and underperformed the industry and the markets during the second quarter. SNL's statutory insurance data is available exclusively as part of SNL Unlimited for Financial Institutions. To learn more about SNL Unlimited, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 866.296.3743.
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