At a conference where industry experts bemoaned the low level of overall returns for the property/casualty industry across all lines, they reported even bleaker numbers for homeowners insurers, debating whether the carriers sealed their own fates by failing to raise prices.

Executive Summary

Homeowners insurers reported after-tax returns averaging 4 percent nationally over the last 10 years, with more disastrous results in some regions. Some industry observers say the carriers sealed their own fates by failing to raise prices.

Speaking during a panel discussion at the Property/Casualty Insurance Joint Industry Forum recently, Brian Sullivan, editor for Risk Information, Inc., reported that after-tax returns for U.S. homeowners business averaged just 4 percent over the 10 years ended 2012.

“That doesn’t cover the cost of capital. But when you look at the business and think about just how disgusting the last 10 years have been in terms of performance, that’s not really a disaster,” he said.

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