Thanks to a relatively quiet tornado season and slow start to the U.S. hurricane season, there’s good news to report concerning property/casualty insurers’ net income during the first half of 2015.
With those conditions in play, net income for private U.S. property/casualty insurers grew to $31 billion for the first half of 2015, up from $26 billion in the first six months of 2014, according to ISO and the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America.
ISO (A Verisk Analytics business) and PCI said that insurers’ overall profitability as measured by their rate of return on shareholders’ surplus also soared, growing to 9.2 percent from 7.8 percent over the same period last year.
On top of that, insurers’ combined ratio came in at 97.6 for the first half of 2015 down from 98.9 in the 2014 first half. Net written premium grew 4.1 percent overall, the same rate as in H1 2014. As well, net investment income came in at $23.4 billion during the first half, versus $23 billion a year earlier.
Robert Gordon, PCI’s senior vice president for policy development and research, said in prepared remarks that insurers incurred lower catastrophe losses in the first half of 2015 compared to the same period in 2014 thanks to “relatively quiet” tornado and hurricane seasons.
Beth Fitzgerald, president of ISO Solutions noted that U.S. catastrophe losses in the 2015 first half were only a bit lower than the 10-year average. She urged insurers to remain vigilant.
“As the devastation caused by meteorological conditions associated with Hurricane Joaquin highlights, it’s crucial for insurers to remain disciplined in their underwriting and look at analytics,” Fitzgerald said in prepared remarks.
For the 2015 second quarter, the property/casualty insurance industry’s consolidated net income (after taxes) climbed to $12.8 billion. That’s up from $12.1 billion in the 2014 second quarter.
Net written premiums hit $130.6 billion, a $5.5 billion or 4.4 percent increase over the $125.1 billion in net written premiums produced during Q2 2014. For the quarter, the industry’s combined ratio improved to 99.4, compared to 100.6 in the 2014 second quarter.