Chubb Chairman and CEO Evan Greenberg referred to his company as being in the midst of a “rational market” and appeared pleased with its direction and tone so far in 2019.
“In the first quarter, in total, with all lines aggregated, rate on written basis equaled loss cost trend, and that is a change,” Greenberg said during the company’s Q1 2019 earnings investor call on May 1.
He noted that “the rate of increase is accelerating in short-tail and long-tail lines in the United States and in London wholesale in particular.” Underscoring that milestone, Chubb tweeted a comment from Greenberg noting that in U.S. commercial lines in particular, along with the London wholesale and some other international markets it “is the best we have seen in a number of years.”
Greenberg held back from predicting the future in direct terms, but said he is pleased with Chubb’s progress and noted company is heading is heading in the right direction regarding rate.
“I don’t want to prognosticate the future. Chubb runs world-class combined ratio, and if we can continue to achieve rate that equals loss trend in areas that are adequately priced, that’s brilliant,” Greenberg said. “If we can achieve rate in excess of loss cost trend in those areas that need rate because margin is not adequate, that too is the objective, and we’ll see how it plays out and whether it continues to accelerate.”
Greenberg said he was feeling good particularly about large accounts and the E&S business. Trends are also good for the middle market, he said, but not at the rate of the other two segments.
“I like the tone of the market and what I see and what I feel,” Greenberg said. “It is rational and what appears to be continued forward momentum.”