Net underwriting income for the U.S. property/casualty insurance industry in 2019 grew by $4.9 million from 2018, A.M. Best said in a new report.

Underwriting income hit $4.1 billion in 2019, from a loss of $800 million in 2018, even as net investment and other income remain flat. With underwriting income gains, pretax operating income grew 10 percent for 2019, to $61.8 billion, A.M. Best said.

A.M. Best said that a 4.7 percent growth in net premiums earned offset increases in incurred losses as well as loss adjustment expenses, underwriting expenses and policyholder dividends.

Other 12-month results for the U.S. P/C insurance industry, according to the A.M. Best report:

  • The P/C industry generated a 98.8 combined ratio for 2019, better than the 99.3 combined ratio produced in 2018. A.M. Best said that catastrophe losses accounted for 4.2 points on the 2019 combined ratio, down from 5.9 points in 2018.
  • P/C industry net income reached $63.2 billion in 2019, a 6.1 percent increase over 2018. A.M. Best attributed this to a 7.3 percent dip in realized capital gains and a 17.2 increase in income taxes.
  • Industry surplus for 2019 was at $847.2 billion, 14.8 percent higher than in 2018. A.M. Best credited this result, in part, to $84.1 billion of changes in unrealized gains.

The full report is “First Look: 12-Month 2019 Property/Casualty Financial Reports.” It is based on data from companies whose 2019 annual statements were received as of March 4, 2020. A.M. Best said that the companies represented approximately 97 percent of total industry net premiums written and 95 percent of policyholder surplus.

Source: A.M. Best