W.R. Berkley Corp. reported record quarterly underwriting income, double-digit premium growth and healthy rate increases in the first quarter.

The commercial lines insurer and reinsurer also saw its net income soar to $229.5 million, or $1.23 per diluted share, compared to a $4.4 million loss, or minus $0.02 per diluted share, in the 2020 first quarter.

Berkley’s gross premiums written nearly hit $2.5 billion in Q1 versus $2.2 billion a year ago. Net premiums written landed at $2 billion compared to more than $1.8 billion in the 2020 first quarter.

Net investment income dipped a bit in Q1, to $158.6 million, versus nearly $174.8 million in the same, year-ago period. At the same time, W.R. Berkley booked almost $35 million in net investment gains versus $177 million in net investment losses in Q1 2020.

Its insurance combined ratio was 90.6 for Q1 2021, improved from 96.4 last year. Its reinsurance/monoline excess combined ratio was 87.4 compared to 100.6 a year ago.

Berkley’s average rate increases excluding workers compensation were nearly 13 percent. And the insurer said it produced a record $182.6 million in quarterly underwriting income.

Workers compensation net premiums written were $286.7 million during the quarter, down from nearly $327.3 million in the 2020 first quarter.

Source: W.R. Berkley