Chubb reported fourth-quarter 2021 net income of $2.1 billion, a decrease of 11.5 percent compared to the same period the prior year.
Nevertheless, the insurer had what CEO Evan G. Greenberg called “one of the best years in our company’s history” after the company posted a sharp rise in net income for all of 2021, about $8.5 billion compared to $3.5 billion in 2020. Chubb had the “best organic growth in property/casualty in over 15 years,” he said during an earnings conference call.
Chubb said its P/C combined ratio for the last quarter of 2021 improved to 85.5, and 89.1 for the year—a improvement from 96.1 in 2020. Greenberg said fourth-quarter profit was hurt by a true-up of COVID-19 reserves. Chubb also booked a reserve charge of $375 million related to the $800 million pending settlement with the Boy Scouts of America.
Greenberg said overall P/C premiums during the fourth quarter increased 9.6 percent, up 13 percent in commercial and about 2.5 percent in consumer lines. Premiums rose 11 percent in North America and 15 percent for international operations. Greenberg added Chubb will “expect rates to continue to exceed loss costs for some time to come.”
“Internationally, like in the U.S., we continue to achieve improved rate to exposure across our commercial portfolio,” Greenberg said. For major accounts in North America, rates increased 10.5 percent during the fourth quarter. Casualty rates were up over 16 percent and property rates increased 9.7 percent. In the excess and surplus business, rates rose 14.5 percent in the fourth quarter, he added.
Underwriting income for the quarter was about $1.3 billion, up over 30 percent from $969 million during the same period the prior year. Full-year underwriting income was up over 200 percent to a record $3.7 billion.
Pre-tax catastrophe losses were $275 million during the fourth quarter, with about $214 million attributed to U.S. weather events, compared to $296 million the last three months of 2020.
Net investment income was $900 million for the fourth quarter and a “record” $3.7 billion for all of 2021.
“With the Fed finally accepting that inflation is a reality that is not going away, interest rates are rising and will continue to rise, and spreads should begin to widen, particularly if the Fed begins to shrink their balance sheet as they should,” Greenberg continued in the statement.