In a report on financial results for the month of December, which was published on Tuesday, Progressive revealed that the company met its frequently stated goal of posting a 96 combined ratio again in 2022.
In past communications with investors, Progressive Chief Executive Officer Tricia Griffith has highlighted the insurer’s long-term strategy—to “grow as fast as we can at or below a 96 combined ratio.” For the full-year 2022, Progressive reported exactly a 96 for personal, just 0.6 points higher than the 95.4 reported in 2021.
Across all lines that Progressive writes, the combined ratio also stayed at the target, coming in at 95.8 for 2022 vs. 95.3 in 2021.
As for the “grow as fast as we can” part of Progressive’s target, net premiums jumped by double digits, with Progressive hiking personal auto rates earlier last year to stay ahead of inflationary loss cost trends. During a November investor call, Griffith signaled that Progressive’s major rate jumps had started winding down in most states after the first quarter and that as competitors belatedly started played catch-up, the company started to see new business applications by double digits.
While this week’s financial report does not specify exactly how much of the company’s top-line growth for 2022 was a function of price growth, it does show that policies in force for December 2022 rose 3 percent compared to December 2021. And a month-by-month summary prepared by Carrier Management from Progressive’s 12 monthly reports last year reveals that midyear declines in policy in-force counts have reversed with direct personal auto counts now climbing 5.9 percent.
On the bottom line, Progressive’s net income for the year came in nearly 80 percent below 2021, falling to $721.5 million vs. $3.4 billion in 2021. Net holding period losses on securities of $2.1 billion for 2022 account for most of the drop.