The U.S. property/casualty industry recorded a $32.2 billion net underwriting loss in the first nine months of 2023, $7.6 billion worse than the underwriting loss posted in the same prior-year period, according to a new AM Best report.

The results are highlighted in a new Best’s Special Report, titled “First Look: Nine-Month 2023 U.S. Property/Casualty Financial Results.”

The data reflects information gleaned from nine-month 2023 interim period statutory statements by carriers that were received as of Dec. 4, 2023.

The information represents nearly 99 percent of total industry net premiums written and 98 percent of policyholder surplus, the report noted.

Losses in the personal lines segment was main driver of the P/C industry’s combined ratio of 103.4 for the nine-month period, a 0.7-percentage-point deterioration from the same period in 2022, the A.M. Best report stated.

Catastrophe losses made up an estimated 9.8 percentage points on the nine-month 2023 combined ratio, up from an estimated 7.3 points in the first nine months of 2022.

The P/C industry saw net earned premium growth of 9.7 percent with a 2.2 percent decline in policyholder dividends in the nine-month period, according to the report.

This was countered by an 11.9 percent increase in incurred losses and loss adjustment expenses (LAE) to $476.4 billion and a rise in other underwriting expenses, the report added.

Earned net investment income was noted to be nearly equivalent to the prior-year period at $51.4 billion.

Underwriting loss drove pre-tax operating income down 28.4 percent, to $19.9 billion, the report found.

A $50 billion change in net realized capital gains at National Indemnity Company resulted in net income for the industry more than doubling to $65.7 billion.