DAILY NEWS Jan 2, 2013 10:18 AM - 0 comments

Net income doubles for U.S. property and casualty insurance industry: A.M. Best

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2013-01-02

A.M. Best Co. has announced that net income for the U.S. property and casualty industry for the first nine months of 2012 was US$31.2 billion, more than double the US$12.3 billion reported for the same period in 2011.

Finance

In a recent report, Oldwick, N.J.-based A.M. Best stated the storm resulting from Hurricane Sandy in late October will have "only a modest impact" during the fourth quarter of 2012. The report is titled U.S. P/C Net Income Improves in 3rd Qtr; Sandy's Impact Yet to be Realized.

"Superstorm Sandy is not expected to create a substantial capital challenge to the [p&c] industry, and even after a record catastrophe year in 2011, the overall position of the [p&c] insurance industry's balance sheet is strong," the company stated in a press release Dec. 28. "A.M. Best anticipates that the industry will absorb these losses without significant impact to its overall financial strength."

Hurricane Sandy was downgraded to post-tropical storm status when it made landfall in New Jersey Oct. 29. EQECAT Inc. forecast in November that insured losses would be US$10 billion to US$20 billion, with total economic damages of between US$30 billion and US$50 billion.

Insurance firms who published estimates on storm-related claims included New York-based American International Group Inc., which estimated its after-tax losses related to the storm, net of reinsurance, at about US$1.3 billion.

In a six-month financial review on the U.S. p&c sector released in October, A.M. Best reported that net premiums written for the first six months of 2012 were US$228.6 billion, up 4% from US$219.8 billion during the same period in 2011.

For the first nine months, the underwriting loss for the industry dropped from US$30 billion in 2011 to US$4.4 billion in 2012, A.M. Best said in its Dec. 28 press release. Net premiums written increased year-over-year by 4.4%.

"Additionally, NPW for commercial lines outpaced growth in personal lines in the third quarter, led by strong growth in direct premiums written in the workers' compensation, commercial multi-peril and ocean and inland marine lines of business," A.M. Best said.

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