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SCOR reports P&C premiums up 4.3%, nat cat ratio down 1.2 points


March 5, 2014   by Canadian Underwriter


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French reinsurer SCOR SE released Wednesday its financial results for the 2013 calendar year, recording a 4.3% year-over-year increase in property and casualty gross written premiums, a 1.2-point year-over-year drop in its natural catastrophe ratio and a 6% premium increase, on January 2014 treaty renewals, of marine and energy and United States catastrophe reinsurance.

Paris-based SCOR operates both a life and P&C reinsurer, plus an asset management unit.

For the entire group, net written premiums in 2013 were €10.253 billion in 2013, up 7.8% from €9.514 billion in 2012. As of Wednesday, the euro was worth $1.53.

Within P&C, SCOR recorded gross written premiums of €4.848 billion in 2013, up 4.3% from €4.65 billion in 2012. For the fourth quarter, P&C gross written premiums increased 6% year-over-year, from €1.133 billion in 2012 to €1.2 billion in 2013.

“Throughout 2013, the Group’s non-life reinsurance arm has recorded excellent renewals on all continents (+9% in January, +6% in April and +8.5% in July 2013),” SCOR stated in a press release. “This trend has continued at the 1 January 2014 renewals with premium growth of 5%.”

In P&C, SCOR reported its business, by percentage of gross written premiums, was 54% treaties, 21% specialty treaties, 13% business solutions and 12% joint ventures and partnerships.

At the January 2014 renewals, SCOR reported its gross written premiums, within treaty renewals, increased by 6% at constant exchange rates, to €1.927 billion.

“SCOR Global P&C continues to diversify its portfolio towards Asia (32% growth), this region now representing 19% of the P&C Treaty portfolio,” SCOR stated. “In all regions, the growth is accompanied by active portfolio management and a successful handling of clients’ programme restructurings. The global insurers initiative is bearing fruit, with SCOR achieving growth from this client base despite these clients restructuring and increasing their retentions.”

Within specialty treaties, SCOR said its gross premiums increased by 4% at constant exchange rates to €724 million.

“Some segments have benefited from relatively better market conditions, leading to a 6% premium increase in Marine & Energy and a 4% increase in Engineering,” SCOR noted in a release. “The US cat segment represents only 2% of the overall P&C book to be renewed, and has witnessed 6% growth thanks to increased shares with large national, multi-national and global insurers, more than compensating the reductions on the regional book where pricing and general conditions have often been viewed as unsatisfactory.”

SCOR also reported Wednesday it had “better than expected conditions on the retrocession market, generating savings representing a 0.6% positive impact on the combined ratio with a slightly improved cat coverage.”

This, SCOR added, “nearly neutralises an expected increase in the gross underwriting ratio of 0.9%.”

SCOR noted in a presentation to investors that its net combined ratio was 93.9% in 2013, down 0.2 points from 94.1% in 2012.

For the fourth quarter, the combined ratio in P&C dropped 1.7 points, from 95.0% in 2012 to 93.3% in 2013.

For the full year, the commissions ratio in p&c was 23.1% in 2013, up 0.8 points from 22.3% in 2012. The p&c management expense ratio increased 0.4 points, from 6.3% in 2012 to 6.7% in 2013.

SCOR’s loss ratio (the sum of its net attritional and natural catastrophe ratios) was 64.1% for all of 2013, down from 65.5% for all of 2012.

The company reported gross benefits and claims paid, in p&c, were €2.967 billion in 2013, down from €2.833 billion in 2012.

In 2013, SCOR reported its net attritional ratio was 57.5%, down 2.4 points from 57.9% in 2012. In 2013, its natural catastrophe ratio was 6.4%, down 1.2 points from 7.6% in 2012.

For SCOR Group as a whole, net income increased 31.3% year over year, from €418 million in 2012 to €549 million last year. At the same time, investment income dropped 9.5% year over year, from €566 million in 2012 to €512 million in 2013. 

On the life side, SCOR recorded gross written premiums of €5.405 billion in 2013, up 11% from €4.864 billion in 2012. Last October, SCOR announced it had finalized the acquisition of Generali U.S. Holdings Inc., and had changed the name of operating company Generali USA Life Reassurance to SCOR Global Life USA Reinsurance Company.