Shorter Best: Cats made it a lackluster year:
- $44B in cats (10.1 points of CR), more than double the $20B (4.6 points) posted in 2010. Note that even given last year’s fairly normal cat levels, the CR would still have exceeded 100.
- $33.9B underwriting loss is third worst ever, behind 2001 ($56.4B) and 2002 ($34.3B).
- In better news, NWP rose 3.5% to $442B.
- Surplus fell 1.4%, to $562.7B.
Looking ahead, while pricing discipline seems to be taking hold, A.M. Best believes a traditional “hard” market is likely at least a year or two away. While the industry’s operating performance is expected to improve in 2012, insurers still face a challenging environment, with relatively weak underwriting results and lackluster investment returns expected to influence operating results over the next year.
The press release provides a link to a free copy of the 24-page report.