U.S. Reinsurers Report Deteriorating Combined Ratio; Decline in Surplus

September 22, 2008

U.S. reinsurers reported a deteriorating combined ratio for the first-half 2008, compared to the first-half 2007 while net premiums were up over the same time period.

The Reinsurance Association of America (RAA) released reinsurance underwriting results for the six months ending June 30, 2008. The RAA reported policyholders’ surplus of $72.8 billion for a group of 20 U.S. property/casualty reinsurers, compared to $77.3 billion for the same period in 2007.

The 20 U.S. reinsurers wrote $12.7 billion of net premiums, compared to $12.2 billion through six months in 2007.

Through June 30, 2008, the combined ratio for the group was 97.5 percent, deteriorating from the 90.0 percent combined ratio for the same period in 2007. The combined ratio is attributable to a 68.0 percent loss ratio and an expense ratio of 29.5 percent. For the same period in 2007, the loss ratio was 62.8 percent and the expense ratio was 27.2 percent.

Of the 20 U.S. P/C reinsurers in RAA’s report, the top five by net premiums include:

  1. National Indemnity Co. reported $2.725 billion net premiums written;
  2. Transatlantic/Putnam Reinsurance Co. reported $1.857 billion net premiums written;
  3. Munich Reinsurance America Corp. reported $1.089 billion net premiums written;
  4. Odyssey America Reinsurance Corp. reported $963.497 million net premiums written; and
  5. Swiss Reinsurance America Corp. reported $857.885 million net premiums written.

The full report is available at: www.reinsurance.org.

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