Costly Natural Disasters Behind FM Global’s 2011 Net Loss

By | March 27, 2012

Rhode Island-based business property insurer FM Global said Monday it had a net loss of $41.5 million for 2011 — a stark contrast to $686.6 million profit the insurer had in 2010.

FM Global, which was one of the last major insurers remaining to report 2011 results, said the losses were driven by large natural catastrophes worldwide. FM Global, a mutual company, offers global commercial and industrial property insurance, engineering-driven underwriting and risk management solutions.

The insurer’s overall combined ratio worsened to 121 percent in 2011. The combined ratio in 2010 was 85 percent.

Net premiums earned for 2011 grew to $3.44 billion, up from $3.25 billion in 2010. Net realized investment gains were $368 million in 2011, improving from $221 million in 2010.

“On an aggregate basis, 2011 losses incurred from these disasters were the largest in our history, exceeding our 2001 loss experience resulting from the World Trade Center attacks and other disasters, and our losses in 2005 from Hurricane Katrina, Rita and Wilma,” the company stated in its annual report. ” Surplus declined by 5.5 percent to $6.9 billion.

“Of the 20 natural disasters and aggregations in 2011, losses from 11 of the disasters were greater than $20 million, and six of the events generated losses greater than $100 million,” the annual report said.

The six largest losses were from the floods in Thailand, and Brisbane, Australia; tornadoes in Joplin, Missouri, and Tuscaloosa, Alabama; and the earthquakes in Honshu, Japan, and Christchurch, New Zealand. Net losses incurred from disasters in 2011 exceeded losses in 2010 by more than $1 billion.

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