Bermuda (Re)Insurance Association Releases Members’ 2009 Results

March 17, 2010

The Association of Bermuda Insurers and Reinsurers (ABIR) has released the 2009 global underwriting results for its 23 members, who write insurance and reinsurance from underwriting centers in Bermuda, Europe and the U.S.

The announcement noted that the “23 (re)insurers wrote $61 billion (US) in global gross written premium on a capital and surplus base of $84 billion. They reported net income of $12.4 billion and had an average combined ratio of 85 percent. The premium to surplus ratio for the group as a whole was .73 to 1.”

The ABIR described 2009 as a “recovery year for (re)insurers everywhere,” which is reflected in the results. “Capital and surplus grew 33 percent ($63 billon to $84 billion) from 2008 to 2009,” it continued. “When removing the anomalous results from the 2008 financial crises, capital and surplus can be viewed as growing 16 percent ($73 billion to $84 billion) from 2007 to 2009. Insurers performed well during the financial crisis, so the 2009 results show the ABIR membership moving from ‘strength to greater strength.’ 2008 results were also impacted by extraordinary catastrophe losses including Hurricane Ike; while 2009 was characterized as a benign catastrophe loss year.”

However, the bulletin also noted that “premium written has remained flat during the three year period 2007, 2008 and 2009. ABIR members reported $59 billon in global gross written premium in 2007, $61 billion in 2008 and $61 billion in 2009.” The $12.4 billion net income for 2009 was in stark contrast to the $125 million loss posted by ABIR members in 2008. When compared with 2007, however, net income rose 8 percent in 2009 from to $11.5 billion.

Approximately 59 percent of ABIR member premium is insurance. Six ABIR members wrote only reinsurance. The ABIR also pointed out that its members include “16 of the top 35 global reinsurers as measured by A.M. Best. The ABIR membership wrote approximately 18 percent of the global reinsurance premium (2008); and is estimated to write 40 percent of the property catastrophe reinsurance premium for European (broker) and US insurance markets. The ABIR member groups write about 30 percent of the Lloyds of London premium. The companies write primarily wholesale commercial property and casualty insurance and reinsurance.”

Measured by gross premium the six largest ABIR members are: ACE Limited, XL Capital Limited, Partner Re Limited, Catlin Group Limited, Arch Capital Group Limited and Axis Capital Holdings Limited. When measured by capital and surplus, the six largest ABIR members are: ACE limited, XL Capital Limited, Partner Re Limited, Axis Capital Holdings Limited, Arch Capital Group Limited and Validus Holdings Limited.

ABIR members employed (yearend 2008) 31,000 people worldwide including 1,800 in Bermuda, 16,000 in the US and more than 7,000 in Europe.

A complete breakdown of the results by company, and further information is available on the ABIR’s web site at: www.abir.bm

Source: Association of Bermuda Insurers and Reinsurers

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