According to a study published today by Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services, the U.S. property/casualty insurance industry has experienced greater ratings stability in 2004, primarily due to improved earnings.
The study, entitled “Industry Report Card: U.S. Property/Casualty Insurers,” indicates that S&P’s outlooks on the sector’s cmponents diverged in the fourth quarter of 2004. The outlook on the personal lines sector remains stable, “reflecting Standard & Poor’s expectation that the sector’s earnings prospects for the first six months of 2005 appear favorable.
“Earned premium growth, continued declining loss frequency, and lower unfavorable reserve development have led to improved profitability, which is expected to approach a cyclical peak in 2004 as renewed competitive pressures are now expected to emerge in 2005.”
By contrast S&P said, ” the outlook on the commercial lines sector has been revised to negative. For this sector, earnings are believed to have already peaked.”
The report is available to subscribers of RatingsDirect, Standard &
Poor’s Web-based credit research and analysis system, at:www.ratingsdirect.com. If you are not a RatingsDirect subscriber, you may purchase a copy of the report by calling (1) 212-438-9823 or send an e-mail to: email@example.com. Ratings information can also be found on Standard & Poor’s public Web site at www.standardandpoors.com; under Credit Ratings in the left navigation bar, select Find a Rating, then Credit Ratings Search.
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