W.R. Berkley Reports Q3 Profit; CEO Sees Turn in Cycle ‘Inevitable’

October 28, 2009

Insurance holding company W. R. Berkley Corp. reported net income for the third quarter of 2009 of $98 million, compared to a net loss of $28 million for the third quarter of 2008.

Operating income for the third quarter of 2009 was $112 million compared to $103 million for the corresponding quarter of 2008.

Investment income rose 15 percent and the combined ratio for the quarter came in at 95.

William R. Berkley, chairman and chief executive officer, said pricing on his company’s renewal business, while still down, is down less than one half percent and premium volume is down less than three percent. New business from our start-ups is, in part, offsetting premium declines from established companies.

Berkley said he sees the economy improving and insurance pricing firming over the next six to eight months.

“At current pricing levels with existing low interest rates, we believe the industry is operating at a net loss on an accident year basis; and a turn in the cycle is inevitable,” he said. “We anticipate modest improvement in the economy and a turn in the insurance pricing environment in the first half of next year,” Berkley said.

W. R. Berkley Corp. operates in five segments of the property/casualty commercial insurance business: specialty insurance, regional property casualty insurance, alternative markets, reinsurance and international.

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