W.R. Berkley’s 2012 Q4 Profit Up 41%; $40M in Sandy Loss Reported

January 30, 2013

W.R. Berkley Corp. said its 2012 fourth quarter net profit was $165.49 million, up 41.4 percent compared to the same period in 2011 when it had $117.03 million profit.

For the full-year 2012, the Greenwich, Conn.-based commercial lines insurer reported $510.59 million net profit, up 30.5 percent from $391.21 million reported in 2011.

The net written premiums for the fourth quarter were $1.228 billion, up 12.6 percent from $1.091 billion reported during the same period in 2011. For the full-year 2012, the net written premiums were $4.899 billion, up 12.4 percent from $4.357 billion reported for 2011.

The consolidated GAAP combined ratio for the fourth quarter was 98.1 percent, deteriorating slightly from 97.0 percent during the same period in 2011. For the full-year 2012, the GAAP combined ratio was 97.2 percent, improving from 98.5 percent in 2011.

The net investment income for the 2012 fourth quarter was $151.88 million, up 29.7 percent from $117.09 million one year ago. For the full-year 2012, the net investment income came in at $586.76 million, up 14.5 percent from $526.35 million in 2011.

Rates on Renewed Policies

The insurer stated that average rates on renewed policies increased 6.5 percent in the 2012 fourth quarter.

“We are very pleased with the company’s fourth quarter performance,” CEO William R. Berkley said in a statement. Berkley said the company’s core underwriting results continued to improve as prices increased on renewal business for the third successive year and loss cost inflation continued at modest levels.

“We continue to retain pricing power in most areas of the business, and our renewal retention remains satisfactory. We expect to have improved margins as higher prices are reflected in our earned premiums,” CEO Berkley said.

$40M Net Loss From Sandy

Commenting on catastrophe losses, CEO Berkley said Sandy’s impact was mitigated by strategic reinsurance purchases.

Losses attributable to Sandy — net of reinsurance recoveries and reinstatement premiums — were $40 million in the 2012 fourth quarter.

Total losses from catastrophes in the 2012 fourth quarter were $40.81 million, jumping from $14.55 million one year ago. For the full-year 2012, catastrophe losses came in at $80.20 million, down from $153.37 million in 2011.

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