P/C Insurance Industry Loss Reserves Stable: Conning

The property/casualty industry’s loss reserve position is slightly improved as of year-end 2013, according to Conning.

“Overall, the industry continues to appear to have sufficient reserves, with a modest degree of safety, under assumptions that claims settlement patterns will continue at their current pace,” said Stephan Christiansen, managing director at Conning. “That is an important assumption that continues to be of concern in this period of low inflation and sluggish economic growth.”

However, in a range of economic scenarios, the possibilities of adverse developments slightly outweigh positive developments.

The Conning study, “2013 Property-Casualty Loss Reserves: Still Strong, but Potential Negatives May Outweigh the Positives,” reviews the industry’s loss reserves and development by line. It includes a by-line stochastic analysis and review of the probable impacts of various inflation scenarios on loss reserves.

“This improvement in reserve strength comes in spite of additional reserve releases in 2013,” said Steve Webersen, director of research at Conning.

On an overall basis, the industry released in excess of $13 billion in reserves in 2013, according to Conning, based on the preliminary data used for this analysis. More than half of the 2013 releases came from the all other lines category, which includes among other lines auto physical damage, surety, accident and health, and financial.

The 2013 release marks the eighth consecutive year of reserve releases, Webersen said.