Investments, Specialty Business Counter Weather Losses, Reinsurance in Q2 for W.R. Berkley

July 31, 2017

Weather-related losses and a competitive reinsurance business nudged W.R. Berkley Corp.’s 2017 second quarter combined ratio higher. But a nearly five percent growth investment income and gains in specialty business helped keep net income steady.

W.R. Berkley booked $109 million in net income for the quarter, a touch higher than the $108.96 million in net income from the same period a year ago. Both numbers translated to earnings of $0.85 per share.

Consolidated net investment income surpassed $135.2 million for the quarter, compared to $129 million in the 2016 second quarter.

Berkley’s consolidated combined ratio of 95.1 for Q2 was higher than the 94.9 booked in the 2016 second quarter. The Q2 2017 number includes 2.8 points from weather-related losses.

Broken down, Berkley’s insurance combined ratio was 94.1, versus 94.2 in the 2016 second quarter. Its reinsurance combined ratio rose to 104.4, up from 100.9 over the same period last year.

W.R. Berkley noted in its earnings announcement that market conditions are competitive, particularly in reinsurance. The company added that it is “willing to sacrifice growth in order to achieve underwriting profits and adequate returns.”

Consolidated gross premiums written surpassed $1.88 billion, but that’s down from more than $1.9 billion in the 2016 second quarter. Similarly, net premiums written came in at $1.56 billion, a decrease from $1.64 billion in the same, year-ago period.

Here are some additional Q2 earnings highlights:

  • Workers’ compensation net premiums written nearly hit $372 million, up from $345.47 million in the 2016 second quarter.
  • Commercial auto net premiums written were booked at $171.4 million, a jump over $167.27 million during the same period last year.
  • Casualty reinsurance net premiums written dropped to just under $86.4 million in the 2017 second quarter, from $108.4 million during the same period in 2016. Property reinsurance net premiums written hit $126 million in Q2, a decrease from $178.8 million the year before.

Source: W.R. Berkley Corp.

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