‘Best Pricing in Quite Some Time’ Helped Chubb Weather Catastrophes for Solid Q1

April 25, 2018

Despite higher catastrophe losses, Chubb Limited reported a solid first quarter with net income of $1,082 million, about the same as the $1,093 million it achieved for the same quarter last year.

Core operating income was $1,097 million, compared with $1,175 million, for the same quarter last year.

Catastrophe losses of $380 million contributed 5.8 points to the insurer’s property/casualty combined ratio of 90.1, which was up from last year’s 87.5. That impact this year from catastrophes compared with $206 million (3.3 points of the combined ratio) in last year’s first quarter. Catastrophe losses for this first quarter included $195 million for Northeast winter storms, $125 million for California mudslides and $60 million for all other catastrophe losses globally in the quarter.

The P/C current accident year combined ratio excluding catastrophe losses was 87.6 compared with 88.0 prior year.

Adjusted net investment income was $877 million, up 4.9 percent.

P/C underwriting income was $642 million. P/C current accident year underwriting income excluding catastrophe losses was $813 million, up 7.2 percent.

P/C net premiums written were $6.5 billion, up 5.8 percent. P/C premiums were up over 5 percent in Chubb’s North America insurance business while internationally premium revenue was up 8.5 percent and benefited from a weaker dollar.

Evan G. Greenberg, chairman and chief executive officer, was pleased with the quarter and with pricing trends. “We had a very good quarter though it was impacted by a higher level of catastrophe losses. We produced world-class ex-CAT underwriting results, strong net investment income and good premium revenue growth while achieving better commercial P/C pricing in many of our businesses globally, which improved as the quarter went along,” Greenberg said in prepared remarks.

He said commercial P/C pricing for the business Chubb wrote in the quarter continued to improve in the U.S. and in a number of territories outside the U.S. “We achieved some of the best pricing in quite some time, and it improved as we moved through the quarter. In some classes, customer segments and territories we are observing a clear direction in price firming; in others it’s more chaotic,” Greenberg said.

North America commercial P/C insurance net premiums written in the middle market division increased 2.4 percent, reflecting a 3.5 percent increase in P/C lines and a decline of 0.6 percent in financial lines.

Net premiums written in the small commercial division increased 1.9 percent.

For North America agricultural Insurance, net premiums written were $108 million, an increase of $47 million over the prior year, driven by higher crop premiums, reflecting less premium returned to the U.S. government based on premium-sharing formulas, and increased new business.

Global Reinsurance net premiums written decreased 3.0 percent, or 4.8 percent in constant dollars.

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