Best’s Special Report: Preliminary 2017 Underwriting Results for U.S. Property/Casualty Industry Reflect Toll of $53 Billion Catastrophe Loss

OLDWICK, N.J.--()--The U.S. property/casualty (P/C) industry recorded a net underwriting loss of $23.5 billion for year-end 2017, according to preliminary results, mainly due to an estimated $52.9 billion in catastrophe-related insured losses, more than double that seen in the previous year.. This financial review is detailed in a new Best’s Special Report, titled, “First Look – 2017 Property/Casualty Results,” and the data is derived from companies’ 2017 annual statutory statements received as of Mar. 9, 2018, representing an estimated 96% of the total P/C industry’s net premiums written.

The report states that the 2017 catastrophes were the main driver for the industry’s additional $18 billion in underwriting losses compared with the previous year. A.M. Best’s $52.9 billion estimate of 2017 P/C industry catastrophe losses is a 109.8% increase over 2016, and dwarfs A.M. Best’s previous industry record for estimated insured losses of $41.9 billion recorded in 2011, which included losses stemming from the Tohoku earthquake and subsequent tsunami in Japan, an active tornado season in the United States and flooding in Thailand. A.M. Best also estimates that the catastrophe losses account for 10.0 points on the P/C industry’s combined ratio, up from an estimated 4.9 catastrophe points in the prior year. The industry’s reported combined ratio deteriorated 3.0 points to 103.8 from the prior year and was the worst of the last five years.

Despite the slight decline in net income, industry surplus grew 6.8% to $733.8 billion in 2017, driven by a $39.4 billion increase in unrealized capital gains, which was offset by a $17.5 billion decrease in other surplus gains and a $4.4 billion increase in stockholder dividends.

To access a copy of this special report, please visit http://www3.ambest.com/bestweek/purchase.asp?record_code=271765.

A.M. Best is the world’s oldest and most authoritative insurance rating and information source. For more information, visit www.ambest.com.

Copyright © 2018 by A.M. Best Rating Services, Inc. and/or its affiliates. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Contacts

A.M. Best
Matthew Coppola, +1 908 439 2200, ext. 5627
Associate Director – Corporate Data Management
matthew.coppola@ambest.com
or
Christopher Sharkey, +1 908 439 2200, ext. 5159
Manager, Public Relations
christopher.sharkey@ambest.com
or
Jim Peavy, +1 908 439 2200, ext. 5644
Director, Public Relations
james.peavy@ambest.com

Contacts

A.M. Best
Matthew Coppola, +1 908 439 2200, ext. 5627
Associate Director – Corporate Data Management
matthew.coppola@ambest.com
or
Christopher Sharkey, +1 908 439 2200, ext. 5159
Manager, Public Relations
christopher.sharkey@ambest.com
or
Jim Peavy, +1 908 439 2200, ext. 5644
Director, Public Relations
james.peavy@ambest.com