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TMCNet:  A.M. Best Special Report: Preliminary 2016 Results Show First Underwriting Loss for U.S. Property/Casualty Industry Since 2012

[March 15, 2017]

A.M. Best Special Report: Preliminary 2016 Results Show First Underwriting Loss for U.S. Property/Casualty Industry Since 2012

The U.S. property/casualty industry reported a $5.2 billion net underwriting loss in 2016 and an 18.3% decline in net income compared with the same period in 2015, according to preliminary financial results. The underwriting loss is the industry's first since 2012, and also marks the third consecutive year of deteriorating underwriting results. This financial review is detailed in a new Best's Special Report, titled, "A.M. Best First Look - 4Qtr 2016 U.S. Property/Casualty Financial Results," and the data is derived from companies' statutory statements that were received as of March 9, 2016, representing an estimated 94% of the total property/casualty industry's net premiums written.

According to the report, the industry's reported combined ratio deteriorated 2.9 points from the previous year to 100.7, marking the worst year-to-year comparison in the last four years. Hurricane Matthew boosted estimated U.S. catastrophe losses in 2016 by 43.2% to 24.9 billion, the industry's highest catastrophe loss total since 2012, when Hurricane Sandy made landfall.

Despite the net income decline to $44.4 billion from $54.3 billion in the previous year, policyholders' surplus reached a record $667.5 billion at year-end 2016, driven by significant increases in unrealized capital gains at two Berkshire Hathaway companies and at State Farm, a decrease in net other-surplus losses and a reduction in stockholder dividends.

To access the full copy of this special report, please visit http://www3.ambest.com/bestweek/purchase.asp?record_code=259693.

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

Copyright © 2017 by A.M. Best Rating Services, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.


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