W.R. Berkley Corp. generated record fourth quarter 2020 net profit and a healthy combined ratio, results the company attributed to rate hikes, higher investment returns and continued underwriting discipline.
Fourth quarter net income was nearly $ 312.2 million, or $ 1.67 per diluted share, compared to $ 119.3 million, or $ 0.62 per diluted share in the same period a year ago. Berkley said the bottom line was a "all-time record" for the company.
Another driver of growth for the Berkley was rate hikes. Excluding workers' compensation, the insurer and reinsurer said average rate hikes are up 15.4 percent, with no moderation in the coming months.
Berkley's combined ratio was 92.8 from 93.3 in the fourth quarter of 2019. The combined ratio for reinsurance and monoline excess was 77.8, an improvement from 95.5 in the same quarter last year.
W.R. Berkley said catastrophes added 2.3 loss ratio points to the reported combined ratio, including 1.5 loss ratio points for COVID-19-related losses.
The insurer posted $ 42.2 million of catastrophe losses in the fourth quarter, including COVID-19-related losses, against nearly $ 20.5 million in the fourth quarter of 2019.
Investment income soared – to nearly $ 181 million for the quarter, from $ 137.3 million in the fourth quarter of 2019.
Here are additional Q4 results:
- Consolidated gross premiums written exceeded $ 2.2 billion for the quarter, compared to $ 2 billion in the fourth quarter of 2019. Consolidated net premiums written were $ 1.8 billion, compared to more than $ 1.6 billion the year before.
- Broken down further, gross insurance premiums written were just under $ 2 billion in the quarter, compared to $ 1.8 billion in Q4 2019. Net insurance premiums booked reached just under $ 1.6 billion, up from nearly $ 1.5 billion a year ago.
- Gross written premiums for reinsurance / monoline exceeded $ 225.3 million, compared to $ 200 million in Q4 2019. Net written premiums in the unit were more than $ 205 million, versus $ 175.6 million last year.
- Net employee benefit premiums written for the quarter totaled nearly $ 242 million, down from nearly $ 283 million in the fourth quarter of 2019.
Source: W.R. Berkley
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