Mudslides impact Chubb’s income
Catastrophe losses from mudslides in California impacted first quarter income for Chubb Ltd.
The company has reported a profit of $1.08 billion, or $2.30 per share, for the first three months of the year. That is $11 million lower than the net income achieved during the corresponding period last year.
Core operating income was $1.09 billion, which was also slightly down on the $1.17 billion reported for the first quarter of 2017.
A series of major mudslides in Santa Barbara County, north of Los Angeles, in January, caused catastrophe losses for Chubb.
Evan Greenberg, chairman and chief executive officer of Chubb, said: “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, particularly in the US core operating income per share excluding Cats was up over 5 per cent.
“Concentrated in two areas where we have meaningful presence — Montecito, California with the mudslides and the Northeast US — the catastrophe losses this quarter were up $175 million pre-tax over the prior year and contributed 5.8 points to our published P&C combined ratio of 90.1 per cent. The current accident year combined ratio excluding Cats was 87.6 per cent compared to 88 per cent the prior year. Adjusted net investment income was up 5 per cent, and we expect the positive trend to continue due to our strong growth in invested assets and the rising yield environment.”
Mr Greenberg added: “P&C net premium growth for the company was 5.8 per cent. P&C premiums were up over 5 per cent in our North America insurance business while internationally premium revenue was up 8.5 per cent and benefited from a weaker dollar. I expect our growth to accelerate as the year goes along, particularly outside the US.
“Commercial P&C pricing for the business we wrote in the quarter continued to improve in the US and a number of territories outside the US. 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.”
Book value and tangible book value per share decreased 0.2 per cent and 0.3 per cent, respectively, from December 31, 2017 and now stand at $110.10 and $65.65, respectively.
Chubb said book value and tangible book value per share growth was negatively impacted by realised and unrealised losses of $938 million, after-tax, in the company’s investment portfolio, driven by rising interest rates.
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