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PartnerRe incurs $397m in pandemic-related losses

PartnerRe’s full-year net income fell to $206 million for 2020, as the company incurred net losses of $397 million related to Covid-19.

The profit fell from $890 million in 2019, after what chief executive officer Jacques Bonneau described as a year of “exceptional challenges”.

The pandemic-related losses were attributable to business interruption and event cancellation coverage, credit exposures in financial risks lines, and life and health business, PartnerRe said.

The reinsurer recorded a non-life underwriting loss of $304 million for 2020 and a combined ratio of 106 per cent.

Catastrophic losses related to Hurricane Laura totalled $55 million.

The Bermudian reinsurer, which is owned by Italian investment company Exor, said investment gains of $245 million on fixed maturities and short-term investments had helped the full-year result, mainly driven by a fall in risk-free interest rates.

Total investments and cash and cash equivalents rose 12.8 per cent during the year to top $20 billion for the first time, as the company booked a full-year investment return of 4.6 per cent.

For the fourth quarter, net income was $204 million, which included realised and unrealised investment gains of $20 million on fixed maturities and short-term investments, and $103 million of net foreign exchange losses, driven by the depreciation of the US dollar against all major currencies.

Non-life underwriting profit was $21 million for the fourth quarter and the combined ratio - the proportion of premium dollars spent on claims and expenses - was 98.6 per cent. PartnerRe’s life and health business generated underwriting profit of $22 million.

PartnerRe’s book value rose 1.9 per cent during the year to $6.1 billion.

Mr Bonneau said: “The 2020 year brought exceptional challenges, and I am proud of our ability to remain resilient and deliver value to our clients, despite the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and a record-breaking year of mid-sized weather events for the industry.”

He added: “The 2021 underwriting year has started on a very positive note, and we have remained focused on the continued execution of our strategies to improve profitability in our January renewals.

“We are seeing positive rate movement in most, if not all of our lines of business and have also achieved significant growth in our third-party capital vehicles, with total assets over $1 billion.

“We are positioned well by geographic and product line to capitalise on the improving underwriting environment and deliver value to our clients, capital partners and shareholder in the year ahead.”

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Published February 25, 2021 at 7:20 pm (Updated February 25, 2021 at 8:29 pm)

PartnerRe incurs $397m in pandemic-related losses

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