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2011 biggest US underwriting loss since 2002

07 February 2012

ANALYSIS: Rating agency AM Best says the US property/casualty (P&C) insurance market had its 2011 results “slammed by catastrophe losses” at home and aboard, leading to losses on commercial, personal and reinsurance lines.

Read more: AM Best US P&C 2011 capital reserves underwriting results

Last year the US P&C market had its biggest underwriting loss since 2002, as catastrophe losses "wreaked havoc on underwriting results", according to a report issued by AM Best.

AM Best estimates that the industry's total pre-tax accident-year catastrophe losses were approximately $44.1bn in 2011, more than doubling from an estimated $19.6bn paid in 2010.

The rating agency said the high losses, less favourable loss-reserve development and weak macroeconomic conditions, combined to pile up the industry's expected combined ratio to 107.5% - a 6.5% deterioration from 2010.

"Insurers were impacted by an unprecedented number of natural catastrophe events in the US and abroad in 2011, resulting in catastrophe-related losses more than doubling the total reported in 2010," said the report,...

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