Press Release - AUGUST 22, 2019

Best’s Special Report: Preliminary First-Half 2019 Results Show Reduced Underwriting Income for Property/Casualty Industry

 Matthew Coppola
Director – Corporate Data Management
+1 908 439 2200, ext. 5627
Christopher Sharkey
Manager, Public Relations
+1 908 439 2200, ext. 5159

Jim Peavy
Director, Public Relations
+1 908 439 2200, ext. 5644


The U.S. property/casualty industry’s net underwriting income declined by 9.6% to $4.8 billion in the first half of 2019, compared with $5.3 billion in the same prior-year period. This financial review is detailed in a new Best’s Special Report, titled, “First Look: Six-Month 2019 Property/Casualty Financial Results,” and the data is derived from companies’ six-month 2019 interim statutory statements that were received as of Aug. 20, 2019, representing an estimated 97% of the total property/casualty industry’s net premiums written.

Net earned premiums grew by 3.8% in first-half 2019, and underwriting expenses and policyholder dividends were stable; however, this was offset by a 5.6% increase in losses and loss adjustment expenses (LAE) incurred. As a result, the combined ratio for the property/casualty industry weakened by one percentage point from the prior-year period to 97.4. AM Best estimates catastrophe losses accounted for 4.5 percentage points on the six-month 2019 combined ratio, up from an estimated 4.2 percentage points in the prior-year period.

A $432 million increase in net investment income during first-half 2019 offset most of the underwriting decline, resulting in pre-tax operating income remaining unchanged at $33.1 billion. Due to a $1.2 billion reduction in realized capital gains, industry net income declined 2.4% from the prior-year period to $32.7 billion.

To access a copy of this special report, please visit .

AM Best is a global rating agency and information provider with a unique focus on the insurance industry.