AM Best

Best’s Special Report: Preliminary 2017 Underwriting Results for U.S. P/C Industry Reflect Toll of $53 Billion Cat Loss


Matthew Coppola
Associate Director
– Corporate Data Management
+1 908 439 2200, ext. 5627

Christopher Sharkey
Manager, Public Relations
(908) 439 2200, ext. 5159

Jim Peavy
Director, Public Relations
(908) 439 2200, ext. 5644


OLDWICK - MARCH 19, 2018 10:08 AM (EDT)
The U.S. property/casualty (P/C) industry recorded a net underwriting loss of $23.5 billion for year-end 2017, according to preliminary results, mainly due to an estimated $52.9 billion in catastrophe-related insured losses, more than double that seen in the previous year. This financial review is detailed in a new Best’s Special Report, titled, “First Look – 2017 Property/Casualty Results,” and the data is derived from companies’ 2017 annual statutory statements received as of Mar. 9, 2018, representing an estimated 96% of the total P/C industry’s net premiums written.

The report states that the 2017 catastrophes were the main driver for the industry’s additional $18 billion in underwriting losses compared with the previous year. A.M. Best’s $52.9 billion estimate of 2017 P/C industry catastrophe losses is a 109.8% increase over 2016, and dwarfs A.M. Best’s previous industry record for estimated insured losses of $41.9 billion recorded in 2011, which included losses stemming from the Tohoku earthquake and subsequent tsunami in Japan, an active tornado season in the United States and flooding in Thailand. A.M. Best also estimates that the catastrophe losses account for 10.0 points on the P/C industry’s combined ratio, up from an estimated 4.9 catastrophe points in the prior year. The industry’s reported combined ratio deteriorated 3.0 points to 103.8 from the prior year and was the worst of the last five years.

Despite the slight decline in net income, industry surplus grew 6.8% to $733.8 billion in 2017, driven by a $39.4 billion increase in unrealized capital gains, which was offset by a $17.5 billion decrease in other surplus gains and a $4.4 billion increase in stockholder dividends.

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

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