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Posted by tonyb on December 4, 2003 at 7:25:25
JUPITER, Fla., December 3, 2003 - The nation's property and casualty insurers earned $15.6 billion during the first six months of 2003, representing a $10.2 billion, or 188.9 percent, jump over the same period in 2002, according to Weiss Ratings, Inc., the nation's leading independent provider of ratings and analyses of financial services companies, mutual funds, and stocks. Improved underwriting helped the industry reduce its underwriting loss to $2 billion in the second quarter of 2003, compared to the $11.3 billion loss reported a year ago. With the economy recovering and the upturn in the market, insurers' realized capital gains rose to $4.4 billion during the first half of 2003, compared to a $0.5 billion loss during the same period in 2002.
Industry Cash Flow Increases 66% - Property and casualty insurers reported a 66.1 percent increase in cash flow from operations, which surged to $29.9 billion at June 30, 2003, compared to $18 billion at June 30, 2002. Contributing to the increase in cash flow was a $20.2 billion, or 11.6 percent, jump in net premiums, which rose to $194.6 billion during the first half of 2003, compared to $174.4 billion during the same period in 2002. In addition, the industry's loss payments declined by $18.6 billion, or 14.5 percent, falling from $128.7 billion in the second quarter of 2002 to $110.1 billion in 2003. "The industry is flush with cash at a time that is, arguably, the peak of the hard market, following years of rising premiums," commented Melissa Gannon, vice president of Weiss Ratings, Inc. "However, insurers should be prepared for the inevitable return to a soft market when competitive pressures lead to declining premiums and loose underwriting standards." www.WeissRatings.com