WR Berkley Corp., which had a significant increase in catastrophe losses, reported a 50.2% drop in net income for the first quarter, to $294.1 million.
The Greenwich, Connecticut-based insurer reported a 6.7% increase in net premium income, to $2.57 billion.
The total expense ratio for the quarter deteriorated to 90.6% compared to 87.8% for the 2022 first quarter.
Full-year results for the first quarter reflected a 66% increase in losses in the current casualty year from catastrophes, including COVID-19-related losses, to $47.9 million.
The total expense ratio reflected the development of $47.9 million and the prior year, mainly from property losses, of approximately $24 million, the company reported.
“The company is off to a strong start to the first quarter of 2023, despite the significant catastrophe losses facing the industry,”; said President and CEO Rob Berkley during the quarterly analyst earnings call.
“Winter storms impacted both the current quarter and carried over from late loss activity in the fourth quarter last year,” he said.
The property is in the early stages of strengthening, Mr. Berkeley. Momentum is building to the point where there was “meaningful traction on the rate” in April, he said.
The liability of directors and officers, particularly for large accounts, “continues to be in a state of free fall,” in terms of rate adequacy and pricing “and that is of concern to us.”
Hospital professional liability is another product line that is “in desperate need of some discipline.”
Workers’ comps “clearly continue to bounce along the bottom,” although “there is some evidence” that California, which has lagged behind the rest of the market as far as the cycle goes, is “actually ahead of the rest of the market” showing signs on the interest rate being strengthened.