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Investment Losses Swamp Reinsurers' Six Month Net Results

Source: RAA, Trading

Posted on 02 Sep 2009

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The Reinsurance Association of America (RAA) has released reinsurance underwriting results for six months ended June 30, 2009.

The group of 19 U.S. reinsurers followed by the RAA posted a profitable 93.8 combined ratio for the first six months of the year, but investment losses dragged the group into the red.

The group posted a combined net loss of $406.3 million for the first half of 2008, even though only five of the 19 companies reported individual net losses. Berkshire Hathaway’s National Indemnity Co., which represents about 43% of the group's $65.99 billion in policyholders' surplus, reported a net loss of $1.29 billion with $2.49 billion in net realized capital losses.

Only four companies squeaked out net realized capital gains for the first six months. They were: American Agricultural Insurance Co., Platinum Underwriters Reinsurance, Swiss Reinsurance America Corp. and XL Reinsurance America.

The RAA reported policyholders' surplus for the group fell 9% to $65.9 billion from $72.8 billion for the same period in 2008. The group wrote $12.8 billion of net premiums -- up slightly from $12.7 billion for the same period in 2008.

The reinsurers' combined ratio was 93.8, an improvement from the 97.5 reported by a similar group of reinsurers for the six months ended June 30, 2008.