A group of 19 U.S. property/casualty reinsurers posted a combined first quarter net written premiums of $9.1 billion, up 18% from the same quarter a year earlier, according to a survey of the reinsurers statutory underwriting results by the Reinsurance Association of America.
All but five reinsurers posted higher first quarter net written premiums. The four companies that posted a drop in year-over-year first quarter net premiums written were General Re Group, National Indemnity Co., QBE North America, Platinum Underwriters Reinsurance, Inc. and Transatlantic Reinsurance Co. Both Gen Re and National Indemnity are Berkshire Hathaway companies.
Berkley Insurance Co. led the growth, writing $2.2 billion in first quarter net premiums, up from $430 million for the second quarter 2012.
The group's collective combined ratio improved to 78.9 from 95.6.
The lowest combined ratio in the group belonged to Swiss Reinsurance America Corp., which posted a 57.2 to squeeze by National Indemnity's 59.2, the second lowest. All but two companies posted combined ratios of less than 100. The two highest combined ratio in the group was QBE North America, which posted a 112.1, and Partner Reinsurance Co., which posted 100.5.
All 19 companies posted positive investment income. The group's policyholders' surplus grew to $128.5 billion from $123.3 billion.
The same group posted a 11.7% increase in net premiums written in 2012, the RAA said in March.
The group's total net premiums written rose to $29.5 billion in 2012 from $26.4 billion in 2011. Leading the increase was a 41% jump in net premiums written by National Indemnity, which grew to $7.1 billion from $5.05 billion. National Indemnity, a Berkshire Hathaway subsidiary, is the largest company among the U.S. reinsurers included in the survey.