Increase in rates after 2017’s catastrophes has boosted Beazley’s first quarter

Improved property rates in the wake of high catastrophe rates in late 2017 helped boost Beazley’s GWP by 10% in the first quarter.

GWP rose to $631m from $573m a year earlier as premium rates on renewal business rose by 3%, while property premiums rose 29% year on year to $108m.

BeazleyQ1 2018Q1 2017% increase
Gross premiums written ($m) 631 573 10
Investments and cash ($m) 4,845 4,551 6
Year to date investment return 0.0%- 0.90%  
Rate increase/(decrease) 3% -1%  

“Beazley made a strong start to 2018 with premium growth of 10% on average across the portfolio. We have also seen rate increases across many lines of business as the market recalibrates its pricing in the wake of the high catastrophe activity seen in late 2017,” said chief executive Andrew Horton.

While our investment return is lower than we would have hoped at this stage, US interest rates are now materially higher which will benefit the business going forward.”

Beazley announced that Adrian Cox, who has been head of specialty lines since 2008, will take on the role of chief underwriting officer, succeeding Neil Maidment, who is retiring.

Beazley said there have been no major catastrophe events in 2018 and its previous guidance of a full year combined ratio in the low nineties with below average reserve releases following the natural catastrophes of 2017, is unchanged.