Speciality lines boost nine-month GWP numbers
Beazley increased its gross written premium (GWP) by 5% to $1,543m (£959.4m) for the first nine months of 2013 compared to the same period last year (2012: $1,470m), according to its nine-month interim management statement.
“Premium rates rose modestly across our portfolio as a whole, but more strongly for specialty lines and property, our two largest divisions, where rate rises averaged 3%,” said Beazley chief executive Andrew Horton.
GWP numbers in property were largely flat at $293m for the first nine months of 2013 (2012: $297m), a drop of 1% on the same period last year.
The insurer experienced its most significant premium growth in the reinsurance, political risk and contingency divisions. Beazley’s new political and contingency business in the US posted $103m GWP for the first nine months of 2013, a 16% growth on the same period last year (2012: $89m). Reinsurance GWP jumped 21% to $214m for the first nine months of 2013 (2012: 177m). Renewals in reinsurance fell 3% year to date caused by a softening of the market.
Premium rates on renewal business increased by 1% for the first nine months of 2013, a fall on the same period last year when rates increased 3%.
The insurer expects to post strong year-end combined operating ratio numbers in the mid-eighties thanks to better than expected claims results for 2013. Beazley was only slightly exposed to the May floods in Europe and July floods in Calgary.
Investment returns remain muted in 2013. For the first nine months of 2013 Beazley posted an annualised return of 0.8% (2012: 2.1%) and expects to post an annualised investment return of 1% by year end 2013.
Beazley launched Beazley Flight in September, which provides emergency evacuation cover. It’s on track to write $25m in its first year according to the company statement.