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Australia floods, Europe storms mar Swiss Re P&C results

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Swiss Re’s Property & Casualty Reinsurance (P&C Re) arm absorbed $US938 million ($1.34 billion) in large natural catastrophe claims for the January-June period, including from the flood events in Australia, the reinsurance giant says in its first-half results announcement.

The claims also related to flooding in South Africa, February storms in Europe, and a series of hailstorms in France in June.

Swiss Re says the total claims came in $US270 million ($386 million) above expectations for large natural catastrophe losses in the first half of the year.

The reinsurer says P&C Re has about $US1.2 billion ($1.71 billion) of the US$1.9 billion ($2.7 billion) full-year natural catastrophe budget allocated for the remainder of this calendar year.

The P&C Re arm reported a sharp drop in first-half net income, to $US316 million ($452 million) from $US1.28 billion ($1.83 billion) a year earlier. Swiss Re made an overall net income of $US157 million ($224 million) in the June half, compared with $US1.05 billion ($1.5 billion) in the corresponding period of last year.

Swiss Re says the P&C Re result reflects the “robust” technical underwriting performance of the business, offset by materially lower investment results and first-quarter reserves in relation to the Ukraine war of $US154 million ($220 million).

Net premiums earned rose slightly to $US10.6 billion ($15.2 billion) on higher volumes and price increases, but there was increased offset by adverse foreign exchange developments.

The combined ratio worsened to 98.5% from 94.4%.

At the July renewals P&C Re renewed contracts with $US4.8 billion (6.8 billion) in treaty premium volume on July 1 and achieved a price increase of 12%.

“This fully offset higher loss assumptions, which reflect a clear view on inflation and other changes in exposure,” Swiss Re says.

“Since the start of the year, P&C Re has achieved treaty premium volume growth of 3% and a price increase of 6%, focusing on profitable growth in natural catastrophe and specialty lines.”