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‘Elevated’ cat losses hit Chubb earnings

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Chubb posted a 77% drop in fourth-quarter net income to $US355 million ($499 million) as the California wildfires and other catastrophes took a toll.

After-tax catastrophe losses, as previously reported, grew in the quarter to $US506 million ($711.6 million) from $US331 million ($466 million) in the corresponding period of 2017.

The combined operating ratio for property and casualty (P&C) business worsened to 93.1% from 90.7%.

“Chubb performed well in a quarter marked by elevated natural catastrophe losses on the one hand, and stronger premium revenue growth, improved commercial P&C pricing globally and record net investment income on the other,” Chairman and CEO Evan Greenberg said.

P&C net premium for the December quarter gained 4.2% to $US6.8 billion ($9.6 billion). Net pre-tax investment income increased 6.4% to a record $US848 million ($1.19 billion).

For the full-year, net income improved 2.6% to nearly $US4 billion ($5.6 billion).

“We have good momentum as we execute on our business initiatives across the globe and take advantage of an improving price and underwriting environment that the industry needs,” Mr Greenberg said.

“Our organisation is optimistic about the year ahead and we are off to a good start.”