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The Hartford, The Hanover, Markel, and Selective *Centurion Insurance AFS*

Feb 02, 2024 (0) comment , , , , , ,



The Hartford said fourth quarter net income available to common stockholders increased 30% to $766 million. The insurer ended the year with net income up 38% to about $2.5 billion.

Commercial lines record fourth quarter 2023 net income of $687 million compared to net income of $566 million during the same time in 2022 thanks to an underwriting gain of $466 million (up 53%) driven by earned premium growth. Catastrophe losses here during the last three months of 2023 were $60 million pretax, primarily from tornado, wind, and hail events across several regions of the United States. The combined ratio improved 4.3 points to 84.7.

For the year, net income in commercial was up 28% to about $2.1 billion with a combined ratio of 89.6 compared to 90.2 for 2022.

However, in personal lines, The Hartford’s net income was down 23% in the fourth quarter to $34 million. During this time, The Hartford recorded an underwriting loss of $10 million as part of its final $230 million underwriting loss for the year.

The Hartford ended the last quarter and year with combined ratios of 101.2 and 107.5 in personal lines, respectively. The auto insurance line ended Q4 with a combined ratio of 113.7 due to increases in auto liability and physical damage severity.

The Hanover

The Hanover Insurance Group reported fourth quarter 2023 net income of $107.9 million compared to a net loss of $12.1 million during the same period in 2022.

However, net income was down nearly 70% for the fully year 2023—$35.3 million versus $116 million for 2022.

CEO John C. Roche said the Worcester, Massachusetts-based insurer “achieved double digit renewal pricing across all three of our business segments, executed underwriting initiatives and product changes in property lines, and implemented new loss control and preventive measures, taking meaningful steps to reposition our property business to address inflation and changing weather patterns.

The Hanover report renewal price increases of 20.6% in personal lines (29.1% in homeowners) and increases of 11.6% in specialty lines.

“While topline growth decelerated at the tail end of the year as a result of our proactive actions, we have positioned ourselves to reaccelerate production and take advantage of robust opportunities in 2024 in multiple segments and geographies, where profitability profiles are very attractive,” Roche added.

The Hanover improved its Q4 combined ratio to 94.2 compared to 108 the prior year. The year-end combined ratio remained an unprofitable 103.5 compared to 99.8 for 2022. Catastrophe losses for the year were $690.1 million from mostly severe convective storms across multiple states, particularly in the Midwestern U.S. during the first three quarters of 2023. Catastrophes losses for Q4 were $57.7 million.

Markel Group

Fourth quarter 2023 and full year net income finished at $794.1 million and about $2.1 billion compared to $711.5 million and loss of $103.4 million, respectively, for the prior year, reported Markel Group.

Underwriting income for all of 2023 in the insurance segment was down 71% to $162.2 million, with a combined ratio of 97.8—6.2 points worse than the prior year.

Markel said results included $39.6 million of net losses and loss adjustment expenses from 2023 catastrophes as well as $69.2 million of net LAE related to Hurricane Ian and the Russia-Ukraine conflict. Excluding these catastrophe losses, the increase in the current accident year loss ratio in 2023 (63.9) compared to 2022 (59.2) was primarily attributable to higher attritional loss ratios within Markel’s general liability and professional liability product lines in 2023.

“In response to consecutive quarters of adverse development, in the fourth quarter of 2023, we conducted an extensive reserve study on selected general liability and professional liability product lines, which resulted in further increases to our prior accident year loss reserves in the fourth quarter of 2023,” Markel said. “A significant portion of our casualty portfolio is associated with construction business, which has grown meaningfully in recent years. Our study determined that the ultimate claim reporting tail on certain of our casualty construction lines are likely to be longer than we initially anticipated.”

Markel said it also booked losses on its intellectual property collateral protection insurance including $65.0 million of credit losses recognized in connection with fraudulent letters of credit that were provided by an affiliate of Vesttoo Ltd. as collateral for reinsurance purchased on two policies. Markel said it believes this represents its full exposure to credit losses on the related reinsurance recoverables, and is pursuing remedies to make recoveries on the reinsurance recoverables.

Selective Insurance

Fourth quarter net income available to common shareholders at Branchville, New Jersey-based Selective Insurance grew to $122.5 million from $84.2 million during the fourth quarter 2022. Net income for the year 2023 was $356 million compared to $215.7 million in 2022.

Selective booked a 38% increase in consolidated net underwriting income during the fourth quarter to $50.2 million. For the year, underwriting income was down 20% compared to 2022, to $104.9 million.

Overall net premiums written went up 17%, or $142 million, in the fourth quarter from a year ago. Average renewal pure price increased 7.4%, with stable retention and increased exposure, Selective said.

The Q4 combined ration improved 1 point to 93.7. For the year, the combined ratio went up 1.4 points to 96.5.

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