Berkley reports 12.4% drop in third-quarter net profit

WR Berkley Corp. on Monday reported net income of $228.8 million for the third quarter, down 12.4% from the year-ago period.

The Greenwich, Connecticut-based insurer said after markets closed that net premiums written in the quarter rose 10.8% to $2.58 billion.

The combined ratio for the quarter was 92.1% compared to 90.4% in the third quarter last year.

“The main driver for the quarter was Hurricane Ian,” Richard Baio, executive vice president and chief financial officer, said in a call with analysts.

Rob Berkley, President and CEO, said on the call, “The market as a whole remains very interesting from our perspective. There are market pockets that remain extremely attractive” and others where the level of competition is surprising.

While “the market is still as cyclical as ever”, different product lines “march to the beat of their own drums, resulting in different points in the cycle at any given time” although the excess and surplus line space “remains very attractive.”

He said the company plans to become more active in the property catastrophe reinsurance market, but only if rates continue to rise at a high enough level, and that shouldn’t last more than a year. or two.

“We are paying close attention ‘to the market’ not just as a buyer, but potentially as a meaningful seller, but only if there is sufficient revenue,” he said. “We don’t hesitate to look into it if we think it makes sense” from a risk-adjusted basis perspective, he said.

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