Aspen warns of Q4 2017 wildfire losses
Aspen Insurance Holdings has reported a net loss after tax of $253.8 million for the third quarter of 2017, a substantial fall from the $95.6 million profit it reported for the same period of 2016.
The company said that it had also reported an operating loss after tax of $276.6 million for the third quarter of 2017, down from the operating profit of $69.3 million that it made in the same period of 2016.
“The third quarter was characterised by multiple, large-scale natural catastrophes across our industry,” said chief executive officer Chris O’Kane. “While significant, Aspen's estimated losses from these events are within our expectations for catastrophes of this nature. We are encouraged that, following several years of decline, the industry losses this quarter may be the catalyst that leads to improved market conditions and pricing.
"We remain focused on enhancing the long-term positioning of our insurance and reinsurance businesses and we took another important step in this direction today with the announcement of a comprehensive program to drive greater effectiveness and efficiency across Aspen. The program will deliver substantial benefits, particularly in our insurance segment, by providing a more competitive expense ratio in our chosen lines of business, as well as an even more scalable operating platform from which to deliver long-term shareholder value.”
Aspen said that pre-tax catastrophe losses came to $360.3 million, net of reinsurance recoveries and $12.5 million of reinstatement premiums, in the third quarter of 2017, primarily due to hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria, and other catastrophes, including weather-related events and the Mexican earthquakes. This compared to pre-tax catastrophe losses, net of reinsurance recoveries and reinstatement premiums, that totalled $24.9 million in the third quarter of 2016.
The company reported gross written premiums of $852.5 million in the third quarter of 2017, an increase of 11.7 percent compared with $763.5 million in the third quarter of 2016.
Broken down by segment, for its insurance business gross written premiums came to $421.0 million, an increase of 5.9 percent compared with $397.6 million in the third quarter of 2016, primarily due to growth in the financial and professional lines sub-segment.
For Aspen’s reinsurance business gross written premiums came to $431.5 million, an increase of 17.9 percent from $365.9 million in the third quarter of 2016, primarily due to growth in the specialty sub-segment, largely from AgriLogic. The growth in the property catastrophe and other property sub-segments was largely from reinstatement premiums.
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