AXIS slumps to Q1 loss but points to improved cost controls


AXIS Capital has reported a significant loss for Q1 2020, with the re/insurer blaming the negative impact of COVID-19 for what it said was otherwise “an excellent quarter”.  

The re/insurer reported a net loss of $185 million for Q1 2020, a dramatic turnaround from Q1 2019, when it made a net profit of $98 million. 

AXIS saw its gross written premiums decrease by 6 percent to $2.4 billion. This was led by the reinsurance business, which saw a larger decrease of 14 percent. 

Its combined ratio soared to 119.8 percent for the quarter, having been 96.9 percent in the same period of 2019.

Its estimated pre-tax catastrophe and weather-related losses, net of reinsurance and reinstatement premiums, came in at $300 million.

Albert Benchimol, president and chief executive officer of AXIS Capital, noted the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, in line with other re/insurers, but added: “The losses from the pandemic overshadowed what otherwise would have been an excellent quarter for AXIS. The first quarter was highlighted by a more than 4 point improvement in our ex-PGAAP current accident year ex-cat combined ratio with better results across our losses, acquisition costs and general and administrative expenses.”

He said AXIS was seeing the benefits of its efforts over several years to enhance profitability within its portfolio, enhance operating efficiency and deliver growth across its most attractive lines.

"Our actions are grounded in our corporate purpose, a belief that we exist to help people, organizations and communities during their time of need,” Benchimol said. “We proudly stand by our clients and partners in distribution as we together navigate this transformed environment."

AXIS Capital, Albert Benchimol, Results

Bermuda Re