James River cuts back on reinsurance in Q1, focuses on primary lines


Bermuda-based casualty re/insurer James River Group had a profitable first quarter in 2019, and continued to focus on its growth efforts on its two primary insurance segments - excess and surplus lines and specialty admitted insurance, while cutting back on its casualty reinsurance segment.

James River's net income for the first quarter of 2019 was $22.7 million, up from $15.6 million for the same period in 2018.

The group's total gross written premium for the quarter was $327.3 million, a 10 percent increase year-on-year.

Gross written premium for the excess and surplus lines were $186.5 million, an 11 percent increase year-on-year.

The specialty admitted insurance segment grew 18 percent to $102.9 million.

However, the GWP for the casualty reinsurance part of the business decreased 12 percent to $37.8 million. James River suggested this was in line with its expectations and is consistent with its planned reductions for the segment, which begun during 2018.

James River's combined ratio for the quarter was 96.2 percent, and improvement from 96.4 percent in the prior year quarter.

“We have begun 2019 with an outstanding quarter, generating a 16.9 percent annualised adjusted net operating return on average tangible equity.  We also grew tangible book value per share inclusive of dividends by 10.4 percent during the quarter. We had strong earnings contributions across the organisation, as all three operating segments generated positive underwriting income,” said CEO Robert Myron.

Myron continued: "We were again able to achieve rate increases on our core E&S renewals, which were up 3 percent in the quarter year over year, and submissions increased 17 percent.  I am pleased that we grew gross written premium 14 percent across our two primary insurance segments, excess and surplus lines and specialty admitted insurance, as this is where we have been focusing our growth efforts."

James River, Casualty, Insurance, Reinsurance, Results, Bermuda

Bermuda Re