11 February 2014News

Markel grows book, but Alterra proves drag on performance

Markel grew its gross written premiums by 56 percent to $3.9 billion in 2013, up from $2.5 million in 2012, as it strengthened its excess and surplus, specialty, London market and Alterra operations.

The performance of its segments varied widely however, reflecting wider market conditions and in the case of its reinsurance segment, the friction associated with its acquisition of Alterra.

Markel’s excess and surplus business performed particularly well in 2013, achieving a combined ratio of 80 percent, much improved on its 2012 figure of 94 percent. Its specialty admitted business also improved its underwriting performance, driving its combined ratio down from 108 percent to 97 percent in 2013.

Its London business performance remained much as it was in 2012, with the combined ratio falling by one percentage point to 88 percent. While its Alterra business achieved a combined ratio of 118 percent. Markel achieved a consolidated combined ratio of 97 percent as a result.

In spite of headwinds associated with its reinsurance arm, Markel was able to increase net income by 9 percent during the year to $283.8 million, up from $258.2 million in 2012.

Markel commented that despite softening pricing on its reinsurance and property insurance business, the company will continue to pursue underwriting profit targets and expressed its continued confidence in its acquisition of Bermuda-based Alterra.