Overwhelming underwriting losses lead to full year and Q4 losses for Sirius


Sirius International Insurance Group reported another disappointing year and final quarter of losses for 2019, blaming overwhelming underwriting losses, particularly in property, for undoing the work it has done on its global reorganisation. 

Sirius reported a net loss of $45.6 million for the full year in 2019, having made a $16.7 million loss in 2018. 

In Q4 2019 it made a net loss of $150.3 million, compared to the $130.5 million loss recorded in Q4 2018. 

Gross written premiums for 2019 were $1.9 billion , an increase of 5 percent compared to 2018.  For Q4, gross written premiums were $380 million, an increase of 25 percent year on year.  

For the year ended December 31, 2019, Sirius Group's combined ratio was 111 percent, compared to 103 percent for the year ended December 31, 2018. The increase in the combined ratio was driven primarily by net unfavorable prior year loss reserve development and higher current accident year losses 

Sirius Group's combined ratio was 121% for the fourth quarter of 2019 compared to 127% for the fourth quarter of 2018. The decrease in the combined ratio was mainly driven by lower current year catastrophe losses. 

Kip Oberting, president and chief executive officer of Sirius Group, said: "Although we made substantial progress on our global reorganisation during the year, our 2019 financial results were overwhelmed by underwriting losses, mainly in our property lines.” 

On the subject of Sirius’ ownership position, Oberting cited Sirius’ 75-year history in the business, and its track record of weathering difficult markets, as cause for optimism. 

“We have been working hard in developing actionable alternatives,” potentially including options to enhance its capital position, he added. “We recently announced that we have engaged Barclays to assist in a path forward.”

Sirius International Insurance Group, Kip Oberting, results

Bermuda Re