A number of reinsurers struggled with investment losses in the first quarter of 2009. According to statistics from the Reinsurance Association of America (RAA), 19 U.S. property/casualty reinsurers posted a combined net loss of $2.1 billion for the first quarter of what otherwise otherwise would have been a profitable quarter.
Nine of the 19 companies RAA tracked ended the quarter on the positive side of the ledger, while the remaining 10 reported a loss. However, those losses were dwarfed by Berkshire Hathaway's National Indemnity Co., which posted a $2.18 billion first-quarter loss, dragged down in part by $2.64 billion in net realized losses. With policyholders surplus of $24.1 billion, National Indemnity is by far the largest company in the group.
The report went on to state the 19 companies posted a combined net realized loss of $3.17 billion for the quarter.
RAA also reported the group wrote $7.0 billion of net premiums during the first quarter, up approximately 3% from the $6.8 billion of net premiums for the first quarter 2008. Policyholders' surplus fell 20% to $59.6 billion from $75.3 billion for the same period last year.
The reinsurers' combined ratio was 95.5 for the quarter, up slightly from the last year's 95.2 Q1 combined ratio reported by a similar group of reinsurers.
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