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Lower cat losses, rate gains lift XL

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XL Group has posted a 5.8% rise in second-quarter net income to $US319 million ($430 million), after lower natural catastrophe losses and a hardening market lifted earnings.

Property and casualty gross written premium grew 10.6% to $US3.93 billion ($5.3 billion) and the combined operating ratio weakened to 95.8% from 92.3%.

Insurance rates gained 3.8% in the year through June and reinsurance was up 3.7% in the year through July.

Pre-tax natural catastrophe losses declined 16.7% to $US76.8 million ($103.6 million).

“In the second quarter we have continued our progress towards a strong and diversified book, particularly as rate conditions improved across most lines,” CEO Mike McGavick said.

“Overall, we are pleased with the results and look forward to continuing to realise the full potential of what we have built when we become part of Axa Group.”

Axa will complete its $US15.3 billion ($20.6 billion) takeover of the Bermuda-based group in the second half.