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Chubb sees ‘early signs of recovery’ as Q1 earnings surge

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Chubb has recorded a sharp rise in first quarter earnings, with net income surging to $US2.3 billion ($3 billion) from $US252 million ($323.9 million) a year earlier.

Commercial property and casualty (P&C) net premiums grew 15.6% to $US5.7 billion ($7.3 billion) in the three months to March 31, underpinned by favourable underwriting conditions.

But consumer P&C net premiums fell 2.5% to $US2.3 billion due to the pandemic’s fallout on travel and other retail-oriented businesses.

“We see early signs of recovery and, in fact, our personal lines division globally reported modest growth in the quarter,” Chairman and CEO Evan Greenberg said. “We expect growth to improve as the year goes along.”

He says the business overall had “another very good quarter with excellent commercial premium revenue growth globally” as well as double-digit renewal rate change in its commercial P&C businesses, and further expansion of underwriting margins.

Pre-tax and after-tax P&C catastrophe losses, net of reinsurance and including reinstatement premiums, were $US700 million ($900 million) and $US570 million ($732 million), respectively.

The current quarter included $US657 million ($844 million) pre-tax of storm losses in the US.

The P&C combined ratio deteriorated to 91.8% from 89.1% a year earlier.

Meanwhile Chubb says it has decided not to pursue a takeover of The Hartford Financial Services Group after the Connecticut-based insurance business did not “engage in response” to any of its offers.

“The path to a transaction would have been engagement coming from The Hartford on the terms of our last proposal,” Chubb said in a statement.

“Although we are disappointed, we want to repeat that our shareholders demand of us, and we demand of ourselves, that we remain a disciplined acquirer.”

Chubb issued a statement in March that it had submitted to The Hartford a “preliminary proposal” comprising of stock and cash to acquire the business at $US65 ($84) per share.