Beazley issued their Q1 2022 Trading Statement today showing increased premiums, a modest initial estimate of exposure to the Russia-Ukraine conflict, and generally a good start to the year.
Main points summarised below:
- GWP increased by 27% compared to Q1 2021 to reach US$971m, slightly ahead of expectations, driven by rate increases and adding exposure in a number of areas;
- Premium rates on renewal business increased by 17% overall;
- Investment loss of US$92m but amount held grows 16% to US$7,785m;
- Initial estimate of exposure to the Russian-Ukraine conflict, excluding aviation, of approximately US$50m net of reinsurance;
- Better than expected claims experience in this quarter.
The divisions with the largest percentage increases were cyber and executive risk, digital, market facilities (Synd 5623), contingency and specialty lines; property was up 15%.
The reinsurance division reduced its premium slightly in view of the "rating environment which remained below expectations, but with a view to achieving some targeted growth at the mid-year."
"Following the Russian invasion of Ukraine, we have seen a small number of claims to date. We have reviewed all areas of our underwriting portfolio to identify those classes that we believe may be directly impacted by the conflict. The relevant exposures are within our Political Violence, Trade Credit, Aviation and Marine books. Our review is predicated on the current scope of the conflict, and therefore does not contemplate further escalation. Our estimate of potential exposure within these classes is $50m net of reinsurance."
"The number above does not allow for potential claims for aircraft stranded in Russia as the environment is complex and the outcome uncertain. However, were we to include these our combined ratio guidance would remain unchanged. We have also not included potential second order impacts, such as D&O, within this estimate."
As experienced elsewhere in the London market, there were investment losses in their fixed income holdings but yields are higher by 1.5% compared to 2021 year-end.
Investors liked the Trading Statement and the sub 90% combined ratio guidance that it contained and the shares rose 5% at the time of writing.