The CEO spoke during the insurer’s fourth quarter and full year 2022 investor call.
“From my perspective, based on what I see, and I think my colleagues’ perspective is that compensation is likely to continue to bottom out through 2023 and we can look to 2024 and beyond hopefully for a firming considerable, which again is something we hope for,” he said.
“But meanwhile, [it] It clearly requires thought and discipline, and frankly, from our perspective, it’s a bit disconcerting that some rating agencies seem to be failing to account for or properly adjusting for the frequency benefit that occurred during COVID.
“In addition, we think you also have to be very careful about the trend in severity and what that could mean in the future, especially on the medical front.”
The business saw workers’ compensation net written premiums increase year-over-year, to $1.22 billion for 2022 from $1.15 billion in 2021. Paper growth was “really driven by payroll,” according to the chief executive officer.
“If you look at the number of accounts, that product line has really narrowed for us because of the discipline of my colleagues,” Berkley said.
“I mean, if you really want to be granular about workers’ compensation, the fact is that the people who are doing irresponsible things are the same people who did irresponsible things the last time we were in a slump,” he said. analysts and investors.
“Sometimes they’re in the same place, sometimes they’re in a new place, but they’re the same people who, I don’t know if they don’t understand or don’t care, but they’re creating chaos. in the market.
“We’ve seen some version of the movie before, and we’ll just wait.”
WR Berkley 2022 Results: Full Year and Fourth Quarter
the insurer reported net written premiums of $10 billion for all of 2022, compared to $8.86 billion in 2021.
Net income for 2022 was a “record” $1.4 billion, an increase of $1 billion from the previous year. The insurer also posted a record year of pre-tax underwriting revenue of $1 billion, she said in a news release.
WR Berkley’s most recent fourth-quarter net income was $383 million, up from $294 million in the fourth quarter of 2021. Pre-tax technical income for the quarter was $291.9 million.
On the call with analysts, Berkley mused about a “spun-off” industry.
“What I mean by that is that, at one time, most of the P&C product lines marched through the cycle, somewhat at the same pace, and what we are seeing more and more is that the main product lines products continue to operate and behave in a cyclical manner, but are [at] very different points in the cycle,” he said.
“And we’re seeing it in an increasingly pronounced way, and when people talk about where the market is, I think there’s not just one answer anymore.”
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