The property/casualty insurance industry is expected to show improvements in its combined ratio and profitability this year, Conning said in a report. "Stronger preliminary results for 2012 despite Superstorm Sandy -- a 6% return on equity and a 103% combined ratio -- reinforce that the effect of price increases and improved underwriting are taking hold throughout the industry," Conning's Steven Webersen says. The industry's net-premium growth could "accelerate at a 4.6% rate over prior year based on continued rate increases," Webersen says.

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