Insurers’ Profitability Plunges

Natural disasters send property and casualty profits to lowest level since 2008.

U.S. property and casualty insurers’ profitability fell to the lowest level since 2008 as losses from natural disasters exceeded gains in sales and investment income.

Insurers posted a 1.9 percent annualized rate of return on policyholders’ surplus, or cushion against unexpected claims, in the nine months through Sept. 30, according to a statement today from the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America. That’s the lowest since the 1.2 percent return in 2008, when the industry faced losses from Hurricane Ike and on investments.

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