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State Farm reports underwriting losses, despite auto lines profitability

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Announcements | Insurance
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State Farm’s property and casualty (P&C)  group of companies had an underwriting loss of $14.1 billion for 2023, compared to a $13.2 billion loss in 2022, according to a company press release.

It says the company witnessed an improvement in auto lines’ underwriting results, but homeowner-incurred catastrophe claims offset it. Auto insurance represents 64% of State Farm’s P-C companies.

The 2023 net worth for State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co. is $134.8, up from $131.2 billion.

Overall, the company reported a $3.5 billion increase in net worth. It reports $725 million in dividends to policyholders and issued a record $118 billion in new policy volume.

“While we improved overall auto lines profitability in 2023, our results remain below the level we expect and we’re taking a state-specific approach as we operate,” said Senior Vice President, Treasurer, and Chief Financial Officer Mark Schwamberger in the release. “Catastrophe losses were widespread in 2023, and our claims and operations team members, along with the State Farm independent contractor agents, responded throughout the year to help customers. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company remains financially strong, and it is that strength that allows us to handle uncertainty and serve more customers in more ways over the long term.”

The earned premium for auto insurance was $56.1 billion. Incurred claims and loss adjustment expenses were $53.4 billion and underwriting expenses totaled $12.4 billion, the release said. The underwriting loss was $9.7 billion, compared to $10.8 billion in 2022.

State Farm wasn’t the only company to see massive swings in performance from 2022 to 2023.

Allstate plans to continue increasing auto insurance rates in at least 10 states in 2024, including New Jersey and New York, where the company received double-digit rate increases late last year, according to the company’s Q4 earnings call.

The insurer netted $1.5 billion in Q4, a 496% increase from the $303 million loss the insurer in Q4 2022.

While Allstate had a profitable Q4, the company ended the year in the red with a $316 million loss. Yet, the company ended with a 77% increase from the $1.4 billion loss in 2022.

Executives said a reduction in marketing investment directly impacted a decline in new auto-issued applications by 20% in 2023. They also said improving auto insurance profitability negatively impacted policies in force.

Progressive netted $1.9 billion in Q4 2023, a 141% increase from the $826.4 million the company netted in Q4 2022, according to the company’s December earnings release.

The company’s net income for 2023 is $3.9 billion, more than a 400% increase from 2022. The company recorded $721.4 million of net income earned in 2022. The 2023 annual amount is unaudited.

Last year, the company announced a plan for “aggressive” rate increases, increasing by 4% companywide during the first quarter. It raised rates by 13% in 2022.

Carrier Management recently reported that GEICO had a pre-tax underwriting profit of $3.6 billion for 2023. It saw a $1.9 billion underwriting loss in 2022. P/C reinsurance operations added another $2 billion in pre-tax underwriting profit, it said.

GEICO’s $3.6 billion pre-tax underwriting profit translates to a 90.7 combined ratio, more than 14 points below the 104.8 recorded in 2022,” Carrier Management wrote. “The only better year of underwriting performance at GEICO in the last 10 was 2020 when COVID shutdowns kept drivers off the roads. In 2020, GEICO’s combined ratio landed at 90.2, fueling a $3.4 billion pre-tax underwriting profit.

“GEICO’s combined ratio improvement in 2023 looks stunning against competitors Progressive and Allstate, which both posted double-digit premium jumps in 2023 but smaller improvements in their personal auto combined ratios.”

State Farm had yet to report earnings at the time of Carrier Management’s report.


Photo courtesy of JHVEPhoto/iStock

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