NEW YORK, Feb. 26, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Following yesterday's release of QBE Insurance Group Limited 2012 results, QBE's North America operations announced its year-end results.
"2012 was a difficult year for North America as a severe drought across many parts of the U.S., in combination with Superstorm Sandy and prior-year portfolio adjustments provided a challenging backdrop," said John Rumpler, President and CEO of North America operations. "The organization benefited from rate increases in 2012 and we expect positive pricing trends to continue across most of our portfolios."
For North America, gross written premium declined to $6.5 billion, compared to $7.5 billion the year before. The benefits of a hardening premium pricing cycle were offset by reduced revenue from lender-placed homeowners insurance, lower crop prices and the resulting declines in business stemming from portfolio improvement initiatives.
North America's 2012 combined operating ratio was 106.8 percent, compared to 90.6 percent last year. Net earned premium decreased 12.5 percent to $3.5 billion compared to $4.0 billion for the prior year, consistent with the decline in gross written premium.
"Our underlying combined operating ratio is fundamentally sound," Rumpler said. "The upturn in the insurance pricing cycle, combined with changes we made in 2012 to address some underperforming portfolios, along with gains in operational efficiency, position us well to return to profitable growth in 2013."
QBE also announced that effective April 1, John Rumpler will leave QBE to pursue other interests. David Duclos will succeed Rumpler as Chief Executive Officer of QBE North America operations. Duclos has an extensive background in insurance, notably with Cigna and recently as Chief Operating Officer and Chief Executive of Insurance Operations at XL Group.
Rumpler was appointed CEO in 2009 and has been instrumental in the successful consolidation of QBE's rapidly expanding North American operations during a time of economic and industry challenges.
QBE's North America operations are part of QBE Insurance Group Limited, one of the top 20 insurers and reinsurers worldwide. QBE Insurance Group's 2012 results can also be found at www.qbena.com. Headquartered in Sydney, Australia, QBE operates out of 52 countries around the globe, with a presence in every key insurance market. The North America operation, headquartered in New York, conducts business through various property and casualty insurance subsidiaries. QBE insurance companies are rated "A" (Excellent) by A.M. Best and "A+" by Standard & Poor's.
SOURCE QBE Insurance Group Limited