Analyst Note| Brett Horn, CFA |
Given the differing states of the pricing cycle across lines and recent capital market movements, property and casualty insurers have a variety of tailwinds and headwinds at the moment. Commercial line insurers have seen strong pricing increases over the past few years, and we think the outlook for that area is relatively bright, as attractive underlying combined ratios create a solid base for strong profitability. Conversely, following a burst of abnormally high profitability in the early stage of the pandemic, personal auto insurers have struggled with a number of headwinds more recently, which has pushed most players into significant underwriting losses. Higher interest rates have reduced carrying value for fixed-income investments but offer the possibility of better investment income going forward. Finally, the bear market creates issues for insurers with an equity-heavy investment approach.