U.S. primary insurer and global re/insurer Liberty Mutual reported elevated catastrophe losses for the third-quarter of 2021, revealing a net $812 million hit from hurricane Ida.
Despite a higher-level of catastrophe losses year-on-year for the third-quarter, Liberty Mutual still managed to report an improvement in net income.
“Despite an elevated level of catastrophe losses, net income attributable to LMHC for the quarter improved to $721 million, up 81.6% from the prior year,” explained David H. Long, Liberty Mutual Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.
However, underwriting fell to a technical loss, with a combined ratio of 104.4% for the quarter across the Liberty Mutual business, to which catastrophes added 11.5 points.
However a strong result in its equity investments portfolio helped it report the improved level of income.
Total pre-tax net catastrophe losses for Q3 2021 reached $1.2 billion, up from $980 million in the prior year.
Hurricane Ida accounted for the majority of this, with net and after reinsurance losses from the storm totaling $812 million for the insurer.
The level of catastrophe losses reported by Liberty Mutual suggest that it likely made reinsurance recoveries during the third-quarter, especially for a loss of the scale of hurricane Ida.
This is especially likely considering Liberty Mutual’s property catastrophe reinsurance tower covers it for hurricanes in excess of $500 million of retained loss in the United States, with up to $3.1 billion of coverage available.
On that basis it appears hurricane Ida will have exceeded the per-occurrence retention on the insurers reinsurance program, suggesting the gross loss from the hurricane will have been somewhere above $1.3 billion.
This aligns with disclosures from Allstate, which revealed a nearly $1 billion reinsurance recovery in the last quarter.