The commercial automobile insurance segment is headed for its ninth straight year of underwriting losses when the books close at year-end 2019, analysts at Fitch Ratings predict in a new report.
In fact, a decade of underwriting losses may be in the cards in 2020 for the industry overall, although a handful of top writers, including market leader Progressive, are managing to record underwriting profits and grow their top lines at the same time, Fitch says.
According to the new report, “U.S. Commercial Auto Insurance Market Update—Recovery in Results Still Slow to Emerge,” the latest recorded industry full-year combined ratio for the line was 107.9 in 2018, only three points below the 2017 high for the decade of 111.1. Combined ratios in excess of 100 started to emerge back in 2011, making 2018 the eighth consecutive year of underwriting losses.
“Underwriting results are likely to improve further in 2019, but a return to a market combined ratio below 100 is likely out of reach in 2019 or 2020,” the report says, noting that insurers have been taking aggressive actions to repair the damage of the recent string of losses…