First and foremost we are hoping that all affected by the winter storm this week are safe and warm or will be soon. We are also following the last of big earnings reports and other investment moves. Here are the three things we learned this week:
- A big winter storm made its way across the US bringing unusually miserable cold, snow and ice to a large part of the country. This looks like a major cat loss event for insurers, especially mega personal lines carriers. We saw estimates late Friday that totals could be in the neighborhood of $18 billion with the bulk in Texas. This could rank up in the top-10 of events causing insured damage losses.
- One of the last big earnings reports of the season comes from AIG and includes several interesting updates: they are still exploring an IPO or minority interest sale of the life operation, the CEO transition will be complete soon, like their peers they are enjoying the profit from commercial lines rate hikes. As earnings season comes to a close it appears that most carriers are healthy because of rate increases but uncertainty remains from COVID, the economy and other catastrophe events.
- There were a few small but notable acquisition/investment headlines: Progressive’s acquisition of commercial auto specialist Protective not the most exciting move but will give them further scale and diversification in the transportation space. Berkshire disclosed a $499M stake in Marsh again not the biggest investment but usually when Berkshire makes these moves they are methodical and calculated and they expect strong long term returns. And finally AmTrust’s CEO is launching a SPAC hoping to raise $300M through IPO on NASDAQ to target insurtech investments.
Thank you for continuing to follow us and for those of you who have provided feedback. We are working on content to come in the next few weeks that will provide insights on two big trends: business transformation and downstream data integration. So stay tuned and safe productive!