The fourth costliest year on record for the insurance industry – that was the statement from the Swiss Re Institute in reference to 2018, a year that after a benign first half was bombarded with catastrophes ranging from hurricanes Michael and Florence to Typhoon Jebi in Japan, the Californian wildfires, a windstorm in Canada, hailstorms in Australia and much more. Yet despite estimated combined claims of US$2.2 billion from natural catastrophes and US$0.8 billion from large man-made losses, the Swiss reinsurance giant still saw its net income climb.
Announcing its full-year 2018 results today, Swiss Re revealed a net income jump – from US$331 million back in 2017 to US$421 million this time around. This net income even reflected a negative pre-tax impact of US$599 million due to a change in US GAAP recognition. Without that change, net income could have been as high as US$894 million.