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Chubb's Ukraine war exposure 'de minimis': Greenberg

US insurance giant books an $87m impairment charge from separated Russian business, as CEO says global strategy will not change

Chubb’s exposure to losses arising from the Ukraine war are minimal, the US giant’s chairman and chief executive has confirmed.

Evan Greenberg said the US group’s actual losses are “de minimis” and while additional losses “may develop” they will not be a “meaningful event” for the business, he told analysts.

The company has booked an impairment charge from the separation of its Russian business, which amounts to $87m.

Greenberg said Chubb’s global strategy would not change as a result of ongoing global volatility, such as that caused by the war in Ukraine.

“We take a medium-term and long-term view of opportunity and strategy when we think about growth for the company,” Greenberg said, “so, no, it doesn’t give me pause of thought on the underlying thesis. The world goes through periods of greater volatility and risk, sometimes a little less. You recognise that, you build that into your thinking when you approach your strategy and tactics.”

Greenberg highlighted the growth opportunities in Asia and Latin America.

“Asia is where one-half to two-thirds of the world’s growth will likely take place over the next two decades. Chubb’s increasing presence there is a good thing. It will allow us to capitalise on those opportunities,” he said.

“When I think about Latin America, it has a volatility signature to it that is more extreme. We recognise that, but the trend lines over time is increased growth opportunity,” Greenberg added.

Earlier, Chubb reported record operating income in the first quarter of the year, beating analysts’ forecasts. 

Core operating income for the first quarter jumped 44% to $1.64bn as property/casualty (P&C) underwriting income more than doubled to a record $1.28bn from $622m.

With the improved underwriting results, the combined ratio improved 7.5 points to a record 84.3%, driven in part by a sharp decline in catastrophe losses, which more than halved to $333m in the quarter.

The current accident-year combined ratio excluding catastrophe losses improved 1.8 points to 83.5%.

Global P&C net premiums written, excluding agriculture, were up 8.8%, or 10.7% in constant dollars, driven by growth in both commercial lines and consumer lines.

Commercial P&C rates increased 8.7% in North America and were up around 10% in the international businesses.

Premiums in the group’s London wholesale business were up 5.5% with an average rate increase of 9% in the quarter.

“We had an excellent start to the year with record operating earnings and underwriting results, double-digit commercial premium growth accompanied by rate increases in excess of loss cost, and growing momentum in our consumer business globally,” Greenberg said.





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