The reinsurance company saw an improvement in its combined ratio despite losses relating to Russia-Ukraine

Markel Corporation has reported its financial results for the first quarter of 2022. There were losses on the investment side of the balance sheet of $358m, compared to a net investment gain of $527m in Q1 2021.

This contributed to a comprehensive income loss to shareholders of $529m, compared to a gain of $359m in the same quarter a year ago.

Markel attributes the comprehensive loss to shareholders in 2022 to unrealised losses on its fixed maturity and equity. 

However, there was an improvement in combined ratio for the quarter. This was 89%, compared to 94% in Q1 2021. 

The lower combined ratio in 2022 compared to 2021 was primarily due to a lower current accident year loss ratio as a result of lower catastrophe losses and a lower attritional loss ratio in 2022 compared to 2021.

The combined ratio for Q1 included $35m, or two points, of net losses and loss adjustment expenses, as well as $12.3m of additional reinsurance costs, attributed to the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

Meanwhile, earned premiums grew 17% to $1.8 billion in the first quarter of 2022, reflecting continued growth in gross premium volume from new business and more favorable rates.

“Our first quarter results reflect continued progress against our underwriting initiatives as we grew our premium base through a combination of rate increases and new business opportunities and delivered an 89% combined ratio,” said Thomas Gayner and Richard Whitt, co-chief executives.

“Our investing results reflected the impact of rising interest rates on our fixed maturity portfolio and unfavorable market value movements on our equity portfolio during the quarter.”