(The following statement was released by the rating agency)
Oct 8 - Fitch Ratings has published a new report that examines the financialperformance of the U.S. Commercial Auto Insurance Industry and the 20 largestmarket participants.
'Commercial auto insurance is not only the fourth largest commercial linesinsurance segment, but also is a barometer for performance in the broadercommercial insurance market' said Jim Auden, Managing Director in Fitch's NorthAmerican Insurance Group.
Commercial auto insurance has exhibited more consistent underwriting resultsrelative to other commercial lines, and has generated better results relative tothe much larger personal auto segment over the last five years. However, anextended period of declining premium rates and insured exposure declines fromthe economic downturn promoted deterioration in commercial auto underwritingperformance.
The commercial auto segment reverted to a calendar year underwriting loss forthe first time in nine years with a combined ratio of 103.6% in 2011. Fitchnotes that market fundamentals for commercial auto insurance are improving and areturn to a statutory underwriting profit is projected for the segment in 2013.
The report includes a comparison of commercial auto statutory results for thesegment's top 20 writers that reveals wide variation in individual companies'underwriting performance in the commercial auto insurance space.
The full report 'Commercial Auto Market Update' is available at'.'
(Caryn Trokie, New York Ratings Unit)