In industry news:

U.S. Property & Casualty insurers’ operating earnings decreased in 2015, highlighting the competitive operating environment and low investment yields that challenge insurers’ earnings growth potential, according to a new report by Fitch Ratings. Fitch’s universe of 45 organizations reported an aggregate a 7.2 percent decline in operating earnings to $47.3 billion in 2015. Each of the companies in the group reported a net profit in 2015, but net return on equity for the aggregate group deteriorated as the weakened investment market performance led to a significant decline in realized gains relative to the prior year. The group reported net earnings of $51.6 billion in 2015, down 9.6 percent from the net gain of $57.1 billion reported in 2014. Despite these setbacks, Fitch maintains a stable outlook overall for the industry.

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