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10 Best Property & Casualty Insurance Stocks to Buy

In this article, we will be taking a look at the 10 best property & casualty insurance stocks to buy. To see more of these stocks, you can take a look at the 5 Best Property & Casualty Insurance Stocks to Buy.

The past few years have been challenging for most industries, with a global pandemic on the loose followed by rising inflation and geopolitical tensions. Companies that have managed to adapt to the rapidly transforming economic environment have managed to hold on, while many others have struggled and been brought to the point of bankruptcy. Insurance companies have not been spared, being faced with macroeconomic and geopolitical issues. However, the industry has managed to remain strong through 2022 and well into 2023, according to several outlook reports on the global insurance industry for 2023.

A Bright Future for the Insurance Industry

According to one such outlook report published by Deloitte in June, insurance companies that have managed to transition during the pandemic to be able to host remote workforces and virtual customer and distributor engagement seem to be well-positioned to profit in the face of the many challenges they are facing. It has been noted in the report that reliance on advanced technology and digital infrastructure will take insurance companies a long way in meeting their goals and turning a profit. However, they must also retain their creativity in adapting to the new environment while pledging their support to sustainability priorities like climate risk, diversity and inclusion, and social equity. In a market where customers and consumers are easily swayed by socioeconomic issues, most companies are beginning to have to deal with more socially aware and concerned customers. Hence, by focusing more on environmental, social, and governance (ESG) priorities, insurance companies can continue to retain their profitability in today's uncertain market.

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An example of ESG priorities having an impact on the insurance industry comes with the London insurance market. According to the Deloitte report, this market could double in size by covering the global transition to green energy for policyholders who want to achieve net zero carbon emissions. According to the London & International Insurance Brokers' Association (LIIBA), by 2023, buyers around the world are expected to spend about $125 billion in insurance-related transition costs. This figure alone speaks volumes about the vast potential within the ESG space, which insurance companies such as Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE:BRK-B), Metlife, Inc. (NYSE:MET), and Prudential Financial, Inc. (NYSE:PRU) can harness and utilize for their growth.

The Property and Casualty Insurance Market

According to another outlook report published by McKinsey & Company in March, personal property and casualty insurance has seen an annual growth of 3% between 2019 and 2022. This growth was witnessed despite the sector slowing down during the pandemic. According to the report, in 2022, the insurance industry's gross written premium (GWP) crossed the $6.5 trillion mark, and about one-third of its total revenues were derived from property and casualty insurance. However, a quick study of this sector within the broader insurance industry shows that personal property and casualty insurance is restricted to a local level, requiring insurance companies within this space to maintain a strong presence within specific regions.

According to the McKinsey report, the market for property and casualty insurance is concentrated and restricted to the top five insurers operating in the US. These companies thus claim 56% and 61% of the five-year growth and pre-tax income, respectively, while they make up only about 48% of the total market share within the property and casualty insurance space. However, this concentration is not limited to the US alone. The report shows that this trend is replicated across most geographical areas, including Italy, France, Japan, and many other countries.

While this market concentration remains the reality for most regions when it comes to their personal property and casualty insurance sectors, it cannot be denied that this sector remains a strong and resilient part of their economies to date. Its continued growth and profitability have led to many investors continuing to pour investments into companies operating within this space. As such, we have compiled a list of the best property and casualty insurance stocks to buy today.

Best Property & Casualty Insurance Stocks to Buy
Best Property & Casualty Insurance Stocks to Buy

Aigars Reinholds/Shutterstock.com

Let's now take a look at the 10 best property and casualty insurance stocks to buy.

Our Methodology

We have selected 10 of the most popular property and casualty insurance stocks among elite hedge funds. To find hedge fund popularity we used Insider Monkey's hedge fund data for the first quarter of 2023 when 943 hedge funds were tracked. We have ranked these stocks based on the number of hedge funds holding stakes in them, from the lowest to the highest number. The information on average price targets and upside potential was sourced from TipRanks.

Best Property & Casualty Insurance Stocks to Buy

10. Loews Corporation (NYSE:L)

Number of Hedge Fund Holders: 18

Loews Corporation (NYSE:L) is a property and casualty insurance company based in New York. The company offers specialty insurance products like management and professional liability, among more.

In the first quarter of 2023, Loews Corporation (NYSE:L) generated revenues of $3.78 billion, a growth of 11.2% year-over-year. The company's EPS was $1.61. Loews Corporation (NYSE:L) also saw its book value per share rise from $60.81 to $63.41 between December 2022 and March 2023, according to the company's press release this May.

Diamond Hill Capital was the largest shareholder in the company at the end of the first quarter of 2023, holding 701,002 shares. In total, 18 hedge funds were long the stock, with a total stake value of $98.7 million.

Loews Corporation (NYSE:L), like Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE:BRK-B), Metlife, Inc. (NYSE:MET), and Prudential Financial, Inc. (NYSE:PRU), is an insurance stock many hedge funds are piling into today.

9. American Financial Group, Inc. (NYSE:AFG)

Number of Hedge Fund Holders: 19

American Financial Group, Inc. (NYSE:AFG) is an insurance holding company providing specialty property and casualty insurance products. It is based in Cincinnati, Ohio.

An Overweight rating was reiterated on American Financial Group, Inc. (NYSE:AFG) shares on April 4 by Paul Newsome, an analyst at Piper Sandler.

Analysts have placed an average price target of $162 on American Financial Group, Inc. (NYSE:AFG) shares, which were trading at $113.67 on May 25. This gives the stock an upside potential of 42.8%.

There were 19 hedge funds long American Financial Group, Inc. (NYSE:AFG) in the first quarter, with a total stake value of $133 million.

Investment management company Headwaters Capital mentioned the company in its second-quarter 2022 investor letter. Here's what the firm said:

American Financial Group, Inc. (NYSE:AFG) returned +1% (inclusive of an $8 special dividend paid during the quarter). Underwriting returns continue to be strong across almost all of the company’s specialty lines of business. Returns from the company’s investment portfolio, specifically investments in real estate funds, have also been very strong. Going forward, AFG’s investment portfolio should benefit from higher interest rates as it has strategically repositioned its fixed income portfolio into shorter duration assets over the last year.”

8. The Hanover Insurance Group, Inc. (NYSE:THG)

Number of Hedge Fund Holders: 21

The Hanover Insurance Group, Inc. (NYSE:THG) is a provider of property and casualty insurance products and services. It is based in Worcester, Massachusetts.

Grace Carter, an analyst at Bank of America, holds a Neutral rating on The Hanover Insurance Group, Inc. (NYSE:THG) shares as of May 18.

The Hanover Insurance Group, Inc. (NYSE:THG) generated revenues of $1.42 billion in the first quarter of 2023, up 8.32% year-over-year. The company's stock is up 26.1% year-to-date, as of May 28.

Markel Gayner Asset Management was the largest shareholder in the company at the end of the first quarter, holding 138,000 shares. A total of 21 hedge funds were long The Hanover Insurance Group, Inc. (NYSE:THG), with a total stake value of $65.6 million.

7. Markel Corporation (NYSE:MKL)

Number of Hedge Fund Holders: 23

Markel Corporation (NYSE:MKL) is a diverse financial holding company based in Glen Allen, Virginia. It engages in marketing and underwriting specialty insurance products, including property and casualty insurance products.

With one Buy rating placed on Markel Corporation (NYSE:MKL), analysts on Wall Street see the stock as a Moderate Buy. They have placed an average price target of $1,600 on the shares, which were trading at $1,316.18 on May 25. This gives Markel Corporation (NYSE:MKL) an upside potential of 21.46%.

Our hedge fund data for the first quarter shows 23 hedge funds long Markel Corporation (NYSE:MKL). Their total stake value was $1.1 billion.

Investment management firm, Davis Advisers, mentioned the company in its 2022 annual investor letter. Here's what the firm said:

“As the relative risk/reward trade-off has shifted back toward our bank holdings, the fund has reallocated some capital away from P&C insurance, though it still remains a meaningful position at 17%. A closer look at one of those holdings, Markel Corporation (NYSE:MKL) Corporation, illustrates why. Referred to by some as a “mini-Berkshire Hathaway,” Markel allocates its capital between writing P&C insurance, investing in publicly traded stocks, purchasing controlling interest in private companies and repurchasing its own stock. Such flexibility conveys an advantage over those who limit themselves to one or two of those options. It also complicates the analysis of the company by investors, and despite its $18 billion market capitalization, Markel is covered by relatively few brokerage analysts. Insurance companies in general earn two streams of profits: the profit (loss) from underwriting clients’ risks, and the investment income generated from assets financed with the float provided by their customers (and their own capital). Markel has a demonstrated record as a highly competent underwriter, illustrated by management’s targeted underwriting margin of 10% in the medium-term, an outcome that would translate into an attractive mid-teens return on equity if it were conventionally structured.

But Markel is not conventional: It carries far more equity capital than its insurance operations need on a standalone basis, and that excess is allocated to stocks and owned private companies. Markel is projected to earn $1.25 billion of net income in 20236, but this metric only captures the dividends received on its $8 billion stock portfolio. The underlying companies in that portfolio—which include Berkshire Hathaway, Deere & Co., Home Depot and Alphabet, among others—earn perhaps $350 million more than they pay out in dividends.7 Moreover, these companies are reinvesting much of that into their own businesses at attractive rates of return, which over time will materialize into stock price appreciation. Adjusting Markel’s reported earnings for these retained earnings would decrease its 2023 valuation multiple from 14 times to 11 times. Furthermore, the contribution to this adjusted measure of earnings from these stocks and from the approximate $2 billion invested in private companies is roughly 45% of the total. These are non-financial businesses that generally command higher valuation multiples than typical financial companies.…” (Click here to read the full text)

6. RenaissanceRe Holdings Ltd. (NYSE:RNR)

Number of Hedge Fund Holders: 33

RenaissanceRe Holdings Ltd. (NYSE:RNR) is a provider of reinsurance and insurance products based in Pembroke, Bermuda. It operates through its Property, and Casualty and Specialty segments.

Analysts at Jefferies upgraded shares of RenaissanceRe Holdings Ltd. (NYSE:RNR) from Hold to Buy on May 25.

There are three Buy ratings and two Hold ratings placed on RenaissanceRe Holdings Ltd. (NYSE:RNR) shares, making the stock a Moderate Buy. In the fiscal first quarter of 2023, the company generated revenues of $23.33 billion. This represented a growth of 24.38% year-over-year.

Polar Capital was the largest shareholder in the company at the end of the first quarter, holding 1.02 million shares. In total, 33 hedge funds were long the stock, with a total stake value of $669 million.

TimesSquare Capital Management, an equity investment management company, mentioned RenaissanceRe Holdings Ltd. (NYSE:RNR) in its fourth-quarter 2022 investor letter. Here's what the firm said:

“Turning to areas of strength, there were contributions from the Financials sector this quarter. Leading that charge was the 31% gain from the reinsurance provider RenaissanceRe Holdings Ltd. (NYSE:RNR). RenRe’s level of gross premiums written was higher than anticipated, though more importantly the company expects that underwriting income, investment income, and fee income all are poised to increase materials in 2023.”

RenaissanceRe Holdings Ltd. (NYSE:RNR), like Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE:BRK-B), Metlife, Inc. (NYSE:MET), and Prudential Financial, Inc. (NYSE:PRU), is a highly profitable insurance company with immense potential.

 

Click to continue reading and see the 5 Best Property & Casualty Insurance Stocks to Buy.

 

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Disclosure: None. 10 Best Property & Casualty Insurance Stocks to Buy is originally published on Insider Monkey.