1 March 2023Insurance

James River cuts the line on casualty reinsurance, goes full-on primary

Bermuda-based insurance group James River Group Holdings is calling it quits on its embattled casualty reinsurance line, suspending all final underwriting as it emphasizes its specialty and E&S primary operations.

"We continue to take advantage of compelling underwriting conditions in our insurance businesses, generating attractive growth, and validating the strength of our underwriting franchise," CEO Frank D'Orazio (pictured) said of Q4 results.

"We have decided to suspend underwriting activities in our casualty reinsurance segment, which we believe repositions the Company around its core strengths."

Gross written premium in the segment came down a hefty 77% year on year in the fourth quarter, helping push the segment’s weight in group net written premium from nearly one third to less than 7%.

James River had already seen GWP decline by 54% year on year in Q1 2022, citing non-renewal of several treaties at the 1.1 as the group moved to reposition the portfolio. That decline deepened in Q2 before a rebound in sales Q3.

In contrast, net written premium in primary E&S rose 20% year on year in the fourth quarter and specialty admitted business enjoyed a 6% y/y gain.

James River had already signed off with Fortitude Re to reinsure the bulk of its casualty reinsurance reserves in a deal announced in 2021.

Did you get value from this story?  Sign up to our free daily newsletters and get stories like this sent straight to your inbox.

Already registered?

Login to your account

To request a FREE 2-week trial subscription, please signup.
NOTE - this can take up to 48hrs to be approved.

Two Weeks Free Trial

For multi-user price options, or to check if your company has an existing subscription that we can add you to for FREE, please email Elliot Field at or Adrian Tapping at

More on this story

6 May 2022   The executives will join its newly-launched excess and surplus insurer in the US.
26 September 2023   The business produced $53 million worth of gross written premiums in 2022.
9 November 2023   The Bermuda-based company has agreed a $277m deal with Fleming to sell JRG Re.