Evan G. Greenberg
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer at Chubb
Good morning. As you saw from the numbers, we had an excellent quarter in spite of cat losses with terrific underwriting results, including outstanding combined ratios, record net investment income double-digit constant dollar P&C premium growth, well balanced between commercial and consumer. And finally, surging Life division revenue growth with the addition of Cigna's Asia business. Commercial P&C pricing was strong and exceeded loss costs in aggregate and in most individual lines of business.
Core operating income in the quarter was $1.3 billion, or $3.17 per share, up 20% over prior. In the quarter, we produced $710 million of underwriting income, up 15% with a published combined ratio of 93.1%. Pretax catastrophe losses were $1.2 billion, of which $975 million was Ian.
For the year, record underwriting income of $3.4 billion was up more than 40% or $1 billion, leading to an 87.5% combined ratio, an improvement of nearly three points over prior year. Underpinning the published combined ratio was the ex-cat current accident year combined ratio, which was 84% for the quarter, adding to a record 83.7% for the year, simply stunning.
Hurricane Ian was a large event distinguished by its size, wind speed and amount of water, both surge and flood. The models we use contemplate a cat 3 or greater event striking Florida about every three years. We are fully prepared to take cat risk and the associated volatility. After all, it's what we do for a living. As long as we are adequately compensated, and the concentration of exposure is within our balance sheet wherewithal. In my judgment, current pricing for cat is inadequate in many portfolios, and property pricing should continue to adjust to the realities of the nat cat environment, as well as the increased cost for reinsurance protection and potential lack of availability.
Returning to the quarter. Investment income was a record $1.1 billion, up over 12% from prior year, topping $1 billion for the first time. As I noted in our recent calls, with rising interest rates and widening spreads, investment income is and will continue to rise. Our reinvestment rate is now averaging 5.8% against a portfolio yield of 3.4%. During the quarter, we continued to accelerate the turnover of our portfolio in a targeted way so that we could put cash to work more quickly at higher yields. Investment income will make up a growing percentage of our company's earnings as we look forward.
Obviously, rising rates have produced a sizable negative mark on our invested asset. But as a reminder, we were a buy and hold fixed income investor and the market is transitory. To put a point on that, our portfolio credit quality is high, and we expect about half of the mark will accrete back to book value over about a 2-year period.
As you saw, the addition of Cigna's business in Asia, which we closed in the quarter is making an immediate contribution to revenue and earnings in line with what we expected. It is accretive to our consolidated results, including operating income and ROE. Peter will provide more information around the financial items.
Turning to growth and the rate environment. Total P&C net written premiums globally increased 8.5% in the quarter on a published basis or 11.2% in constant dollar, with commercial up 11.7% and consumer up over 9.5%. Consolidated net premiums for the company, which include our Life Insurance segment increased 17.3% in constant dollars, reflecting the consolidation of the Cigna Asia business.
P&C premium growth in earnings in the quarter were again balanced and broad-based, with contributions from virtually all our commercial businesses globally.
Total North America premiums were up over 10.5%, with commercial up 11.4% or 8.1% excluding agriculture and our high-net-worth personal lines business up over 7% in the quarter. Overseas General grew 11.7% in constant dollars, but only 2% after FX, with commercial up 11% and consumer up 12.7%. With the strongest U.S. dollar in 20 years, the negative impact of FX masks the real strength of our business.
Agriculture premiums were up nearly 22% in the quarter driven overwhelmingly by crop insurance growth as a result of commodity price increases and market share gains, we produced near record underwriting income off the back of what we project to be a decent growing season.
In terms of the commercial P&C rate environment, market conditions remain quite favorable for most lines of business. The vast majority of our portfolio is achieving favorable risk-adjusted returns. So additional rate is required primarily to keep pace with loss cost, which as I have been saying, are hardly benign in both long-tail and short-tail lines.
The market is reasonably disciplined. But given loss cost inflation, and what will be slowing growth and exposure in the future given economic conditions, casualty rates in most classes will need to rise at an accelerated rate or else the industry will fail to keep pace.
In North America, growth this quarter in commercial lines was led by our major accounts and specialty division, which grew 9.7%, followed by our middle market and small commercial business, which grew 5.7%, in our middle market division, P&C lines grew almost 9%, while financial lines declined about 5.5%, primarily due to a lack of IPOs, M&A activity and new business. Renewal retention for our retail commercial business was virtually 100% on a premium basis.
Overall rates in North America commercial Lines, excluding comp, were up 5%, while total pricing, which includes rate and exposure increased 8.5%. We are staying on top of inflation in terms of pricing and reserving. In North America Commercial Lines, we assume loss cost trends of 6.5%, the same as the second quarter.
In major accounts, which serves the largest companies in America, rates increased 5.3% with pricing up 8.6% and General casualty rates were up 8.7%. Property rates were up 9.7% and financial lines rates were up 4.3%.
In our E&S wholesale business, rates increased 9%, with pricing up nearly 13%. Property rates were up about 11.5%. Casualty rates were up 8.5% and Financial Lines rates were up almost 9%. In our Middle Market business, rates increased 4.2%, excluding comp, with pricing up about 6.5%, rates for property were up over 6% and pricing was up double digit. Casualty rates were up 6.5%, with pricing up over 8% and comp rates were down 3.8%. However, comp pricing was up 6.5%. Financial Lines rates were up just over 1%, with pricing up about 2%.
Our North America high net worth personal lines business had a very good quarter, with net premiums up over 7%, driven by strong new business activity. Our true high net worth client segment grew 12.5%, while overall retention was very strong at over 98%. In our homeowners business, we achieved pricing of about 11%, while the homeowners loss cost trend is running about 10.5%.
Turning to our International General Insurance operations. In constant dollars, if you haven't noticed, 2022 is the best organic growth we have experienced in nearly a decade. In the quarter, retail commercial P&C premiums grew 12.3%, while London wholesale grew over 9.5%. Retail commercial growth was led by Latin America with premiums up 23.5%, followed by growth of nearly 15.5% in Asia Pacific and over 10% in our U.K. and Europe division. Internationally, like in the U.S., we continued to achieve improved rate to exposure across our commercial portfolio.
In our International Retail business, rates increased in the quarter 9%. While we estimate pricing was up about 12%. Rates varied by class and by region as well as country within region.
Outside North America, we are currently trending loss costs at about 6.5%. Again, similar to the second quarter, though that varies by class of business and country. Like in North America, these trends factors are contemplated in both our reserving and in our accident year loss picks.
International consumer lines growth in the quarter picked up considerable momentum with premiums up over 13%, though FX scrubbed about 11.5 points off the growth. Our international A&H division had an exceptionally strong quarter. Premiums grew over 22.5% in constant dollar, with Asia Pac up over 34%, the U.K. up over 26% and Latin America up 17%.
Our International Personal Lines business grew more modestly in the quarter, with premiums up 4.5% in constant dollar. Premiums in sub life were up 17.5% -- 117% in constant dollars and impacted heavily by the Cigna acquisition. Cigna's operation contributed about $740 million in net premiums written and $160 million in income to the Life segment this quarter. We have hit the ground running in terms of integration and execution of our growth strategies in Asia.
So to sum it all up, all of our businesses across the globe contributed to growth and earnings in the quarter. We are firing on all cylinders. We are operating in a challenging economic environment, given inflation, the specter of recession and financial market volatility as well as the geopolitical environment and the evolving risks from climate change.
Despite all of that, looking forward, we are quite bullish on the future, given our growth and exceptional underwriting margins in our commercial and consumer P&C businesses, the strong trajectory for investment income and the contributions from the Cigna acquisition to our growing Asia Life business. We expect EPS to continue to grow at a healthy rate into the future.
I'll turn the call over to Peter and then we're going to come back and take your questions.