Chairman and Chief Executive Officer at Chubb
Good morning. We had a strong finish, which contributed to another record year. Our quarterly underwriting results were excellent, with an 88% combined ratio, despite a true-up to the projected '22 crop insurance full-year result. We had good growth in net investment income that led to a record result and double-digit premium growth with strong contributions from our commercial and consumer P&C lines globally and our international life business. More important, the quarterly results led to what was the best full-year financial performance in our company's history, including record operating income on both a per share and dollar basis from record P&C underwriting and investment income and another year of double-digit premium revenue growth, including the best organic growth in our international P&C business in a decade. All areas of the company contributed to the outstanding results last year. And I want to congratulate and thank so many of my colleagues around the globe.
Core operating income in the quarter was $1.7 billion or $4.05 per share. Crop results reduced our expected agriculture earnings by $0.39 per share. For the year, we produced core operating income of $6.5 billion or $15.24 per share, up 21%, and again, a record. Quarterly P&C underwriting income of $1.1 billion was impacted, as I said, by an underwriting loss from crop as we trued up our projection for the '22 crop year. This change of view for the full-year result was due to the late season emergence of losses from drought conditions in certain corn belt states, which overshadowed average to excellent growing conditions in many other areas, leading to what we now know is a below average year overall for that business. Agriculture is a weather-exposed business with nat cat like characteristics. It's about growing conditions and commodity prices and each year you start over.
For the year, we performed well all considered. We published a 94.2% combined ratio and produced $165 million in agriculture underwriting income. Back on the quarter, excluding agriculture, the combined ratio was 85.9% and speaks to the strong broad-based underlying performance of our business, which produced an amazing 82.9% ex cat current accident year combined ratio. Full-year P&C underwriting income was a record $4.6 billion, up 23% with a published combined ratio of 87.6% and that's with $2.2 billion of catastrophe losses and what was one of the costliest years yet for the industry in terms of cat.
On the investment side, adjusted net investment income topped $1.1 billion for the quarter, up about $215 million from prior year and $4 billion for the year, both records. Our reinvestment rate is now averaging 5.6% against a portfolio yield of 3.6% and that's translating into annualized run rate growth simply going into the first quarter of 13%, which will continue to grow as we reinvest cash flow at higher rates. Our operating cash flow for the quarter and year was USD2.7 billion and USD11.2 billion, respectively.
For perspective, I want to touch on capital management. As you know, our policy is to maintain -- is to manage for capital flexibility. After all, we are a balance sheet business in the risk business and we are a growth company. We maintain flexibility for risk and opportunity and return the balance to shareholders, simple and consistent policy. The last two years are instructive, we have organically grown our P&C premiums 21.5% and that requires capital. We have deployed $5.4 billion for the Cigna acquisition and invested a further $1.4 billion in increasing our Huatai ownership, together key strategic acquisitions with an emphasis on Asia. And at the same time, we have returned over $10.5 billion of total capital to shareholders through buybacks, over 9% of outstanding shares and dividends, all the while maintaining capital adequacy for risk and future opportunity. And we have capital flexibility given our strong earnings generation power. Peter will have more to say about financial items, including cats, prior-period development, investment income, book value and ROE.
Now, turning to growth and the rate environment. Consolidated net written premiums for the company increased nearly 12% in the quarter on a published basis, or 16% in constant dollars to $10.2 billion. This includes growth of 9.8% in our P&C business and over 100% of growth in life premiums, reflecting the addition of the Cigna Asia business. P&C premium growth and earnings in the quarter were balanced and broad-based with contributions from virtually all commercial and most consumer businesses globally.
Agriculture aside, North America commercial premiums were up almost 9%, while our high net-worth personal lines business was up 6%, a very strong result. Overseas General grew 9.7% in constant dollars, but declined 1.3% after FX, with commercial up 9.4% and consumer up 10.3%. We are a major multinational company and are impacted by currency movements. After reaching a 20-year high in September, the dollar has been weakening and that will benefit our growth in the future.
In North America, growth this quarter in commercial lines was led by our major accounts and specialty division, which grew 9.1%, followed by our middle-market and small commercial business, which grew 8.7% and renewal retention for our retail commercial businesses was over 96%. In our international general insurance operations, retail commercial P&C grew 9% in constant dollar, while our London wholesale business grew about 7.5%. Retail commercial growth was led by Latin America, with premiums up nearly 13%, followed by growth of 8.5% in Asia-Pac and 6.5% in our U.K.-Ireland division.
In terms of the commercial P&C rate environment, pricing conditions remain favorable for most lines of business. The vast majority of our portfolio is achieving favorable risk-adjusted returns. So like I said last quarter, in most lines, additional rate is required primarily to keep pace with loss costs, which again are hardly benign in both long-tail and short-tail lines. To illustrate, in the quarter, pricing for total North America commercial P&C, which includes both rate and the portion of exposure that supports rate, increased 6.5% with loss costs up 6.5% as well. Now, that's the headline, and let's drill down further, because I think it's more insightful.
Pricing for commercial P&C excluding financial lines and workers' comp was up 10%, with loss costs trending 6.9%. Breaking P&C down a step further, property pricing is firming in response to catastrophe exposures, inflation, reinsurance pricing and availability. Short-tail pricing was up 14.7%, while loss costs were up 6.8%. Property insurance is an opportunity for us. For the majority of casualty lines, pricing is adequate. In the quarter, pricing for North America casualty was up 7.5%, while loss costs trends were 6.9%. Now, given casualty loss costs trends, rates in most classes need to rise in an accelerated pace. There is little-to-no room for forgiveness and here a special mention to excess casualty and auto-related liability is warranted. For Chubb, our minds are clear and our playbook is consistent.
In some lines, like professional liability and workers' comp, which includes risk management, the competitive environment is quite aggressive and rates have been falling for a number of quarters now in recognition of favorable pricing and favorable experience. However, if not careful, the market is in danger of overshooting the mark. In the quarter, rates and pricing for North America financial lines in aggregate were essentially flat. They were up 0.2%, while loss costs trends were up 5%. And in workers' comp, which includes both primary comp and risk management, pricing was up 2.3% against the loss costs trend of 5.5%. Internationally, we continue to achieve improved rate to exposure across our commercial portfolio. In our international retail business, pricing was up about 9.5%. Rates varied by class and by region as well as country within region and loss costs are trending 6.2%.
Turning to our consumer businesses. In our North America high net worth personal lines business, again, net written premiums were up about 6%. Our true high net worth client segment, however, grew 12.5%. There was a flight to quality and capacity. In our homeowners business, we achieved pricing of about 12.5%, while the homeowners loss costs trend is running about 10.5%. International consumer lines, premiums grew over 10% in the quarter, again in constant dollar. Our international A&H division had another strong quarter, with premiums up about 21%. Asia-Pac was up nearly 40%, with half of the growth coming from the Cigna acquisition, while Latin America and the U.K. each were up about 13.5%.
Premiums in our international personal lines business were up less than 1% in constant dollar. In our international life insurance business, premiums doubled in constant dollar, while life income overall was also up over 100%, both positively impacted by the addition of the Cigna Asia business, which is on track. As we enter '23, while early days, growth in our Asia consumer business including non-life, life and A&H is widespread and strong. A combination of a strong external environment and our capabilities and presence, consumer lending, increase in foot traffic across retail and banking operations and the resurgence of leisure and business travel are all contributing to strong growth. Leisure travel alone was up nearly 400% over prior year.
And as China reopens from its strict pandemic controls, it will further stimulate growth in the region. Think trade, which benefits commercial lines and business travel. And think tourist travel as the Chinese begin to travel again on holiday. As regards China, as you know last quarter, we received regulatory approval to increase our ownership in Huatai Insurance Group to 83.2%. Since then, the transfer of shares from a number of separate shareholders has taken place and we've increased our ownership to 64%. The remaining 19% is expected to close in the next weeks or months.
In summary, we had an outstanding year, and looking ahead, we are starting off on a strong foot in the first quarter overall. Conditions remain favorable in terms of continued growth for our businesses globally and then add the strong trajectory of growth from investment income. Despite the challenging macroenvironment, I am quite optimistic about our future and confident in our ability to outperform.
I'll now turn the call over to Peter. And then we're going to come back and we're going to take your questions.