Covéa Insurance is the UK underwriting business of the leading French mutual insurance Group Covéa and offers competitively-priced household and motor insurance, along with a range of commercial insurance products designed to meet the needs of most businesses, through a nationwide network of intermediaries. Regional distribution teams based in 9 regional offices offer brokers and insurance intermediaries direct access to senior underwriters. Covéa Insurance handles the insurance needs of over 1 million policyholders.
Covéa Insurance announces 2018 financial results
Covéa Insurance plc has today announced its financial results for 2018. The company is reporting a 3.6% increase in gross written premiums to £765.1m, profit after tax of £1.5m and a combined operating ratio of 99.7%.
The performance of the company’s commercial lines business was the highlight, delivering 9.0% growth in premiums and a strong improvement in profitability. By contrast, personal lines premiums were flat in the face of extremely competitive market conditions and strong inflationary claims trends, particularly on motor.
Those trends were the main contributor to the overall reduction in underwriting profitability, with both the frequency of theft claims and the average cost of vehicle repairs increasing significantly. Home profitability was also impacted by a higher number of large fire claims and adverse weather experience – including the “Beast from the East” freeze event and an increase in subsidence claims following the exceptionally dry summer.
Volatile investment market conditions, associated with the continuing uncertainty around the Brexit process, led to a significant fall in the market value of the company’s investment portfolio during the year, further contributing to the lower level of profit after tax.
Announcing the results, James Reader, Chief Executive, commented:
“2018 was a challenging year for our personal lines business, as we faced soft market conditions, adverse weather and a significant increase in claims inflation, particularly in motor. By contrast, our commercial lines business has continued to deliver good levels of premium growth alongside a strong underwriting result.
Looking beyond our financial performance, we’ve continued to deliver market-leading levels of service to our customers and broker partners and have commenced a major programme of investment in new digital technologies, to ensure that we continue to meet their changing expectations. We’ve also made good progress in creating a more inclusive workplace, and in ensuring Covéa Insurance remains a great place to work for all our people. We are very ambitious as an organisation and I remain confident that we are well placed to deliver on those ambitions.”
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