Zurich UK COR improves to 95.5%

tulsi-naidu-zurich-uk-ceo

GI business recovering from impact of discount rate hit as GWP stable and operating profit grows.

Zurich UK’s CEO Tulsi Naidu has hailed the H1 2018 numbers for the general insurance division as a strong result.

The numbers showed that the GI COR improved to 95.5%, significantly ahead of last year’s 99.2% (119.0% including Ogden impact).

In addition business operating profit also shot up to £75.9 million – up 24% on £61.1 million in H1 2017.

If the Ogden rate is taken in to account BOP increased 162%, up from -£123m in the same period last year.

GWP was stable at £1.2bn.

Discipline
Naidu, commented: “General Insurance profits are up 24% on last year, or 162% including the unusual impact in 2017 of the Personal Injury Discount rate. In the first half of the year, we saw a number of large and catastrophic claims from global natural disasters and severe UK winter weather.

“However, the impact of this has been offset by the strength of our underwriting discipline, and an emphasis on shifting the mix of our business by growing in the UK mid-market and SME segments.”

She added: “Our approach to customer and broker relationships is also paying dividends, as is our focus on technical excellence and strong operational management in claims. All of these have contributed to a much improved combined ratio and a strong General Insurance result.”

The business has undergone a number of changes in recent months. Late last year it restructured its broker distribution team and in January this year sold broker Endsleigh to A-Plan.

It also bought HNW player Oak Underwriting from RSA.

Tech
Naidu continued: “We completed the disposal of Endsleigh and our Corporate Savings businesses earlier this year, and acquired Oak Underwriting from RSA, making us one of the leading High Net Worth players in the UK

“We are working in partnership with innovative InsurTechs such as Laka, providing a new solution for customers requiring high end bike insurance, and Spixii, improving the claims journey for our customers.” 

UK numbers
Zurich UK results improved overall. Earnings on a like for like basis went up 14% to £142.5m from £125.4m last year (up 344% including Ogden impact from -£58.4m). 

The COR also improved to 95.5% from 99.2% in 2017 (119.0% including Ogden impact).

“Zurich has delivered strong first half figures in the UK, with an all-round improvement in the underlying performance of the business. 

“We continue to simplify our business, strengthen our capability and create a strong customer and market focus - and I am very pleased to see the early impact this is having on our financial results,” Naidu concluded.

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