Covéa Insurance publishes 2019 results

16th April 2020

Covéa Insurance plc has published its financial results for 2019.  The company is reporting a 1.9% increase in gross written premiums to £779.6m, profit after tax of £3.7m, and a combined operating ratio of 103.9%.

 

2019

2018

Gross written premium

£779.6m

£765.1m

Underwriting (loss)/profit

£(22.3)m

£1.8m

Profit after tax

£3.7m

£1.5m

Combined operating ratio

103.9%

99.7%

 The gross written premium (GWP) and combined operating ratio (COR) by main product line were as follows:

 

Personal 
Lines
Motor

Personal 
Lines 
Home


Commercial Lines



Protection

Gross written premium

£382.1m

£121.4m

£216.9m

£59.3m

Combined operating ratio

109.7%

94.1%

98.8%

104.4%

In challenging market conditions, characterised by significant levels of political and regulatory uncertainty, the Company has delivered modest year-on-year premium growth, with increased home and commercial premiums offsetting a reduction in personal lines motor.

The 2019 results have not been adjusted for the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic due to the timing of the outbreak being after the end of the year. 

For the second consecutive year, the personal lines motor market continued to be characterised by flat market premiums and a significantly higher level of claims inflation than has been seen for some time.  The combination of these factors, exacerbated by adverse development on prior year claims, led to a very disappointing underwriting result for the year. 

In contrast, year-on-year premium growth in home, combined with prior year reserve releases and relatively benign weather, contributed to a strong underwriting result and combined operating ratio. 

The commercial lines business also continued to grow, with GWP up 4.5% on the previous year.  A focus on strong underwriting principles and controls, continued investment in products and services, and the development of strong relationships with our key broker partners has underpinned this growth.  The underwriting result for the year was adversely impacted by higher than anticipated attritional claims on the property account and a higher number of large claims.

Finally, protection GWP benefitted from the transfer in of a book of policies from an existing business partner but the underwriting result was adversely impacted by higher than anticipated claims on a range of short-term income protection products launched in 2018.    

Investment market conditions ended the year favourably, enabling the delivery of an overall profit after tax for the year.

Announcing the results, James Reader, Chief Executive, commented:

“Along with the rest of the world, we are currently facing an unprecedented challenge in dealing with the impacts of coronavirus.  My thoughts are first and foremost with all of those who are suffering, which unfortunately includes several members of the Covéa Insurance team and their families.

In this rapidly changing and uncertain environment, I’m incredibly proud of the way that the whole Covéa Insurance team has responded.  Thanks to the exceptional efforts of our operational and technology teams almost all of our people are now working effectively from home, ensuring that we’re able to continue to deliver for our customers and partners in these most challenging of times. We’re also fully supporting the ABI’s commitments to ensure that we adapt to our customers’ changing needs.

With all that has happened over the past few weeks, 2019 already seems a very long time ago.  Nevertheless, we are today announcing our results for the year and it is fair to say that they were disappointing. The motor market has been extremely challenging, due to premiums not keeping pace with the unexpectedly high levels of claims inflation and, as it represents almost 50% of our business, this has had a significant impact on our overall underwriting result.  More positively, we’re pleased with the progress that we continue to make on both commercial lines and home.

Looking to the future, we have ambitious plans for the long-term profitable growth of our business and remain confident in our ability to achieve them.  We are making good progress with our significant investment in a new digital technology platform which, while adding cost in the short term, is imperative to the delivery of those plans.  It will also ensure that we can continue to deliver market-leading levels of customer experience and can become an even better place to work for our people.”

 

-Ends-

 

About Covéa Insurance

Covea Insurance Plc is the UK underwriting business of leading French mutual insurance group Covéa, who are number 1 for property and liability insurance in France, generating over 17.4 billion Euros in premiums in 2019.  

Covéa Insurance looks after the insurance needs of over 2 million policyholders; delivering financial reassurance through its Standard & Poor’s ‘AA- stable’ rating, as a guaranteed subsidiary of Covéa. 

The company offers motor, household, protection, pet, mid and high net worth insurance and a range of commercial insurance products, through a range of distribution channels.

Employing over 1900 people, Covéa Insurance has a strong people and service ethos.  It holds ServiceMark accreditation with Distinction for its Personal Lines operation and its Commercial & HNW Claims teams, as well as Chartered Insurer status for its Commercial business.  Covéa Insurance is signatory to the HM Treasury Women in Finance Charter and the insurance Inclusivity Pledge and has been named one of the top 75 employers in West Yorkshire & the Humber.

Recently, Covéa Insurance were named as the Best Place to Work in Digital (Large Organisations) at the Digital Technology Leaders Awards.  They were also recipients of the Staff Empowerment Award at the Diversity & Inclusion in Insurance Awards, and the High Net Worth Product of the Year Award at the Insurance Times Awards.  They also received the Diversity Award at the British Insurance Awards.  They are currently shortlisted for 4 Insurance Times Awards.

Back to list

Media Contacts

For media enquiries, please contact Stephanie Cox.

Alternatively, please call or email

E: Dianne Smith T: 07796 695 090