Amid the business disruptions and economic downturns caused by COVID-19, Swiss Re has reported it is navigating the pandemic with a proactive reserving approach and a strong balance sheet.
The global reinsurer said in a statement that it expects the normalised combined ratio in property & casualty reinsurance (P&C Re) to improve to ≤ 96% in 2021, supported by positive rate momentum. In this segment, Swiss Re is pursuing targeted growth opportunities in a hardening market. It added that the business is focused on expanding underwriting margins, partly to offset the negative impacts of lower interest rates.
Meanwhile, its life & health reinsurance business maintained its successful track record despite the pandemic’s impact. According to the company, the segment achieved strong new business generation, particularly in Asia.
The reinsurer’s Corporate Solutions business is making a turnaround, which it credited to the decisive execution of the management actions announced in 2019. The company expects a normalised combined ratio of 98% or better in 2021. According to Swiss Re, a pronounced hard market offers opportunities for profitable growth in areas where Corporate Solutions has a proven competitive advantage. Over the medium term, the business aims to adopt a more diversified and cycle-resilient commercial insurance model, which provides complementary access to corporate clients for the Swiss Re Group.
The company also reported positive developments in its risk partnerships and asset management. Despite the low interest rate environment, the group said its return on investment has remained strong, supported by its commitment to environmental, social and governance (ESG) principles.
Swiss Re also reported continuous growth in its white-label digital insurance platform, iptiQ. The platform’s core business now has 40 distribution partners, more than 500 000 customers and US$300 million in gross written premium. Based on the current growth trajectory and peer valuation, iptiQ’s market-implied valuation has grown to approximately US$2 billion.
“We are optimistic on the outlook for all of our businesses as we see positive momentum in the underlying earnings power of the group,” said Swiss Re CEO Christian Mumenthaler. “Our confidence is underpinned by Swiss Re’s capital strength and the proactive approach we have taken to the group’s COVID-19 reserves. We expect that COVID-19 will remain an earnings and not a capital event for the Group, with declining exposures going forward. We are focused on delivering on our financial targets and capital management priorities. At the same time, our strategy positions Swiss Re for long-term success.”