Insurer thanks catastrophe hiatus for 19% profit climb

Insurer thanks catastrophe hiatus for 19% profit climb | Insurance Business

Insurer thanks catastrophe hiatus for 19% profit climb
Zurich Group’s general insurance business’ operating profit increased 19% to AUD$1.8bn (US$1.7bn) in the first half of 2014, with rates rising to “mid-single” digits in the international markets.

The business operating profit benefitted from an improved net underwriting result reflecting the favourable underlying loss experience and the absence of major catastrophe and weather-related losses.

General insurance gross written premiums and policy fees remained stable at AUD$21.56bn (US$20bn). The combined operating ratio improved from 98.1% to 96.1%.

Rates in Zurich’s international markets were in the mid-single digits, with increases in Latin America and Asian retail lines, which were partly offset by commercial rates softening in some Asian markets.

Commenting on the results overall, group CEO Martin Senn said the company had seen progress on the execution of its strategy and delivery against its targets, and is on track for its 2014 to 2016 targets.

He added that the group had completed streamlining of the organisational structure, which affected 670 positions globally. As reported by Insurance Business early this year, the Australian operations were unaffected by the global streamlining plans.

The figures were converted from US dollars to Australian dollars on 11 August 2014 using