Aviva group CEO Amanda Blanc on bucking the trend in general insurance

"It actually feels like we're only just getting started", she says

Aviva group CEO Amanda Blanc on bucking the trend in general insurance

Insurance News

By Mia Wallace

Examining the H1 2023 results that made up “another excellent half year, delivering profitable growth despite a very challenge economic backdrop” during a media briefing, group CEO of Aviva Amanda Blanc (pictured) highlighted how the decision to refocus Aviva on the UK, Ireland and Canada had paid dividends for its customers, partners and shareholders alike.

The resilience of this diversified proposition is clear, she said, with every part of the business delivering strong growth – including double-digital growth across all three of its general insurance businesses. In addition, the group won 211 new schemes in H1 2023, cementing its number one position in the growing schemes marketplace, and delivered an operating profit up 8% year-on-year to £715 million.

“Aviva is consistently delivering on its promises quarter after quarter, and that means that we are set to exceed the group targets that I laid out 18 months ago,” she said. “But we’re not just focused on today we’ve got one eye very firmly on Aviva’s future. We have invested £1 billion in our business and we’re now seeing very positive results.”

How Aviva is bucking the trend in general insurance

With the general insurance market at large and the motor insurance market, in particular, facing challenging external conditions, Blanc touched on how Aviva has managed to deliver strong growth consistently across its GI businesses in the UK, Ireland Canada.

“If we think about the composition of our book of business,” she said, “it is pretty much 50/50 commercial lines and personal lines. So, we are getting the benefit of a strong rating environment across all lines of business. So clearly we have priced for inflation, I would say probably ahead of the rest of the market as we were seeing inflation data trends come through at the back end of 2021. We started to price for that, so we got ahead of that and that’s why I think the performance is strong.

“Clearly the inflation challenges have been significant. But in 50% of our book, which is the commercial lines book, we obviously have indexation on top of rating increases – the products are index-linked so the inflation effects increase is in-built. And if we look at the growth in general insurance, it is 60% rating increase and 40% new business. So effectively, technical pricing strength is strong in that line of business.”

Aviva’s potential Lloyd’s ambitions and broker partnerships

Addressing a question about whether Aviva is looking to rejoin the Lloyd’s market, Blanc said the group is constantly looking at different distribution channels and ways that it can deliver its product set to a wider audience. Lloyd’s is interesting because it would enable Aviva to access to same types of customers it currently has albeit via different distribution channels. So, as it stands, it’s an opportunity Aviva has looked at and it’s an area, “we are certainly interested in.”

With regards to how Aviva’s strategy is playing out among its broker partners, Blanc highlighted that from research the insurer has carried out among its brokers, the feedback has been strong. Looking at its e-trading proposition, she said, Aviva is not just number one in the electronic trading market but is way ahead of the nearest competitor.

“So, I think we are doing well for our brokers - clearly always more to do, but we do bring the diversified business to them,” she said. “And when we’re speaking to some of our more global brokers, we are talking not just about general insurance, we’re talking about employee benefits, about health, about workplace and about all of the other stuff that we do – and it is a really joined up conversation.”

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