IAG New Zealand has announced a gross written premium (GWP) of $1.371 million in 1H 2019, up 5.5% from the previous year. This is nearly twice as much as the reported GWP growth of its Australian parent, which increased by 3.4% to A$4,606 million.
IAG’s New Zealand arm, which owns the brands NZI, State Insurance and AMI, noted further rate-driven growth was achieved in both personal and commercial lines, with some offset from lower commercial volumes.
“New Zealand continued to perform well, with solid GWP growth supported by sustained margins,” IAG managing director and chief executive officer Peter Harmer said.
Among the key highlights for the insurer included a significantly higher insurance profit of $193 million, a stronger underlying insurance margin of 20% and a high reinsurance expense of $503 million.
As of December 31, 2018, IAG New Zealand had settled 96.7% of all claims arising from the 2016 Kaikoura earthquake and completed nearly $6.8 billion of claim settlements associated with the 2011 Canterbury earthquake events.
IAG New Zealand expects further GWP growth for the second half of 2019 in both its business and consumer divisions, driven largely by rate increases in personal and commercial lines. It anticipates further easing in the pace of rate increases. Consequently, it expects the business’s underlying profitability to remain strong.