Co-operative makes general insurance loss

The Co-operative’s general insurance division has reported a 4.5% fall in gross written premiums for the first half of 2015.

The drop to £180.3m from £188.8m at the start of 2014 came as it declared an operating loss of £17m.

However, the insurer highlighted that it had incurred £17.3m of ‘transformation costs’ after it entered into a 10-year deal with IBM to replace legacy IT systems.

The underlying operating profit came in at £500,000, reversing a loss of £6.8 in the same period of last year.

The net loss ratio also improved to 68.2% (H1 2014: 70.2%).

In a group statement the parent company said, ‘These results are in line with expectations and reflect a lower volume of claims than in the same period last year.’

‘We defined our new member-focused strategy, setting a clear direction for the future. A programme to improve member and customer services is now underway, building on our brand, distribution, and data advantages.’

Looking to the future the group declared that it expected very modest increases in motor premium rates but forecast aggressive market pricing on home business.

‘Against this backdrop we will continue to underwrite cautiously, albeit we see some opportunity to grow our business as we deliver the benefits from our recent investment in pricing capability,” it continued.’

‘Our main focus for the second half of the year, however, is our major transformation programme which is moving into the delivery phase and which will see significant benefits for our members and customers beginning in 2016.’