Covéa announces 2017 results

Covea Insurance has announced its financial results for 2017.  The company has reported a 10.8% increase in gross written premiums to £739m, profit after tax of £24.1m and a combined operating ratio of 97.5%.

The growth in gross written premiums was driven in large part by the continued development of the company’s Provident Insurance direct distribution operation, which was launched in 2016. An increase in average motor premiums, partially due to the impact of the reduction in the Ogden discount rate, and continued growth in commercial lines have also contributed to the growth.

The 2016 technical account result benefitted from a one-off release of claims equalisation provisions of £29.8m.  Excluding this, there has been a significant improvement in technical underwriting performance, with the combined operating ratio reducing to 97.5% from 101.2%. The key factors behind this reduction are improved loss ratios on the commercial lines and home accounts, largely due to a strong focus on pricing and underwriting discipline in a competitive market environment.

James Reader, chief executive, commented, ‘It’s very pleasing to be able to announce that we delivered double-digit premium growth in 2017, alongside an improved level of profitability. We’ve faced a number of headwinds, in particular the motor pricing volatility following the Ogden rate change and continued elevated levels of claims inflation; however, we continue to respond positively and maintain our focus on delivering a great service for our customers and broker partners, and sustainable profitable growth for our business.’