Suncorp’s GI division posts improvements despite weather losses

Australia-based Suncorp, a financial services provider that offers both general and business insurance to its customers, announced recently that its  general insurance arm posted an after-tax profit of A$558 million (£319.5 million) for the first half of this year ending on the 30th of June, a 34 per cent improvement on its A$416 million figure produced in 2009, all despite Perth and Melbourne-based weather events.

Run by Patrick Snowball, the former chief executive officer of general and commercial insurance provider Aviva UK, Suncorp reported after tax group net profits of A$780 million for 2010, an increase of 124 per cent over the A$348 million it reported the previous year.

The results for general insurance trading for Suncorp for the first half of 2010, again ending on 30 June, was reported to be A$605 million, which gives the insurer a trading ration of 9.6 per cent, which is the trading result listed as a percentage of the net earned premium.  For the same period of time in 2009, Suncorp’s ratio was only 7.7 per cent.

Written gross premium rose 3.1 per cent, resulting in a A$200,000 rise to A$7 billion, with growth rates in the home and motor short-tail classes experiencing respective growth rates of 13.6 per cent and 6.4 per cent.

An increase of the overall gross written premium by 13.3 per cent was caused by compulsory third party rates increasing in Queensland and New South Wales, in regards to long tail classes.

Commercial insurance line premium income was flat, however, but there was growth in the target market of small and medium-sized enterprise business packages through focusing on some increases to rates, stable retention, and broker business.

The New Zealand general insurance division of Suncorp saw growth in premiums of 6.5 per cent in addition to insurance trading results that, at A$70 million,  were 84 per cent higher than last year’s A$38 million.

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