Industry overcomes 'adverse' weather claims to achieve marginal profit rise

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Industry overcomes ‘adverse’ weather claims to achieve marginal profit rise

29 August 2022

The industry squeezed out a 0.3% rise in net profit to $924 million, as stronger underwriting earnings from increased rates neutralised “adverse” weather-related claims and investment losses, according to Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) data.

The hardening rates led the industry’s underwriting profit to more than quadruple to $6.3 billion in the year to June 30 from $1.5 billion in the previous corresponding period.

APRA says gross earned premium rose 11.4% to $60.4 billion, the result of “larger increases” observed in householders, domestic motor and fire and industrial special risks (ISR), following higher underlying claims costs within these classes of business.

“Strong underwriting results for the year… were underpinned by increases in gross earned premium across most classes of business,” APRA said.

The NSW/Queensland floods and other “adverse” weather catastrophes during the period led gross incurred claims to increase 6.6% to $45.2 billion.

The householders and reinsurance classes of business recorded large rises in gross incurred claims, as did domestic and commercial motor lines, APRA says. On the other hand, public and product liability and professional indemnity reported “considerable” decreases in gross incurred claims.

The industry’s investment returns shrank due to unrealised losses on interest bearing investments, booking losses of $2.8 billion after making a $1.6 billion profit a year earlier.

On a quarterly basis, the industry achieved a $360 million profit for the three months to June, following a $400 million loss in the preceding quarter, while underwriting profit nearly doubled to $2.5 billion from $1.4 billion.

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Gross earned premium gained 3.8% to $15.4 billion and gross incurred claims declined 36.3% to $9.8 billion.

APRA also provided an update on individual insurer results for the June quarter.

Following are the results of key insurers (in alphabetical order):

AIG Australia achieved gross earned premium of $279 million, had gross incurred claims of $113 million and made a net profit of $9 million
Allianz Australia Insurance recorded $1.5 billion in gross earned premium, $799 million in gross incurred claims and $169 million in net profit.
Hollard Insurance Company achieved $455 million in gross earned premium, booked $269 million in gross incurred claims and made neither a profit or loss
IAG logged nearly $2.28 billion in gross earned premium, $1.53 billion in gross incurred claims and a $28 million net loss
QBE Insurance Australia recorded $1.63 billion in gross earned premium, nearly $1.08 billion in gross incurred claims and net profit of $21 million
Suncorp-owned AAI booked nearly $2.3 billion in gross earned premium, $1.68 billion in gross incurred claims and a $3 million net loss.