Zurich's P&C performance stays strong

Report proposes 'self-funding' insurance model for export industries

Zurich’s Property & Casualty (P&C) combined ratio was stable at 94.3% for a second year in 2022, propped by improvement in commercial margins.

P&C gross written premiums (GWP) rose 14% to a record $US43.3 billion ($62.57 billion).

The Group achieved price increases of about 6% in the year, with 8% rate increases in commercial insurance.

Zurich’s full-year business operating profit (BOP) rose 12% to $US6.5 billion ($9.39 billion), its highest since 2007. Almost all operating segments improved.

Asia Pacific GWP rose 18% to $US3.47 billion ($5.01 billion), and rates rose 3%, benefiting “primarily from growth in Australia”. The outlook for rates in the region was stable, Zurich said.

Asia Pacific profit grew 8%, led by positive development across the P&C business and the strong rebound in travel insurance. Life new business annual premium equivalent in Asia Pacific increased 14% on a like-for-like basis, driven by growth in the second half, benefiting from higher protection sales in Australia and Japan.

Group CEO Mario Greco says the past three years have been “tough years with unexpected challenges during which we had to stay very agile”.

“The P&C business reports today an excellent combined ratio and more importantly shows double digit top-line growth,” he said. “The combination of continued margin improvement in our commercial business, improving trends in retail and our ability to grow across all our businesses supports the Group’s higher financial ambition for the 2023-25 cycle.”

Lower catastrophe and weather-related claims were partially offset by inflation in the retail and SME business in the second half, particularly the motor business. Excluding crop insurance, the combined ratio improved 0.5 percentage points year over year, driven by a 3 percentage points improvement in the commercial insurance combined ratio.

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“Asia Pacific saw a strong recovery in the travel insurance business and overall growth across the region,” Zurich said.