COR remains resilient as a result of good household performance

Summary

Income stabilised with a healthy pipeline of new business

  • Income stabilised at £1.5bn, despite the strategic exit from unprofitable schemes and partnerships in 2018.
  • Underlying growth was driven by a significant increase in the number of customers buying car insurance direct from Ageas through the aggregator channel; new deals in the intermediated household market; and growth in Commercial lines business sold through digital channels.

Resilient performance driven by household improvement, offset by motor claims inflation

  • The full year net result of £60.3m and a sub 100% COR reflects a resilient performance in a market that continues to feel the impact of high levels of claims inflation, driven by increased third party and repair costs.
  • Pricing discipline was maintained against a market where premium rates are unsustainable.
  • The Household book was successfully restored to profitability following the exit of unprofitable business in 2018, the benefit of benign weather and a strong growth trajectory in 2019.

Results Summary

 In GBP million FY '19 FY '18 Change
Net Result 60.3 76.7 -21%
Gross Income 1,516.5 1,570.4 -3%
Combined ratio 98.7% 96.8%  

 

  In GBP million MotorHomeTravel & OtherTotal
FY'19FY'18FY'19FY'18FY'19FY'18FY'19FY'18
Gross inflows non-life 778.5 788.4 275.2 274.9 152.9 165.1 1,206.6 1,228.4
Combined Ratio 101.5% 93.4% 86.9% 102.0% 104.3% 104.1% 98.7% 96.8%


Andy Watson, Chief Executive of Ageas UK commented:

As we look at our performance, 2019 was a year in which we stabilised our top line income after a difficult 2018 and maintained a resilient result given the tough market conditions.

Our home book performed exceptionally well following the positive actions we’ve taken to remove underperforming schemes and grow through new deals, while also benefitting from the benign weather in comparison to 2018. As we look into the year ahead, we will see the additional benefit of our recently announced new deal with the Post Office, providing a range of home insurance products to new and existing customers.

With a focus on the motor market, premium inflation is not keeping up with claims inflation, where the market continues to experience pressure predominantly driven by increased third party injury, damage and repair costs. While there are some signs of price increases, overall premium rates remain at an unsustainable level. This requires us to remain highly disciplined.

The intermediated channel is still the life blood of Ageas UK with around 80% of the business coming from brokers and partners.  Broadening our specialist expertise to a wide range of sectors, we were pleased to deliver new deals last year with Darwin Clayton, Marmalade, and the URIS Group.

Alongside our intermediated channel, we have also continued to focus on growing our direct business where we now have over 150,000 customers. We saw significant growth on the aggregator channel and we plan to further extend our offering with new products in 2020. 

As I look back on 2019, so much of what makes me proud has been achieved because of the resilience, talent and passion of the people who work for us at every level of the organisation. Thanks to our people, we made significant progress with our strategic priorities, managed a lot of change and continued to deliver on our purpose to ‘make insurance easy for our customers’.