Industry net profit grows 15% as claims losses dip
Insurers and reinsurers are in the midst of a dismal financial period, according to recent reports in insuranceNEWS.com.au, but new figures from the prudential regulator show they nevertheless made a combined after-tax net profit of $3 billion for the year to June 30 – a 15.3% rise on the previous year.
The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) says the improved earnings are partially attributed to higher returns on net assets and smaller claims losses, which neutralised the impact of weaker investment income.
APRA has compiled the update based on figures provided by 108 industry players, comprising 98 insurers and 10 reinsurers.
It says the industry’s return on net assets grew to 10.8% from 9.3%, while gross incurred claims fell 3% to $31.5 billion, net incurred claims declined 8.9% to $20 billion and the net loss ratio improved to 66% from 69%. Investment income fell 9.2% to $2.9 billion.
Gross written premium (GWP) increased to $43.9 billion from $42.2 billion and underwriting earnings gained 51.2% to $2.4 billion.
For the 98 insurers, GWP grew to nearly $41 billion in the year from $39.96 billion, and gross incurred claims fell to $30.04 billion from $30.39 billion.
Household GWP increased to $7.8 billion from $7.6 billion, gross incurred claims fell to $4.4 billion from $5.2 billion, the net loss ratio improved to 62% from 69%, and the combined operating ratio strengthened to 90% from 97%.
In fire and industrial special risk, GWP decreased to $3.65 billion from $3.74 billion and gross incurred claims eased to $2.6 billion from $3.6 billion. The net loss ratio improved to 73% from 89% and the combined operating ratio was 115%, compared with 133%.
Domestic motor increased GWP to $8.5 billion from $8 billion, and gross incurred claims grew to $6.06 billion from $5.92 billion. The net loss ratio deteriorated to 76% from 75%, and the combined ratio moved to 98% from 97%.
Compulsory third party motor GWP grew to $3.9 billion from $3.6 billion and gross incurred claims were up to $2.75 billion from $2.7 billion. The net loss ratio improved to 71% from 74% and the combined operating ratio strengthened to 82% from 86%.
The 10 reinsurers recorded GWP of $2.9 billion, higher than the previous year’s $2.2 billion, while gross incurred claims dropped to $1.48 billion from $2.1 billion. The net loss ratio improved to 71% from 77% and the combined operating ratio was 101%, compared to 108% the previous year.