INSURANCE INTERMEDIARIES can expect to see further hardening of premium rates as the major insurers especially the ASX listed insurers aim to lift their profits in the coming year.
This forecast follows comments by Anthony Day, CEO Suncorp Commercial insurance, on the on half year results to December 31 announced today. Suncorp’s Commercial Insurance has led the market in pricing, rather than reducing prices to chase business, he said.
The Commercial Insurance division was well placed to capitalise on a hardening commercial insurance market.
Mr Day did not give a breakdown of the separate companies, including the intermediated operation Vero, but overall the general insurance Division lifted GWP to $3855 million and NEP to $3359 million in the half year.
However, the report showed combined operating ratio was 107.3 although this was down around 2% from the previous half year.
Mr Day avowed that momentum was building for Suncorp’s Commercial Insurance with growth to its top line, strong direct expense control, maintained underwriting discipline, and improved claims experience.
There now growing signs that the market was hardening. Both insurers and reinsurers have and were still – experiencing the effects of the continuous, widespread weather natural catastrophes.
This, coupled with the uncertain global economic issues which are unsettling the local stock market, business community and consumers, has been reflected in the genuine signs of market hardening.
Mr Day said that “In the broker space, the past few years have seen the emergence of Broker Portals, where large broker groups, particularly international brokers and cluster groups, have invested in B2B technology to automate quoting and binding interactions with insurers for higher volume, lower premium SME business.
“We made a strategic decision to participate in this B2B technology, as it reduces costs by automating activities which brokers and insures would otherwise perform manually.”
Source: Insurance News Australia