Nine-month UK premiums flat at £3.1bn and combined ratio flat at 97%; personal lines motor grows 8%

Aviva sponsoring UK athletics

Aviva revealed today in its third-quarter results that it had scaled back in commercial lines to maintain underwriting discipline.

Exposure has been reduced in blue-water marine hull, agriculture and schemes business as the UK’s largest general insurer maintained a profitable combined ratio of 97% (2011: Q3 97%).

UK general insurance and health net written premiums were flat for the nine-months of 2012 at £3.1bn compared to the same period last year (excluding the now sold-off RAC).

Aviva’s strategy has been to write carefully on SME but bolster personal lines motor.

Motor net written premium was 8% higher for the nine months, with 250,000 net new customers joining this year.

Aviva’s low-cost aggregator purpose brand Quotemehappy and its Multicar policy drove the increases.

Internationally, Aviva’s nine-month general insurance premium was flat at £6.7bn and the combined ratio was 97%.

Canada notched up a 93% combined ratio and France 95%.

Group results

Aviva revealed that it was building up its capital base successfully. Economic capital surplus was £5.3bn up by £1.7bn from the beginning of the year.

Aviva said talks were underway to sell the US life and annuities business.

Meanwhile, total group sales fell from £30.3bn to £28.9bn. In general insurance, group combined ratio was 97%, but Ireland is lagging the rest of the countries at 105%.