Underwriting loss was largest in over 30 years according to new ABI statistics

Liability was the UK insurance industry’s worst-performing line in 2013, generating an industry-wide underwriting loss of £826m, according to new ABI statistics.

The underwriting loss was the largest for more than 30 years, the association said in the 2014 edition of its Key Insurance Facts publication.

Motor insurance was also loss making in 2013, generating an underwriting loss for UK insurers of £53m. The ABI said the last time the motor insurance industry made a profit was in 1993.

By  contrast, property insurance was the most profitable line. The industry made a collective underwriting profit of £930m, despite the weather claims that hit at the end of the year.

Also profitable were accident insurance, with an underwriting profit of £16m, health insurance, with an underwriting profit of £271m.

Overall, the industry made an underwriting profit of £1.4bn.

The profit came despite £1.3bn of fraudulent claims – an 18% increase on the 2012 value.

The ABI also put the claims estimate for the bad weather at the end of 2013 and the beginning of 2014 at £1.16bn.

This comprises £451m of flood claims, £640m of storm claims and £71m of emergency payments to put policyholders in alternative accommodation (almost £30m) or meet their other emergency needs (£42m).