Ageas recovers strongly from Ogden hit in 2017

Ageas UK posted a three-fold increase in profit to €31m for the first half, boosted by a strong motor performance.

The combined operating ratio recovered to 99.0% from 105.6% last year when the results were hit hard by the cut in the Ogden personal injury discount rate.

The group said its disciplined approach to pricing and underwriting continues, but continued softening of personal lines motor market has resulted in lower than expected volumes.

It said the bad winter weather had a negative impact of 20.3% on household COR, but added that: “further events notwithstanding, we should approach more normal levels by year end.”

Ageas UK chief executive Andy Watson said: “We have posted a good performance with signs of further improvement. Our motor book is performing especially well, and we are making encouraging progress within specific SME segments.”

However, he cautioned on the outlook: “The market remains unpredictable, with motor being especially soft. Whilst we are alive to growth opportunities, we remain focussed on profitability through a robust approach to pricing and underwriting.”

Watson hailed the groups development of its direct channel.

“We were delighted to launch Ageas motor insurance direct to customers in May to sit alongside our household offer. Good progress is being made and we look forward to broadening what we provide, both from our website and through the aggregators.”