The insurer’s GWP also saw an uptick across last year

Aviva UK’s general insurance (GI) business achieved a combined operating ratio (COR) of 96.1% across the full year of 2022 – a small rise from 2021’s figure of 94.3%.

The slight rise was mostly influenced by a COR increase from the insurer’s personal lines business, which rose from 94.6% in 2021 to 97.3% in 2022.

Commercial lines COR, on the other hand, remained largely static – from a figure of 94.6% in 2021, it rose by 0.3 percentage points to 94.9% in the most recent reporting period.

General insurance gross written premiums (GWP) for the UK across last year also rose 8% year-on-year to reach £5.3bn from last year’s figure of £4.9bn.

Of this GWP figure, personal lines business contributed £2.4bn and commercial lines business contributed £2.9bn – while the personal lines business only grew by 2% in 2022, commercial lines GWP rose by 12%.

Despite a rise in GWP, operating profit in the UK fell slightly from £318m in 2021 to £309m last year – a fall of 3%.

An Aviva statement said that the fall in operating profit was largely “driven by a challenging external environment, with rising inflation and claims frequency in [the] motor business returning to near pre-pandemic levels”.

It added: “Our continued pricing discipline, including proactive rating action to respond to claims inflation and strong new business growth helped to partly mitigate these adverse market factors.

“[The increase in] UK COR, driven by lower motor frequency benefits and the market-wide heightened claims inflation, [was] partially offset by strong commercial underwriting performance.”

“Commercial lines COR of 94.9% absorbed significant headwinds from inflation, which were largely offset by profitable new business growth and strong portfolio management across both SME and global corporate and specialty.

“Personal lines COR of 97.3% [rose] due to claims inflation, adverse weather and the return to more normal claims frequency.”

Meeting customers’ needs

Adam Winslow, Aviva’s chief executive for general insurance in the UK and Ireland, said that the insurer’s general insurance business had continued to perform strongly in 2022.

He explained: “We remain focused on meeting the needs of our customers, whilst delivering profitable growth through disciplined underwriting.”

Commenting on the growth in commercial lines, Winslow said that the improvement resulted from “a favourable rating environment, high retention levels and strong new business growth”.

“We are continuing our investment in the regional broker channel, increasing underwriting capacity in our mid-market trading business and improving our digital service,” he added.

“Personal line shas remained resilient in tough conditions where we have been vigilant in our pricing discipline and robust in our management of inflation.

“I’m confident that – with our brokers and partners – we will continue to advance our growth plans and provide customers with the solutions they need in a changing and uncertain world.” 


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