Chief executive says general insurance business is going ’from strength to strength’

Aviva improved the combined operating ratio (COR) of its UK general insurance business during the first quarter of 2023, new figures have revealed.

In a statement releasing its Q1 2023 results today (24 May 2023), the insurer said it had an “encouraging” start to the year amid economic uncertainty.

Figures revealed that Aviva’s UK undiscounted COR for Q1 2023 was 98.4%, a drop from 98.9% in Q1 2022.

And they also revealed that the overall group COR fell from 95.7% to 95.4% year-on-year.

Aviva said the drop reflected its “pricing strength, our continued disciplined response to inflation, our risk selection and the diversification within our portfolio”.

It added reporting its COR on an undiscounted basis helps align “more closely to the way in which the business is managed”.

Amanda Blanc, group chief executive, said Aviva’s general insurance business had been going from “strength to strength”.

“Aviva is uniquely placed to successfully navigate the prevailing economic environment and we continue to support our customers through this challenging time,” she said. 

“We have market leading positions in high growth areas. 

“We are financially strong with an attractive and growing dividend, and we are confident in the prospects for Aviva.”

’Confident position’

Meanwhile, Aviva reported that its UK general insurance business delivered £1.4bn in gross written premium, up 13% from Q1 2022.

This was helped by a 15% growth in UK commercial lines to £703m from £611m in Q1 2022, which Aviva said was driven by “strong new business and retention and the continuation of the favourable rate environment”.

Meanwhile, UK personal lines premiums rose 12% to £701m.

Adam Winslow, chief executive of UK and Ireland general insurance, said Aviva was in a ”confident position for the remainder of 2023”.

“We’ve had a good start to 2023, with the UK general insurance business achieving a strong result amid continuing economic uncertainty.

“As we continue to develop profitable ways to grow our business in 2023, I am delighted to confirm that we have signed a five-year distribution agreement with Nationwide Building Society to be the sole provider of travel insurance for its FlexPlus account members from May 2024.

“Continued investment in our broker community means that we can match our ambitions with enhanced technical and regional underwriting capabilities, extending our regional reach and our digital offering to brokers.”