The insurer saw a slight rise in its COR, however

Aviva’s general insurance gross written premium (GWP) for the first nine months of 2022 reached £3.9bn in the UK, according to its Q3 trading update posted today (9 November 2022).

This figure represents a 7% increase compared to the same period last year, when Aviva’s UKGI GWP sat at £3.7bn.

However, the insurer’s combined operating ratio (COR) for the first nine months of 2022 increased slightly from 94.2% for 2021’s Q3 to 95% this year – a small increase of just 0.8%.

This COR reflected increased claims frequency in the first nine months of 2022, although any further COR increase was somewhat offset by improved performance in commercial lines and lower weather-related costs.

The majority of Aviva’s GWP growth in the UK came from its commercial lines division – GWP for the first nine months of the year in its commercial lines business grew by 13% to reach £2.1bn.

Growth in the insurer’s personal lines GWP was negligible across the same period, however – this figure sat at £1.8bn and experienced less than a percentage point of growth.

Aviva’s statement explained that its UK commercial lines growth was driven by a favourable rate environment, strong new business and retention, as well as around 13% of growth in its SME and global corporate and specialty lines.

It added that personal lines premiums had remained flat as the firm focused on maintaining its pricing discipline.

Disciplined underwriting

Aviva’s chief executive officer for its UK and Ireland general insurance division, Adam Winslow, said: “Our UK general insurance business continues to perform strongly in 2022. We remain focused on meeting the needs of our customers whilst delivering profitable growth through disciplined underwriting.

“We are continuing our investment in the regional broker channels, increasing underwriting capacity in our mid-market trading business and improving our digital services.

“Through prioritising digitisation and automation, we are seeing 83% of our intermediaries transacting with us digitally, rising to 100% for our micro direct customers.”

Winslow added that Aviva had expanded into profitable markets where personal lines was concerned – for example, Aviva’s acquisition of Azur Underwriting’s high net worth (HNW) personal lines business in August 2022, alongside its purchase of Axa XL’s private client book back in March 2021, creates a “leading position in the HNW market”.

Aviva also signed a multiyear UK partnership with insurtech Lemonade in October 2022 to “help reach the underserved renters’ market in the UK”, said Winslow.

He added: “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.”