’We move into 2024 with renewed ambition and drive to grow the business,’ says chief executive

Ecclesiastical saw a slight rise in its combined operating ratio (COR) in 2023 due to headwinds from the previous year.

In a trading update, the specialist insurer posted COR of 92.6% for the 12 months to December 2023, up from 89.6% in 2022.

And while the firm did make and underwriting profit of £24.5m last year, this was down from the £31.5m secured in 2022.

The insurer said it was impacted by a deterioration in prior year liability claims and the St Mark’s Church fire in London in January 2023.

“In general insurance, we reported an underwriting profit of £24.5m, despite our biggest single loss in the UK with the devastating fire at St Mark’s Church in London,” Mark Hews, group chief executive of Ecclesiastical, said.

“This result has benefited from strong growth and lower-than-expected claims in the latter part of the year.

“Our COR rose to 92.6% due to headwinds from prior year claims.”


However, the firm secured a profit before tax of £44.8m, up from a loss of £15.6m in 2022.

Gross written premiums (GWP) also rose 10.1% year-on-year to £615m, which Ecclesiastical said was driven by new business wins.

The firm also donated £24m to charity and good causes, bringing the total amount given to good causes since 2014 to £222.2m.

“Despite challenging conditions, we delivered a strong performance in 2023 and we are on track to double our contribution, which will allow us to give even more to good causes,” Hews said.

“As a group, we reported a profit before tax of £44.8m, with resilient performances across our three divisions. This compares well with the overall group loss before tax of £15.6m reported for the prior year.”


Looking ahead to 2024, Ecclesiastical said that it was planning to expand into more sectors after launching in the leisure arena in 2023.

It will also expand its appetite in leisure as part of its growth plans.

“After a strong 2023, we move into 2024 with renewed ambition and drive to grow the business so we can give even more to good causes,” Hews said.

“We will continue to invest in our capabilities so that we can strengthen our position as a trusted specialist in our markets and drive forward our growth plans, through new segments, new methods of distribution and greater efficiency.”