However, the QBE Insurance Group as a whole saw its COR increase by nearly four percentage points

QBE International grew its gross written premium by 18% in the first half of 2023 and improved its combined operating ratio (COR) by more than two percentage points.

In a trading update published yesterday (10 August 2023), QBE revealed that its international division secured $5.07bn (£3.96bn) of GWP in the six months to June, compared to $4.37bn (£3.41bn) during the same period in 2022.

The insurer said this reflected an acceleration in rate increases for property and reinsurance lines and organic growth across a number of multi-year opportunities.

In turn, QBE International, which incorporates the insurer’s European and Asia operations, saw its net insurance revenue grow from $2.89bn (£2.26bn) to $3.28bn (£2.56bn) year-on-year

And the division also improved its COR from 95.4% in H1 2022 to 93.2% in H1 2023.

Overall group

While COR improved in the international division, the overall group saw COR increase by nearly four percentage points year-on-year.

As well as an international arm, QBE also has an Australia Pacific and North America branch.

While the overall group improved its GWP from $11.6bn (£9.06bn) in H1 2022 to $12.8bn (£10bn) in H1 2023, the COR rose from 94.9% to 98.8%.

QBE said the COR increase included a 1.2% impact from the upfront cost of a $1.89bn (£1.48bn) reserve transaction.

During the second half of 2023, QBE said its focus would “continue to centre around initiatives to build resilience, with an emphasis on achieving an appropriate risk-adjusted return on capital in North America”.

“We have strong enterprise-wide alignment around sound plans and strategies,” the firm said.

“It’s pleasing to see foundational work on our strategic priorities driving business improvement and greater engagement across our people.

“The operating backdrop is expected to remain favourable, where premium rates should remain supportive.

”2023 catastrophe experience is another reminder of the need for discipline across the industry to be sustained.”

  • Insurance Times has converted dollar amounts into pounds using an exchange rate of $1.28 = £1, which was correct as of 1 August 2023.