’The 2023 results demonstrate the strength of Sabre’s model with our disciplined approach,’ says chief executive

Motor insurer Sabre Insurance Group has posted a combined operating ratio (COR) of 86.3% in its full-year financial results for 2023, released this morning (19 March 2024). 

This was an improvement on 2022’s COR, when the figure stood at 93.4%. 

The insurer also posted a record gross written premium (GWP) figure of £225.1m, which rose from £171.3m in the previous year’s results. 

Geoff Carter, chief executive at Sabre, explained: ”The 2023 results demonstrate the strength of Sabre’s model with our disciplined approach – of focusing on profitability as a target and treating volume as an output through the cycle – paying off.

“We have successfully demonstrated the power of this approach over the past 12 months. Following a challenging 2022, where we reacted early and decisively to the rapid increase in inflation, this year has seen us benefit as some competitors increased prices rapidly and others withdrew from the motor market.” 

Profit after tax for 2023 also reached £18.1m for Sabre – an improvement on 2022’s figure of £11.1m. 

Despite this improved performance, however, Carter added that “2023 was not a straightforward year, with several unexpected challenges”.

This included inflationary pressures and Sabre’s motorcycle distributor MCE Insurance being placed into administration.

Strategic highlights

In its financial report, Sabre explained that a “very strong, market-wide price correction was observed in H2 2023”, which allowed Sabre to grow premiums and profitability.

However, the insurer added that the industry should maintain “pricing discipline” in the face of “continued elevated claims inflation, uncertain smaller personal injury claims costs and anticipated poor market profitability”. 

In terms of outlook for this year, the insurer noted that it believed its loss ratios should improve further as “profitable business written in 2023 earns through” alongside “improvements” in motorcycle and taxi books.