Zurich says it will continue ’to maintain a cautious approach to reserving to minimise volatility’

Zurich’s property and casualty (P&C) division operating across Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) saw a drop in business operating profit (BOP) during the first half of 2023.

The insurer’s H1 2023 results, which were published today (10 August 2023), revealed $777m (£607m) was secured in the six months to June 2023, down from $874m (£682.8m) in the same period during 2022.

The combined operating ratio (COR), however, improved by 0.3 percentage points to 93.9 due to the changes in the loss and expense ratios.

The loss ratio increased by 0.5 percentage points to 64.1% year-on-year, while the expense ratio of 28.8% was 0.8 percentage points higher than in 2022.

Overall, Zurich’s P&C business reported a COR of 92.9% in H1 2023, reflecting a deterioration of 1.3 percentage points compared to the prior-year period.

BOP also fell by 6% to $2.25bn (£1.76bn) in H1 2023 from $2.38bn (£1.86bn) in H1 2022.

In local currency, however, first half P&C BOP was 2% lower than in the previous year, driven by the absence of a non-recurring gain from a real estate transaction in the prior year.

Zurich said it would continue “to maintain a cautious approach to reserving to minimise volatility”.

Retail and commercial

Meanwhile, Retail P&C saw improvement in margins in the first half of 2023 compared with 2022.

Gross written premiums grew by 10%, while the accident year COR – excluding catastrophes – improved by 2.9 percentage points to 97%.

Commercial P&C also saw a slight improvement in COR, dropping from 90.4% in the second half of last year to 90.1% in H1 2023.

Considering the whole Zurich group, chief executive Mario Greco said the insurer’s 2023-2025 targets ”are our most ambitious yet”.

“Our agility, flexibility and focus on delivering results make me confident that we will achieve them,” he added.

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