The insurer attributed its record combined operating ratio to underwriting profitability

Zurich Insurance Group has posted a combined operating ratio (COR) of 91.9% for its property and casualty (P&C) business in H1 2022, according to its half-year financial results, published yesterday (11 August 2022).

This represented a two percentage point improvement from the 93.9% COR the insurer achieved in H1 2021 and marked a record COR for the business line.

Zurich attributed its COR improvement to “an improvement in underwriting profitability, with higher prices feeding into the results”.

The insurer’s P&C business additionally recorded an operating profit of $2,055m (£1,684m) during H1 2022 – an increase of 32% from the $1,559m (£1,277m) it reported for the equivalent period last year.

P&C gross written premium (GWP) and policy fees hit $23,797m (£19,505m) for the six months to 30 June 2022 – the figure for the same period last year was 8% lower at $22,034m (£18,060m).

These figures are combined totals from across Zurich’s P&C operations – including in North America, Asia Pacific, Latin America and Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA).

Zurich’s EMEA – inclusive of the UK – operating profit sat at $711m (£582m) for 2022’s H1.

The COR for this region was 94.9%, slightly above the group’s average – Zurich explained that this had fallen by 1.2 percentage points due mainly to “less favourable loss experience in the UK compared with the prior year”.

Beating targets

Zurich group chief executive Mario Greco said: “We are on track to beat all our targets for the second successive three-year cycle – this is particularly remarkable because the last three years have brought unprecedented and unexpected challenges.

“These results show our agility and our commitment to deliver results, no matter what happens in the markets.”

Greco added that Zurich had transformed itself into a “leaner and more agile business” over the last six years and that this had helped the business remain resilient to disruptions over the previous three years.

He explained: “Our first half 2022 results show the solidity of our business and the value of our mid-term transformation.

“I am confident that we are well placed to further lead the transformation of the industry.”

  • Insurance Times has converted dollar amounts into pounds using an exchange rate of £1 = $1.22, which was correct as of 1 August 2022.