The industry’s underwriting profit fell 32.4% to $2.8 billion in the year to March 31 as earnings took a severe hit from the Townsville floods and Sydney hailstorm, latest Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) figures show.
A strengthening of claims reserves in professional indemnity and mortgage classes hurt insurers too, the regulator says.
After-tax profit fell 4.7% to $3.6 billion and the net loss ratio deteriorated 5 percentage points to 67%.
While insurers achieved a 6.1% rise in gross earned premium to $48 billion, gross incurred claims recorded a much bigger increase of 24.1% to $36.9 billion.
More customers are comparing providers before renewing their insurance policies, but fewer are deciding to switch after looking at the alternatives, according to Roy Morgan Research.
In the past year, 9.4 million general insurance policies, or 19%, were considered for change, up from 8.3 million five years ago. But the number of policies actually changed to a different insurer was only 2.1 million, down from 2.7 million five years ago.
“It appears more people are looking around at renewal time but fewer are actually switching,” Roy Morgan spokesman Norman Morris told insuranceNEWS.com.au.
The latest quarterly update of Roy Morgan’s General Insurance Curre...
Formal forums should be held so brokers and underwriting agencies can better understand each other’s needs as the local market hardens, a Victorian broker says.
Damian Petruccelli, account manager at Melbourne suburban brokerage Arrowsmith & Petruccelli, says brokers are often in the dark about agencies’ appetite and access to capacity, and suggests a regular forum to “address issues and create harmony”.
His comments follow Underwriting Agencies Council (UAC) Deputy Chairman and Lion Underwriting MD Kurt Nilsen’s recent online message criticising brokers for the poor standard of submissions and a “scattergun approach”.
Suncorp could consider the potential for a banking division spin-off as the financial services giant examines its current operations and structure.
According to the Australian Financial Review today, the company has undertaken some preliminary work looking at a possible banking spin-off, with investment bank UBS taking an informal role.
A spokeswoman for Suncorp declined to comment when contacted by insuranceNEWS.com.au.
Suncorp has a market capitalisation of $17.6 billion. In the most recent half-year results banking and wealth contributed a net profit of $183 million, while Australian insurance reported earnings of $133 million and New Zealand contribut...
A Victorian insurance brokerage that is being investigated by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has launched a structural review.
Griffiths Goodall is understood to be working with a former insurance industry executive to explore a range of options, including a sale of the business.
The business’ Shepparton headquarters was raided in March by officers from ASIC and the Australian Federal Police, and a number of files were seized. ASIC is believed to be examining invoices to clients and the amount of premium charged.
Director Ben Goodall told insuranceNEWS.com.au the company is “undertaking a review of its structure, including tak...
Some brokers are risking failure by neglecting underwriters’ needs as the market hardens and capacity tightens, an underwriting agency principal has warned.
Underwriting Agencies Council Deputy Chairman and Lion Underwriting MD Kurt Nilsen has published an online message on his company’s website outlining a robust “personal view” on current market conditions and how brokers need to adapt to them.
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He says underwriters are fed up with seeing a “scattergun approach” whereby potential insureds engage multiple brokers or multiple underwriting agencies to “cover all bases”.