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Townsville floods, Sydney hail sink industry earnings

May 27, 2019

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.

Investment income grew 42.2% to $3.1 billion. The APRA figures are based on data from 96 insurers.

In a separate report released this month, APRA provided individual insurers’ earnings covering various financial years across the 12 months to December 31.

The results of key primary insurers (in alphabetical order):

AIG Australia had $806 million in gross earned premium, $802 million in gross incurred claims and $4 million in net profit


Allianz Australia recorded $4.9 billion in gross earned premium, $3.8 billion in gross incurred claims and $489 million in net profit


Hollard Holdings Australia returned $828 million in gross earned premium, $553 million in gross incurred claims and $11 million in net profit


IAG had $11.5 billion in gross earned premium, $8 billion in gross incurred claims and $1.03 billion in net profit


QBE Insurance Australia logged $18.2 billion in gross earned premium, $12 billion in gross incurred claims and $743 million in net profit


Suncorp Insurance had $9.46 billion in gross earned premium, $6.53 billion in gross incurred claims and $666 million in net profit.


The results of selected reinsurers:

Munich Re had $1.47 billion in gross earned premium, $910 million in gross incurred claims and $359 million net profit
Swiss Re recorded almost $1.1 billion in gross earned premium, $443 million in gross incurred claims and $46 million net profit. 

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