The growth in Property & Casualty (P&C) gross written premiums is primarily from Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) and North America


Zurich offices in Madrid, Spain. (Credit: García.)

Swiss insurance company Zurich Insurance has reported a 7% average growth in gross written premiums (GWP) within its Property & Casualty (P&C) division from $9.1bn for last year’s first quarter to $9.7bn for the first quarter of this year.

The growth in the P&C division was primarily from Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) and North America. I

Zurich Insurance stated that the growth was supported by higher premium rates and the increases were achieved in most regions compared to the previous year.

Exhibiting a continuation of recent trends, North America showed an overall rate increase of 12% in the quarter, compared to 10% in the fourth quarter of last year and 7% for full year 2019.

The company stated EMEA recorded an increase of 8% on a like-for-like basis, with strong growth in the UK and Germany and all other major countries.

In Asia Pacific, the insurer’s gross written premiums remained stable on a like-for-like basis, with growth in Japan offset by a slowdown of travel insurance sales due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

The company’s life new business annual premium equivalent (APE) decreased 10% on a like-for-like basis in the January-March quarter.

Zurich’s P&C claims could reach $750m for this whole year

Zurich noted that Covid-19 related claims in 2020 are expected to remain within its earnings risk tolerance.

It estimated that P&C claims could reach nearly $750m for this full year, out of which $280m have been recorded in the first quarter.

The firm added that its revenues and earnings through the remainder of the year are also expected to be impacted development in financial markets and ongoing weaker economic activity.

Zurich Group CEO Mario Greco said: “Throughout this crisis our priority has been to support our customers and local communities, while ensuring the safety and wellbeing of our colleagues. We acted in a socially responsible way by closing our offices early to work remotely, keeping our business fully operational. In this environment, our investments in the digitalization of our business are paying off.

“We have responded to the heightened need for remote and flexible services by creating or expanding our digital offering for individual and business customers alike.

“We expect the crisis to strengthen demand for digital interactions and better tailored services and are committed to the expansion of our digital offering as this trend gathers pace. Our flexible and resilient business model positions the Group well to quickly adapt to changing situations and requirements to deliver continued success.”