QBE Cites Higher Rates, Premium Growth as 2023 Profit Doubles

QBE Insurance Group Ltd. cited renewal rate increases and targeted growth as its net profit for 2023 more than doubled.

Source: AM Best | Published on February 20, 2024

QBE profits up

QBE Insurance Group Ltd. cited renewal rate increases and targeted growth as its net profit for 2023 more than doubled.

Net profit after income tax for 2023 rose to $1.36 billion from $587 million a year ago. Gross written premiums rose to $21.75 billion from
$19.99 billion. The combined operating ratio improved to 95.2% from 95.9%.

Premium growth continued with the help of group-wide renewal rate increases of 9.7% and targeted new business growth, QBE said in a statement. The improved combined operating ratio excluded the cost of a $1.9 billion reserve transaction completed in the first half of 2023.

Enstar Group Ltd. earlier agreed to assume $1.9 billion of net loss reserves from QBE. The loss portfolio transaction includes international and North America financial lines, European and North American reinsurance business and several U.S. discontinued programs, Enstar said at the time. It will also provide $900 million of cover in excess of the ceded reserves on business largely underwritten between 2010 and 2018.

“Financial performance improved in the period, and QBE is  demonstrating greater consistency and resilience,” Chief Executive Officer Andrew Horton said in a statement. “We are pleased with the ongoing progress across our strategic priorities, and expect trading conditions to remain favorable in the year ahead.”

The group’s strategy to improve performance in North America remains a key focus, Horton said.

QBE seeks to accelerate its data-centric capabilities and expand through new technologies, such as artificial intelligence, and its QBE Ventures initiative, he said.

QBE saw good market conditions and favorable current year catastrophe experience, partly offset by the impact of short-tail prior-year development.

Growth momentum continued in 2023, excluding crop insurance, QBE said. Growth of 17% was seen in the international segment, while portfolio exits hit growth of 8% in Australia Pacific and 4% in North America.

The net cost of catastrophe claims was $1.09 billion, or 6.6% of net insurance revenue, which was within the group’s allowance and down from 7.0% a year earlier. Catastrophe costs were driven by significant secondary peril activity across all divisions, QBE said.

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