Friday 28 July 2017

Aviva profits surge, after continued rises in car insurance costs for consumers

Photo: Bloomberg News
Photo: Bloomberg News
Charlie Weston

Charlie Weston

Insurer Aviva saw its profits surge in this country last year, in a development that is set to raise questions about the high cost of motor insurance.

The company said its operating profits jumped by 20pc in 2016 to €82m.

This was up from €68m in the previous year.

All insurers have pushed up premiums, with the average policy becoming around 60pc more expensive in the last three years.

Aviva said its general insurance business recorded a 19pc increase in net written premium to €461m.

A key measure of profitability in general insurance, the combined operating ratio, was 91.1pc. Any figure below 100pc means a general insurer is making profits.

Operating profit in the general insurance division rose by 25pc at the Irish unit of the giant insurer to €50m, with the company helped by benign weather last year.

Chief executive John Quinlan said: “We increased our customer numbers while maintaining our strategy of providing cover at a price that is competitive and sustainable.

“The number of customers doing business with us digitally has doubled and we have seen a 90pc increase in the number who have bought more than one of our products.”

At the group’s life insurance business in Ireland, there was a 14pc rise to €32m in operating profits.

“Growth has been particularly strong in our range of post retirement products but volumes were up in a large number of products where we outperformed the market,” Mr Quinlan said.

Aviva Ireland employs 1,150 people in Dublin, Galway and Cork, and provides insurance to one million customers.

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