Tuesday 24 April 2018

Premiums down 44pc at Quinn Insurance


Laura Noonan

QUINN Insurance's commercial premiums have fallen by an average of 44pc since the company went into administration, despite criticisms the insurer was chronically underpricing risk when it was controlled by Sean Quinn.

The company, however, said this stemmed from a "shift" in the type of policies being written after a strategic decision to persue more "low-risk" business.

The premium erosion is revealed in Quinn Insurance Limited (QIL) data for the first 26 weeks of the year, which also shows it attracted premiums of €110m for the period, down 44pc on the pre-administration half-year to end June 2009.

The sharpest fall in average premiums was for new commercial business, where average premiums dipped from €3,013 in the first half of 2009 to just €1,699 in the same period this year.

The average premiums for commercial fleet renewals also fell sharply, coming in at €6,407 for the 26 weeks to end June 2011, against €9,957 for the first half of 2009.

The falls come as other insurers report hardening premiums. In a statement issued last night, QIL said average premiums had come down in both categories because of a "shift from higher-risk industries to lower-risk and lower-premium activity".

Private motor premiums for new customers have also fallen considerably, with average premiums for new business down from €1,102 in the first half of 2009 to €876 in the first half of this year, though the fall for renewals was a more muted €606 to €581.

Those falls are "due to a shift in our traditional market of under-30s provisional licence holders to more experienced drivers", QIL said, adding that the insurer had made a "strategic" decision to target a "more mature market".

QIL's average premiums for household renewals rose from €243 to €349 over the period, while household renewal premiums rose from €230 to €306, mirroring an industry-wide trend triggered by two years of freak weather claims.

The data also charts a significant fall off in QIL's overall business in Ireland, with gross written premiums dipping by 44pc to €110m. QIL last night said the fact the insurer was now only writing private motor business in the North "would obviously explain" the fall off.

The data shows that private motor business, which is still being written in both territories, was responsible for about €43m of the €87m fall off in business between the first half of 2009 and the first half of 2011.

QIL also last night claimed that the reduction in Northern Ireland's offerings "would obviously explain" a fall in enquiries into premiums.

Irish Independent

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