Insurer Aviva has reported gross written premium (GWP) growth of 5% in its General Insurance business for the first quarter of 2022, to £2.1 billion.
The Q1 2022 total is a record for the segment and comes after GWP of £2 billion in Q1 2021, driven by strong sales in commercial lines in both the UK and Canada.
In UK&I, General Insurance GWP increased by 3%, year-on-year, to £1.4 billion, and in Canada by 10% to £753 million.
However, the General Insurance combined ratio did deteriorate from 90.6% in Q1 2021 to 96.4% in Q1 2022, which Aviva says reflects the £70 million cost for the February storms in the UK, and more normal motor claims frequency.
Turning to the company’s UK&I Life operation, and sales increased by 2% to £8.4 billion, with growth in Annuities & Equity Release and Protection & Health, partly offset by Wealth.
At the same time, total BPA sales jumped by 29% in Q1 2022 to £843 million, as the UK&I Life value of new business increased by 31% to £144 million.
Amanda Blanc, Group Chief Executive Officer (CEO), commented: “First quarter trading was positive, and our performance shows the clear benefit of Aviva’s business mix across insurance, wealth and retirement. We delivered healthy sales numbers across all our major business lines, with UK customer numbers up by over 100,000 in the last year to 15.4m, increasing our confidence that we can transform Aviva’s performance and grow.
“UK & Ireland Life sales are up 2%, and net flows into our Wealth business remained strong at £2.7 billion, despite market volatility. Our Advisor platform is now the number one in the market for net flows, and in Annuities and Equity Release we saw increased bulk purchase annuities volumes, written with good returns.
“We have also continued our momentum in General Insurance where we had our best first quarter sales in a decade, as more people were attracted to the strength of the Aviva brand and the quality of our products. Total General Insurance sales were up 5% to over £2 billion, driven by strong sales in commercial lines in both the UK and Canada.
“We remain very well positioned to benefit from the long term growth trends in our markets, and to meet our upgraded financial targets. This is underpinned by our strong capital position which benefits from rising interest rates. Our financial strength and market leadership give us confidence that we can successfully navigate the current uncertain economic conditions.”