Global insurer, Aviva plc has reported a 13% increase in gross written premiums (GWP) for its general insurance business in 9M 2023 to £8 billion, driven by strong rate, new business volumes, and retention.
Within the UK&I segment, GWP increased 15% year-on-year as Canadian GWP rose 11% at constant currency.
While premiums grew, the impact of Q3 2023 wildfires and other adverse weather in Canada, saw the group undiscounted combined ratio rise from 94.2% in 9M 2022 to 96.3% in 9M 2023, somewhat offset by continued rate increases and disciplined underwriting.
On a discounted basis, the combined ratio strengthened from 93.1% to 92.5%.
Within the insurer’s Protection and Health business, sales were up 23% with strong growth in Individual Protection, and Health which was supported by the higher corporate new business.
In Wealth, net flows of £6.4 billion represented 6% of opening assets under management but were 9% lower than 9M 2022 due to the impact of the challenging market volatility on the platform.
Additionally, Retirement sales were up 2% year-on-year to £4.4 billion, with higher BPA and Individual Annuity volumes, and the year-to-date BPA volumes are £5.5 billion currently.
Amanda Blanc, the Group’s Chief Executive Officer, commented on the results: “Aviva has delivered nine months of strong growth. We have clear trading momentum, driven by our uniquely diversified business, as well as our leading positions in growing markets.
“We have continued to expand our capital-light businesses, which now make up over half of our portfolio. We see significant opportunities to generate further higher return, capital-light growth in the future as we prioritise these segments.
“General Insurance premiums grew 13%, reflecting the strength of our operations in the UK, Canada, and Ireland, across both commercial and personal lines. Our workplace pensions business continues to shine, with flows up 26% on the back of over 350 new corporate customers, and higher auto-enrolment contributions due to wage inflation. Health sales are also buoyant, up 56%.
“Customers are our number one focus, and we helped them with claims following wildfires, hail and flooding in Canada. Also, after storms Babet and Ciarán in the UK we’ve had teams on the ground helping our customers, arranging repairs to damaged properties and providing alternative accommodation.
“Aviva’s prospects are very positive. We expect to beat our medium-term financial targets and, in line with previous guidance, grow operating profit by 5-7% this year, despite higher weather-related claims.
“I am extremely confident that Aviva will continue to deliver more for shareholders, and we reiterate our guidance for a total dividend of c.33.4p for 2023, and further regular and sustainable returns of surplus capital.”