Property & Casualty (P&C) gross written premiums (GWP) increased by 11% at Zurich through the first nine months of 2021, as the company benefited from higher premium rates amid increases in commercial insurance.
P&C GWP jumped from $27.3 billion in 9M 2020 to $31.2 billion in 9M 2021, while rate increases across this part of the business remained solid at 8% during the period.
Within P&C, premium growth was evident across all regions, including North America which saw year-on-year GWP growth of 15% to $14.3 billion. Zurich says that crop insurance contributed around five percentage points to growth.
In North America P&C, Zurich has reported rate increases of 13% in the first nine months of 2021, and 12% in the third quarter.
In Europe, Middle East and Africa, GWP spiked by 6% on the prior year to more than $14 billion, while the geography achieved rate increases of 6% during the nine month period.
In Asia Pacific premium growth of 8% saw GWP reach $2.4 billion, as the region recorded rate increases of 5% for the period.
Premium growth of 17% occurred in Latin America as GWP hit $1.8 billion. Rate increases in Latin America for the first nine months of 2021 were 2%.
During the third quarter of 2021, Zurich notes an elevated level of catastrophe losses, including major flooding in Germany and a series of other weather events in Europe in July, as well as Hurricane Ida in the U.S.
Turning to the Life side of the business, and Zurich has reported a 5% increase in Life new business annual premium equivalent (APE) to $2.8 billion. Positive growth was witnessed in Europe, Middle East and Africa and Latin America, partially offset by declines in North America and Asia Pacific.
Overall, new business value (NBV) increased by 25%, year-on-year, to $717 million. Growth was evident in Europe, Middle East and Africa and Latin America, but remained stable in Asia Pacific and actually declined in North America.
Within its Life business, Zurich notes that it continues to see areas of COVID-19 related excess mortality, but says that the strength of its operation allows this to be absorbed with limited financial impact.
George Quinn, Group Chief Financial Officer (COO), commented: “The Group has continued to make strong progress toward achieving its 2022 strategic and financial goals.
“P&C gross written premiums continue to benefit from the improvement in the pricing environment. Recent claims events are likely to extend the hard market, with the gap between rate increases and loss cost inflation likely to persist for longer than previously expected.
“Technical profitability is expected to continue to improve despite catastrophe losses which are 3 to 4 percentage points higher than the long-term average. In Life, the Group benefited from a more profitable new business mix, with increases in sales of protection and unit-linked business. Farmers Exchanges produced strong top-line growth benefiting both from the inclusion of the MetLife business and robust like-for-like performance.
“These trends, including our robust customer growth and our very strong balance sheet, allow us to look forward with confidence to achieving our targets.”
At the company’s Farmers Exchanges operation, GWP increased by 7% to $18.3 billion and gross earned premiums by 4% to $17.4 billion.