Hastings claims inflation rises

Hastings has announced a 5% increase year-on-year in its live customer policies to 2.84m for the first nine months of 2019. Over the same period, GWP was 2% up to £753m, compared with £739m a year ago. The company said the surge in premium prices “had been offset by a change in the risk mix of business that is aimed at lower risk segments and a reduction in younger drivers”.

Its share in the UK private car market rose from 7.5% in 2018 to 7.8%.

The loss ratio was slightly over 79% for that period, prior to the Ogden rate change. The firm said it aims to remain within the full year 75%-79% target range. Yet it declared that the full year loss ratio “could move slightly above, should elevated claims inflation continue”.

Claims inflation soared in the third quarter to 7 - 8%. Net revenue decreased by 2% to £564m as of 30 September, from £574m on 30 September 2018.

Chief executive officer of Hastings, Toby van der Meer said: “We have successfully transitioned to our new repair partners to benefit customers, while the ongoing digitalisation of the business has been continued by the increasing popularity of our mobile app, with 430,000 downloads since its launch.

“The market remained competitive in the third quarter, with market premium inflation continuing to lag claims inflation,” he added. “We maintained focus on pricing discipline, applying rates ahead of the market, in line with our stated targets and strategy. We are confident that continuing to invest in our growth opportunities whilst navigating these current market conditions is the right thing to do.”

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