Zurich saw gross written premiums (P&C) grow 14%, or 9%, on a similar basis by more than $ 11 billion in the first quarter of 2021, driven by higher total premiums for regions led by commercial insurers.
Overall, changes in P&C rates in Zurich were 7% in the first quarter of the year.
In Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), GDP grew 16% or 5% to $ 6.2 billion in the first quarter of 2021 compared to the first quarter of last year, and the rate changed by 5%. Growth here has been driven by trade insurance, especially in Germany, Switzerland and Great Britain.
North American insurance premiums rose 17% or 16% on a like-for-like basis to $ 3.9 billion in the first quarter of 2021, with crop insurance adding more than 50% for growth. North America remained in the double digits for the fifth consecutive quarter, at a rate of 14%.
In the Asia-Pacific region, insurance premiums increased 2% to $ 782 million. On a comparison basis, insurance premiums decreased by 1%. The insurer sees a decline in travel insurance sales due to COVID-19 restrictions, only partially offset by growth in Japan and Malaysia.
Finally, in Latin America, insurance premiums decreased by 9% on a similar basis or increased by 5% to reach $ 574 million in the first quarter of 2021. This benefited from the growth of commercial insurance and Zurich-Santander.
Zurich reported that the first quarter of the year suffered relatively large numbers of natural disasters and weather losses as a result of the winter storm Uri. Assuming normal cat activity during the remainder of 2021, Zurich expects Urey to increase the usual level of cat losses in the combined ratio for the whole year by about 1 percentage point.
George Quinn, Chief Financial Officer, commented, “The group has had a good start to the year and has remained on the right track with its financial strategy and plans for the first quarter.
“During the quarter, the group took full advantage of challenging business pricing conditions to achieve robust growth and further improvements in underlying underwriting performance for its P&C business. In Life, the group focused on increasing the higher margin products, not just volume, and continuing to support the business, While farmers’ exchanges grew again even before MetLife P&C began operating in the early second quarter.
“These trends, combined with our very strong balance sheet, enable us to look forward to the rest of the year with great confidence.”
In Operation Life of the Carrier, APE fell on a similar basis by 4% to $ 919 million in the first quarter of 2021, driven by lower sales in the company’s products, pensions, and retirements.
New business margin increased 8.1 percentage points to 31.8% or 31.7% comparatively. At the same time, the value of new business increased by 21% on a comparable basis, driven by the most popular sales mix in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific and the higher sales volume in Latin America. Based on the reports, the NBV is up by 23% according to Zurich reports.
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