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QBE European Operations delivers strong performance

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  • Topics:
    • Financial Results
    • InsurTech
    • Risk Management
    • Strategy

Disciplined underwriting, risk management and portfolio diversity underpin strong result for QBE European Operations...

QBE European Operations announces another year of solid underwriting performance with a 2017 Combined Operating Ratio of 95.2%  and Gross Written Premium of £3,144m. † Excluding the movement in risk free rates


Although challenging market conditions prevailed and 2017 saw pronounced catastrophe claims activity, the division recorded an underwriting profit of £121m. The result reflects QBE’s sustained focus on underwriting discipline, product and distribution diversity, and enhanced customer engagement.


Key results


Gross written premium

£ million


Net earned premium

£ million



Underwriting result

£ million


*1, 4


Insurance profit

£ million



Increase of 4.1% from 2016


Increase of 8.1% from 2016


Decrease of 44% from 2016


Increase 6.9% from 2016



Combined operating ratio93.4%

*1, 2

Insurance profit margin 10.0% vs 10.1% in 2016


*1 - Excludes the £109m one-off adverse impact on the underwriting result due to the Ogden decision in the UK
* 2 - 2016 Adjusted for the reinsurance of UK long-term liabilities
* 3 - At constant FX rates, £15m growth year on year
* 4 - Underwriting result pre-movement in risk free rates


QBE European Operations restructured in 2017 to combine its underwriting businesses into one single entity, orientated around customer needs. This move augmented cross-selling capabilities and increased product density per customer.


Richard Pryce, CEO of QBE European Operations commented “We have delivered this performance in the most challenging environment we have experienced for the last five years. Our longstanding commitment to strong underwriting management, diversification, and customer engagement has established the strong foundations necessary to withstand testing times.”


Building a better business for the future


In line with its focus on future proofing the business from Brexit’s economic uncertainty, QBE’s post-Brexit plans remain on track and a new European subsidiary will be established in Brussels in time for 2019 renewals. This provides certainty for customers, broker and employees in Continental Europe and underlines QBE’s commitment to the region, which continues to growth profitably and is an increasingly important part of QBE European Operations.


Richard Pryce continues “A key area of focus remains embedding a customer-centric culture throughout our business. This shapes how we recruit, train and motivate our people through to how we engage with and respond to customer needs.”


Plans to leverage insurtech investments made by the Group venture capital arm, QBE Ventures, are also well underway. Following the partnership with the London-based start-up in November, QBE is deploying the Cytora Risk Engine, which is driven by machine learning algorithms, across a number of Property and Casualty lines.


Richard Pryce added “Our data and analytics capability has continued to develop during 2017 and we will look to accelerate its use further within the business across both underwriting and claims. As a business we are challenging ourselves each and every day to find new ways it can influence our thinking, understanding and established ways of working.”