Ageas UK has revealed that revenues tumbled from £12.4m to £2.7m in the first quarter of 2020.
The group said that weather events impacted what would otherwise be a “resilient performance”, with a £23.5m impact from storms Ciara and Dennis across the home, motor and commercial lines of business.
The insurer’s combined operating ratio (COR) also soared 11.7% to 107.1% in the period, up from a COR of 95.5% the year prior.
The combined ratio was “negatively affected” by the weather events in February, particularly in home and commercial lines. Excluding this impact, the COR was 98.7%, largely due to a continued claims inflation in the first quarter.
Meanwhile, the group also reported a flat level of income in the first quarter, with “some growth” in household and commercial lines business.
Gross written premiums (GWP) in the period were “broadly flat” in the period. Household GWP grew to £71.4m up from £64.9m, though COR deteriorated to 112.3%, up from 91.2% the year prior.
Andy Watson, CEO Ageas UK said: “We cannot underestimate the impact that the storms and floods had on our customers. The priority remains to get these customers back in their properties, while operating in very unusual circumstances.
“Only a month later we find ourselves in a pandemic situation and thanks to a quick response, the majority of our people we able to work from home, continuing to provide a fantastic service to our customers and, importantly, ensuring we recognise and keep key workers mobile.”
He added: “While motor claims frequencies have reduced across the industry, it is still too early to have a clear picture on the overall impact. We moved early to reduce our motor pricing to reflect the current situation; we are not applying any inflationary rate increases during this period; and we continue to work with industry bodies and our intermediated distribution channel to ensure we consider all fair options for our customers.
“As we look ahead, we have a stable business with a strong solvency position giving us the confidence we need to emerge from a resilient position and reflect on how we become even stronger over the next few months.”
The update marks Watson’s last time reporting Ageas’s results before Ant Middle assumes the role of CEO later this year.