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Hannover Re renewal premiums slide on loss-free programs

Hannover Re says property and casualty renewals were highly competitive for the mid-year period, with Australian and New Zealand price directions varying widely depending on loss experience.

“In Australia and New Zealand appreciable premium erosion was observed under programs that had been spared losses, although significant price increases were booked for loss-impacted treaties,” it says. “This was especially true in Australia as a consequence of Cyclone Debbie and in New Zealand following the earthquake in Christchurch.”

Most of the company’s business in Australia and New Zealand renews mid-year.

Overall, the global portfolio up for renewal in property and casualty showed “pleasing premium growth” of about 10%, Hannover Re said at its mid-year financial results presentation.

Net income grew 9.6% to €535 million ($797 million) for the half-year to June 30 from €488 million ($727 million) in the corresponding period last year. Gross written premium increased 8.6% to €9 billion ($13.4 billion), while the combined operating ratio deteriorated to 96.5% from 95.4%.

Income from assets under own management grew 15.3%.

Natural catastrophe losses declined, with the total including a net loss of €46.4 million ($69.1 million) from Cyclone Debbie, €19.8 million ($29.5 million) from wildfires in Chile and €11 million ($16.4 million) from storms and tornadoes in the US.

The reinsurer confirmed full-year earnings guidance and “expects the underwriting result for the full financial year to come in on a level that will still be good, despite the protracted soft market”.

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