The global insurer Beazley plc has become the latest insurance company to step up to the plate and highlight its trading results for Q1 2021, ended 31 March, 2021. Overall, it was a positive start to the year for the company with gross written premiums (GWP) increasing by 16% to US$971 million (around SG$1.297 billion) from Q1 2020’s US$840 million. The insurer also reported that its premium rates on renewal business increased by 16%, ahead of its expectations.
The business saw an investment return of US$27 million, compared to Q1 2021’s loss of US$55 million and noted its capital surplus remains within its preferred range of 15-25% above the ECR. Meanwhile, its COVID-19 first part loss estimate remains unchanged at US$340 million, net of reinsurance, while Q1 catastrophe losses are estimated to be approximately US$70 million, net of reinsurance.
Premium growth has been achieved in most of the insurer’s divisions, driven by a combination of rate increases and adding exposure in several areas. Beazley noted that early indications suggest that underwriting actions taken since September 2020 are having a positive impact on cyber ransomware trends. The group’s cyber and executive risk arm has seen gross premiums written increase 19% to US$232 million, compared to Q1 2020.
Year on year premium growth has also been seen across market facilities (up 35%), property (up 24%), reinsurance (up 10%) and specialty lines (up 24%). Meanwhile marine remained unchanged at US$100 million while political, accident & contingency saw a drop of 8%. Beazley noted that while the overall growth it is seeing is in line with expectations, it is benefitting from higher-than-expected rate changes.
It has been a busy quarter for the business with Andrew Horton being replaced as CEO by Adrian Cox, following his move to QBE. In its business update, Beazley also highlighted that Andrew Pryde, who has been chief risk officer since 2011 will be leaving at the end of May, with Rob Anarfi, global head of compliance stepping up to combine his current role with that of the CRO to become the chief compliance and risk officer.
Commenting on the results, Beazley CEO Adrian Cox noted it has been a positive start to the year, with good rate momentum well ahead of expectations and continued strong targeted growth.
“We expect favourable market conditions to continue,” he said, “and are well-positioned to take advantage of them given our capital surplus remains within our preferred range.”