Achmea’s operational result increased to €223 million
- Solvency ratio increased to 185%
- Solid performance Non-Life despite higher (personal injury) claims caused by use of mobile devices
- Result for basic health insurance close to zero
- Group-wide 8% structural cost reduction achieved
- Sharp operating expense reduction in Pension and Life service organisation due to closed
- book strategy
- Continued high investments in online services and innovations for our customer
Willem van Duin, Chairman of the Executive Board:
Achmea started the year well, with the positive contribution from previously-implemented improvement measures becoming visible.Consequently, the operational result over the first six months of this year increased to €223 million, while last year a negative result was reported in particular due to the hailcalamity. Even when adjusted for the claims arising from last year’s severe weather conditions, the result over this half year was substantially higher. We have achieved structural cost reductions of 8% while increasing higher gross written premiums in our core activities health and non-life insurance. The continued high level of appreciation from our customers and the increase in our result are a big compliment to all our colleagues.
Centraal Beheer, Interpolis and FBTO experienced further growth in number of customers with non-life insurance at lower expenses. The sound performance is in spite of a higher cost of personal injury claims. The use of smartphones and other devices while in traffic is leading to a substantial increase in the risk of serious accidents. The trend in increasing frequency of new personal injury claims is therefore continuing. Our close commercial and strategic partnership with Rabobank is performing well. We have completely renewed the range of services sold via our partner Rabobank. We have welcomed nearly 20,000 new customers to our health insurance business. Over the past few years, health insurers have kept premium increases low by allocating funds from capital. This is of course not a sustainable situation. Achmea aims to set premiums at cost price in order to prevent large premium increases for our policyholders.
Our Retirement Services strategy is developing well. The inflow of new customers into the Centraal Beheer APF contributed €1 billion to the increase to €117 billion of assets under management at Achmea Investment Management. At our Pension and Life service organisation, a further sharp decrease in operational costs was achieved while retaining the high level of service provided to our customers. Achmea’s digital competencies are also being used internationally: we are leading the way with non-life and health insurance products distributed online and via banking distribution. Our international activities show continued growth in our market share, with premium growth of 8% in local currency. We expect to put to use our knowledge of online insurance products together with a partner in Canada shortly.
Our financial position remains strong, with an increase in our solvency ratio to 185%. Moreover, we have reduced the interest rate sensitivity of our solvency ratio by applying a different hedging policy.
The results over the first six months of this year give us confidence that we are on the right track for achieving our objectives in the long term. It is, however, too soon to assume that these financial results will continue for the remainder of the year. As a leader in mobile and online services, many of our insurance companies are trendsetters in the insurance sector. Being relevant is the basic principle here. We therefore continue to invest a great deal in innovation. We consequently expect to further improve our result, increase customer satisfaction further and retain our strong financial position.