Qatar Insurance Group (QIC), which recently saw one of its arms swoop for Markerstudy businesses, has announced its 2017 results, headlined by a 60% drop in its net profits amid adverse global conditions.
Exceptional natural catastrophe events, most notably the hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria, have significantly affected QIC Group’s global operations Qatar Re and Antares’ Lloyd’s syndicate 1274. The three hurricanes added 6.8 percentage points to QIC’s non-life combined ratio, which stood at 105.8%.
The sharp and unexpected reduction of the Ogden discount rate in the first quarter of 2017 also hit QIC Group through its international operations, forcing insurers to increase their loss reserves. Industry-wide, insurers were forced to infuse an estimated additional US$10 billion to their loss reserves.
With these adverse conditions, QIC Group had a net underwriting result of US$32 million in 2017, an 86% drop compared with the previous year. Net profit was at US$115 million, a 60% year-on-year drop from US$284 million in 2016.
According to the group, its strong global footprint will allow it to benefit from any upswing in global
re/insurance rates as a result of the North American hurricanes and other major insured disasters in 2017.
The group’s gross written premiums (GWP) grew by 18% to US$3.2 billion. Its key growth engines were identified as Qatar Re, Antares, and QIC Europe Limited (QEL). These three now account for approximately 75% of the group’s total GWP.
Excluding catastrophes, QIC Group’s core combined ratio was at 99%, only slightly higher than the 98% posted in the previous year.
Earlier this year, QIC Group was able to acquire Markerstudy’s Gibraltar-based insurance companies – Markerstudy Insurance Company Ltd, Zenith Insurance PLC, St Julians Insurance Company Ltd, and Ultimate Insurance Company Ltd. These insurers write more than 5% of the UK motor insurance market, with a book value of £750 million (US$1.05 billion).