11 February, 2015
The Suncorp Group today reported a net profit after tax (NPAT) of AU$631 million for the six months to 31 December 2014.
Suncorp’s New Zealand general insurance business, which consists of Vero and AA Insurance, contributed an insurance trading result of NZ$100 million for the half year.
Gross Written Premium (GWP) grew by 2.8 per cent half-on-half in the direct and intermediated businesses due to moderate rate increases and good unit growth, which was partially offset by softening commercial rates.
“Improved underlying profit, good progress on the Canterbury rebuild and a consistently strong balance sheet all support the New Zealand result,” said Gary Dransfield, Chief Executive, Vero New Zealand.
Insurance is vitally important to New Zealand given its high proportion of insurance and property ownership and the risks we face from earthquakes and other natural disasters.
“Our performance is a reflection of the value we bring as a strong, stable and well established insurance company in New Zealand which in turn allows us to offer our customers more benefits and greater security.
"To date we have paid out NZ$4 billion or more than 80 per cent of our total estimated costs for the Christchurch earthquakes. Claims settlements are ongoing and we expect to see construction activity continuing through 2015.
“In December last year, Vero New Zealand led the settlement on the historic NZ$550 million University of Canterbury claim,” added Dransfield.
“We continue to invest in our New Zealand business with a focus on technology transformation to deliver improved products and services to our customers.
“Vero today announced an industry-leading policy benefit called SumExtra that will extend homeowners’ insurance cover in the event of either a natural disaster or other insured loss.
“SumExtra offers customers who have personalised their sum insured based on an estimated cost to rebuild their home, additional cover in the event of a loss even if those costs exceed their sum insured amount.”
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