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QBE European Operations delivers strong performance with GWP growth of 6% and improved COR of 94.8%

By Sandra Villanueva
Senior Media Relations Manager

QBE European Operations posted positive results today, extending its five-year track record of strong performance. Gross Written Premium for 2018 was £3.27bn, a 4% improvement on last year (equivalent to 6% on a constant currency basis). 

The combined operating ratio was 94.8%, down from last year’s figure of 95.2%.  Multiple factors contributed to the strong 2018 performance, not least of which an average premium renewal rate increase of 4.4%.  Financial Lines, UK Motor and International Property continue to benefit from the strongest rate improvements while, in the second half of the year, improvements were also experienced in most Marine classes and International Casualty.

Underwriting discipline remains a core emphasis, which in addition to refocussing the business on delivering the right customer outcomes has driven the strong result.  The deployment of technology to improve business processes, risk selection and pricing has also contributed to the positive performance.

Key results for QBE European Operations


Gross written premium

Net earned premium

Net Underwriting Result

Combined operating ratio




94.8% 2

up 4% 1

 up 5%

 up 13%

 0.4% improvement

1 Up 6% on a constant currency basis.
2 Excludes the impact of changes in risk-free rates used to discount net outstanding claims.

Richard Pryce, Chief Executive Officer of QBE International (which includes the European Operations division) comments “Last year’s excellent performance is the result of an unwavering focus on delivering positive outcomes for our customers, a continued strong stance on pricing and cost control and an uplift in market conditions. Our investment in and deployment of technology across our risk selection, pricing and claims functions is yielding considerable benefit both in terms of performance of our portfolios and the enhanced levels of service we are providing our customers.”

In response to the Brexit challenge, QBE now has a fully operational and well capitalised (re)insurance company in Belgium. This enhances its presence across Europe and resulted in the successful renewal of existing business in Continental Europe at 1 January 2019.

Pryce adds “The current business environment is marked by uncertainty and our customers are exposed to greater levels of unpredictability than ever before. Our post-Brexit plans ensure a continuity of service irrespective of the outcome of the political negotiations. Further challenges may arise for businesses however, as the details of the exit are finalised, and the insurance industry has an important role to play in supporting our customers in the UK and across the European Union through this period of change.”


For further information contact:

Alexis Burris, Media Relations Adviser, QBE, +44 (0)20 3465 3921

Sandra Villanueva, Senior Media Relations Manager, QBE +44(0)20 7105 5284


About QBE

QBE European Operations is part of QBE Insurance Group, one of the world’s leading international insurers and reinsurers and Standard & Poor’s A+ rated. Listed on the Australian Securities Exchange, QBE’s gross written premium for the year ended 31 December 2018, was US$13.7 billion.

As a business insurance specialist, QBE European Operations offers a range of insurance products from the standard suite of property, casualty and motor to the specialist financial lines, marine and energy. All are tailored to the individual needs of our small, medium and large client base.

We understand the crucial role that effective risk management plays in all organisations and work hard to understand our clients’ businesses so that we offer insurance solutions that meet their needs – from complex programmes to simpler e-trading solutions – and support them in minimising their risk exposures. Our expert risk management and rehabilitation practitioners focus on helping clients improve their risk management so that they may benefit from a reduction in claims frequency and costs.

Your contact

Your contact

Sandra Villanueva

Sandra Villanueva

Head of Media Relations & Content, QBE International