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QBE European Operations delivers strong performance

By Sandra Villanueva
Senior Media Relations Manager

Disciplined underwriting, risk management and portfolio diversity underpin strong result for QBE European Operations

QBE European Operations, the specialist in business insurance, announces another year of solid underwriting performance with a 2017 Combined Operating Ratio of 95.2%  and Gross Written Premium of £3,144m. † Excluding the movement in risk free rates

Although challenging market conditions prevailed and 2017 saw pronounced catastrophe claims activity, the division recorded an underwriting profit of £121m. The result reflects QBE’s sustained focus on underwriting discipline, product and distribution diversity, and enhanced customer engagement.

Key results

Gross written premium

£ million


Net earned premium

£ million



Underwriting result

£ million


*1, 4


Insurance profit

£ million



Increase of 4.1% from 2016


Increase of 8.1% from 2016


Decrease of 44% from 2016


Increase 6.9% from 2016



Combined operating ratio 93.4%

*1, 2

Insurance profit margin 10.0% vs 10.1% in 2016


*1 - Excludes the £109m one-off adverse impact on the underwriting result due to the Ogden decision in the UK
* 2 - 2016 Adjusted for the reinsurance of UK long-term liabilities
* 3 - At constant FX rates, £15m growth year on year
* 4 - Underwriting result pre-movement in risk free rates

QBE European Operations restructured in 2017 to combine its underwriting businesses into one single entity, orientated around customer needs. This move augmented cross-selling capabilities and increased product density per customer.

Richard Pryce, CEO of QBE European Operations commented “We have delivered this performance in the most challenging environment we have experienced for the last five years. Our longstanding commitment to strong underwriting management, diversification, and customer engagement has established the strong foundations necessary to withstand testing times.”

Building a better business for the future

In line with its focus on future proofing the business from Brexit’s economic uncertainty, QBE’s post-Brexit plans remain on track and a new European subsidiary will be established in Brussels in time for 2019 renewals. This provides certainty for customers, broker and employees in Continental Europe and underlines QBE’s commitment to the region, which continues to growth profitably and is an increasingly important part of QBE European Operations.

Richard Pryce continues “A key area of focus remains embedding a customer-centric culture throughout our business. This shapes how we recruit, train and motivate our people through to how we engage with and respond to customer needs.”

Plans to leverage insurtech investments made by the Group venture capital arm, QBE Ventures, are also well underway. Following the partnership with the London-based start-up in November, QBE is deploying the Cytora Risk Engine, which is driven by machine learning algorithms, across a number of Property and Casualty lines.

Richard Pryce added “Our data and analytics capability has continued to develop during 2017 and we will look to accelerate its use further within the business across both underwriting and claims. As a business we are challenging ourselves each and every day to find new ways it can influence our thinking, understanding and established ways of working.”


For further information contact:
Sandra Villanueva, Corporate Communications, QBE, 020 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 2017, was US$14.1 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