Hastings Group (‘Hastings’), the technology driven UK insurance provider and subsidiary of the Sampo Group, reports today on performance for the twelve months ended 31 December 2023.
Toby van der Meer, Group CEO, commented:
“Hastings has delivered solid results for the full year 2023. This has been achieved in the face of challenging market conditions, with elevated claims inflation experienced during the year.
In light of increasing market prices to combat claims inflation, the use of price comparison websites (‘PCWs’) has increased during the year, with more consumers shopping around in order to find a more competitive price. We have remained focused on pricing discipline and, as a result, we have grown our policy count by 8%, with written premiums increasing by 32% year-on-year.
We also continue to invest in building the UK’s leading digital insurance provider, with new technology, data, claims and digital initiatives focused in particular on continuing to support customers with better deals given the rising cost of car insurance across the market, and helping our customers when they need it most after an accident.
As always, I’d like to thank my colleagues for their fantastic work in supporting each other, our customers and the community throughout the year.”
Solid performance for the twelve months ended 31 December 2023, including:
- Gross written premium up 32% year-on-year to £1,483.6m, reflecting higher average premiums and an increase in live customer policies (‘LCP’).
- The UK motor insurance market saw significant market price increases in response to the elevated claims inflation. Market wide claims inflation has remained persistent and is estimated to have been around 12% for most of the year, with a modest reduction observed in the fourth quarter.
- Hastings has continued to increase prices in this environment whilst also benefiting from increased demand as consumers continue to use PCWs in order to find a more competitive price.
- LCP increased 8% year-on-year to 3.5 million, with an increase in motor policy count of 4%. Home insurance policies grew significantly, up 31% year-on-year, and the rise in policy count was achieved whilst prioritising rate increases to cover claims inflation.
- The calendar year loss ratio for 31 December 2023 was 63.3% (6.1 percentage points up year-on-year), reflecting claims inflation, the weather events experienced in the first quarter and increased claims frequencies in line with changing driving behaviours.
- Operational Profit Before Tax, excluding interest rate movements and non-operational amortisation, of £113.4m (2022: £101.3m).
- The rate increases implemented by Hastings during 2023 are expected to support profitability as these continue to earn through into 2024.
Strategic and operational initiatives
Investments in strategic initiatives in 2023:
- Focus on development of data platforms, data engineering skills and modelling capabilities to support leading edge pricing and antifraud capabilities.
- New capability added to Hastings mobile app, which continues to be highly rated and had over 1.3m downloads in the year.
- The Hastings YouDrive telematics product, which promotes and encourages safer driving, has experienced significant growth in the year.
- Digital adoption continued with the launch of a customer self-service portal for renewals and the initial phase of the Claims Hub launched. Enhancements to customer journeys and contact centre technology has improved customer satisfaction.
Our colleagues and communities
Continuing commitment to supporting colleagues and the communities in which Hastings operates:
- Ranked 4th in the Inclusive Top 50 UK Employers List 2023/24, an improvement of 5 places.
- Continued investment in colleague wellbeing programme, including new benefits supporting financial, mental and physical health, including free mortgage advice and 24/7 access to unlimited counselling.
- Increased colleague development opportunities through improved leadership programmes and customer focused training, resulting in highest number of internally promoted colleagues.
- Highest intake of graduates, interns and internal apprentices in 2023, including new schemes in Data, Fraud, Claims and Technology.
- Submitted our first voluntary report to the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investing (UN PRI) outlining our responsible investment activities.
- Completed ESG due diligence on all significant suppliers enabling better informed conversations about our sustainability agenda.
- Over £120,000 raised for our communities and over 11,500 hours volunteered by colleagues as part of our community day scheme.
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