Insurer takes $1 billion disaster bill

A major Australian insurer has reported a $1 billion claims hit to its general insurance business as a result of natural disasters in the past financial year.

Suncorp Group has released its yearly financial results, revealing natural disasters pushing costs well over the company’s $595 million allowance.

However, the company also reported an overall net profit after tax of $1.13 billion, which was up by 52.2% from the previous year.

Suncorp Group CEO Patrick Snowball says that the company has done well, despite natural disaster losses, as a result of business diversification.

“Suncorp Group has delivered net profit after tax of $1,133 million in what can be described as our worst ever year for natural hazards having paid out more than one billion dollars in net claims,” Snowball says in his CEO Report.

“Once again, this result demonstrates the benefit of the Group’s diversification with all lines of business contributing to this excellent result.”

Although general insurance practice NPAT decreased from $1 billion to $756 million, Snowball considers the overall figures a good result in light of natural disasters.

“The General Insurance profit of $756 million is an excellent achievement given the impact of major weather events. Most pleasingly, we have grown the customer base in a very competitive market,” Snowball says.