Losses in insurance sector up to €500m
Increased losses at Quinn Insurance pushed total underwriting losses in the Irish general insurance market to almost €500 million in 2010, according to the latest insurance sector statistics from the Central Bank.
Losses of €987 million at the insurer, which was put into administration in 2010 by the High Court over concerns about its solvency and how it was managed, were the highest in the sector by some distance.
They compared with underwriting losses of €32 million at Aviva Insurance (Europe), and profits of €25.8 million at Axa, €25.7 million at Allianz and €6 million at Zurich Insurance Plc.
The Central Bank also issued revised statistics for Quinn’s 2009 performance after the administrators uncovered a worse-than-originally-stated picture through further investigation into the insurance firm previously managed by bankrupt businessman Seán Quinn.
The general insurance industry made total underwriting losses of €259 million for 2009 compared with profits of €175 million in the original figures for the year after Quinn’s losses turned out to be greater than once thought, widening from €127 million to €562 million.
The revised performance figures at Quinn meant that total retained losses across all general, non-life insurers in Ireland went from €91 million to €205 million as the 2009 performance at Quinn deteriorated from retained losses of €788 million for 2009 to €902 million following the re-statement.
The deficit in Quinn’s reserves rose from €450 million in the Central Bank’s original statistics for 2009 to €564 million, the revised figures show. Quinn’s loss on the sale of investments soared to €400 million from €39.3 million originally.