Green Flag boosts Direct Line Insurance Group to gross written premium growth

Hayley Kirton
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The company should make its 2016 targets...assuming the weather plays nice (Source: Getty)

Direct Line Insurance Group reported a boost to its gross written premiums in its first set of quarterly results for 2016, thanks in part to continued growth in its Green Flag partnership.

The insurer revealed that gross written premiums from ongoing operations had grown by 4.2 per cent to £777.8m in the three months to March 2016, with particularly strong results from its motor sector. Last year, the company reported gross written premiums of £746.5m.

Meanwhile, motor in-force policies increased for the second quarter in a row to 3.7m, with continued growth from Green Flag direct.

However, the total number of policies in-force slumped to 15.9m, down from 16.2m the year before and 16.1m the quarter before, as the number of rescue and travel policies declined.

Read more: Direct Line reveals floods could cost it up to £140m

"This was another quarter of top line growth for Direct Line Group, as customers responded favourably to the many improvements we have made to the business over the last few years," said Paul Geddes, chief executive of Direct Line Group. "For the rest of 2016, we will aim to build on these foundations, while keeping a firm control of our costs, and we reiterate our combined operating ratio target of 93 per cent to 95 per cent for ongoing operations."

However, the company stressed that its operating ratio target for 2016 depended on the year also having a normal level of claims from weather events.

Shares in the company were trading up 1.1 per cent at 372.4p shortly before 9:30am London time.

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