Rise of the machines: Hastings results receive boost from telematics

Hayley Kirton
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Live policy numbers in the company's telematics division grew by 73 per cent (Source: Getty)

Hastings Group Holdings revealed its profits had grown strongly during the first half of 2016 today, no doubt helped by growth in both the home and telematics markets.

The figures

The insurer revealed operating profit had increased to £70.8m for the six months to June, up 20 per cent from £59.2m the year before.

Meanwhile, gross written premiums rose to £360.6m, up 28 per cent from the prior year's £282.7m, and net revenue grew to £282.7m, up 27 per cent from £222.6m.

The figures were no doubt boosted by the company's growing market in home and telematics products, where live customer policies increased by 67 per cent and 73 per cent respectively.

Market share in general was also on the up for the company, with live customer policies growing by 17 per cent to 2.2m from 1.9m at the end of last June.

Hastings also announced an interim dividend of 3.3 pence per share.

Shares in the company are currently up 4.1 per cent at 214.6p.

Hastings Group Holdings Hastings Group Holdings | mobile image

Why it's important

Technology is doing a good job of shaking up the financial services scene at the moment, particularly in the area of insurance.

A report released in June by PwC found just under half (48 per cent) of insurers had concerns that as much as a fifth of their business could be lost to newer fintech-style companies over the course of the next five years.

As well as its telematics offerings, Hastings also struck a deal with Guidewire earlier this year to develop a claims and broker platform to handle all claims which came its way. This particular offering is now being rolled out into Hasting's retail division for broking and billing.

Hastings also included a quick nod to the EU referendum in its half-year update, noting, as it was a UK-focused business with an underwriting arm in Gibraltar, it did not expect Brexit to have a huge impact on its operations.

What Hastings said

Gary Hoffman, chief executive officer of Hastings Group Holdings, said:

The group's strong growth trajectory is driven by the commitment of our 2,700 colleagues as we remain focused on providing competitively priced insurance to UK customers. We remain well positioned to deliver continued profitable growth in 2016; the increases in premiums we've written will continue to earn through over the life of the policies, and we've seen no significant changes to the premium and claim inflation trends since the period end. We are firmly on track to meet, or beat, all of our targets.

In short

Keep an eye out for Hastings – they're becoming increasing popular with customers and making their presence known.