Wednesday 3 February 2016 4:24 pm

Zurich Insurance Group share price down as insurance company’s risk chief reveals in an interview that it may narrow down some of its business after being knocked back by claims

I'm a reporter at City A.M., mainly covering law, professional services and banking

I'm a reporter at City A.M., mainly covering law, professional services and banking

A member of Zurich Insurance Group's management has stated that the insurer is looking to slim its business after taking on more claims than expected last year.

In an interview with Bloomberg, which was published this morning, Cecilia Reyes, Zurich's risk chief, said: 

"We were surprised, obviously, by the poor underwriting results in the general insurance business. We need to either re-price or, if we cannot get the right level of compensation to the risk, we should walk away from some risks."

The insurer is due to announce its annual results on 11 February.

Last month, Zurich warned that its estimated losses from storms Desmond, Eva and Frank could reach $275m (£194m), and that the payouts it was expecting to have to make in relation to damage caused by natural disasters meant that it was likely to make an operating loss on its general insurance business in its fourth quarter for 2015.

Read more: Storm Desmond will cost insurers £520m

The Bloomberg interview comes shortly after it was revealed that Mario Greco, who is currently chief executive of Italian insurer Generali and has previously worked at Zurich for five years, would be joining the company as its new chief executive at the beginning of May.

The company also performed poorly on the stock market today, with share price trading down 2.6 per cent at SFr213.9 on the SIX Swiss Exchange in the late afternoon.