November 11, 2011

Not since Yeats asked “what rough beast, its hour come round at last, Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?” has literature spawned a more viscerally disturbing image than that offered by Insurance Times this week as it described a “bodily-injury claims plague” “creeping up on the Cardiff-based insurer.”

Investors, the paper reports, have “fled” in the face of the approaching monster – presaged by the Admiral’s frank confession that it won’t be meeting its targets this year, sending its shares plummeting by a literally horrifying 28.6%.

There was better news from another coastal town further south, however, as Ageas confounded the world of general insurance by recording a combined operating ratio of under 100% (99.9% to be precise) for the first 3/4s of 2011 on a motor-insurance heavy book. How has Ageas achieved this seemingly unfeasible feat, recording a five-fold increase in profits to £78m in the process?

It turns out CEO Barry Smith has been building some kind of platform and that has made all the difference. So hats off to some excellent platform construction. But what’s that crazy name about? No, not Barry Smith. Ageas – or however you say it.

Perhaps you know. But please don’t email with your insights, because we’ve already carried out our own in-depth investigation, which you can further blight your afternoon by reading here (if you’ve really got nothing better to do).


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    Jo was friendly while still professional. She answered any questions and was patient and happy to help. Next steps and cover confirmation could have been a bit clearer. I've had calls from credit hire that I was expecting for replacement bike but they were pushing to do repairs. I was told this would be done by an approved repair. I called just after 9am to notify a claim and was told I would receive a call back within 10 to 15mins. I had to call back an hour later as no one had called back. The lady who answered, Jo, did deal with things straight away and was very helpful
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