Fewer people driving due to the pandemic lockdown knocked first-quarter premiums for insurer Direct Line PLC (LON:DLG).
Motor premiums fell by 10.6% to GBP367mln in the three months to end-March, while its rescue arm that includes the Green Flag roadside recovery business saw income drop by 16.3% to GBP90.7mln.
Penny James, chief executive, said the trends over the quarter had been subdued claims, low levels of new car sales and fewer new drivers entering the market.
All of which had led to lower premiums, she said, before adding that at 5% Direct Line’s reduction in average premium compared to others was less than elsewhere.
“Elsewhere in the business, we have continued to deliver good growth in Home, whilst Commercial achieved 16% growth. This demonstrates the benefits of our investment in technology and new ways of working as well as the diversification within our portfolio.”
Direct Line added it is maintaining its target of achieving a combined operating ratio (premiums compared to claims plus costs) in the range of 93% to 95%, normalised for weather, in 2021