‘Solid growth against a backdrop of global uncertainty’, according to CEO Andy Chapman
The Exeter paid 47.9% more commission to intermediaries last year (£14.6m), fuelled mainly by an increase in life policy sales, its 2019 financial figures show.
Life sales increased to £3.5m last year (compared to £1.2m in 2018) and gross new sales of income protection (IP) showed a slight increase (of £0.6m) to £4.8m. Taking into account policy lapses, overall gross written premium for IP was £24.2m last year (up £2.2m).
Its membership base showed an increase on previous years, reaching 98,237 (compared to 95,127 in 2018).
Following the launch of its Health+ proposition in September 2018, the mutual also saw new private medical insurance (PMI) sales increase by just over 100% last year, however policy lapses meant that there was an overall reduction in the number of PMI policyholders. Gross written premium therefore decreased by 2.2% to £37m during the year.
Its health cash plan (HCP) business contributed £3.5m (down £0.2m from 2018) to The Exeter's written premium income in 2019. However, ‘lacklustre' HCP sales showed an overall decrease from 41,686 to 45,388.
PMI benefits and claims decreased by 6.3% to £29.2m last year and gross IP benefits and claims for totalled £pm, a 17.6% increase on 2018 (1.5% increase on a net basis).
Meanwhile, benefits paid on health cash plans amounted to £2.9m, bringing the total claims paid out to £41m (a slight drop on 2018's figure).
These figures were released as part of The Exeter's Voting Guide and Notice of AGM 2020 sent to members.
In the chief executive summary, Andy Chapman, who is standing for re-election as a director, said: "The Exeter has again withstood some challenging conditions to deliver solid growth against a backdrop of global uncertainty, an uncertain Brexit situation, increasing regulatory requirements and a highly competitive insurance sector.
"With a clear, focussed strategy and a highly dedicated team, we have delivered a significant number of improvements. We remain committed to working hard for our members with some standout results in terms of industry recognition and customer service."
Last year, The Exeter won Best Individual Life Insurance at the COVER Excellence Awards, as well as Best Private Medical Insurance and Customer Service ‘Above and Beyond' at the COVER Customer Care Awards 2019.
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