AXA boss Paul Evans defends insurers' response to UK flood crisis

 

The boss of one of the UK's insurance companies has defended the industry's response to the winter floods.

Paul Evans, chief executive of Axa UK — which insures 10 million people — said his company was responding as quickly as it could amid calls from politicians for a swifter response from the sector.

He added: “The immediate priority has been to get people into safe accommodation with the emergency cash they need to deal with any immediate necessities. Once the flood waters recede, we will be there over the coming months to help our customers rebuild their lives and return to their homes as soon as possible.”

Axa UK did not disclose how much the floods have cost it so far but said its underlying earnings rose 32 per cent to £178 million in 2013.

The group’s combined ratio — an industry formula that measures underwriting profitability — fell 2.1 per cent to 98.1 per cent. This is good because figures below 100 per cent reflect a profit.

“I remain confident that our businesses are very well placed for profitable growth,” Evans added.

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