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17 March 2022Insurance

France’s CCR doubles profit in 2021, boosts nat cat coverage capacity to €4.9bn

French state-owned re/insurer  Caisse Centrale de Réassurance (CCR) more than doubled net income in 2021 to €134 million and put more than twice that sum back into its equalisation reserve, giving the group capital capacity to absorb natural disaster losses of up to €4.9 billion on a market-wide basis.

Gross written premiums fell by 13.3% to €1.05 billion, with management blaming the gradual phase out of credit insurance support schemes. The premium take was tipped 88% to natural disaster, 5.8% to rump credit insurance deals and 6.4% to attacks.

Natural disaster claims of €323 million were down against a four-year average which had been driven by drought-related claims. CCR escaped major flooding claims altogether and suffered "only a few" regions with drought.

The international reinsurance unit CCR Re more than doubled its net income to €41 million on a nearly 30% increase in gross written premium to €843 million.

High natural disaster claims, particularly in Germany and Belgium, were largely offset by a notable retrocession programme, management claimed.

The net combined ratio on P&C reinsurance fell 6.6 percentage points from prior technical loss to 96.6%. The group's core earnings measure of EBITER (earnings before interest, taxes and equalization reserve) rose neighborhood 60% year on year.

The Russian invasion of Ukraine "is not expected to adversely affect CCR Re," management said. The reinsurance portfolio is not directly exposed and indirect exposure through specialty lines is "likely to remain limited."

The asset portfolio also lacks direct exposure to ruble- or hryvnia-denominated assets. "The portfolio is resilient to the market upheaval caused by this event," management said.

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