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Zurich Insurance looks at higher prices to dampen COVID-19 hit



(Reuters) – Zurich Insurance life insurance and property / claims companies have taken a hit from the COVID-19 pandemic, but rising commercial insurance levels will provide support, its chief financial officer said on Thursday when the company reported a 40% drop in profits.

Insurance companies have been hit across the board by pandemic-related claims, including for travel, business interruptions and event cancellations, in addition to life insurance.

"It's been a relatively extraordinary six months," CFO George Quinn said. "The challenge is not over."

Europe's fifth largest insurance company said the expected COVID-19 related insurance claim on its real estate / claims business would be $ 750 million for the full year, the same level as it indicated in May. [1

9659002] Zurich's operating profit for the first half of the year fell 40% to $ 1.7 billion, hit by pandemic-linked payments and weaker financial markets, but this was in line with analysts' forecasts of $ 1.69 billion.

The company said the coronavirus outbreak had reduced its operating profit by $ 686 million.

Mr. Quinn told Reuters that the impact on the insurance company's life insurance business would be about $ 120 million, based on receivables and policy changes.

In addition, claims related to civil unrest, mainly in the United States, totaled $ 122 million, says Quinn.

Zurich said commercial insurance levels rose 8% in the first six months, but Mr Quinn said the increases accelerated in the second quarter and the trend was "really positive."

Net income fell 42% to $ 1.18 billion, also in line with consensus forecasts. The combined ratio in Zurich's real estate / claims companies weakened to 99.8% from 95.1% a year earlier.

Zurich shares fell by 1.2% at the open, compared with a decrease of 1% in European insurance shares.

JP Morgan described the results as "fractions of the future", repeating their predominance.


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