Ecclesiastical Insurance Office plc announces results for the year ended 31 December 2022

17 March 2023

Ecclesiastical Insurance Office plc (“Ecclesiastical”), the specialist financial services group, today announces its full year 2022 results.

Group overview

  • Driven by our purpose to contribute to the greater good of society, Ecclesiastical continued to give to good causes in 2022, amounting to £22.7m. We are now proud to be the third largest corporate donor in the UK1
  • Despite the challenging external environment, our businesses performed strongly in 2022. Gross Written Premiums (GWP) grew 15% from £486m to £559m, driven by new business wins, strong retention and rate strengthening, along with the impacts from the inflationary environment. 
  • Strong underwriting profit of £27.4m, a significant increase on the previous year of £8.8m. 
  • Operating performance was offset by fair value losses on our investment portfolio due to stock market falls and higher interest rates which was partially offset by the impact of discounting on reserves, leading to an overall group loss before tax of £4.8m (2021: £79.2m).
  • We remain in a strong capital position and our credit rating agencies affirmed our excellent and strong credit ratings in the second half of 2022. We recently exited our relationship with S&P and added Moody’s to join AM Best as our agencies.
  • We continue to lead the industry in service with 98% of customers satisfied with the service they receive from Ecclesiastical. For a second year running, independent research consultancy Gracechurch put Ecclesiastical ahead of all other insurers for claims service.  
  • We continued to receive external awards, recognising the Group as a trusted and specialist financial services organisation. This included being named as the UK’s most trusted home insurer for the 16th time by independent ratings agency Fairer Finance, and our Canadian team was named one of the Top Employers for Young People for the ninth consecutive year. 

Mark Hews, Group Chief Executive Officer of Ecclesiastical, said:

 “Last year was a transformational year for our Ecclesiastical Group family. We launched a new brand, prepared for a new Group structure, new strategy, new governance framework, new systems, and strengthened our leadership. Our immediate owner, Ecclesiastical Insurance Group, became Benefact Group, heralding an exciting new chapter for our family of businesses, united by a common goal to give all available profits to good causes. 
“Despite the challenging external environment, our businesses performed strongly in 2022. In general insurance we saw excellent premium growth of 15%, driven by new business wins, strong retention and inflationary pressures. The GI Underwriting result was £27.4m, a significant increase on the previous year of £8.8m, which was lower due to strengthening of PSA reserves. This gives a combined operating ratio of 91%2, which compares favourably in the insurance market.
“Our strong operating performance was offset by fair value losses on our investment portfolio, caused by volatility on the stock markets. In addition to these fair value losses, the results include a credit from a fair value gain on an equity investment and a credit arising from a change to our discounting accounting policy. This led to an overall group loss before tax of £4.8m (2021: £79.2m profit).  
“We were able to give a further £22.7m to charitable causes in 2022. Our combined giving with Benefact Trust has helped thousands of charities in recent years, changing countless lives and communities for the better. Many of those charities, along with His Majesty King Charles III, joined us at Westminster Abbey last summer for a Service of Thanksgiving to celebrate our £100m giving milestone. It was a proud moment for our business, and we have therefore raised our ambition, and have set a new cumulative target to give £250m to good causes by the end of 2025. We are now the third largest corporate donor in the UK, with an ambition to be first. 
“Inspired by the impact of our giving on so many, we are extremely ambitious for the future. This year will see continued investment in new systems, helping to deliver even better service and value for our customers and brokers.  We will pursue growth opportunities, both in our existing sectors and in new niches where we can leverage our specialist expertise. We will make significant investment in digital propositions, helping to build our distribution capability and reach, as we seek to find ways to meet our customers’ changing needs. We will also continue to prioritise risk management innovation, exploring new ways to protect our customers from losses, particularly from the growing threat of climate change. 
“On behalf of the Board and thousands of our beneficiaries, we say a heartfelt, sincere “thank you” to all our customers, business partners and dedicated colleagues for their exceptional support. With a new brand, a clear strategy for growth and a renewed sense of confidence, we go into 2023 energised and inspired to work together for our customers and society.”
1. Directory of Social Change Guide to UK Company Giving 2023/24