Aviva pays out €90m in flood claims

INSURANCE firm, Aviva faced claims of just over €90 million as a result of recent flood and storm damage in Ireland.

It said the retail market in Ireland is performing well despite Irish retail sales falling by 2% to £636m, (€729.6m) an 11% decrease on a local currency basis.

It said however that reduced retail sales in Ireland impacted on the life insurance industry.

A spokesman for Aviva Ireland said: “In making the payments related to the floods we are very proud that we are there for our customers when they needed us most.”

On a group level, Aviva, which is Britain’s second-biggest insurer said revenue in the last three months of 2009 dropped 14% on lower sales of pension products in Britain and North America.

Fourth-quarter sales of life and retirement products declined to £7.9bn (€9bn) compared with £9.23bn (€10.58bn) a year earlier. Full-year revenue dropped 12% to £32bn. (€36.7bn).

“Sales could have been stronger but at the same time they’re controlling the amount of business they write, and controlling their capital commitments,” said Marcus Barnard, an analyst at Oriel Securities. “Capital strength is still important in this environment.”

The insurer last year sold its Australian life-insurance business and spun off part of its Dutch unit to raise capital after the value of investments was eroded in 2008.

Andrew Moss, group chief executive of Aviva, said the group had seen the “first signs of an improved appetite to save among our customers”.

Aviva said it had suffered a rise in the number of vehicle accident claims as motorists struggled in last month’s snow and ice.

But the group added that fewer numbers of cars on the road in the adverse conditions would mean that there was no material impact on the group.


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