- Insurance provider Hastings said it loss ratio for the full year could edge higher after first-quarter premiums and reinsurance income growth slowed amid a 'competitive' motor market.

'The Group's full year loss ratio outlook depends upon the market environment during the remainder of 2019. If the current market premium and claims dynamics continue through the year the Group loss ratio would be expected to move towards the higher end of the 75% to 79% target range.'

For the 3 months to 31 March, net revenue down by 1% to £183.1m due to lower earn through of premiums and reinsurance income from 2018 relative to the equivalent period last year, which benefitted from favourable 2017 premium dynamics, offset by retail income which has grown in line with policy volume the company said.

Gross written premiums were up 4% to £235.5m for the quarter and live customer policies edged up 3% to 2.75m from a year earlier.

Claims inflation remained high across the industry, with the main drivers continuing to be repair costs and further increases in third party property damage costs, the company said.

'Alongside many other initiatives underway, our new claims supplier deals, increased customer retention and digital enhancements demonstrate the significant progress made in the first quarter of 2019,' said Toby van der Meer, Chief Executive Officer of Hastings Group Holdings.

'The motor market continued to be competitive in the first quarter of 2019, but as always, we will trade through this environment with discipline whilst remaining focused on the execution of our strategy.'

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