- Insurance company Aviva reported a fall in its solvency ratio in the first quarter of the year, owing to the impact from the pandemic and warned that sales would likely remain below expectations.

The solvency ratio fell to 182% from 206% on-year, primarily reflecting capital markets impacts, in particular the widening of corporate credit spreads, reductions in risk-free yields and declines in equity markets, the company said.

General insurance net written premium gained 3% to £2.4bn in the quarter, with its business in Canada achieving 'strong' underwriting results while the UK was affected by February storms.

The company said its estimate of Covid-19 related claims in its general insurance businesses was £160m net of reinsurance so far, though stressed it was in early stages of claims development on Covid-19.

'Early 2Q20 trends have seen new business sales decline across many of our businesses due to worldwide government enforced confinement measures, the company said. 'While customer activity levels have risen somewhat more recently as we help distributors and customers manage through these measures, sales volumes for the year overall are likely to remain below expectations,' it added.

'We remain committed to achieving our 2022 targets, however, COVID-19 is expected to provide additional challenges to achieving these targets,' it added.

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