QBE, in a potential harbinger of things to come from other carriers, has withdrawn its 2020 financial targets due to COVID-19 uncertainty.
“In light of the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic and uncertain economic and investment market outlook, we consider it prudent to withdraw those previously advised targets,” the Australian-based global insurer said in a March 30 statement.
QBE does business in Australia, North America, Europe and the Asia Pacific region.
QBE announced in February a net after-tax profit of $550 million for the 2019 fiscal year. It released 2020 targets including a combined ratio of 93.5 to 95.5, and a net investment return of 2.5 percent to 3 percent.
While QBE is withdrawing its 2020 financial target, it said that premium rate momentum in its 2020 first quarter continues the strong trends it experienced during the 2019 second half. As well, QBE said its capital and liquidity remain strong, despite the coronavirus pandemic.
“We continue to implement our business continuity plans to ensure our services remain available to our business partners and customers,” the company said.
Along those lines, QBE’s annual meeting will be held virtually on May 7, where the company said it will provide further updates.
In a statement, QBE Group CEO Pat Regan noted “extraordinarily difficult times” for all involved, though he said the company would work first and foremost to make sure its staff remains healthy “and continue to support our customers in this time of need.”