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Zurich books rise in premium, cites P&C rates strength 

Zurich Insurance Group has recorded premium growth for the nine months to September, supported by its property and casualty (P&C) and life businesses. 

P&C gross written premiums (GWP) grew 9%, on a like-for-like basis, to $US34.59 billion ($54.43 billion) from a year earlier on strong rate growth. Commercial rates gained 7% during the period. 

North America GWP went up 7% on a like for like basis to $US16.82 billion ($26.46 billion) and all lines of businesses posted strong growth, lifted by a 9% rate change. 

In Asia Pacific, GWP rose 11% to $US2.75 billion ($4.32 billion). Zurich says rebounding travel insurance sales in Australia and higher retail sales across the region were the main contributors. 

The insurer’s life business continued to grow the top line and new business during the third quarter. In the first nine months, new business premiums increased 23% like-for-like to $US12.16 billion ($19.13 billion). 

Its Asia Pacific division achieved a 58% improvement in new business premiums to $US2.14 billion ($3.36 billion). 

Zurich says the Asia Pacific results were driven by significantly higher protection sales in Japan, which rebounded from a low level in the prior year, as well as in Australia, which benefited from increased volumes of corporate business.