The first quarter of 2021 was marked by a strong rebound in business, particularly in Crédit Agricole Assurances' priority lines, despite the continuing health crisis. Crédit Agricole Assurances continued the diversification of its product mix towards protection of assets and individuals and unit-linked products in early 2021. At the end of March 2021, the Group recorded a growth of 13.0%1 in its priority lines of business2 compared with the first quarter of 2020. Including euro-denominated inflows, Crédit Agricole Assurances posted revenues of €10.6 billion, up 17.7%2 compared with the first quarter of 2020, thus returning to the very high level of the first quarter of 2019.
In Property and Casualty, the upturn in business seen in 2020 has been confirmed and growth remains very dynamic. Crédit Agricole Assurances reported premium income of €2.0 billion at the end of March 2021, up 6.4%2 compared with the end of March 2020, with a 9.3% increase in the quarter outside France, particularly in Italy (+18.8% compared to the end of March 2020). Thanks to a net contribution of more than 200,000 contracts in the first three months of the year, the number of P&C contracts reached nearly 14.8 million at the end of March 2021, up 4.2% year-on-year.
Equipment rates of retail customers continued to rise, in France in the Regional Banks (42.1%3 at the end of March 2021, up 1.1 point year-on-year) and LCL (25.9%3, up 0.7 point year-on-year), and in Italy in CA Italia (17.7%4, up 2.0 points year-on-year).
The combined ratio5 remains well under control at 96.1% at the end of March 2021.
Death and disability, Creditor, and Group insurance written premiums amounted to €1.3 billion, up 5.0%2 year-on-year, driven by all three business segments.
In Savings / Retirement, Crédit Agricole Assurances continued to shift its business towards unit-linked products. At the end of March 2021, unit-linked gross inflows accounted for €3.0 billion1, up 22.0% from the high inflows in the first quarter of 2020, and reached its highest quarterly level ever, demonstrating the success of the inflow policy initiated in the last quarter of 2019. Savings / Retirement written premiums rose by 23.9% year-on-year to €7.3 billion, and the share of unit-linked products in gross inflows remained at the high level of 40.7%1, stable year-on-year. International activities in this business line rose by 42.4%, including an 18.7% increase in Italy.
With a very high level of unit-linked net inflows, at +€2.0 billion at the end of March 2021, up 15.2% compared to the first quarter of 2020, and net outflows of -€0.3 billion on Euro contracts, total net inflows for the first quarter amounted to +€1.7 billion, up sharply (x2.2) compared to the first quarter of 2020.
Life insurance outstandings increased by 4.6% year-on-year to €312.3 billion6, including €78.5 billion in unit-linked products, and €233.8 billion of Euro-denominated contracts (-0.3% compared to the end of March 2020). Unit-linked products outstandings thus increased by €14.5 billion year-on-year, or 22.7%, and represented 25.1% of total outstandings, up 3.7 percentage points compared to the end of March 2020.
French participating loan programme
To enable businesses to finance their development and support the economic recovery, Crédit Agricole Assurances has announced that it will provide €2.25 billion under the French participating loan programme, which will be distributed by banks, including those of the Crédit Agricole network. This comes on top of all the other measures taken by the Crédit Agricole Group to help its professional clients in this difficult period.
Crédit Agricole Assurances and Europ Assistance finalised the agreement concerning the acquisition by Pacifica (Crédit Agricole Assurances’ property & casualty insurance subsidiary) of a 50% stake in Europ Assistance France, the main services entity of Europ Assistance, in relation to the Group’s expertise and resources in the French market. As of January 2022, Crédit Agricole Assurances and its subsidiaries will assign all their assistance activities in France to Europ Assistance, which will become the assistance partner of the Crédit Agricole Group’s insurance companies (Predica, Pacifica, CAMCA, La Médicale). Crédit Agricole Assurances is therefore expanding its range of services, with assistance activities fitting in fully with the Crédit Agricole Group’s ambitions including in particular helping customers at all times of their life.
1 In local GAAP.
2 Growths restated of an accounting methodological correction; excluding the restatement, growth was 15.6% in priority business lines, 19.4% in Crédit Agricole Assurances revenues, 6.6% in Property & Casualty and 16.7% in Death and disability, Creditor, and Group insurance.
3 Percentage of customers having at least one contract in automotive, multi-risk household, healthcare, legal, all mobiles or accident insurance.
4 Percentage of CA Italia’s customers having at least one contract marketed by CA Assicurazioni, non-life insurance subsidiary of Crédit Agricole Assurances.
5 Ratio of (claims + operating expenses + commissions) to premium income, net of reinsurance, Pacifica scope.
6 Savings, retirement and death and disability.