Helvetia registered an above-average number of intense severe weather events in the second half of 2023. Storms, hailstorms and heavy rainfall led to considerable damage, mainly in the market units of Switzerland, Italy and Germany. As the leading insurer, Helvetia was also affected by a major fire in Switzerland at the beginning of July 2023 and recorded other smaller natural and major loss events in several market units. As part of its half-year 2023 reporting, Helvetia estimated and communicated the net claims amount of the severe weather events in Switzerland and Italy in July to be in the mid double-digit million range. Helvetia estimated the net claims expenses for the major fire in the low double-digit millions. Due to the above-average number of intensive claims events in recent months, Helvetia currently expects a total net claims burden from natural catastrophes and major loss events of around CHF 200 million in the third quarter of 2023. This means that the claims amount from natural and major loss events in the third quarter alone was around one and a half times higher than in 2022 as a whole.
Continued strong capitalisation
Covering the financial risks arising from natural catastrophes and major loss events is part of an insurance company's core business. Helvetia remains a reliable partner for customers and shareholders, even in the current challenging market environment. The Group's capitalisation remains strong, with an estimated SST ratio of around 300 percent at the end of September 2023. Helvetia's diversified business setup also contributes to its high level of resilience. Helvetia is sticking to its proven dividend policy and confirms its ambition to pay out more than CHF 1.65 billion in dividends for the financial years 2021 to 2025.