MUNICH (dpa-AFX) - Germany's largest car insurer HUK Coburg wants to further increase its prices in the motor vehicle division due to its high losses. Although the company was able to almost double its net profit in 2023 from 146 to 298 million euros due to good capital results, the motor vehicle division posted a deficit of almost 547 million euros in its segment. On Tuesday in Munich, CEO Klaus-Jürgen Heitmann blamed the increase in spare parts prices as well as higher claims due to storms and an unexpectedly high number of accidents and other claims from customers.

With 13.9 million insured vehicles, HUK is the market leader in car insurance in Germany, ahead of Allianz. The company has already increased prices for existing customers by a total of 15 percent in two rounds at the end of 2022 and the end of 2023. The Board of Management made it clear that this will not stop there. "We assume that, in view of the income and earnings situation, we will definitely see further rounds of premium price adjustments like this year next year, possibly even the year after next," said Jorg Rheinländer, the member of the Board of Management responsible for the property and casualty division.

HUK is by no means the only insurance company whose motor vehicle division is currently in the red. The German Insurance Association had already predicted last summer that the industry as a whole would post a deficit in the motor business due to the sharp rise in costs. However, motor policies account for more than half of the Coburg-based group's total income.

In 2023, the car business was not entirely pleasing for HUK in other respects either. Although the Group concluded a total of 1.4 million new motor insurance policies, more than 1.2 million policies were lost at the same time because customers looked for another insurance company. On balance, HUK therefore only gained a good 183,000 new vehicles. This is due to the fact that several million car owners in Germany switch insurers every year in search of a cheaper policy.

Allianz, the number two in the motor insurance market, made up ground in 2023. At the end of 2022, the Munich-based DAX-listed company had just under 9 million vehicles insured, with a net increase of 258,000 vehicles last year.

As business was otherwise good at HUK and the company gained new customers in all areas, CEO Heitmann did not sing a lament. According to him, premium income in all sectors rose by 6.2 percent to nine billion euros. Apart from this, the investment result shot up by 86 percent to 931 million euros thanks to higher interest rates and share prices. On balance, the net profit for the year of 300 million euros was therefore more than twice as high as in 2022./cho/DP/nas