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Johannesburg – The country’s biggest short-term insurer Santam (SNT) said on Thursday that its net underwriting margin had fallen below the company’s medium target range owing to an increase in claim estimates.

The insurer said in an operational update in November that the underwriting result had been negatively impacted by the adverse weather conditions in Gauteng and the Eastern Cape in October 2012 and by the extensive fires in St Francis Bay in November 2012.

At the time‚ the operational update also noted that the net underwriting margin was at the lower end of the medium term target range of 5% to 7%.

However‚ the company said on Thursday that following increases in the claim estimates relating to these events and the continuing adverse weather conditions across the country‚ the net underwriting margin was now below the medium term target range. - I-Net Bridge