The UK government announced on Monday that the Ogden rate – the discount rate used to calculate how much compensation motor accident victims should be given for serious injuries – will rise to -0.25% from -0.75%.
The change came after the government kicked off a review following pressure from motor insurers whose profits were dented by a cut in the Ogden rate from 2.5% in 2017.
However, the new rate is lower than the range of between 0% and 1% predicted by analysts, meaning insurers will have to pay more than expected.
The higher the Ogden rate, the less insurers have to pay out as a lump sum as it assumes better annual investment returns for those amounts.
The changes will be implemented on August 5.
In a Tuesday statement, Hastings said it expects to take a one-off pre-tax charge £8.4mln in its 2019 financial year.
“Excluding this impact, the company expects to report an underlying calendar year loss ratio for the six months to 30 June 2019 at the top of its 75% to 79% target range,” it said.
Hastings added that it had held reserves based on a rate in the 0-1% range but would make changes to reflect the new rate.
Shares in Hastings fell 5% to 194p in late morning trading.