Commercial property insurer beats targets in first year

Commercial property insurer Affiliated FM has expanded into France, less than a year after its UK launch, after being inundated with business.

The insurer, a division of US property mutual FM Global, has already passed the 12-month target it set on launch and is now aiming at £10m gross written premium in the UK

It has opened an office in Paris in response to demand from brokers and clients and has not ruled out moving into other countries in the coming year.

Affiliated FM director Jeff Fields said he expected a good reception from the French market, where Affiliated FM will compete with the traditional composites.

"In a climate where capacity can be hard to find, brokers and property owners in France now have a new, financially strong alternative to their existing markets," he said.

"We're able to offer capacity that no one else can and, in a market where everyone is shrinking, we've increased our capacity.

"We understand the risk, so we write 100% of the risk and we don't quota share."

Affiliated FM targets "middle market" business with premiums from £50,000 to £250,000, with an all risk property policy called proVision.

It covers risks such as machine and metalworking shops, plastic working and assembly, real estate and retail and commercial operations, as well as boiler and machinery, inland marine, builders' risk and ocean cargo.

Fields said Affiliated FM was "overwhelmed" by the demand for cover following its UK launch.

"We were surprised at how well we've been received, but we're set up to meet further demand from brokers," he said.

Fields said the insurer had already established relationships with at least seven brokers and would consider working with up to 20.

He appointed Andy Macleod, formerly of Independent Insurance and Royal & SunAlliance, in May to concentrate on broker relations.

"He brings market knowledge and experience dealing with UK brokers, which has really helped us expand," Fields said.