Premiums fall by 5% to £1.03bn

Listed Lloyd’s insurer Amlin has revealed a fall in rates over the renewals season.

In a trading update released this week, Amlin said that large commercial property insurance rates had been worst hit, falling by as much as 20%.

International catastrophe rates reduced by 12% on average, and US catastrophe reinsurance rates fell by 10%.

Amlin’s £298m written income so far this year represents a 7% reduction on 2007. Overall renewal rates for Amlin have declined by 8% with a retention ratio of 87%.

However, Amlin said it would make an acceptable return at these levels.

It added that property reinsurance rates remained satisfactory across the whole portfolio and that the reinsurance market still offered an acceptable prospect for return.

Rate changes in different classes varied wildly with Amlin’s marine account seeing only a 1% fall in rates, the statement said.

The group’s gross written premiums in 2007 were £1.03bn, down 5% over the same period in 2006.

Analyst Numis was happy that rate falls were not as severe as expected.

“We expect improved sentiment to drive a recovery in the shares following a decline of 22% since October last year,” it said, reiterating its ‘buy’ recommendation and 390p target price.