Agency Underwriting Limited (AUL) has switched underwriters for most of its £2m property-related book from the Lloyd's insurer Wellington to the company-market insurer UK Insurance (UKI).

AUL managing director Richard Lambeth said the move was to ensure a long-term commitment to the broker market and maintain stability on prices.

He said that UKI has increased its claim-settling authority, giving AUL wider authority to increase its capacity to do new business.

UK Insurance announced a gross premium of £120 million in the past year. It has an ‘A' rating from Standard and Poor's.

“We have been looking to strike a long-term arrangement with a quality insurer who understands and respects the intermediary market,” he said.

Wellington announced a drop in pre-tax profits for 1999 to £5.1m, from £25.6m the year before.

The Lloyd's insurer has just lost its bid to acquire fellow Lloyd's insurer Limit to Australian-based QBE, after the latter upped its offer to 140p per Limit share.

AUL is projecting growing its book to £2.8m for next year. Three quarters of their product revenue is generated through lettings, unoccupied and holiday homes.

Commercial business accounts for 8%, with the remainder constituting their other product services, such as pet and caravan insurance.

AUL is based in Colchester, Essex.