Driving without insurance should be made a disqualification offence, AXA chief executive and chairman of the Motor Insurers Bureau Andy Homer has said.

However, he also said disqualification should not necessarily be automatic as in the case of drink drivers. Instead, courts should use discretion.

“What we are saying is that driving without insurance should lead to disqualification to distinguish between genuine people who, for example, happen to forget to renew insurance because they're on holiday as opposed to those who never had insurance in the first place,” he said.

Homer said, however, that the cost of claims was rising and uninsured drivers were a significant factor, which could no longer be ignored.

He made his comments as AXA Insurance's parent, Sun Life Provincial Holdings (SLPH), announced a massive 32% jump in operating profit.

Among the key financial highlights of the SLPH results were a contribution of £21.6 million from GRE to the balance sheet in the two months since its acquisition and a 15% increase on operating profits on life and pension business to £118.9m.

AXA Insurance reported net written premiums up 28% while the combined ratio improved to 100.8% from 103.1%.

Homer said he would like to see AXA's direct business form a much greater proportion of the company's motor portfolio than is currently the case. He said the claims ratio appeared to be much more easily improved on the direct side than it did on either the intermediaries or the schemes business.

Homer said his mission was to make AXA the most profitable general insurer in the market.

“My revenue is not an extension of my manhood and my manhood is not an extension of my revenue,” he said.

“Size isn't everything,” he added.