£70m increase boosted by Momentum and First State acquisitions

Acquisitions and new platforms helped drive a 19% increase in gross written premium for Lloyd’s insurer Beazley for the first three months of 2010.

The insurer, reporting in US dollars for the first time, wrote $438.2m (£296.6m) in gross premiums for the year to 31 March, up from $368.9m in the same period last year.

Group finance director Martin Bride said that of the almost $70m increase on gross written premium, $15m came from the accident and life business, which was formed from Beazley’s acquisition of Momentum Underwriting Management in November 2008.

A further $27m was contributed by US commercial property insurance underwriting manager First State Management, which Beazley bought in April last year from Hartford Financial Services Group.

Beazley’s sidecar syndicate 6107 accounted for between $7m and $8m, while the balance was made up of organic growth.

Despite the 19% increase in Q1, Bride is expecting the full year to be in line with 2009.

“Overall, we are expecting our year-on-year written premiums to be pretty flat, given how we see the markets currently,” he said. “If there are any further events that lead to market-hardening, that would change.”

Beazley reported an average rate decline of 1% across all its business lines.