Andrew Horton, Beazley

Lloyd’s insurer Beazley wrote gross premiums of $538m (£401.6m) in the first quarter of 2016, up 7% on the $546m it wrote in the same quarter last year.

The increase came despite a 1% cut in rates in the quarter.

The Lloyd’s insurer also reported a drop in investment return to 0.7% of invested assets, compared with 1% in the first quarter of 2015.

Beazley chief executive Andrew Horton (pictured) said: “The continued expansion of our underwriting teams, including a London based small business team focusing on healthcare professional liability business, helped us to grow our top line by 7% in the first quarter of the year, despite the continued competitive market conditions which have characterised recent periods.”

Life, accident and health business showed the biggest growth in the quarter, with gross written premium (GWP) increasing 33% to $48m. Specialty lines, Beazley’s biggest business line, grew GWP by 15% to $261m. Reinsurance grew by 1% to $89m.

This growth offset GWP reductions in Beazley’s marine, political risk and contingency and property lines.