Renewal rates also flat despite increases in specialty lines

Beazley wrote gross premiums of $516m (£304m) in the first quarter of 2014, almost unchanged from the $518m it wrote in the same quarter last year.

The Lloyd’s insurer grew gross written premiums (GWP) in its specialty division, it’s largest unit, by 3% to $190m (Q1 2013: $185m).

But this was offset by a 22% fall in life, accident and health GWP, a 5% drop in property GWP and a 4% fall in marine.

Renewal rates were also flat, as falls elsewhere offset the 3% increase in rates in the specialty division. The biggest reduction was in reinsurance, where rates fell 7%.

Beazley chief executive Andrew Horton said: “We were able to achieve rate increases in specialty lines, our largest business, and maintain flat rate overall in spite of increased competitive pressures, particularly in relation to short tail, catastrophe exposed classes.

“We also achieved a good top line performance, with GWP in the first quarter flat compared with Q1 2013 and we still expect to achieve moderate full year growth.”

Beazley also suffered a small drop in investment returns to 2.1% of invested assets in Q1 2014 from 2.6% in Q1 2013.