Chaucer is eyeing the UK property and liability markets as potential areas for growth in an attempt to double in size in the long term.

The specialist Lloyd's insurer also said it could use its own UK motor line as a means of distributing business to facilitate that growth.

Ewen Gilmour, Chaucer's chief executive, said the insurer would consider setting up "small operations" of £2m to £5m in size "in or outside the Lloyd's market".

But he dismissed suggestions that the company

will follow other Lloyd's managing agents in setting up a trading platform in Bermuda or an independent FSA-regulated company in the UK.

Chaucer announced last week that it made pre-tax profits of £11.9m in 2005, down from £33m in 2004.

This was despite record hurricane losses of £68.5m.