UK motor up 11% and forecast to rise 13.9% this year

Chaucer announced Q1 GWP was marginally down at £250.1m (2009 Q1: £257.8m) – but up at constant exchange rates. It said it beat its 2% rate increase target, achieving 3%. UK motor rates rose 11% with new business and retention rates remaining stable.

Chaucer repeated that it had had higher than expected industry catastrophe losses for the year to date but said previously announced Chilean earthquake, European windstorm Xynthia and Deepwater Horizon energy loss estimates remain unchanged.

It said energy rates are already rising because of the BP/Transocean Deepwater Horizon oil rig claim.

Opportunities now

Bob Stuchbery, chief executive officer, said: "This has been a challenging period for the insurance industry, dominated by high profile natural and manmade catastrophes.

“Despite exposure to these events, Chaucer's performance was robust and the business is taking advantage of the opportunities now available.

Gross written premium income was £250.1m (2009 Q1 £257.8m) for the first quarter of 2010. At constant exchange rates, growth in premium income was £3.0m (1.2%). The following table provides an analysis of income for the period.

Q1 GWP £m (2009 Restated in brackets)

  • UK 36.1 (34.8)
  • Marine 49.1 (62.0)
  • Energy 44.1 (38.9)
  • Aviation 11.8 (12.0)
  • Property 77.3 (78.3)
  • Specialist Lines 24.4 (20.3)
  • Nuclear 5.1 (5.9)
  • Total divisional income 247.9 (252.2)
  • Syndicate participations? 2.3 (5.6)
  • Run off -0.1 (-)
  • Total income 250.1 (257.8)

At the beginning of May, we completed our review of losses from the Deepwater Horizon oil platform loss in the Gulf of Mexico. We estimated a net loss to Syndicate 1084 of US$25m. Energy rates are now hardening in response to this loss, reversing the reductions of the first quarter.

Chaucer said: “Opportunities are now arising for our international property account, following a series of high profile losses, including the Chilean and Haiti earthquakes, European windstorm Xynthia and the Australian floods.

“We are seeking rate increases in affected areas, especially for international treaty business.

It forecast an annual rate increase for UK motor rates of 13.9%.

Chaucer’s shareholder meeting is at midday.