Chaucer will focus on the recovering UK private motor market in 2007 as the commercial motor market continues to suffer from falling rates.

Unveiling its interim results, the Lloyd’s insurer said it would be taking into account a predicted upswing in private motor rates in the coming months.

It launched two motor products in the first half of the year and was gearing up for a sales drive.

Chaucer chief under-writing officer Bob Stuchbery said: “We have been planning this move for about 18 months. Sales teams are now in place visiting high street brokers, and we are looking at using aggregator sites. We are getting ready for a hardening market.”

Chaucer said the private market had benefited from premium rate increases over the past 12 months.

But fleet market business volumes fell by 40% due to competition.

The company’s motor division reported an underwriting profit of £3.3m, compared to £2.2m in 2006.

Chaucer Holdings reported interim pre-tax profits up 89% to £47.9m compared to £25.3m in 2006.

Gross written premiums increased to £324m from £315m a year before.