High net worth insurer Chubb is planning an acquisition spree after celebrating a 1,000% increase in European sales of its personal lines product Masterpiece.

The product has made Chubb the leading high net worth provider in Europe, with written premiums of £66m. Since its launch four years ago the Masterpiece client base has increased from 2,000 to more than 50,000, including 30,000 in the UK. There are another 750,000 Masterpiece policyholders worldwide.

In the first six months of 2000, figures show premium growth is up 30% across Europe and 25% in the UK.

John Sims, co-manager of Masterpiece Europe, said the product's success has laid the foundations for its further expansion in Europe.

He said: “We are looking for sharp, increased growth across Europe by increasing our client base and also by acquisitions.”

The insurer is also planning to invest heavily in its European personal lines division to enable it to launch into new markets and consolidate its existing operations.

Masterpiece is available in the UK, Ireland, Belgium, France, Germany and the Netherlands and Spain.

Chubb Europe said the increasing numbers of affluent households accounts for the phenomenal growth of its Masterpiece product.

It also attributes the large sales to Masterpiece as a package which offers realistic valuations of buildings, contents and valuables.

The niche insurer estimates the HNW market in Europe to be worth around £3.1bn. In 1998, Chubb in the UK acquired the personal lines book of Lloyd's insurer Wellington.