Downturn won't hit ultra-rich, says insurer.

Chubb insists the global financial downturn will not damage the prospects of its new ultra high net worth product.

The insurer is to roll out its Masterpiece Signature policy in January for clients who pay premiums of more than £10,000.

The policy offers a number of enhancements to its original Signature product, launched in 2003, including increased legal expenses cover from £100,000 to £500,000.

Masterpiece Signature will also provide access to a dedicated underwriting team that will include more appraisers and claims experts.

Simon Mobey, personal lines manager at Chubb Insurance, said the ultra high net worth sector was immune from the downturn.

“Strategically, it is a good time to be launching because what we have seen over the past three months is that the ultra high net worth market is better insulated than the high net worth or medium net worth markets,” he said.

Mobey said he hoped “to almost double” the growth of existing ultra high net worth business.

“When we set up Signature in 2003, it accounted for 23% of our personal lines business,” he said. “At the moment it is about 30%. We plan to grow that to 50% over the next three to five years.”

But he said the insurer would continue to maintain underwriting discipline and would remain cautious over taking on new business that had a frequent claims history.