Insurance Australia Group (IAG) chairman Brian Schwartz promises not to sell troubled car insurer

Insurance Australia Group (IAG) has promised not to sell troubled Lloyd’s insurer Equity Red Star.

Chairman Brian Schwartz told IAG’s annual meeting yesterday the UK performance – which is headed by Equity Red Star – had been disappointing, and there would be a small operating loss in the first half of 2010/2011 before improving in the second half.

But Schwartz said: "I don't think now is a good time to exit the UK.”

The UK loss caused upset among shareholders, with one describing it as a ‘graveyard for Australian insurers’, according to Australian newspaper reports.

Equity Red Star received a £206m capital injection earlier this year to strengthen reserves as it struggled with prior year claims.

Equity Red Star has raised premiums, exited unprofitable broker relationships and improved claims management procedures.