Around 300 UK businesses are set to benefit from plans by property mutual FM Global to return £195m to its policyholders in 2004.

The distribution, which will take the form of discounted premiums, is a result of lower than expected property losses in recent years, said director of European markets and business development at FM Global, Martin Fessey.

In 2002, FM Global recorded a combined ratio of 77% and Fessey described 2003 as "a very satisfactory year again".

In order to qualify, policyholders must have had a policy with FM Global by 30 September 2003.

They will receive the saving, which will be graduated to provide a higher discount to long-term clients, when they renew the policy in 2004.

Customers who have held FM Global policies for less than five years will receive a 6% discount, increasing to 12% for customers who have been with FM Global for five to 19 years.

Policyholders who have been with the company for longer than 20 years will receive a 15% discount.

Fessey said that around 75% of the return, or about £146m, will be allocated to policyholders who have been with FM Global for more than five years.

In 2001, FM Global returned £142m in expense savings to policyholders.