Fortis Insurance chief executive Barry Smith has warned that insurers’ hunger for market share could hamper the recovery of the commercial lines market.

Smith said that, despite the major insurers’ moves to increase commercial lines rates, there was still uncertainty as to whether rates would increase across the market.

“The commercial market is still sluggish. I am not seeing any signs of recovery,” he said. “There is still a hunger for market share, which will affect whether rates increase or not.”

His comments came as Fortis announced its results for the first nine months of 2007. Gross written premiums (GWP) rose 12% to £581.5m in the period, with private car business reporting a 20% year-on-year rise in premium income to £360.1m.

The insurer’s commercial lines GWP grew by 9%.