Residential and nursing care homes policy launched

Fortis is to launch a range of new products this year in a bid to grow its SME commercial book.

The insurer this week launched a policy for residential and nursing homes as part of its drive into the commercial sector (see box) and said further products would follow.

Chief executive Barry Smith said: "Fortis has a graduated product range of commercial packages aimed at SMEs and will continue to develop products to fulfill the needs of commercial customers in these areas."

He added the company would also be investing in new affinity partnerships following the acquisition of financial services consultancy Affinity Solutions in January.

Meanwhile, Fortis reported gross written premiums of £164.3m for the first quarter of 2006 - 15% up on the first quarter of 2005.

Smith said: "The figures have exceeded our revenue expectations, with motor, household, travel and commercial all providing excellent returns to the business in terms of volume and value."

In recent years Fortis has seen an 11.7% annual growth (1999-2005) in its motor book compared to an 8.6% increase in the UK market as a whole.

It has consistently achieved a motor combined ratio below 100% - from 93.8% in 2002 to 97.4% in 2004.

There has also been growth in its travel (30.5%) and household (27.3%) accounts, with its household combined ratio falling from 97.7% in 2003 to 90.7% in 2004.