Gross written premiums at broker-only insurer Fortis have grown 21.8% in the third quarter of 2002 to £388m.

This compares to £344m for the same period last year.

Fortis chief executive Barry Smith said growth had been achieved profitably. The company recorded a £22m profit in the announcement of its third quarter results, up 14% on the same period last year.

Motor premiums rose 7.8% to £287m in the third quarter, commercial premiums rose 83% to £18.6m and household rose to £62m - up 32% on last year.

Smith warned that the motor market was heading for rate rises. He said rates were stagnant, but claims were building up. If claims continued to rise without rate rises, Fortis would be forced to reduce volumes, warned Smith. He said that all lines must be written at better than 100% combined ratio.

Smith also announced the launch of a commercial lines system that works on the same IBM AS400 platform as iFortis' personal lines system.

When a broker sends a request, the system generates a fax or email that states which underwriter will be dealing with the quote, contact details, and confirmation of quote target date.

The Fortis SME Quote System transfers the quote to a live policy. Smith said that it was a straight through system. That means details are keyed in only once.