Motor insurer Highway is gearing up for an aggressive product development drive as rates in the motor market harden.

The group, which last week reported that tough market conditions had hit its 2006 profits, said it would look to broaden its motor portfolio and make a second attempt to enter the home insurance market.

Chris Hill, managing director of Highway Insurance, said: "If rates start to harden we will be more aggressive in terms of products. We will expand what we write in terms of motor and will have another go at household."

He added: "There are areas in motor where we can increase our foothold. I would like to grow the commercial vehicle account, and there are areas around comprehensive cover where we can do more. We will work closely with some brokers to develop products."

Last month, Insurance Times revealed (News 22 February) that Highway had put its plans to enter the home insurance market on hold after a disagreement with its underwriting partner.

Hill said: "We learned lessons from the household pilot. Our next attempt will incorporate some of those lessons."

He added that a new pilot would begin next month and would be "low key".

Meanwhile, Andrew Gibson is set to return to Highway as chief executive within weeks. He left in 2005.

Last week Highway's pre-tax profit fell to £19.1m from £27.3m a year earlier.

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