RJ Kiln has blamed high property rates for almost exhausting its £260m property capacity for 2004.

The Lloyd's insurer said that when it looked at its business plan for Syndicate 510 in October last year it expected property rates to turn down in the first half of 2004.

But Robert Chase, director of underwriting at RJ Kiln, said: "The rates held up and so did the volume. We haven't yet exhausted our capacity but we are taking preventative measures to ensure this doesn't happen. Therefore, we will not be taking on any new business and will be selective on all renewals."

Chase denied RJ Kiln had any standby capacity. "It's not in our plans to seek additional capital by either diverting it from elsewhere or by a qualifying quota share," he said.