Insurer seeks 20% growth in household business and 14% in health

Legal & General is aiming to smash the £400m premium mark in its household book during 2004.

Managing director of L&G's general insurance division, Ian Viney, told Insurance Times that he wanted to grow the household book by 20% "through new business". The book is currently worth £350m.

Health insurance, particularly private medical insurance (PMI), would be another target market for the company this year, Viney said.

He said that he wanted to replicate in 2004 last year's growth of 14%.

"We are looking at introducing cash plans," he added. L&G's health business is currently worth £40m.

He said that private motor would not be a major focus, and rubbished reports last November that L&G was to re-enter the light commercial market. "We have no plans to do that," he said.

Viney said the growth in L&G's household book will come primarily from brokers and mortgage lenders. He said that he was looking to take over the handling of the sales process from mortgage lenders who are concerned about FSA compliance.

"The lenders are concerned about the compliance implications of making advised sales. We will relieve this issue by handling the sales process through our direct arm. We are currently working with two lenders on this."

Viney also said he would not rule out affinity deals with supermarkets. "We are interested in this area. It provides good access to customers, and we are increasingly set up to do it," he said, pointing to a recently concluded deal with J Sainsbury to sell life insurance.