Group to expand into pet, travel and motor insurance

Legal & General is planning to expand from home insurance into pet, travel and motor.

General insurance managing director Duncan Finch has vowed to remain competitive, but “not to chase rates”, claiming L&G’s strong brand and service will win customers. He said: “We won’t chase price or volume. We will price for risks, take that rate to market and offer great service.”

L&G has a gross written premium (GWP) of £281m. About £255m is household and the rest payment protection products. It is likely to underwrite pet and travel, distributing directly and through brokers. Motor products will probably be brokered to a panel of underwriters.

L&G will attract customers through brokers, independent financial advisors and by cross-selling through its investments, life and pension arms.

It joined Compare the Market and MoneySupermarket two months ago, offering a cheaper, stripped down and a full household product.

Finch joined L&G as managing director in October last year, replacing Peter Graham. Graham positioned the business well to expand in personal lines this year.

In the first quarter of 2011, L&G’s GWP was £71m – 17% higher than the same period last year. Although its general insurance portfolio is small compared with its investments, pensions and life cover, it is included in the group’s wider strategy, which sees the UK as a growth market.