Insurer plans to open new regional offices and increase staffing levels

Liberty Mutual Insurance Europe (LMIE) is making a push into UK mid-market commercial lines in preparation for a hardening market.

LMIE chief executive Sean Rocks told Insurance Times: “We need to be ready and have our structures ready if we are going to maximise any positive market change.”

The insurer intends to open offices in the Midlands and South East by May and three regional offices within 12 months. It already has offices in Bristol, Birmingham, Cheltenham and Dublin. LMIE also has a 12-month plan to increase staff in the mid-market commercial division from 70 to 110.

LMIE has around £60m gross written premium in the UK commercial sector, but Rocks said the push for market share was about increasing profits through stricter underwriting.

Rocks said the company’s strategy was not for short-term gain. “I don’t think market hardening is going to happen this year,” he said. “This is a long-term, five-year plan.”