The IUA revealed premiums rose at a "steady" rate in the London Market during the last quarter. Results also showed improving loss ratios, falling from 70.4% in 2000 to 9.8% in 2002.

Marine, aviation and transport business produced premiums of £74m and claims of just £4.8m. The IUA said that premiums have risen from £742.7m in 2000 to £1122.8m last year.

An IUA statement said: "The statistics show premium of £856.7m for 2002 - more than double the total of £426.6m from 2000. For the first three months of 2003 this sector has posted premiums of £35.3m."

IUA chief executive Marie-Louise Rossi said: "These new statistics offer a much better insight into the state of the London company market. More comprehensive and produced more regularly, they offer a much improved service to the association's members."