But the insurer said it had recently seen indications that premiums were starting to rise

LV= has reported that its gross written premiums (GWP) fell by 3.7% to £720m in the first half of 2014 compared with £748 in H1 2013.

Premiums earned via its direct channel fell 3.5% to £408m from £423m, while income derived through its broker channel dropped by 4% to £312m from £325m.

The worst performing division was motor, which saw its premiums fall by 11.4% to £495m from £559m.

However, the commercial division performed the best, with a 21.9% increase to £117m in premiums, compared with £96m in 2013.

This was followed by home, which saw an 18.7% increase in premiums to £89m (2013: 75m).

LV= said the overall GWP reduction in general insurance sales was driven by lower rates in motor, which forms a large part of its book.

Group chief executive Mike Rogers added, however: “We have recently seen indications that premiums are starting to increase and we expect this to continue over the second half of the year.”

The insurer said the growth in the home and SME book was in line with its strategy of increasing customer base in these business lines.

In total the number of LV= general insurance policyholders has grown by 230,000 to 4.5m.