Mutual insurer ups maximum sum insured

LV= is expanding its commercial lines proposition by upping the maximum sum insured it will write from £30m to £50m next year.

The move is part of the mutual insurer’s attempt to position itself as a commercial insurer rather than an SME and personal lines insurer.

LV= began writing commercial risks through brokers six years ago. In the past 18 months it has underwritten risks for larger property owning businesses and now wants to win a larger slice of their business.

“In the past 12 to 18 months we’ve had success with larger property owning businesses. They’ll have some larger sum insured buildings – we are expanding our appetite to include them and get a bigger spread of business,” commercial director Mike Crane told Insurance Times.

“It’s a reaction to what brokers have said they want to do with us.”

LV= will trade with brokers from nine regional offices as well as via e-trading.

“We improve e-trading where we can. It’s about creating options for the brokers about how they deal with us.

“It’s dangerous for insurers to impose how they want to trade,” Crane added.

LV= Broker gets 90% of its business from around 200 regional brokers and Crane said it plans to grow more with national brokers next year.

Commercial lines is a growth area for LV=. Last year commercial gross written premium grew 16% to £160m, fuelled by SME growth. Including personal lines, LV= wrote £1,485m in 2012.