Insurer to focus on commercial and household business

MMA Insurance will pull further away from the private motor market in 2006 as it looks to develop its growing commercial and household business.

The insurer has reduced its private motor account from around 60% of its overall portfolio in 2001 to just 42% in 2005.

It expects that figure to fall below 40% in 2006 as the company continues to respond to the down-cycle which has hit the UK private motor market.

Derek Plummer, MMA commercial director, told Insurance Times: "We work on the discipline that each MMA account has to stand alone and pay for itself.

"We were forced in 2005 to put 5% on private motor rates and then lost 14% of the account."

Plummer said MMA would focus on expanding its property business, particularly in SME and household, which also includes motor, construction and a bespoke commercial facility (commercial combined) to complete its range of products for SME businesses.

The company has seen "significant growth" in both lines, which represent more than one quarter of its income, after establishing household relationships with both Lloyds TSB and HSBC as well as developing a regional broker network to support its commercial insurance ambitions.

Plummer said: "The strategy for MMA, which we have been gradually rolling out over the last couple of years, has seen us pushing more towards becoming a balanced general insurer rather than an insurer dominated by general motor."

Meanwhile, MMA has reported record profits for the third consecutive year. In 2005, the insurer made a pre-tax profit of £27.7m, compared to £22m in 2004.