Allianz Insurance saw its profits for the first nine months of the year hit by the £83m cost of weather-related claims in 2007.

The company also announced the creation of a new personal lines division.

The insurer reported third quarter pre-tax profit of £109.4m, down £62m compared to the same period last year.

Its personal lines book went into the red, reporting a combined operating ratio of 112.4%.

The summer floods in the UK are estimated to have cost insurers over £3bn.

The insurer’s chief executive, Andrew Torrance, insisted that the company would have exceeded its performance last year had it not been for the storms and floods.

“While such a hit to our profits is obviously unwelcome, as an insurance company you have to accept that adverse weather events will occur from time to time.”

Net written premiums increased to £1,028.7m from £947m in the third quarter 2006.

Meanwhile, the company has also announced a restructuring operation that will merge its personal and specialty schemes lines into a new retail insurance division.

The new division will comprise of personal lines insurance – both broker and direct – pet, schemes business and legal protection products.

Allianz retail will be led by Jon Dye, who was previously claims director for the insurer. It will write in excess of £600m GWP in 2007.

Allianz would not yet comment on what staff changes may result from the restructuring.

Torrance said: “Allianz retail will provide us with the platform to leverage the capabilities and resources we possess, within the business, to serve our individual customers to best effect from within a single operation.

“Our aim is to grow our personal business substantially and Allianz retail will provide the most effective platform from which to achieve this.