Ecclesiastical Insurance has withdrawn any unaccepted premium quotes that were outstanding on October 5.

The insurer is now offering quotes based on new rates. The rates are understood to be 40% hi ...

Ecclesiastical Insurance has withdrawn any unaccepted premium quotes that were outstanding on October 5.

The insurer is now offering quotes based on new rates. The rates are understood to be 40% higher than existing ones.

Ecclesiastical managing director Graham Doswell refused to confirm the new rate rise. He said: "I won't comment on generality."

He added that individual cases would be looked at on their merits.

The new rates will apply to all intermediary business. It is understood that sharp rises in reinsurance rates are behind Ecclesiastical's move.

But Doswell said the company's reinsurance was well established and ran to the end of the calendar year. "As far as this company is concerned, we have in place a secure reinsurance programme," he said.

Doswell claimed the events in New York had acted as a catalyst for the insurance market to charge more realistic premiums.

"One has to appreciate the commercial insurance market has been running at unprofitable levels," he said.

"The events of September mean the general unprofitability can't be allowed to carry on."

Ecclesiastical said it was continuing to write new business, saying it had no intention of stopping writing the right business at the right price.

  • XL Capital has estimated that its gross claims from the September 11 terrorist attacks on the US will total $1.8bn (£1.22bn). Net of reinsurance, it expected its exposure to be about $700m (£474m), in line with its previous estimates. However, it said it was also hit by other events in Sri Lanka and France.

    The president and chief executive officer of the Bermuda-based company, Brian M O'Hara, said: "Although we are confident about our prospects, the third quarter of 2001 has been the worst in history of the property and casualty insurance industry.

    "In addition to our claims resulting from the attack on the US, our third quarter results will include a provision of approximately $100m (£67.9m) for other events, including the results of newly-acquired Winterthur International and losses stemming from the airport attack in Sri Lanka, the recent explosion in Toulouse, France and our Lloyd's operations."

    The company also emphasised that 96% of its reinsurers fell into rating agency Standard & Poor's categories of A or better.

    As at June 30, XL had consolidated assets of approximately $18.7bn (£12.7bn) and consolidated shareholders' equity of approximately $5.7bn (£3.9bn).