Start-up insurer, Novae Insurance, could enter the regional property market in 2007 as it looks to grow its SME book.

The UK subsidiary of Lloyd's insurer Novae Group, formerly SVB, is in discussions about what lines of business it may want to pursue in the next 18 months.

Peter Matson, chairman of Novae Insurance and chief underwriting officer for Novae Group, told Insurance Times: "We are not trying to compete with the likes of Royal & SunAlliance, but we do believe that at some stage towards the end of next year we might look to tap into the SME property book. Again that will depend on market conditions.

"We are also licensed to write personal accident and marine liability business and we will look for opportunities there."

Novae Insurance began trading on 1 July and provides the group with a dual trading platform to service the UK commercial lines market through the new insurer.

It can also write large, international, specialist risks through its flagship Lloyd's business.

It currently writes PI, D&O, medical malpractice and general liability risks and has an expected premium income of £27m for the remainder of 2006, which will rise to £60m in 2007.

Novae Insurance expects to complete 70% of its transactions electronically.