'We are back and we are credible', says chief exec Brown

RSA has almost finalised the products and infrastructure for its return to commercial insurance for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), and is now focusing on building brokers’ confidence in the offering, according to UK chief executive Adrian Brown.

Brown said: “We have got an ongoing product refresh and development programme, which takes us through to the end of the year, but most of the products are now online.

“We are now at a stage where we need to persuade brokers that we are seriously back and we are credible. I am happy we have got the infrastructure, the products and the processes in place, but we have got to regain brokers’ confidence.”

Brown said the company had introduced a team of people it refers to as e-traders, whose job is to help brokers get comfortable with using RSA again for SME business.

As a result, Brown believes the company is well placed to capitalise when commercial insurance rates harden. He said: “There have been plenty of hard markets in the past, where people have missed the boat through not being ready.”

SME business is one of the areas Brown has earmarked for growth, along with European business, marine and broker personal lines.

The company reported a 10% growth in total UK general insurance net written premiums overall for the first nine months of 2010 to £2.18bn from £1.98bn. The company expects full-year growth to be close to the nine-month level.

Within the total UK general insurance result, the company reported an 11% increase in personal lines net premium and a 10% increase in commercial lines.

While the company is already growing in commercial lines, Brown said that this growth is mostly coming from specialist lines rather than more mainstream business.

“Growth in both marine and Europe was in double digits in the first nine months of the year and I would expect us to continue to see growth in those areas,” he said.