Private motor up 9% helps net premiums rise 7%

RSA announced net written premiums up 5% to £1.9bn in the first quarter of 2010, with the UK market up 7%. It said it expected the year’s combined ratio to be 95%.

It said UK personal motor rates rose 9% and household 3%. Commercial motor rates rose 4%, liability premiums rose 6% and property 5%.

Q1 net written premiums £m (2009 in brackets)

  • Scandinavia 663 (665)
  • Canada 231 (198)
  • Other Europe 135 (138)
  • Total International 1,029 (1,001)
  • UK Personal 280 (263 )
  • Commercial 417 (389)
  • Total UK 697 (652)
  • Emerging Markets 204 (195)
  • Group Re 8 (4)
  • Total Group 1,938 (1,852)

RSA said: “During the first quarter, we completed our current UK and Scandinavian cost savings programmes and we continued to push rate across the business.

“In February, an earthquake struck Chile causing widespread damage. As announced at the time, RSA is the largest insurer in Chile and while the situation is still evolving, we continue to expect an estimated cost from the event of around £30m, net of reinsurance.

“In the first three months we have also experienced increased large losses and severe winter weather across the UK, Ireland and Scandinavia, the impact of which was around £80m greater than would normally be expected.

“Despite these losses we continue to expect to deliver a COR of around 95% in 2010 and, as previously reported, we also expect investment income for 2010 to be around £540m and total gains to be around 2009 levels.

300 years

Andy Haste, group chief executive said: “We have built good top-line momentum in the first quarter of 2010, with strong growth in the UK, Canada and Latin America. As we celebrate our 300th anniversary, we look to the future with confidence.

“We are well placed with a great set of businesses with strong positions in attractive markets and we remain confident of our ability to deliver targeted growth and sustainable profitable performance.”