RSA wrote £760m of net premium in the UK in Q1 2011, up 9% on Q1 2010 levels. The overall increase comes despite cuts in several business lines as the insurer pulled exited unprofitable business.

RSA has also increased rates in all its main UK business segments.

Personal lines net written premiums (NWP) increased 20% to £337m, while commercial lines premium income was almost flat with an increase of 1% to £423m.

In personal lines, the Tesco Pet deal, announced last year, contributed £36m of NWP, equivalent to 13 points of growth. The personal broker segment also grew with household premiums up by 24% and motor panels premiums up by 55%, which RSA attributed to rate action and good underlying panel growth.

However, the growth in these areas was offset to an extent by the 72% reduction in broker motor schemes following action taken to pull out of unprofitable contracts.

In commercial lines, the small 1% growth was in part the result of capacity withdrawal in the mid-market segment, where premiums fell 21% to £95m. This was offset by a 12% increase in marine business to £75m and an 18% growth in the European risk solutions division to £66m.

RSA has continued to increase rates, achieving a 20% rise in personal motor and 5% in household. On the commercial side, the insurer increased rates by 6% for liability business, 5% for property and 10% for motor.

Group-wide, RSA’s Q1 2011 net written premiums were up 8% to £2.1bn. The company said it remains on track to post a 2011 combined operating ratio lower than 95%.

“The group has made a strong start to the year with the excellent top line momentum we generated in 2010 continuing in the first quarter of 2011,” said RSA chief executive Andy Haste in a statement. “Our strategy of driving rate and targeted organic growth supported by acquisitions continues to be successful.”

RSA UK net written premium changes (%)

  • Personal lines overall: +20
  • Commercial lines overall: +1

Personal lines

  • Personal broker household: +24
  • Motor panels: +55
  • Broker motor schemes: -72

Commercial lines

  • Mid-market: -21
  • Marine: +12
  • European risk solutions: +18