The week's winners
Windsor up 7.3%
Chaucer up 4.7%

The week's losers
AIG down 3.1
St Paul down 2.8

And now for a game of guess the mystery insurer.

Its commercial property b …

The week's winners
Windsor up 7.3%
Chaucer up 4.7%

The week's losers
AIG down 3.1
St Paul down 2.8

And now for a game of guess the mystery insurer.

Its commercial property book has been running at a combined ratio of 95.3% since the beginning of the year. Its commercial motor book is at 96.4% over the same period. Its commercial casualty figure is 97.6%.

So what is this mystery company? Some marginal player just dabbling in the commercial market hoping to catch a few crumbs as others feast on the fattest rate rises?

Nope. The mystery company is, of course, Royal & SunAlliance (R&SA).

The same R&SA that has been taking such a hiding for missing its overall combined ratio target of 103% - a target it aimed to hit by the end of last year.

And the very same R&SA that has seen particularly sluggish action from its shareprice for months now.

When R&SA released annual results - strikingly poorer than CGNU - this newspaper was careful to point out the gap between the two giants of the UK insurance scene was far narrower than it appeared.

In many ways the gap now seems narrower than ever.

R&SA is running a combined ratio of 98.8% over the whole of its commercial book - where all the big profits are likely to be found this year - and Norwich Union is looking more like a paper tiger.

This week's revelations from Norwich include the fact that only 60% of claims handling staff have confidence in the company's future. Not a good sign.

The counter-argument, that staff morale was always going to suffer after the merger, seems decidedly weak and chief executive Patrick Snowball cannot afford to let the crisis of confidence drag on.

Yes, staff may be expected to feel underpaid and undervalued after a long period of upheaval. But they also believe the company is taking advantage of its customers. If so, it won't be long before the customers wise up to it.

In a memo to staff last week, tellingly headed `Don't Panic', Snowball attempted to rally his troops. But he is anxious to drive down costs and gave no hint he was going to address morale and service.

Staff could be forgiven for thinking things will get worse before they get better.

Which makes R&SA look a better bet if you fancy a flutter on an insurance stock.

Trading earlier this week at 282p, it is still vulnerable to catastrophes and is being talked down by investors worried about slow progress on capital raising.

But that should help its underwriters to avoid less profitable risks, preparing the way for a good healthy bounce on the bottom line later this year and into next.

By no means has it taken the chequered flag yet, but R&SA is still in the race.