Wellington has set its sights on establishing a trading platform outside of the Lloyd's market, with Bermuda on the list of contenders.

The Lloyd's insurer said it had a "longer term" plan to achieve business growth by developing a non-Lloyd's platform.

But, Preben Prebensen, Wellington chief executive, insisted that although it has a

number of destinations in mind, the insurer's primary focus was to execute its 2006 plan and invest in its core insurance and reinsurance business in Lloyd's and the US.

The insurer's reported pre-tax losses were £26.2m in 2005 after a £140m impact from the US hurricane season. Its combined ratio was 122.6%.

Wellington said it had significantly adjusted its exposure in catastrophe-exposed areas including reducing the size of its property business line.

Prebensen said: "We have reduced our exposure to extreme events, but at the same time we are still in a position to benefit from the much harder market."

He insisted the company would be writing more business in 2006.

Prebensen said: "We have recognised issues and we have responded to them."

Wellington's Syndicate 2020 will have a capacity of £800m in 2006, up from £730m last year, to write insurance and reinsurance business including marine, energy, property, accident and health and aviation.