Equity pushes Lloyd's to alter capacity rules

Equity Red Star is aiming to increase by £15m the household business it transacts by EDI over the ne...

Equity Red Star is aiming to increase by £15m the household business it transacts by EDI over the next 18 months, as it fights against a restrictive Lloyd's rule.

To boost Equity's drive into this area, it has hired Jane Coppard as household underwriting manager. She joined last month from MMA.

Although the motor market at Lloyd's is relatively small, for a syndicate to class itself as a 'motor insurer' it cannot write more than 15% of its business in other, non-motor areas, for solvency reasons. This means that Equity is holding ongoing negotiations with Lloyd's to try to increase that cap to perhaps 20%, said Stuart Heath, the syndicate's non-motor underwriter, adding that it was still "early days".

On the household expansion, Mr Heath said: "We've been writing household since 1990. I wouldn't say it's been a significant part of our business - it's always been under 5% of the capacity. This is about providing a balance between motor and non-motor business."

He said household had been a "constant performer" over the past five years with, for example, its book in let property growing by 40% since 2002.

He said the full cycle EDI, which Ms Coppard would be in charge of, would be launched in December, and aimed to achieve between £10m to £15m within 18-24 months.

This push will be achieved mainly through provincial brokers, with which Equity does not currently do much business, choosing instead to concentrate on brands and Lloyd's brokers.

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