Amlin’s £192m losses put ACI unit in focus

CHARLES Philipps, Amlin’s chief executive, defended the insurer’s underwriting strategy yesterday after unexpectedly large losses pushed the firm £192m into the red yesterday.

Amlin paid £314m of catastrophe claims in the first half following earthquakes in New Zealand and Japan, but Philipps said its underwriting discipline remained strong.

Philipps was also quizzed by analysts over the performance of its Amlin Corporate Insurance (ACI) division in Europe, the former Fortis business it took over in 2009.

Despite an overhaul of its underwriting ACI was hit by large losses totalling €51.2m (£44.7m) in the first half and €26.5m in June alone.

Philipps said ACI had “a particularly unusual and exceptional number of large claims” in the first half, but said there had been no further major claims in either July or August.

“We have reviewed the risk associated with these large claims and we think they are perfectly well written,” he said. “We think this is a bit of bad luck as opposed to bad underwriting.”

Amlin said reinsurance and insurance rates had risen at varying levels in response to the high catastrophe losses of the first half, but Philipps said there were still some areas where “we still feel the pricing is not what it should be”.