Chaucer sees income slide

City A.M. Reporter
LLOYD’S insurer Chaucer said gross written premiums slipped in the first quarter, in a period marked by higher- than-expected catastrophe losses, with energy sector rates to harden.

Chaucer said gross written premium income slipped to £250m from £257.8m, dented by lower premiums at its marine unit.

“This has been a challenging period for the insurance industry, dominated by high profile natural and manmade catastrophes,” chief executive Bob Stuchbery said yesterday, ahead of the firm’s general meeting.

Chaucer said in May it expects to take a $25m (£17.5m) hit from the Gulf of Mexico oil spill and added yesterday that energy rates are now hardening, which will reverse the reductions of the first quarter.

The sector has been hit by a series of natural disasters including the Chilean and Haiti earthquakes, European windstorm Xnthia and floods in Australia.

The FTSE 250 firm reported a net investment return of £11.3m for the first quarter compared with £16.2m last year. The business added it has no exposure to sovereign debt issued by Greece, Spain, Portugal or Italy.