Aviva sees 12pc rise in car insurance customers

Sales of car insurance rose by 12pc at Aviva as the insurance giant secured 318,000 new customers in the past year.

In its interim third quarter statement announced today, Aviva said there had been a 9pc rise in general insurance and health net written premiums.

UK life and pension sales were also up 6pc to �8.1bn.

Aviva has pursued a strategy of focusing on its core business and the results also confirmed the �1bn sale of Norwich-based RAC to the Carlyle Group. Last month it also announced a shake-up of its Ireland operation amid the loss of around 900 jobs.

The figures show that Aviva now has more than 2m car insurance customers and the insurance giant said the results showed good momentum in general insurance with an improved combined operating ratio of 96pc and 'strong profitability' in life insurance.

However it said that long term savings sales were 8pc lower at �23.6bn, driven mainly by current market conditions and actions to write less capital intensive business.

Andrew Moss, Aviva group chief executive, said Aviva was focused on the balance sheet in a tough economic environment.

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'Markets have been exceptionally volatile but we have delivered a strong operating performance in the first nine months and we remain on track to meet our financial targets this year,' Mr Moss said. 'Focusing on capital generation and our capital and liquidity position will continue to be priorities.

'Aviva is fitter and leaner today. While the market environment is likely to remain challenging in the near term, we continue to make good strategic progress and are strengthening customer franchises in key markets, notably the UK.'