‘Steady growth’ for Cornish Mutual


South west general insurance firm Cornish Mutual is reporting “steady growth” during 2010 ahead of its Annual General Meeting (AGM) later this month (March 31).

Despite tough trading and bad weather conditions during the year, the company’s financial statement for year end September 30, shows that premiums written increased by 8.6% to £16.5 million (2009: £15.2 million) with a technical surplus of £292k (2009: £304k). Profit after tax is listed as £2 million (2009: £1.8 million).

Ahead of the AGM, Cornish Mutual’s chairman Gerald Blewett said: “The past year has, as usual, provided many challenges from both weather and insurance compliance. The severe snow in January and February led us to expect a large number of claims, but this turned out to be a lot less costly than originally thought.

“It is pleasing to report another year of steady growth with premiums written passing £16 million, producing a technical surplus of £292k. An investment income of £1,4 million and our equity portfolio increasing by £625k means a satisfying profit after tax of £2 million.”

He added: “Our business has continued to develop and grow while our focus of providing insurance to the rural communities of the south west has been maintained. The year has seen significant change within Cornish Mutual as an enhanced focus on member service has seen many changes in the way we provide service to members.

“Further changes are planned as we aim to become even more member centric and continue our efforts to find new and better ways of providing service to members.”

Over 21,700 members throughout Cornwall, Devon, Somerset and Dorset have been written to in advance, inviting them to the meeting. All Members are entitled to attend and vote – either in person or by proxy.

At the AGM, two existing board members, Gerald Blewett and Michael Grigg, will be standing for re-election having each served longer than nine years. Graham Shearn will be standing for election to the board for the first time.

As a mutual organisation, it only works for its Members to make sure that profits are reinvested to ensure, a fair claims process and higher levels of service. The firm has offices in Exeter and Truro, employs around 70 members of staff and provides insurance products for people and businesses across the region.