Insurers claim position healthy

First-half pre-tax profits at Brit Insurance more than halved in the first half of the year as the group's investment return dwindled to just £2.1m, down from £55.9m a year before.

Net earned premiums for the period dropped to £544.5m, down from £570.6m a year earlier. The combined ratio deteriorated slightly to 89.4% from 87.7% last year.

Dane Douetil, chief executive at Brit, said: "I am delighted with the continued strong performance in our core business of underwriting, with all three business