Ageas sees no sign of commercial hardening

Barry Smith chief executive Ageas UK

He said: "Have we seen evidence of increasing rates in the general insurance market? Our view would be no. It may be that others who underwrite in other areas of the market see different things. Certainly our experience for the first quarter is that it is not [hardening].

"I think it would be very bullish for anybody to anticipate rate increases. The issue is people have got to look at what does the price for the risk mean for their own profitability."

Mr Smith was speaking after the insurer

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