Aviva continues sales successes

Insurer Aviva hailed the performance of its motor and household arm after the division secured £1 billion of UK sales in the last quarter.

The 20 per cent rise to 1.09bn represents the fifth successive quarterly increase and follows upward pressure on car premium rates and a surge in the firm's own customer numbers.

It now has two million motorists on its books after adding 580,000 UK customers since the start of 2010, including 180,000 as a result of the roll-out of direct pricing to brokers. Aviva has also been buoyed by the success of an advertising campaign featuring actor Paul Whitehouse.

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It expects to see a continuation of recent industry trends on premiums after its own rates for motor cover rose by 24 per cent over the past year and homeowner insurance increased 6 per cent.

Chief executive Andrew Moss said: "We have made a good start to the year. Our general insurance performance is a real highlight - sales are up strongly and profitability is good."