XL, which last month recorded a £1.8bn net loss during 2008, made the move following a nine month long strategic review.
A filing statement posted on the firm’s website said: “XL successfully concluded a renewal rights transaction relating to its continental European life, accident and health business in December 2008. Given current market conditions, XL has determined to put its UK and Irish life businesses into run-off.
“XL continues to explore options with respect to its US life reinsurance operations.”
The statement goes on: “This is part of XL’s previously announced strategy of focusing on its property and casualty businesses.”