Small providers of motor and household cover performed well in 2007, say researchers

Affinity partnerships and smaller insurers achieved the greatest growth in 2007 in the home and motor sectors, according to research by Consumer Intelligence.

The company said that aggregators played a key part in this.

In the motor marketSaga, Post Office, Swiftcover, Marks & Spencer and Endsleigh achieved the greatest levels of growth, according to Consumer Intelligence.

Swiftcover, Marks & Spencer, Post Office, Endsleigh and Quinn-direct experienced the most rapid growth.

In the household sector, Direct Line, Tesco, Legal and General, Endsleigh and AA were the winners in terms of overall growth.

Castle Cover, which only entered the household market in 2006, experienced the most rapid growth.

Ian Hughes, managing director of Consumer Intelligence, said: “These results prove that 2007 has been a year of change for key providers in both the motor and household market.

“The growth some of the smaller players have experienced can be explained by their ability to perform well on aggregators. We see no sign of this trend slowing down over the next 12 months.”

Hughes said the success of smaller insurers generated by aggregators may inspire larger insurance companies to rethink their strategies.

He said: “Smaller brands may be able to squeeze margins tighter and so offer cheaper prices, which get them further up the results tables. The downside is that people are willing to pay more to buy insurance from a familiar name.

“The differential is an unknown quantity, but if the small brands continue to grow in 2008 then it will force some of the larger brands to rethink their strategy.”

Hughes predicted that in 2008 some insurers would rate differently on aggregator sites than for direct policies because of the differing consumer profiles.