The chairman of the AiiB, Mike Slack, has criticised a survey which claimed consumers prefer to buy their cover from insurers.

Slack said the finding by the National Consumer Council (Insurance Times, November 11) contradicts the AiiB's own research and further confuses the performance of insurers and brokers in the insurance market.

He said: "This may reflect the situation that, with more intermediaries and brokers using direct sales techniques, the public are not recognising the difference between the two distribution channels."

Slack said ABI figures show intermediaries have the edge over insurers in terms of premium income, accounting for 67% of general business premiums; company agents and direct writers each have a 16% share, he said.

The NCC survey found only 13% of consumers would choose an intermediary for household cover and 23% a direct writer.