Airmic, the Association of Insurance and Risk Managers in Industry and Commerce, says major brokers are endangering the existence of specialist insurance companies because they cannot agree on payment terms.

In a thinly veiled attack, David Gamble, Airmic's executive director, told Insurance Times: "We are worried that some of the specialist insurance companies, covering long-tail liabilities, may not be selected by brokers and that they could be so weakened that they go out of business – leaving the insured to take up the liability."

Gamble would not be drawn further on this highly sensitive issue, but his association has long campaigned against concealment of the overriders that bigger insurers pay some brokers. Airmic's concern could therefore be that the smaller insurers are unable to afford the kind of arrangements that large brokers wrest from the bigger insurers – causing them to be shunned by brokers

Gamble added: "It is in the interests of Airmic's members to have a wide choice of service providers."

- An article on Airmic's views on over-riders and transparency issues appears in next week's issue.