Uninsured loss recovery specialist Albany ULR has launched a round-the-clock phone answering operation to spearhead an expansion drive.

The move plans to help the white label business hit what Albany chief executive Bryan Irving called "significant growth plans".

Extending the hours of operation from 9pm has cost at least £200,000 and requires six new staff, the company said.

Albany claims to offer assistance, which includes recovering the vehicle, organising a hotel and help in arranging a hire car.

Irving said: "Our payback comes from the client retention message and this puts us in a market-leading position.

"The whole idea is to offer the same service at 2am as at 2pm.

"If someone is involved in an accident at that hour and is at the side of the road, it can become an unanswered cry for help - which ends up as a complaint to the broker the next day.

"On the other hand, they can get through to a human on the other end of the phone and be given first class service."

The service will be available to more than a million clients who access Albany's white label products via customers such as Kwik-Fit and HSBC.

Albany ULR handles about 200,000 accidents a year. The RTA group specialises in offering before-the-event services.