Motor broker takes on First Alternative's non-standard motor book
Esure to merge with remaining First Alternative business

Motor broker Allen & Allen Group is set to top £100m gross written premiums by the end of 2006 after acquiring the renewal rights to First Alternative's non-standard motor book.

The news follows the announcement that First Alternative's parent, HBOS, will merge First Alternative with its sister company Esure. "The First Alternative and Esure brands will remain the same," a spokesman said. "All that is changing is that both will now be underwritten by Esure."

First Alternative's book, originally aimed at more expensive motor vehicles, was previously underwritten by a panel of insurers. Its non-standard motor book is worth approximately £15m in gross written premiums (GWP) and
represents 20% of its book of business.

Steve McPherson, Allen & Allen sales director, said: "First Alternative won't be doing any non-standard motor renewals this year. They will be passing that business over to us. We believe we can renew between 60% and 70% of that business." Potentially, the deal could add up to 20,000 policyholders to Allen & Allen's book. "That would be in excess of £10m GWP," said McPherson.

He added: "Esure are changing their footprint to become more mainstream motor. We feel we are the specialists which are able to cope with Esure non-core motor, so this is good news for us."

Esure chairman, Peter Wood, said he aims to double the company's 5% share of the standard motor market within five years. There are also plans to update Esure's affinity relationship with Sainsbury's to propel growth.