Allianz Cornhill is pushing to increase its share of the smaller end of the motor trade market. But the insurer has denied that it is dropping rates in order to gain market share.

Allianz Cornhill motor trade manager Steve Maguire said: "We are looking to increase the percentage of smaller motor traders within our book, and to double the number of motor traders who fit this product."

Industry sources said that Allianz was "extremely competitive" in pursuing new motor trade business, and in pursuit of renewals it has been dropping rates.

Stuart Alexander southern regional director Nick Inge said: "In the renewal market Allianz will reduce its rates if faced with competition. We have seen reductions of up to 30% on some risks."

Maguire denied the insurer was dropping rates. "We are not reducing rates, but because we are selling this product into a particular sector of the market, and it is aimed at providing cover without add-ons, it can be sold cheaper."

Last month Allianz Cornhill launched a product aimed at smaller motor traders, called Complete Motor Trade. It already offers Select Motor Trade, designed for larger motor traders.