Biba will press the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) to provide further information about the number of motor insurance complaints made against brokers.

The ombudsman's annual report said that between 1 April 2005 and 31 March 2006 the number of complaints to the FOS about motor insurance rose by 31%.

And more than a third of complaints against insurance intermediaries and brokers related to motor claims.

Steve White, head of compliance and training at Biba, insisted that further clarification was needed from the FOS before the association could address any concerns.

He said: "Without knowing what the customer is complaining about it is difficult to qualify. Clearly we need to take a greater look at the detail of the complaint to see exactly where the problems lie.

"In general, we are very interested in dealing with complaints as there is clearly a big correlation between that and treating customers fairly."

The ombudsman service said the overall increase in motor complaints was as a result of a rise in "all types of disputes" and that it also reflected that it was the first year insurance intermediaries were covered by the FOS.

The sector came under the ombudsman service's jurisdiction on a statutory basis in January 2005.

The FOS added it would continue to work with insurers and intermediaries to identify factors responsible for the increase in motor disputes, which included the growth of lower-priced motor policies accompanied by the application of more stringent standards when claims were submitted.

Motor complaints made up 24% of the insurance related complaints. There were 14,270 new insurance related cases overall.