Brit picks up policyholders left without cover

Policyholders left high and dry by the unauthorised 'insurer' CIC have found cover with Brit.

The Brit group, which this week announced sponsorship of the Oval cricket ground, came to the rescue like "a knight in shining armour".

Policies written by CIC were void because the company had falsely claimed to be authorised in Greece. The FSA said it was neither authorised in Greece nor the UK.

More than 2,200 policyholders are thought to have been left without cover. An estimated £3.75m of premium is involved.

The FSA said that in the case of employers' liability insurance, the lack of cover could put firms in breach of the law. It urged policyholders to find cover with an authorised insurer.

In one particular class, Brit had taken on board 40 policyholders out of a total of 58.

A company spokesman said: "This business meets our underwriting criteria and fits our strategic goal of targeting the UK market."

The fortunate policyholders were left looking for cover after buying employers' liability and public liability policies, mainly in UK construction.

Brit initially took on 20 policyholders before taking on the same number again.

The business is a particular target for Brit, whose stock has climbed steadily this month to its current level of about 82.5p.

Policyholders in other classes are understood to be still without cover.

A market source said: "Some have been fortunate to find cover quickly, but there are plenty of others who need a knight in shining armour to rescue them."

Policyholders still looking for cover are understood to include many UK SME risks, particularly in the catering industry, such as fish and chip shops, takeaway restaurants and sandwich bars.

Brit's £1.5m deal with Surrey Cricket Club renames the club's ground The Brit Oval. It is the biggest sponsorship deal in county cricket and will last for three years, with an option for a further two.

Brit chief executive Neil Eckert said it was a key part of the group's brand-building exercise in the UK market.