Expansion into mainstream commercial lines set to generate £10m

Wholesale intermediary Broker Direct is to expand into the SME market and generate a predicted £10m gross written premium in the first year.

Terry Stanley, Broker Direct sales and marketing manager, said: "This is our first move into mainstream commercial lines.

"We will be offering brokers an SME package targeted towards retailers, pubs and restaurants."

He added: "Typically we will look to attract those businesses with around £1,000 brokerage."

All new commercial business will be transacted online through South Essex Insurance Brokers' Risk Placer system.

Stanley said the system could be used to cut the high costs traditionally associated with low value SME cover.

"Brokers are earning a very low commission for doing a lot of work on SME business.

"Broker Direct has an efficient electronic trading system which means the full cycle of the cover can be dealt with online. Trading online means money can be saved and premiums pushed down," he said.

Broker Direct has begun distributing the Risk Placer system to more than 1,000 brokers. Stanley said there was scope to expand the commercial business further: "We will see what kind of product is wanted out there and where there are gaps in the market."