Consolidation in the broker market will push price tags to an unprecedented level, Deloitte has predicted.

Escalating demand for broker distribution channels from insurers has pushed up broker values significantly during the last year.

Deal values in the broker market rose by more than 25% in the last year, the analysts said.

Deloitte said multiples of more than 10 times profit had been achieved in several insurance deals over the past year.

Ian Clark, insurance partner at Deloitte said: "The interest of insurers in acquiring distribution channels has not only increased demand but has fundamentally changed the way in which insurance distributors are valued.

"Insurers are increasing the multiples offered by paying upfront a share of estimated future underwriting profits."

Of the top 50 independent brokers, 20% have been acquired since January 2006, with mid-sized brokers experiencing the most frequent activity.

This is likely to soar during the next twelve months as brokers realise the value of their business.