Cgu has blamed teething problems for its backlog of commercial claims in some regional offices built up during its merger process.

Spokesman Ian Frater said the backlog was the result of switching claims from one office to another so that it could be handled by a team which had experience of those accounts.

CGU now has 50 branches throughout the UK after integrating the two operations of Commercial Union and General Accident.

"Where we have a number of claims which are predominately General Accident business but we have Commercial Union staff handling them, we have had to shift the claims handling to another office where there is a General Accident team, and vice versa," he said.

Frater would not disclose the extent of the backlog but said CGU had taken steps to remedy the situation.

These include setting up a 50-strong task force from the head office to act as trouble-shooters, as well as extending the remit of the loss adjusters on its panel.