Home Assistance UK stays on as broker, while RSA confirms it is still a panel underwriter

British Gas has dropped Chartis UK as an underwriter to its products, instead looking to take the customers in-house for its newly launched insurance arm.

Chartis UK will organise the run-off of the policies, with most of the contracts having an average of around eight or nine months left.

British Gas Insurance (BGI), which launched at the end of last year, has already surged past the milestone of a million customers.

The Centrica-owned firm aims to become a top 10 insurer by 2012, tapping into its 4.5 million customer base.

A Chartis UK spokesman reiterated that it would continue to honour all its insurance contracts until they expire. Chartis UK was the underwriter for boiler and heating cover.

British Gas still uses its own broker, Home Assistance UK, to arrange warranties on behalf of its customers.

RSA is also an underwriter to British Gas products. An RSA spokesman confirmed it was still a panel underwriter.

A British Gas spokesman said he could not reveal any more details, as the company was in its closed period before the 28 July half-year results.

The company is thought to have set up a captive to handle its customers’ insurance needs.

BGI offers a range of products for its customers, covering boilers, central heating, home electrics, plumbing and drains, gas appliances, kitchen appliances, glazing, roofing and pests.

British Gas hired former underwriting director for UK corporate partnerships at AXA, Edward Hutton, as its underwriting director last month.

Meanwhile, an npower spokesman said the firm had no plans to directly enter the insurance market, but had not ruled out the possibility in the long term.