Strategic review threatens loss adjusters, lawyers and IT providers

Churchill is set to cull Prudential's external business partners, according to a senior Churchill source. This follows Churchill's £810m acquisition of the group's non-life insurance division late last year

This means loss adjusters, technology partners and claims management firms could lose contracts with the company.

It is understood that the firm uses loss adjusters Cunningham Lindsey, Capita McLaren and Crawford & Co. It also employs a panel of lawyers, including Davies Lavery.

The source said Prudential would be assimilated into Churchill and, like Churchill, use a minimum of external help. Churchill employs a panel of loss adjusters including Ashworth Mairs, Capita, GAB Robins and Davies.

"Any outsourced loss adjusters and other outside partners are unlikely to continue to do business with Prudential."

A Churchill spokeswoman said: "There is a review in process, but it is early days and conclusions have not been reached yet."

Analyst David Wharrier, of ratings agency Fitch, said: "Churchill comes across as very efficient and keeps costs to a minimum to remain competitive.

"The company ... doesn't like to take third-party advice and can do things more cheaply in-house."

Churchill acquired 1.9 million policyholders when it outbid a number of rivals, thought to include Direct Line and Royal & SunAlliance, to buy Prudential. This pushed Churchill up the league tables to become the UK's sixth largest insurer.

Under the terms of the deal, Prudential transferred its general insurance business, much of which is home contents, to Churchill's parent company Winterthur.

The deal is aimed to generate a 15% return for Churchill and £810m for Prudential through payments and the release of capital.