The government's claims regulator has warned that too few brokers have applied for authorisation.

Firms which operate in the claims management sector, including brokers which procure 25 claims or more a quarter, must apply for authorisation by 16 February.

Those operating without approval will face disciplinary action from the claims regulator.

Mark Boleat, head of claims management regulation at the Department for Constitutional Affairs said: "There are many businesses, particularly insurance brokers, that have not yet begun the process. If they wish to continue providing claims management services, they need to apply for authorisation now."

His warning comes as the regulator announced that more claims management companies have signed up to be authorised than were previously expected.

The regulator is also preparing to consult on proposals to introduce compulsory professional indemnity (PI) insurance to the sector.

News that claims management companies would not be required to carry PI cover when regulation comes into force in April sparked outrage. A consultation paper is to be published in coming weeks.

By 29 January, 218 completed application forms had been received by the regulator. A further 316 forms have been partially completed, and over 300 blank application forms have been downloaded, the regulator said.