The death of the small high street broker selling home insurance is nigh, according to Defaqto.

In its latest report, Home insurance, changing policies for a changing world, the insurance product analyst reveals that customers want to buy online rather than from a high street shop or over the phone.

The report states: "For the small high street broker who traditionally depends on local business traffic the future looks bleak.

"Customers are increasingly choosing not to shop on the high street at all, as many UK retailers will testify," the report said. Access to new technology is driving consumers away from buying goods in person, and even dealing over the phone is becoming less popular."

Brokers that fail to make use of the internet, said the report, "will struggle to survive".

The report also warned that home insurance availability could become scarce as climate change takes hold.

"Reinsurance may become harder to obtain, driving up risks for the primary insurers with knock-on effects on profits as higher asset bases will be required to underwrite the home market," it said.