Electrical repair firm calls in administrator

Insurers have been left to pick up the pieces after a large electrical repair firm went into administration, leaving hundreds of policyholders with unsettled claims.

Empire Direct fixes appliances for up to 50,000 damaged properties a year. About 600 policyholders are thought to have been hit by the collapse of the Leeds-based company.

AXA, Royal Bank of Scotland Insurance and Allianz are all affected.

It is believed Empire, which generated the lion’s share of its £150m turnover from its independent electrical retail businesses, gave insurers little warning that it was heading for administration.

The administrator KPMG blamed the downturn and trade credit insurers for withdrawing cover on the retail arm.

James Hislop, chief executive of The Replacement Service, said he was interested in buying Empire’s replacement business.