Esure is to switch motor insurance referrals from BDML to its sister company First Alternative by early next year.

The handover is to be phased in over the next few months, following this week's announcement that First Alternative has been granted its underwriting licence by the FSA.

Integrated systems between esure and First Alternative - Peter Wood's new high risk motor underwriter - allow the two companies to quote on each others polices, absorbing most of the work that used to be referred to BDML

An esure spokesman said: "During the period that First Alternative is starting up, BDML will be winding down its referrals.

"But we expect we will still be referring less than 3% of cases to BDML."

First Alternative expects to start underwriting some high risk business from Halifax Car Insurance immediately, before going live to the public early next year.