General Motors makes further inroads into UK insurance market with the acquisition of Provident Insurance

US motor giant General Motors has expanded it presence in the UK insurance market, with the acquisition of Provident Insurance for approximately £170m.

The acquisition was made through its British subsidiary Car Care Plan, part of GMAC Insurance.

GMAC Insurance has international operations in the UK, Mexico, Sweden and Brazil.

With the acquisition of Provident, the company said it hopes to diversify its portfolio, which currently focuses on motor dealer inventory insurance products, to other personal motor lines.

A General Motors spokes-man said: "The acquisition will complement the group's existing UK operations and support its European growth initiatives."

Provident announced in January that it had commenced discussions regarding a possible sale of its car insurance division.

At the time both AXA and IAG were rumoured to be interested.

Provident Insurance has around 478,000 customers and specialises in non-comprehensive policies for women, the drivers of older cars and drivers of a household's second car.

With revenues of £160.9m in 2006 Provident Insurance made a pre-tax profit of £41m, roughly 20% of the Provident Financial group's total profit last year.

John van Kuffler, chairman of Provident Financial, said: "The price achieved for Provident Insurance reflects the quality of this business and we are delighted to see it pass into the ownership of GMAC which is a strong strategic buyer."