Brokers love to cause mischief. And some like to test the major insurers - just to see if they are consistent.

One regional broker told Backchat that over many years he has put one leading insurer through its paces. He has assumed various characters, Peter Sellers-style, and asked for quotes on personal lines and commercial policies.

Cheekily, he usually looks around for the cheapest premium he can find and then subtracts a further £100 from the figure. On ringing the insurer in question, he always explains he has been with his broker for many years, but is just curious to find how much discount he can get for going direct.

Every time, without fail, the insurer offers the premium he suggests and then a 10% discount. "Its like selling double glazing," he explains. "They offer a deal there and then. And they say if you take the premium now and don't go through the broker we'll knock even more off. So much for broker loyalty," he moaned