Groupama Insurances merged several divisions earlier this year as part of a strategy to increase its healthcare cover by more than 50% in the next three years.

The insurer, which acquired the Iron Trades healthcare book last August, will be competing against leaders PPP and Bupa, targeting both the private and corporate markets. It currently has 1,000 corporate clients and 600 private policyholders, and generates total revenue of £45m.

As part of the expansion, the accident and health sector will merge with its travel and private medical business arm to create a new division - Groupama Healthcare. A team of around 40 specialist personnel will operate from its new offices in Tonbridge next month. By bringing everyone under one roof, the company hopes it will streamline processing and ensure close co-operation between various business areas and customers.

Tim Ablett, managing director at Groupama Personal Insurances, said: "We intend to become a more serious player in the healthcare market.

"We are looking longer term and regard healthcare as presenting almost unrivalled development potential," he said.