Stuart Pettet, the head of provincial underwriting at Independent Insurance, took the industry by surprise this week when he resigned his position.

Independent admitted that Pettet had left the company, but was unavailable to discuss the reasons for his departure.

The loss of Pettet is the latest of a number of senior staff to quit Independent. In the May this year, the insurer lost assistant general managers Geoff Crisp and Kevin Pallet.

In December last year, Chris Mauduit, Terry Kerrison, Dominic Frost, Chistine Igoe from Independent's professional indemnity team left the company for The Underwriter, a new insurer set up by ex-Independent man Keith Rutter.