J&M Insurance Services is set to cement its position in the public and private hire insurance market with the acquisition of its fifth broker in two years.

The taxi insurance specialist, which controls nearly 9% of the market, aims to double its footprint in the sector after buying south London broker Insure Here.

Paul Dodds, chief operating officer at J&M, told Insurance Times: “[The acquisition of Insure Here] will add around 8% [of premium income] to our business, which makes it quite a nice sized acquisition for the company.

“We are currently just under £25m in terms of premium income and Insure Here adds £2.3m to that. We aim to grow to in excess of £50m just in our public and private hire business.”

Dodds admitted that the company intends to buy two to three brokers each year in order to meet its growth strategy, including another “reasonable-sized” broker by the end of 2007.

“To buy a broker’s book of business we will look at any size, but to buy a broker with staff while retaining its branch and local presence it will have to be upwards of £750,000 in size,” he added.

J&M said it will continue to seek further acquisitions within the M25 for public and private hire insurance.

Key towns and cities including in the Midlands are also being targeted to develop the group’s distribution throughout the UK.

The Insure Here purchase adds to J&M’s branch network, which includes offices in Kingsbury, Holborn, High Wycombe and Manchester.