New strategy sees retailer pull out of mortage protection

Retail giant Marks & Spencer is pulling out of the mortgage payment protection insurance (MPPI) market and is looking to expand its personal lines portfolio.

Marks & Spencer launched wedding insurance in February and travel insurance in May and industry sources claim the company is looking to offer pet insurance.

A spokesman for Marks & Spencer said it was "too early to confirm this at this stage" .

He said other personal lines ventures, such as wedding insurance, had obvious retail links, because of the popular gift registry service offered by the store.

He said the retailer stocked a comprehensive selection of pet products.

"We are looking at financial products with a good affiliation to our retail business," he said.

"If we align ourselves with our retail business, we can tap the pool of more than 10 million customers. They are a primary target audience for financial services products."

He said the retailer was looking at insurance products and assessing their effect in the retail marketplace.

The spokesman confirmed Pinnacle Insurance would be taking over the existing book of 17,000 MPPI customers.

The product was previously underwritten by Cornhill Insurance.

He said there would be no additional cost to customers and no re-application was necessary.

Marks & Spencer have started sending out letters to customers and giving them a 30-day notice period.