Lloyd's appears to be taking an increasing share of the £3bn motor fleet market following a contraction in company market capacity.

The company market's shrinkage has been hastened by low premiums which have resulted from over-capacity and rising claims inflation.

Independent Lloyd's broker Holman is one of the chief beneficiaries of the switch of fleet business into Lloyd's.

It said it had written at least 50% more motor fleet business to date in 2000.

Glenn Bremerman, divisional director of motor fleet business at Holman, said: "The company motor fleet market has been losing capacity with all the recent mergers and business has been flocking to Lloyd's."

He said many major composite insurers have found it unprofitable writing motor fleet business for several years. Many would only write new business as part of an overall package of cover.

Bremerman said the reason for this was that rates in the market had been held down by over-capacity.

He added that although there were signs the market was recovering and rates were rising, most new business was flowing to Lloyd's.

"Business is increasingly being written at Lloyd's at premiums which should be profitable. But the company market still does not want to entertain motor fleet business," said Bremerman.

However, this claim was challenged by Zurich customer solutions manager Bob Pope.

He said Zurich had increased its motor fleet book "considerably", by around 15% in 2000, and was experiencing high retention rates.

But Pope added: "We are finding that when we come under competition for fleet business it is from Lloyd's rather than conventional insurers such as Norwich Union."