Michael Faulkner - Exclusive

Norwich Union (NU) is to begin an aggressive push in the fleet market in order rebuild its book after it lost a major book of coach and minibus business to QBE.

Last month, the Australian group bought MBP (Holdings), which owns underwriting agency Minibus Plus.

The MBP account produces around £45m gross premium and was underwritten by NU.

QBE confirmed that the £45m book would take over the capital backing when NU's contracts with MBP expire.

It did not say which of its business units would provide the capacity, but it is likely to be Ensign, QBE's UK motor arm.

An NU spokesman said the insurer had sent out cancellation letters this week on MBP's fleet policies, but was still contractually tied into the sole-vehicle policies with MBP. He could not comment on when that contract expired.

He said: "We are going after the fleet market now."

It is understood that MBP was NU's only distribution channel for coach and minibus business.

In response, the spokesman said: "We are looking at alternative methods of distribution without a doubt.

"The message is: we are open for business on the fleet side."