Norwich Union (NU) is poised to overturn its policy of refusing to give brokers exclusive quotes.

The insurance giant confirmed the policy was "under review", but sources suggested it was about to sanction the move for some larger commercial risks.

NU is thought to be the only major insurer not to offer exclusive quotes to brokers, meaning that an insurer will agree to provide a quote to only one broker on a piece of business.

Newly-appointed intermediary director John Kitson, who replaced George Berrie, told Insurance Times: "At the moment we don't do exclusive quotes. We have to decide what to do about it. Some brokers feel very strongly we should do them."

NU's stance of not offering exclusive quotes is understood to have alienated some brokers who feel that their efforts to provide detailed risk information have gone to waste if a rival broker is also provided with a competing quote based on that same information.

Phil Hitchcox, NU's director of servicing for broker business, acknowledged this: "There are cases where a broker will make a huge amount of effort and then lose the business to another who's put in a prospectus on the back of a fag packet.

"We need clear trading protocols and while it is currently first come, first served, there could be times when it might be right to give an exclusive."

But brokers urged caution. Paul Dickson, chief executive of Dickson Insurance Brokers said: "If Norwich Union allows them, it will enable more imaginative and aggressive brokers to target new business. They should not be given routinely."

Jelf Group director Chris Clarke said exclusive quotes should not be used as a "tactical weapon by an insurer to obtain business".