Business may be transferred to a small broker, says sales director Kitson.
Norwich Union will look to make a decision by the end of the year on the future of its direct commercial business, said John Kitson, the insurer’s sales and marketing director.
The insurance giant is considering transferring the commercial direct book of business to a broker, after making the strategic decision to no longer sell SME business direct.
Kitson said the company had already received expressions of interest from a number of brokers in taking on the book, which is currently worth a few million pounds in annual premium.
He said NU was not looking to auction off the business and indicated that the insurer was not looking to sell the book. “We may come to agreement with a broker to a take the book on certain terms,” he said.
Kitson also suggested that NU may no longer underwrite some or all of the business once it is transferred. “What will happen will depend on the broker and the circumstances,” he said.
Industry sources suggested brokers Swinton, Jelf Group, Giles Insurance Brokers and Oval could be interested in taking over the commercial direct business.
Swinton is building its commercial book, while NU has close ties with Jelf, Giles and Oval.
But Kitson said NU may prefer a small broker given the company’s desire to support smaller intermediaries.
“By the end of the year we will be clear about what will happen to the business,” Kitson said, adding: “We have made a strategic decision to service SME clients through an insurance broker, given the complexity of SME business. It is the responsible thing to do.”
NU is no longer writing new direct commercial business. The NU business direct website states: “Norwich Union no longer provides business insurance directly to customers. Please speak to your local insurance broker to obtain a quote from Norwich Union.”