Share agreement will last until 2016 and create 'a new breed of relationship'

UK General Insurance Group is moving to a ‘hybrid managing general agency’ by partially supplying its own capacity in a share agreement with Fortis.

The deal, which will end in March 2016, means Fortis will provide capacity to the commercial side and Rural Insurance, UK General’s specialist agricultural insurer.

Fortis had taken over as the sole capacity provider earlier this year, snapping up Aviva’s share.

AXA had pulled out as a carrier in the first half of 2009 as it made a tactical decision to scale back from using underwriting agencies.

But UKGI chief operating officer Michael Warren said: “We are absolutely delighted to have in place a long-term agreement with Fortis and the team.

“Particularly on the commercial and rural side, it will remove previous years of uncertainty.”

Warren said there were still some very minor parts of the business provided with capacity from other insurers but, in effect, the only other substantial provider was UK General.

Fortis chief executive Barry Smith said: “Relationships are always strengthened when you have alignment of objectives and financial interests.

“I think we have been very encouraged by the way in which this relationship has developed. The solution is not really what people might class as an MGA. It is a new breed of relationship.”

Meanwhile, Fortis bolstered its commercial lines underwriting and business development teams with two new appointments.

Stuart Barnes has become senior pricing and product development underwriter and Richard Bayfield was appointed commercial schemes development underwriter.

In commercial business development, David Williams and Joel Markham have joined Fortis as commercial broker account executives.

Fortis is aiming to bolster its commercial business to make up at least a third of the portfolio in five years, compared with around 10% at the beginning of the year.