AXA to provide capacity for flagship motor product

PBS brand under review

PBS Holdings (PBSH) is to drive into the fleet and motor trade business in partnership with AXA.

PBSH subsidiaries PBS, ATD and Rural Insurance will pilot the product, which is set to become a "flagship offering" for the virtual insurer.

AXA's involvement comes only months after the insurer declared its intention to become a major player in the motor market.

Tim Rolfe, PBSH chief operating officer, said: "We will begin piloting this on 1 June with a small group of brokers. This is because we want to test the product and ensure everything is working properly."

AXA's partnership with PBSH was strengthened two weeks ago when the insurer extended its £20m capacity deal with the company (News, 27 April). The three-year deal, worth an annual £75.6m, is likely to be further extended.

Jonathan Davey, PBSH chief executive, said the intention was to turn the capacity agreement into a "three year rolling deal".

PBSH's motor account is expected to generate between £5m and £6m in 2006, which is between 2.5% and 5% of the £100m GWP targeted by PBSH this year. Rolfe said growth of the book would be accelerated in 2007 with a drive for £20m GWP.

Meanwhile, PBS is expected to grow its broker base from 300 to 500 "to get the geographical spread we want," said Davey.

The company also plans to review its branding. "The PBS brand is limiting growth.We will be reconsidering whether its works as a brand," Davey said.

AXA was unavailable for comment.