Eight former Bankers Equine Direct staff are going it alone by forming a new company called Equine Direct that promises the personal touch.

Headed by former international three day eventer Andy Griffiths, Equine Direct will involve no form-filling and will deal with every call personally.

It claims to be the first equine insurance company to accept a declaration of health, instead of a vet's certificate, over the telephone, for foals under six months and horses and ponies up to £5,000.

Customers will have access to third party liability of up to £2 million, a personal accident and dental policy with twice as much cover as their competitors at £20,000 (£5,000 dental) and a seven-day claims guarantee.

Equine Direct, which is based in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, will be able to provide a wide range of bespoke insurance solutions for horse boxes, pets, equestrian property, bloodstock, rider-only, and personal injury. Policies are underwritten by Cox Insurance.