Institutional investors are questioning big companies on their insurance purchases, a leading risk manager told delegates.

J Sainsbury's head of insurance and risk Paul Howard said: "We're being approached by our institutional investors, asking who we're insured with.

"That wouldn't have happened two years ago."

Howard attributed the change to the sudden collapse of Independent Insurance, raising interest in insurers' financial security, and the varying service levels available from insurers.

"It's a hard lesson for commercial clients, that you get what you pay for," he said.

Howard said his relationship with his insurers changed depending on the class of cover.

"We insured our first shop in 1860 and we have a longstanding relationship with our property insurer," he said. "With liability, we changed insurer last year. Price was a factor, but largely it was service."

Howard said it was unlikely the retail giant would support claims management booths like those available in other supermarkets.