Insurer halts bid talks over valuation.

Sterling Insurance has ended takeover talks with Towergate after rejecting an approach from the consolidator’s executive chairman Peter Cullum.

Last month, speculation suggested that Towergate was in discussions to buy a small UK insurance group, with Sterling linked to the broking giant.

However, Sterling Insurance Group chairman Nicholas Cooper, who owns almost 100% of the company, is believed to have terminated discussions when the bid fell below his £250m valuation.

A source close to the insurer said the group was not interested in selling as it was concentrating on its own growth plans. Towergate and Sterling both declined to comment.

Meanwhile, Sterling has launched a new high net worth product, Executive Plus.

The policy has been designed for customers with a minimum of £250,000 contents, art and antiques or with a minimum premium of £2,000.

It will work alongside Sterling’s existing Executive Home product, which is aimed at emerging wealth and mid net worth customers.

The Executive Plus policy will offer a claims concierge service operated by Lorega on claims more than £20,000, as well as a free walk through validation service provided by the fine art and antique specialists Lyon & Turnbull, and no compulsory excess on claims of more than £2,500.

David Sweeney, director of personal and commercial insurances at Sterling, said the product offers the best cover in the market.

“We are committed to providing intermediaries with the very best products, service and support, and this is reflected through Executive Plus,” he said.