Founder Tony Sullman offered to sell Claims Direct to rival The Accident Group earlier this year, writes Yvette Essen.

Speaking for the first time to the press about the incident, Accident Group chairman, Mark Langford, said he was approached by the former Claims Direct chairman in January.

“We can confirm that Sullman sought a meeting with a view to selling the business,” he said.

“Prior to the meeting, Sullman had not made clear the real reason for having the meeting, suggesting it was to discuss the setting up of a trade body. I was astonished by Sullman's proposals and quickly brought the meeting to a conclusion,” he said.

“As the Accident Group holds the number one market position and enjoy sustained growth, acquiring Claims Direct would be of no benefit.

“The Accident Group runs a business model with a more customer-focused product at a lower cost, as recognised by motor and liability insurers and the Court of Appeal in the recent case of Callery vs Gray.”

Sullman was unavailable for comment at the time of going to press.