Beleaguered insurer Highway suffered another blow this week when underwriting agency Tradewise refused to rule out permanently switching its £12.5m motor book to another carrier.

Over the past two weeks, Highway has been forced to cease accepting new business from all of its broker clients because of “a number of issues including capacity”.

The development has infuriated many brokers who have been left without a significant market for much of their business by Highway.

Tradewise placed all of its motor trade book through Highway in an exclusive deal but was one of those “switched off” by the insurer.

Asked if the underwriting agency would return to Highway next year, a Tradewise spokesman said: “We don't know at the moment, it has yet to be decided.”

Tradewise claims it has already found another market for its motor trade book but the company refused to identify the name of the new carrier, stating the information was “commercially sensitive”.

Tradewise claims it has now found new markets for every class of business it handles, including commercial vehicle, material damage, goods in transit, household and liability.