Brokers are set to see a major shake-up in the insurance market from today after Ryan Direct Group purchased intermediary focused insurance provider Assurant Intermediary for an undisclosed sum.
Subject to regulatory approval RDG, the UK arm of US firm Ryan Speciality Group, will secure an insurance book which already includes some 14,000 mortgage protection policies and 43,000 household policies.
And RDG chief executive Derek Coles said he hopes the deal will enable the Group to scale up significantly in a sector that is fast emerging from recession.
RDG is a major client of direct rival Uinsure and sources in the industry have said the acquisition could be seen as a quasi-reverse takeover with Uinsure set to enjoy the spoils.
The insurer has been working with Direct Group since June 2007 with RDG providing its policy fulfilment, premium collection, customer services, midterm adjustments, renewals, claims and management information services.
Of the deal Coles said: “The business has been a well-recognised player in the general insurance market for a number of years and the opportunity for RDG to combine this with its existing strategic relationship with Uinsure is compelling.”
And Loan Introducer sources predict the deal will be of mutual benefit for both Assurant and Uinsure.
One source said: “This is a great fit and will only help both brands. Simon Taylor (chief executive of Uinsure) has had his eyes on this prize for some time and it now seems that the cat has got the cream.”
But whilst the exact nature of the future partnership between Uinsure and Assurant remains unclear the general consensus is that it is a good thing for the industry.
And Taylor said the deal further reinforces Uinsure’s commitment to the industry.
He said: “We have made quantum strides in our partnership with RDG over the last two years and this wider partnership further underpins our aim to be the provider of choice in the IFA and mortgage broking arena.”