Admiral man Henry Engelhardt must brace himself for a potentially painful probing, according to analyst Eamonn Flannagan quoted this week in Insurance Times.

The Office of Fair Trading is apparently planning to stick its oar well and truly into the Admiral’s business as it probes around sensitive areas like the role of aggregators, aspects of the credit hire market, the use of approved repairers and sale of ancillary products’ in the motor insurance industry.

Admiral could find the OFT’s probe ‘quite uncomfortable,’ observes Flannagan with what sounds like playful understatement. The precise size and shape of the probe have yet to be revealed but apparently it ‘could hurt Admiral.’

In a recent industry note, the analyst notes that ‘Clearly it would be foolish to try to predict the outcome of such an exercise at this stage. However, it will cast a light on a number of features of the UK motor insurance market that… have been blamed for the very high levels of claims inflation over the past few years.

‘As such, this could prove quite uncomfortable for Admiral, which owns one of the largest aggregators (Confused) and whose profitability relies heavily on the sale of ancillary products.’


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