Trade supplier Rock Insurance has welcomed a new entrant into the supplier failure cover market saying it brings much-needed choice for travel agencies.

Spanish firm Mapfre Group has struck exclusive agreements with both Rock and Advantage to sit behind new policies.

This means that there are now three providers in the market, Mapfre, which last year bought Insureandgo, joining NWIC and IPP.

Antony Martin, managing director of Rock Insurance, said : “What they [Mapfre] are trying to do is show some commitment to the sector.

“They are doing travel insurance and other product lines, so supplier failure cover was a natural evolution.

“They are keen to partner with people in the UK, they are quite dynamic and entrepreneurial in their approach.”

Rock Insurance has of late been working only with NWIC, which Martin had proved itself as a “highly creditable” underwriter.

Rock will continue to offer products backed by NWIC which he expected to continue to be popular due to the reputation it has built up.

“NWIC has been in the market three years. There is a trust and loyalty thing there. I’m a big believer in if it’s not broken don’t fix it.

Martin said the new Mapfre insurance product means agents will be able to earn additional commission from selling the new cover.

Martin said: “It’ really important that the agents have choice. It’s a very simple product to purchase, there is not a long-winded claims procedure.

“Plus it’s a policy of first resort so it does not sit behind a credit card when there’s a claim.

“We have put in a really sold business plan. We showed them the trends in the industry and obviously while there are issues because we are not in a very god trading environment we think all the big failures have happened.

“The important thing on this product is it protects the agent. As we saw when XL Leisure Group went down and claims really ramped up for agents and this could put them out of business.”