The Swiss insurance giant Zurich is to seek a buyer for Endsleigh, the UK subsidiary which features prominently on university campuses around the country.
Sky News has learnt that Zurich has hired investment bankers at Evercore to explore a sale of Endsleigh, which is best-known for its sponsorship of the English Football League during the 1990s.
Sources said on Thursday that the process was at an early stage, and that a deal was uncertain.
If concluded, it would be the latest disposal by Zurich in the UK, following the sale earlier this month of £19bn of pensions and savings assets to Lloyds Banking Group.
Endsleigh is the only insurance brand to be officially endorsed by the National Union of Students, offering home, motor and travel cover.
The brand has been owned by Zurich since 2007, and it was unclear on Thursday why the Swiss company was now exploring a sale process.
Zurich is one of the world’s largest insurance groups, and has a major presence in the UK market through its parent brand.
In total, the company employs about 55,000 people in more than 170 countries.
On Thursday, it said it expected to receive roughly $700m in claims related to the recent hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria.
“While significant, these events have demonstrated the effectiveness of our underwriting and the improvements made in our reinsurance programmes over the past year, which have ensured that the overall losses remain well within our overall risk tolerance,” Mario Greco, Zurich’s chief executive, said.
Zurich’s UK media relations department could not be reached for comment on the Endsleigh sale discussions.