insurancepeople issue 39 December 2013 / January 2014
Alan Cleary ... Heâ€™s back - see page 14 Insurance People inside include:
Jon Abbott Reg Brown Joy Cooper Mark Pratt Lucy Scurlock-Jones Peter Thorpe Angus Tucker Terry Wellard Joy Williams
in association with
Talent going to waste!
T Editor and Publisher
Andrew Newman FCII, Dip.M firstname.lastname@example.org 01892 730539
he aim to attract new young talent into an insurance career is very laudable and forward-thinking. But at the close of this year of (yet more) consolidation, the question is whether the industry is fully utilising the talent it already has. Some good insurance people have left the industry over the past year, many for no other reason than redundancy. These are insurance people with skills; track records of achievement; with well-earned insights and nous about the business, and with a good number of years ahead of them. Not least, while they possess plenty of innovative ideas, their hard-won experience tells them where potential pitfalls lie. How many times do we see less experienced management repeating the mistakes and dead-ends of the past? Consolidation and shrinkage may be inevitable, but the wastage of captive talent is surely inexcusable.
December 2013 / January 2014
In this issue 2
Automotive glass Joy Cooper warns of bad weather ahead
Cleaning up the investigation industry Cath Williams has the inside story
Alan Cleary Bouquets & Brickbats 2013
Design & Production
Adrian Susman email@example.com 07981 993974
The IP team wish all our readers, contributors, sponsors and advertisers a Happy Christmas and a very prosperous New Year
Event insurance Lucy Scurlock-Jones says events are on the up
Jeni Hall firstname.lastname@example.org 07969 510172
Delving into the hot topics in Lloyd's
Pensord Magazines & Periodicals Tram Road, Pontllanfraith, Blackwood NP12 2YA
Reg Brown’s Postcard Emporium Teams gone, but not forgotten
insurancepeople PO Box 537 Tonbridge Kent TN12 9WG t 01562 862990 m 07981 993974 e email@example.com
Bodyshop repairs Mark Pratt looks at the changing face of the bodyshop
Investigation firms ready for regulation says Cath Williams
Terry Wellard considers ‘pay to play’, ‘sidecars’, and lobster linguine
A day in the life On the road with Angus Tucker
Also find us on:
Ones that got away Phyllis Diller’s dad was an insurance man!
ISSN 2043-9202 Insurance People is published monthly by Buttermere Wedge Publishing Limited. While every attempt has been made to ensure that the information contained within this publication is accurate, the publisher accepts no liability for information published in error, or for views expressed. All rights for Insurance People magazine are reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without prior permission from the publisher is strictly prohibited.
On the move Who’s going where?
Mark Pratt on bodyshop evolution
IP takes a day out with Angus Tucker
On the Road Lost tales of property
DECEMBER 2013 / JANUARY 2014 insurancepeople 1
in association with
CMCs under fire in AXA report A
report from AXA UK indicates that 19% of UK consumers have been contacted by a claims management company in the last 24 hours, with a further 23% recalling that they had been contacted in the last week. The research, conducted among 2,000 consumers, shows that 63% feel “angry” on receiving such calls, with the same number regarding it as an “invasion of their privacy”. It also indicates that 45% are concerned about how CMCs have their details. Around 44% of respondents said they had proactively tried to stop unwanted contact, but only 6% of these said they had succeeded. AXA UK claims expert David Fisher comments, “It would appear that CMCs are taking advantage of a consumer lack of confidence in the system when claiming compensation for mis-selling. However, this research shows that not only do the vast majority react negatively to contact with CMCs, but of the 12% that pursued a claim, only half were successful, suggesting that the CMC route is not particularly effective. “CMCs are on the lookout for new claims pools, so as whiplash claims gradually fall as a result of the ban on
referral fees, and PPI mis-selling claims eventually subside, we can expect them to move into fresh compensation pastures. “It is time for the Ministry of Justice’s Claims Management Regulation Unit to address these spamming tactics so that the CMCs’ endless search for growth does not continue to significantly impact consumers and unnecessarily invade the privacy of thousands of people every day.”
Commenting to Insurance People, Peter Thorpe, national sales manager for Farg Assist, says:
I would just like the sweeping all-inclusive commentaries to stop and the fact that they play on the clients' lack of (or perceived lack of) understanding. We don’t confuse any clients whilst handling their claim. If anything the opposite applies! By all means tackle the specific problem and stop generalising!! Surveys can do anything they want, it all depends upon the questions being posed.
Insurers sign up for SSP telematics
Carole Nash to offer legal services
SP reports that Covéa Insurance and Sabre have both joined the insurer panel for SoteriaDrive – its whole-of-market telematics based insurance product sold via high street brokers and developed by SSP and Wunelli. Both insurers will go live on the system during the first quarter of 2014. Adrian Coupland, head of
data services strategy at SSP. says, “We are delighted that Covéa Insurance and Sabre have joined the panel for SoteriaDrive. This is a major milestone in the evolution of the telematics sector, allowing independent brokers to capitalise on the growing demand for usage-based insurance in a way that they have never previously been able. “With their deep knowledge and experience of the motor market, Covéa Insurance and Sabre are ideally suited to telematics, so this is a great endorsement for SoteriaDrive. These are the first of a number of insurer agreements we’ll be announcing over the course of the next few months.”
2 insurancepeople DECEMBER 2013 / JANUARY 2014
arole Nash has teamed up with solicitors NewLaw, which specialises in providing legal advice and assistance to motorcyclists, to launch a new legal services operation. Carole Nash Legal Services LLP has received authorisation from the Solicitors Regulation Authority to trade as an Alternative Business Structure. The Cardiffbased joint venture will initially offer personal injury and uninsured loss recovery advice to motorcyclists. Longer term the partnership plans to offer a broader range of legal support services.
The new limited liability partnership will be managed by its board members, comprising Carole Nash chief executive David Newman, and finance director, Clive Roberts, NewLaw’s chief executive Helen Molyneux and the firm’s strategic partnership director, Philip Dicken.
We believe in tailored products which are more ﬂexible for you. As specialists in insurance for the third sector we have the perfect range of ﬂexible products to meet the differing needs of not-for-proﬁt organisations. Through our dedicated network of insurance specialists, we can provide cover that’s right for you every time.
www.ansvar.co.uk Tel: 0845 60 20 999 or 01323 737541 firstname.lastname@example.org Business division of: Ecclesiastical Insurance Ofﬁce plc. Registered Ofﬁce: Beaufort House, Brunswick Road, Gloucester GL1 1JZ. Registered No. 24869 England All content © Ecclesiastical Insurance Ofﬁce plc 2013 Member of: Association of British Insurers ABI, Financial Ombudsman Service FOS. Authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority.
WCI to ‘float’ in 2014 Enhanced role for Waters
Before the Lord Mayor’s Show T
he adjacent illustration is just a preliminary design commissioned by City livery company The Worshipful Company of Insurers (WCI) to give an idea of the approach it may take to complete plans to have a float in the 2014 Lord Mayor’s Show in London. The Show is televised both in the UK and worldwide. The idea is to represent, alongside the other livery companies, the insurance industry to the world at large. Speaking on behalf of the WCI, member Nigel Dyer, of Intelligent Marketing Partnership, reminds us that for many years the insurance industry has had very little presence in this high profile event. “We’ve been overshadowed by the multitude of other industries and professions who participate in the annual Lord Mayor’s Show in London, yet our industry is one of the biggest contributors to the UK economy and employs hundreds of thousands of people both directly and indirectly.
“The last time the general insurance industry made a public show of itself was some 30 or so years ago by the ABI (then known as the BIA) with the ‘Fred’ character and the ‘Get the strength of the insurance companies around you’ advertising campaign. “It’s about time our industry made a show of itself to the public, rather than hiding its light under the proverbial bushel. We’re working with the WCI to make this happen. “The float’s message will be positive and dynamic, promoting the general insurance sector as a whole;
its vital role in the UK economy; the numbers of people employed and reliant on the industry; plus the diversity of insurance and the claims met, world disasters like tsunamis, oil spills, or Katrina which, contrary to popular belief, are largely paid for by insurance. “It has to be exciting and attractive and tell a story of the widespread influence of insurance and its vital role in our economy – both here and worldwide.” Another WCI member also involved is Grant Scott, of Cowens Survival Capability, who adds, “The insurance industry has for
many years staged events where the participants have created amazing exhibition stands and promotions, but these have been targeted to the industry itself, rather than the general public. The Lord Mayor’s Show gives us the opportunity to turn this on its head. “The WCI will be seeking sponsors. Rather than having a few major contributors, we will be looking for a wide range of sponsors from across the industry contributing between £2,500-£5,000 each, giving as many organisations as possible the chance to participate.”
Julie Waters promoted at Thomas Carroll
homas Carroll Group has promoted Julie Waters to the role of group board director. Pictured here with chairman John Moore, her role as HR & compliance director with responsibility for training aims to ensure the group 4 insurancepeople DECEMBER 2013 / JANUARY 2014
retains its Chartered status, and exemplifies the succession plan. Julie Waters: “I’m passionate about our business and our people and this role gives me the opportunity to recruit, develop and retain professional individuals,
essential for business excellence.” Julie joined the group in 2002 and became associate director in 2006. Her 24 years’ experience includes positions previously held at RSA and HSBC.
Making young drivers safer on the road!
in association with
CDL volunteers get into the Christmas spirit Scandal strikes the Co-op
Ageas boosts telematics safety T
he insurance industry can occasionally be accused of charging off in the wrong direction. Mark Cliff, CEO Ageas Retail & Distribution recently cited the example of telematics where the real value is in making driving safer over the long term, rather than the short term acquisition of new business, particularly for a young driver account. “At a time when the spotlight is very much on the affordability of
insurance for young drivers, the value that telematics provides is not only to help young drivers onto the road, but make them safe on the road,” says Mark. “The response that we have seen from young drivers who improve their driving behaviour as a result of telematics feedback is really quite remarkable, and evidence that this is a tool worthy of further consideration as part of the review of young driver safety.”
Ageas’s telematics partner, blackbox specialist ingenie, recently won the Prince Michael International Road Safety Award for 2013, recognising the brand’s innovative use of telematics car insurance to help under 25s become safer drivers. Ageas has partnered with ingenie since 2011 and a result was the creation of Vauxhall Insurance powered by ingenie applicable to young buyers of a Corsa, Astra or
the new Adam, exclusively underwritten and administered by Ageas and available in all 600 of Vauxhall’s dealerships nationwide.
CDL backs Christmas Food Appeal Helen Brennan is responsible for CSR initiatives at CDL. “It’s great to see so many people choosing to take part in the Christmas Food Appeal. CDL is strongly committed to making a positive difference in the local community, and to supporting the positive work of charitable organisations such as EMERGE and its FareShare operations.” As well as helping to pick orders, fill vegetable parcels, and load collections into vehicles, CDL volunteers are also taking part in the company’s food drive initiative: ‘Bring in a Tin’ week. Any contribution is of benefit as FareShare recently announced that it has seen a 20% rise in the number of people it is feeding, from 29,500 a year to 35,000.
oftware house CDL volunteers will be swapping binary code for brussels sprouts as they get into the Christmas spirit to help the local branch of the national food distribution charity, FareShare North West, and deliver festive food supplies to people in the local community who need them. For the last four years FareShare NW has received around 35 tonnes of food from the voluntary organisation, The Buckingham Emergency Food Appeal (BEFA) at Christmas time. This sizeable donation then requires redistributing over a two-to-three day period prior to the big event, to the local and regional beneficiary organisations who come to collect it – which is where CDL comes in. As part of the CDL100, a scheme for volunteering in the community, CDL people have been signing up for shifts working as warehouse assistants at the charity’s North West food collection depot in the week before Christmas.
High jinks at the Co-op
he national media moved Co-op’s troubles swiftly through the fiasco, disaster, scandal, and cover-up phases. The underlying first-thought query when loosecannon senior officers get caught out, is to ask the simple question – who on earth appointed these people in the first place? The nationals sewed that up pretty neatly, with the regulators also in the dock for butter-finger approval. The only person I ever met from the Co-op on the networking circuit (apart from a non-exec brought in to tell them about motor insurance)… well, have a look at page 10 “Talking motor rates up” DECEMBER 2013 / JANUARY 2014 insurancepeople 5
market talk Atradius win replay Who really rules? Customer or shareholder?
Free kick to Atradius T
he IP team know all about the ‘touchy feely’ aspect of hard copy publishing. (If we didn’t, we wouldn’t be here, talking to you now). But we all have to accept change. Take “Dear Sir,…” Letters to the Editor. No one sends letters to the Editor these days… well, there is one, but we’ll leave him alone for the time being. Emails reach the editorial screen, but I have to say that standards seem to have deteriorated since earlier times. Where’s the pomposity? The pontification? The
high dudgeon? The airs, the affectation, and the arrogance? Where’s the presumption, the pretention, and the self importance of yore? (I could go on, but it might look as if I’m just quoting from the Thesaurus). Many email missives to IP feature unsolicited captions for innocent photos reproduced in good faith in the mag. Readers certainly have a sense of humour, but the captions are often 1) too corny, or 2) unprintable. Several that avoided either classification targeted page 7 of IP’s November
2013 issue (reproduced here). In this particular photo it was the good people in the background lining up in the ‘wall’ that attracted attention. The gist is that a soccer free kick is taking place in front of goal. The graduates on the right are deciding who is going to bend the ball goalwards, while the referee looks on, and the wall prepares itself for impact. But everyone’s a winner when this sort of thing happens. The caption perpetrators get their kicks for their eagleeyes; readers may be amused; and the PR people and the good sports in the photo score
twice, hence the additional photo. Try and caption that… And for the record, the occasion was when Rowena O'Sullivan, project manager, Atradius; Anne Middleton, HR manager, Atradius; Gareth Roberts, head of training, Admiral; John Mullin, MD, Composite Legal Expenses; Mark Tweed, CFO, GMAC; and the Minister for Education and Skills Huw Lewis launched the Welsh Financial Services Graduate Programme aiming to give university leavers paid work at the four firms, with structured training, and a post graduate qualification.
Customers v. Shareholders T
he leader editorial in last month’s IP voiced a major conundrum faced by UK insurance providers. The FCA and BIBA are telling everyone that they must “have the customer at the heart of everything they do” when everyone knows that it’s the shareholders who demand that priority. And why shouldn’t they? When did you ever hear of an MD or CEO declining attendance at a board meeting in favour of a customer facing event? It never happens. It’s always the other way round. But that’s what MDs and CEOs are for. Someone has to 6 insurancepeople DECEMBER 2013 / JANUARY 2014
protect the management from day-to-day interference from shareholders so they can get on with the job. And when it’s done well, it’s a pleasure to watch. Working at one time in close proximity to the MD of an American-owned insurer, I found that things were always quiet from 9am to around noon, so the MD was on hand to meet broker visitors, talk with management and socialise with staff. But when New York started work, and the MD’s phone started ringing, he was gone for the rest of the day and often into the evening.
Award for The Factory
in association with
Griffin Park winners! Brian Susman and Brentford
Win for The Insurance Factory P
ictured left is Russell Bence, head of retail at Markerstudy Group on the occasion when Birminghambased, Markerstudy-owned broker, The Insurance Factory was named ‘Personal Lines Broker of the Year 2013’ at the West Midlands Insurance Institute Awards at the end of October. Also in the picture are Carl Brandrick from Nice 1 Ltd who sponsored the award; Anne Gibbons, president of the Stratford-upon-Avon Insurance Institute; and Ed James, guest speaker and host of Heart West Midlands Breakfast show. Russell Bence says GWP has increased by nearly 100% in two years. With offices in Stourbridge and Hall Green, The Insurance Factory specialises in private car, motor trade, taxi, and commercial vehicle insurance. See www.insurancefactory.co.uk
On Hallowed Turf Brian Susman writes:
o there I was, standing on the hallowed turf of Griffin Park, immediately before kick-off and with 6,000-plus expectant fans waiting for the Brentford v Crewe match to kick off, having my picture taken with the captains and match officials. The first time, in about 60 years of supporting the Bees, that I had ever been on the ground itself. Wow! Why was all this going on? The answer, as with so
many really worthwhile things in this life, was – cricket. The renowned Insurance Celebs cricket team has played its final match this year, after 17 memorable years. I decided to call “time”, as matches were becoming more difficult to arrange and as players were becoming harder to find. As his way of saying “thank you” for organising the Celebs, one of the original team members (a retired insurance broker of note), who is also a Brentford fan,
arranged a hospitality day for son Adrian, good friend and Celebs umpire Graham Getgood, and me at Griffin Park during November. The programme included food and drink, tour of the ground, seats in the stand on the halfway line, that sort of thing. What I didn't know was that he had also arranged for my name to appear as match ball sponsor. That meant Adrian, Graham and an overjoyed BS being conducted on to the pitch just before kick-off to have
photographs taken with captains and officials. Not only that, but, after the game, the undisputed man-of-thematch Adam Forshaw presented me with an engraved salver to mark my sponsorship. Arranging the whole day was a typically generous gesture on the part of the organiser. It was one of those days to store away in the memory bank. Oh, and by the way, Brentford won 5-0! Brian Susman
©Mark D Fuller / obfcp.co.uk
©Mark D Fuller / obfcp.co.uk
One for the Susman scrapbook – our Consultant Editor to the left of Brentford skipper Tony Craig (stripes). To his left are IP Production Director Adrian Susman and IP reader and contributor Graham Getgood.
IP Consultant Editor Brian Susman receives an engraved salver from Brentford man-ofthe-match Adam Forshaw. DECEMBER 2013 / JANUARY 2014 insurancepeople 7
market talk “Crazy postures” Insurers could do more in social media
Another time bomb waiting to blow? I
t was in mid-November that Jon Abbott, MD of ergonomics & safety at Cardinus Risk Management, gave warning of yet another (see item right) insurance bomb ticking away, threatening to cause disaster perhaps sooner rather than later. Fortunately Jon not only knew where it was, but also how to defuse it before it explodes. This threat emerged at the 2013 seminar of the Cardinus User Group at Ettington Chase Hotel near Stratford-upon-Avon where the main topic was the enhancement of the Cardinus Healthy Working programme which, incidentally, will feature in these pages in the coming months. The current alarm bell
sounded by Jon Abbott arises in connection with Cardinus’s new corporate social responsibility initiative for students, and the current general indifference towards injury prevention by schools, parents and teachers. It’s been a hard road to assimilate the idea that working at a keyboard workstation can be just as injurious as swinging a
shovel or professional sport. The need for H&S in this particular area is now fully recognised, but the world moves on. Students now spend much of their time not at the keyboard, but at their ipads and tablets, for leisure but also increasingly for school work. The result? A whole range of bad posture driven injuries – “ipad droop” was the name of one that I heard. So the time bomb signalled by Jon Abbott will go off when schools and teachers and others start receiving claims for injuries that they will attract for alleged failed duty of care. Jon Abbott: “Our future workforce faces a new potential danger. While regulations affect how our
working population use technology, we are seeing our next generation use a wider range of technologies, for longer periods of time, and in crazy postures. Yet we do nothing. “This deeply worrying phenomenon affects all schools, colleges and universities upon whom the duty of care falls. The immediate need is to help our younger generations understand about good posture and to recognise discomfort. A variety of tools are available for schools and teachers to help them improve comfort and health. “It would be a tragedy to see a generation of employees with injuries developed during their developmental years.”
Autoglass highlight social media gap A
utomotive glass supplier Autoglass presents some interesting research about insurers’ use of social media. It seems many of them don’t have a dedicated person dealing with incoming queries on digital channels. “Insurers still see social media as a sales channel, despite customers increasingly using it for customer service,” says, sales & marketing director André May. “The appetite for seamless customer service across all channels, including social, has really taken off in recent years.
The number of customer service-related enquiries we’ve seen on our own Facebook and Twitter pages has more than doubled in the past year compared with the previous year. Our customers are not only enquiring about windscreen repairs or replacements, but also asking about their car insurance policies and cover, and we’ve re-directed enquiries, where relevant, to our insurance partners. “The latest research findings show how insurers are making some headway into the social customer space, and more needs to be done as it continually
8 insurancepeople DECEMBER 2013 / JANUARY 2014
evolves. Ensuring there is adequate investment into social media is the first step. Brands that are accessible both on and off-line are better able to build and manage good customer relationships, which can help to reduce the risk of reputational damage from comments posted on social media by irritated or disgruntled customers. We know that this works, so supporting our insurance partners to ensure customer enquiries are dealt with in a quick and more efficient way is an important part of our service.” Autoglass report that
across the UK, nearly a third of people are turning to social media to complain about poor customer service, yet only 40% of insurers are actively responding to customer enquiries received on social platforms.
Some insurance ‘time bombs’ are more real than others
in association with
UKGI say add-ons are go!
Insurance ’time bombs’ I have known P
rompted by the adjacent item, a couple of previous insurance industry ‘time bomb’ alarms spring to mind. At their respective ends of the Richter scale, one proved to be a ‘dud’ while the other blew the UK banking industry into smithereens. The damp squib turned out to be the alleged deluge in the use of
aluminium by motor manufacturers that would result in a clamour for new skills and meltdown for vehicle repair costs. One motor insurer I contacted at the time told me, “Andrew, it’s not even on our radar.” They subsequently disappeared from the scene, but that exit wasn’t because they were caught out by aluminium cars. The other bomb was,
of course, the PPI misselling scandal. Simon Burgess, then of British Insurance, raised the lid on this particular can of worms. No-one listened,
and the non-statutory regulators of the time took no action. A better case for the value of statutory regulation would be hard to find.
Strange but true, the writing of this item was interrupted by a cold call recording, inviting me to accept the money I was owed on my PPI claim. But nothing unusual in that. I get about three or four of those every week. The joys of working from home!
What future for broker add-ons? L
ooking back at the massive fine that Swinton suffered earlier this year at the hands of the FCA for add-on mis-selling, I can’t help wondering about the extent to which the regulator targeted Swinton because its name was already in the book. It’s only a theory, but what better way to set an immediate example to others that the FCA didn’t yet have time to investigate? So, do add-on products remain an opportunity for FCA-compliant brokers? I put that question to UKGI compliance consultancy services director, Jill Hambley. “Brokers shouldn’t suffer a knee-jerk reaction to selling add-on products following the recent FCA fine lodged against Swinton Insurance for failures in its sales processes,” she says. “A consequence of the FCA investigation into Swinton’s sale of add-on products – and subsequent £7.4m fine – is a new reluctance among
some brokers to play in the add-ons market. “For instance, we know of a firm with a new-tomarket, add-on product that was at the point of NOT going ahead with it because of concern following the Swinton fine. “If firms are looking at their processes, managing their regulatory risks and can demonstrate to the FCA that they are monitoring effectively, then there is no reason why they shouldn’t be selling add-on products that provide value to the consumer.” But Jill emphasises that brokers need to address the way in which they tend to sell add-ons. “Add-ons are treated often as the last thing the broker discusses with the customer, whereas they should be part of the main sale, and be discussed from the earliest point in the sales process rather than at the end. “The FCA is concerned
about instances where consumers can be drawn into buying add-ons without realising it, especially when buying remotely. And, for the FCA, it’s always got to be about the customer getting the right product. “Though not insurmountable, introducing a process change can be a significant challenge for some firms. This is especially true for those brokers accustomed to bundling products where the customer cannot buy individual covers based on desire and need. And there are still a small minority of firms using assumptive selling where customers have to opt out of buying a particular product rather than being given the option to actively opt in.” UKGI estimates that 50% of the brokers it deals with for the first time are breaching FCA regulations in some way. “We do see a lot of firms who are likely to receive regulatory censure at
some point based on weak systems and controls and potential for consumer detriment,” confirms Jill. “Brokers that, up until now, have paid lip service to the regulator’s requirements are certainly the ones at risk. “Brokers need to be proactive in understanding the FCA’s activities, what the thematic reviews mean and the likely impact on them. A review into add-on products is one of the thematic reviews announced by the FCA, along with reviews into claims, complaint handling, conflicts of interest, automatic renewals and financial incentives.”
DECEMBER 2013 / JANUARY 2014 insurancepeople 9
market talk FargAssist deliver the insurance ‘promise’
in association with
Co-op – on another planet?
Claims service still has a way to go A
lthough it’s pleasant to report on the number of ‘good news’ items when it comes to the insurance ultimate promise – “We will pay your claim” – it still rankles when you come across a case where apparent insurer lethargy rules. On page 22 in this issue there’s the case of a householder reporting a claim for a plumbing disaster while abroad, only to return home to find water still running down the stairs and the insurer has done nothing to mitigate the loss. It beggars belief, since they will be the ones to fork out for the overall damage. And similar reports reach this desk far too regularly of unbelievable sloth from some motor insurers. And, it has to be said, it happens largely among the larger insurers, suggesting indolence rather than any deliberate plan to hide and hope the claim goes away.
It seems that good claim management companies will continue to thrive because they give consumers what they want, and that’s a topic I discussed with Peter Thorpe, national sales manager at FargAssist. “I think there’s no doubt that some insurers continue to fail in meeting their customer’s needs on the Treating Customers Fairly front,” says Peter. “And yes, that’s a good reason why consumers and the market still need good accident management and why such companies are still required. You have to remember that when we handle a claim well, it’s the insurer who gets the credit! “You tell me that a lot of the delays you come across derive from the larger insurers, and if that’s so, then bigger organisations can suffer from peripheral distractions. An accident management company is
highly focussed. We drive the claim forward at every opportunity. “Interesting times lie ahead because more insurers are now looking at the idea of an outsourced service, thanks not only to the highly focussed approach, but because they can then reduce their own handling costs as a direct result. “There are currently many ‘wins’ being announced to support this view and I can see this trend continuing. We at FargAssist have tendered for some interesting business in the past month or two, and other invitations are in the pipeline. “We currently work with one or two major players in the motor market as we write. Third party intervention is becoming more important as a means of settling claims in a more efficient and economical way, despite a genuine lack of interest over the previous
years. It’s interesting how perceptions and thoughts change. Or is it a case of one doing something, and the rest following? “The press focus on whiplash claims etc. has been justified. However there is much more to the services available from companies in our field, and our focus remains the same in respect of delivery of these services. We, and many other accident management companies, have survived this, so we must be doing something right!”
“Talking motor rates up” T
he odd man out in a late 1990s networking “talking motor rates up” exercise was the Co-op motor underwriter. (See page 5). This was a cyclical task amid the ups and downs of the motor profit/loss COR cycle, in the days when insurers could talk to each other in confidence without any hassle from data protection or cartelism. The early 1990s’ motor COR disaster had been turned round with some unsolicited and fortuitous help when the national media took a shine to ‘joyriding’, so consumers understood exactly why their motor premiums would be going up. Could a similar campaign rectify the inevitable next dip? 10 insurancepeople DECEMBER 2013 / JANUARY 2014
I was representing my employer, so I couldn’t be rude. But I did wonder which of the proverbial ‘planets’ the Co-op man was living on. He wasn’t worried in the slightest about Co-op’s poor COR (actually the worst in the market at the time). His remit was to satisfy Co-op members with the cheapest rates. So it could be that Co-op didn’t know how to run a motor account for profit in 1998, and recent revelations have suggested that they didn’t know much about banking either. And I hasten to emphasise that this took place in the late 1990s, so no connection with anyone at Co-op now.
The British Bake has gone and winter’s on its way!
There’s no question the British weather is changing. With the hottest summer since 2006, we are now preparing for a predicted bad winter. Joy Cooper talks contingency plans and advice for motorists
n the good old days of vehicle glazing there used to be clear-cut seasons. We saw large increases in repair work from November to March, but now forecasting workflows is tricky business, with unexpected influxes evident throughout the year. The Met Office certainly plays a big role in helping anticipate what lies ahead. It seems however, that we can expect a repeat of last year’s adverse conditions, but on a more severe scale, requiring well prepared contingency plans to keep services running smoothly for customers during heavy snow and ice. For me, it’s important that this covers all business areas, from contact centre staffing levels and glass supplies to mobile repair technicians out on the road.
otorists can also help themselves by giving their windscreens some care and attention. By promoting this, insurers could see cost savings through fewer accident claims and reduced requests for replacement windscreens. Check for chips. Chips are more likely to develop into cracks in winter, requiring replacement glass, which is more costly than repairs to existing glass. Vehicle owners should be advised to get any chips fixed immediately. Depending on the position and size of the damage, chips can be repaired easily, restoring the glass to full strength. Clean screen. Motorists who drive a vehicle with a clean windscreen will have better visibility, reducing the potential for accidents.
Joy Cooper AUTOMOTIVE GLASS SALES DIRECTOR AUTO WINDSCREENS
Washer bottles should be checked regularly and spray correctly. An empty washer bottle could result in a £1,000 fine and three points on a driver’s licence. Bin bad wipers. Bad wipers can scratch vehicle glass when moving. Wipers should be checked regularly and changed every six months, as rubber deteriorates over time when exposed to the atmosphere. The rubber on the blade can also tear if pulled off an icy windscreen.
DECEMBER 2013 / JANUARY 2014 insurancepeople 11
Cath Williams BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT MANAGER RG INVESTIGATIONS UK LTD
Regulation – ready, steady, go! Times change, and in these days of regulatory compliance, it’s clear that insurers and their investigative specialist suppliers need to liaise more closely. Cath Williams explains how this can be done, to clean up the private investigation industry, and create an ethical and professional framework
he results of the Leveson enquiry and the ensuing media furore has clearly driven Government to the decision to regulate the private investigation industry through licensing. Whilst I believe we will all see the significant value which will come from achieving this objective, it should be borne in mind that while investigators operating in our particular sector are not currently licensed, they are properly regulated in as much as they are bound by existing legislation and contractual obligations to clients. Added to this, some investigation companies have embedded Codes of Practice that include everything from recruitment and training of investigators, through to treating customers fairly, to following the guidelines of the FCA. The actual legislation governing the conduct involved in making enquiries on behalf of third parties is too copious to list here, but covers everything from data protection to human rights legislation, through to bribery and corruption.
It’s probably safe to say that those investigators that have fallen foul of the Leveson Enquiry may already be suspected of breaches of criminal and civil law, and those breaches could land them in court. The existing laws, if properly applied, are robust and the penalties are significant, as some rogue investigators have found. It’s certain that ethical investigation companies will have been approached at times to carry out activities that are not acceptable, or may be criminal in nature and will have refused to contemplate such business on principle. Many investigation companies deliberately avoid anything remotely construable as bribery and will refuse to even offer hospitality to clients. Thus an argument can possibly be made that further legislation is not required to bring rogue investigators to task. (There’s a further argument to be made that licensing will not deter rogue investigators who are prepared to flout the law). What regulation will do is establish a code of practice and
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training for the rest of those honestly toiling in the private investigation field.
Competence Training is an issue that needs further discussion. It’s noted that Leveson did not seem to accuse anyone of incompetence, but rather of criminality. This leaves for consideration matters of probity and good general practices. The clients of investigation companies are often bound by the Financial Services Act and insist, by way of written contracts, that the investigators they use mirror their own rules and practices. Also, financial institutions, insurers, and their intermediaries have a regulatory responsibility to protect their customers from fraud and financial crime – this is a big subject and requires a multi-faceted response. The FCA guide states under ‘A Firm’s Guide to Preventing Financial Crime’, “We expect a firm to consider the full implications of the breadth of
the starting blocks “andOnready to go ” fraud risks it faces, which may have wider effects on its reputation, its customers and the markets in which it operates”. The FCA guide sets out the best practice relating to preventing losses from fraud which includes fraud response plans and investigation procedures. Working closely with clients from across the insurance, financial, and corporate sector it’s possible to ensure that methods and actions form an extension of this best practice approach. This assurance can be provided in three ways: 1. Helping clients understand the extent to which they may be exposed to fraud across their business, and assistance in formulating and implementing action plans to reduce and control this risk
2. The provision of a comprehensive range of validation and investigation solutions which adhere completely with each and every principle of the FCA ‘Treating the Customer Fairly’ 3. Complete compliance without question with all rules, regulations and laws These rules form the foundations on which to build a professional, effective, and secure solution to assist clients in meeting the regulatory requirements of the FCA.
ut it is important to remember that all this is not solely related to investigative methods in use - it goes much further than that. It’s very easy for an
investigative organisation to talk about how effective they are in fighting fraud. How much money they can save their clients. How many fraudsters they have presented to the police for prosecution. Of course, results are important, but the results are only a part of the effectiveness of the overall solution. Clients must have complete trust and confidence in their investigative supplier. And that trust needs a special holistic approach as to how to manage the business. This holistic approach ranges from the creation of all business processes and policies; the type of people employed; and how they are treated. The relationships not only exist with our clients, but also with business support partners.
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Wishing W ishing you a Merry M Christmas stmas and a a prosperous prosperous New N Year Yeear visit ww www.ssp-worldwide.com ww.ssp-worldwide.com .ssp m or call 0800 590 705 DECEMBER 2013 / JANUARY 2014 insurancepeople 13
Bouquets & Brickbats – 2013 MOST PROMISING NEWCOMER: Gerry Loughney FAT CAT OF THE YEAR: Mark Hodges MOST ADMIRED INDUSTRY PROFESSIONAL: Phil Hayes of 2direct ROCK STAR EXECUTIVE OF THE YEAR: Jonathan Davey MOST OVERDUE (NOT AWARDED) KNIGHTHOOD OF THE YEAR: Sir Robert Hiscox 2013 “REVOLVING DOOR” AWARD: Aviva ANDY OF THE YEAR: Homer INDUSTRY WOMEN OF THE YEAR: Karen Rose of the Insurance Institute of Reading and Karen Cartridge of the Insurance Institute of Manchester TOFF OF THE YEAR: Nick Starling, recently moved on to Downton POSH TOTTY OF THE YEAR: Candy Holland CAFFE LATTE LIBERAL OF THE YEAR: Peter Staddon BUNGLING DUNCES OF THE YEAR: HMRC; Homeserve THE MOURINHO “THE SPECIAL ONE” AWARD: Branko Bjelobaba.
THE YEAR’S TOP CELEBRITY LOOKALIKES: Harry Hill - Reg Brown; Wayne Rooney - Steve White; Kim Jong-un - John (Worldwide) Webb; George Clooney - Ian Ritchie; Alex Salmond - Benedict Burke; Simon Cowell David Williams FASTEST INVOICE PAYERS OF THE DECADE: CILA, an oasis of professional excellence in an Atacama of the passable and the “OK, I suppose” CHAV OF THE YEAR: A toss-up between Jonathan Clark and Julian James BAD JOKES OF THE YEAR: The Telephone Preference Service; Wonga; the EHIC (absolutely useless); all car rental outfits; letting agents; house-builders SOME INSURANCE PEOPLE OF ABSOLUTE INTEGRITY IT’S BEEN MY GREAT PRIVILEGE TO KNOW: In alphabetical order - David Bland; David Gillan; Richard Hanson-James; Phil Hayes; Andy Homer; Malcolm Hyde; David Shaw; Brian Susman; David Worsfold 14 insurancepeople DECEMBER 2013 / JANUARY 2014
LEAST LIKEABLE PEOPLE OF THE YEAR: Sally Bercow; Hugh Grant; Lord Sugar; Michael Gove; Ed Balls; Piers Morgan (Mr. Smug); Chris Huhne; George Osborne OVERHEARD QUOTE OF THE YEAR: “No insurance company CEO is more than six shags away from any other, except of course (name withheld)” - overheard at an industry conference SMUG BRANDS OF THE YEAR: BBC; The Guardian; Daily Mail; Top Gear; Private Eye; BUPA FAR AND AWAY THE MOST INTERESTING TV OFFERING OF THE YEAR: Peaky Blinders - faultless, five-star acting by Cillian Murphy and Helen McCrory RECURRING VERY BAD DREAM OF THE YEAR: A stark naked Ian Ritchie using a chain saw BEST CELEB AFTER-DINNER SPEAKERS OF THE YEAR: John Sergeant; Gabby Logan; Ruby Wax; Gyles Brandreth; Barry Cryer; Tom O’Connor; Hugh Dennis; Bill Beaumont
BEST WAYS IN 2013 TO COMPLETELY WASTE A DAY, IGNORING THE SPLIT INFINITIVE: 1. Attend a hugely overpriced industry conference in a smelly Docklands hotel (the Land of the Living Dead), where most of the speakers are barely articulate and “the organisation” is unbelievably chaotic 2. Have steamy unbridled (whatever that means) sex with an FCII in a fragrant City hotel MOST LOATHED OCCUPATION OF THE YEAR: Coldcallers (cf. 2012 - Incompetent, devious, expenses-fiddling, “snouts in the trough” politicians) PRONUNCIATIONS HEARD IN 2013 IN SPEECHES ON THE INSURANCE CONFERENCE AND DINNER CIRCUITS: Nucular; tenderhooks; analojous; burgulry; restauranteur; coup de gra BEST PERSONAL SERVICE OF THE YEAR: LV (very good indeed) WORST PERSONAL SERVICE OF THE YEAR: BT (hopeless); Saga (clueless)
Five things I’m determined to do in 2014, as I continue my long and leisurely stroll through life 1.
Pretend to be a Scouser for a day
Try to make a broker laugh. Every day. Obviously, not the same broker
Stop doing the joke about Lyndon Willshire, the jellyfish, the stripper and the rolling-pin
Take a really long shower with a large orange woman with big hair. I’ve known her for donkey’s years but have never quite been able to summon up the courage to invite her in. Or out
APPARENTLY UNREALISED HOPE OF A COUPLA YEARS AGO: “We need to get far stronger around what our narrative is for the consumer” - gobbledegook from some bloke with a foreign-sounding name who might have been something to do with running the Association of Biggish Insurers. When precisely will this need begin to be addressed? SERIOUS IRRITANTS OF THE YEAR: Mendacious coppers; extremely unhygienic delicatessen counters in supermarkets; drivers who park over the lines in carparks; long queues in scruffy post offices; Homeland (series 2 and 3); Elton John; toothless and dim-witted watchdogs; media morons who pronounce HS2 as "Haitch S2". (Why, in the name of anything that may be mistakenly considered holy, doesn't anybody tip 'em the wink?) WORDS MOST FREQUENTLY MIS-USED (IN 2013) BY INSURANCE EXECUTIVES: Appraise for apprise; disinterested for uninterested; forebearance for forbearance; forego for forgo; less for fewer; irregardless for regardless. I actually heard one of them use the sad term “no-brainer” in the sense of “not obvious at all”. "SUIT BY ARMANI, HAIRCUT BY FLYMO" AWARD: Neil Utley THE WETTEST AREAS OF BRITAIN, 2013: The Lake District and the ABI. Gentle reader, I do so wish I had the courage to spell out my choice of winner in a few other categories, e.g. most stupid comment of the year (and there have been plenty, including insurance company claims staff allegedly describing policyholders as muppets); most gormless regular column in an insurance trade magazine; the "most exciting individual at a trade association" award; loud-mouthed willy-waver of the year; spent force of the year. But I don't. Have the courage, I mean.
Every best wish for a happy Christmas and a prosperous New Year. AJC
Learn how to twerk. It’ll make me even cooler than wot I am already, already
DECEMBER 2013 / JANUARY 2014 insurancepeople 15
Lucy Scurlock-Jones MANAGING DIRECTOR EVENT INSURANCE SERVICES
Event Insurance… what’s it all about? The legacy of the 2012 event calendar continues to provide brokers with an array of opportunities as outlined by Lucy Scurlock-Jones. Cycling, sporting ‘thons’, tough mudder, street parties, vintage fairs and tea parties, continental markets, and the pop up phenomenon – all presenting brokers with new opportunities
elcome to our world, a fascinating and diverse market where the mundane meets the obscure, and has its own party in between. A niche market often overlooked and often undervalued by brokers. With entry level premiums in the £50 mark it’s understandable that the enthusiasm may falter. So let’s take a look at the bigger picture. This is an extensive and expanding market. There are events everywhere, every day, the
list is endless. And the common denominator is that they all need insurance in some shape or form, albeit basic liability through to the more complex element of cancellation cover, adverse weather, non-appearance, terrorism etc.
he long hot summer of 2013 has given the market an enormous boost following two wet summers. This year some events have boasted their highest visitor numbers ever recorded, and this
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seems to have been the trend across the board, helping to bring profitability back into the equation, and a welcome boost to wider communities that benefit from successful events. This market is not only vibrant, but growing. Its organisers are becoming increasingly savvy to their exposure to liability; the benefit of success; and health and safety requirements. Risk assessments are now commonplace even with small
A niche market often overlooked by brokers
events. People who get involved with organising events are usually passionate about them and this is what makes this market tick. London 2012 has most definitely left a significant mark on the events industry. Sport Britain is one of the fastest growing trends we have witnessed since the street party return back in 2002. Cycling, triathlons, duathlons, aquathons, and other activities have seen a huge increase in numbers, and even more so the tough man challenges, the tough mudder, crawling under barbed wire, through rivers, over walls, the ultimate challenge and the dirtier the better. The magnitude of this sector is vast and while we keep getting healthier, fitter and more competitive, this can only serve to grow.
he street party still continues to gather momentum, even in years when there is no national occasion to warrant. The number of policies taken out for this type of event steadily increases. And of course when there is such an occasion, then the response is almost overwhelming - a clear indicator of an event that is here to stay. Vintage is the new fashion we are seeing increasingly on our books. No, not cars, vintage goods, clothes, art or fashion, but vintage fairs and tea parties. Corporate and private, this is a trend we didn’t see coming. It has just emerged, and there are a number of event organising companies who just specialise in vintage events, with the Great
Gatsby and art deco very much here and now. Last, but nowhere near least, is the pop up phenomenon that is sweeping the country, particularly popular in towns and cities. Pop up restaurants, pop up bars, pop up shops - the short period occupation of a site offering the public the opportunity to sample is not only a highly valued marketing tool, it is an event. Of the moment, or about to be, are German Christmas markets. This is a pop up event just a bit bigger and a bit longer than most. I hope this little insight has given brokers some idea, some inspiration, and some enthusiasm for what could readily be an income stream throughout the year.
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Hot topics in Lloyd’s Pay to play, sidecars, piggy backing, free rides and lobster linguine
arlier this year I had lunch with a not-so-old Lloyd’s Underwriter friend during which he made a somewhat obscure statement to the effect that he could in the future underwrite a percentage of a major Lloyd’s brokers’ entire portfolio without employing any staff. He was only drinking a tonic water at the time, which made his statement all the more strange, and his judgement was certainly not clouded by alcohol. Apparently his capacity providers would allow him this freedom in the knowledge that he would not be “selected against” and obtain the best rates available in the market, with the broker doing all the work.
Lloyd’s started in “a coffee house, so why not revert to trading in Starbucks?
I could not help myself cynically comparing this with Lloyd’s coffee house foundations when wealthy merchants underwrote the potential catastrophes of others, and suggested he may like to consider trading from Starbucks! More recently, of course, it has come to light that he may have been preparing me for the subsequent announcement of the so called “pay to play” schemes. It’s now common knowledge that
at least two of our largest Lloyd’s brokers are finalising passive facility arrangements using the established Lloyd’s platform under the newly adopted category of a “Sidecar” model. As you can imagine, this has caused a degree of consternation in the market, with initial reactions ranging from their “piggy backing” other underwriters’ expertise, to taking a “free ride” at the expense of other syndicates whose underwriters are the bedrock of Lloyd’s ability and reputation to price risks globally. Hence the concern that a proliferation of such deals could lead to a loss of innovation, competiveness, and intellectual capital from the market. However most critics appear to be focusing on the potential conflict of interest aspect, which will no doubt be sorted out by the Financial Conduct Authority following completion of their shortly to be published review. The chairman and CEO of Lloyd’s view was recently stated as follows. “This facility is effectively a blind follow facility, it’s a passive facility and it is somewhat of a parasitic arrangement on the Lloyd’s market. These parties don’t have to provide any underwriting expertise, or any claims management expertise, they’re just following whatever we do in the Lloyd’s market, and so you could argue that it’s a free ride, and no-one likes being taken for a ride!”
ould these brokers be setting a trend to be followed by others? Or will the other competing brokers be seeking additional commission as a form of loyalty payment for
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additional services assuming, of course, this income does not contravene the Bribery Act! You can certainly envisage that, should these new sidecar arrangements prove successful, other underwriters could be forced to join the party. Or be precluded from underwriting volume business in the London market. Also those underwriters who have paid to play will not be expected to compete against these arrangements with other brokers, which could as a result reduce the number of syndicate players across certain lines of business.
y initial reaction to this innovation was to reflect upon Sir David Rowland’s comment to me in response to a similar situation many years ago when I was summoned to address a “jumping of the gun” issue in Lloyd’s newly established Temporary Life market. Following a fairly short debate we agreed the principal gripe had an element of “sour grapes” and resolved the dispute accordingly. I have every confidence Lloyd’s will resolve this new hiatus in its inimitable style and everyone will continue to live happily ever after. But I still feel the customer may eventually be disadvantaged by the reduced lack of underwriter participation, as this intellectual capital is paramount. As they say the “devil is in the detail” and without this it would be wrong to criticise at this early stage. But I am intrigued as to who will price the new dawn of complex enquiries that arrive daily in the brokers’ office
when in all probability the competing market with the required underwriting expertise will not play ball! Hopefully these structured placement facilities will stand the test of time and attract more business to Lloyd’s, but I suspect in the short term a degree of animosity will prevail whilst the competing factions take sides. I also suspect this will bring pressure on those who believe in loyalty and continuity with underwriters, as this old fashioned but essential tradition is lost in the quest for superior trading.
t has also worryingly crossed my mind that as a quid pro quo to losing business to a sidecar
arrangement, some of the overseasowned syndicates may choose to adopt a “repatriation of business” defence plan which would certainly put the cat amongst the pigeons. Taking insurance premiums without assessing exposures is, of course, a high risk strategy wherever the carrier is based. Incidentally we now appear to have gone full circle with actuaries who changed everything to equate to a “model”. Apparently they are now adopting the phrase of “Adequate Rating” with underwriters which, apart from being easier said than done is what we have been endeavouring to achieve for generations. These new challenges will
Speaking of lunches in the City - which are legion and invariably the catalyst for most of the large contracts in the insurance industry - I hear these are the cause of some embarrassment as the regulator focuses his attention on the cost, and whether this impinges on the Bribery Act. This form of bonding between underwriters, brokers, and clients is one of the basic elements at an early stage to establish the insurance requirements and risk exposures before the more complex negotiations ensue with regard to rating and policy conditions. Apparently lunches are now the subject of various rules and regulations and close scrutiny by the regulator as it would appear we cannot be trusted to make these decisions ourselves. Can anyone imagine an underwriter or principal of a broking house ruining his career for the price of a Lobster Linguine at Bolton’s?
certainly test the patience of the new chairman of Lloyd’s at the same time as presenting the CEO and his new replacement with some difficult decisions to make.
hilst the market may have changed dramatically over the years in terms of its capital providers and the extensive complex nature of risks, the Lloyd’s and London market is still fundamentally a people business where face-to-face negotiations, particularly in the subscription market, are unparalleled. Do we now need to complicate life by endeavouring to second guess how the regulator will react every step of the way? Even Lloyd’s finance director Luke Savage has expressed his concern when he recently stated, “You could argue that regulation in Europe is already more expensive than other parts of the world, and in that context it is a worrying detrimental trend that we are arguably making the UK less competitive through over regulation.” The franchise board in Lloyd’s was established some time back and has done a magnificent job in stabilising the market. This must surely indicate that Lloyd’s is more than capable of looking after its own affairs without the additional cost of dual regulation. Should the FCA now start to interfere with the market’s well-oiled distribution methods for global business (which dovetail nicely with overseas distribution), this could certainly prejudice our international trading relationships. A final reminder worth emphasising is when brokers talk about “using” and “supporting” an underwriter as if these words meant the same thing. As we all know, “using” is one thing whereas “supporting” is when there is mutual respect for the relationship.
DECEMBER 2013 / JANUARY 2014 insurancepeople 19
In Memoriam A
nyone with even a smattering of early 20th Century history cannot fail to be moved by the photographs of the pre-1914 teams when visiting any centenarian sports pavilion that proudly displays history on its hallowed walls. National journalist Jim White summed this up in a piece in the Daily Telegraph this summer after visiting Queen’s College, Oxford. “[Such photos] pull you up short, and bring a tear to the eye the moment you understand their significance. These are the snaps taken in 1914 of stiff-collared cricketers and rugby chaps in blazers and hobnailed boots. “As you look at them, as you take in their arrogant certainty, their astonishing air of privilege and self-satisfaction, you realise that every last one of them would have been dead within months of posing for that snap on the pavilion steps.”
hanks to the postcards in the Reg Brown collection, IP readers may have experienced the same feelings over the past year as groups of young insurance men from that most unlucky generation have posed with that same innocence about what lay ahead for them. That generation was of course shackled by the post-Victorian desire never to stand out from the crowd as an individual, in work or play. That compulsion to conform was never more clear than in fashion, particularly when it came to wearing hats – everyone knew their place. To an extent that lemming-like urge may have driven the rush “to join the colours before it was all over”, but there’s no doubting the level of patriotism. “Lad, we want you to spend the next four years living in a hole in the ground in France. The enemy will be throwing bullets and bombs at you, but don’t worry. We’ll give you plenty of stuff to chuck back at them.” In fact, even if these young men could have known the truth, it’s probable they would have all still volunteered anyway. In his August 2013 article, Jim White mentioned plans afoot to commemorate next summer the fabled Boxing Day Truce football kick-around that took place in no-mans-land between the trenches in 1914. The event was subsequently immortalised by Capt Blackadder who allegedly took part. “I couldn’t believe it. I was never offside!”
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The changing face of the bodyshop
Mark Pratt talks about the challenges facing bodyshops and why relationships, streamlining and technology are crucial to those wanting to survive and succeed
VLA figures show that vehicles on Britain’s roads continue to grow year-on-year, with 34.5 million vehicles licensed by the end of last year. You would think that this would lead to a booming repair industry but, it’s fair to argue, bodyshops have undergone a restless few years in what has been a turbulent economic climate. Safer vehicle technology has resulted in less frequent accidents and motorists are now more likely to weigh up repair costs before making a decision whether to pay an excess on their insurance policy. This has led to some vehicle repair centres adapting their business and looking elsewhere for customers, moving more towards the retail space, which includes prestige vehicle improvements and classic restorations. To lose just one big contract can
be enough to force some bodyshops under, so they can no longer rely solely on a few solid relationships with insurers and other intermediaries, but need to place eggs in several baskets. Relationships are the cornerstone of any business and the repair sector is no different. To avoid a loss in business, bodyshops must make a concerted effort to strengthen partnerships to ensure future revenues. They need to work closely with insurers, brokers, and accident management companies to gain mutually beneficial relationships, and keep these lines of business fruitful, while also handling other work streams. However, it’s not relationships alone that will ensure survival. Future-proofing is somewhat a necessity and this engulfs a need to streamline processes, both for
Mark Pratt MANAGING DIRECTOR TCW GROUP
practical repairs and customer service. It also requires the foresight to invest in high-tech equipment and training to keep in step with vehicle manufacturing technological advancements, enabling the capacity to excel in any repair work. Organisations looking to partner with a bodyshop should look for these qualities, in addition to PAS125 certifications and a high number of vehicle manufacturer approvals. It shows a determination to prosper and transition organically into tomorrow’s motoring marketplace.
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DECEMBER 2013 / JANUARY 2014 insurancepeople 21
A day in the life… …of a policyholder’s claim expert Insurance People spends a day with Angus Tucker, managing director of Lorega Solutions The IP editorial boast is that, being insurance people ourselves, our insurance knowledge is profound. But that was a handicap when it came to sharing a day with a claim expert. That was going to call for a fresh insight, with an open-mind and no pre-determined views. So the Editor asked IP’s occasional, freelance book reviewer Karl Brown to spend a day, out on the road, yes… with an insurance man. Here’s his report
t was a new venture for me when being asked by the Editor to spend a day out with a past president of the Chartered Institute of Loss Adjusters to find out more about how exactly he goes about helping policyholders when they have a serious claim. A Chartered Loss Adjuster with over 37 years of experience, my first surprise on meeting Angus Tucker, the MD of Lorega Solutions, was that he, and other experts like him, can act exclusively for the policyholder to represent their interests in the claim. I’d always assumed that chartered loss adjusters worked for the insurance company. Another thing I hadn’t realised was quite how hands-on he is, and the range of activities he gets up to! It was an early start. We were off to meet his client at their family home in East Sussex and Angus was able to fill me in on some of the
background to the case. His client is the CEO a major bank in the Far East who was flying in to meet us. While the family had been away on holiday in warmer climes, a cold snap at home had affected plumbing in the roof, and both the building and its contents had been devastated by water. As he is often abroad, the client had asked his broker to recommend someone to take charge of stabilising the situation and to salvage the high spec contents, which included handmade furnishings and an impressive art collection. Apparently he had received no assistance from his insurers, despite their promises. As Angus explained, “When I arrived, the Persian carpets sprayed out water as I walked over them, the ceilings had collapsed, plaster on the walls had blown and the tile and laminate flooring was warped and lifting.” It seems that his involvement had encompassed a full project management role, ranging from the appointment and management of damage reclamation contractors specialising in high net worth properties and the removal, salvage and repair of the contents to organising the reinstatement works necessary to restore the home to its former glory. “When something like this happens, the first thing an insured will do is to contact their insurance broker and expect their insurance company to sort everything out,” says Angus. “In this case, however, the client was at his wits end when nothing had happened, so the broker recommended that we be instructed to manage the claim.” When we met the client I was relieved to see that all of Angus’s work had paid off. Not only were we
22 insurancepeople DECEMBER 2013 / JANUARY 2014
Angus Tucker Managing Director Lorega Solutions
able to see the house back in use, but I was able to see, first hand, how impressed the client had been with the way the works had been handled. Showing me around, it was hard to imagine the scene of devastation were it not for the photographs. The haunting memory of seeing a torrent of water rushing down the stair case on their return home will probably stay with them, but the care and attention to detail by Angus and his teams had ensured that the family were able to put it behind them and get on with their lives. As his client told me: “To say that I was grateful to Angus would be a massive understatement. We all have busy lives and what I needed was an expert, who knew exactly what he was doing, to come in to take over the project management and to make sure that we were covered from an insurance point of view.” Driving back, Angus told me that, apart from the variety of the claims he comes across, the biggest enjoyment from his job is seeing his clients receive a swift and fair settlement of their claims. Sounds like a good day’s insurance work to me. Karl Brown
“The ones that got away”
The pre-Christmas break is always the time for an element of editorial relaxation, so here’s someone who never actually joined or left an insurance calling. The only excuse for inclusion is that her Dad happened to be an insurance agent!
Phyllis Diller 1917-2012
erry Marcus Driver (1862-1948) was an insurance agent in Lima, Ohio and his wife, Frances Ada, gave birth to their only child, Phyllis Ada Driver in 1917. The family had German and Irish ancestry and the name Driver was derived from Treiber several generations before. The young Phyllis attended Lima's Central High School, then studied piano for three years at the Sherwood Music Conservatory of Columbia College, Chicago. The Diller name arrived when she married her first husband, Sherwood Anderson Diller who, during World War II, worked in a bomber factory in Ypsilanti, Michigan where the family moved. Diller became a housewife, mother, advertising copywriter and part-time stand-up comedian. YouTube has one of her first breaks in the 1950s’ when the then largely unknown Diller made an appearance as a contestant on the Groucho Marx quiz show You Bet Your Life. The American black & white TV footage is of surprisingly high technical quality. In an obviously heavily rehearsed ‘impromptu’ conversation with Marx, she revealed that she was “an entertainer” (with a hefty plug for the club where she was working) and was encouraged to perform some jokes from her act. Both Marx and the studio audience were sympathetic, and she won $500 in the show, but there’s an underlying suggestion from Groucho that her material was not of the highest quality when he, rather patronisingly, predicted that she would be a successful comic one day. But he was right, she did. Despite no family or other connections with theatre, Phyllis Diller developed a career as a standup comedian. Her career began in radio, and later on TV when in 1955 she completed an 87-week run as a
stand-up at The Purple Onion. After moving to St. Louis in 1961, she honed her act in the local clubs. Phyllis Diller became most famous for her appearances with Bob Hope, and accompanied him to Vietnam with the USO troupe at the height of the Vietnam War. Her films included main roles, cameo appearances, and voice-overs. She completed a three-month run in 1960 on Broadway in the title role in Hello, Dolly! and in more recent times voice-overs as the Queen in Disney/Pixar's animated movie A Bug's Life and on TV including Robot Chicken, Family Guy, Jimmy Neutron, Wait Till Your Father Gets Home, and King of the Hill. In 2000, she was awarded the Women in Film Lucy Award, recognizing her achievements in enhancing the perception of women through the medium of television.
DECEMBER 2013 / JANUARY 2014 insurancepeople 23
Profit and income up at Ageas A
nnouncing nine-month results, Ageas UK reports net profit up 5.6% at £73.7m, with a combined ratio of 98.2% (98.6% in the corresponding period of 2012). Total income increased by 6.0% to £1,627.2m, including non-life GWP up 7.1% to £1,422.6m, and total inflows from retail businesses down 13.1% at £137.4m.
Andy Watson, chief executive of Ageas UK comments, “It is very pleasing to see improvements in our income, profit and combined ratio which incorporates the addition of our strongly performing Groupama acquisition and the relatively benign weather conditions year-to-date. Our promise to offer more products to more brokers
remains important to us and we will continue to focus on supporting brokers through a difficult trading environment. “The market remains competitive, especially in motor, where rates have decreased significantly. Our goal is to maintain our underwriting discipline and continue to write good and sustainable business, providing our customers
with the high levels of service they have come to expect from Ageas.”
BDML joins Markerstudy stable
arkerstudy Group is to acquire four businesses from Capita Insurance Services – Lancaster Insurance Services, Sureterm Direct, BDML Connect Ltd, and Delta Underwriting. The deal is subject to FCA approval.
BDML Connect, said by Markerstudy to be one of the largest personal lines intermediaries in the UK, with a large presence in the personal lines affinity intermediary market, has operations in Portsmouth and Colchester, and was acquired by Capita in 2005.
Homer stands down as BIBA chairman
IBA chairman Andy Homer has stepped down after two years, having chaired the association through its strategic review. He was previously chairman
of the Motor Insurers' Bureau and president of the CII. The BIBA board says it will now consider the appointment of a new chairman, with a decision expected to be made by the end of the year. * * * *
BIBA has announced that Lord Hunt of Wirral (David) is joining the board as its first independent non-executive director – one of the outcomes of the recent strategic review.
24 insurancepeople DECEMBER 2013 / JANUARY 2014
Established in 1984 and based in St Ives, Cambridgeshire, Lancaster was formed as the insurance division of the MG Owners Club. It rebranded in 1989 to Lancaster Insurance Services to cater for the growing demand for classic
car insurance. Sureterm Direct formed in 1989 to focus on 4x4 and other segments of the nonstandard motor market. Both businesses were acquired by Capita in 2008 and 2010, respectively, and merged into the Lancaster business.
Open GI five-year deal with Right Choice
pen GI has entered into a renewed fiveyear partnership with Right Choice Insurance Brokers. With increased purchases of insurance via smartphones and tablet devices, Right Choice is adopting Open GI's mCommerce system for its online brands. Also adopted is Open GI's Open Client Check, enabling identity checks from third party providers, such as Experian.
Mike Joseph, Right Choice MD, comments, “The way consumers access our business is changing. Just being able to transact via the web isn’t enough anymore. More and more of our visitors are using mobile devices and if our site isn’t optimised for this traffic then we know we’ll see drop-outs. In our view, Open GI are well ahead of the curve in mobile support.”
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“Mixed signals” from motor insurers T
he UK motor insurance industry - after cutting underwriting losses in 2012 - is in danger of being dragged back into turbulent waters, according to the 2013 UK Motor Insurance Industry Report by Towers Watson, which adds that, in spite of the market’s improved 2012 combined operating ratio, 2013 looks likely to show a return to underperformance in the industry. According to the report, there are mixed signals on COR performance so far in 2013 from motor insurers.
Towers Watson says, “Anecdotal evidence suggests that a combination of banking the projected benefits of LASPO and other legal reforms too soon, together with continued competitive pressures on pricing and underwriting margins, must inevitably feed into insurers’ results. Fuelled by hefty recent price reductions the average cost of a comprehensive policy has now fallen by 23% since the end of 2011.” Among the trends the report notes is an increase of rigour around risk
selection, resulting in certain companies reporting falls in premium income as they become more selective on the risks they are prepared to write. Another area identified in the report for future competitive advantage is the use of data, particularly the sourcing and harvesting of external data sets, where it claims much of the industry has been slow to react. Analytical capabilities are also increasingly likely to play a key role in telematics, which Towers Watson believes is a potential game changer for
motor underwriting and pricing. The report also recommends other areas where primary insurers may need to look at alternative strategies for effective risk management. These include dealing with PPOs, which have pushed the cost of long-term care of serious accident victims on to motor insurers, and the need for new approaches to maintain historic investment performance. The issue of effective expense management has also raised its head as expense ratios rose in 2012.
Cardinus wishes all readers a SAFE Christmas and a HEALTHY new year Cardinus Risk Management 4th Floor, East Grinstead House 3 Wood Street, East Grinstead West Sussex RH19 1UZ T: 020 7469 0200 E: email@example.com W: www.cardinus.com DECEMBER 2013 / JANUARY 2014 insurancepeople 25
Hudson to lead commercial DAS commercial for Equity products on Acturis S
AS has launched its Loss Assist Business and its Commercial Legal Protection on the Acturis system. Loss Assist Business benefits include providing a dedicated loss adjuster to assist businesses in making claims for material damage and business interruption. Cover includes claims related to subsidence, heave and landslip; £100,000 limit of indemnity; a 24 hour claims reporting line and a claims review service; and legal advice. Business CLP and
Business CLP Plus legal protection cover include as standard: legal defence; property protection; personal injury; tax protection; and legal advice lines. The standard product includes cover for contract disputes up to £5,000, with CLP Plus covering contracts up to and over £5,000. CLP offer £100,000 limit of indemnity with CLP Plus having £250,000. CLP Plus also includes: statutory licence appeals, tenancy disputes and debt recovery.
Novae – “further downward pressure on rates”
eporting on the third quarter of 2013, Novae says that the combination of a relatively benign catastrophe experience this year, together with abundant capital in the sector will put “further downward pressure on rates” going into 2014. Gross written premium has fallen 5.1% over the year to £510.6m. This is in line with Novae’s business plan, and reflects 84% of the planned gross premium for the year, with the reductions being in its reinsurance segment (down 14%) as a result of discontinuing the engineering treaty and
motor reinsurance. The Insurance segment however grew 1.5% to 30 September 2013 with meaningful growth in the UK and US specialty property units. Across its book as a whole, rates on renewal business are flat for the year to date, masking larger movements in individual classes. Novae has confirmed softening in US property treaty with 5-20% decreases seen in mid-year renewals; however, Novae’s property treaty book saw a fall in rates of 3% in total given some increases in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy.
26 insurancepeople DECEMBER 2013 / JANUARY 2014
am Hudson, formerly of Aviva, will join Equity Insurance in early January 2014. He will run Equity's commercial function, which includes marketing, distribution and business development. Ian Parker, chief executive of Equity, says, "When we bought Equity we promised to invest in the company to restore it to profitability. Sam's appointment is essential in our turnaround, as we look to
re-establish Equity as the key market for brokers for motor risks. His first task will be to re-assess and develop all our market propositions and then take them to market. “The support we have had from brokers through the last few years has been fantastic, but we need to do more to explain to the broader market just exactly what we do. We still have some way to go to convey our 'motor only, broker only' strategy.”
Broker Network three-year deal with Lorega
roker Network has signed a three-year exclusive agreement with Lorega and added two new products to the Loss Recovery Insurance product range offered to its 600 members. The appointment of Lorega as an exclusive long-term provider follows a successful partnership with both the Network and Towergate, the loss recovery company having operated with Broker Network since 2006. The full range of Lorega Loss Recovery Insurance products will be available via e.market, the single click online trading portal on the network's member website. Gary Duggan, CEO of
Broker Network, comments, “Having worked with Lorega for some time now we are certain that signing a long-term exclusive agreement will enable us to deliver the highest quality of claims support services to our members and their clients. “Claims handling is at the forefront of insurance broking and presents a great opportunity to prove our worth at a time of acute need. By working with Lorega’s loss adjusting experts we can be sure that policyholders’ interests will be independently represented in order to deliver a fast and desirable conclusion to often complex situations.”
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Better weather forecasting helps UK insurers F itch Ratings says that the insured losses for the St Jude's Day storm would have been significantly higher but for the accuracy in weather forecasting several days ahead of the storm's formation. The company believes that initial insurance loss estimates ranging up to £500m will put additional pressure on UK insurers' already squeezed profit margins, but should be manageable for the sector. Fitch Ratings adds, “During 2013, technical
profitability has been under further pressure for motor underwriters as motor rates have continued to soften. Rate softening for personal household underwriters has so far been mitigated by a relatively low loss burden. “Overall we expect only modest increases in premium rates in lossmaking lines over the foreseeable future. This should improve underwriting profitability, but better risk selection and claims management remain critical.”
DECEMBER 2013 / JANUARY 2014 insurancepeople 27
AA welcomes ghost broking awareness drive T he AA is supporting an industry-wide campaign to highlight the dangers of ghost broking for the unsuspecting consumer. The campaign is a joint initiative between the ABI, the Insurance Fraud Bureau, the City of London Police Fraud Enforcement Department and Crimestoppers. It includes an animated video warning motorists, especially young drivers, about being tricked by fraudsters selling fake car insurance. AA Insurance says that its own fraud team every day blocks up to a dozen attempts to obtain car insurance by suspected ghost brokers. Its director of insurance, Simon Douglas, says, “At a time when car insurance has become fiercely competitive, this is a very nasty type of insurance scam that fleeces vulnerable individuals and leaves them with useless car insurance. “Ghost brokers tend to be IT literate and understand the insurance industry well. Their scams are
sophisticated and can be difficult to identify but insurers, including the AA, are making significant strides to stop them. “No one knows how many policies that appear legitimate are ghosted. When they do come to light, the ‘broker’ will have disappeared into thin air. Their customers are left with insurance cover that is no more than an apparition. Often the victims are landed with convictions for uninsured driving and their cars confiscated by police.”
* * * * The ghost broking animated video has been launched across social media channels, following intensive enforcement action by IFED, who recently arrested 27 suspected ghost brokers across the country. It calls for motorists to use common sense when buying insurance and be wary of deals that seem too good to be true. Viewers are pointed towards getarealdeal.co.uk, to find out more about ghost broking and ways to buy the best, legitimate cover. The deputy head of IFED, DI Dominic Parkin, says, “Ghost broking is a nationwide problem which is now being met by a national law enforcement response. But making arrests and securing convictions is one piece of the puzzle - raising public awareness to prevent the fraudsters from duping young drivers is equally as important. “The animation is designed to grab young drivers’ attention and quickly inform them about the issue. We have asked police forces, insurers and universities to share it online with the aim to get it watched by as many motorists as possible. In doing this we will make life much more difficult for the fraudsters and easier for the driving public.”
Virgin to sell travel cover direct
llianz Global Assistance UK has announced the launch of Virgin Holidays and Travel City Direct Travel Insurance under an “appointed representative” status. The partnership enables Virgin Holidays to sell travel insurance policies directly to its customers via its call centre and nationwide retail network. The launch sees the
release of nine travel insurance products, including single trip and annual multi-trip policies for families or individuals, winter sports and cruise cover, under the Virgin Holidays and Travel City Direct brands. Customers will have the option to extend their cover to include additional extras, such as adventure activities and wedding cover.
28 insurancepeople DECEMBER 2013 / JANUARY 2014
Lee Taylor, chief sales officer of Allianz Global Assistance in the UK, comments: “This latest development builds on our already successful working relationship with Virgin Holidays; we are really excited to assign them as an appointed representative of Allianz Global Assistance UK. Customers now have a convenient travel insurance
solution, enabling them to purchase cover alongside their holiday booking and giving them peace of mind as they countdown to their dream trip.” In addition, both Virgin Holidays and Travel City Direct travel insurance products will be available for purchase online via dedicated white labelled websites.
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Judgement threatens proposals on write-backs
recent judgement handed down in the Commercial Court threatens to undermine arrangements put in place by insurance brokers to deal with unclaimed client money, exposing them to potential additional costs, says law firm EC3/Legal. The judgment by Mr Justice Males, in the case of Equitas Ltd and another v Walsham Brothers Company Ltd, found that an insurance broker had a continuing and absolute contractual and restitutionary duty to remit funds. EC3/Legal says, “This ruling brings into question the validity of the (then) Financial Services Authority’s proposals in Consultation Paper 12/20 published in August 2012 for dealing with unclaimed client monies. The proposals, now being carried forward by the Financial Conduct Authority, offered a window of 13 months within which insurance brokers might, subject to compliance with the rules, continue to take credit write-backs in respect of funds which were grandfathered into the client assets regime on 14 January 2005, when general insurance intermediaries were first regulated by the FSA. Once the window closes, it is proposed that, following specified investigations,
monies which cannot be allocated may be paid to charity. Under no circumstances could the broker continue to benefit.” The expected date of response to the Consultation Paper (which addressed a broader range of issues affecting insurance broking accounts) has been pushed back by the FCA and is now simply “to be confirmed”. David Coupe of EC3/Legal, says, “The judgment is based on the general principle of the law of agency, which states that any agent which holds or receives money for his principal is bound to pay it over or account for it. As a result, a broker would be liable for interest on unpaid balances. In addition, the judgment does not address all the issues surrounding unidentified balances, as only a selection of the issues was before the court. In particular, aspects of limitation were not addressed and this uncertainty could have a significant impact on many brokers. “Brokers should start to look at not only the writebacks they have taken, but what procedures they had in place prior to taking the write-back, and what their approach should now be in the light of this judgment, pending further proposals from the FCA.”
Allianz reports 11.9% increase in profit
llianz Insurance, reporting on the third quarter of 2013 compared with the same period of 2012, says that gross written premiums were up 1.8% at £1,459.7m, with the IFRS operating profit, before tax, up 11.9% at
£128.7m. The combined ratio improved from 96.7% to 95.7%. CEO Jon Dye says, “Allianz is continuing to deliver a very strong set of financial results in 2013. Compared to the same point in 2012, our combined operating ratio has improved by 1.0% to 95.7%, which confirms that we are continuing to make an excellent level of underwriting profit, whilst at the same time growing our top line by nearly 2.0%. “Our operating profit has risen nearly 12% compared to the same period last year, which is a tremendous result.”
as e m rist ranc h y C Insu
rr ur Me all o rs... to rtne Pa
...and thanks for your
support during 2013. We wish you a very successful 2014.
www.brightsidegroup.co.uk www .brightsidegroup.co.uk
DECEMBER 2013 / JANUARY 2014 insurancepeople 29
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Hiscox product protects football assets
UK Sport and Bupa extend partnership
AXI, a new product from Hiscox in association with Avoca Elite Sports, aims to protect football clubs against a fall in a player's agreed transfer value resulting from serious injury or illness, and compensates them for their potential lost revenues caused by that player's prolonged absence. Guillaume Bonnissent, head of alternative distribution division at Hiscox, says, “Football clubs are among the very few businesses whose key assets, on which they rely for their success, are exposed to harm on a weekly basis. Each Saturday, they send teams onto the pitch that are worth tens, if not hundreds, of millions of pounds, without knowing whether they will return in one piece. Until now clubs haven't had the ability to comprehensively protect these expensive assets in the same way that other businesses can protect their balance sheets.”
Cycling from Vietnam to Cambodia for charity
he managing director of Uckfield-based Expert Insurance Group, Jenny Carter-Vaughan, is cycling from Vietnam to Cambodia to raise money for Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research. She sets off on her trip which she's called ‘Fat Bird on a Bike' - on 18 November and will be covering just over 550km in 12 days, cycling
between 30 and 100km per day. She will be undertaking her challenge on a 21-speed mountain bike, fitted with semi-slick tyres. "The trip is about getting my confidence back," says Jenny. "I was knocked off my bicycle by a white van man just over two years ago and I'm also overweight and want to do something about it. I have always wanted to cycle across Vietnam and Cambodia and I have decided that this is the ideal incentive to get me back on my bicycle and lose some weight at the same time." Jenny is cycling in memory of her father, Michael Church, who died from leukaemia six years ago.
30 insurancepeople DECEMBER 2013 / JANUARY 2014
upa has announced its partnership deal with UK Sport is to continue until March 2014. This is an extension of the 2011 deal, whereby Bupa became the ‘Official Health Insurance Partner of UK Sport’. The partnership means Bupa is continuing its support of UK Sport’s Athlete Medical Scheme, which provides extensive medical insurance to support elite athletes in their recovery from illness and injury. Damien Marmion, managing director of Bupa Health Funding, said: “Bupa’s continued partnership with UK Sport shows that our health insurance continues to be relied upon by the UK’s best athletes including Olympians and Paralympians. This relationship spans over a decade, during a time when
we’ve produced some of our best ever sporting results in the UK and won the most medals. “We know just how crucial it is that injuries get identified and treated as quickly as possible to enable a speedy recovery. By extending our partnership, it allows our elite athletes to quickly access the best medical care available. This means that they’re back to competing at the very top levels as soon as they’re able.”
A-Plan reports 3% increase in turnover
or the year to the end of February 2013, A-Plan Holdings reports turnover up 3% to £55.7m and EBITDA of £20.3m (£21.3m in 2012). Four new branch openings brought the total number to 67. The company says that the increase in turnover was “... despite challenging market conditions, which saw a sharp decline in average motor premiums – a reflection of the rate softening seen across the market”. There was a 6% increase in the number of new policyholders, with overall policy growth of 4%. The company adds, “Current year performance is strong, with double digit new business growth, which bodes well for a strong year-end outturn for the current financial year, despite insurance rates remaining very soft.”
On the move Who’s going where?
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VEHICLE SERVICES Collection, storage and sales
Markham Private Clients appoints Laura Davidson as a high net worth account executive. She joins from Saffron Insurance Services where she was an area manager and was previously an account handler at Hadhams.
Aspen Aspen Insurance appoints Ann Haugh as global chief underwriting officer and chief operating officer. She was most recently group chief of staff for Zurich and before that Zurich’s chief executive officer and has also been an executive liability underwriter at Great American Insurance Company.
DUAL Arthur J Gallagher Brendan McManus is appointed CEO of UK retail at Arthur J Gallagher. He will also sit on the international executive at Arthur J Gallagher International. A former chief executive officer of Giles; Willis UK & Ireland; and a member of the BIBA board and chairman of BIBA’s London Market Regional Committee (LMRC), he joined Giles in 2012; Willis in 2007, and was previously at RSA Commercial.
Allianz Allianz Retail appoints Simon Cook as head of sales and marketing. He joins from Allianz Global Assistance where he held several roles, including global automotive sales director.
CDL CDL appoints Stuart Bishop as director of service. He was previously CDL’s production divisional head.
Travelers Travelers appoints David Watts as head of general aviation for Syndicate 5000 at Lloyd’s. With 19 years’ experience, he joins from Catlin
Canada where he was director, underwriting and has previously been senior vice president at Marsh, and a claims examiner for British Aviation Insurance. Melanie Simpson-Mills joins as a development underwriter for Syndicate 5000. With 20 years’ kidnap and ransom experience, she was previously a director of Aon’s crisis management division and has also worked at JLT, Alexander Forbes, Alfred Blackmore and Control Risks.
Helphire appoints Mark Cockburn as head of business change. He joins from BLG Group. Andrew Blake is appointed as head of field sales. He joins from BUPA Health and Wellbeing.
DUAL International appoints Larry Sorensen as chairman of its North American underwriting agency operations. With over 35 years’ experience, he joins from Wells Fargo Insurance Services, was previously an executive team member at Endurance Specialty Holdings and spent 26 years at Aon.
Hill Dickinson Hill Dickinson appoints Kevin Braithwaite as complex fraud manager. He joins from Parabis where he was head of intelligence, has also worked at Keoghs and served for over 30 years’ in the CID and Special Branch in Merseyside Police Force.
Bluefin Bluefin appoints Stuart Grice as head of trade credit. He previously spent over ten years at Euler Hermes, most recently as senior commercial credit consultant. Stuart Grice
DECEMBER 2013 / JANUARY 2014 insurancepeople 31
On the move Who’s going where?
Jelf appoints Chris Hanks as non-executive chairman of Purple Partnership. With over 45 years’ experience, he was formerly general manager of Allianz Commercial and president of the Chartered Insurance Institute.
Bluefin Bluefin Insurance appoints Jamie Eaton as affinity development director. Joining from Thistle Insurance Services where he was affinity sales director, he was previously affinity and partnerships director at Towergate. Paul Goodman joins as branch director of Bluefin’s London office. He joins from Oval Group where he was deputy managing director and has also worked at Marsh and Alexander Forbes.
Friends Life Friends Life appoints Greg Horsnell as group internal audit director. He joins from Old Mutual where he was audit director for long term savings and was previously a director in EY’s Business Risk Services.
VEHICLE SERVICES Collection, storage and sales
BGL BGL Group appoints Stuart Walters as chief information officer. He joins from Kuoni Group where he was chief information officer and has also worked at Opodo and STA Travel.
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Canopius Canopius appoints Neil McMillan as class underwriter. With over 30 years’ experience, he rejoins Canopius from Brit and previously worked at Alea London and Zurich.
Barbican Barbican appoints David Booth as active underwriter of Syndicate 1955 and will continue as Barbican’s head of marine, aviation and transport. He was previously business unit manager at Endurance Worldwide Insurance, deputy marine underwriter at Folksam International, marine underwriter for Europa Ruckversicherüng and marine reinsurance underwriter for DS Christiansen Syndicate 958.
Liberty Liberty Mutual Insurance appoints Marisse Ellison-Smith as a liability claims specialist. She joins from Ecclesiastical and previously worked at AIG. Simon Robb is appointed as a senior property claims specialist. He joins from QBE where he was a claims adjuster and has previously worked at NIG, Allianz and Aviva.
Prism Prism Network appoints Jeff Herdman as non-executive chairman. With over 28 years’ experience, he was most recently group managing director of the Oval Group.
32 insurancepeople DECEMBER 2013 / JANUARY 2014
Towergate Towergate Insurance appoints Jennifer Owens as general counsel and company secretary. She joins from William Hill where she was deputy general counsel, was previously general counsel at Espirito Santo/ Execution Noble and legal and compliance director at GE Money.
Hardy Hardy appoints Lloyd Tunnicliffe as its new property treaty business unit manager. He joins from Kiln where he was active underwriter for the TMK Syndicate 1880, was previously active underwriter for Kiln’s Syndicate 807 and has also worked at Advent and CNA.
RGA RGA UK Services appoints Richard Verdin as chief marketing officer. He joins from Aviva where he was director of protection and has previously held sales and marketing director roles at Direct Life & Pension Services and Legal & General.
by Andrew Newman
Calling all eccentrics
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A common thread for this page at the moment concerns the insurance eccentric, prompted by the example featured last month. A ‘name and address supplied’ reader relates the story of one such character who was slightly off the rails Dear Editor, Now, for goodness sake, don’t print my name. I was at school with the actuary I want to tell you about, and we later worked together. But I haven’t seen him for years, and I’m not sure where he is now. I think my candidate in the absent-minded genius stakes outstrips your own oddball last month who went to the railway lost property office to collect his coat and left his brolly behind. Small beer. My nominee was nicknamed ‘Rummy’ and I can see him now. A commuter, standing on the railway platform in the rain, balancing on one leg, dangling a bare foot. A rail employee fishes for a missing shoe among the live rails with a long wooden pole, while another passenger lies in a puddle on the platform clutching his knee awaiting medical assistance. But Rummy is paying no attention to either the angler or the injured passenger. He’s waving his arms in helpless despair at two trains vanishing into the
distance, bound for separate destinations. One has his overcoat on board while the other contains his umbrella and briefcase. That was the scene when I arrived on the platform. There’d been some disruption with the trains, apart from that caused by Rummy. The train he had arrived in was waiting in the station when passengers were asked to transfer to the other train on the adjacent platform. Then, the same passengers were asked to get off while the railway staff did some shunting. Another fully loaded train then arrived in the empty platform and Rummy, somehow believing this was his train, yanked open the door (slam door trains in that era) propelling the unfortunate passenger gripping the handle on the inside out of the train to land squarely on Rummy’s foot. His lightning reaction to the pain was to extract his foot with such force as to send his own shoe complete with sock skittering across the platform like a grounded Catherine Wheel to disappear down the
proverbial gap between the train and the platform, and send the unfortunate ‘flying exiteer’ into a painful splits on the platform.
oing back, dear Editor, to your own ‘recipe’ for the “lovable eccentric”, yes, Rummy did indeed possess the manic enthusiasm of the late Patrick Moore, along with traits of Basil Fawlty, but unlike your version of the latter, this man did have some latent potential violence in him, not caused by anger, but frustration. He wasn’t bullied at school – he was too big and strong for that – but people did tease him due to his eccentric reactions. A hidden pen or school satchel would send him into headless chicken convulsions, and whilst he never threw a punch, the culprit would never get the opportunity to hand back the missing item – Rummy had already grabbed it himself. Even an innocently borrowed pencil would elicit the same response. “Hey! That’s mine!” Grab! As a schoolboy he wanted to be a railway timetabler, at a time when that job involved plotting
train times with pencil, ruler, and graph paper. By the time he was ready to leave school, that job was redundant so he became an actuary instead. And echoes of his ‘bullin-china-shop’ approach could still be seen years later in the office. Lots of energy. Wanting, say, to leave his desk to see a colleague, he would spring up; pause; peer over his glasses at his quarry; then lurch off, head down, leaning forward and swinging his elbows like a long distance walker. He could have been a strong contender in any “Silly Walks” competition. In conclusion, I can report that thanks to visits to two different lost property depots and a man with a hook on the end of a long pole, he did eventually recover all his lost property. Except for that sock. What happened to that will never be known. But Rummy didn’t mind wearing odd socks – he often did that anyway. P.S. Dear Rummy, if you read this, please get in touch.
(Name and address supplied)
DECEMBER 2013 / JANUARY 2014 insurancepeople 33