What is there to complain about this week?
As well as being the country’s financial centre, London is also the UK’s home burglary capital, according to a study by price comparison site Moneysupermarket. Homeowners in Stoke Newington, North London, are the most likely to have made a home insurance claim, with 34 of every 1,000 residents having made a theft-related claim.
The catastrophe burden of 2011 is showing through in insurers and reinsurers’ full-year results. Munich Re’s profit fell 70% to €2.4bn (£2bn) and Transatlantic Re was pushed into a $99m (£63m) loss. London market and Lloyd’s insurer Markel International reported a 116% combined ratio – 21 percentage points worse than 2010’s - after $123m of catastrophe losses.
The number of bogus whiplash claims in the UK has spurred cabinet ministers into action. Transport secretary Justine Greening has called a summit of cabinet ministers to discuss ways to slash the number of whiplash claims driving up car insurance premiums. Greening, health secretary Andrew Lansley, justice secretary Ken Clarke, home secretary Theresa May and business secretary Vince Cable will meet to discuss the plans, which reportedly include imposing very low speed limits, rigorous medical checks and targeting “ambulance-chasing lawyers”.
Signs have emerged that brokers could be in for another difficult year. US broker Arthur J Gallagher, which bought Heath Lambert last year, saw profit fall 17% to $144.1m (£91.5m) after expenses rose 16% to $1.9bn.