What are the big stories hitting the headlines this week?

Opportunity

China could open up its motor insurance market to overseas competition after the submission of a proposal to the Chinese State Council to allow foreign-invested insurers to sell compulsory motor third-party liability.

Result

Hiscox reported a 3% fall in gross written premium to £1.17bn for the nine months to 30 September 2011, compared to £1.2bn for the same period last year. But the UK retail business’s premium income rose 13.4% to £280m for the first three quarters.

Sell-off

Oxygen has announced it is selling all of its remaining assets after announcing the sale of event insurance specialist Robertson Taylor to Entertainment Insurance Partners this week.

Acquisition

Towergate has acquired caravan and motorhome insurance comparison site caravanquoter.co.uk in a strategy to grow its online and niche retail brands.

Delay

Quinn Insurance’s relaunch as Liberty Direct has been postponed. The company’s rebrand as Liberty Direct was due to take place on Monday, but has been put back until next week.