The insurance industry is renowned for its endless gripes and grumbles about claims and pricing. But suggestions that "crackpot" underwriters are quoting the same risk for a premium varying by as much as £430 reflects the mayhem the industry is in (see Letters).

Brokers shop around to find the perfect price from the right insurer. However, the pricing irregularities are making this year's renewal season resemble the confusion of the January sales. Underwriters are still unsure about their reinsurance arrangements, making it difficult to work out uniform prices for direct insurance.

Two facts are certain in this changing world. First, it is fundamental to make a profit and take advantage of the hardening market to pay for losses stemming from the World Trade Centre tragedy.

Second, we all know the month ahead is going to be one of the toughest periods ever to renew contracts. Some deals won't even be placed before 1 January.

But pricing chaos only serve to give the industry a bad name .

Now is the time for the market to pull itself together and take control. Underwriters and brokers must work together smoothly, accurately and quickly - otherwise the next few weeks will be the nightmare before Christmas.