Between a convicted killer, accident-prone geeks and a scrap-metal wielding lorry driver, it’s hair-raising on the roads, notes the Insider

First to Hiscox, where I see chief executive Bronek Masojada has signed staff up to participate in a year long, round the clock, fly-on-the-wall study of insurers’ behaviour, comparing the London and Bermuda markets. Ten other insurers, including Amlin, Liberty and Aon Benfield, are taking part in the experiment. Rumours that live footage will be screened in Lloyd’s are sadly unconfirmed. I’m just disappointed they won’t be dropping in on my friends at Insurance Times, who would surely add an, er, interesting dimension to the results.

Who's talkin' to you?

Underwriters specialising in insurance for black cab drivers could be dealt a potentially nasty surprise in the not-so-distant future. I’m referring to a convicted killer and paranoid schizophrenic that is being allowed to study “the knowledge” to become a black cab driver. It seems that the man who was convicted of strangling his wife in 2000 – who cannot be named for legal reasons – does not have to disclose his past because he was detained under the Mental Health Act. Now claiming to no longer be a danger, there’s every chance he could be walking into a broker’s office enquiring about taxi insurance for a first-time driver. A public liability nightmare for someone, perhaps?

Gadget prone

Apparently, IT workers have made the most motor accident claims in the past three years, according to Churchill. Well, that’s no surprise, is it? Because the IT geeks I know are rarely seen without a gadget or three to distract them. Also in the top 10 list of claimants were chefs, students and hairdressers. Farmers claim the least … so maybe travelling at 10mph in a tractor does have some benefits after all.

Down painful memory lane

You’ve got to hand it to AIG boss Lex Baugh. If anyone deserves a medal for holding a company together, it is that guy. He has stood his ground, fought off complaints of undercutting on price, and dealt with brokers and clients alike with the tenacity of a general in the trenches. I even saw him at the AIG stands at Biba and Airmic for hours on end, making the case client by client, broker by broker.

But I hear he recently made a return to the USA for his own college reunion, and who would have begrudged him the break? But picture the scene: “How you doing Lex, old buddy, what are you up to now? I’m a boring lawyer these days. You?” The reply: “Well, I’ve overseen one of the biggest corporate meltdowns in a generation over the past 12 months, had a few sleepless nights, worked 80-hour weeks and not got much praise for it. But apart from that, I’m A-OK.” Good grief, if anyone deserves a drink with his old pals, it’s got to be Lex. Good on you, sir.

Sign of the times

Summer may have come and gone, but it seems the silly season for claims is still in full swing if this gem is anything to go by. Loss adjuster Garwyn recently had a case where a lorry driver had taken recession thrift a mite too far by using a piece of scrap metal from a road sign to hold down a faulty accelerator. When the lorry inevitably crashed, the driver then sued the makers of the sign, claiming the metal was a legitimate tool of trade and he had been provided with faulty equipment. Amazingly, the claim reached the Court of Appeal before it was thrown out, but not before his solicitors had done their utmost to get it though to the House of Lords. Do you have any similarly ridiculous stories up your sleeve? Send them to IT