Scrumdowns and sprinkler dancing at insurance offices? Now that’s something to tweet about …

Eau yes! Up and down the country, staff at Brit Insurance have been doing impressions of a water sprinkler. They’re not completely crazy – the dance trend was started by the Brit-sponsored England cricket team during their Ashes victory celebrations. Following spin bowler Graeme Swann’s lead, Brit held a staff sprinkler dance competition in its offices up and down the country. Congratulations go to the Leeds office, which won the contest. It must have been some sight, watching five brave underwriters, along with some support from Generation Underwriting, performing the sprinkler dance in City Square in Leeds. Who said insurance was boring? Money raised went to Chance to Shine, a community sports development charity.

It’s a scrum do …

Corporate sponsorship usually implies free tickets to luxurious private boxes with canapés and champagne. But this week Marsh gave a new meaning to ‘rubbing shoulders’ with the rich and famous. As part of the broker’s sponsorship of Rugby Football Union’s Scrum Factory, an initiative to coach youngsters in the arts of the front row, England stars were scrimmaging outside the firm’s London offices, as its employees looked on bemused. Amid all the backslapping and ball-handling, came an intriguing thought: who would win a scrum feed between Marsh’s Martin South and Willis’s Joe Plumeri?

Any connection?

Some old chums in the insurance world passed on an interesting little titbit this week: the mighty Aon is rumoured to be looking into setting up a network for brokers. My pals at Insurance Times spoke to the firm, which rejected the rumours and said there was no network in the pipeline. But with its closest rivals (Marsh and Willis) already having their own network models in place, surely it is only a matter of time before Aon follows suit?

To tweet or not to tweet

I’ve been considering joining Twitter for a while now. I hear there are a few brokers who ‘tweet’ regularly and some insurers who don’t as much as they should. Then there are those who are just experimenting, such as online health insurance provider Health365.com, which has launched the Ouch Map: an interactive way of monitoring minor injuries using Twitter. I’m already on Facebook, as you know, but do you think it’s time I joined in on the Twitter action? Get in touch and let me know, or tweet my pals at Insurance Times: @InsTimesNews with the tag #BackchatOnTwitter.

Plug and play

So Dominic Burke thinks insurance is under-represented in the media, does he? That’s what he told the audience at JLT’s charity bash for the Lord Mayor last week. Luckily, I was at the back of the room, in a rather nice London hotel, sipping some of the free wine on offer. So let me give this worthwhile event a little plug. Lord Mayor Michael Bear gave an excellent speech, stressing his support for the highly valued insurance industry. Furthermore, the event supported RedR UK, a disaster relief charity, and Coram, the UK’s oldest children’s charity.

Just answer the question

Finally, I witnessed an entertaining exchange at the House of Commons last week. The claims lobby, including perma-tanned Accident Advice Helpline managing director Laurence Beck, was there for the latest round of the transport select committee’s inquiry into the cost of motor insurance. But the committee’s chair, Louise Ellman, became progressively more irritated as her efforts to get a straight answer about the increasing cost of claims drew a blank. Ellman finally snapped, rounding on the claims supremos: “I am just surprised that coming here to this inquiry today as people so experienced in this field, which is the reason you have been called here, you can’t answer a simple question like that.” Ouch! I await her committee’s conclusions with interest. IT