The Insider hears all about Paul Donaldson, a chav claim and he enters the world of social networking

Paul Donaldson was in Spain last week to oversee the opening of an RSA office in Madrid. Those who know Paul will understand that the RSA managing director (commercial) used the time to get to grips with the big issues of European insurance.

As such, a pal who’s rather high up at RSA says reports that he was either drinking sangria, having fun or holding a microphone at all times are completely unconfirmed.

Bet he wishes he hadn’t bothered

A medical update on our chum Adrian Colosso. As I told you last week, his ankle was snapped in two in a sledging incident. However, a source close to the Heath Lambert chief begs to differ with my report that he has been confined to the sofa.

It seems Colosso struggled off the couch and drove all the way from his Essex mansion to Upton Park ... to witness his beloved West Ham’s home defeat at the hands of Manchester United. A Heath Lambert spokesman would not speculate on whether he had a raw T-bone steak at half time instead of his usual snack – an unpalatable-sounding confection called a “balti pie”. But was it really worth the effort, Adrian?

Not what you call customer service

Tut tut. As if AIG didn’t have enough on its plate, what with the US government and the Serious Fraud Office breathing down its neck, it has attracted the ire of the British tabloid press. Apparently a naughty young underwriter was caught calling a claimant a “fat chav” on a claim form that subsequently found its way on to the internet. Healthy contempt for the clients? God bless the insurance industry.

Join my gang

Well, if an imaginary meerkat and my layabout son can do it, so can I. We keep hearing about how insurance has moved into the 21st century, everyone’s banging on about connectivity and apparently they’re trying to ban paper from Lloyd’s. So I’m stepping up to the plate. Using the cunning pseudonym “Backchat Insider”, I have signed up to Facebook and have bet my son one month’s allowance and a spin behind the wheel of my favourite Bentley that I can get more friends than him. So sign up.

Lifestyles of the rich and famous

I’m not a complete Luddite, of course. In fact, an extract from John Kitson’s blog on the Insurance Times website caught my eye this week: “He was covered in charm as usual (yes charm I said). The cheeky smile on his face, his ready wit in his palm, his surrounding team hanging off his every word and twinkle. And what was the first thing he said to me? (By the way, I was resplendent in a dinner jacket. When I say resplendent, I was looking a bit pale and Andy had just been on a glamorous holiday so was tanned and relaxed)

“Anyway the first words he said to me were (no it wasn’t about commissions, small brokers, consolidation, rating): “Blog, you have a blog.”

To find out which industry “Andy” Kitson is talking about, go online ...

Thank you, thank you, I’m here all week

You’re sitting on a conference panel and, as the day progresses, you realise your place on the running order may not be everything you had hoped for. The person on before you is a larger-than-life industry celebrity who is sure to take the audience by storm with a well honed routine of anecdotes and jokes. So spare a thought for Rolf Tolle, franchise performance director at Lloyd’s, who – to the best of my knowledge – has never been mistaken for Billy Crystal. At one London event last week, he was sandwiched between the comic stylings of Joe “just saying Spitzer gets a laugh” Plumeri and the formidable story-teller Hank Greenberg, ex of AIG and ex of calling Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the president of Iran, a liar. After a typically over-the-top performance from Plumeri, one member of the audience heard Tolle pitying the speaker who had to go next – and then realising that the unlucky sap was ... him.