Andrew Paddick wants to run both a trade association and a regulatory body - a conflict of interest if ever I saw one. He refers to "the Institute of Insurance Brokers (IIB) and the Association of Bri ...

Andrew Paddick wants to run both a trade association and a regulatory body - a conflict of interest if ever I saw one. He refers to "the Institute of Insurance Brokers (IIB) and the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) regulated community" - by your friends shall we know you. He wants to make common cause with ABTA in the non-professional general insurance sale of travel cover.

His failure to grasp the following two simple facts is prolonging a long overdue reform and doing a disservice to the insuring public: regulation is for the benefit of the consumer, not the broking sector or the IIB. Consumers require certainty and need one regulatory body to refer to - not to be passed between competing regulatory regimes as in the past.

Regulation in almost all other industries is by a single regulator without there being a storm in a teacup about Rule F42. For example, the rail regulator deals with operating companies, leasing companies and the infrastructure without each one crying foul. Only by this means can you get an even-handed approach.

So come off it, IIB. Stick to your role and support an industry-wide approach, instead of your current divisive, self-serving posture.
Laurie Harding
Laurie Harding Associates

Partisan editorials on the GISC
I must say, it did not take long for Insurance Times to start scaremongering in an effort to support its friends at the General Insurance Standards Council (GISC).

Your front-page article and editorial on page 4 (25 October) are, I believe, inaccurate and certainly not the balanced view one should expect from an "independent" press.

In the same issue, you had two-and-a-half full pages relating to your own GISC training scheme, which would suggest you have very much a commercial interest in the ongoing existence of the GISC.

The Institute of Insurance Brokers (IIB) has been constant throughout the campaign. At the very start, we believed professional brokers should be sensibly regulated by their own body, leaving the GISC to regulate the remaining sections of the industry. Please remember that, at the time, these were unregulated. Had the GISC's true interest been looking after the consumer (as they contended), then it would have pressed on to deal with this section first. However, the GISC wanted control of the whole market and, therefore, tried to impose, as it turned out, illegally, Rule F42. This was a high-risk strategy and the GISC only has itself to blame for the current situation. The IIB met early on with Chris Woodburn and, forcibly, put forward our views. However, the GISC did not want to discuss them and merely tried to "railroad" IIB members into their organisation. The so-called "support" for the GISC, which you are keen to highlight, has been earned on the back of threats and "bully boy tactics" by many of the leading members of the GISC. It seems to me at this time that, thanks to the perseverance of the IIB, brokers have a once in a lifetime opportunity to create a worthwhile professional body.

Who wants to be regulated by the GISC? It is a badge worn already tarnished by the largest insurance company failure in recent years.

If the Financial Services Authority (FSA) ever wants to take over the regulation of general insurance, it will be because:

  • policyholders have been left without protection
  • historic loss-making organisations have been "hived off" without adequate reserves.

    Not, as you like to suggest, due to the IIB fighting on behalf of its members.

    It would seem unlikely this letter will be published in view of your partisan editorials and self interest - but I always have hope.
    Kedric Rhodes
    via email

    Reduction in numbers
    I refer to your article "B'ham move" (Insurance Times, 18 October).

    What the article fails to mention is that of the 20-plus staff employed at Allianz Cornhill's Engineering office in Birmingham (previously located close to the NEC), only four have been moved to the new offices in Birmingham city centre. The remaining members of staff have been made redundant.

    Quite how, in the words of David Myers "the new office will enable the organisation to deliver a good quality service to both brokers and clients" when faced with such a dramatic reduction in staff numbers remains to be seen.

    Could I also point out that, while David Myers will continue to oversee the business development activities of the new office, the underwriting and administration operations will be under the control of Steve Hodson as underwriting services support controller.
    Name and address withheld

    Comments, please
    Can I invite comment on insurers imposing terms on new motor insurance policies where there is or are pending motoring convictions at inception of the policy. Are insurers justified in imposing terms on the policy before a conviction has been sustained or can terms only be imposed at the renewal date following the date of the conviction?

    I have always thought the latter procedure to be correct but, increasingly, insurers seem to be taking the former stance and justifying this by saying if the client is not found guilty, then a refund in the premium can be allowed. Whatever happened to British justice - innocent until proven guilty?
    A Moore
    TG Webster
    West Yorkshire

    Uncanny resemblance
    You state your new columnist Charlie Whelan was a former spin doctor to Gordon Brown. Is he not also a former World Darts Champion? He bears a striking resemblance to Jockey Wilson! Does he play at all?
    Steve Machin
    AXA Insurance, Ipswich

  • Topics