The CII's aim to introduce insurance to schools is a great idea, says Andy Cook

Last autumn in a hotel in Wales industry leaders gathered at Strategy 2002 to discuss the most testing strategic issues facing the industry. John Tiner turned up to give brokers reassurance about regulation. The liability crisis was discussed at length and service standards was near the top of the agenda. But the one topic that braced all others was education.

The FSA, with its Pickering and Sandler reports into pensions and investments, has talked widely about educating consumers. And that is exactly what the general insurance industry is crying out for.

You may remember that at the height of the liability crisis, Zurich produced a briefing document for brokers, giving reasons for the huge rate rises. Brokers welcomed this as the information could be used to educate clients. This proves that a bit of understanding can go along way.

That's why Insurance Times is backing the CII's latest plans to introduce insurance to schoolchildren.

OK, I know that it seems remote that teachers would be interested in insurance. But the teachers we have spoken to have have not been discouraging. Indeed, they readily identified insurance as a topic that would fit in Tony Blair's favourite educational topic, citizenship.

Indeed one teacher Insurance Times spoke to thought it could be a fun maths/ICT topic to give groups of children model cars with mock details and see if they could find quotes for them online.

The prize is that the public - and to a lesser degree business - understands insurance and can make qualitative judgments as well as just quantitative.

The bonus is that insurance might even be regarded as a worthy job in a vital industry. Although this is certainly wishful thinking at the moment, it must be worth further consideration.