In these days of corporate governance and ethical practices, judgments about trading partners can be affected by matters which may be outside mainstream daily activities.

Take Royal & SunAlliance (R&SA), a famous insurer. The world of intermediaries knows there have been major problems and we would all like to wish the company well in its recovery plan. However, a statement recently published gave cause for concern.

I had just attended a medical insurer's seminar, at which it was agreed that the average per capita company health insurance premium is around £550 a year. (The cost of a company car may be in addition between £6,000 and £10,000 a year).

These figures sat uneasily with information that the R&SA's new chief executive's first nine months' remuneration included "car and medical benefits worth £27,000". His total "earnings" for the period were £1.38m.

My R&SA policyholder clients may feel they are paying over the odds for something. I as a broker must seriously question recommending R&SA as an insurer or carrier if their overheads are of the order described.

Tim Dowlen

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