Quinn, poor results and no sign of a hardening market – seems like there are few reasons to be cheerful

Is anyone really surprised about Quinn? It was other insurers’ reactions that interested me most. Within seconds, they were touting offers of support and assistance. Why would anyone have used Quinn in the first place: cheap as chips pricing and a long-tail account?

I am told that some clients are experiencing 300%-400% increases to replace cover. Funny that.

It seems that the average memory span within our community is about a nanosecond. Why don’t people ever learn? I expect all those who used Quinn’s great rates are enjoying the pain of the extra workload and explaining what’s happened to clients. Bizarrely, some may even profit by virtue of the enormous increases required by more viable and secure insurers.

Everyone in our community is challenged by significant debt, so must be under pressure. Something has to give at some point. Did Jelf ever get a bargain with their acquisitions? Giles – what’s the score there? Oval allegedly got some cash from insurers.

Advisers tell me that loads of brokers are up for sale, but who has any cash? Will Marsh start a buying spree, and will Aon react? All quiet at Willis and at Lockton. Have the Americans gone home to regroup?

Look at the facts. About 99% of the broking sector client base have issues within their operations. The downturn is not over. If the double dip appears, what will the next prime minister do, especially if it is a hung parliament? Insurers continue to fight for market share and premium volumes, but is this a strategy for survival? Most results are awful – which will inevitably fall on the brokers via renumeration.

Catastrophes such as the Chilean earthquake have hit this year’s books, and the next hurricane season is already on the horizon. Save private motor, we are nowhere near any signs of a hardening market.

The nightmare is that brokers start to compete by offering ludicrously stupid fees, thus undermining our professional wellbeing, and concentrate on idiotic premium savings that often cannot be achieved before announcing hey, we have the account now!

Fortunately Heath Lambert is doing very nicely, thank you, and will stick to its strategy. Enjoy the election, enjoy the summer, enjoy paying higher taxes, enjoy public services being cut and the pensions deficit getting bigger and, most of all, enjoy England failing at the World Cup again.

Cheerful, aren’t I? IT

Adrian Colosso is chief executive of Heath Lambert.