Smith to head Fortis
Barry Smith has been appointed managing director of Fortis Insurance.

Smith, who starts with the insurer on 12 November, has left AXA Insurance, where he was director o …

Smith to head Fortis
Barry Smith has been appointed managing director of Fortis Insurance.

Smith, who starts with the insurer on 12 November, has left AXA Insurance, where he was director of customer service. Smith sat on the executive board of AXA Insurance and reported to chief executive Andy Homer. He was previously executive director of AA Insurance Services.

Witham adjourned
The case of John Witham who is accused of causing up to £100,000 damage to the CGNU building in the City has been adjourned to 17 December.

Witham declined to enter a plea at the City of London Magistrates' Court on Monday and the bench set a date for a committal hearing for the case to be transferred to the Crown Court.

Sigma study
The latest Swiss Re Sigma study has warned underwriting results must improve significantly
to return profitability to general insurance.

The study analysed the main factors driving profitability in the G7 countries and found that, to return to average profitability, underwriting would have to improve by 7%-14% of net premiums.

It also found investment performance had increased in importance to insurers, yet the equity markets of the major economies will remain volatile and uncertain.

The new study is available at http://www.swissre.com.

Vernon travel cover
Primary Insurance Group is to underwrite travel insurance for Vernon Building Society.

The deal marks the first time Vernon will offer travel protection.

Customers can choose from single trip, annual multi-trip, backpacking and wintersports packages.

Those wishing to save money on their insurance can delete aspects of cover from their policy, such as cancellation and baggage cover.