PMI premiums continue to rise
A new report from independent market analyst Datamonitor has found that the cost of private medical insurance (PMI) in the UK is increasing as more individuals claim on their policies and as market penetration remains static.
The report has also found that the number of long-term care policyholders fails to reflect the need for long-term care over the next ten years.

Backing for recycling
The Motors Vehicle Repairers' Association has endorsed Universal Select, a scheme where a nationwide network of 32 approved dismantlers supply the repair trade with recycled components.
Universal Select was launched earlier this year by Universal Salvage. Under the scheme, parts are classified by condition, backed by guarantees and listed in a pocket-sized, trade only catalogue.

Devitt rebrands DCT products
Devitt Insurance Services has rebranded its Douglas Cox Tyrie (DCT) insurance products with the Devitt name. Devitt said the move is an attempt to end the confusion over the use of the DCT name. The renaming includes Devitt's RIB (rigid inflatable boat), Canoe, Boards, Dinghy and Ski insurance policies.

Drop for Swiss Re
Swiss Re has posted a 55% drop in its first-half net profit to CHF1.35bn (£547.5m) from CHF3.01bn (£1.2bn) during the same period last year, due to a fall in realised capital gains.

The company said realised capital gains dropped 74% to CHF884m (£358.5m) from CHF3.43bn (£1.4bn), while net investment income rose 37% to CHF3.05bn (£1.24bn) from CHF2.22bn (£900m). The results were largely due to a shift in investment strategy last year, when it moved out of equity and into bonds.

Excluding realised gains, operating profit rose 43% to CHF1.31bn (£531m) from CHF913m (£370m), while net premiums jumped 19% to CHF11.9bn (£4.8bn) from CHF9.96bn (£4.04bn).

Thomas Vale outsources
West Midlands construction company Thomas Vale is to outsource its motor accident management to Willis Group's motor initiatives team.

Willis said its accident and risk management programme, DRIVE, would support Thomas Vale's nationwide fleet. The fleet provides construction, design and build and civil engineering.

Invisible tags to track stolen art
Technology solutions provider Apple Art-Mark has unveiled a new product to help trace stolen art.

Apple Art-Mark, the fine art department of Datatag ID, offers collectors, dealers, galleries and museums protection for their fine art and antiques.

Customers are provided with an invisible tagging system or “barcode” for each object of value, using technology first developed to combat motor theft.

Each item is logged onto a database with over 40,000 records of customer property. Police can then use hand-held scanners to identify stolen items.

Chaucer buys up CNACC
CHAUCER Holdings, the holding company of Lloyd's managing agency Chaucer Syndicates, has acquired CNA Corporate Capital (CNACC), the Lloyd's corporate member company of US insurance operation CNA.

Chaucer will pay for CNACC by issuing 8.4 million new, ordinary Chaucer shares to CNA. The shares will be issued at 69p each, which represents a 10% premium on Chaucer's Friday closing mid-market price of 63p. This will leave CNA holding a 9.1% stake in Chaucer.

Back to school
Norwich Union has launched an academy to refine the technical skills of more than 4,000 of its underwriters and make them more adept at building relationships with brokers.

The teaching model of the academy has by-passed “off-the-peg” training courses and is based instead on an exhaustive examination of the company's top performing staff.

At the moment, the new academy is aimed at 2,000 underwriters, but Norwich intends to more than double that figure over the next 12 months.

Cgnu core retains AA S&P rating
Standard & Poor's (S&P) has affirmed its AA rating for the core operating companies of
the CGNU group.

The rating agency said that last year's merger between Norwich Union and CGU had created the UK's largest insurance group and the ratings were based on the firm's strong business position, management and “potential for higher quality earnings”.

S&P has also raised its rating in London & Edinburgh's Insurance to AA from A and Norwich Union Holdings has been removed from creditwatch and raised from A to A+ .

Indie collapse costly for Arriva
Independent Insurance's collapse has cost transport company Arriva £1.3m.

Arriva released its interim results to June 30 last Friday, which revealed an exceptional charge of £3.3m.

This charge was partly due to the loss of £1.3m in prepaid premium and insurance premium tax following Indepen-dent's provisional liquidation.

Independent was Arriva's principal insurer.

The company's spokeswoman refused to reveal where it had replaced the insurance or how much it had cost.