Callery appeal begins

Callery appeal begins
A pivotal case for the personal injury claims industry began this week in the Court of Appeal.
Callery v Gray has the potential to unlock thousands of personal injury cases currently held up in the courts.
The appeal court is being asked to determine whether claimant solicitors' success fees and premiums for conditional fee agreements paid before proceedings have commenced are recoverable from defendant insurers.
The case is being brought by Manchester law firm Amelans against Norwich Union.


RSA takes over cargo
Royal & Sunalliance (RSA) and GE Frankona Reinsurance have signed an exclusive arrangement, which allows RSA the right to offer renewal on GE Frankona Re's primary UK cargo and freight liability insurance business. It generated an estimated £18m GWP in 2000.
Under the deal, 25 underwriting and claims staff will transfer to RSA.
Current business will be managed by RSA on behalf of GE Frankona Re under an agency agreement.
GE Frankona Re is withdrawing from the UK cargo and freight liability market to focus on the international cargo business within its London Market operations.


Profit down
Broker-only insurance company MMA has announced an operating profit of £8.2m in 2000, down £0.4m on the previous year.
The company said the profit was constrained by the exceptional weather conditions experienced in the country during the final quarter of the year.
Gross premiums were up by 33% to £135.6m in the period. Invested funds rose 10% to £191m and net assets rose 2% to £56.6m.
MMA's chief executive Garry Fearn said a large proportion of the additional premium income was due to rate increases on the motor account. Volume on this account also increased.


First female
Marie-Louise Rossi has been appointed president of the Insurance Orchestral Society, the first female to take on the role in its 77-year history.
Rossi, chief executive officer of the International Underwriting Association (IUA) will be taking over from Norman Brooks, general manager of the City Fire Insurance Company, in October.


Tobacco firms lose out to US insurer
The US tobacco industry has been ordered to pay $17.8m (£12.6m) to New York health insurer Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield after a court found several tobacco companies guilty of engaging in deceptive business practices.
Empire said the tobacco industry had misled consumers about the dangers of smoking and wanted the industry to reimburse it for smoking-related costs.
The case is the first victory by a third party against the tobacco companies.


Third China office for McLarens
Loss adjuster McLarens Toplis International Group has opened an office in Beijing to add to existing ones in Guangzhou and Shanghai.
This follows the opening of the group's new office in Seoul, South Korea – a joint venture with Sam Park of Spark International.
In the Caribbean, the group has a new office in Montego Bay, Jamaica, managed by Canadian Kevin Innes.
And in Auckland, New Zealand, the group is acquiring a major share in its franchise operation.


‘A young man's world'

TERRY Taunton has retired as non-executive director of Londongate, after spending 42 years in the insurance industry. The 62-year-old was previously chairman of Kay International, and was also chairman of Lloyd's brokers James Hunt Dix and managing director of Fenchurch Insurance Brokers (UK). He said he was retiring because insurance was becoming “a young man's world and there are few senior people in the market over 60”.

Headhunted
Garwyn Ireland managing director Ciaran Breen has been headhunted by the Irish government, although he is yet to announce his leaving date.

Breen will become the chief executive of civil claims at the National Treasury Management Agency. The Garwyn board met on June 6 but have not made an announcement on Breen's replacement.

Locksons
THE entire portfolio of Locksons Insurance Consultants has been transferred to John Cahill & Co which is now responsible for its policyholders.

Insurance Times would like to apologise for an earlier article that wrongly stated LIC had been purchased for an undisclosed sum.

RSA wins big
ROYAL & Sunalliance has won three awards at this year's European Business Continuity (EBC) Awards: the Business Continuity Friendly Insurer Award, the Industry Newcomer of the Year Award and the International Development Award.

The third annual EBC Awards ceremony was hosted by Ian Hislop on May 23 in London. Competition for the awards included Barclays, Norwich Union, Chase Manhattan and Deutsche Bank.

Healthy site
HEALTH cashplan provider Healthsure has gone live with a website dedicated to brokers. The site has three layers: the first outlines the benefits of selling Healthcare cashplans, the second shows the cost of policies and related benefits, and the third provides detailed information of the available cover. Brokers can also request more information from the company through the site.

Flying high
A COMPREHENSIVE online directory of aviation insurance agents, brokers and underwriters has been launched.

Planeshark.com provides an international list of experts aviation insurance, including aircraft hull, airport and premises, airshow, charter operations and loss of licence.

Rising costs spell trouble
IRISH business organisation ISME has warned that small companies may be forced out of business by rising insurance costs.

ISME said it welcomed the government's decision to set up a personal injury assessment board to lower the cost of delivery of compensation, but more had to be done. There needed to be an increased level of competition in insurance to lower costs.

Bungey jumps to lloyds.com
PHILLIP Bungey has been appointed chief technology officer for the new Lloyd's internet portal.

Bungey, who was previously e-commerce director at Barclays Stockbrokers and has nearly 20 years' experience in the IT sector, will now define and provide the website to deliver lloyds.com to the market.

He will also manage the technical infrastructure of the organisation, working closely with chief executive officer Ashok Gupta to develop the site and ensure its long-term success.

Argentinian association
RESOLVE International has signed an exclusive association agreement with a firm of loss adjusters and surveyors in Argentina, Pousa Pasutti Deak.

Resolve said the agreement would strengthen its established position in central and south America and allow it to enhance its range of services in the Argentinian market.

Extra credit
THE Chartered Insurance Institute has announced that advisers who complete both the Financial Planning Certificate (FPC) and Mortgage Advice Qualification (MAQ) can now go forward with a half-credit towards the higher-level Advanced Financial Planning Certificate.

This combination of FPC and MAQ is accredited by the Mortgage Code Compliance Board (MCCB) for advisers providing full mortgage advice, and recommendation, under the mortgage code. Completion of an MCCB-accredited qualification is compulsory before December 31, 2002.

Around 3,500 people have passed the MAQ qualification to date.

Cashback offer
ABBEY National Insurance is offering a £50 refund to new mortgage customers taking out its buildings and contents and mortgage payment protection insurance (MPPI).

Customers opting for any two of the three insurances qualify for a £25 cashback.The offer lasts until June 30.