Clear green light for GISC

Clear green light for GISC
David Slade, a member of the General Insurance Standards Council (GISC) board has brushed off the threat of an appeal against the new regulatory body's mandatory powers.
The Institute of Insurance Broker is trying to stop the GISC being able to cancel agencies of brokers who do not join it.
But Slade said the Office of Fair Trade decision was “a crystal clear green light go” for the GISC.
Own regulator
The Law Society is seeking “delegated authority” rather than an exemption from the General Insurance Standards Council (GISC) so that it can regulate its own solicitor members who sell or advise general insurance products.
A GISC spokesperson said it would be a major step for the board to agree to the Law Society request.

Victim funds
Victim Support has called for more funds to help burglary victims after new research shows many suffer acute levels of distress.
The research funded by Direct Line reveals half of all burglary victims experienced “significant levels of stress” even in the face of seemingly small property losses.

Chopper's tackling tales
Chelsea legend Ron “Chopper” Harris regaled 30 brokers with tales of his unique approach to tackling at his former's club match against Ipswich recently. Harris was the guest of honour for Avon Insurance. Mark Seckleman from Insurance Marketing was the lucky winner of the prize draw and was presented with a signed Chelsea shirt from the Chelsea legendary hard man.

Goings on in Manchester
The Insurance Institute of Manchester is to hold an educational conference on the insurance implications of the city hosting the 2002 Commonwealth Games. The conference, “What Manchester does today”, will examine risk management issues of holding the games and of the sports liability market. Details of the event on February 22 are available from the institute on 0161 839 1988.

Ab fab training
Four ex-BPP Financial Training executives have launched a company to offer purely online training for the financial regulatory exams. Absolutely Training, at, offers six exam courses covering investment advice, financial planning, mortgage advice and chartered financial analysis.

Dragoon sells motor book
Intermediary Hill House Hammond (HHH), a wholly owned subsidiary of Norwich Union, has acquired the right to renew the 1,000-strong motor insurance portfolio of Nottingham-based firm Dragoon Insurance Services.HHH operates more than 240 local high street branches across the UK and has about 1.2 million customers.

Zurich Municipal and the Department of Risk at Glasgow Caledonian University are running a risk management programme for local authorities and other public sector organisations. The scheme places second-year and third-year risk management students with the selected organisations for ten weeks. During the placement, students are asked to complete a specific project of practical use to the organisation.

Old for new
Penrith broker Dixon & Watt is set to open a Carlisle branch in the old offices of broker Pattinson Edwards, which went bust at the end of last month, blaming Dixon & Watt for poaching £2m worth of business. Dixon & Watt denied poaching the business saying that the former Pattinson Edwards' staff it currently employs had left Pattinson Edwards due to management difficulties at the company.

Moving office
Sirius International has moved offices at the London Underwriting Centre, partly to accommodate the new trade credit and political risk underwriting team. The team, recruited from Limit Underwriting at Lloyd's at the end of last year, is part of the Sirius Financial Risk Division. It focuses on commodities, financial institutions and industrial companies.

Risky business
Credit insurer Coface is rating countries in terms of risk, on its website. The facility, called @rating country rating, provides information about how much a company's financial commitments are affected by the economic, business and political outlook for the country in which it operates. Co-face estimates that more than 70% of business to business trade is covered by short-term payment contracts.

Do it all online
Zurich is allowing brokers to obtain quotes and place business for its office insurance cover through its website. There is a 10% premium discount on standard rates for cover bought online. So far, 1,000 intermediaries have signed up to use the secure password protected part of the website for obtaining quotes and purchasing insurance.

Make a note
MMA Insurance has launched a cover note facility for its Master Tradesman product that enables brokers to arrange instant insurance for tradespeople working in the building trade. The facility means workers can prove they have cover on site if they need to. Assistant general manager Tony Wright said: “Tradespeople are increasingly being asked to produce proof of insurance cover even before stepping on to the site. “Using our simple cover note book, brokers can give their clients the written evidence of the protection they need to carry out their work.”

Key facts
Ward Evans Direct has launched Ward Evans Keycare to protect mislaid, lost or stolen keys. The 24-hour emergency service provides up to £1,000 worth of insurance that covers expenses such as gaining entry to homes, offices and vehicles and changing locks and hiring cars. Director Roger Snowden said he expected more than 10,000 Ward Evans customers to take out the cover. If the keys are lost, anyone finding them can claim a £10 cash reward by phoning Ward Evans Keycare and quoting the reference number on the fob.

Sick quotes
Consumers seeking critical illness insurance can obtain individually tailored quotes using a new internet service. The life insurance intermediary Direct Life & Pensions has teamed up with Interactive Investor International to provide the bespoke quote system. Users visiting the site, at, can also obtain detailed information on its critical illness products and find answers to the most frequently asked questions.

The site for assistance
Assistance services company Firstassist has launched its new website The site provides information resources and tools for businesses, corporates and affinity groups and also gives details of all Firstassist's products. Business areas covered include legal expenses and uninsured loss advice, employee and personnel consultancy services and guidance on what to do after an incident.

Confer online
A virtual conference will take place at from February 19 to March 2. Around 100 papers have been submitted for the event and their authors will be available to answer questions online between these dates. Among the areas being discussed are risk management, insurance, reinsurance, healthcare, customer relationship management and ecommerce.

Sound quality
The quality of Eguard, Telematix's advanced vehicle security device, has been verified after being tested by Thatcham, the motor insurance repair research centre under its Q Class System Testing. Eguard uses global positioning satellites to identify the location of the car after it has been stolen.