Weathering a £1m write-off

Weathering a £1m write-off
Channel 5 has written off its £1m stake in online intermediary Rapidinsure after it was taken over by Berkeley Morgan in December.
The station took a 10% stake in the cyberintermediary in return for Rapidinsure sponsoring the weather reports.
Berkeley Morgan, which held a 5% stake in Rapidinsure, bought the rest of the shareholding for an undisclosed sum.
Berkeley Morgan believes Rapidinsure will break even within six months.

You can't have it all
Community Hospitals Group (CHG), which was subject of a blocked take over bid from Bupa last year, is in talks with a number of possible buyers.
The sale of a 27% stake in CHG, held on behalf of Bupa, was ordered by trade secretary Stephen Byers when he vetoed the deal. Private medical company General Healthcare recently bought a 2% stake in CHG, but it is likely to face the same problems as Bupa if it tries to buy the rest of the company.

Club cover for clots
Club Direct has become the first insurance supplier to change its travel policies to cover legal costs for deep vein thrombosis (DVT).
Passengers or their relatives will be able to gain up to £25,000 for legal aid against airlines following death or injury due to the airplane sickness.
It is estimated 2,000 British air passengers a year die from DVT. This is when a blood clot forms in their legs, usually during long haul flights.
Compensation claims are currently funded privately, with payouts ranging from around £10,000 for illness, escalating up to £500,000 for the death of a passenger leaving behind

Anderson joins Miller Firstline
Miller Fisher Group has appointed Tom Anderson as the new managing director of its third party administration division.
Anderson will now join Miller Firstline.
He was previously managing director of Assurant Group's UK and European operation, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Fortis Group.

Ecommerce for free
Computer consultant Garol is hosting an event called “Overcoming the pitfalls of ecommerce” on March 7 in central London. The event is aimed at intermediaries who are currently using, or who wish to use, ecommerce as part of their business.
Speakers will include Ross Hall of Garol, Mike Bennett of Hypercube and Anthony Hall of Specialperils. com.
Entry to the event is free but those interested need to preregister at

Expert column soon in IT2
Risk management expert Carole Edrich will begin writing a column for Insurance Times next month.
The founder and principal of Kai Corporation will tackle diverse topics for IT's risk management focus starting March 15.
Edrich makes regular television and radio appearances, including slots on CNN, ABC and ITV.
She has written two books, has contributed numerous papers to publications such as Risk Professional, and is writing a series of books on risk management.
Edrich is a visiting professor of operational risk management at Warwick and Middlesex Universities.

Policy Master's performance
Policy Master will reveal better than expected results for the year ended December 31, 2000, the company said this week. Improved margins and revenues in the second half of the year ensured a substantial improvement in performance over the first half. The year 2000 saw the company launch the Sirius broker system and the Mediaquote portal and achieve strong growth in its US operation.
The preliminary announcement will be at the end of this month.

Lucky Jinks
Bland Bankart has opened a new office in Birmingham, which will be managed by Richard Jinks. Jinks is currently chairman of Birmingham Future, the umbrella organisation representing young professionals in the area. He is also an associate of the Chartered Insurance Institute and the Institute of Risk Management.

Coface memo
Private export credit insurance group Coface and real-time credit provider have signed a memorandum of understanding, which means Coface's credit assesment and debt protection product will be offered on Ecredit's Decision Desktop.

Free training with Rainbow
Rainbow International is offering insurance industry members a year-long programme of specialist training sessions on fire, flood and accident restoration. The disaster restoration specialists delivers its free roadshow at the client's premises. Bob Spencer, technical and training director at Rainbow International, heads the training sessions.

Finding made easy
A new website,, is offering free listings to companies of interest to home buyers and those planning house improvements. Insurance brokers will be offered a free listing and a link to their own site. Those without their own sites will be offered domain name registration and a web-building facility.

Virtual trail
Tower Technology has launched Webcapture, a secure capture and playback system that records, in context, all web session pages that comprise an ebusiness transaction. The system is designed to provide a “virtual transaction log and audit trail” of each ebusiness transaction for legal validation, customer service and dispute resolution.

New strategy at CCC
Peterborough-based CCC International has decided to concentrate on the provision of motor claims technology and related consultancy business following a strategic review. As part of this strategy, the loss-making inspection services subsidiary, DW Norris, will be closed.

It's time to get in there
Entries for this year's UK Online for Business and Inter Forum Ecommerce awards for small and medium-sized firms have to be in by May 18. The two awards recognise and reward excellence in the use of electronic business among SMEs. Details of how to enter can be found at

Integrate your website
Internet specialist Insure-com has launched insur-e.serve, a web service that allows direct integration of traditional back-office systems with Insure-com's insurance portal. The insur-e.serve web service also lets brokers integrate their own web sites to access Insure-com's insurance portal and receive real time comparative quotes.