Thames gets life preservers

Thames gets life preservers
Lifeboats are to be stationed at three key points along the River Thames from the beginning of next year– the first time lifeboat stations have been established to cover a river.
Stations are likely to be established at Gravesend, Tower Pier and Chiswick Pier and will be staffed 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
The boats have to reach any point on the river between Canvey Island and Teddington within 15 minutes.
There are more than 100 incidents on the river Thames every year.

ARC training two by two
Suffolk-based ARC Recruitment has launched two new divisions.
ARC Training will cover all forms of financial services industry training, and ARC consultancy will specialise in non-regulatory placement.

Top dollar
Stolen vehicle recovery network Tracker has increased its commission to brokers by 50%.
Commission for sales resulting from agent referrals will be raised from £20 to £30 for each device sold from February 1.

Info extra for Top 50
Insurance Times is publishing an update to its popular top 50 UK general insurers supplement.
The eight-page extra issue is packed with essential tables and charts that can be used alongside the main supplement, which was published last October.
Readers can find the addition in this issue of Insurance Times.

Not all is as it seems
The Insurance Brokers Registration Council (IBRC) is warning brokers that the regulatory body being set up the Institute of Insurance Brokers (IIB) is not a direct replacement of itself.
Alan Gavaghan, chairman, said brokers were confused because the IIB's regulatory body had been referred to as “IBRC mark II”. But he stated that it should not be viewed as a continuation of the council's work after is closes on April 30, 2001.

Run-offs at Trenwick
Trenwick International has placed its yacht and personal accident accounts into run-off following a review of all its underwriting accounts.
The Bermuda-based insurer said it had refocused its underwriting strategy for 2001 and would continue to underwrite treaty and specialist lines business.

Online service for Biba
The Underwriter has launched an online service for the excess and products liability class of business for the 1,500 members of the British Insurance Brokers Association.
Brokers can access when they receive their information pack and password. It will be available from February 1.
Underwriter chairman Robert McCraken said Probroker would provide excess cover from £1m to £29m for periods between one day and a year for companies with a turnover of up to £25m.

Paperchase hots up
Highway is offering to pay for the most promising candidate in each of its 80-strong broker club to take the Chartered Insurance Institute's Insurance Foundation Certificate or other relevant courses. About 50 firms have so far taken up the exams, which normally cost around £500. (See feature page 33)

Tripping along
Online travel company has picked Halifax Travel Insurance as its travel insurance provider for UK-based customers. Expedia customers will be able to arrange insurance on its website by clicking through to the insurance section. Annual travel insurance is likely to have stronger appeal to Expedia's customers than single trip, and Halifax specialises in this.

Heath deal
Heath Lambert Financial Services, part of the Heath Lambert Group, has won the contract to supply general insurance and employee benefits solutions to the government initiative, Partnerships UK.
Partnerships UK has been formed to help the public sector develop public private partnership deals and private finance initiatives.

Two shiny new Sovereigns
NIG has made two new additions to its Sovereign motor insurance product portfolio – Sovereign Prime and Sovereign Economy Non-Comprehensive. Sovereign Prime is targeted at the higher premium car group, offers brokers a standard 7.5% commission and will be quoted automatically when a premium exceeds £500. Sovereign Economy Non-Comprehensive is an extension of the Sovereign Economy policy, and is based on a mandatory minimum fire and theft excess of £250. It will have the same commission level as the current Sovereign Economy Comprehensive product. Both products will be available to all users of the CSC Electra system, Brokersoft system, NMT system, and Policy Master system.

Mediquote goes live
MediQuote, a private medical insurance quotation system for intermediaries, is now live on the internet at The system is an alliance of software house Policy Master and insurer Standard Life Healthcare. Policy Master said it was in talks with other health insurers to expand the service and planned to expand Mediquote to cover critical illness, long-term care, income protection and health cash plans.

EMB software
Consulting actuaries English Matthews Brockman has launched a Windows-based pricing software package for the wholesale insurance market. Called Pris EMB, it is designed to conduct detailed technical reviews of individual accounts. It also creates an audit trail with an electronic record of all quotes. Licences for the software have already been bought by three Lloyd's managing agencies: Newmarket, Cotesworth, and R F Bailey.

Free seminars
Online payment solution company QSI is hosting a series of free web seminars on issues and trends surrounding ecommerce payments. On January 25 the theme is “Any currency, any device, any environment, any questions?”, on February 22, “It's 2001, do you know where your credit card number is?”, and on March 22, “Get to market today”. Registration for the seminars is at

It's the law
LawAssure, an online legal service for small and medium-sized enterprises, has been launched by Epoch Software. Subscribers to the service have unlimited online access to legal documents and information and can also get legal support over the phone. Lawassure's website can be found at www.lawassure.

Tracker gets back top cars
A £10,000 Porsche 911 stolen at gunpoint was among 89 vehicles the Tracker network helped police recover last month.The highest value vehicle recovered was a £60,000 Aston Martin sports car stolen in a robbery. Tracker said that thefts involving the use of force are on the increase. Five people were arrested in connection with the 89 thefts in December 2000, worth some £1.4m.

Web woven wider
Claims information website has expanded its content with new sections including case studies and accident statistics. The website's managers said the site aims to be a source of information for claimants seeking compensation.

Chem-Dry flies high
Flood and fire damage restorer Chem-Dry UK is cited as one of the fastest growing UK companies. The company won a placing in the Sunday Times Virgin Atlantic Fast Track 100 listings due to its 436% increase in pre-tax profits over the past four years.