Claims are ‘rubbish'

Claims are ‘rubbish'
Churchill has flatly denied reports that its parent company Credit Suisse is trying to offload its insurance business and has been touting its insurance arm, Winterthur, to a number of possible suitors. A spokeswoman for Churchill said the reports were “absolute rubbish”. As well as Churchill, Winterthur also owns NIG.

In the bag
The LPSO Service Centre, launched by the Lloyd's Policy Signing Office, has won its first contract for full service provision with brokers Mar Risk Services. Michael Collins, managing director of LPSO, said: “We're currently in detailed discussion with a number of clients for service provision.”LPSO begins operation this week. Its creation was announced last September.

Call the expert
A new service to handle the collection of fees for claims experts on behalf of underwriters will be launched next month. The Expert Fees Service will replace the Lloyd's Direct Fee Scheme, which has been in operation since 1986. The service will be run by the London Policy Signing Office and the London Processing Centre.

New news from NU
Norwich Union has launched a quarterly magazine, Generally Speaking, which will be sent to 8,000 general insurance intermediaries. The magazine will contain news and information on industry issues, with commentary from Norwich Union's perspective. The first issue includes a look at the damage caused by the recent storms and floods and the potential impact on premiums.

Base to treble
Legal expenses provider Motor Law is planning to treble its policyholder base by 2002 in a bid to become the market leader in the field. This month, the firm will recruit 50 more staff across all levels and invest a £1m in information technology. Motor Law entered the pre-event motor marketplace in September 1996. Currently, it has more than 1.3 million policyholders.

Check It out
Wiltshire-based credit information provider Checkit is rebranding the company. Under its new trading name of the It Group, Checkit will offer credit information reports, Coverit, protection from bad debt arising from buyer insolvency and Collectit, professional debt collection services. The bad debt protection cover and debt collection services are arranged in conjunction with credit insurer NCM.Renoirs and a Rembrandt self-portrait worth £20m that were stolen from Sweden's National Museum in Stockholm by machine-gun toting thieves over the Christmas break were uninsured, it emerged this week.

Profits are up
Accidentcare posts third quarter profits of £10,486 on a turnover of £754,316. The company said the quarter had shown satisfactory year-on-year growth in membership sales, although income from claims management services was slightly down as there were fewer accidents during the fuel crisis.

On the road
Quote & Buy will hold roadshows across the country over the next two months. The roadshows, hosted by Quote & Buy managing director James Green and business development director Doug Phelan, will be held in London, Bristol, Birmingham, Manchester, Nottingham, Leeds, Newcastle, Glasgow and Southampton. Green said said the overwhelming response to Quote & Buy's recent marketing campaign had prompted the tour.

Stake sold off
Britain's biggest insurer CGNU announced further concentration on its core business when it sold its stake in private client investment firm Quilter to Morgan Stanley Dean Whitter. CGNU owned more than half the Quilter shares, with CCF Holdings owning another 20%.

Email with safety net
A “NO-FAIL email” system has been launched by Herculeez. The MX1 is said to make email messages immune from hardware failures and system crashes. It uses a system of distributed multiple servers with specially developed software. Shez Hamill, Herculeez's chief executive, said: “Email safety will move rapidly from a business ‘nice-to-have' to become an insurance must-have.” In the same way that insurers increasingly insist on office burglar alarms and vehicle immobilisers, they will surely come to insist on safe email systems.”

Insurance not so web fantastic
The insurance industry has come bottom of a Knowledge Accelerators' survey looking at web functionality. A score was attributed to each industry based on a number of factors:
n basic product and company information
n compulsory visitor registration
n online trading facility
n user friendliness.
The insurance industry score was said to be pulled down by the extremes of attitudes towards online business. Brokers and direct writers were found to be developing a sophisticated online business to consumer presence. But it found that the bulk of the industry was concentrating its efforts on being background providers.

Partners to manage risk
Deloitte & Touche Management Systems is to market Mynd's risk management information system, Riskmaster/World. The partnership agreement covers Europe, the Middle East and Africa, with particular emphasis on the healthcare sector. Roland Botterman, Deloitte & Touche's senior manager in enterprise risk services, said: “Pro-active controls assurance and risk management have become some of the most topical issues brought to board meetings in many sectors and industries today.”Riskmaster/World has more than 400 users worldwide.

Merger leads to new WCI
World Class International, a leading consultant firm providing global management support to blue chip companies, and 2GL Counterpoint, the information technology company, are merging. The new company, WCI, has offices in both Europe and the USA and more than 250 staff.