Another one bites the dust

Another one bites the dust
Chartered Insurance Institute (CII) marketing supremo Freddie Hospedales has quit the institute with no job to go to. Hospedales is believed to have resigned last week, with staff being told earlier this week. He is the second of the CII's seven divisional directors to have handed in their notice in the past few weeks. Clare Parkes, development director of the CII's life wing, the Society of Financial Advisers, resigned about six weeks ago and is believed to be joining the Securities Institute.
But Hospedales has quit with no job in the pipeline. He has been with the institute for more than four years and has overseen the transformation of the institute's profile and its annual conference. No reason for his shock resignation has been given.

Standard Life drops Axa
Standard Life Bank has switched insurers for its home contents and buildings insurance and mortgage payment protection insurance. Churchill has taken the household business while MPPI will be underwritten by Pinnacle. Both were previously underwritten by Axa, which has been withdrawing from unprofitable affinity deals in recent years.

Admiral agency at Lloyd's
Direct motor insurer Admiral has set up its own managing agency at Lloyd's – Admiral Syndicate Management. The agency was approved by Lloyd's in November and will take over the management of Syndicate 2004 from Px Re Managing Agency. The agency will operate from Admiral's Cardiff headquarters. Admiral expects to write around £300m of premium income in 2001, most of which will be underwritten by its own Lloyd's syndicate. Admiral has more than 750,000 customers and employs 1,300 staff.

Redundancies at CSC
Software company CSC is to make a number of staff redundant as the result of a review of its operations. Its director of marketing and ebusiness, Tony Barker, said a number of staff were at risk at the moment and there was the possibility that some people would be made redundant at the end of the month .

Be honest about the NHS
Private medical insurers should be more outspoken about shortcomings in the NHS according to Hazel Berrill, managing director of private medical insurance (PMI) company Healthcare 4 Life. Berrill said the NHS was excellent for emergencies but it could not cope with less urgent treatment. She said PMI had a serious role to play alongside the NHS in providing it with extra resources and in terms of choice over when and where to be treated.

On Santa's tracks
More than £48m worth of presents are likely to be stolen in household burglaries this Christmas, according to figures from Norwich Union. Its study shows that households spend an average of £600 on presents and that nearly 80,000 households will be burgled over the Christmas period. Only a third of homeowners take added security precautions over the festive period and more than a third are happy to display a tree and presents in the window of their home.

A hard time for hospitals
A NUMBER of independent hospitals have closed or been forced to sell up this year because of their exclusion from insurers' hospital networks. The claim is made by health experts Laing & Buisson in their Healthcare Market Review 2000-2001. Editor William Laing said independent hospitals had generally experienced strong levels of demand as a result of growing numbers of patients prepared to pay for treatment.

N&G to cover employers
Specialist marine insurer Navigators & General has extended its range of commercial policies to include employers' liability cover. Sailing schools, yacht clubs and charter vessels can now seek up to £10m worth of employers' liability cover as part of a package for passenger craft. The security and cover is provided by Zurich Financial Services under their commercial division, but quotatios will be provided by Navigators Commercial Unit.

US firms get cover across the Atlantic
Atlantic Mutual Companies has linked with Groupama to launch a new Euro-policy to provide comprehensive property cover for US companies operating in the European Union.
The policy offers a regional cover that can eliminate the need for separate property policies for each EU country. It is similar to a single policy that covers all states in the US, and combines a broad core policy with additional provisions tailored to specific requirements in the EU countries.

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Toweragte Leisure Underwriting has launched a sports policy for all types of sports clubs.
The new account will be managed and underwritten by David Hubert who is seeking to build block accounts encompassing a number of clubs through affinity associations.

Pets added
Online insurer has added pet insurance to its range of products. Petplan and DBI have signed up as the first companies to be featured on the site. They will provide insurance for cats, dogs and rabbits. David Keel, commercial manager of Petplan, said he anticipated would be an excellent route for generating pet insurance business. plans to announce further signings for motor, home and pet insurance in the near future.

Ebusiness live
The Retail Banking and Financial Technology conference and exhibition will be held on February 14 to15 next year at London's Olympia. The conference will look at the ways technology can be used to meet key business objectives. Speakers include Kevin Ashby, the general manager of Wise, Gordon Sharpe, director of ebusiness at the Bank of Scotland and Louise Scull emarkets director at Lloyds TSB.

RSA awarded
Royal & Sunalliance took the award for the most innovative electronic delivery channel in the insurance sector at the Institute of Financial Services' awards with its Merlin eprocurement project. The award is given to the insurance company that has developed the most innovative edelivery channel to add value to its business.Master and its new media subsidiary Mediamaker have launched Interschemes, a quotation and schemes management software designed to support the online sale of niche insurance products. Interschemes offers a dedicated system that can exist independently of other in-house systems and it can be expanded and updated to accommodate business needs. The product can be provided as a software-only package to run on an existing web-hosting facility or the operating environment can be hosted and managed by Mediamaker on an application service provider basis.
Customers accessing a site which uses Interschemes will be taken through a set of questions tailored to the product and then given a quotation. Premiums can be paid online using a credit card.
Wedding insurance cover is already being sold using the system.