T&C contract

T&C contract
LCH Car Rental has won a contract to provide Town & Country with a full range of courtesy vehicles.Operations manager John Oxbury said the “as and when” nature of the contract meant LCH, which has 23 outlets and Association of British Insurers approval, would supply between 90 and 130 hire cars to Town & Country each month.

Airmic lecture
The Association of Insurance & Risk Managers (Airmic) is taking re-bookings for its annual lecture, which postponed in October due to bad weather. The new date for the lecture by Rentokil chief executive Sir Clive Thompson is February 12 at the Royal Automobile Club on Pall Mall. Airmic executive director David Gamble said he was anticipating a packed audience at the lecture.

Gordon Cox, Jeff Cox and Chris Adams were not directors of Bernard Knope & Partners, as was stated in Going Places last week. Chris Adams was a director of Town & County Insurance Services. Alliance Insurance Management bought the trading name, books of business and good will of both Bernard Knope and Town & County on 6 October 2000. Keith Garland is joining Alliance Insurance Management as an account director.

Miller launches surplus online
Miller Insurance is launching its surplus lines extranet, which allows online monitoring of US binding authority business, to the London market on December 1. The system, millernorthamerica.com, which was previously only available to Millers' US clients, gives underwriters who work with Millers access to premium and claim reports online. It hopes to have its London market clients signed up by the end of the year.

Thornside buys Petwise
THE pet healthcare insurance portfolio of Petwise has been acquired by Thornside, an underwriting agency based in Shipston-on-Stour in Warwickshire. The Petwise business was formerly owned by the Kent-based underwriting agency Towergate. David Steel, managing director of Thornside, said Towergate will continue to provide underwriting and administrative services for Petwise.

Weekender with Longford
BROKERS can win a free weekend break in Europe from Longford Insurance providers of replacement car cover.The offer applies to brokers who sign up new clients to Longford's chauffeurplan policy before January 31, 2001.Longford is also offering brokers commission of up to 40% during the promotional period. John Bull, director of Longford Insurance, said: “We are really looking forward to giving away tens of thousands of pounds of holidays to insurance brokers.”

Assessing the climate
An assessment of the climate change debate and its implications for insurers has been produced by BRE's Risk Sciences Centre, based in Watford. The report due out in December provides information on climate change and looks at recent developments together with commenting on the issues, problems and opportunities that may affect insurers over the next 20 years.

Citybond does it Our Way
Citybond Travel Consultants has acquired the business of travel insurers Our Way. Citybond, a division of Citybond Financial Planning, has provided travel insurance and ancillary products for the past 18 years. Our Way's network of 1,150 agents will be added to Citybond's 3,000 agents. Citybond managing director Mansukh Ganatra said it was delighted with its acquisition, which has a substantial travel industry following. Our Way managing director Paul McLean will join International Passenger Protection.

Halifax slams charges
Halifax this week called for rival mortgage providers to scrap compulsory insurance and charges when customers wish to use a different insurance policy. Halifax claimed that 14 building societies including Skipton, West Bromwich and Universal, provide mortgages with compulsory insurance. “We do no believe that customers should be compelled to buy often expensive insurance products as a condition of obtaining certain mortgage products,” Halifax said.
A further seven firms charge customers if they want to arrange household insurance elsewhere.

Willis buys McGuire
Willis Harris Marrian, the Northern Ireland subsidiary of the Willis Group, has acquired McGuire Insurance for an undisclosed amount. McGuire's staff will relocate to Willis Harris Marrian's Belfast office. The merged operation will employ more than 100 staff.Willis Harris Marrian specialises in the design and placement of major programmes for corporate clients. The new operation will be one of Northern Ireland's biggest brokers.

Total info
TLO-online at Lloyd's, which writes total loss-only reinsurance for marine underwriters, has added data on marine total losses to its site. Visitors to tlo-online.com can access the total-loss archive and also get detailed information about individual casualties. Data for the site is complied from the Lloyd's Loss Book. TLO-online is underwritten by syndicates 609 (Atrium), 376 (Alleghany) and 839 (Chartwell).

Skills shortage
Research from IT training company Hemsley Fraser has found that a lack of skills is preventing many companies making the most of ecommerce opportunities. In a survey of 500 sales and marketing managers, 44% of companies did not have the necessary skills to prosper online. Key internet marketing skills were thought to be: basic IT/network ability (44%), ecommerce (31%), editorial (29%) and marketing (28%).

Inspop four
Online intermediary Inspop, which launched in July, has signed up four insurers – Primary Direct, The Travel Insurance Company, Costout (UK) and Travel-insurance-online.com. Costout (UK) specialises in breakdown and travel insurance while the others concentrate on travel insurance.

Police access for TER
THE National Plant and Equipment Register (TER) has received permission to use police records detailing the theft of 44,000 pieces of plant. The equipment register said the deal would enable it to cross-check the Police National Computer database and incorporate information on missing vehicles into its records. The TER works to recover plant and equipment stolen in the UK and Ireland.

The Tracker in action
A £135,000 Bentley was among 73 vehicles the Tracker network helped police recover in October.
Three people were arrested in connection with the 73 thefts of a range of vehicles that included the Bentley, a £60,000 Porsche Carrera 2 and a £20,000 BMW 328i, stolen from the owner at knife point.
October's recoveries had a value of £1.5m, bringing the total amount of finds to £85.4m and arrests to 1,205.

How to use a dehumidifier
Restoration and recovery specialists Servicemaster has published three training aids covering the
correct treatment of water damage. The training aids are intended for loss adjusters and claims professionals and cover correct procedures on tackling the clean-up of water spills, including the use of dehumidifiers. Servicemaster has produced six further reports and will distribute these over the next 12 months.

Cracking down on bike theft
A national register has been launched to increase the recovery rate for the 128,000 bicycles stolen each year.The initiative by bikeregister.com allows bike owners to list their details on its database for a lifetime protection fee of £5.95. Bikeregister allows police to check the status of recovered bikes and trace their rightful owners. This also enables insurers to take title to a bike which is recovered after a claim is settled. Figures from the Home Office show that currently only 8% of stolen bikes are returned to their owners.