Coversure to join GISC soon

Coversure to join GISC soon
Coversure director Mark Coverdale, speaking at the company's annual conference and AGM, said the company expected to join the General Insurance Standards Council (GISC) in early 2001. Coverdale said Coversure franchise holders would be given help to comply with GISC regulations. Coverdale also announced that there were forecast to be 57 branches by the end of the year and that more offices were opened in 2000 than ever before.

Down to the last straw
Insurance specialist Farmweb has warned farmers to check their stocks of straw, potatoes and other produce are not underinsured. Storm damage to crops has seen the average price of good-quality straw shoot up from £4 to £30 a tonne. Farmweb's chief executive Eileen Pyke said farmers needed to check with their brokers to find out whether they still had adequate cover for quality produce that they had stored.

  • Farmweb was incorrectly stated as being part of Norwich Union in last week's Insurance Times. Farmweb is an independent company that works in partnership with Norwich Union.

    Aviation won't take off
    Rating agency Moody's has said the Lloyd's aviation market has poor short-term prospects but its long-term prospects are brighter. The 1999 low of -16.9% (result as a percentage of capacity) was about four percentage points worse than the performance of the entire market that year. Moody's forecasts four consecutive years of loss and of the aviation syndicates trading in the 1998-2000 years of account, 85%, 78% and 60% respectively are forecast to be loss-making.

    Staff turnover costs a packet
    Staff turnover is costing call centres millions of pounds a year according to a survey by consultants TC Group. It found that staff turnover rates were running at an average of 22%, with some organisations replacing 50% of their staff a year. Costs for replacing staff were up to £10,000 a person, meaning that an average 250-seat call centre spends an average of £250,000 to replace disgruntled staff.

    Bennetts slows up
    Bennetts is scaling back its operations in Newbury with the likelihood of some redundancies. Bennetts' accounts team and customer contact units are to be centralised in Worcester, while renewals business will move to Eastleigh. Marketing manager David Spring said some clerical functions would remain in Newbury as well as the telephone engineering division. Spring said there were likely to be "a few, not many" redundancies. "There might not be any," he added. "We are talking to everybody looking at what jobs they want to do. Some may want to stay, some have already found alternative employment within Bennetts."

    NU moves in to Sheffield
    Norwich Union Healthcare has moved into new offices in Sheffield to accommodate its expanding intermediary customer service team which deals with account handling and claims administration. The company has created 20 new jobs to add to the 180-strong team. The new premises will also hold the telebusiness centre and the broker sales team.

    Legal eagles
    Two members of Lloyd's insurer XL Brockbank's in-house legal team have been named in the 2000-2001 edition of Chambers Guide to the Legal Profession, the leading UK legal directory. Rich Webb, head of legal, and Paul Jaffe, solicitor and attorney at law at XL Brockbank, both feature in Chambers' six-strong list of the top leading in-house lawyers in insurance. This accolade is based on interviews conducted with law firms, barristers and clients.

    Claims Direct in prize line up
    Claims Direct, the UK's market leader in "no win no fee" personal injury claims handling, has been short-listed with four other hopefuls for the Company of the Year Award at the Growing Business Awards. The second annual Growing Business Awards is organised by Real Business magazine and the Confederation of British Industry.

    Big business for Axa at TBN
    A team of underwriters from Axa Insurance has written more than £1m of business within two months of joining The Broker Network's new Underwriting Room. The Yorkshire-based broker said the underwriting facility, which includes representatives from Hiscox and Allianz Cornhill, has surpassed its initial targets by 200% since opening in September. Amanda Fisher, Axa Insurance northern regional director, said the underwriting room had led to an excellent relationship between the parties.

    JLT bolstered by Abbey buy
    London-based broker Jardine Lloyd Thompson (JLT) has bolstered its pensions consultancy base with the acquisition of Abbey National Benefit Consultants for £22.5m. The deal, paid for by cash from JLT's own resources, expands the broker's existing pensions administration and benefit consulting division Jardine Reeves Brown. The purchase consolidates JLT's position in the outsourced pensions market in two areas: pensions administration for large employers and insurers and combined actuarial and administration services.