Munnoch is on the up

Munnoch is on the up
Guy Munnoch, the current claims director at Zurich Municipal will be promoted to managing director as from January next year. He replaces John Murray, who is retiring. Zurich Muncipal, part of Zurich Financial Services, is the largest insurer of local authorities in the UK.

Flash office for Drive Assist
Drive Assist UK has invested £300,000 into its headquarters at Tamworth in the Midlands, which included new office furniture, and the latest call centre technology. The company has appointed specialist software consultancy, Logical Data Systems, to design a bespoke system catering for its specific requirements. Drive Assist, which provides replacement cars for drivers in no-fault accidents, has a turnover exceeding £65 million a year.

Clocking up accidents
Turning back the clock an hour on October 29 causes a 17% rise in motor accidents in the next month, finds research by Tesco Personal Finance. The advent of winter time and the end of British summer time means many routine journeys such as the school run and driving to work are suddenly undertaken in darkness. Bad driving conditions are also often exacerbated by the onslaught of bad weather.

Ultimate find by the DTI
The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has applied to the High Court to have Ultimate Insurance Services wound up. The move follows enquiries made by the investigation arm of the department which found that Ultimate had been selling motor insurance policies without authority to do so.
The Official Receiver was appointed as a provisional liquidator pending the hearing of the winding up petition on December 6.

Sanderson joins Bupa
Bryan Sanderson, the former group managing director of BP, has been appointed as the new chairman of Bupa. He replaces Sir Bryan Nicholson who is retiring after nine years in the post.
Sanderson takes over the post next May. He is a keen supporter of Sunderland FC, chairing the club's holding company, and is also a director of Corus, the steel maker.

Clients' benefit
Leaders of the pro-rehabilitation lobby, the Bodily Injury Claims Management Association (Bicma), met last week with the executive of Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (Apil) to convince them that rehabilitation was a benefit to their claimants. Bicma hopes more Apil members will embrace rehabilitation as a benefit to their clients rather than see it just as insurers trying to reduce damages claims.

Travel scheme
Norwich Union has teamed up with Holiday Hypermarkets, part of the UK tour operator First choice Holidays, to launch a travel insurance scheme. The launch of the scheme is accompanied by a training programme for all of the staff at the 27 Holiday Hypermarkets stores.

Think about it
Maidstone-based Towergate, the underwriting and marketing agency, is holding think-tank sessions with intermediaries to explore critical issues and find solutions. Marketing manager Paul Dyer describes the sessions as “mutually therapeutic, involving a full and frank exchange and producing some extraordinarily good business results.” Future sessions will be held in Birmingham, Bristol, London and Newbury.

No disaster
Disastercare UK has been appointed by Royal & Sunalliance (RSA) to be one of its seven-strong network of fire and flood emergency restoration companies. Disastercare will use more than 120 technicians to provide cover from South Yorkshire to Suffolk and across to Cambridgeshire for RSA.

Nexis online
Business intelligence provider Lexis-Nexis has introduced a new online news service called will have a dedicated insurance search area, with seven detailed topic areas that cover the sector, from a broad industry overview to reinsurance.

HSA rejoins association
Healthcare cash benefits provider HSA Healthcare has rejoined the ranks of the British Health Care Association (BHCA) five years after leaving the organisation.The BHCA promotes the interest of 18 contributory health care schemes providers in the UK. Chief executive Des Benjamin said: “To exploit the potential of this market we need to be able to increase the level of understanding and awareness of the benefit of cash plans in today's society.”

RSA in Kelly Award finals
Royal & Sunalliance (RSA) is one of four finalists in the financial services division of the Kelly's Awards for Excellence in Purchasing and Supply 2000. The awards, from Kelly's Directories in conjunction with the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply, recognise excellence in supply chain management. The award winners will be announced on November 1.

Europ set to expand
Europ Assistance is to expand its operations in Ireland with a move into new premises and also plans to quadruple its workforce in five years, it said this week. The roadside assistance group first opened a customer assistance centre in Ireland's County Meath in December 1998. The firm expects to have a workforce of 200 by 2005.

Axa exit clarified
Axa Insurance in Northern Ireland has asked us to clarify a point within our story “Axa to quit Irish sector” (page 1, IT October 19). We reported that the insurer is to exit non-motor commercial insurance in the Republic of Ireland. Axa has asked us to make clear that this does not affect Northern Ireland.

Time tobe aware
The first Business Continuity Awareness Week will be held in January next year.
The Business Continuity Institute, research group the Building Research Establishment and business continuity provider Safteynet/Guardian IT have combined to hold the week and offer a free Business Guide to Continuity Management. Details will be available later in the year at

Unis funded
The Faculty and Institute of Actuaries is providing £52,000 of research funding to four of the UK's top universities. The money will go to City University and Imperial College in London, Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, and Glasgow Caledonian University.

Charming Claims Direct
Claims retrieval firm Claims Direct is planning a charm offensive to improve its image with insurers.
The group's chief executive Colin Poole said: “Perhaps in the past we haven't been good enough at getting our message across. “But we work out cheaper than a lot of conditional-fee companies. We could provide conditional fee services tomorrow and would make a lot more money. But I happen to believe in what we are doing.”

Cue online with Direct
Direct insurer Direct Line this week became the first UK provider to integrate the Claims and Underwriting Exchange (Cue) into its online point of sale quotes process. The move follows investment by information giant Experian to turn the exchange into internet accessible technology. Experian is hosting Cue and the exchange holds information from more than 30 UK home and motor insurers. Direct Line will now be able to use the Cue data to improve risk evaluation and reduce costs.