Warning over solicitors' PI

Warning over solicitors' PI
Specialist broker PYV is warning insurers that prices on solicitors' professional indemnity cover can vary by up to 50%. The broker has a market index on its website www.pyv.co.uk The index shows that, for a seven-partner law firm based in Surrey, the lowest price was £44,000 compared to a high of £68,000.

NU recruits
Norwich Union Healthcare is recruiting 20 staff for its customer service centre in Sheffield.
The positions, in claims assessment and account handling, will support existing private medical insurance customer services.

3 Arrows fuels market
Non-fault accident assistance company 3 Arrows is trying to cut costs to for its replacement car charges by offering a cheaper deal on petrol. The scheme is designed to enable customers to buy a tank of fuel for the replacement vehicle at the start of hire. The fuel is charged at below-pump prices, and customers will no longer be required to refuel the vehicle at the end of the hire.

Gaughan goes independent
Independent Insurance's Ireland manager, Michael Gaughan, this week quit the company for family reasons. Before Ireland, Gaughan was Independent's group marketing manager in the UK.
One of Gaughan's friends said: “He spent the last year setting up in Ireland but he was spending all week in Dublin and wanted to see more of his family.”

ChoiceQuote launches site
Specialist intermediary ChoiceQuote went online this week with a new website selling motorcycle cover. ChoiceQuote's insurer panel includes Norwich Union, Axa, Equity Red Star, Ibex and NIG.
The website follows ChoiceQuote's acquisition of Fielding Mann (Insurance Times 27 July) last month for an undisclosed sum. ChoiceQuote claims the site can offer consumers cover in under a minute using the intermediary's in-house rating engine.

Hiscox backs art exhibition
Hiscox is sponsoring an art exhibition which started yesterday at Bank Underground station and Hiscox Art Café. Entitled Dopplarity, the exhibition features work by 13 artists who were commissioned to produce work for the project. Limited edition prints are on display in the café while the original works can be seen at poster sites in Bank station.

Apologies from AM Best
In our Top 50 UK Brokers & Intermediaries supplement, AM Best omitted Halifax General Insurance Services, which began trading in September 1997 but has rocketed to seventh place in the league table with 1999 brokerage income of £212m. AM Best have apologised for the error.

Zurich shows strong growth
ZURICH Financial Services has achieved a 16% increase, to £1.5bn, in total life and investment premiums in the first six months of 2000. Sales through independent financial advisers continued to show strong growth for the third year, contributing a 21% increase in new business premiums of £107m.

Crawford hits the prime time
Loss adjuster Crawford is to put 850 UK staff through a training programme to teach them how to use Prime, the firm's new computer system. The courses are modular, focusing on claims handling, corporate management, finance, sales and marketing.Crawford hopes the new package will improve service levels and help settle claims in a more timely fashion.

IFAs to get pay rise, says BAIS
IFAs hide-bound by the red tape of financial regulation can boost their earnings by concentrating on payment protection, says Berkeley Alexander Insurance Services. The insurer claims that IFAs – 90% of whom earn less than £50,000 per annum – can make an additional £60,000 by selling payment protection that is non-FSA regulated.