Zurich merges divisions

Zurich merges divisions
Zurich Financial Services is planning to amalgamate its commercial and property insurance divisions into one unit called Zurich London, Insurance Times has learned. A spokesman for Zurich admitted the new operation was set for launch later this month but refused to discuss details.

Prompt deal
Premium finance house Prompt has won an exclusive deal to provide its premium finance product for Folgate Insurance's commercial clients. Folgate Commercial expects to write £1m in premium income this year. The insurer will offer its clients a 12-month premium instalment plan using Prompt as outsourcer. The service will include an automated renewal process, reducing the pain of form-filling for customers.

Mortgage joys
The number of properties taken into possession by mortgage lenders has tumbled to the lowest figure for more than a decade. The total has fallen by more than 9% to 12,340 in the first six months of the year, according to figures released by the Council of Mortgage Lenders. The number of mortgages with long-term arrears (more than 12 months) has fallen by 23% to 22,600, meanwhile those with medium-term arrears (six to 12 months) has declined by 16% to 47,980.

ISIS UK partner
Broker Perkins Slade has been appointed UK partner for International Suppliers of Insurance Services (ISIS). ISIS is a European network set up by brokers from nine countries – Holland, Italy, Belgium, France, Spain, Austria, Portugal, Germany and Great Britain. ISIS is one of the largest international co-operations of brokers, intended as a one-stop shop solution for clients.

Vision at Aon
Software house CSC has installed a web-based system for Aon's solicitor indemnity clients. The site is in the final stages of testing and is expected to be up and running by September – when the renewals season starts. The site uses Vision, internet technology that CSC has a licence to sell in the UK.

L&G records profit jump
Legal & General has posted a 30% jump in its pre-tax operating profits in interim results to the end of June. Operating profits on the group's general insurance portfolio rose to £6m on £111m in premium income. On motor, L&G's £19m book managed to break even, having made a loss of £2m during the corresponding period last year.

Going places gone wrong
In our Going Places section on July 20, we incorrectly said that Julian Marsh and Ralph Findlay had joined software house Box IT. This was an old press release, the company has since been re-named Intech Solutions and the two men now work elsewhere.

Euler increases turnover
Credit insurer Euler has increased its worldwide turnover in the first half of 2000 by 7% compared to the same period last year. The total amounted to £346.72m (¤563.4m). This is slightly more than a 5% increase on a constant exchange rate basis.

Marsh expands with new centre
Marsh is opening a new affinity group service centre in Wiltham, Essex. The move will create more than 200 jobs. The investment in the centre is part of Marsh's European growth strategy and is intended to be a platform for major expansion of its affinity group business.

Wogan auctions cricket kit
Radio Two star Terry Wogan held a charity auction on air this week with the help of Lawclub Legal Protection. A total of £4,000 was raised for the 20th Children in Need appeal by auctioning cricket gear. Lawclub donated two tickets for the Lord's test cricket match and a cricket bat signed by the England and New Zealand teams to the auction.

Cool deal for Eversheds
Iceland, the giant supermarket chain, has appointed law firm Eversheds to handle the employers liability and public liability claims in the UK. Eversheds recently launched a claims management service that provides a one stop-shop service.