Mental fatigue looked into

Mental fatigue looked into

The Health & Safety Commission has devised an index for measuring the risks of mental fatigue at work. The safety-at-work body says there is growing evidence that certain work patterns – such as shift work and lack of rest periods – can lead to errors, accidents and ill-health.

File claims in Office

Insurance software supplier Micrologic UK has developed a claims administration system for Windows. The system allows files of any type to be attached easily to claims and is fully integrated with Microsoft Office. A full demonstration is available for downloading on the company's website at

Teamwork to reduce costs

Ten leading subsidence solutions companies have come together to offer nationwide coverage under the banner of Premier Resolve. The company, which has more than 500 staff and a turnover of £30m, aims to reduce costs by keeping the involvement of third parties to a minimum.

A network of witnesses

An exhaustive list of expert witnesses covering subjects as varied as anaesthesia to zoology is available free to lawyers involved in litigation work. The UK Register of Expert Witnesses has more than 3,000 specialists and a subject index with 20,000 entries.It can be found on online legal databases such as LawZone or Infolaw.

Scrooges out of pocket

Arsonists caused more than £250,000 of damage after setting fire to a warehouse in Nottingham. Loss adjusters Miller Pycraft were called in by CGU to investigate the cause, belived to be arson. The premises belonged to Scrooges, a retail goods and hardware firm.

Virus protection

Computer viruses, hackers and lost internet or communication links can now be insured against, thanks to a new policy from Burnett and Associates. Electronic Risks Insurance is the first policy of its kind to hit the UK market. It was developed in conjunction with American and German Insurers. Further details are available online at

Worth saving

A financial Services Compensation Scheme, to be launched next year, will compensate savers, investors and policyholders left out of pocket when financial firms collapse. The scheme will bring together existing compensation schemes to cover banks, building societies, and insurance policies. It is hoped that the change will result in a number of improvements to existing compensation, including a rise in the maximum cover for deposits, and cover for foreign currency deposits.

One package

Brokers Opus are launching a new business insurance package. Billed as a “one-stop insurance solution” for manufactures, caterers, constructors, retailers and trade associations, BusinessCare boasts interest free instalments, 24 hour claims help line and risk management advice. Also included is a free legal and tax advice line and courtesy cars or vans in motor claims. takes lid off has netted more than £1m in its first week of trading. The Direct Line service for motorists and car buyers saw its first car being sold within hours of its launch. Its major TV marketing campaign is likely to continue to attract huge numbers of people to the site.

Amicus Legal covers LawNet

A new conditional fee insurance policy has been launched by LawNet. “No win, no fee” road traffic accident cases are covered by the policy, arranged through Amicus Legal. LawNet members will be provided with comprehensive cover, plus deferred premiums and a post-accident trauma counselling helpline.

AIG launches Worldrisk

AIG Europe has formed a new division to target small- to-medium-sized UK exporters and businesses with overseas interests. The Worldrisk business unit is headed by AIG stalwart Malcolm Brown, who has been with the US insurer for the past 23 years.

Captive system

Software and consultancy firm Eurobase this week launched Synergy for Captives, an underwriting package that runs on Windows NT, AS/400 and Unix. The system supports multiple documents, regulations and reporting rules of different countries and information on all types of specialist lines of insurance.

Padding out

RSA sought to bolster its customer service standards this week by investing £2m in a solution from eprocess company Phoenix. Under the deal, RSA will roll out Phoenix's Insurance Desktop (IDT) solution to 300 users over the next eight months on a contract valued at £2m. RSA IT manager Barry Timlin said: “It will enable our customers to communicate with us by standard mail, phone, fax, email or through the web.”

More quotes

New technology company Insur E-com this week announced the integration of Polaris' Run Time Environ-ment into its quotation system. Polaris works to standardise the format of insurance products. InsurE- com offers a web-hosted quotation system free of charge to brokers.

HSA clients can dial up DAS

Insurer DAS has clinched a contract to provide eight helpline services to the 2.5 million customers of HSA Healthcare. As part of the deal, DAS has added two new helplines to its portfolio – Travel and Junior. The Junior helpline provides non-diagnostic information on children's ailments and the availability of childcare services. It also offers a range of information on general health and fitness.

Camping club sales soar

Insurance group Euclidian has increased sales for its client The Camping and Caravanning Club by 25% in the first 12 months since it acquired the book. The insurer has introduced new products for the club's scheme which offers products to 305,000 members.

Name that lawyer

Law Firm Keogh Ritson has changed its name to Keoghs Solicitors. The firm has 23 partners and more than 370 staff in total with offices in Bolton, Coventry and Southampton.

We want to be lawfully wed
Law firms Weightmans and Hill Dickinson are in merger talks. A spokesman for Weightmans said: “We are talking to Hill Dickinson and have been for a while. Our strategy is to become a national practice. We can either do it ourselves by organic growth or by merging.” The likely link up comes as Weightmans' senior partner Michael Edge, announced he is to stand down from the firm.
Weightmans said Edge's decision will allow it to restructure and appoint a managing partner.

And we are to be divorced
CGNU is quitting the German general insurance market. Subject to regulatory approval, it is selling General Accident Versicherungs AG to Gerling-Konzern Lebensversicherungs AG.
The sale is expected to be complete before the end of the year. CGNU's long term savings business will continue to be developed through Berlinische Lebensversicherung.

Lloyd's sells 51 Lime St
Lloyd's has put 51 Lime Street on the market for £40m. The five-storey building is opposite the famous Richard Rogers Lloyd's building. It currently houses the legal, finance and regulatory departments which are soon to be moved into the main building. Staff call the building the '58 building' after the year it was built. A spokesman said the the Society of Lloyd's will get the money.

Fewer injuries at work

The number and incidence rate of injuries to workers in the year from April 1, 1999 to March 31, 2000 has fallen, according to figures from the Health and Safety Commission. Thirty five fewer workers died, down from 253 to 218. Major injuries fell from 29,053 in 1998/1999 to 28,939.

Lump sums unattractive

QC Lord Brennan has lent his support to the campaign to abolish the current system of lump sum awards for care costs in personal injury claims.
Brennan, former chairman and general council of the bar, expressed his views during a seminar at the Staple Inn in Reading.
He said lump sums payments were proving unattractive because of the current low interest rates.

Popular brokers

Brokers who spell out the scope of cover are most likely to retain clients, according to MULRA, the Motoring Uninsured Loss Recoveries Association.
This follows the review of provisions to come into effect under of the new Access to Justice Act (1999), which put the spotlight back on pre-paid ULR arrangements.