Willis tops in IT systems

Willis tops in IT systems
TOP technical know-how has earned Willis praise from America. The California-based Environmental System Research Institute has conferred a Special Achievement Award on the risk management and insurance intermediary for its use of Geographic Information Systems. Willis' system can perform a range of tasks from mapping locations to simulating the effects of natural hazards like earthquakes and floods.

Just a phone call away
BENNETTS is opening a new national call centre. Based in Worcester, the operation will open later this month. It plans to recruit about 200 new members of staff. Headed by manager Mark Butler, the Worcester centre will deal with new business sales and customer policy renewals.

Henley Risk misplaced
LAST week we published that Henley Risk Management was in Henley. It is, however, in Ipswich.

New exam the way forward
Eight staff from loss adjuster Cunningham Ellis & Buckle are among the first candidates to pass the Society of Claims Technicians' new exams. Their success in the SCT's interpersonal skills exam last week follows their completion of theory and practical tests last November. CE&B said it expects to enter more than 200 staff in the November exams.

Former CII chief dies
Donald McMurdie, a former secretary general of the Chartered Insurance Institute, died on June 27, aged 82. Mr McMurdie, who joined the CII in 1936 and qualified as a fellow in 1950, retired as secretary general in 1982. He is survived by his widow, Enid.

Revised criteria for ratings
RATING agency Standard and Poor's has unveiled a new set of criteria for its Insurance Financial Enhancement Ratings. It aims to assess its capital, liquidity and company commitment.

Lawclub signs biker contract

Lawclub Legal Protection has signed a new three-year contract with motorcycle specialist Carole Nash after a successful ten-year partnership. Carole Nash has a client base of 200,000 motorcycles, which will benefit from legal expenses and breakdown cover from Lawclub.

Lloyd's chief is IIL president
Max Taylor this week became the first Lloyd's chairman in a quarter of a century to be elected president of the Insurance Institute of London. Tim Carroll, chairman of the international underwriting association, has been elected deputy president. The institute represents both Lloyd's and company markets in London.

Call centre for ServiceMaster
ServiceMaster has launched 22 regional support centres and a new call centre as part of a new service called ServiceMaster Direct. The day after it was launched, torrential rain tested the new system as it caused extensive flooding in the North West and the Midlands. New staff will soon be taken on at the Leicester call centre, which the disaster recovery giant says will allow it to manage large losses throughout the UK.

Free personal injury service
Law firm Irwin Mitchell is launching a free personal injury compensation claim service for accident victims. The new service capitalises on the Government's Access to Justice legislation, which came into force on July 3.

Allianz strikes car paint deal
ALLIANZ Cornhill has forged a partnership with two leading car paint suppliers, which it says will boost the profitability of its 200 approved repairers.
The deal struck with ICI Autocolor and PPG saves repairers' up to 5% on paint and materials used in Allianz Cornhill repair work.
Philip Brailey, the insurer's approved repairer network manager, said the agreement had taken two years to finalise.

Brokers are good sports
Broker Millers narrowly won this year's Insurance Athletics Championships at Battersea Park.
Leading the field by just one point, the team of ten, despite no personal victories, became only the fourth brokers to win the event since 1923. “It was a great team performance,” confirmed team captain John Eltham of Millers' special risk unit.

Central records
Lloyd's risk registration has adopted a standard central record system, through which lead underwriters provide details of all risks that incept on or after 1 January 2000. It is supported by Lloyd's Policy Signing Office, which stores data and builds a profile of businesses by business type, premiums written, and risks not taken up or not closed.

New recovery service provider
Eastgate Assistance has won the contract to provide a breakdown recovery service to FSmotorist, the Freeserve Motorist Club, which can be found at www.fsmotorist.co.uk.