Portables cut damage costs

Portables cut damage costs

Claimscare UK, part of the DisasterCare Group, has equipped its technicians with portable devices that check the safety of smoke damaged electrical appliances. The rapidly deployable service is designed to cut costs by validating the authenticity of claims and indicates whether fire-damaged equipment should be repaired or replaced. ClaimsCare UK also offers inspection, valuation and a processing service for smaller claims.

Restorers swot for exams

The British Damage Management Association has held its first professional exams for restoration specialists at the universities of Bristol and Wolverhampton. A total of 48 candidates sat papers designed for entry level technicians and senior restorers. The results should be known on July 17. The association, which was launched last December is planning its inaugural conference, set for the later part of this year.

No claim on swinging bridge

Royal & SunAlliance said it has not to date received a claim as the all risks insurer of the troubled Millennium Bridge in London. The capital's latest visitor attraction had to be closed to pedestrians when it developed a potentially dangerous swaying motion. Engineers are investigating the cause of the problem. RSA insures most of the Thames bridges owned by the Corporation of London.

Munters CD can go online

Property restoration specialists Munters have launched their corporate video The Humidity Expert 2000 on CD Rom in a format that can be emailed.

Eb2b finds internet niche

Underwriting business performance for internet companies could become the next boom-market, according to a new study from consultancy, Arthur Andersen. Converging on an ebusiness future: EB2B in the financial services industry spoke to 226 international financial services companies over a three-month period. If found that 58% of European firms would outsource their systems' performance risk, if a centalised internet-based credit clearing system were available. Similarly, 45% of respondents said they would outsource their credit risk.

Window to the world of brokers

New software house Broker Soft formally launched its Windows-based back office and quotation system for brokers this week. The new operation is funded by a combination of brokers, insurers and private finance. The technology has been two years in testing and has been positively received by the industry. Richard Mikula of Topaz Insurance said: “We have looked at most of the systems and Broker Soft looks to be the strongest. It is completely new whereas the others were developed years ago.”

Schools' arson claims heat up

Arson in schools has caused £45m worth of damage in just the first five months of the year, finds a report by Zurich Municipal. This is as much as arson in schools normally costs for the whole year. The school arson bill has averaged £45m a year for the past decade.

Male staff strip off for summer

Staff are stripping off for the summer at Agency Underwriting Limited (AUL) in Colchester. Shirts and ties had already been abandoned in favour of corporate polo shirts and sweatshirts. Now bosses have agreed to allow men to wear shorts in to work. The company believes it has the most casual dress code in the insurance industry.

A swift kicking in the corner

According to a survey, a swift kick to a car's tyres is often the only check undertaken by second-hand buyers. The research by Abbey National bank reveals that 60% of car buyers fail to seek professional advice on the condition, history or price of a second-hand vehicle.
Moreover, 4% of people admitted their vehicle check amounted to little more than a ‘swift kick to the tyres' and 3% were more interested in whether the stereo worked. Abbey National says anyone visiting its loan application website at abbeynational.co.uk will be able to check the price of vehicles.

Chiyoda heads north to Leeds

Chiyoda Fire and Marine Insurance has opened a new underwriting
centre in Leeds city centre to handle its expanding business in northern England. Russell Hargreaves, the former Iron Trades branch manager for the north west, will head the six-strong team. Chiyoda's Egham office, which previously handled all its intermediary business, will continue to handle business in the southern region.

‘Risky business' training update

A new online insurance learning package is now available from CII Training Technology. It includes an updated version of ‘Risky Business' for the CII's Insurance Foundation Certificate, IFC paper 1 and a new training course for paper 2 of the exam.

Solicitors on the defensive

A practice guide to defending claims against solicitors entitled ‘Inside Claims' has been published by law firm Reynolds Porter Chamberlain.

Das the way to do it online

A broker servicing team will be available online from July 1 as part of a new service from Das.
‘Das Online' is being launched in response to the increasing number of brokers who are turning to ecommerce. A survey of 5,000 brokers conducted in March revealed that more than three-quarters of respondents already conduct some business electronically.

Internet claims form for HSBC

Crawford & Company has won the contract to supply desktop and traditional claims handling services for HSBC Select (UK) Limited's online commercial insurance business. Aimed at small and medium-sized businesses, the claims service operates via the HSBC Select (UK) website, which can be found at
www.totalinsurance.co.uk. Corporate clients can enter their claim details into an on-screen form, which is then sent electronically to HSBC Select (UK) Limited and Crawford.

Net-friendly firms may win

The ABI warns that new internet-friendly entrants could steal a march on old fashioned established insurers. A survey of 80 insurers finds only 11% of commercial insurers are writing ebusiness, while a further 40% said they are unlikely to write ebusiness because of its comp-lexity. Use of the internet was highest among personal lines insurers at 44%. John Kemble, ABI ecommerce manager, said new internet-attuned insurers could leap ahead of established players as public confidence in web products grows.

Last chance to have your say

The consultation period on the proposals to reform the London insurance market ends tomorrow (Friday, June 30). It will be the last opportunity for members of the market to respond to a joint report by the International Underwriting Association, Lloyd's and the Lloyd's Insurance Brokers Committee.
The report, published last May, was entitled London Market Principles 2001. The proposals are designed to make the market more attractive to customers by raising service standards.

Mortgage coveron the increase

Sales of mortgage payment protection insurance have now topped £2m, according to ABI figures, following the introduction last year of new selling standards.
Take-up of the insurance against sickness, accident and unemployment increased 32% in the second half of 1999 compared to the previous six months. Almost 25% of new home buyers took out the cover. However, £9m of mortgage holders are still without MPPI protection.
The rise follows the publication last July of new standards on selling MPPI from the ABI and Council of Mortgage Lenders. This included a list of key points on MPPI to be explained at the point of sale.

Credit controlservice offered

Lloyd's Policy Signing Office (LPSO) is offering a credit control service to managing agents, leading syndicates and followers to help speed up premium payments. Two levels of service will be offered:
the first supplying information only and the second an extended service which includes active premium
chasing. Both versions will be optional and in line with LPSO policy of providing services on a “user pays” basis.