It's shorter and sweeter

It's shorter and sweeter
Sedgwick Oakwood Lloyd's Underwriting Agents Limited, has changed its name to the SOC Group and adopted a new name and logo. The changes coincided with the relocation of the group's offices to 122 Leadenhall Street.

Alexander has right technique
London-based broker Stuart Alexander has acquired the Bournemouth Wessex Insurance brokers for an undisclosed sum. Stuart Alexander now has a premium income of £15m in commercial lines and employs 46 staff. This is its seventh acquisition in as many years.

Bupa invests in net scheme
Bupa International has unveiled an £8.5m internet investment programme to help support its worldwide network of brokers. The insurer claims the service will give brokers and intermediaries the chance to trade 100% online. The site also features a PMI 'bible'.

Warning over pollution risks
Insurers will be told they need better quality underwriting for sudden and unintended pollution risks at a joint CII and IUA seminar on April 27 and 28. The seminar at Birmingham's Aston University, will also consider a report from a Joint Working Group on Pollution created by AIRMIC, Biba, ABI, Lloyd's, the Loss Prevention Council and the government's Environment Agency. Follow-up work at the conference will include realistic case studies on the pitfalls facing insurers regarding pollution risks. Meanwhile, the CII has for the second time hosted an international conference on insurance in India, held jointly with the Insurance Institute of India. The event attended by 250 delegates in Mumbai on April 3 and 4, focused on globalisation of the world economy.

Get ready for FOIL roadshows
Forum of Insurance Lawyers (FOIL) is holding a series of half-day roadshows on the issue of mediation. FOIL Special Interest Group in Mediation/ADR will demonstrate how mediations work in practice at Leeds (11 May), Birmingham (18), Manchester (25) and London (1 June).

AIFA hosts working party
The Association of Independent Financial Advisers is to host the Critical Illness Working Party. The trade body will be working with the CIWP to provide IFAs with detailed information about the critical illness market and how best to provide the product. It will also facilitate meetings.

Auto buy-up
Auto Indemnity has acquired another three of its ten formerly independent franchises in Scotland, the Home Counties and East Midlands, with West Midlands as the only franchise outside its control. Adrian Palmer, chief executive of Auto Indemnity, said the company has signed new deals with major insurers.

Case is won
Solicitors Davies Lavery has successfully defended a negligence case that could have cost insurers £500,000 in damages. The case concerned a 20-year-old man suffered "catastrophic" injuries when he fell down a 20m gully at Watermouth Cove Holiday Park, Devon. However, Judge Zucker QC held that he was the author of his own misfortune as he climbed a fence to join his friends playing by the gully.

Cycle centre
Halfords, the UK's largest supplier of cycles and cycle accessories, has opened a dedicated insurance replacement centre. Staffed by a team of industry specialists, the centre will deal with the direct replacement of stolen and damaged cycles on behalf of a number of insurers. The centre offers insurers reporting and database facilities and provides customers with access to 400 stores.