Act now over data protection

Act now over data protection
Over 60% of businesses are unaware there is a new Data Protection Act, according to a survey by Experian, the information solutions provider. Of those who are aware of the Act, which came into force on March 1, two thirds do not know how it affects them. The Act places a number of new obligations on any business that processes information on individuals. Experian has published a free guide available at business.information@

Putting security in the picture
A new survey from insurer Axa Nordstern Art Insurance, which monitors client satisfaction, says art collectors are more worried than ever about security. Almost 87% of respondents said they would consider seeking professional advice to give them peace of mind and 74% said they would put efficient and speedy settlement of claims a high priority.

Zurich launches product site
Zurich Commercial is planning to launch a new internet site that will enable brokers and customers to transact commercial insurance on-line. Brokers will be provided with a password to access products.

LSR's backing solo Raymond
Insurance brokers London Special Risks have decided to support Lucy Raymond in creating her own broking operation. The new company will be called Lucy Raymond & Sons. Raymond is currently director of the south American division of LSR.

IPI rockets to £350m income
Income in the group income protection insurance (IPI) arena rocketed by 18% in 1999 with total premium revenue up to £350m from £297m in 1998. Reinsurer ERC Frankona's annual survey also showed that while the number of group IPI schemes was up by only 146 to 20,701, new business revenue for 1999 was up £18m to £68m.

RSA invests in charity week
UK insurers Royal & SunAlliance are forming a long-term alliance with charity British Red Cross Society to support the charity's work in the UK. RSA will invest some £125,000 this year in the charity to provide support for the BRCS National Assembly, funding for planned community investment programmes and promotional support during Red Cross Week.

Opus one-stop health & safety
Insurance broker Opus Holdings has launched a new health & safety division, providing a one-stop shop that aims to reduce workplace accidents. Opus Health & Safety services also carry out management systems, risk assessments and safety audits.

Iron Trades now on-line
Iron Trades this week launched their new corporate website The site will provide information on technical and risk management issues.

Healthmedia wins contract
Online health news provider Health-Media.Net has won a contract to supply its health-newswire service to The St Paul, a leading insurer of UK doctors, dentists and other healthcare professionals.

The web site will provide The St Paul's clients with the latest health news and a daily health media watch.

Glass's has an illuminating idea
Claims information firm Glass's has launched a new electronic Light Damage Estimating system (LDES), which allows fleet owners to quickly access data relevant to repairing light damage.

Glass's says many fleet owners do not estimate the cost of repair when vehicles are slightly damaged yet still able to be driven and hired out. This results in unrecoverable costs and increases the overall costs of fleet ownership.

Warren Hill is a rock for exports
SME specialist Warren Hill has successfully exported a small business scheme to Gibraltar.

Managing director David Perry told the Gibraltar Federation of Small Businesses that those commercial business products currently provided by CGU to the UK equivalent organisation, had been exported.

He added: "It is vital that we demonstrate our ability to deliver products across the continent."

Equifax's bright idea with DAS
Equifax has teamed up with the DAS Legal Helpline to launch a legal helpline. Fifteen fully trained staff will provide professional, independent advice on the legal implications of a vehicle's description, condition and ownership.

LPC passes major mark
The London Processing Centre passed the 4000 mark for delinked transactions this week whereby debt advice is separated from settlement. Early indications show that since the scheme's implementation four months ago, policies are prepared earlier, inaccuracies are eliminated and improvements made to current processes, which is reducing the time taken to produce and resolve policies.

CII now has a Chinese trio
The Chartered Insurance Institute has opened an examination centre in Shanghai – its third one in China. CII students will be able to sit exams from October at the Shanghai University of Finance and Economics. The first office opened in Changsha in 1989, the second in Beijing in 1995.

Old Mutual is hit by crime
High fraud and crime levels caused poor general insurance 1999 results for South African insurer Old Mutual, in its first results since listing on the London stock Exchange in July. Profits on general insurance fell from £86m to £59m, added to by the fall of the rand's exchange rate.