'Campaigning' Judges to stay
The two associations for claimant and defendant solicitors are joining forces to stop judges being disqualified from cases because of their membership of campaigning
The Judges' Council earlier advised that membership of organisations with 'campaigning agendas' would have to be disclosed by a person sitting as a deputy district judge or an assistant recorder.
But the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) and the Forum of Insurance Lawyers (FOIL) are concerned that judges who declare an interest are protected from some lawyers who may try to take advantage of the situation.

Chubb launches Masterpiece
Chubb Insurance has launched its first UK and European advertising campaign this month aimed at promoting its personal lines package for fine homes, possessions, valuables, legal expenses and travel insurance, Masterpiece.

No comment on AA deal
Centrica, the company that trades as British Gas and Goldfish, has refused to be drawn on the future of its insurance operations after it completed the takeover of the AA last week.
Centrica is already involved in one of the UK's largest insurance affinity arrangements with French insurer, AXA. When AXA won the five-year affinity contract with Centrica in June it predicted it could generate up to 15m customers.

Direct warns brokers
Direct Line has written to brokers and intermediaries warning them they must use Enterprise Rent-a-Car and National Car Rental to provide replacement vehicles following accidents.
"In future, if one of your clients elects to incur hire charges when the schemes could have been used, we are unlikely to agree to pay such charges," the letter said.

Homer reports on merger
AXA chief executive Andy Homer hits the road this week, for a series of meetings with brokers on the progress of AXA's merger with Guardian.
Homer himself will be present at five or six of the meetings, which began in Birmingham on Monday.
The whistle-stop tour will take in 21 UK towns and cities including, Cardiff, Glasgow, and Leeds before finishing in Preston on October 5.

Broker warns of big payouts
Employers face the threat of huge compensation payouts following a recent change to the unfair dismissal laws, warns Bland Bankart.

The Midland's broker has found many employers lack adequate cover against unfair dismissal claims, for which the qualifying period has been shortened from two years to one.

The compensation limit for successful unfair dismissal claims has also risen to £50,000.

However, two types of protection are available to employers: traditional legal expenses cover and a new type of policy called employment practices cover.

Bland Bankart director Philip Bland said companies in the past had chosen not to include unfair dismissal in their insurance because the financial risk was not high. However, he said, the changes to unfair dismissal law mean that there will be an increase in the number of cases.

Bland also advised that companies should seriously consider protecting themselves against the risk

Floyd prompts travel reminder
The havoc wrought on America's eastern seaboard by hurricane Floyd has prompted Preferential Direct to advise holidaymakers to check their travel cover.

The travel insurer said the raging storm should remind travellers to check the small print of their policies for natural disaster cover.

Preferential says its Gold Annual policy protects against tornadoes and earthquakes, starting from a premium of £65.

Chubb in big media drive
Chubb is to unleash a media campaign worth a six figure sum to promote the values of its brand.

The insurance company aims to use its personal lines package, Masterpiece, for fine homes, possessions, valuables, legal expenses and travel insurance, to increase its profile.

Chubb's consumer and trade campaign will run from September to November and will target affluent consumers in the UK and the insurance trade in Europe.

Columbus offers claims tips list
Columbus Travel Insurance has produced a list of tips to guide policyholders making claims.

The advice follows research by the company showing that as many as one in fifteen holidaymakers fail to follow through their travel insurance claims.

Included in the Columbus advice to holidaymakers is: read the policy terms and conditions; ensure that you have the correct cover; know what cover you have; take the insurance documentation on holiday; report within 24 hours incidents of travel delay/cancellation; and in the case of loss, damage or theft of property, keep all receipts and documentary evidence.

Julie Philpott of Columbus said: "The hassle of filling out forms and being able to substantiate a claim with receipts is vital to help combat fraud and keep down the cost of policies."