Our backchat insider enquiries after Will Self’s roof and tries his hand on the golf course

Self serving
I’m a big fan of novelist Will Self, but it seems he isn’t such a fan of the insurance industry. I hear that one of my Insurance Times pals met Will at a book signing over the weekend, and asked if he had sorted out his insurance claim for the roof of his house that caved in. “No I haven’t!” Self shot back. He then wrote in my pal’s book: “Insurance is fat rich people, gambling with the lives and livelihoods of the poor.” That’s hardly fair Will; we don’t all gamble.

What a fizzer
I thoroughly enjoyed this year’s reinsurance Rendez-Vous in Monte Carlo, which saw Canopius continue its tradition of issuing new business cards. For 2012, their cards feature a vitamin tablet with the tagline “fizzing with ambition”. Accompanied, of course, by Canopius-branded vitamin pills.

Wedding bells
I popped along to the Insurance Times Regional Broker Leaders Forum in York to play a bit of golf and catch up with broking pals such as Bluefin Broker Partnership Services’ Robin Thomson and Dave Hopwood. Congratulations are in order for Dave, who told me he will be getting married in November this year. “It will be a short ceremony and then a long celebration,” Dave informs me. Spoken like a true broker.

Lockyers boss Jon Newall has been on a health kick recently. He informs me he has cut out white carbohydrates, has been going on extended bike rides, and has lost four stone as a result. Admirable stuff, but Jon has gone even further and given up brokers’ most valued tool: beer. Stay strong, Jon.

Short shrift
Wearing a suit in the sweltering Monte Carlo heat can be a bit much, yet at the Rendez-Vous every year the insurance multitude grin and wear it. Now it seems that Endurance chief executive David Cash has had enough and wants to introduce men’s shorts to the event’s business wardrobe. As David hails from Bermuda, you might think he would push for Bermuda shorts, but apparently he wants to introduce shorts tailored with a ‘Monte Carlo cut’.

Hair raiser
My Willis pals from across the pond gave me some words of wisdom for anyone visiting the Willis Tower in Chicago. The building was originally called the Sears Tower, which was cemented in American culture because it is the tallest in the USA. My Willis friends tell me that if one insists on calling the building by its original name, one should refrain from doing so around Willis boss Joe Plumeri. Apparently the famously feisty Joe will give such transgressions “the hairdryer treatment”.