This week, the Backchat Insider is exhausted with tales of football rivalries, Olympian efforts and men on the run

Go, Danny, go!
Almost 100 of the LV= gang entered Brentwood Half Marathon on Sunday including John O’Roarke, Phil Bunker and Michael White. Insurance Times’s very own assistant editor (digital) Danny Walkinshaw also completed the gruelling race but could not quite manage to remain off duty. “It was a novel experience to be interviewed on the run!” LV= Broker MD Bunker told me. Well done, chaps.

PR big shot steps up for Belize
It seems insurance press officer Andrew Wigmore is gearing up for the Olympics in more ways than one. Wigmore, who handles PR for organisations such as the Chartered Insurance Institute, will not only be press officer for the Belize Olympic squad, but will also be joining them to compete in the clay trap shooting event. He will be one of only six Belize Olympic hopefuls. The team has no big sponsors, so needs to pay its own way and donations can be made on its website ( with some of the money going to charity.

Game of two halves
Cooke & Mason chief executive Steve Grantham has tales of some amusing football rivalry within the company when I met him recently. The Retford-based broker draws most of its staff from Sheffield, and Steve tells that half the team support Sheffield Wednesday, while the other half support Sheffield United. “What’s really adding fuel to the fire is that both are in the depths of league one, but one’s second and one’s third, so it’s a bit spicy,” he said.

R U injured?
Liberal Democrat peer Lord Clement-Jones asked last week for an update on a proposed amendment to the Legal Aid bill, which would crack down on claims management companies sending text messages asking claimants to submit personal injury claims. “Can we expect white smoke on report or third reading … or indeed a text message?” the peer quipped.

Spirit of Python
Last week Labour peer Lord Beecham was keen to state publicly that the Labour party had never profited from its referral fee scheme, and drew on a comedy classic for inspiration. “It is about as vibrant as Monty Python’s parrot,” he said in the House of Lords. “It is redundant. It is a dead scheme. It has never been activated, so that issue need not distract your lordships’ house.”

Niche with wheels
There’s been a lot of talk recently about the advantages of niches in insurance - what about mobility scooter insurance? You may scoff, but Liberal Democrat MP and junior transport minister Norman Baker said he had met with insurers last week to discuss how to get a greater take-up of insurance for the scooters. Baker also admitted the government was keen to get the legal name for mobility scooters changed from ‘invalid carriage’. “We fully accept that it is an inappropriate term in this day and age,” Baker said.

Tango with death
Apparently the problem of certain claimant lawyers profiting unfairly from car crashes is not confined to the UK. A new Argentinian film called Carancho (The Vulture) follows the immoral ambulance-chasing lawyer Sosa as he encourages crash survivors to claim against the insurers, knowing that he will receive the lion’s share of the payout compared to the victim’s paltry sum. I’m expecting the follow-up film to feature the Argentinian equivalent to the Jackson reforms.