Our Backchat Insider enjoys hearing of Bronek Masojada’s mind-bending experience at a life insurance conference

Totally topical

After completing years of work on getting signposting up and running (see insurancetimes.co.uk), Biba’s Eric Galbraith and Steve White are taking a well-deserved break in the Caribbean. Not together, I hasten to add - Eric is holidaying on his boat, while Steve is staying firmly on (very) dry land.

‘ice one

I take my hat off to Carole Nash boss David Newman - the intrepid broker has recently got back from a gruelling trek to the North Pole, enduring freezing conditions, storms and 60mph winds, to raise £6,957 for Riders For Health, which helps healthcare reach isolated parts of Africa. David chipped in the extra £43 to round up the donations to a cool £7,000.


I was interested to hear of a good-natured insurance spat in the Northern Ireland Assembly last week. Sinn Féin assembly member Barry McElduff was regaling the chamber with tales of how he recently had a walk-on part as an insurer in a play. Ulster Unionist Party MLA Ross Hussey said that he had worked in insurance for 26 years and could have given McElduff a few tips. “Had you spoken to me beforehand, you could be a star today,” he said. “Now look where you are.”

Get a life

It’s always best to know one’s limitations, especially in insurance, where meddling with what you don’t understand can be expensive. Therefore, I was heartened to overhear a tale of restraint the other day about Hiscox chief executive Bronek Masojada. After a conference, word has it that Masojada returned to the office with a somewhat befuddled expression, declaring: “We’re not writing life insurance.” How Lloyd’s has changed.  

One for the …

Whenever I am out in a Square Mile drinking establishment, I often find myself among the insurance industry’s finest quaffers. Standing at the bar last week I couldn’t help overhearing two London market underwriters having a loud conversation. Turns out one of the gentlemen had just returned from a stag weekend and had a rather amusing story about a London market broker. Said broker had apparently spent the night in the local drunk tank after a few too many stag night drinks - but had escaped scot free, with his employer none the wiser. Talk about loose lips.

Petrol head

The petrol crisis this week may have proved to be a storm in a teacup, but panic-buying motorists certainly made the situation worse. Broker MCE boss Julian Edwards said his office overlooks the largest Waitrose supermarket in the world, and that its petrol station had huge queues all week. “It’s a big bloody petrol station,” Edwards complained. “People are bonkers.”