Nasty Nick is no joke

Nasty Nick is no joke
I have just read your support campaign for Nick Bateman in the Big Brother House.
Frankly, I am flabbergasted that you would even consider supporting this man. Do you really want Nick Bateman to be the ambassador for the insurance industry? Do people working within industry want to be tarred with the same brush as Nick?
I actually feel rather embarrassed that this man is working within our industry.
I hope to God that he doesn't win because he doesn't deserve to. He barely qualifies to be a fellow human being.
Sue Wheatland,
August 24

Tea and sympathy
I represent a very small, high street insurance intermediary and feel very threatened by the alarming growth of call centres across the country.
I have therefore had a mechanical device fitted to my front door, which seems to work very well and should be on offer to every intermediary in the near future.
It works something like this:
n Press ‘1' if you would like to join the quotation queue.
n Press ‘2' if you would like to join the claims queue.
n Press ‘3' if you would like to speak directly to an operator who can give you advice on which queue to join.
n Press ‘4' if you would like to continue waiting outside.
n Press ‘5' if you would like to be cut off.
n Press ‘6' if you would like to hear the options again.
Or, if you would like to discuss any insurance matter in a friendly, but professional, atmosphere, perhaps over a cup of tea, push the door open and enter.
I hope you like the sound of my invention. I am not sure whether it will catch on, though.
Steve Savage,
O'Regan Insurance Services,
July 6

It's Simon's six pack?
I refer to your recent photo of Biba chief executive Mike Williams on Backchat (30/3) and wonder why his head was super-imposed on to a photo of my body – surely this was a mistake?
Simon Burgess
Finchingfield, Essex
April 6

A welcome face?
We were pleased as punch to see a picture of Mike Slack in Insurance Times (“Insurer triggers client ownership row”, March 23) because we had missed seeing him for quite a while.
In fact, we are in the progress of setting up an appreciation society, as we are sure that there may be many people in the insurance industry who wish to see more pictures of Michael in the pages of your magazine.
We therefore invite your readers to write
to us if they would like further details of the society, enclosing a cheque for £50.
Nigel Cakes and
Sandy Fladgham
Witzend Insurance Services
March 30

Brokers file for divorce from CGNU
I refer to page two of the Insurance Times dated February 10 2000: “Insurance rates set to soar”, according to five of the UK's biggest insurers. Absolutely correct if your business is through a broker. However, what a pack of lies by The heading should read: “Insurance rates slashed by trading and dealing direct on the net.” I give your readers two examples:
NU renewal for a Mercedes CLK 230K Sport:
60% PNCD. Two drivers.
1999 renewal premium: £554.36
2000 renewal premium: £ 841.43
(non negotiable)
However, the quote is £513.27 (identical cover).
New business quote for wife of commercial client:
Renault Clio 60% PNCD. Two drivers.
NU broker quote:
£424.18 (guaranteed) quote:
So Norwich Union “Jekyll & Hyde” Insurance Group, including norwichunion. com, perhaps you could explain the massive discrepancy in the premiums. What do you want to do business with? Our potential account with CGNU is £300,000+. Norwich Union, Glasgow, approached us this year with a partnership agreement for growth. “We want to get into bed with you,” they say.
Well darling, it is like this: “We are not going to be screwed by a two-faced, two-timing, incompetent, unprofessional partner.” We are not prepared to subsidise your direct operation. Our account may mean nothing to you, but multiply this by 500+ and you might just consider keeping your pants on.
Do we have any other brokers interested in a divorce action? Check the rates yourself and let me know.
A McArthur
Logie & McArthur Insurance Brokers,
March 23

The best of the worst
I have recently been invited to and asked to complete an entry form for a magazine's insurance industry awards and will no doubt be confronted later with lots of smiling faces saying “didn't we do well”.
To those of you who intend to return the form (or should it be, to those of you who would otherwise not have returned it?), may I suggest a further category headed “Still searching for excellence”, with nominations for such awards as naff adverts, slowest response, worst phone system and heaviest policy document. Or name your own category. The results could be interesting.
I D Bevan-Mogg
Vaughan Insurance Brokers
Crewkerne, Somerset
March 2

Casual dress a no-no
I received my copy of Insurance Times this morning and while opening the post read the headline “RSA moves to a more casual approach to work” which made me smile.
Looking at the situation that most insurance companies find themselves in at the present time, you would think that the RSA would try to raise standards rather than lower them. I may be old fashioned but if we start allowing employees to come to work in casual dress, then their attitude to work will follow.
Is it a coincidence that the two companies mentioned which have introduced this form of dress are the ones currently suffering the most administrative headaches?
Ann Manning
Managing director
A Manning UK
January 20

Wacky times on the box
The AA has given us much for which we should be grateful. Indeed, my family and I always eagerly anticipate the commercial break for the brilliant portrayal of the dedicated boss of its busy call centre; a role model for us all. Also, the insight to the market it often provides I find invaluable.
I was particularly intrigued this week to note that the upsurge in commercial vehicle business can be attributed to the popularity of the BBC programme Ground Force.
May I ask whether, in the wake of the programme from the same channel, Animal Hospital, it has experienced similar success in the pet insurance market for customers wishing to insure their much-loved chinchillas, bush babies etc.?
If this is the case then there must be an even stronger case for reinstatement of One Man and His Dog.
A note of caution though – motor brokers be on your guard for a prime-time re-run of Wacky Races.
Michael Butler
Prestige Insurances
February 17