Letter of the week

Apostrophe at lusty Lloyd's

To many people outside of insurance, Lloyd's, with or without an apostrophe, means little. It could be a bank, a chemist chain or any ...

Letter of the week

Apostrophe at lusty Lloyd's
To many people outside of insurance, Lloyd's, with or without an apostrophe, means little. It could be a bank, a chemist chain or any number of Welsh organisations.

The `dot-com' situation has worked against Lloyd's efforts at branding because apostrophes are not permitted in email addresses or websites. The Lloyd's PR machine should not therefore get too uptight if it is being confused with an escort agency, as with last week's stories of the `12-floor high club', it should take it with good humour.

Roger Foord
Roger Foord Associates

The excess files
Jonathan Clark's comments last week (it2 Claims, Costly ratios) confirmed what we at BELFOR have been saying for some time.

There is no doubt rapid, focused and effective actions in the event of a claim will reduce time, costs and any concerns the policyholder may harbour or develop.

However, reducing the number of times a file is touched should be extended to contractor involvement. Why have a cleaning company attend site then a rebuilding contractor as well? Surely now is the time for insurers to take advantage of the claims cost reduction offered by giving one instruction to one contractor for the restoration process after a fire or flood.

Neal Courtney
Commercial director
BELFOR-Relectronic (UK)

Bankers - you are not wanted
Several years ago members of the Chartered Insurance Institute (CII) thwarted a move by the Institute of Bankers to take over the CII through the back door. For years, a number of industry personalities have been pointing out that the bankers wanted our marketplace, our clients and the insurance companies' money.

Coalescence with bankers is the last thing insurance needs. They are an entirely separate breed with entirely separate principles and motivating forces. Banking and insurance just do not mix. Unless of course bankers want to have 100% of their assets geared to their liabilities as life assurance companies do. Unless of course bankers want to be constrained in their investments in the way that insurance companies are and unless bankers wish to give the lion's share of their profit back to their policyholders. Many of us have seen this coming for more than 20 years. The last thing any self-respecting insurance or life assurance professional would wish is to have its product providers' trade association reflect the diabolical ineptitudes of the Financial Services Authority (FSA), with its catastrophic monopoly on justice and insatiable appetite for rules, more rules and yet more rules.

Such a merger would be a bankers' charter to run roughshod over the consumer and reduce competition even further than they are managing to do at the moment.

Australia and Canada are prime examples of short-termism in the financial marketplace, carried through by monolithic banking and fund management short-term views.

This merger can only be born of nest feathering of the most myopic type. It should be resisted at all costs.

Terence O'Halloran
Chartered insurance practitioner

Insurance from hell
I have recently read a letter, "Is it me?" (14 February, Insurance Times). Why are brokers always moaning about insurance companies? They really do want it both ways.

Not only do they want the luxury to be able to place business with insurance companies, but they also expect insurance companies to actually be grateful in return. Why should insurance companies offer brokers reasonable commission? Why should insurance companies offer brokers anything like a consistent level of service? Why should insurance companies get their documentation right first time? Insurance companies don't need to. They won't get the blame. The broker will. Business will slowly be channelled to their direct arm (which is of course a completely different company) offering lower premiums, first class service and correct documentation by return.

Haven't you noticed that as soon as you connect with a friendly, sincere, efficient and competent person at the end of a telephone who actually wants to be helpful and understanding, they are moved on, probably to their direct arm, before you can even send flowers or ask them to bear your children.

This is not a nightmare, this is insurance from hell.

Rob Keyworth
Embro Insurance Brokers

Nope, it's me too!
Following Steve Best's letter "Is it me?" (14 February, Insurance Times) I wrote to him, wholeheartedly supporting his views about insurers' service levels, which are at an all-time low. I am sure every high street broker would support that view.

I was therefore interested to read John McCheyne's response to the BBC for an appearance on Back to the Floor and would personally invite him to work in our office for a week at grass roots level and show us his persuasive skills in selling policies to our clients at higher premiums than some other offices might quote, based on his added value service which Zurich offers.

At a time when insurance premiums are increasing substantially across the board I am afraid that, like it or not, we are in an industry where price more often than not dictates whether or not a client does the business with us. We would of course love to sell all our policies at higher premiums so we can make a bit more commission now that insurers are embarking on reducing our rates, if only to pay our ever increasing telephone bills caused by insurers' totally inadequate telephone/voice mail systems.

Adrian Moore
T G Webster

Quote & Buy
I was employed by Quote & Buy as Business development manager from December 2000 until May 2001, when I resigned from the company. As such, I was not made redundant and left Quote & Buy of my own accord. I would be grateful if this fact could be clarified.

I'm now product development director at MasterPlan, part of the Folgate Partnership.

Chris Moseley
Product development director
MasterPlan Schemes Marketing

Editor's note: It is understood that Robin Mellish left Quote& Buy rather than being made redundant as was reported on 28 February.