The time it takes insurers to process and respond to documentation remains one of brokers' perennial complaints. But Backchat may have uncovered the root of the problem - at one insurance company, at least.

AXA, aware that mail is important, has set aside one day a month where its staff ignore the ringing of telephones to plough through and respond to any accumulated post.

But, what began as a valid attempt to keep up with correspondence, has been turned on its head with the introduction of a competition. Backchat hears that since a prize has been awarded each month to the office that manages to get through the most mail on mail day, some bright sparks are hoarding the mail and letting it accumulate throughout the month, so they can win.

With this new-found understanding of what motivates insurance staff, Backchat wonders what improvement might be seen if Biba introduces a prize for the insurer who deals with mail the quickest.