In numbers


Creditors of failed insurer Independent will only get 15p of every pound they are owed by the company.


The amount a cyber attack on the US power grid could cost insurers.


The increase in the average comprehensive car insurance premium in the first quarter, according to Confused/Towers Watson


High five: the big stories

1. Budget - Osborne raises Insurance Premium Tax to 9.5% from 6%

The rise prompted an outcry from the insurance industry, not least Biba’s chief executive Steve White, who dubbed it a “stealth tax” that would mean more expensive insurance for the public. ABI director general Huw Evans said the hike threatened to reverse the reductions in insurance premiums achieved by the recent legal reforms.


2. Helphire quits GTA

The credit hire firm has decided to exit the general terms of agreement (GTA), an umbrella deal between the credit hire and insurance industries aimed at keeping credit hire costs down. The company said it withdrew because it is striking bilateral agreements with a number of insurers for settling credit hire claims.


3. Budget - Osborne announces ‘major review’ of CMC regulations

Chancellor George Osborne revealed in the Summer Budget that not only was the government planning to review claims management company (CMC) regulations, but it was also looking at capping the fee they charged to customers. Insurance Fraud Bureau director Ben Fletcher said “corrupt” CMCs are a “significant factor” in organised insurance fraud.


4. FCA to start consultation on policy renewals

The regulator will launch a consultation in Autumn on what measures can be introduces to help policyholders shop around for insurance. Possible measures are an “honesty box” where insurers explain to clients in renewal statements how much their premium has increased and why.


5. PRA will give insurers ‘plenty of time’ to adapt to Solvency II

In a speech at the ABI’s Solvency II seminar on 9 July, Bank of England executive director of insurance supervision Sam Woods aimed to dispel myths and fears about the new capital regime. He also revealed that the PRA would make decisions on companies’ internal capital models in early December.


Who, what, where

The latest round-up of stories from around the UK includes Willis’s acquisition of a healthcare adviser, the retirement of a long-standing Allianz regional manager and run-off insurer RiverStone’s warehouse fire claim victory

  • Willis has agreed to buy Wincham, Cheshire-based healthcare adviser and broker PMI healthcare for an undisclosed sum. The company has 128 staff.
  • Allianz’s Birmingham-based midlands and south-west regional manager Colin Bates will retire this year after 18 years with the company.
  • Run-off insurer RiverStone Insurance, formerly a division of Brit, successfully avoided a claim from a 2005 fire at a furniture warehouse in Ashby-de-la-Zouch in the Court of Appeal after a protracted legal battle with warehouse owner Milton Furniture.



Top five risks facing small businesses in the coming year (see spreadsheet)

Source: Aon survey of 766 SME decision makers between 9 March and 12 March 2015


Good times, bad times


Higos has completed a refinancing with Clydesdale Bank, which is expected to put the broker back on the acquisition trail.


Bogus motor insurance claims are on the increase, according to Aviva. About 14,000 fraudulent insurance claims worth £95m were made in 2014 - equivalent to 39 every day.