And also...

Aviva slashes payment

Aviva is cutting the £1bn payment it had agreed to make to 1 million with-profit policyholders. The insurer said the cut would reflect “substantial reductions in the value of equity and property investments”, the Financial Times has reported. The payments, due to be made to policyholders this summer, will be delayed.

Empire deal folds

The Replacement Service has pulled out of its bid for Empire, the electrical replacement supplier that went into administration last month. James Hislop, Replacement’s chief executive, said he no longer felt Empire would add any value to his business.

Changes at Allianz

Simon McGinn, director, commercial broker markets at Allianz, is reshaping the company’s North West and Scotland regions. Steve Kelly will manage Scotland and Alex Stuart will manage the North West. Meanwhile, Bruce Fertnig, its South East regional manager, has retired.

FSA on aggregators

The FSA says aggregators are failing to treat customers fairly and pushing down premiums. In its Risk Outlook for 2009, it said: “Aggregators may make assumptions to generate quotes quickly. There is a risk that if a consumer is not aware of such assumptions, they may find that they are unable to make a claim.”

Brit: we’ll beat forecast

Brit Insurance expects its pre-tax profit to be higher than the current market consensus of £32m because of the way foreign currency liabilities are accounted. The company wrote 50% of its business at 1 January and achieved rate increases across the portfolio averaging just over 8%, with a retention ratio of 85%.