And also this week...

QBE, Hayward play it safe

QBE Europe’s aviation insurance division and Towergate-owned broker Hayward Aviation have launched a joint safety campaign targeting private pilots. The two firms have collaborated to produce a range of safety materials that together give private pilots a clear and comprehensive checklist for safety actions before they leave the ground.

Solvency II debate runs on

European regulators’ group the Committee of European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Supervisors (CEIOPS) has received 20,000 comments on the proposed Solvency II rules. It has until the end of October to analyse them. European insurance federation CEA said CEIOPS had “abandoned the principle-based and economic approach it has adopted, in favour of crude ratcheting up of financial requirements”. The ABI warned the UK government that the changes could force the industry to double its equity base.

SSP to upgrade Bluefin

Bluefin has selected technology firm SSP as a strategic partner to streamline its IT infrastructure and position the business for further significant growth over the next 18 months.

XL loses finance boss

XL Capital’s chief financial officer, Brian Nocco, is leaving the firm at the end of the year. Nocco has been XL’s CFO since July 2007. The company has started a search for a successor.

Biba applauds Tory pledge

Biba has welcomed the Conservative Party’s promise to use caution in dismantling the FSA if it gains control at the next general election.

Aviation rates set to rise

Airlines struggling with declining passenger numbers are expected to face a 1% increase in premiums. Aon estimates that passenger numbers will fall by 9% during the next 12 months. Aon’s predicted average fleet value (AFV) for 2009/10 stands in contrast to the same period in 2008, when AFV was expected to rise 11% and passenger numbers by 13%. Aon aviation analyst Magnus Allan said: “The tension between the insurance markets needing to increase premiums and an industry that is suffering from the effects of the global economic downturn continues.”

Artista hires liability head

Commercial lines underwriter Arista has signed Neil Hammond from Allianz as its head of liability. He will be based in Arista’s London headquarters and report to head of underwriting Richard Addis. Arista chief executive Charles Earle said: “It is vital for Arista that we understand and grasp all the opportunities to grow this part of our business.”

EL debate hits Birmingham

Brokers in the West Midlands are set to debate how the industry is dealing with tracing employers’ liability (EL) claims during a session to be led by the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers and law firm Beachcroft at Biba’s West Midlands fair. The event, on 6 October in Birmingham, will provide brokers with networking opportunities, the EL debate, and sessions on claims, credit insurance and marketing.