And also this week …

Cobra network adds £10m gwp broker

Cobra Network has added commercial broker Newstead Group to its membership. Newstead writes £10m gross written premium and has offices in Birmingham, Stoke-on-Trent and London. Newstead managing director Paul O’Donnell said: “We had been considering a number of options for the business and joining a network was certainly one of these.”

Cobra managing director John Lincoln added: “I’ve always been confident in our ability to meet the needs of larger commercial brokers and, by joining, Newstead has demonstrated their own confidence in Cobra.”

Motor market could make a loss in 2009/10

The motor insurance market could be set to lose up to £1bn in 2009 and 2010, Deloitte has predicted. In its survey of the motor market, the firm said that motor insurers could see huge underwriting losses if they are not supported by prior-year reserve releases. It would be the first time the motor market has made a loss since 2000.

Motor insurers would also need to raise their premiums by 5% to replace the income lost from lower investment returns, Deloitte estimated. Insurance associate partner James Rakow said that motor insurers were making an underwriting loss of £5 for every £100 of premium in 2008.

“Looking beneath the likely headline result for 2009, the picture is even worse,” he said. “Indications are that the current year trading is far from being profitable at a market level, and this is likely to remain the case in 2010.” However, he added that motor premiums were increasing fast, up 11% in the 12 months to September 2009.

Aon poaches RKH team

Aon Trade Credit UK has swooped for former RK Harrison trio Phil Simmons, Kevin Finch and Nicola Smith. Simmons, previously head of credit broking for RKH, becomes commercial director and joins the leadership team to focus on further expanding Aon's major UK and international portfolio. Senior client director Finch has been tasked with strengthening Aon’s international focus in trade credit, and client manager Smith will manage key corporate accounts.

Aon’s head of trade credit, Stuart Lawson, said: “This will allow us to further enhance our position as the leading trade credit broker and demonstrates our commitment to attract the best client-focused brokers in the market.”