And also this week ...

Women catching up in car insurance prices

The cheapest car quote rose by 12.7% in 2009, with most of the increases coming in the second half of the year, according to a quarterly insurance price index. The index from EMB and Confused.com shows that prices rose by 6.3% in the fourth quarter alone. As a result, the cost of the average policy has risen from £450 at the end of 2008 to £507 at the end of 2009. Women had consistently higher increases than men in 2009. Females aged 21-30 saw annual increases approaching 17%, compared with around 13% for men in the same age bracket. In monetary terms, premiums still lag behind men, but they are catching up.

Smith gets group role

Towergate Risk Solutions (TRS) has promoted Graham Smith to divisional development director. Smith will be responsible for working across all TRS broking businesses, Towergate Financial, Healthcare and Credit. Smith was previously managing director of TRS Milton Keynes, where he has been replaced by Joe Thelwell. Prior to that, he was managing director of TRS Poole, which will now be headed by Tony Lawrence, who had been responsible for Towergate Holiday Caravans.