Andy Cook is impressed by the insurer's efforts

What's going on at Norwich Union (NU)? In recent weeks many brokers have been telling me good things about NUand one has even written a glowing letter (see page 12) praising the company's once notorious service.

The change is astonishing and very welcome.

Last year was a troubled year.

It started promisingly with broker roadshows where NU promised to improve its service, but was dogged by continued mutterings of poor service and a change of business terms right in the middle of the hardest market for years.

But when brokers have need capacity, NU has been there and in many markets at competitive rates. OK, there will be no return to stand-alone liability or high risk business that's a business decision which, looking at NU's profit figures, seems sensible.

There are plans for all NU staff to have desktop technology: laptops for homeworkers and PCs for others. That should help NU staff answer your queries quicker and more accurately.

NU is set to roll out its online household products system PASS to 1,700 brokers and by mid-summer it will be piloting online commercial lines products.

There's plenty of room for improvement especially for smaller brokers who aren't able to take advantage of Bonus but it is promising.