IIB director general Andrew Paddick had to cancel a visit to Beijing because of the SARS outbreak. His visit was part of a trip to the Council of International Insurance Brokers annual conference in Taiwan.

The trip was hastily rearranged, although GISC did offer a free one-way ticket ...allegedly.

Paddick was also singing the praises of AXA. His lodge in Scotland was hit by flash floods last August. After a heated discussion with loss adjuster GAB Robins over whether it constituted a flood or landslip, the file made its way to AXA broker chief Colin Calder's desk.

Funnily enough it was settled promptly and to the customer's satisfaction.