NIG proposal forms at the centre of inquiries

South Yorkshire police are understood to be investigating Preston Whiteside, following the announcement this week that the broker had been implicated in NIG's investigations into the doctoring of proposal forms.

Though the officer in charge of the inquiries would not officially name Preston Whiteside, a statement said: "Officers from South Yorkshire police's commercial branch have been asked to make appropriate preliminary inquiries into matters brought to our attention by members of the public."

Sources in the South Yorkshire police confirmed that Preston Whiteside was the company involved.

Two weeks ago Preston Whiteside had its assets frozen by the High Court, following an action brought by Northern Irish broker Laing & Co. Laing & Co also obtained a court order obliging Preston Whiteside to disclose the policies it had validly insured and those it had not.

NIG implicated Preston Whiteside during its investigation into the doctoring of proposal forms received by NIG via broker JR Carrigan & Son.

A NIG statement confirmed that "legal advice was obtained as to the implications of unauthorised activities being undertaken by JR Carrigan & Son and Preston Whiteside".

The allegations concern the operations of JR Carrigan & Son in relation to NIG's tradesman insurance scheme.

A number of brokers involved in the scheme claimed to have received policy documentation from NIG which did not match the insurance requirements of their clients.

The NIG statement said: "Initial investigations into these inquiries revealed that, in each particular instance, another intermediary, namely Preston Whiteside (with whom NIG had no business relationship) was also involved."

NIG alleges that in "nearly all of the proposal forms submitted to NIG, via Carrigan, it was evident that that the proposal forms received by NIG were not the original forms completed by the proposer."

NIG also claimed that some proposal forms prepared by the proposer had not been submitted to NIG, while in the majority of cases where proposals had been submitted, via JR Carrigan & Son, on behalf of proposers, "there were serious anomalies between the original proposal form and the `transcribed' proposal form".

The alleged anomalies included different occupations being specified, different/incorrect addresses and postcodes being used, and geographical locales being changed.

NIG also said that, on numerous occasions, "there was a significant disparity between the premium quoted and paid for by the proposed for the insurance required and monies received by NIG".