I have been following yours and other people's articles about the insurance cycle and the lack of discipline among some underwriters.

Having just commenced my 35th year in the industry I too despair at some of the underwriting (if it can be called that), which appears to get worse with each soft market. My example concerns the underwriting of liability for public houses.

At my company we have a standard minimum premium of £1,500. This goes up if the pub has any entertainment, a children's play area or a late licence. We also have a minimum £1,000 all claims excess.

Our wording is tight and clearly sets out what is and is not covered. Also attached are three pages of helpful advice on how to avoid US-style 'liquor liability', which I believe is getting very close to becoming a reality in this country. If anything, premiums should be going up.

An insurer based in Gibraltar has recently launched a web-based quote facility that includes public houses. The pub can have a late licence, live music or a disco twice a week, and up to four items of children's play equipment.

Provided the turnover does not exceed £350,000 a premium of - wait for it - £270 is payable, a rate of 0.077%. The excess is £100 property damage only.

This premium plus the excess will not cover the cost of a damaged leather jacket, let alone the cost of defending a bodily injury claim where perhaps a stool has collapsed.

Need I say more?

Kim Bullimore MIoD