Backchat was on the phone to his chums in the Norwich Union press office just before Christmas and was pleased to hear them in such good spirits.

The reason? One of the press officers had received a call from a glossy TV listings magazine with a woeful tale of a single mum who had been burgled just before Christmas. She was insured with NU and the mag, determined to show wonderful insurers responding to these disasters, called the press office to make sure the insurer replaced the goods before the journalist and photographer got there in two days' time.

Backchat could see why the press office was happy with such a forewarning. If its replacement goods firms failed, the press officer only needed to be on hand with a credit card to make sure it got excellent coverage. Backchat wanted to help but, unfortunately, Insurance Times only ever gets tip-offs about NU and other insurers after they have cocked up, rather than before.