Primary surgery
Commercial insurer Primary Broker Services (PBS) is offering brokers an underwriting surgery at the Biba conference.

PBS will have a dedicated underwriting room in the conference centre, where brokers can meet an underwriter to discuss cases they wish to have quoted. The insurer is guaranteeing to hold cover on any commercial risk that is quoted during the underwriting surgery.

Saudi excluded
Several insurance companies are refusing to cover people moving to Saudi Arabia in the wake of last week's terrorist attacks.

According to several brokers, although workers already based in the country will continue to be covered, no new policies will be issued.

A recent Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) travel warning for the area triggered the move.

Yacht cover trouble
Yacht owners are struggling to find cover after specialist insurer Pantaenius decided not to renew policies for ageing boats.

Business continuity
GAB Robins will launch a business continuity product to brokers at the Biba conference.

The offer has been developed in association with business continuity specialists Survive and has the backing of the Business Continuity Institute.

Underwriter rating
The Underwriter has had its financial strength rating downgraded to B+ (very good) from B++ (yery good) by ratings agency AM Best.

The outlook remains negative.

AM Best said the downgrade reflected its understanding that The Underwriter's loss reserves will require "further significant strengthening".

"As a result of the reserve strengthening, The Underwriter's capital position will deteriorate to approximately £45m, a decline of more than 40% from year 2000 levels," said an AM Best statement.