The latest insurance stories online

It’s the time of the year when insurers and brokers produce their Q4 and full-year results. Websites, including, are filled with financial reports and key terms such as "combined operating ratio" and “EBITDA”.

Results for Zurich, Aviva and Willis, to name but a few, have featured prominently across the web over the week.

But will the headlines reflect a period of sensible underwriting as insurers battle to stay out of the red? You can find out the results first online.

Online subscribers to had barely taken in the news of PBS Holdings’ merger with Longhawk to create UK General Insurance Group, when they were greeted by the breaking news of the resignation of chief executive Tim Rolfe. A flood of online traffic to that story propelled it to the top of the list this week.

The Marsh/HSBC Insurance Brokers deal is well known to online readers and it was no surprise that they came back for more when the Office of Fair Trading came calling. Watch out for developments on this one.

Another exclusive also got online users clicking as we revealed that a former Bluefin team had launched a start-up to focus on property insurance.

Elsewhere, QBE’s tie-up with the Rugby Football Union received a hatful of online coverage from sports sites to business sites, while an old friend of the London market, Bernard Madoff, made headlines on websites around the globe once again as the Serious Fraud Office decided not to file charges when it completed its review of his UK business.

Online Top 10

1 UK General Insurance chief executive resigns

Tim Rolfe stepping down at the end of March for family reasons

2 Marsh/HSBC deal on OFT’s radar

Office of Fair Trading looking into broker acquisition

3 Ex-Bluefin team launches start-up

Former Layton Blackham MD and ex-colleagues involved

4 AXA in direct motor launch

New direct product to target experienced drivers

5 Insurers refuse Irish quotes

Home insurers refuse to quote householders who have made previous large claims

6 Giles completes £500,000 Wales expansion

Consolidator Giles invests in new office for Welsh operation

7 Scottish broker Central in Glasgow move

Central Insurance hires former Aon, Willis and AXA staff as it prepares for growth

8 Aviva wants GI growth return in the UK

Aviva hit by £100m of “exceptional weather claims” in Q4 2009

9 Aon adds six more in aviation

Aviation staff join Aon from Marsh, Willis and Amlin

10 QBE agrees four-year England Rugby deal

Insurer QBE becomes official insurance partner of RFU