News that Heath Lambert had ousted a string of global brokers in the race to land the 10-year insurance contract for the £15.9bn Crossrail project – as revealed exclusively in Insurance Times – proved to be the most popular story for online readers in the past week.

Visitors flocked to to find out that the broker won the tender ahead of rival bidders that included Marsh, Aon, Willis and JLT.

Heath Lambert, which completed the sale of its non-core wholesale business to Cooper Gay in May, will now be responsible for designing and placing the insurance for the project that is set to incorporate over 20km of underground tunnels and nine new stations.

It could well be the first of a number of major contract wins for the newly-aligned group.

The Ministry of Justice’s (MoJ) long-awaited personal injury reforms followed closely behind as the second most read story. The MoJ’s report highlighted a fast track process for motor claims up to £10,000, while the limit for personal injury claims is to remain at £1,000.

The watered down report sparked outrage among the insurer community, but the MOJ insisted it was not convinced by the argument that increasing the small claims limit would take away the high legal costs that are paid out in low-value claims.

This story is now set to rumble on with insurers predicting that the weak reforms would lead to a flood of court cases.

Australian insurance group IAG was again in the news, this time with its UK broker, Equity, making the headlines. The broker completed two further book acquisitions, transferring both personal lines and commercial accounts into its ever-expanding branch network.

News that IAG UK chief Neil Utley had admitted he may lead a management buy-out (MBO) of parts of the business was also popular, after he said that the sale of the company’s retail assets would be completed by the end of the year.

Cooper Gay’s £31.6m debt financing facility with National Australia Bank, London, and Groupama’s appointment of Phil Bird, its director of underwriting, as claims director came in as the fourth and fifth most popular stories of the week on


The most read stories this week on

1. Heath Lambert beats global brokers to Crossrail contract

Ten-year contract awarded ahead of rivals Marsh, Aon, Willis and JLT for £15.9bn transport project.

2. MoJ delivers personal injury report

Fast track limit to be raised to £25,000, while fixed fees put on hold.

3. More acquisitions for Equity

Two brokers’ books transferred to branch network.

4. Cooper Gay secures £31.6m debt facility

Funds to support impending acquisitions.

5. Groupama appoints claims director

Underwriting director, Phil Bird replaces Graham Gibson.

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Andy Heap is chief executive of Ignition NBS.


Allianz Commercial

Allianz Commercial

has appointed David Price as a project manager within its change management team.

Price will focus on the integration of products and services, both internally and externally.

Assurant Solutions

Assurant Solutions has appointed Stephen Ebbett head of channel and product development. In the newly created role,

Ebbett will oversee the development and delivery of new channel activities. His focus will be on product innovation.


Independent broker network Countrywide has appointed Nick Haycock as managing director.

Giles Insurance

Giles Insurance Brokers has boosted its Welsh offering with the appointment

of David Pinches as commercial account executive. Pinches will be involved with the servicing of corporate clients and new business acquisitions.

He joins from Churchgate Insurance, where he spent two years, and has worked in insurance and broking for more than 40 years.

GMAC Insurance

GMAC Insurance has promoted Tim Heavisides to group chief executive, Car Care Plan Holdings and Provident Insurance.

Legal & General

Andy Webb has joined Legal & General as operations director of its general insurance business.

Towergate Risk

Towergate Risk Solutions has recruited Dagmar Johnson as an account executive.

In her new role, Johnson will be responsible for developing Towergate’s presence in the coach and haulage fleet markets.

Insurance Partnership

The Insurance Partnership has named William Elliott as claims manager. He previously worked for the Cunningham Group.