Danny Walkinshaw explores the week on the web.

They called it the YouTube election and, naturally enough, Barack Obama’s victory dominated websites around the world.

The week on Insurancetimes.co.uk was not so different, with one story attracting all the attention. Towergate’s long-awaited 2007 annual report, broken exclusively by Insurancetimes.co.uk, sent traffic soaring.

The consolidator reported a loss of £14m after tax in 2007, despite a 12% increase in turnover to £268.9m. Its group operating profit was £38m.

In last week’s Insurance Times, Andy Homer, its chief executive, explained the loss as a “boring and technical” consequence of accounting rules.

Venture Preference returned to the acquisition market with its purchase of Newspace, a Northampton broker. Stuart Reid, chief executive of the AXA broking arm, told Insurance Times that the company hoped to restart its acquisition drive as it looks to reach £1bn gross written premium.

The FSA starred yet again in the top stories. This time it emerged that the regulator is putting together a team of advisers to deal with a potential wave of corporate crises in the insurance sector.

Timesonline.co.uk reported that the FSA and government departments are looking at a range of options to help insurers, including relaxing rules on accounting and capital requirements.

Meanwhile, you may have noticed some changes to our site in recent weeks. All online analysis articles are now free, while subscribers can log on to Insurance Agenda, a new monthly service that tackles the big issues, including reinsurance and corporate risk management.

The most read stories on Insurancetimes.co.uk

1. Towergate reveals 2007 loss
Consolidator says it produced a strong performance.

2. Venture Preference acquires SME broker
AXA broking subsidiary continues its expansion plans.

3. FSA to appoint emergency insurer panel
Regulator to deal with "corporate crises" threat in insurance sector.

4. All eyes on insurers
Bank of England report and falling shares stoke fears that insurance will be hit hard.

5. InsureSport suspends business
4,500 mutual members to take up new civil liability cover.