Ellen Bennett looks at the latest insurance stories online

The shock news that Peter Cullum could back Neil Utley’s management buy-out of Hastings and Advantage was one of the most popular stories on insurancetimes.co.uk. Michael Faulkner’s analysis of the potential deal hit the top spot, with readers flocking to find out what was in it for the Towergate chairman.

Elsewhere in insurance, Hiscox was pulling some of its operations out of Bermuda in favour of the US, and Broker Network signed up two new members, taking its gross written premium to an impressive £550m.

Meanwhile, AIG continued to prepare for a firesale of its assets, with confirmation that the US personal lines insurance business is on the block.

But not everyone can match the pace of Cullum – or Utley. With Christmas coming, it’s time to sit back and celebrate the past year. Insurance Times did just that with the Insurance Times Awards 2008 in Birmingham’s Hilton Metropole hotel on Friday 5 December.

The list of winners was the second most read story of the week.

To remember the night, or to see what you missed, check out the photos at insurancetimes.co.uk/awards.

So it’s farewell from us for 2008, but remember that insurancetimes.co.uk will bring you up-to-the-minute breaking news and analysis over the festive period. See you next year.

Online top five

The five most read stories at insurancetimes.co.uk this week

• Analysis: Cullum, Utley and the Hastings MBO
A buyout backed by Towergate boss Cullum makes sense

• Industry stars
The winners from the Insurance Times Awards 2008

• Cullum linked to bid
Towergate chairman and equity groups line up to back buy-out

• Hiscox ditches Bermuda team
But insurer to open five US offices

• Broker Network adds two members
Group GWP passes £550m