Ellen Bennett looks at the latest insurance stories online

While the rest of the world was making merry over the festive season, insurancetimes.co.uk continued to bring readers breaking news.

And what a busy Christmas it was. Since our last issue, IAG UK has sold Equity and Hastings – to Swinton and the management, respectively – a move predicted in these pages several weeks before. The Chartered Insurance Institute has called off its much trumpeted merger with its Australian counterpart after discovering that revenues were plummeting at the institution Down Under. And speculation has intensified that Royal Bank of Scotland could abandon the sale of its insurance business, the third biggest in the UK.

Globally, reinsurance rates look to be rising as expected, with some lines soaring by up to 40%. This is bad news for credit insurers, according to FT.com, and could have a knock-on effect on struggling businesses as the real economy battles the downturn.

Insurancetimes.co.uk also offered readers expert views and analysis over Christmas. Biba’s Steve White recorded an exclusive video response to the news that the FSA had backed down on commission disclosure, bringing readers flocking to the website.

A new blog by Norwich Union’s John Kitson has also proved massively popular.

The diary explaining the insurer’s rebrand to Aviva topped the most read list for the two weeks over Christmas.

You’ll find more web-only content at insurancetimes.co.uk, including My favourites, submitted this week by Ian Wainwright, broker sales director at Ecclesiastical.

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

  • John Kitson Blog

Norwich Union director’s exclusive insights into rebranding as Aviva

  • Equity and Hastings sold

Swinton buys branches and management snaps up Hastings

  • Aviva sells HPI to Solera

Sale is part of plan to restructure UK general insurance

  • CII calls off merger with ANZIiF

Australian institute’s “decreasing revenues” scupper link-up

  • RBS to drop insurance sale

Sunday Times reports Direct Line and Churchill will stay with bank

My Favourites

www.bbc.co.uk

Always first for news and sport and a good place to catch the latest updates as I can't always fit in watching the TV bulletins.

www.metoffice.gov.uk

The most accurate source of weather data, so we can prepare for claims and also plan my sailing weekends.

www.manutd.com

As a lifelong fan, this is the only place I go to get the real news about my club.

www.imagesofengland.org.uk

The most complete database of Listed buildings in England so the perfect business guide for our heritage product.

www.googleearth.com

A fantastic surveying tool to give underwriters and surveyors the context of properties we're looking at.

Ian Wainwright is broker sales director at Ecclesiastical.

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