Danny Walkinshaw looks at the latest insurance stories online

A blizzard of stories on snow-related claims followed last week’s storms.

Insurers were reporting increased claims calls, particularly among motorists. Telegraph.co.uk reported how claims at AA Insurance were up 50%, while guardian.co.uk detailed how motorists should handle driving in the snow.

The website moneynews.co.uk reported only a slight lift in the number of claims at Saga Insurance, attributing this to the driving experience of its customer base of over-50s.

Despite the harsh weather, insurancetimes.co.uk kept visitors updated on the latest industry news.

Two stories about Bluefin, the AXA broking arm formerly known as Venture Preference, were the most popular this week, including our scoop that its chief operating officer had left the business.

That was closely followed by news of its acquisition of Cumbria-based broker Lakeland Insurance Services.

The ban of point-of-sale payment protection insurance made it into the online top five, as did GAB Robins’ appointment after a £15m fire at the 258-year-old Raasay House on the Isle of Raasay, off Skye.

Towergate’s launch of a new trade credit insurance also made the list.

The latest blog from independent broker Peter Smits of Ashbourne is now online, as well as February’s issue of Insurance Agenda.

There will soon be a new blog, this time from Jonathan Davey, the former Primary boss who last year joined SSP.

Finally, this week’s “Five things you didn’t know about…”, comes from Jon Dye, general manager at Allianz Retail.

Online top five:

  • COO exits Bluefin

Shaun Hooper leaves AXA broking arm

  • Bluefin acquires Cumbria broker

Group continues expansion plans

  • PPI sales banned at point of sale

Competition Commission says ban effective by October 2010

  • GAB handles £15m mansion fire

Adjustor appointed to major loss at Raasay House fire

  • Towergate's new trade credit insurance scheme

New scheme to address cash flow, credit and investment needs of SMEs

Five things you didn't know about...Jon Dye, Allianz

Where he was born...

I was born in Kano in northern Nigeria. I think that technically I am entitled to a Nigerian passport, but that might also qualify me for National Service and I am definitely not cut out for life in the Nigerian army!

His childhood ambition...

When I was small, I wanted to be a palaeontogist. It never happened, although I have occasionally studied the dinosaurs that remain in the insurance industry - but they are few and far between these days, I'm happy to say.

His education...

I studied law at Cambridge University. One my lecturers said, "Of course the lawyers are just hired hands. If you really want to shape civil justice, you need to work for the paymasters - that's the Government or the insurers". This is one of the reasons that I joined the industry.

His career...

I started work in January 1989 on the Management Trainee scheme at Commercial Union. There is now a "mafia" from this scheme all around the industry, with particular concentrations at Allianz and Towergate.

His home...

I live within walking distance of the office in Guildford. A rare privilege, although in truth I drive more often than I walk. It has been a useful option during the recent heavy snow.