Our Insider is left speechless at the nerve of some insurance claimants

As one door closes…

It sounds like an interesting job, catching insurance fraudsters. Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department head Bob Wishart was telling me last week that one such fraudster refused to open his front door when the boys in blue turned up, forcing them to knock his door down. After being arrested, charged and released on police bail, what was the first thing he did? Put in a fraudulent insurance claim for his front door, of course.

Supermarket sweep

British Transport Police superintendent John McBride revealed a staggering statistic about metal theft at last week’s ABI property conference. Apparently supermarkets lose 1 million shopping trolleys a year to thieves, with some supermarkets liberated of their entire stock of trolleys overnight. “They aren’t all in canals,” McBride quipped.

Love actuary

Sometimes I’m glad I never went down the actuarial route, given the joshing they have to endure from their non-actuarial colleagues. A fine example of this good-natured banter came at the ABI conference, when Aviva director of claims Dominic Clayden took a pop from the speaker’s podium. “Actuaries, bless them, love them all,” he said. “Are there any actuaries in the room? Probably not going to make themselves known anyway … there’s one in the corner! The extrovert actuary.”

Gallic humour

So now we know who the bidders for Groupama are going to be: Lehman Brothers and Northern Rock. Of course, managing director Laurent Matras, speaking at Groupama’s Biba dinner, was only joking. The insinuation is that there’s been a bit too much hype around the company of late. Well, I like to quote Laurent’s fellow Frenchman Eric Cantona, the controversial former footballer, who said: “When people are talking about you, it means that you exist.”

Seal not performing

I’m sure the Kiln team at Lloyd’s is grateful that it’s stopped raining. Lloyd’s recently replaced the windows near where the team sits, but within a week they had started leaking, soaking two of Kiln’s printers. Still, if the leaky windows haven’t been fixed yet, at least the Kiln crew have some ventilation to help with the heat.

Blue is the colour

I’ve met some die-hard Chelsea FC fans in my time, but few as fanatic as Bluefin chief executive Stuart Reid. I met up with Stuart last week, after he returned from a trip to Munich to see his team win. Reid was exuberant, not only about his team’s victory, but also the extended celebrations.

The faster generation

I love motor racing, and have been keeping up with the racing exploits of GP2 prodigy Max Chilton, son of Aon Holdings non-executive chairman Grahame Chilton. In Monte Carlo for last weekend’s race, Grahame was also rumoured to be investing in a racing team, though he personally enjoyed the more sedate transport of his yacht moored in the harbour.