Insurance Age - 2010-03-03

Merger talk unfounded

Market rumours that SSP had opened talks with Broker Direct with a view to a possible takeover have been denied by both firms

'Obscene' levies squeeze broker finances

Brokers could be forced out of business as a result of huge financial demands in the shape of a £70m levy made by Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) and a significant increase in minimum Financial Services Authority (FSA) fees

SMEs prefer to deal direct for risk management

Over a third of UK small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) would rather buy their insurance direct and less than a quarter would go to a broker for advice on risk management, according to QBE research

At your service?

This month's discussion, sponsored by Ecclesiastical, focuses on why composite insurers' service levels is an area of weakness and what steps can be taken by the industry to improve claims handing?

A good day for lawyers?

Paul Asplin examines the effects a rise in employment and general contract claims have had on low-cost family legal protection and considers whether it can survive as an add-on to household insurance

Reportage: An open claims book

Demonstrating a dependable claims service can win new clients and guarantee renewals, so why do many insurers continue to disappoint? Liz McMahon investigates sub-standard service

Reportage: Exemplary service

If you want a job done properly, do it yourself. Martin Friel explores how, by securing delegated authority, some brokers have taken this motto on and are proving very good at handling claims themselves

Reportage: Leading the claims way

Guiding clients through the claims process is a crucial element of broker service. Louise Meeson explores the role of the intermediary and the benefits of guaranteeing a reliable claims service

PMI rising high?

The cost of private medical treatment has soared in recent years - double-digit increases annually - but can providers realistically offset costs through premium rises alone? Liz McMahon reports

Referral fees: An honest buck?

With the Jackson proposals threatening to ban referral fees paid by solicitors, Martin Friel ponders whether brokers would feel completely comfortable if they were asked to disclose such information