The insurance industry gets a mixed reception when it comes to PR but in true British fashion it has managed to gain some kudos. In a triumph of bureaucracy, a boat loaded with Russian attack helicopters, bound for war torn Syria was forced to turn around after invalidating its insurance.
The London Market has a collection of mutual marine insurers, of which The Standard Club is one, and it is rare to hear about them on the national news. However when this one was revealed to have helped 'uncover a ship carrying refurbished attack helicopters from Russia to Syria', the media jumped on the story when it turned out they revoked the ship's policy because of an embargo. Channel 4 News asked 'Have the suits in this non-descript central London office, achieved something the international community hasn't managed? Apply some brakes on the bombardment by Syria's government of its people..?'
PR that good is rare and in this instance by issuing a simple statement alone the Standard Club took a dignified stance which should be commended.
Elsewhere in the industry, it's been a testing time for motor insurers handling repair claims as insurers appear to be ganging up on RSA for its charging methods. In late June the insurer was 'vindicated' in court when a judge said its approach of using a wholly owned repair network to fix the vehicles of its non-fault customers and then charging add-ons into the bargain was lawful.
The rest of the industry took this the other way, with many hanging on the words of a County Court judge who had previously declared this approach - were it to be widely adopted - would add 25% to the cost of all minor motor repair claims.
The insurance trade press ran stories with the usual colourful headlines as rival companies were reported to be 'lashing out' at the verdict. It will be interesting to see if the Transport Select Committee in its ongoing review of motor insurance costs will want to investigate this matter further.