Here is your essential start-the-week round up;
Insurance-Edge has learned from a source inside a leading BMW dealership that the Chancelleor is likely to introduce a new set of VED tax bands for diesel cars, with the top rate for large 3-litre diesel engine sized vehicles being around £2000 per year. Dealers have already been given documentation to prepare new cars for late November delivery to customers, so information on taxing cars has to be shared between the DVLA and those registering a new car.
The Chancellor is also expected to raise the minimum tax paid by small diesel cars each year from as little as £140 to around £200 in the Autumn Budget, according to our source inside the motor trade. The reason for the increases is the drive towards cleaner air in cities, with diesel cars being the number one target for revenue raising.
RIPE OPENS NEW MANCHESTER OFFICES
Niche broker Ripe has opened new offices in Altrincham, near Manchester, as it seeks to expand its policy book from the current 180K number. The Manchester Evening News has run a promotional piece describing Ripe’s contact centre fit-out in detail, and its plans to build its own websites, incorporate AI into sales and claims, plus build up its cycle and wristwatch insurance product lines.
With some collectable watches now fetching over £10,000 in value this could well be a smart move.
TOWERGATE LOOK TO A LEANER, CLEANER, IT FUTURE
Banking Tech reports that Towergate are looking to bring their various IT departments, websites and projects together into one cloud-based platform. As Towergate has acquired various brokerages over the years, there has been a `good enough’ approach regarding IT, states the article, but the company is now looking to create a system which is excellent in every way and saves money.
Towergate has signed a deal with Accenture and expects to save around £4.2million, and has trimmed the number of apps it uses across its umbrella of brands from around 1500 to just 230. It has also enhanced its data protection protocols.
SABRE INSURANCE IPO
Today, Sabre Insurance Group plc, the UK private motor insurance underwriter, has announced its intention to launch an initial public offering. More info here; <http://www.londonstockexchange.com/exchange/news/market-news/market-news-detail/other/13428580.html>.
The Group generated gross written premiums of £197 million in the year ended 31st December 2016 and had an average of approximately 325,000 in force policies during that period. Policies are distributed through a broad network of over 1,000 brokers and direct to customers through three direct brands; (Go Girl, Insure2Drive and Drive Smart.)
Specialist broker Peel Hunt is Co-Lead Manager to the IPO alongside Berenberg, with Barclays and Numis acting as Joint Global Co-ordinators, Joint Bookrunners and Joint Sponsors.
BUPA PULLS OUT OF NORTHERN IRELAND NHS HOSPITALS
Healthcare provider Bupa has withdrawn from the Northern Ireland NHS hospitals, as the facilities do not have the necessary medical negligence cover required. Bupa will send patients to private clinics in Ulster or the UK instead, depending on their condition, reports the Belfast Telegraph.