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Archived stories from 2010

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Insurance industry closed by air embargo

The entire insurance industry was closed down recently as the volcanic ash spewing from the Icelandic volcano Eyvhadaskinfull prevented executives from flying around the world. "If we can't visit clients and colleagues for face-to-face meetings, long lunches and golf tournaments, how can we operate as a business," said one grounded broker.

One-to-one meetings severely affected

Another said that the lack of overseas trips and visits to Michelin-starred restaurants was having a devastating impact on his waistline (surely bottom line - Ed). One reinsurance executive said that the domestic implications were being overlooked: "My marriage is seriously under threat - my wife doesn't expect me to around all the time, upsetting the dogs and the neighbours. She expects me to be abroad most of the time - that's the secret of our successful marriage.)

Henry Flip-Chart, senior vice at management consultants VacUouSity, pointed to the financial implications of the air embargo: "The industry has been terribly affected - business simply isn't being transacted. But more importantly, Air Miles and frequent flyer points are being lost."

Sir Cuthbert "Cutty" Sark, chairman and CEO of Hapless Insurance, was incensed by the ban. "I was incensed by the ban," he said.

He went on, "The insurance industry is well known as a people industry. It is populated by people people. Business is transacted on a face-to-face basis. How can we transact business in this day age without visiting people? Obviously, if we had some sort of mobile telephonic device, or a machine that could allow interaction between people in different countries such as a instant mail service, we'd be alright. Or a video comlink like they have in Star Wars. But I'm afraid that is all in the realm of science fiction."

For one company, the ban simply meant business as usual. Ian Luddite, chief executive of the Luddite Agency, explained that his company's carrier pigeon service had proved invaluable during the dark days of the air travel ban. "Some people had resorted to the ail service via steam ships - how absurdly old fashioned," said Luddite. "Get with the programme guys!" he quipped.

Other news from May 2010
Travelating the Wave of Insurability
the serious stuff
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