Regional firms ditched by Cornhill Insurance

Cornhill Insurance is slashing its panel from over 70 firms to just 15 as Beachcroft Wansbrough becomes the company’s first firm to offer national coverage.

Berrymans Lace Mawer and Eversheds have also been retained on the streamlined line-up which will still be divided up on a regional basis.

However, it is believed tens of niche insurance firms have been sliced off the panel including Newcastle-based Jacksons, Rowley Dickinson in Liverpool and James Chapman & Co in Manchester.

Before Beachcroft Stanleys merged with Wansbroughs Willey Hargrave in December 1998, the former company was the main corporate adviser to Cornhill.

As part of the insurer’s review, the firm will now provide insurance litigation advice to the claims and services department within Cornhill on a national basis.

According to a source, apart from using only Beachcrofts in each region, Cornhill will also use another firm in each geographical area to guard against any problems of conflict and to provide competitive pricing.

Commenting on the reason for the panel cull, Cornhill claims and services executive Keith Mahon says: “We have too many people acting for us.

“Every branch had its own local relationship but we had to face the fact that we were not going to get economy of scale or bulk purchase savings.”

The review process began in August. Mahon says the choices for the panel were already predetermined, but says it chose the firms on the basis that they could follow a range of protocols the insurer has since introduced.

The rest of the panel firms will be announced within the next two months.