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ACE Group’s Combined Insurance Cutting Business in U.K.

February 23, 2011 - Combined Insurance has stopped accepting new policy applications in the United Kingdom and is in talks to lay off members of its staff, media there are reporting.

Combined, which ACE Group just acquired in 2008, has approximately 300,000 policies in the United Kingdom and intends to continue to service them. The company, which boasts of a “commitment to excellence,” specializes in accident and health coverage for individuals.

In a statement to Post, a British insurance industry trade journal, a spokeswoman for the company said "Combined Insurance in the UK is proposing to restructure its operations, which may result in redundancies in staff. The company is financially strong and is fully committed to providing superior service and claims handling to our more than 300,000 customers in the UK.”

The spokeswoman went on to say that Combined, which has employees in Kingston, South West London, and Wilmslow, Cheshire, has entered into a consultation period with staffers and has “not yet determined the number and types of positions necessary to continue serving our current customers."

ACE Group paid nearly $3 billion to Aon when it acquired the storied Combined, which was founded in 1939 in Chicago by insurance industry legend W. Clement Stone.

Combined’s U.K. moves come fresh on the heels of its reported decision to slash more than 200 agents from its independent Irish sales force.

Combined pulled in premiums of close to $80 million from door-to-door sales in Ireland. But the accident and illness specialist pulled its sales force off the road at the end of July, and its 450 agents were then paid a flat rate to attend training courses, according to The Irish Independent.

The paper also reports that the insurer is now interviewing the agents with a view to re-appointing just 200.

The newspaper said cuts there began as the insurer tries to restructure itself amid inquiries by the Irish government into its sales and governance practices.

Read More

Combined Insurance Staff Redundancy Talks- Post Online

Threat to 725 Brit Jobs as Combined Insurance is Pulled – The Sun

Irish Sales Force Cut by 200 at Embattled Combined Insurance – Irish Independent

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