Preparing for Armageddon

Loss adjustors may not be everyone’s idea of the fourth emergency service, but when a disaster happens, they’re one of the first groups on the scene to assess the damage. I visited the Chartered Institute of Loss Adjustors for a insider’s view of the worst-case scenario. I suppose it’s comforting to know that there are people slaving away on contingency plans to prepare us for all eventualities. What’s less comforting is that they always refer to “when” and not “if”.

Credit insurance drought

The lack of trade credit insurance is one of the biggest issues affecting Building’s readers across the construction industry. I spoke to the firms struggling to survive, the brokers trying to help them and the insurers they claim have deserted them in their hour of need. Firms who’ve had their cover stripped accuse the insurers of profiteering during the boom, but delving into the finances and ownership of these companies, I found a more complicated picture

A simple twist of fate

People blame all sorts of things on their genetic make-up these days, but how much can DNA really tell us? And does its potential outweigh the ethical problems with discriminating on the basis of someone’s genes? Insurers have already agreed not to use genetics test results until at least 2011, but I found out that a dystopian future of DNA-typecasting was probably a lot further away than we might have been led to think…