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Windsor Life, with-profits and new business

I write in response to the article headed, A bonus for personal injury payouts (Money Marketing, March 23). There were one or two points that were misleading and warrant clarification.

While Windsor Life has not been actively distributing new business through a sales force, it has never been closed to new business as suggested in the article. In fact, we wrote £126m of new business premiums in 2000.

The Windsor product range provides a comprehensive range of flexible life, pension and protection benefits that are all available to both new and existing policyholders.

In terms of reporting, contrary to the comment by Dave Marlow of the Annuity Bureau, Windsor Life is in exactly the same position as every other life company in that we are required to publish annual returns to the Insurance Directorate of the Treasury. We also publish a with-profits guide to the fund annually and participate in all relevant surveys, when invited.

Our conventional struct-ured settlement annuity is in direct competition, on the open market, with the other providers listed in the article.

We aim to provide the most competitive quote we can within stringent underwriting constraints and, more often that not, succeed in beating the other providers.

Finally, it is not true that the Windsor Life with-profits structured settlements are attached to a closed fund, as the fund continues to write significant volumes of new business each year. Consequently the investment allocation backing our with-profits business is not constrained and the proportion of equities in the Windsor Life fund is in line with other providers.

The with-profits structured settlement annuity is the latest new product to be launched and follows on from the latest series of Preserve & Profit with-profits bond. We anticipate launching further with-profits and other products during this year and into the future.

I do hope this goes some way to explaining our position on these areas.

John Wybrew

Chairman and managing director, Windsor Life

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