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General Insurance Newsletter Friday 5th February 2021

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As quarter end brings another round of price increases for global commercial insurance. This time, prices jumped by 22% in Q4 of 2020, according to Marsh’s“ Global Insurance Market Index.” The latest increase is the largest since the index was launched in 2012, and it comes on the back of year-on-year average increases of 20% in the third quarter and 19% in the second quarter of 2020. Nonetheless, there is some good news, as the index revealed that price increases could be starting to plateau for some lines of insurance, but only in certain geographies.

Argo Group International Holdings, Ltd., which is releasing its latest financial results on February 18, has painted a picture of what’s to come – and it appears red is the dominant colour. According to the Property & Casualty Underwriter, it expects the group’s fourth quarter numbers to be “adversely affected” by estimated losses brought about by various natural catastrophe events and the continued impact of the coronavirus crisis.

Commercial Managing Agent Centrix has joined the Managing General Agents’ Association (MGAA). Centrix said that its membership with the MGAA will allow it to expand its UK presence, as well as help it connect with the London market.

Pen Underwriting has launched its new standalone Terrorism proposition, aimed at businesses and Property Owners in the UK. The new product has been created to cover realistic scenarios based on a broad definition of Terrorism, and can be traded in multiple ways to best suit Brokers and their clients, a statement from the multi-class MGA said.

Lockton Re, the reinsurance segment of independent broking giant Lockton, will implement CyberCube’s Portfolio Manager product. The news comes after Lockton rolled out CyberCube’s Broking Manager analytics tool last year.

Leeds-headquartered insurance Broker Romero Group is the bearer of good news. The “proudly and truly” independent business – which is the name behind Romero Insurance Brokers Ltd, Club Insure Ltd, Booking Protect Ltd, JSV Events Ltd, and We Are Wellbeing Ltd – said its commission & fee income for 2020 increased by £2.5 million to £17.5 million. Additionally, Romero Group’s adjusted EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortisation) rose from £4.1 million in 2019 to £4.7 million this time around.

Big Tech companies are breathing down the necks of insurance companies. Giants like Amazon, Apple and Google have upped their innovation games in recent years, setting the customer experience bar higher than ever with their data-centric, consumer-focused business models. Now, they’re using their insights to venture into the financial services sector, competing with Insurers at what they do best. In response, Insurers must innovate, or they’ll risk losing relevance with their customer base.

Arthur J. Gallagher has announced that it received a perfect score of 100 on the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s 2021 Corporate Equality Index (CEI), which rates corporate policies and practices related to LGBTQ workplace equality.

Small businesses with Business Interruption (BI) insurance can now refer to a policy checker provided by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Based on the outcome of the FCA test case, the online tool is a general guide aimed at assisting policyholders to see if their coronavirus-related BI losses are likely covered. All they’ll need is their insurance policy schedule.

2020 was a difficult year for commercial Property Insurers in the UK due to disputes regarding non-damage Business Interruption (BI) cover caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Fortunately, according to a report by AM Best, these issues are expected to subside in 2021, easing the pressure on the market.

Landmark Holding Group have partnered with The RUSA Foundation and are delighted to have donated 10 new laptops this week to those disadvantaged families to assist their children for home schooling within London Boroughs during this current climate. With this project, and in partnership with the RUSA Foundation, Landmark Holding Group have issued a call for all MGAs and insurance intermediaries to support their initiative to sponsor and provide new/old Laptops or providing money to purchase Laptops for all under privileged children for home schooling within London Boroughs and throughout the whole of the four nations within the U.K. Acknowledging that there is now even more uncertainty for our young people the Executive Board at Landmark Holding Group and the Trustees of The RUSA Foundation are working with the Cities of London and Westminster MP Nickie Aiken, The Department of Children’s Services, City of London and Larne Football Club to provide laptops for the most disadvantaged. We would welcome the larger insurance community as a whole to join us and build momentum to provide this small item, which will bring such a big impact to the few and the many. As to coordinate with the insurance market and so we can manage the interest and the supply of laptops to be delivered please contact Sitki Gelmen, Ross Lazaroo-Hood and The RUSA Foundation by emailing:

Applied Underwriters has announced that it will acquire Concept Special Risks, a UK-based international MGA that provides coverage for an extensive variety of nautical vessels and operators worldwide.

Arden UW Ltd, which is part of the Willis & Company Group, is taking on a new identity after acquiring fellow Managing General Agent Generation Underwriting Management Ltd. Without disclosing financial terms of the transaction, Arden UW said it will not only retain the snapped up MGA’s five-member roster in Newcastle-upon-Tyne but also trade under the Generation Underwriting name.

Cyberscout, known for providing Cyber products and services for the insurance industry, has been acquired by Sontiq, a portfolio company of The Wicks Group of Companies (Wicks). With the transaction, Sontiq adds another top Cyber and forensic solution to its roster, which already includes IdentityForce and EZShield, that together serve the identity theft and Cyber fraud protection market.

Ardonagh Advisory has revealed its intention to purchase Hera Indemnity Ltd (Hera), a provider of Professional Indemnity (PI) insurance solutions to Solicitors across England and Wales, subject to regulatory approval. Founded in 2004, Hera is a London-based Lloyd’s broker with £41 million GWP under management.

Becoming the latest insurance company to create the role of Chief Transformation Officer, the international specialist Insurer Hiscox Ltd has announced the appointment of Stéphane Flaquet to the position. In his new role, Flaquet, who currently serves as CEO of Hiscox Europe, will be responsible for overseeing the delivery of the group’s multi-year, cross-geography transformation programmes.

In further news...Hiscox has snapped up Aimee Nolan from Canopius. Appointed as Cargo Line Underwriter, Nolan will be based at the London office and will manage a London Market Cargo team of four Underwriters. 

Gallagher has appointed Matthew Haine to the role of Managing Partner of its Property practice. In the role, Haine will support clients in the Asia-Pacific and South Africa regions. He will do this by putting together risk management platforms through the London Market, Europe, and Bermuda. He will also head up a team of six Property specialists, and will report to Gallagher P&C Managing Partner Malcolm Payton.

Commercial Property Insurer FM Global has announced the appointment of Alberto Diaz as Senior Broker Relations Manager for EMEA. Diaz previously served as Director and Vice President of AFM, Frankfurt, FM Global’s middle-market division.

Swiss Re Corporate Solutions has appointed Melanie Slack, current Head of the firm’s Australia and New Zealand business, as its new Head of UK, Ireland, SA & EMEA wholesale, effective May 01, 2021.

The International Underwriting Association of London (IUA)has elected Patrick Tiernan’s replacement as Chair of the IUA. As previously revealed, Tiernan was leaving Aviva to join Lloyd’s of London. Taking over his IUA post is Zurich UK commercial insurance Head Robert Kuchinski, who has been an IUA board member since June 2019.

Specialty insurance and reinsurance Underwriter Argo Group International Holdings has announced the appointment of Tom McCartney as Group Head of ceded reinsurance.

Specialist commercial insurance provider CNA Hardy is snapping up Ramesh Singh from AXA XL. Singh, who is expected to come onboard in April, is making the switch from the Property & Casualty and specialty risk division of AXA where he served as Financial Lines Regional Head for UK & Ireland and Latin America.

AXIS Re, the reinsurance business segment of AXIS Capital Holdings Limited, has announced the appointment of Katie Partington Howarth as Chief Underwriting Officer and Head of the reinsurance products division.

All information provided in this Market Digest has been gathered from multiple General Insurance Media sources and individual company press releases.