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General Insurance Newsletter Friday 23rd April 2021

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Insurance News

TheChartered Insurance Institute (CII)has created a President’s Forum to explore customer needs that are not currently being fully met by the insurance profession. The forum will be chaired by current President of the CII, Julie Page, CEO of Aon UK.

In further news...The Chartered Insurance Institute (CII) has reported a loss of £4.9m in 2020, down from a profit of £1.6m in 2019. In addition, its financial statement for 2020 also showed that operating income fell from £45.2m in 2019 to £36.9m in 2020. The CII also reported a deficit before tax of £3.8m in 2020, compared to a surplus before tax of £2.8m in the preceding year.

A number of planned events, such as the festival Boomtown, have already been cancelled due to lack of cover as pressure mounts on the government to step in. Forty-three Conservative MPs have signed a letter to the Prime Minister asking that the government take on “contingent liabilities against cancellation and restrictions imposed by the government” so live events can take place this summer.

TheFinancial Conduct Authority (FCA)is set to introduce a Business Interruption (BI) insurance special fee applying to Insurers and MGAs in its budget for 2021/22. In the document, the regulator said it wanted to recover £7.5m of external legal fees and other costs relating to the BI test case, which it brought on behalf of policyholders to provide clarity around whether BI policies would respond to the pandemic or not.

Wholesale and Resinsurance Broker,Alsford Page & Gems, has agreed to pay extended warranty insurance customers £399,902 after being censured by the Financial Conduct Authority for “limited and ineffective” oversight of its appointed representatives (AR). In the same announcement, the regulator also revealed plans to charge principals a flat fee of £250 per AR in order to raise £10m and increase the monitoring of ARs.

Momentum Broker Solutionshas reported profit after tax of £536,691 for the financial year ended 31 December 2020. In 2019, the appointed representative network achieved post-tax profit of £516,594. Its turnover for the 2020 financial year was £7.8m, compared to £7.3m in the preceding year.

Comprehensive car insurance premiums have fallen by 14% (£87) since the first quarter of 2020, according to the latestConfused/Willis Towers Watsoncar insurance price index. This is the biggest annual drop since 2014 and the fourth largest decrease in 15 years since the index was launched in 2006.

World-leading insurance and reinsurance marketplace,Lloyd’s, has announced its appointment ofKroll Bond Rating Agency (KBRA)to provide additional independent opinion on Lloyd’s financial strength and to demonstrate the market’s financial position to investors and customers.

Multinational professional services firmEYhas become a supporting member of theInternational Cooperative and Mutual Insurance Federation (ICMIF), a global representative body for the cooperative and mutual insurance industry. As a supporting member, EY joins seven other companies from around the world. ICMIF supporting members are suppliers considered important to the insurance industry, and work in partnership with ICMIF and its members to held grow the cooperative and mutual insurance sector.

A new report fromThe Geneva Associationis calling on the world’s governments to work together with the insurance industry in order to address the colossal protection gap caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

British insurance giantAvivahas made its highest ever payout for life insurance, critical illness cover and income protection policies after paying over £1 billion to its individual protection customers and their families in 2020. According to Aviva, 98.2% of all claims received were paid, with more than 50,000 families compensated. It was highlighted that the abovementioned total translates to £2.85 million paid out on a daily basis.

Specialist Managing General AgentADVA Underwriting, a Pro MGA Solutions Ltd appointed representative with offices in London and Kuala Lumpur, has partnered with Canadian firmWALKAWAY International Groupto launch a ‘game-changing’ automobile insurance solution. “WALKAWAY allows financed or leased customers the ability to return their car or have payments made if something unexpected happens such as job loss, disability, or self-employed bankruptcy,” noted ADVA Co-Founder Harj Sandhu.

Specialist UnderwriterArgo Group International Holdings, Ltd. is ready to take a hit in its first quarter financial results due to millions in catastrophe losses. In a release, the Bermuda-headquartered insurance group said its Q1 numbers will be adversely affected by catastrophe losses estimated to be worth US$47 million. Of this amount, US$43 million is attributed to natural catastrophe losses primarily related to Winter Storm Uri.

Cyberattacks and data loss are the top risks facing Directors and Officers, according to a new survey by Willis Towers Watsonand global law firmClyde & Co. The forced change in working practices brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic has heightened those concerns, the report found. The survey, covering the UK, Europe, Asia-Pacific and the US, identified key risks for Directors across the globe. Cyberattack was the top risk, with 56% of respondents saying it was very or extremely significant. Data loss (49%), regulatory risk (46%), health and safety risk (41%), and the risk of employment claims (38%) rounded out the top five.

Rebuffed once, rebuffed again … and again. Hartford Financial Services Group (Hartford) has rejected further buyout offers from global Property and Casualty (P&C) Insurer Chubb Ltd. Chubb has made three unsuccessful takeover proposals to the Connecticut-based P&C Insurer, the largest of which valued its US rival at nearly US$25 billion.

Mergers & Acquisitions

Independent BrokerMacbethhas completed its second acquisition in 18 months, with the purchase of Buckinghamshire-basedPeter Loleas it seeks to consolidate its position as “the Thames Valley’s leading Chartered Broker”. Macbeth’s purchase takes its GWP income from £17m to £23m and sees the Reading-based team grow to 45.

Right Choice Insurance Brokershas purchased the Autosaint, Ladybirdand First Vanand Motor brandsfromFresh Insurance Services Groupfor an undisclosed sum. The in-force book of business and the team who sell and service the Fresh Motor brands, have transferred to Right Choice as part of the deal.

Intact Financial has announced that following its proposed takeover of RSA Insurance Group – together with Tryg A/S – Christian Baltzer will continue to serve as CEO of Codan Denmark. The Danish Competition and Consumer Authority has granted approval to Intact Financial Corporation to acquire sole control of RSA’s business outside Norway and Sweden. This includes the acquisition of sole control of RSA’s Danish business placed in Codan A/S.

Movers & Shakers

Aviva UKhas namedGareth Hemmingas its new Chief Distribution Officer, replacingPhil Bayleswho is leaving to take up a new role atArdonaghas Chief Commercial Officer.

Jensten Grouphas appointedDean Kingas Business Development Manager - South, South East and London for Policyfast, City Underwriters and Senior Wright.

TheFCAhas appointedSacha Sadanas Director of Environment Social and Governance. The FCA has also appointedIan Aldertonas Chief Information Officer andIan Phoenixas Director, Intelligence and Digital.

Kingfisher UK Holdingshas appointedTony Sweeneyas Chief Information Officer. Sweeney joined Kingfisher on 19 April from Close Brothers, where he was Chief Information Officer for the Asset Finance business.

GRP-ownedPremier Choice Healthcare (PCH)has appointedStephen Houghas Managing Director, subject to regulatory approval. Hough, whose previous role was Business Director at Towergate Health, joins Premier Choice as it continues its drive for growth after being acquired by GRP Group last year.

Reis Motorsport Insurancehas announced thatMary Singletonwill be leading the business moving forwards as Senior Operations Manager. 

Vicky RowlayandNeil Petershave been promoted to National Directors of Arch’s UK regional division, with immediate effect.

Open GIhas announced the appointment ofBen Leggas Chief Product Officer. In this new role, Legg will take responsibility for leading Open GI’s product transformation strategy, product development and marketing activities.

ERShas continued to develop its team to progress its commercial expansion by making two new senior appointments.Ciaran Watersjoins the team as Senior Underwriter for US Catastrophe andDr. Federico Waismanwould be joining in April as Head of Underwriting Management.

Hubb, the UK-based insurance Broker, which charges customers on a usage basis, has announced the appointment ofAndrew Rearas Chairman of the business. 

AXIS Re, the reinsurance business segment of AXIS Capital Holdings Limited, has announced the hiring ofLisa Hiscockas a Senior Underwriter of Lloyd’s Casualty for the global markets team. In her new role, Hiscock will underwrite Lloyd’s Casualty treaty business, supporting existing partnerships and assessing opportunities for growth.

The retail insurance division ofAXA UKis welcoming two senior hires on May 04. Appointed as Retail Chief Operating Officer isAnna Fleming, who will make the switch from the Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB). MeanwhileMarco Distefanohas been tapped to serve as Managing Director for Motor and Home. He most recently led the direct business at Aviva, where worked for one and a half decades until late last year.

Zurich North Americahas appointed 30-year industry veteranDavid Fiketo lead its Life, Accident and Health business unit, which brings together two previously separate units. Fike, who joined Zurich Insurance Group in 2014, will report to Kristof Terryn, CEO of Zurich North America. David Dietz will continue to serve as Head of Zurich Life in North America, while Chris Howard will continue as Head of A&H in North America. Dietz and Howard will report to Fike.

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