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General Insurance Newsletter Friday 30th April 2021

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Insurance News

The legal battle betweenMulsanne Insurance CompanyandMarshmallow Financial Servicesis set to go to a split trial as to Liability and quantum. According to an order by the judge, Mr Justice Marcus Smith, published on 22 April 2021, the trial as to Liability will take place over ten days “as soon as possible” after 1 October 2021.

CFCis set to create CFC Syndicate 1988 after gaining approval “in principle” from Lloyd’s. The provider explained that the new syndicate will be managed byAsta Managing Agencyand that it is working to with Asta to secure final approvals to commence underwriting business on 1 July 2021.

Avivahas opened its standard residential Property Owners product to new customers affected by external combustible cladding in residential blocks of flats. The provider noted that the offering will be made available to residents’ associations with a single block or complex of flats which require cover while remediation works are being undertaken on cladding.

TheAssociation of British Insurers (ABI)has launched the Making Flexible Work Charter, which it said is the first of its kind in the UK Financial Services sector. The ABI detailed that firms that sign the charter commit to opening up the majority of their roles to flexible working, job sharing and part-time working.

TheInsurance Fraud Bureau (IFB)has announced a partnership withShift Technologyto build what it described as a powerful, new fraud detection system on behalf of the UK insurance sector. According to the IFB one insurance scam takes place each minute in the UK, devastating countless victims and costing the economy over £3bn a year.

Inperiohas launched a Professional Indemnity (PI) product for Brokers with the aim to support Brokers in the hardening PI market. The PI specialist Managing General Agent stated that the new offering was launched following increasing rates and concerns in the industry about availability and affordability of cover.

Global broking, advisory and solutions giantWillis Towers Watson (WTW)has announced its financial results for Q1 2020, ended March 31, 2021, and the news is largely good. Total revenue for the company increased 5% to $2.6 billion (around £1.86 billion) during the period, with constant currency growth of 1% and organic growth of 4%.

Global investment in the Insurtech sector rebounded from its COVID-19-related slowdown a year ago to hit a new quarterly high of US$2.55 billion in Q1, according to a new report fromWillis Towers Watson. The number of investment mega-rounds reached eight, more than any previous quarter, according to Willis Towers Watson’s latest Quarterly InsurTech Briefing. Total funding during the quarter grew 180% compared to the first quarter of 2020, which saw a steep decline in investment due to concerns about the pandemic. The total grew by 22% compared to Q4 2020, while the number of deals rose 42% from Q4. Investment was driven primarily by P&C-focused companies, which represented 69% of the deal share.

Results season continues withLancashire Holdings Limitedreleasing its first quarter trading statement this morning. According to the company’s trading update for the three months ended March 31, gross written premium grew 46.1% to US$354.8 million.

Brokers are shifting towards a greater use of data in order to write better business, improve customer retention and reduce fraud, according toLexisNexis. When talking about what data trends are emerging in the broking sector, Senior Director and Market Development Team Manager, Martyn Mathews said: “We find that insurance Brokers are incredibly innovative because they are operating in a space that is hugely competitive".

It’s the turn of major reinsurerSwiss Reto publish its financial results for the first quarter of 2021, and it looks like the Zurich-headquartered group did a stellar job in the period. Swiss Re posted a group net income of US$333 million in the first three months of this year. According to the reinsurer, its net income would have amounted to US$843 million if not for claims and reserves related to the pandemic.

Coronavirus News

TheZ Zurich Foundation, a charitable organisation founded by Zurich Insurance, will provide an initial donation of CHF1 million (£790,000) in support of UNICEF’s campaign to deliver two billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines globally by the end of 2021.

Chubb and Marsh announced a collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO) and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance (Gavi), that has secured insurance coverage for a programme that will offer eligible individuals in 92 lower-income countries and economies a process to receive compensation for rare but serious adverse events associated with vaccines distributed through Covax up to June 30, 2022.

Mergers & Acquisitions

The acquisition of international specialist legacy groupCompreby private equity firmCinvenandBritish Columbia Investment Management Corporation (BCI), from CBPE, has successfully closed after receiving all necessary regulatory approvals. Both Cinven and BCI are now the majority shareholders of Compre; Compre’s management team remain in their current roles and are minority shareholders.

Movers & Shakers

Joe Sultanais set to leave software house,Applied Systems, after a year and three months as Chief Operating Officer, and more than ten years with the business. During his time at Applied, Sultana also spent six years (2013 – 2020) as MD for Broker Solutions.

Les Brewinhas joinedCobra Networkas Director. He was previously Managing Director of the Purple Partnership, which he founded as a network in 2009.

Shepherd Compellohas announced the appointment ofSteve Hartto Chief Broking Officer. The Lloyd’s Broker stated that Hart will be responsible for creating and implementing the broking strategy for all lines of business.

Gallagherhas added to its South West expertise, with the appointment ofRichard Horne, who joins as Regional Broking Director. Bringing more than 11 years’ industry experience, Horne joins Gallagher from Insurer RSA, where he was most recently Broker Account Manager for the South West, and was previously Area Sales Manager for the South West at Aspen Insurance Services.

Axa UK & Irelandhas announced the appointment ofEmily Couplandas General Counsel. She will be succeedingEdward Daviswho is retiring after 27 years with the business. Davis has now been appointed as a Director of the Axa UK Pension scheme.

TheLloyd’s Market Association (LMA)has announced the appointment ofArabella Ramageas Legal Director. She will replace Kees van der Klugt, who is retiring in September, after more than a decade in the role.

Specialist insurance BrokerBLWhas appointedIain Stephenas Non-Executive Director. He will focus on compliance and corporate governance. Stephen joins BLW from Compliancy Services, a joint compliance consultancy, where he was Founder and joint-CEO from 2003 until its recent sale to Ethos Partners in 2021.

Close Brothers Premium Financehas re-organised its senior management team following the decision byPaul Trail, Managing Director, to step down from his role. He was promoted just eight months ago following a restructure at the business that saw Sharon Bishop leave. This most recent change has resulted in a further management reshuffle.Sean Kemple, Managing Director of Motor finance, will become MD for Premium Finance and for Motor finance, whileElliott Hayes, Sales Director for commercial lines andLaura Sweetman, Sales Director personal lines will have responsibility for managing relationships with our Broker partners.

Ryan Specialty Group (RSG)has expanded the underwriting capabilities of its European business, SG Transactional Risks Europe (RSG TRE), with the appointment ofUlrich Schiener.Schiener joins RSG TRE’s team in Barcelona, Spain, which focuses on Warranty and Indemnity insurance for European transactions.

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