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General Insurance Newsletter Friday 21st May 2021

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Insurance News

Zurich UKis doubling the number of apprenticeship places it has for this year, in an effort to nurture “emerging, diverse young talent.” Apprenticeships are open to applicants of all ages, with school leavers and recent graduates actively encouraged to secure places in order to start a career in insurance.

The results are in for theArdonagh Group (Ardonagh)as it becomes the latest insurance business to reveal how it fared with its Q1 2021 results. Group income is up 24.8% to £199.7 million for the quarter while its adjusted EBITDA is up 52% to £66.3 million, attributed to a combination of Acquisitions and continued organic growth.

A new report produced by theChartered Insurance Institute’s (CII)New Generation Broking Grouphas found that building trust in the insurance sector is one of the industry’s ongoing problems, with customers finding it difficult to see the value of insurance. Research carried out by the CII has suggested that insurance Brokers could add huge value to SMEs. However, as consumers grow doubtful about the products and services available, Brokers have to overcome quite a few barriers in order to increase public trust.

Square Pegs, which offers Brokers specialist Business insurance coverage for complex and unusual SME risks via an e-trading platform, has become a standalone underwriting cell withinCastel Underwriting Agencies (Castel). According to the Provider, the move is in response to strong profitable business growth since launching as part of Castel’s specialty division in 2019.

Stuart Randall, known for creating Brokerbility and Ataraxia, along with Ian Wainwright formerly of Broker Network, have launched a new advisory service for Brokers calledBrokerring. Randall said that the mentoring programme is aimed at helping provincial Brokers to grow significantly without them having to raise or risk any capital.

Van insurance premiums are now 2% lower than they were in March 2020, driven largely by Covid-19 lockdown restrictions, according to analysis fromConsumer Intelligence. The average annual policy for a UK van driver now stands at £1,055 and Consumer Intelligence stated that significant premium falls occurred between April and June last year – at the time of the first national lockdown.

Jackson Lee Underwritinghas taken over theBritish Insurance Brokers’ Association (Biba)endorsed Holiday Travel Plus and Sports Travel scheme for three years from April 2021. The trade body had previously partnered with DTW Syndicate 1991 at Lloyd’s on the scheme. The change follows the news from last November that Syndicate 1991 was to stop accepting new and renewal business on 31 December 2020 and go into run-off.

Open GIhas teamed up withArkel Underwritingin a move that will see Arkel’s Home product, Adapt Home, become available for Open GI Brokers. The product was launched earlier this month and allows Brokers to write both standard and non-standard risks for all types of properties. According to Arkel, which is part of Atec group which trades as Ceta, the policy is adaptable if risks change.

Allianzis set to move move its flagship Manchester office into Landmark, a sustainable building at the heart of the business district in the city. The Insurer, which has signed a ten-year lease, said that the fresh space is being fitted out to reflect the Provider’s flexible working strategy. It will include features such as training zones, collaboration areas, as well as a Broker zone for intermediaries to utilise when visiting.

As theDas UKteam is busy training ahead of the Ride Across Britain challenge, Director of Client Services David Swigciski has stated he hopes to see industry-wide participation to raise money in aid of the Alzheimer’s Society and Insurance United Against Dementia (IUAD).

Allianz Insuranceunveils new state of the art hub in Guildford, while finding a sustainable solution to the Liphook office closure.

In further news...Allianz Insurancehas partnered with salvage and recycling companySYNETIQto launch a digital platform that helps vehicle repairers source green parts. The platform, known as mygreenparts, digitalises the supply of recycled spare parts, makes the purchase process easier for bodyshops and promotes sustainable repairs.

Tokio Marine Holdings, the group behind Europe’s Tokio Marine Kiln and North America’s Tokio Marine HCC, has published its business results for the fiscal year from April 01, 2020 to March 31, 2021. According to the Japan-headquartered company’s consolidated results of operations, net income attributable to owners of the parent amounted to ¥161.8 billion (around £1.05 billion) in fiscal year 2020. The figure represents a 37.7% decline from the corresponding sum in fiscal year 2019.

London-based law firmRPCis expanding its global insurance platform through the launch of an international network. The network, Global Access Lawyers, will include six firms from different countries. The network aims to give clients greater access to insurance law specialists in different international markets.

Liberty Mutual Insurancehas partnered with cybersecurity rating providerSecurityScorecardto offer complementary cybersecurity analysis to qualified clients of its Global Risk Solutions North America and Liberty Specialty Markets units. Through the partnership, qualified policyholders will receive a detailed analysis of their cybersecurity and the external threats to which they may be vulnerable. 

Ripe Thinking Limited, one of the biggest specialist Insurtechs in the UK, has published its financial results for the year ended December 31, 2020. According to Ripe, whose customer base in the country is now in excess of 250,000, the company’s statutory EBITDA grew 75% from £2.75 million in 2019 to £4.8 million this time around.

Months after it suffered a cyberattack, it has been revealed thatCNAhas paid off the ones responsible for infecting its systems with ransomware, costing the Insurer $40 million.

Seventy groupshave joined forces in a letter calling on the CEO ofChubbto strengthen the company’s coal policy and stop insuring new oil and gas. Citizens groups wearing masks depicting Chubb CEO Evan Greenberg delivered the letter to the Insurers’ headquarters in New York, Zurich and San Francisco in advance of the company’s shareholder meeting. 

There are only four months to go untilIDEX'sLands End to John O'Groats bike ride, raising money for mental health charity 'Fight for All the Feels'. We have recruited 10 brave souls to undertake the challenge, with representatives from NFU Mutual, Aviva, Gymshark, Broker Network, Mitie and Geo Underwriting. If you'd like to support their efforts, follow the link where you can make a small donation, and if you'd like more information contactRebecca Howarth -

Sponsorship link:

Mergers & Acquisitions

Aon PlcandWillis Towers Watson (WTW)– the two broking giants which earlier this month agreed to sell certain businesses toArthur J. Gallagher & Co. (AJG)to resolve competition concerns raised by the European Commission (EC) – has now secured the green light from an Asian regulator. The Fair Trade Commission (FTC) in Taiwan announced that the proposed Aon-WTW Merger is not prohibited under Taiwan’s Fair Trade Act. Both domiciled in Ireland with headquarters in London, Aon and WTW have Taiwanese subsidiaries, the combination of which won’t be an issue as far as that specific market is concerned.

Howden Broking, formerly known as Hyperion Insurance Group, has boughtMedical Professional Risk Solutions (MPRS), a specialist insurance Broker for the primary care sector, for an undisclosed sum.  The Broker said the acquisition adds further expertise to its Health & Care division as it continues to invest in specialisms to support clients. The deal follows the Acquisition of superyacht Broker STA Group in March, after the business revealed that it had a number of UK deals still in the pipeline.

It’s only a month sinceAston Lark Irelandmade its last Acquisition announcement but the business is already back on the deal-making path and revealed its purchase ofVeritan Consultants Limited(trading asBrady Burns & Associates). The Kildare based brokerage, which was founded in 1989 by Joe Brady and Breda Burns, specialises in delivering commercial and Personal Lines insurance solutions to both retail and business customers.

Movers & Shakers

International General Insurance Holdings (IGI)has announced the appointment ofEmily Claphamas Senior Underwriter for its recently launched contingency line of business.

Markel Corporationhas appointedKelly Castriottaas Managing Director, global Cyber Underwriting Executive, effective May 17, 2021.

Association of British Insurers (ABI)Director GeneralHuw Evansannounced that he is leaving the trade body at the end of the year to joinKMPGin January 2022. There, Evans will serve as a Partner in the company’s insurance and long-term savings practice.

Specialist Risk Group (SRG)has hiredNikki Easthamas Managing Partner and Head of the SRG M&A team. Eastham joins from PWC where she has worked for 12 years.

In further news...SRG has announced the appointment of a Chairman and two Non-Executive Directors, subject to appropriate regulatory approval.William Nabarrojoins SRG as its chairman,Julia Hayhoewas appointed Non-Executive Director andVicky Kubitscheckwas also appointed Non-Executive Director and Chair of SRG’s Risk and Audit Committee.

Ardonagh Global Partnershas appointedMorna Leatheras Chief Financial Officer. The business stated that Leather brings 25 years of experience, primarily in financial services and insurance broking.

CFC, a specialist Cyber provider, has introduced a new layer of senior underwriting management. The five new appointments are:Tim Boyce, Head of Professions and Healthcare,Michael Brunero, Head of Tech, Media & Intellectual Property,James Burns, Head of Cyber,Kate Lyes, Head of Specialty Lines andGus Marshall, Head of Transaction Liability.

International (re)insurance BrokerConsilium, which is part of The Aventum Group, has announced the appointment ofAndrew Sommervilleas Head of speciality. 

Mosaic Insurancehas appointedFinn McGuirk, an experienced Lloyd’s of London Specialty Underwriter, to lead its political risk business.

Aston Larkhas announced the promotion ofBethan Jonesto the newly created role of Integration Director, with responsibility for overseeing the successful integration of all of Aston Lark’s Acquisitions.

Intact Financialhas unveiled its new operating committee in anticipation of the closure of its Acquisition ofRSA Insurance Group. These appointments will be effective upon completion of the transaction, which is expected to close on June 01, 2021. Scott Ega-  Chief Executive Officer, UK & International, Louis Gagnon- Chief Executive Officer, Canada,T. Michael Miller- Chief Executive Officer, Global Specialty Lines, Patrick Barbeau- Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer,Ken Anderson- Executive Vice President, Corporate Development & Investor Relations, Frederic Cotnoir- Executive Vice President & Chief Legal Officer, Anne Fortin- Executive Vice President, Direct Distribution and Chief Marketing and Communications Officer, Darren Godfrey- Executive Vice President, global specialty lines, Charlotte Jones- Chief Financial Officer, UK & International, Louis Marcotte- Executive Vice President & Chief Financial Officer,Benoit Morissette- Executive Vice President, Chief Risk & Actuarial Officer,Werner Muehlemann- Executive Vice President & Managing Director andCarla Smith- Executive Vice President & Chief Oeople, Srategy and Climate Officer.

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