Blog Img

General Insurance Newsletter Friday 10th September 2021

Back to Blogs

Insurance News

The IDEX's Lands End to John O'Groats bike ride is almost over! We are raising money for mental health charity 'Fight for All the Feels' with a team of 11 fantastic people taking part, with representatives from, Aviva, Broker Network, Mitie and Geo Underwriting. Thanks to our current corporate sponsors, Partners&, Broker Insights, Gymshark, Bloomkubes, Ardonagh, Assured Partners, Motor Point and Denis O. Brown. 

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 contact Rebecca Howarth -

Sponsorship link:

Global reinsurers performed well in the first half of 2021, according to a new report from Willis Re. Reinsurers expanded their capital base and posted strong headline underwriting results and ROEs. Underlying ROEs were less strong, but still noticeably improved, according to the report.

“Strong” is how insurance marketplace Lloyd’s describes its financial results for the first half of 2021. “In an uncertain world, Lloyd’s remains acutely focused on supporting our customers when they need us, and in the first half of 2021 we have paid out nearly £10 billion in claims to help the recovery of businesses and economies globally,” commented Chief Executive John Neal when Lloyd’s published its 54-page results report.

Following consultation with its employees, Trade Credit Insurer Atradius has introduced the company’s new ‘hybrid working philosophy’. As per the “clear preference,” the policy will maintain an element of remote working and offer staff the flexibility to work remotely – as much as 40% of the time – over the long term. "Flexible working was already a growing movement for companies, albeit far more gradual than we’ve seen over the past 18 months,” noted Anne Middleton, HR Head for Atradius UK and Ireland. “The pandemic acutely accelerated this trend and fast-tracked the implementation of infrastructure to support routine home working.”

eBay UK is partnering with Insurers Aviva and LV to improve the use of ‘green’ car parts which are readily available and sustainable. Sales of green parts have risen by 24% YOY in the first seven months of 2021, following an 11% rise in sales between 2019 and 2020.

The FCA has published draft guidance on a new power that allows it to move faster to remove regulatory permissions that are no longer being used by financial services firms. Incorrect or outdated permissions on the Financial Services (FS) Register can mislead consumers about the level of protection offered by a firm or give credibility to a firm’s unregulated activities.

PIB Group Limited has released its financial results for the year ended 31 December 2020 with the filing of its statutory accounts. Revenue of £151.5m, an increase of 23% on 2019, Adjusted EBITDA of £37.7m, an increase of 41% on 2019, Adjusted EBITDA of £52.1m on a run-rate basis, Gross Written Premiums of £1,524.2m.

Three leaders from across the AXA UK&I business have been included in the 2021 HERoes Women Role Model List for their commitment to promoting diversity and instilling a culture of inclusivity in the workplace - Claudio Gienal, AXA UK&I CEO, Tracy Garrad, AXA Health CEO and Caroline Spence, AXA UK Risk Reporting Manager and Chair of the AXA Balance Employee Network.

Aviva's Chief People Officer, Danny Harmer, is on this year’s HERoes Women Executives Role Model List. Danny is the Co-Executive Sponsor of Aviva's Pride Community, Executive Representative on the Global Inclusion Committee and Co-Executive Sponsor of Aviva's Domestic Abuse Working Group, which introduced training last year to support customers and colleagues.

1ST CENTRAL, the Motor insurance provider, has reached one million customers, passing the milestone on 2nd September 2021 - doubling the number of policyholders following the launch of a revised strategy in 2019 by the new leadership team. The Insurer celebrated the achievement by providing its millionth customer with a free policy.

Allianz Insurance signed up for the Defence Employer Recognition Scheme in January 2020, supporting people from the armed forces community transition into the civilian workforce. A year after signing the Armed Forces Covenant, a promise by the nation ensuring that those who serve or who have served in the armed forces and their families are treated fairly, Allianz Insurance has been granted the silver award in the Ministry of Defence’s Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS).

MGA specialist NuVenture International has launched Nivante, a new Managing General Agent which has its eyes set on the needs of the UK care sector. Co-Founders and specialist Underwriters Jade Knight and Melissa Kalsi, stated that limited options in the market had sparked the need for a care-centric MGA. Knight, Managing Director, commented: “Melissa and I are passionate about the care sector, they’re providing very valuable services in the community, and we’ve worked on this type of underwriting before."

Willis Towers Watson (WTW), which is manned by 45,000 people who serve more than 140 countries and markets, has presented its “Grow, Simplify, Transform” strategy. The plan is to build from WTW’s strengths, unlock shareholder value and achieve financial leadership. Key drivers of the strategy include growing at or above market in priority areas; simplifying the business to increase agility and effectiveness; and transforming operations to drive savings while enhancing the group’s client and colleague experiences.

London-headquartered boutique (re)insurance Broker McGill and Partners is sponsoring rugby union teams Kings Cross Steelers and East London Vixens as part of the company’s commitment to supporting diversity. “Since founding McGill and Partners, we have committed to being a catalyst for change in the industry and making bold decisions which create a real impact on diversity and inclusion,” said Chief Executive Steve McGill, who founded the specialist brokerage in May 2019.

The need for insurance protection continues to grow due to increased exposures, risk awareness and evolving client needs, according to Swiss Re's latest report. In the new report, Swiss Re Institute claims that heightened risk trends increase the need for insurance protection, while also requiring a greater focus from re/insurers on evaluating and modelling risks and ensuring pricing is adequate for the risks taken.

The recent rebrand which saw the introduction of WF Risk Group Limited (WFRG) to the insurance market marked a natural next step for the group, given its rapid expansion in recent years. Discussing the rebrand, WFRG’s MD Richard Willis highlighted the carefully planned acquisition spree the group has been undertaking and how this has resulted in it inheriting a variety of brands across the UK and Ireland. The move made sense as a chance for the group to cement its evolving international reach and reputation, he said, as well as an opportunity to offset the confusion generated by its previous name (Willis & Company Group), given its similarity with Willis Towers Watson. The branding refresh has allowed the group to align its roster of companies under a new moniker, one which was carefully chosen to reflect both its internal culture and its extensive scope and scale – which includes eight offices and over 140 staff.

Mergers & Acquisitions

It has been announced that Africa’s biggest Insurer, Sanlam Ltd, is planning to exit several of its UK based operations in a bid to sharpen its focus. Among the exits planned by the insurance giant are its life insurance and wealth management units which are being sold to free up capital for the firm’s expansion across various African markets and in India. Sanlam is buying a further stake in Morocco-based Saham Assurance SA for about 2 billion rand (around £102 million) to accelerate its presence on the continent, where it currently operates in over 30 countries.

Just days after its swoop for Purfleet-based Simply Insurance, PIB Group has expanded its footprint in the North with its acquisition JRT Insurance Brokers. Founded in 2015 and based in Nottingham, JRT is an independent insurance Broker with specialisations in the Construction, Care, Hospitality, and Leisure industries. The firm’s 14-member team is led by Commercial Insurance Director Richard Bright and Director Justin Thornhill.

Prospective buyers are said to be circling the insurance unit of BGL Group. The group behind comparison giant is exploring its strategic options for BGL Insurance following approaches from unnamed interested parties. Reportedly handling the review is Fenchurch Advisory Partners. Earlier this year, the insurance distributor extended its longstanding relationship with RAC Insurance and Financial Services for a further three years. The tie-up involves motor insurance and breakdown.

Movers & Shakers

American International Group (AIG)has announced that Peter Zaffino, President and CEO, will assume the additional role of Chairman of the board of Directors effective January 01. Zaffino will succeed current Executive Chairman Brian Duperreault, who will retire at the end of 2021.

Group Chief Executive Nick Brown, who has been with Global Aerospace for 17 years and at the helm since 2009, is retiring. Replacing him come January is London-based Rachel Barrie, who came onboard in 2007 and most recently served as Group Chief Underwriting Officer.

NPA Insurance (NPAI)– and in extension, its commercial insurance brand Peach Pi– has named Brendan McCafferty as the newest Non-Executive member of its board of Directors. McCafferty has held a number of notable senior roles throughout the insurance space, most recently as Chief Executive of Brightside and previously as CEO of AXA Insurance, founding CEO of Flood Re and President of Willis UK & Ireland.

QBE European Operations has appointed Andy Besant as Chief Customer Officer. He will be responsible for QBE European Operations’ sales strategy, distribution, client proposition, the management and development of major trading partnerships, major client relationships, as well as other priority customer segments.

AXIS Insurance has announced the appointment of Abiy Dadi as Vice President of the U.S. Excess Casualty team, effective immediately. Mr. Dadi will be responsible for cultivating and strengthening relationships with wholesale distribution partners, enhancing new and existing business opportunities and executing underwriting strategy.

Miller is pleased to announce the hiring of James Gowen-Smith as its new Head of After The Event insurance. James’ hiring forms part of Miller’s Professional Risks team’s wider strategy to grow the range of expertise and products it can offer to clients. 

In further news...Miller has announced a significant expansion of its Construction practice, targeting accelerated growth in UK, international/wholesale and renewables Construction and Surety lines. To lead this expansion, Pauline Goreham has joined Miller as Head of Construction with immediate effect, with Steve Cox and Jon Burke joining later in September.

International General Insurance Holdings Ltd. has announced the appointment of Manpreet Kaur Gill to the role of Asia Pacific Financial and Professional Lines Underwriter of IGI Labuan. Manpreet will be based in the Company’s Kuala Lumpur office.

AXA XL Insurance has announced it has appointed Vanessa Karvela as Head of Client Management & Business Development for its APAC & Europe Business Unit. In this role, Ms. Karvela will be responsible for developing and implementing AXA XL’s client experience strategy in APAC & Europe in close collaboration with Country Leaders.

Pen Underwriting has appointed Tom Dixon to the newly created role of Head of Technology. Dixon’s responsibilities include driving the development of new insurance solutions that support the rapid growth of the technology sector in the UK.

Ethos Broking has announced the appointment of Paul Buckle as Commercial Director for the business, a newly created role which will see him working alongside the Regional Managing Directors on all commercial and trading aspects of the business.

Specialist engineering and technology Insurer ,HSB has appointed Mathew Prentice as Cyber Product Lead. Prentice will be responsible for the development and implementation of HSB’s underwriting strategy for the computer and Cyber account.

Rokstone, one of the largest speciality (re)insurance MGA worldwide and a part of Aventum Group, has appointed Ian Anson as Group Managing Director. Anson joined Aventum Group last year as a Portfolio Manager and has been promoted to Managing Director in only 18 months.

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