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General Insurance Newsletter Friday 17th September 2021

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We are incredibly proud of the IDEXLands End to John O'Groats bike ride team, who completed their 980 mile charity ride last week.

Raising a massive £27,000, the ride was in support of the mental health campaign, 'Fight For All The Feels' who help children and young people battling mental health issues. 

If you'd like to support this incredible campaign, follow the link where you can make a small donation:

Mulsannehas accusedMarshmallowof misusing confidential information and stealing trade secrets. Marshmallow has denied the claims. The expedited trial in the legal dispute between Mulsanne and Marshmallow is set to begin on 15 November 2021. The trial is expected to take place over ten days. It has previously been reported that the legal case would go to a split trial as to liability and quantum.

Aston Lark, All Clear, Howden, Plan Group, Staysure,andTysersall took home trophies at the British Insurance Awards. The glittering ceremony took place at the Battersea Evolution and saw Aston Lark scoop three awards and CEOPeter Blanctake home the Insurance Personality of the Year gong.

Zurich UKhas announced a new long-term agreement withKGM Underwriting, a specialist and niche Motor Insurer and part of the A-Plan/Howden Group. The partnership secures Zurich’s solus capacity, over a five-year term, for KGM’s Motor portfolio. The five-year arrangement is worth over £700m GWP and will commence in January 2022.

Insurance premiums for UK Homeowners have fallen 5.6% in the last 12 months and 6.4% since their June 2020 peak thanks to Covid-19, analysis from data analytics expertConsumer Intelligenceshows. However, the company expects premiums to begin to rise as the country begins to fully reopen, but not as much as some may expect.

In further news...Based on the latest figures collected by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) from Insurers impacted by the UK Business Interruption (BI) test case, a total of 22,680 claims have already been fully settled while interim payments are being made in 4,568 claims.

A Motor provider namedAdionawhich is focused on usage-based Motor cover launched in London this week. The business will initially focus on the aggregator market but has also committed to working with UK Brokers.

New research from European provider of cloud infrastructure and cloud services,Ionos Cloud, has found that 38% of insurance IT decision makers (IT DMs) admit to their business having a Cyber security skills gap, with a third saying this is putting their organisation at risk of security threats. Data from the provider also indicated that 44% of insurance IT DMs surveyed have said their business has a data protection skills gap, with over a quarter highlighting that it means they are not effectively storing data or following the correct data protection procedures.

It’s a big day forDale Partners Limited, the holding company of Dale Underwriting Partners (DUP), as it has been granted ‘in-principle’ approval by Lloyd’s to form its own managing agency. The new entity, Dale Managing Agency Limited, will now submit its regulatory business plan, seeking approval from the PRA and FCA during 2022.

Liberty Global Transaction Solutions (GTS), part of Liberty Mutual Insurance, has released its 2021 M&A claims briefing, based on the company’s analysis of its own M&A insurance claims for the past decade. The report examines M&A insurance claims by industry, region and cause and gives detailed data about the types of deals and from which industry are most likely to lead to a claim. One of the findings in the report, is that COVID-19 has not led to the predicted surge in “buyer’s remorse” claims – but it has fundamentally changed the M&A risk landscape.

After experiencing significant growth and expansion with a number of acquisitions over recent years,Willis & Company Group Holdings Limitedhas formalised their structure and rebranded as the WF Risk Group Limited (WFRG). Based in Belfast, WFRG is made up of several companies and has a total of 8 offices, with just over 140 members of staff, based in key towns and cities across the UK and Ireland including London, Hull, Leeds, Dublin and Southampton.

The coronavirus pandemic has driven a fundamental shift in Motorists’ attitudes towards driving and their choice of vehicle, according to research byAviva. The leading Insurer has tracked UK Motorists’ attitudes towards electric vehicles (EVs) over a number of years and the appetite for more environmentally friendly models has grown considerably in the past 18 months.

Verex Grouphas announced that it will be providing branded insurance solutions for the electric performance car brand,Polestar. Verex Group will be working alongside international insurance Brokers,Marsh, who led the initiative on this new contract, and invited Verex to the tender due to their specific expertise as market leaders in the branded vehicle manufacturer insurance sector. Both parties are looking to expand this relationship allowing them to explore further opportunities.

Willis Towers Watsonhas launched the latest version of its strategic asset allocation software,Optimum SAA. Optimum SAA is a cloud-based application that helps Insurers and Wealth Management companies find their optimal asset allocation weightings to achieve better risk management and investment return.

Mergers & Acquisitions

TheJensten Grouphas completed its acquisition of theTasker Insurance Group, which was first announced in June, following regulatory approval. The deal includes Tasker Insurance Brokers, Tasker & Partners and Gresham Underwriting. Completion of the deal also seesRobert Organtake on the role of Managing Director, Jensten Retail andGraeme Lalley, COO of Jensten Group with responsibility for technology and operations, business transformation, HR and facilities.

PIBhas expanded its footprint in Ireland with the acquisition ofOliver Murphy Insurance Brokers. The deal is subject to regulatory approval and will see the Group continue to build its retail presence on Irish soil. The purchase follows PIB’s acquisition of Creane & Creane, family-run insurance Broker providing commercial and personal lines cover to retail and business customers.

Movers & Shakers

AXA UKhas announced the appointment ofSarah Mallabyas Distribution and Trading Director of its commercial business. Within this role, Mallaby will be responsible for the performance and development of the commercial branch network alongside further enhancing Broker relationships.

GRP-ownedLonmarhas appointed specialist Financial Lines BrokerGiles Smithsonas Divisional Director, Financial and Specialty Lines. Smithson joins from Besso and will report to Executive Director Karen Allen.

TheLloyd’s Market Association (LMA)has announced it has appointed six board members which will support the market areas such as digital trading, underwriting leadership, strategy, corporate development, data analysis and syndicate management. The new board members are:Hugh Brennan- CEO at RenaissanceRe Syndicate Management,Dominick Hoare- Group CUO at Munich Re Syndicate,Kate Markham- CEO London Market at Hiscox,Chris Smelt- Executive Director at Managing Agency Partners,Rachel Turk- Head of Corporate Development at Beazley andSarah Willmont- Joint Active Underwriter at Canopius.

AXA XLhas promotedAndrew Innesto Global Practice Leader, Products & Airports, Aerospace. Innes will be responsible for developing Axa XL’s global portfolio of aerospace manufacturers, service providers and airports, while also driving global governance, underwriting guidelines, and pricing standards across the business units. He’ll also join the division’s global aerospace leadership team.

Marshhas appointedSarah Dyeras Head of Logistics andNick Adamsas Business Development Leader within Marsh specialty’s UK Marine & Cargo practice.

Ceta Insurancehas appointedJames Robathanas Head of Marketing where he will develop a brand and marketing strategy to support the company’s long term growth plans.

TheInsurance Octopushas appointed long-term team memberHelen Bushto the lead role within the company. She spent the past 11 years as Head of Finance and Support Services for the Broker.

The Terrorism reinsurerPool Rehas announced the appointment ofAngela Knight CBEas Non-Executive Chair, subject to regulatory approval. Knight brings to the role a broad cross-sector track record and her career to date has combined political experience with business knowledge. She has previously served in a variety of roles including as Economic Secretary to the Treasury, Chief Executive of the British Bankers Association, Chair of the Office of Tax Simplification and several Non-Executive positions.

AXIS Insurance, the specialty insurance business segment of AXIS Capital Holdings Limited has announced three appointments within its US Renewables team, effective immediately.Becky Nace-Groverjoins AXIS as a Senior Underwriter,Kamran Hameedjoins as a Cross-Class Underwriter, andGerman Torresjoins as an Underwriter. Their responsibilities will include strengthening new and existing Broker and partner relationships, as well as developing new business opportunities to continue delivering high-level customer service.

Mandy Hunt, Chief Underwriting Officer for Commercial Lines at RSA, will be the new Chair of theCII’s Society of Underwriting Professionals. Having joined the Advisory Board of the Society in 2019, Mandy brings a wealth of underwriting experience and knowledge into the leadership position and is a long-time advocate of the CII and the importance of professional development and qualifications.

London-based Landmark Underwriting has entered the Canadian market, with the expansion to be led by newly hired Non-Executive DirectorFergus Meldrum. “It is an honour to be asked to join Landmark, after seeing the group’s successes and growth over just a few short years,” stated Meldrum, the industry veteran who is making the switch from NFP Canada to head Landmark’s new office in Toronto.

Independent wholesale brokerAmwins Global Risks– the London-based international broking arm of North Carolina-headquartered Amwins Group – has added two Senior Executives to its leadership team, while keeping silent on the supposed departure of Chief ExecutiveMatthew Crane.Joining from Beazley isColm Hensman, who will serve as Chief Operating Officer of Amwins Global Risks. The business, which used to be known as THB Group, also snapped upLindsey Daviesfrom Lloyd’s. The former Delegated Authority Senior Manager was appointed as Director of operations.

Peter Huber, who was with Zurich Insurance Group from 2013 until his resignation last month, has joined Berlin-based digital insurance companywefoxas Chief Insurance Officer.

Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty (AGCS)has appointedAnthony Vassallo as Regional Head of Energy and Construction of its London and Nordics regional unit. He succeeded Tracey Hunt, who has left the company.

Lucidahas hiredSimon Pearceas Chief Executive Officer of its broking division andInsiyah Davenportas Group Chief Risk Officer. Lucida, which was recently rebranded from Right Choice Holdings, brings together broking businesses including Bennetts, Moorhouse Group and Right Choice Insurance Brokers.

Specialist InsurerBeazleyhas announced the appointment ofRaf Sanchezas Global Head of Cyber Services. Sanchez, who currently serves as International Manager of Beazley Breach Response Services, will assume his new role on October 01, joining the company’s global Cyber and tech management team. He will continue to be based in London.

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