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General Insurance Newsletter Friday 24th September 2021

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Insurance News

We are incredibly proud of the IDEX Lands End to John O'Groats bike ride team, who completed their 980 mile charity ride earlier this month.

Raising over £28,000, 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:

Shout out to theDas UKteam who took part in the Ride Across Britain challenge earlier this month has so far raised around £45,000 for dementia research and the Alzheimer’s Society.

CEO Nikhil Rathi has pledged to use thewatchdog’scriminal powers to deal with misconduct and financial crime. He said the organisation would “test its powers to their limits” to ensure market integrity as he outlined the regulator’s priorities for the future in a speech at the Lord Mayor’s city Banquet at Mansion House on the 22nd September.

Sagareported revenues of £156.4m for the first six months of 2021 according to an interim report. This followed a tough H1 2020 which, while it achieved £192.4m revenue, saw it fall to a loss of £57.4m overall. Its 2021 figures showed a decreasing loss of £3.1m.

Aston Lark-ownedDNA Insurance Brokershas confirmed it has been the victim of a phishing attack. The Broker explained that a number of phishing emails had been sent from a staff member’s account. It urged recipients to delete the email without opening any attachments or links.

Allianz Insurancehas enhanced its Motor Fleet (15 or more vehicles) and Small Fleet (4-14 vehicles) products to provide cover for electric vehicles. The provider noted that, in addition to the standard benefits of an Allianz policy, the specialist EV cover includes third-party liability during charging, as well as damage cover for cables, connectors and electric wallboxes located at the insured’s premises or employee’s home (with the insured’s agreement).

Zurichhas signed a long-term agreement withAIUA, a specialist Underwriter for Agricultural and Farm insurance. The five-year deal with AIUA, which forms part of The Ardonagh Group and is a trading style of its Geo Underwriting arm, is worth £105m of gross written premium over five years and is effective immediately.

In further news...Zurich’s foundation has entered a three-year partnership with UNICEF to promote mental well-being among young people worldwide through a communication campaign. According to Zurich, an estimated one in seven adolescents aged between 10 and 19 lives with a diagnosed mental disorder. While adolescence can be a period of heightened risk for developing mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression, it is also a critical time of life for establishing healthy behaviour patterns and social and emotional learning that can bring life-long benefits.

Dive In, the biggest diversity and inclusion festival in the insurance industry, has kicked off and will run until 23 September. Organisers stated that cricketing legend Sir Andrew Strauss will launch discussions around mental health for Dive In 2021, after research revealed it should be top of the agenda for the global insurance industry next year. This year’s festival will take place both virtually and in person, with insurance employees from across nearly 40 countries joining in.

Helmsman Management Services, a third-party administrator owned by Liberty Mutual Insurance, has recently been granted delegated claims administrator status by Lloyd’s of London. This will allow London market Insurers with exposure to US Property-Casualty and Specialty Lines to access Helmsman’s claims and legal management services.

Insurance BrokerSterlinghas organised the Sterling Cup, a charity golf tournament that raised £10,000 to help a young boy battling a rare form of cancer. Five-year-old Archie Wilks from Saffron Walden was diagnosed with neuroblastoma in 2019. Archie’s father Simon works for Sterling, which held the tournament on Sept. 9 to help send Archie to the US to receive specialist care and treatment.

A man has been jailed for arranging a series of fraudulent Personal Injury claims involving phantom passengers, targeting various insurers includingLV= General Insurance. Martell Randall, 30, of Wandsworth, was sentenced to six months imprisonment at Kingston Crown Court on the 8th September 2021, for conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation.

TheBritish Insurance Brokers’ Association (BIBA)has launched a brand-new member scheme fromYutree Underwritingtargeting firms operating in the media and entertainment sector. The important economic contribution, and particular insurance requirements, of firms in this sector were highlighted during the pandemic and this new scheme enables BIBA member brokers to easily source cover designed for their clients’ needs. The scheme offers a policy covering production exposures such as cancellation, abandonment or postponement and covers costs, cast and extra expenses, alongside Property, Liability, and Business Interruption cover. Professional Indemnity and Terrorism can also be included meaning that this is a comprehensive combined policy for this sector.

Covéa Insurancehas triumphed by winning the most prestigious and coveted General Insurer of the Year Award at the 2021 British Insurance Industry Awards. The company beat off rivals from industry titans including Ageas, Allianz Insurance, Aviva, Direct Line Group and Zurich.

Liberty Global Transaction Solutions (GTS), part of Liberty Mutual Insurance, published its 2021 M&A claims briefing. This is the second annual briefing based on the company’s analysis of Liberty GTS’s own M&A insurance claims for the past decade. The report looks at M&A insurance claims by industry, by region and by cause, giving detailed data about the types of deals and from which industry are most likely to lead to a claim, as well as highlighting current trends.

As part of its ongoing commitment to creating a diverse and inclusive culture,Allianz Holdingshas launched a new Transitioning at Work Policy which will be implemented across the UK business. The policy includes information on the legal context and protections that relate to transgender employees, as well as key considerations and responsibilities for employees and Line Managers.

TheFCAhas banned Director Jon Frensham (formerly known as Jonathan James Hunt) from performing any regulated activity. The FCA found Mr Frensham, an Independent Financial Adviser and the sole Director atFrensham Wealth Limited, lacks the integrity to work in financial services. In March 2017, Mr Frensham was convicted of attempting to meet a child following sexual grooming.

Crawford & Company, the world’s largest publicly listed independent provider of claims management and outsourcing services to carriers, Brokers and corporations, has announced that Marie Velez, Vice President of finance at Crawford & Company in Latin America, has been named Woman of the Year at the Stevie International Business Awards.

Despite increased efforts to incorporate climate change in their decision-making process, reinsurers could be downplaying their exposure to natural catastrophe risks between 33% and 50%, a new study byS&P Global Ratingshas found. Results of the financial services giant’s recent stress test suggested a $150 billion (about £109 billion) insured industry loss at a one-in-10-year return period, which was a greater frequency than the one-in-20 and one-in-30-years that many of the world’s largest reinsurance companies were estimating the size of their loss from.

Multi-class international Managing General Agent (MGA) platformVolante Capital Holdingshas announced that it has received “in-principle” approval from Lloyd’s to launch Syndicate 1699 for the 2022 year of account. In a statement, Volante said that the new Lloyd’s syndicate will have an initial stamp capacity of £130 million and be managed by third-party managing agency Asta.

Gallagherhas published a new bulletin that calls for the Pensions industry to “fundamentally rethink member engagement” in this age of digital. “For too long now, communication has been a ‘nice to have’ in the Pensions industry; it’s time to change. Making sure you’ve simply got the communication ‘box ticked’ is no longer good enough and is unlikely to satisfy the needs of employers, trustees, members or The Pensions Regulator,” commented Gallagher Employee Communication Practice Managing Director Roger Hattam. “It also wastes valuable time, money and resources in the process.”

Coronavirus news

Throughout the COVID-19 crisis, care organisations have been on the front line of protecting society’s most vulnerable people and so it stands to reason that the care industry has been heavily impacted. It was with this in mind that Markel created its recent whitepaper on ‘Care and insurance’ which closely examines how the lessons of COVID-19 will redefine the care sector’s insurance and risk management needs.

The UK government has officially launched its £800 million Live Events Reinsurance Scheme to cover live events from costs incurred due to COVID-19-related cancellation. The scheme, which was first announced in August, is designed to provide coverage for events such as concerts, festivals, conferences and business gatherings that are at risk of being cancelled or delayed because of lack of COVID-19 cancellation insurance. It is backed by several Lloyd’s Market Association players, including Munich Re, Beazley, Arch, Dale, and Ark, with more Insurers expected to join in the coming weeks.

More than a year-and-a-half since the onset of the pandemic, the pressure on the world’s supply chains has not abated as the vast network of channels – including ports and shipping vessels – relied upon to distribute goods remain in a perplexed state. The situation has caused shipping delays and skyrocketing freight costs – something that Jonathan Moss, Head of Marine and Trade at DWF Group Limited – believes has “catastrophic” implications not just for the shipping industry, but also for businesses, consumers and even insurance companies.

Theft claims have surged 171% over the summer as COVID-19 restrictions eased and people began going out of their homes again, the latest figures from Insurtech Urban Jungle reveal. Data gathered by the Insurtech also showed a 143% jump in mobile phone thefts from June to July compared to the spring months of March and April, while laptop thefts likewise doubled during the period.

Cardinus Risk Management has been named as finalist for two Covid Response Awards. The Covid Response Awards salute and pay tribute to the resilience, resourcefulness and tenacity that have been the hallmark of corporate and non-commercial organisations response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Mergers & Acquisitions

Butterworth Spenglerhas bought Gloucester-basedBrunsdon Insurancefor an undisclosed sum. This is the Liverpool-headquartered Broker’s first deal since becoming part of the JMG Group in March this year. According to a statement, Brunsdon’s existing team of 17 will join Butterworth Spengler’s team of 30 employees.

Aston Lark Irelandhas bought Deanspoint Insurance Brokers, which trades asAbbey Murphy Insurance, for an undisclosed sum. Abbey Murphy Insurance was established in 1983 and is based in Longford and Mullingar. It operates across both Personal Lines and Commercial Lines. The business is led by the management team of Mike Winters, Celine Gill and Michael Gardiner and has 14 staff.

In further news...Aston Larkhas announced that it has agreed terms to acquire the clients ofThe Health Insurance Company. This acquisition will further strengthen the Aston Lark Group’s already significant health insurance expertise and represents another step in the continual expansion of its Employee Benefits and Healthcare Insurance business, with further acquisitions planned.

Movers & Shakers

Sagahas announced the appointment ofGraham Wrightas Pricing Director for its insurance division. He joins from Willis Towers Watson, where he currently leads the UK P&C Pricing, Claims and Underwriting Practice as a Senior Director.

Berkeley Alexanderhas appointedNatasha Boyneas Commercial Insurance Account Handler. The business, which is part of Towergate Underwriting Services, stated that the move is as part of a recruitment drive to bolster the commercial team in response to current Broker demand and expected further growth.

Renovation Underwriting, the market-leading specialist MGA in the Property renovation space, has welcomed a new Underwriter to its team.Katherine Watertonjoined this month. She has 15 years of experience working in the insurance industry both in underwriting and a Broker.

Incitedhas appointedDan Fiehnas Chief Operating Officer. Fiehn joins the business after ten years with Markerstudy Insurance Group, where he was Group Chief Operating Officer and before that Chief Information Officer.

Beazleyhas announced thatRachel Turkhas been appointed as Group Head of Strategy. She will also join the executive committee with immediate effect.  Previously, Cox held the role of Head of Corporate Development.

Avivahas promotedAndrea Montague, who joined in 2020 as Chief Financial Controller, to Chief Risk Officer.John Cummingshas also been promoted to Chief Information Officer. He was previously GI CIO.

It’s official.Caroline Wagstaffhas been confirmed as the permanent Chief Executive Officer ofLondon Market Group (LMG). The news of Wagstaff’s appointment follows the six month period during which she was seconded to the role on a temporary basis.

Howdenhas appointedStanley Cochraneto the role of Head of Energy Transformation. In his new role, Cochrane will work across both Howden’s natural resources as well as its climate risk and resilience teams.

AXA UKhas announced the appointment ofDavid Ovendenas Chief Underwriting Officer for its Commercial business. David Ovenden succeedsDavid Williamswho, after 41 years with the business across a variety of roles, is leaving AXA at the end of the year to consider Non-Executive roles.

Liberty Specialty Markets (LSM), part of Liberty Mutual Insurance Group, announced thatMichael Harthwill be joining the company in January 2022 as Country Manager for Germany. He will report to Kadidja Sinz, Head of Central Region and will be based in Cologne.

AXA XL’sGlobal Marine insurance business has appointedStephen Clarkas its Marine Liabilities Global Practice Leader.  Based in Chicago, Mr. Clark assumes this new role in addition to retaining his responsibilities as North America Hull and Liabilities Practice Leader.

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