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General Insurance Newsletter Friday 22nd October 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 last 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:

JM Glendinning’starget to double its gross written premium within the next three years is “ambitious but achievable”, according to Managing Director Jake Fox. Fox, who joined the company six years ago to build up its Professional Risks business, recently took over the MD role from Nick Houghton. The move follows a management buyout in November last year, which was led by Houghton and backed by Synova Capital and saw Houghton become chief executive officer of the JMG Group.

Cyber insurance specialistCFChas announced a major investment joint-led byEQTandVitruvian Partners, two of Europe’s leading Private Equity firms. Upon completion, following regulatory approval, CFC will nearly double its employee shareholders from 175 to over 300. Employees will remain the largest shareholding block in CFC.

TheBritish Insurance Brokers’ Association (Biba), theAssociation of British Insurers (ABI)andFlood Rehave opened registration for the new Flood Insurance Directory expected later this year. The organisations said in a statement that they are calling for Brokers and Insurers who can provide cover for residential buildings and/or contents insurance for consumers who are struggling to obtain Flood insurance to register to be part of the service ahead of its launch.

TheFinancial Conduct Authority (FCA)has flagged concerns that some Brokers have failed to understand the impact of the product governance rules on their businesses. In a Dear CEO letter sent to Brokers on 18 October, Nicola Denton, Manager, Retail Insurance Department at the regulator, called on Brokers to take action and make sure they are ready to comply with the new rules.

Allianz Insurancehas launched a sustainable procurement charter to encourage its suppliers to adopt and develop Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) practices. For future tender assessments, the Commercial Insurer says it will apply a minimum weighting of 10% to ESG factors.

Data fromConsumer Intelligencereveals that 1 in 4 cheapest Motor insurance quotes are provided by telematics firms, and while Motor premiums plunged 9.4% in the last 12 months, prices are now beginning to stabilise.

Marsh McLennan (MMC), the parent company of businesses including Marsh, Guy Carpenter and Oliver Wyman has revealed its financial results for Q3 2021, ended September 30, 2021. The group has reported consolidated revenue of $4.6 billion (approx. £3.33 billion) for the quarter, up 16% compared with Q3 2020. MMC’s underlying revenue increased 13% year on year while operating income stands at $740 million, up 37% from last year, and adjusted operating income rose 19% to $759 million. Meanwhile, net income attributable to the company clocked in at $537 million.

Chubbhas released a report on Strikes, Riots and Civil Commotion (SRCC) risks. The new report includes legal input from global law firm Kennedys and data from IHS Markit, a specialist in information and analytics. The report, Confidence in Conflict: Insuring Your Business Against Civil Unrest, analyses the current SRCC landscape and how it is evolving, Chubb said. The report also discusses some of the issues that are impacting both businesses and individuals in different parts of the world.

AXIS Capital Holdingshas announced several updates to its fossil fuel underwriting and investment policy related to thermal coal, oil sands and the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. The company has committed to phasing out thermal coal business from its insurance, facultative reinsurance, and investment portfolios. 

Bermuda-headquarteredHamilton Insurance Grouphas decided to cease writing Property Treaty reinsurance via Lloyd’s Syndicate 4000 in London. In a release, Hamilton said it will continue to write Property Treaty reinsurance business from Bermuda, to consolidate the company’s peak peril catastrophe reinsurance underwriting into a single hub.

AXA– which is described by climate campaigners as the first Insurer to restrict underwriting coal projects in 2017 – is being urged to immediately stop insuring new oil and gas projects. Officials from the Insure Our Future coalition, Reclaim Finance, and SumofUs have written to AXA Chief Executive Thomas Buberl, highlighting that while the Paris-headquartered insurance group had been a climate action first mover in relation to coal, the company’s climate leadership credibility is now supposedly ‘on the line’.

In further news...AXA Partners has been appointed to underwrite Travel Insurance policies that are purchased by customers with their Eurotunnel booking. The product will offer a number of cover enhancements, with AXA Partners handling all Travel Insurance claims and providing customers with medical assistance, if needed whilst abroad. Long-term, both brands will be working closely together to grow Eurotunnel’s existing travel proposition and AXA Partners will act as the driving force to help enhance the products already offered. The B2B insurance specialist will also be identifying other areas that the two market leaders could collaborate on, in order to provide additional benefit to customers in the future. 

Major insurance BrokerLockton Companies LLPhas launched a dedicated crisis management unit in London. To be led by crisis management Head Matt Humphries, the specialist division sits within Lockton’s Wholesale Property and Casualty operations. The 12-strong team will be working closely with clients globally in the areas of Product Recall, Terrorism/Political Violence, and Special Contingency.

Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance (BHSI)has expanded its global network, which now encompasses owned offices and network partners in 170 countries. BHSI’s network of carrier partners provides clients with locally admitted insurance policies. The company “undertook a rigorous search, evaluation and due diligence process” to select the carrier partners best suited to represent its brand, a company release said.

A network of extended family members and friends colluding on a staged car crash were ordered to pay backQBE Insurancefor costs plus exemplary damages to the tune of more than £300,000, following a trial which stretched over two years. 

Half of Landlords are positive about the future, but new regulations, such as tax changes, are causing concern, according to new research fromAXA UK. A survey of 1,000 UK Landlords, which looked at the opportunities and challenges they face following the COVID-19 pandemic, revealed 48% perceive new legislation and regulation to be the biggest challenge, closely followed by increased maintenance costs (42%).

International General Insurance Holdings Ltd.has announced that it expects to release financial results for the third quarter and nine months ended September 30, 2021, on Thursday, November 11, 2021, after the close of the U.S. financial markets. The Company will not host a live teleconference.

Covéa Insurance Chief Technology and Information Officer (CTIO),Graeme Howard, has been named 2nd in the UK 2021 CIO top 100 technology leaders ranking.

Beazleyhas received in principle approval from Lloyd’s to establish Syndicate 4321 from 1 January 2022. Once fully approved the syndicate will focus exclusively on offering additional capacity to businesses that perform well against ESG metrics and will be led by Will Roscoe, Head of the Market Facilities Division.

The main aim of 45 per cent of Insurer’s diversity and inclusion programmes is to improve workplace culture, a survey ofChartered Insurance Institutemembers has revealed. A social media poll of 328 CII members in August asked: what is the main goal of your firm’s diversity and inclusion policy? Most stated they were working to improve workplace culture, three out of 10 said they wanted to prevent discrimination, 18 per cent said the focus was to attract and retain talent while 7 per cent stated the main aim was to increase customer diversity.

NMUhave published their latest war and strikes update, revealing that although various risk scores have been updated this month – as they are every month – there were no movements between risk levels, meaning that the classification of countries and territories for the purpose of assessing/ setting war and strikes rates remains unchanged.

Mergers & Acquisitions

Occam Underwriting, the specialist lines focused MGA, announced it is acquiringBeech Underwriting Agencies, subject to Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) approval. Beech Underwriting is an approved Lloyd’s cover-holder led by Geoff Stillwell, which has specialised in the placement of Terrorism and other specialist related insurance for more than 20 years.

Thomas Carrollhas acquiredDelwyn Griffiths Insurancewhich is based in Cardigan, West Wales, as part of its expansion strategy. According to Thomas Carroll, all services and existing policies will continue as normal for clients and its office will remain open, supported by Thomas Carroll’s well-established office in Haverfordwest.

PIB Grouphas bought Spanish BrokerCicor Internacional Correduria de Seguros y Reasegurosand its subsidiary,Global Marine. This is PIB’s first acquisition in the Spanish market and builds on its existing presence in the Iberian Peninsula with its Acquinex operation.

Aston Larkhas bought Leighton Buzzard-based BrokerAbsolute Productsfor an undisclosed sum. The consolidator stated that this is its 40th acquisition since it was formed in 2018 and its 24th deal this year. Its most recent purchase was Birmingham-based S Johnson & Company earlier this month.

Humboldt Re Limited, which ceased to underwrite new business in January, has been acquired byMarco Capital Holdings Limitedfor an undisclosed sum. In a release, the European Property and Casualty insurance run-off group said its purchase of the Guernsey-based reinsurer is now complete, following receipt of regulatory approval from the Guernsey Financial Services Commission.

Global Risk Partners (GRP) has taken a minority stake in dental and life science specialist Broker All Medical Professionals (All Med Pro), for an undisclosed sum. Stephen Ross, GRP’s Group Head of M&A, revealed that All Med Pro is a member of Hedron Network, adding that taking a minority stake is a first for GRP.

IQUW, or what used to be known as Arcus 1856, is looking to snap up fellow Lloyd’s businessAgora Holdings, which provides underwriting services to Syndicate 3268. In a release, the recently rebranded Property, Commercial, and Specialty (re)insurer revealed: “Discussions to close the transaction are advanced and expected to complete in the coming days, subject to regulatory and Lloyd’s approval."

Movers & Shakers

Specialty (re)insurance MGARokstonehas announced the appointment ofJack Pickardto Senior Property Underwriter. Pickard joins from Geo Specialty, where he was Property Underwriter for five years. Prior to that, he spent six years with The Channel Syndicate, where he worked as International Property Underwriter.

PI specialistBrunel Professionshas expanded its senior team with the appointment ofWesley Richardsas Divisional Director of London Markets. In this role, Richards will be responsible for the London market broking strategy as well as Insurer relationships.

Tokio Marine Kilnhas appointedDavid Slevinas departmental Head of Aviation as it focuses on expanding its presence in the Aviation sector. The newly created post will see Slevin leading the continued growth and development of TMK’s Aviation portfolio, which was established in 1976. He is expected to take up the post in Spring 2022. 

Momentum Broker Solutionshas appointedAloma Chandiramas Broker Relationship Manager. Chandiram has worked in the industry for 14 years. Before moving to Momentum, Chandiram was Broker Development Manager at Broker Network and has held other development roles at Brightside Insurance, Towergate and PowerPlace Insurance Services.

Mary Roth, CEO of the risk management professional associationRIMS, has announced her plans for retirement after serving the organization for 36 years.

AXIS Insurancehas announced three appointments within its Financial Institutions London team, effective immediately.Beth Convey, Julieta MoyaandMark Suttonall join as Senior Underwriters. Reporting to Calum McPherson, Head of Financial Institutions in London, the new hires will be responsible for deepening relationships with existing distribution partners and exploring new relationships that are accretive and sustainable, underpinning the long-term outlook and strategy for AXIS.

Beazleyhas appointedSimon Wilsonas its new Head of Open Market – UK/RoW. As the Head of Open Market, he will direct and manage the open market – UK/RoW teams underwriting open market accounts with the Property team and offer expert insight on market issues. He is an experienced Underwriter with expertise in primary and excess Property D&F products.

FM Globalhas announced two senior-level moves, withPhilip Johnsonpromoted to the newly created role of Chief Learning Officer andChristopher Dempseysucceeding Johnson as Senior Vice President and EMEA Division Manager.

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