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General Insurance Newsletter Friday 26th November 2021

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Insurance News

The Gibraltar Financial Services Commission (GFSC) has stated that it “strongly denies” recent accusations made against it by MCE Insurance. Earlier this week MCE accused the regulator of applying capital add-ons to financial structures that it had previously “either proposed and or approved, then subsequently worked with MCE to implement”.

Willis Towers Watson (WTW)has formed a new global partnership with the Dublin-based insurance software provider CodeEast. The partnership will see WTW combine its Radar Live price delivery and decision system with CodeEast’s ONEview digital insurance platform to create an insurance solution that enables real-time risk assessment for insurance product distribution. ONEview can call Radar Live for real-time pricing requests from models developed in the wider Radar range of systems, a release said.

While research carried out by the data and analytics company GlobalData revealed that the trust placed in Insurers by small businesses increased after the Business Interruption court cases of 2020, the same firm has highlighted that the continued reporting of disputes is likely to upend this trend. GlobalData believes that ongoing clashes between UK businesses and the insurance industry - such as the one between Greggs and Zurich– will risk reputational damage as insurance companies will be seen to be avoiding paying out claims.

Southend-based Travel insurance specialist Insure and Go has announced that it will be creating at least 70 new local jobs as the firm expands its operations following the pandemic. The announcement comes after the Insurer’s purchase by AllClear Group from global insurance company MAPFRE Asistencia earlier this year.

The European micromobility operator Bolt has joined forces with Allianz Partners to provide insurance for its e-scooter fleet across 26 countries in the continent. The three-year partnership will give Bolt customers personal accident and general liability coverages, which are already embedded in the rental fee. This means the riders are already insured for injuries sustained and third-party damages caused while operating the scooters.

Zurich UK has launched a drive to help homeowners and businesses better protect their properties from repeat flooding. The provider stated that it has transformed the way it handles flood claims to help Property Owners “build back better”, following a warning by the Environment Agency (EA) that the UK must “adapt or die” to climate change.

Abbey Autoline is on track for growth, according to the newly appointed Commercial Director, Jackie Elliott. Elliott’s appointment was announced earlier this month as the Broker celebrated the first anniversary of the merger between the Northern Ireland brokerages Abbey and Autoline. Commenting on how she’s found the new role so far, she said: “I’m loving the new job, everybody here has been so welcoming, and it feels like I’ve been here for longer than I actually have as I feel very integrated and a part of the team."

Convex Insurance has been targeted by environmental organisation Market Forces, in an attempt to put pressure on the provider to rule out underwriting the Adani Carmichael coal project. Market Forces staged a protest at the London Market Conference, stating that Convex has not ruled out the project despite over 40 other major Insurers having done so.

Aviva’s Risk Director Chris Andrews has urged Brokers and Insurers to take a “holistic approach” to helping customers manage risks. This follows Aviva’s second Risk Insights Report which showed that businesses are facing a “complex web” of operational and reputational risks as they emerge from the pandemic. The survey found that economic concerns, staff shortages, Brexit and reputational loss came up top when 1,251 UK business leaders were asked what they feel are the biggest risks facing their business.

RSA Insurance has made enhancements to its suite of ‘family friendly’ in-house staff policies, which will be effective from January 2022. The Insurer has announced that the maternity and adoption, paternity and shared parental leave policies will be improved to provide additional support to its 4,500 people. The insurer also recently introduced IVF and fertility leave, neonatal leave, and miscarriage leave policies that the provider introduced in April.

Open GI has partnered with insurance data intelligence provider, Percayso Inform, to offer a new data agnostic enrichment service for UK brokers. The intelligence service product will be available through Open GI’s platforms for Motor and Commercial vehicle lines of business in early 2022. The provider added it had ongoing plans to expand this service for home schemes.

Specialist London market insurance software provider Morning Data has announced that it will make its Conceptual Data Model assets available to the entire insurance industry by donating them through ACORD, the standards-setting body for the global insurance sector.

The High Court of Justice of England and Wales has ruled that two men trafficked into the UK and forced to work in “slave-like” conditions at a bedding factory are ineligible for compensation from the now defunct company’s insurance provider because the Insurer was unaware of the owner’s labour practices. In a court decision obtained by Law360, High Court Judge Juliet May ruled that AmTrust Europe Ltd, which provided employer’s liability insurance to Hick Lane Bedding Ltd (HLB), was entitled not to pay out claims to the men on the grounds of “material non-disclosure and misrepresentation.”

Horwich Farrelly, alongside Covea Insurance, have recovered £35,000 in legal costs after successfully defending a claim involving a fraudulent physiotherapy invoice. The claim brought by Marc Elvidge, for injuries following an accident with a Covea customer, relied on an invoice for treatment from physiotherapist Mark Browes at 10 Bridge Limited, formerly 10 Bridge Physio Ltd.

Mediguard has joined James Hallam's Appointed Representative Partnership Programme. Mediguard are a wholesale specialist in medical malpractice insurance. Their Directors are Georgina Burrows and Sandi Gill, both of whom have many years of experience in Professional Indemnity and Med Mal. They are well known to and respected by our existing ProMed Team.

Mergers & Acquisitions

Property Owners’ specialist Broker Aquilla Insurance Brokers has been purchased by Alan & Thomas Insurance Group, the southern hub Broker for Global Risk Partners (GRP), for an undisclosed sum. London-based Aquilla was founded in 2009 by Julian Mungo and writes insurance across the real estate spectrum. Julian Boughton, CEO of A&T, which is based in Poole, commented: “Aquilla is a superb business with a great track record of growth in the property space and a reputation for excellent customer service.”

The specialist Insurer Rothesay Life has welcomed the decision from the High Court of England and Wales regarding the proposed transfer of a portfolio of annuities from The Prudential Assurance Company Limited (PAC), a subsidiary of M&G Plc, to Rothesay. London’s High Court yesterday ruled that the transfer of £12 billion in annuity policies from M&G to Rothesay can go ahead, following the court’s initial decision to block the move.

IncubEx, a Chicago-based company that designs and develops new financial products in global environmental, climate risk and related commodity markets, has announced that its acquisition of the Insurtech platform Insurwave. UK-based Insurwave connects insurance buyers, Brokers and Insurers to support the placement and servicing of specialty insurance. It was founded by Shackleton Holdings Limited, a subsidiary of EY. The acquisition will enable IncubEx to deliver innovative environmental and sustainability products and technology to the corporate risk and insurance markets, the company said. As part of the deal, Shackleton has become a minority shareholder in IncubEx.

Movers & Shakers

The Ardonagh Group has announced a series of internal promotions, with two senior leaders taking on different roles within its platforms.Jaime Swindle will join the leadership team at Geo Underwriting on 1 December. Swindle was formerly the Managing Director of Bravo Networks, comprising Broker Network and Compass, following Ardonagh’s acquisition of Bravo Group. Scott Bennett will be succeeding Swindle as MD of Bravo Networks.  Bennett has worked with the networks for 13 years. In his most recent role, he was Sales Director within the network business and was responsible for building relationships with Insurers. He also ran the networks’ community of Business Development Managers. 

QMetric, the UK Insurtech that provides Home and Motor insurance under the Policy Expert brand, has revealed the appointment of Sanchit Suri to the role of Chief Executive Officer. Suri will take over from Co-Founder, Tony Deacon, who has announced his decision to retire.

Miller has appointed Sally Hinchey to the newly created role of Head of Surety. Hinchey joins Miller after 12 years with Willis Towers Watson, where she was most recently Surety Director. In this role, she led the global brokerage’s surety proposition in the UK. Earlier in her career, she was a Client Advisor with Marsh.

Ron Hayes, currently Market Management Director at Gallagher, is to move into a newly created Chief Broking Officer role. Hayes has worked in the London Market for over 37 years, and been at Gallagher since 2012 overseeing market management during a time of significant growth for the business.

Axa UK has named Ursula Wyman as its new Chief Operating Officer (COO) for its commercial business. In her new role, Wyman will be responsible for driving operational progress such as advancing the digital strategy and continuing to navigate operational requirements associated with Covid-19.

Insurance Broker hubb has appointed Stuart Middleton to its senior leadership team as Chief Insurance Officer. Middleton joins hubb from Great American Insurance Group and has experience in international underwriting, product leadership and distribution strategy. He originally became a part of hubb’s team in December 2020 as Non-Executive Director.

Hiscox has appointed Liz Breeze as Interim Group Chief Financial Officer while the search for a permanent CFO is conducted. Breeze joined Hiscox in 2012 and has held a number of senior finance roles across the group, including Group Technical Accountant, Head of Finance for Hiscox UK, and most recently, CFO for Hiscox Re & ILS. 

The London Forum of Insurance Lawyers (London FOIL)has appointed current Vice-President and Birketts reinsurance Partner Gavin Coull as its new President. Coull will be leading the organisation through 2022, focusing on addressing the issues facing the London insurance and reinsurance markets, including climate change and diversity and inclusion.

The global Insurer Chubb has revealed the appointment of Janet Edey as Financial Lines Manager for the UK, Ireland and South Africa (UKISA). In her new role, Edey will be responsible for managing and developing the growth of Chubb's Financial Lines business in UKISA. 

Pool Re, Britain’s leading Terrorism reinsurer, announced that CEOJulian Enoizi, after leading the mutual for eight years, has decided that he will leave the business in the spring of 2022. Pool Re has undergone significant development under Enoizi’s leadership and has been at the forefront of leading change in global insurance and reinsurance in response to the evolving Terrorism threat.

Willis Towers Watson is pleased to announce that it has selected Inga Beale, Fumbi Chima, Michael Hammond, and Michelle (Shelly) Swanback to join its Board of Directors. As previously announced, the Company had been engaging in a thorough, multi-year succession planning process prior to announcing the transaction with Aon in March 2020, including planning with respect to the composition of the Board.

Rein4ce, the specialist insurance and reinsurance-focused public relations agency, has strengthened its operations with a new appointment and promotion for an existing staff member. Rein4ce has taken onMairi Clarkas Account Executive to support the company as it continues to grow following a series of new business wins. Caitlin Haynes has been promoted to Senior Account Manager, following her successful track record of managing and promoting clients across multiple jurisdictions.

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