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General Insurance Newsletter Friday 10th December 2021

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Insurance News

Allianzhas created a Net Zero Accelerator designed to assist independent Brokers in measuring and reducing their carbon footprint and encourage the industry to transition to net zero. The Insurer has also promised to offset the greenhouse gas emissions measured in the course of the programme and pledged £100,000 to support its independent Brokers on their journey toward net zero in 2022.

In further news...Allianz Insurance has pledged £100,000 to support its independent insurance Brokers on their journey toward net zero in 2022. The Allianz Net Zero Accelerator (ANZA), available to apply for from January 2022, helps independent Brokers learn about how they can reduce their emissions and guides them through measuring their carbon footprint. Allianz will offer selected Brokers tailored one-to-one support, through a specialist environmental consultancy, to help them create a plan to lower their carbon footprint and set reduction targets. Allianz will then offset any emissions which have been measured through the process.

Telematics brandCarrot Insurancehas gone live on CDL Strata to power the next phase of its expansion. The move follows a comprehensive review of the market to select a new platform to support its digital and data strategy moving forward. 

TheFinancial Conduct Authority (FCA)has stated it will introduce a consumer duty in order to drive a “fundamental shift” in the mindset of financial services firms. The regulator explained that it was concerned that currently financial services did not always work well for consumers. It argued that the new plans would ensure a higher and more consistent standard of consumer protection for users of financial services and help stop harm before it happens.

In further news...The FCA has launched a consultation on improving the appointed representatives regime and tackling harm from this model. The FCA is seeing a wide range of harm across all sectors where firms have ARs. This harm often occurs because principals don’t perform enough due diligence before appointing an AR, or from inadequate oversight and control after an AR has been appointed. The FCA’s proposed changes to the regime aim to address the harm arising in this market while retaining the cost, competition and innovation benefits the AR model can provide. The proposals would improve principals’ oversight of ARs and require principals to provide the FCA with more information on their ARs, allowing the FCA to spot risks more quickly.

Insurance and reinsurance companyAscot Grouphas launched a space practice, which will start as an Ascot-led consortium at Lloyd’s. Industry veteran Paul Aitchison, who most recently served as AIG’s Global Head of Space, will be leading the new practice. He is joined by fellow AIG alumni Neil Fleming and Lea Last, who have come onboard as Senior Risk Analyst and Underwriter, respectively. “Space is a unique and complex niche within the aerospace industry and requires a depth of knowledge to support the highly sophisticated client base,” said Aitchison, who brings more than three decades of aerospace insurance experience to Ascot.

Hambros Perks Acquisition Company,the first Special Acquisition Company (SPAC) listed on the London Stock Exchange, has ticked its insurance box with the help ofWillis Towers Watson (WTW). In a release, the broking giant said it had secured the insurance placement of the investment vehicle, the goal of which is to raise up to £150 million through the listing.

Argenta Syndicate Management Limited (ASML)has announced that it has ceased underwriting all new and renewal business relating to the Lloyd’s China platform (LICCL), putting the operation into run-off. The UK-based Lloyd’s authorised managing agency said it will work with LICCL to continue servicing existing business, as well as to conduct the run-off in an orderly fashion.

Eos Venture Partners (Eos), a leading InsurTech Venture Capital Fund Manager andTwelve Capital (Twelve), an Investment Manager specialising in the insurance industry have joined forces to provide growth funding for successful InsurTech companies. With a specialised fund Twelve and Eos aim to accelerate the digital disruption of the insurance industry through investing into the global InsurTech sector.

Avivais warning customers to take care when charging electrical items, after receiving dozens of home fire claims caused by chargers and batteries in 2021. According to the Insurer, multiple home fire claims this year have been linked to faulty, damaged or incorrect chargers, or items which were left to charge for too long. Aviva found a common cause of components over-heating, leading to fires in the home.

In further news...Avivahas introduced an Electric Vehicle (EV) Salary Sacrifice Scheme, giving UK colleagues the opportunity to drive a fully electric EV for a two or three year period. Colleagues will be able to select cars such as the Nissan Leaf and the Mini Electric through the scheme, which is provided by Zenith.

BGL Insurance, a leading digital distributor of Personal Lines insurance, has announced a new partnership withCovéa, one of the UK’s most prominent Insurers. As part of the exclusive long-term ‘joint venture’, BGL and Covéa Insurance will bring a new direct insurance proposition to market next year –  with the aim of creating a unique Motor product that challenges the status quo, while significantly extending the customer reach of both businesses. 

Demonstrating that the appetite for vehicle-centric data from UK Motor insurance providers is accelerating,LexisNexis® Risk Solutionshas secured a new contract withSabre Insurance, among the most successful car Insurers in the U.K., to deliver data on the presence and performance of Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) at the point of quote, through LexisNexis® Vehicle Build. Using LexisNexis Vehicle Build, Sabre can price Personal and Commercial Motor customers, factoring for the specific safety features fitted to an individual vehicle and how those features work together to support a reduction in claims frequency.  

The market for NFT-linked digital art is raising difficult questions for fine art Underwriters. Ross Drabble feels NFTs could solve problems that have dogged the sale of fine art for centuries. Sportswear manufacturer Nike is not usually associated with the fine art insurance market but a patent filed by the company in 2019 may well hold the answer to a problem that fine art Underwriters have been grappling with. That problem is non-fungible tokens. NFTs: the biggest step-change to hit the art market in years – and they are making Underwriters reassess their stance on physical and digital risks.

AXIS Capital Holdings Limited ("AXIS Capital") (NYSE:AXS)has announced the Company's Board of Directors has authorized the repurchase of up to $100 million of the Company's common shares, which may be effected from time to time in open market or privately negotiated transactions through December 31, 2022. The Company intends to repurchase common shares opportunistically, with the timing and amount of the repurchases depending on a variety of factors, including market conditions and corporate and regulatory considerations.

Generalihas announced a partnership with Accenture and Vodafone Business to launch a suite of cyber insurance services. The initiative includes cyber risk assessments, phishing simulations and learning programs. The new services are aligned to the “Generali 2021” strategic plan, which aims to reinforce the company’s position within the corporate and SME segments and develop modular products and prevention services in the property-casualty business.

Mergers & Acquisitions

Usage-based insurance Brokerhubbhas acquired insurance technology providerDigital Fineprint (DFP)for an undisclosed sum in a move which it said will enhance its customer-centric approach. Following the completion of the deal, the DFP team will merge with hubb personnel and DFP’s Chief Technology Officer (CTO), Ulrich Zink, will expand his role across the whole business.

Finland-based insurance groupSampo Plchas now taken full ownership of British general InsurerHastings. A £685 million transaction – which was subsequently completed on the same day it was announced – saw South African investor Rand Merchant Investment Holdings Limited (RMI) sell both its 30% minority interest in Hastings and the option held by RMI to acquire a further 10%. The purchase price, when added to Sampo’s initial investment when it first bought part of Hastings’ share capital late last year, brings the Finnish group’s total payment to £1.85 billion for the whole of Hastings.

Aston Larkhas announced the acquisition of theChoice Benefits Ltdclient book. Having advised on Health insurance and Employee Benefits for over a decade, Terry Shelbourne formed Choice Benefits in 2015. Based in Lancashire, Choice Benefits is a Private Medical Insurance specialist, providing cover for both individuals and businesses. Peter Blanc, Aston Lark Group CEO, said: “We’re delighted to welcome the clients of Choice Benefits into Aston Lark. We have seen tremendous growth in our Employee Benefits business in 2021, both through acquisition and organic growth, on the back of increasing volumes of cross-sales across the group. This ability to “join the dots” and offer a full range of solutions to our personal and business customers is a key strength of our group.”

Dickson & Co (NI) Ltd, has announced its second acquisition of 2021, with the purchase ofMorrison Associates (NI) Ltd, based in Limavady, Co. Londonderry. This latest acquisition furthers the company’s plans for expansion following its recent acquisition of E McParland Insurances of Newry earlier in the year, bringing the total number of acquisitions made by the business in nearly 30 years of trading to over ten. 

Swiss Rehas agreed to sell its life insurance subsidiaryElips Life AG (elipsLife)to Swiss Life International and to enter into a long-term reinsurance partnership for elipsLife’s in-force and new business. elipsLife, which is headquartered in Vaduz, Liechtenstein, has been a wholly owned subsidiary of Swiss Re since October 2011, and since 2020 it has been part of the business unit Corporate Solutions. The transaction is expected to close in H1 2022 and is subject to several closing conditions, including regulatory approval and merger control clearance by the applicable authorities.

Movers & Shakers

RSAhas namedKen Norgroveas its new Chief Executive Officer, UK & International, succeedingScott Eganwho will be leaving the business at the end of 2021. According to RSA, Norgrove was most recently CEO of RSA Scandinavia from 2019 until the takeover of the business by Intact Financial Corporation and Tryg in June 2021.

Rugby starJack Cliffordhas joinedGallagheras its Business Development Executive to strengthen its team of Sports insurance specialists. Few understand rugby like Clifford does, having played for Harlequins from 2011 until 2020 and for England between 2017 and 2020. However, his time as a player came to a halt when he suffered a career-ending injury during his 100th game with Harlequins, which forced him to bid the professional game goodbye. Fortunately, Clifford was backed by Personal Sports insurance, which protects against a loss in personal income as a result of drastic – and potentially life-altering – circumstances. This experience made Clifford ideal for his new role at Gallagher.

Marsh McLennanhas announced the appointment ofFrancis Bouchardas Managing Director of Climate within the Marsh McLennan Advantage team. Prior to joining Marsh McLennan, Bouchard spent more than two decades with Zurich Insurance Group, serving in a series of global roles. Most recently, he served as the Group Head of Public Affairs and Sustainability.

In further news...Marsh has announced senior leadership appointments within its Financial and Professional (FINPRO) Specialty.Paul Dennyis appointed as Global Specialty Head, FINPRO, Marsh Specialty;Beth Thurstonis appointed UK CEO of FINPRO business; andStephanie Mansonis appointed UK Management Liability Leader.

Marshhas announced a further appointment ofJustine Mayhewas CEO, UK & Ireland, of Bowring Marsh, Marsh’s international placement business. Ms. Mayhew joined the business in 1995, focusing on the design of solutions for complex risks in the global insurance market. Since 2016, she has been leading a diverse team of over 50 international Property and Mining placement specialists as Head of International Property within Bowring Marsh. Ms. Mayhew succeedsRyan Bond, who has been appointed as Head of Climate and Sustainability Insurance Innovation.

Ardonagh Advisory Holdingshas appointedMarcus Golbyas Chief Operating Officer (subject to approval) andTom Clarkas Chief Technology Officer. Both of them will take on newly created roles. Golby joined Ardonagh from major non-bank mortgage lender Together, where he was COO since 2018. Clark has more than 20 years’ experience in harnessing technology to achieve transformational outcomes for businesses. He joined Ardonagh from the Lowell Group, a leading credit management business, where he was Group Chief Architect and Chief Information Officer (group functions).

Amwins Global Risks, the international arm of global specialty insurance Broker Amwins and one of the largest independent wholesale Brokers in London, has revealed the appointment ofNate Mathisas Chief Executive Officer. Meanwhile,James Drinkwaterhas been named Executive Chair of Amwins Global Risks and will retain his current position as President of Amwins.

Lloyd’s brokerTysers– which this year has made several hires to boost its marine, construction, and casualty offerings – has now brought in a key addition to its political violence and terrorism unit. Tapped to lead the global team isCiara Appleford, whose remit will involve driving growth across the company’s broking hubs in London, Dubai, Miami, and Singapore. She brings more than 13 years of experience and know-how to the UK-headquartered group.

Willis Towers Watsonhas appointedTim Rourkeas UK Head of P&C Pricing, Product, Claims and Underwriting, under the company’s insurance consulting and technology practice. He succeeds Graham Wright, who has left Willis Towers Watson.

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