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General Insurance Newsletter Friday 4th February 2022

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Insurance News

Markel Corporationhas released its financial results for what the company’s co-CEOs described as a “record-setting” year. The group’s insurance segment posted an underwriting profit of US$696.4 million, a 312% increase from the corresponding figure in 2020. The reinsurance unit, however, suffered an underwriting loss worth US$55.2 million.

AXA UKis committed to becoming more visible and accessible to Brokers, according to Distribution and Trading Director, Sarah Mallaby. Mallaby said that Axa’s UK business is currently going through a shift, stating: “I’m coming in at a time where I can shape some of the strategy. “There’s a huge amount of work to do but it’s very exciting times. The sleeping giant of Axa is going to emerge as a force to be reckoned within the UK commercial market.”

In further news...AXA Insurance dac and Prestige Underwriting Services have agreed a new 3-year capacity deal for Motor and Commercial Vehicle insurance for Personal Lines customers in Northern Ireland. The deal will see AXA provide capacity for Motor and Commercial Vehicle risks for Prestige Underwriting’s network of 60 Northern Ireland Brokers and builds on a longstanding partnership with AXA in other jurisdictions.

The investigation into insurance market regulation which was kicked off byTheHouse of Lords Industry and Regulators Committeelast month could potentially impact regional Brokers, according to David Sparkes, Head of Compliance and Training at theBritish Insurance Brokers’ Association. He encouraged Brokers to get involved in the consultation, which is open until 11 February.

Ofstedhas stated that insurance training providerDavies Learning Solutions“requires improvement” across quality of education, leadership and management and apprenticeships. The government body completed an inspection of the learning provider in November 2021. The business, which was established in January 2015 as FWD Training and Consultancy, was bought by Davies Group in September 2019 and rebranded to Davies Learning Solutions in 2020.

The Zodiac calendar might claim that 2022 is the ‘Year of the Tiger’ but it would seem, at least from the perspective ofZurich UK, that in fact, 2022 is the ‘Year of People’. In January, the insurance giant published extensive data revealing the growing demand for part-time roles and how its own flexible working approach is boosting its hiring of part-time staff. Several days later, Zurich became the only Insurer to be named among the UK’s best places to work in 2022 by Glassdoor.

Property and Casualty (P&C) insurance giantChubbhas published its financial results for the quarter and year ended December 31, 2021, with numbers pointing to record earnings. “With double-digit commercial premium growth and continued underwriting margin expansion, Chubb finished the year with record quarterly earnings and underwriting results, which contributed to one of the best years in our company’s history,” stated Chubb Chair and Chief Executive Evan Greenberg.

Managing General AgentUK General Insurance (UKG)is teaming up with InsurtechArma Karmato launch a new personal possessions product. The new contents insurance product, targeted at Arma Karma’s customer base of students, young professionals and renters, is underwritten by UK General and insured through Watford Insurance Company Europe. It provides Theft, Loss, and Accidental Damage cover up for up to five valuable personal belongings – these include clothing, cycles, and gadgets – that are either inside or outside policyholders’ homes.

A quarter of UK properties are at risk of flood, according to a new flood model released byJBA Risk Management. The model also estimated that floods could cost UK residential properties £527 million, and that figure could rise to £1.9 billion without flood defences. The flood model showed that flood defences could reduce losses by up to 360% across river, surface water and coastal flooding.

QBEhas joined forces with insurance BrokerGallagherto launch pay-as-you-go (PAYG) mileage-based Motor Fleet insurance for the coach market. The cover launched on 1 February 2022 and aimed at coach operators with fleets of more than 10 vehicles, businesses can ensure their insurance premiums are accurately tailored to vehicle usage patterns. Customers will be required to share their historical telematics data relating to vehicle usage and mileage, on which an initial premium will be calculated.

A company Director has admitted starting a fire at his printer supply factory in Dundee, in an attempt to gain £2m compensation from its Insurer,Allianz. The fire occurred on 11 February 2018 in a room storing ink cartridges. Two companies located in the building, Fazteck and Chohan, which were managed by the same family, filed claims for losses totalling just over £2m. However, investigations established the cause of the damage as arson.

QBEhas launched a Sustainable Energies unit to support customers as they transition to lower carbon energy. The unit will align QBE underwriting capabilities across Construction, Operational, Casualty, D&O lines, focusing on underwriting the growing range of companies and energy systems that form part of a rapidly changing energy mix throughout the world. Projects include hydrogen, ammonia, hydro, solar, fixed and floating wind-power and carbon capture and sequestration.

Allianz Holdings, which comprises Allianz Commercial and Allianz Personal, is proud to announce that 100% of the electricity its UK offices use now comes from renewable sources. Allianz sites, including those housing the LV= General Insurance and Petplan businesses, have reached this milestone ahead of the 2023 target set by Allianz Group, which is headquartered in Germany.

ARAGhas built a bespoke commercial legal protection solution forDUAL Olivadesigned to meet the needs of the specialist MGA’s clients in the Construction industry and beyond. Based on ARAG’s Essential Business Legal Solutions policy, the cover includes indemnity against the legal costs of common problems such as employment disputes and tax investigations, as well as optional contract and debt recovery cover that includes Construction disputes.

Mergers & Acquisitions

Gallagher’smove to buyDevitt Insurancewhich specialises in Motorbike and Motor Home cover has added fresh expertise to the Gallagher portfolio. Retail CEO, Michael Rea, commented: “It will be a stable addition to Gallagher and offers us niche expertise. “We liked them because they were specialist and niche. They are really focused on Motor Home and Motorbike.”

PIB Group Ltdis continuing its international expansion with pace, targeting the Polish market again through the acquisition ofBrokers Union. The investment follows on from WDB, a leading Polish brokerage that is also part of PIB, and whose arrival in 2020 signalled the start of the Group’s ambition for further growth within Poland and potentially the wider CEE region. Brokers Union will therefore complement and enhance the offering provided by WDB, who play a key role in PIB’s consolidation strategy for the polish insurance brokerage market.

Movers & Shakers

Markel UKhas restructured its leadership team and promotedNic Brownto Divisional Director - Broker in a new role that will see him lead Markel’s UK National Markets Broker channel. The provider stated that the move was made in order to bring a clear focus on developing Broker relationships and experience at executive leadership level.

Yorkshire-basedMcClarronshas appointedGarry Daviesto the role of Managing Director following a company restructure. The Broker’s former MD,Sean McClarron, now takes on the role of Executive Chairman but will continue to work closely with Davies. Davies has worked at the company for the past 14 years, joining as an office junior from school, and has held several positions within the company. Within his first year, he started an account handling role in Personal Lines and soon moved into McClarrons’ commercial team, where he progressed to Account Executive.

Melanie Lopeshas joinedQBE Rein Bermuda as Assistant Vice President, Lead Treaty Underwriter. Making the switch from SiriusPoint, Lopes will report to Senior Vice President David Carey. 

Liberty Specialty Markets (LSM), part of Liberty Mutual Insurance Group, has announced two senior appointments in its Financial Risk Solutions (FRS) division and the expansion of its political risk team.Huw Owen, formerly FRS Head of Underwriting and London markets, has been appointed to the newly created role of FRS Chief Underwriting Officer, whileSam Wilde, formerly Underwriting Manager for FRS, will replace Owen as FRS Head of London Markets. Owen joined Liberty in 2012 as Head of London markets for Global Financial Risks. Wilde joined the company in 2017 as a Senior Underwriter.

Catalina Holdings (Bermuda) Ltd, which specialises in the acquisition and management of non-life (re)insurance companies in run-off, has installed a new person at the helm. Succeeding Bruce Hemphill to serve as Catalina’s Group Chief Executive isIan Parker, who was CEO for seven years at Lloyd’s underwriting business ERS. The industry veteran’s more than 25 years of experience includes time spent at Hardy Underwriting, Zurich, RBS, and Direct Line Group.

Global insurance leader AXA has boosted its leadership team by promoting current Head of Investor Relations Andrew Wallace-Barnett to Group Chief Compliance Officer and naming Anu Venkataraman its new Head of Investor Relations. Wallace-Barnett has been with AXA since 1988. Venkataraman, joins AXA from AllianceBernstein LP, where she is currently a Portfolio Manager and Senior Research Analyst covering financial stocks in the US and international markets.

AXA UK & Irelandand theInsurance Fraud BureauannouncedKarl Parr’sappointment as Non-Executive Director of the Insurance Fraud Bureau (IFB). As AXA’s Claims Technical Services Director and with vast experience in the claims and fraud space, Karl is well placed to advise and support the operations of the IFB.

AXA XLhas promotedAndrew Maynardto Head of Life, Accident & Health (A&H) – UK & Lloyd’s, effective immediately. In his new role, Mr. Maynard will be responsible for leading all underwriting activities for the UK & Lloyd’s A&H business and implementing an underwriting strategy focused on delivering profitable growth for the region. Mr. Maynard will also be responsible for embedding the highest underwriting standards, practices and procedures within the line, and will work with clients and Brokers to drive product and service development.

HDI Global SEhas appointedMeike Rölleckeas the new Head of Cyber & Financial Lines. In this role, she will manage the global underwriting business of the industrial Insurer with Cyber insurance policies for industrial and corporate clients. Meike Röllecke has up to now been Head of “Cyber Local Risk” at HDI Global. Previously, she held various posts in the company. 

TheFinancial Conduct Authority (FCA)has appointed Direct Line Group CEO,Penny James, as Chair of its Practitioner Panel. Penny, who has been a member of the Panel since September 2020, will take up the post from 1 March 2022. She succeeds Paul Feeney, CEO of Quilter.

International General Insurance Holdings Ltd.has announced the appointment ofStav Tsielepisas Chief Risk Officer of the IGI group. Mr. Tsielepis, who has 18 years’ industry experience, joins from Arch Capital Group’s London-based subsidiary Arch Insurance International, where he was Chief Risk Officer with responsibility for key projects such as implementing Brexit plans and working closely with regulators, including the Central Bank of Ireland.

WTWhas announced the key appointment ofMatt Grimwadeas Client Relationship Director for Large and Complex Risks, reporting into Garret Gaughan, Head of Global Markets Direct & Facultative. Matt Grimwade was formerly Head of EMEA Business Development at Aon.

Bupa UK alumCatherine Bartonhas joined Commercial Motor InsurerZegoas Chief Insurance Officer. The former Deloitte and EY Partner also brings experience from having been a Non-Executive Director at Motor Insurer Sabre Insurance Group.

British pay-by-mile insurance providerBy Milesnow employs 80 people, including fresh leadership recruits. New members of the company’s leadership team include Chief Product & Technology OfficerTodd Zino, Chief Commercial OfficerMaddy Howlett, and Chief People OfficerAsha Singh. Also now part of the By Miles roster isEd Naish, who will serve as Marketing Vice President. 

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