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General Insurance Newsletter Friday 22nd April 2022

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Insurance News

Businesses are facing a “perfect storm” of a high-risk/low-resilience world, according to new research from Beazley. Business leaders predict risk will peak in the summer. Businesses were facing the issue even before the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Beazley reported. Beazley undertook its annual survey of business leaders’ attitudes toward risk and resilience in January, before the Ukraine war. At that point, only 25% of those surveyed felt they were operating in a high-risk environment. However, when asked to project forward six months, 43% of UK leaders and 38% of US leaders anticipated they would be operating in a high-risk world by the middle of the year.

Reforms are doing little to stop liability insurance costs from rising in Ireland – and businesses are bearing the brunt of the heavier bills, according to a new survey from the Alliance for Insurance Reform. Liability insurance is cover taken out by businesses, charities, community groups and sports and cultural organisations to meet the cost of any claims for injury or damage to properties at events organised by them.

Sam White, Chair of Freedom Services Group, which comprises MGA Pukka Insure, Broker Freedom Brokers and claims service Action 365, has restructured the organisation to remove silos and bring everything under one entity as a small Insurer.

Aviva has urged Brokers to help educate customers on how to improve resilience and ensure they have taken reasonable steps to protect themselves following alerts from government agencies that the commercial world faces an increasing risk of an online attack.

A 4% rise in average comprehensive car insurance premiums in the first quarter of the year has pushed the annual rate to a 2% increase, according to research by Confused and WTW.

The Financial Conduct Authority has confirmed that Corrie Bauckham Batts went into liquidation on 20 April with John Dean Cullen and Rachel Helen Lai of Menzies appointed as joint liquidators. The Lloyd’s Wholesale insurance Broker placed non-Marine insurance business into the London Market on behalf of its clients, the FCA detailed.

In further news...The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has finalised its rules that order listed companies to report on the diversity of their boards and executive management in an effort to hasten the pace of change around inclusion in the Financial Services industry. Such a rule grants Investors the transparency to see the diversity – or lack thereof – across a company’s senior leadership teams, with a particular focus on women and ethnic minorities. Other forms of diversity companies are asked to disclose could include considerations of sexual orientation, disability, lower socio-economic background and other characteristics.

Financial & Legal have expanded their product range. Managing Director, Karen Beales, was brought into the Insurer two years ago to develop the products it offers. The legal expenses provider, which traditionally offered after-the-event insurance, has expanded its product range to offer an increasing number of before-the-event covers and has also developed a series of add-ons in the Motor space. The rationale for broadening out from ATE is that BTE/ancillaries are annually renewable, bringing more stability and longevity to the business.

The holding company of Lloyd & Whyte has reported a 22.2% increase in turnover in 2021 as acquisitions boosted the total to £23.4m. The filing at Companies House detailed that Lloyd & Whyte Group delivered £4.25m of pre-tax profit but the figure was inflated by profit on the sale of the Computerquote division.

Since East West Insurance Company went into administration the Financial Services Compensation Scheme has so far paid approaching £7m in valid claims costs. East West, a building guarantee specialist, went bust in 2021 with a £164.7m deficit. It originally called in administrators in 2020 and a Financial Conduct Authority announcement that October said the collapse was not due to coronavirus and added: “A Court of Appeal ruling adversely impacted East West’s book of UK building defect liability, which then affected the solvency position of the firm."

The British Insurance Brokers’ Association has approved an extension to its exclusive GAP scheme with Jackson Lee Underwriting to include the recently launched electric vehicle early termination cover. This extension is designed for Biba members seeking to protect companies supplying electric vehicles as part of a corporate salary scheme against the financial penalties of early redemption.

Zurich UK has moved to strengthen its relationships with Brokers by opening a regional office in Chelmsford to service the East Anglia area. The addition means the provider now has a specialist Broker service across ten regions. According to Zurich, the Chelmsford office will create up to 11 jobs for specialist Underwriters as the business grows.

Several months after posting “one of the finest results” in its company’s history, the insurance and risk management giant Marsh McLennan has unveiled its Q1 2022 financial results – and its strong momentum is showing no signs of slowing down. Consolidated results for the group saw its revenue increase 9% compared to Q1 2021, standing at $5.5 billion (approx. £4.22 billion) and, on an underlying basis, its revenue jumped 10%. Marsh McLennan’s operating income stood at $1.4 billion in Q1 2022, up 6% from last year while its adjusted operating income rose 12% to $1.6 billion.

​Flood Re has launchedthe world's first Build Back Better scheme to help householders after a flood. Build Back Better enables flood victims to repair their homes with flood resilience and resistance measures. The scheme allows people, through participating Insurers, to claim up to £10,000 for flood resilience over and above the cost of work to repair damage caused by a flood. NFU Mutual, Aviva, Ageas, Lloyds Banking Group and LV= General Insurance will be the first to join the Build Back Better scheme during 2022 and early 2023.

AXA UK has been deemed a menopause friendly employer and has received official accreditation. An independent panel of experts agreed that AXA UK is helping to promote and encourage better understanding and support in the workplace. Success was achieved by creating an environment of openness, honesty and helping to break the taboo around menopause.

Aon plc announced on 18 February 2022 that the Board of Directors authorized a 10% increase to its quarterly cash dividend on Aon's outstanding Class A Ordinary Shares. Consistent with the increase in the dividend, the Board of Directors has declared a quarterly cash dividend of $0.56 per share on outstanding Class A Ordinary Shares, reflecting a 10% increase from $0.51 per share. The dividend is payable 13 May 2022 to shareholders of record on 2 May 2022.

Mergers & Acquisitions

Global Risk Partners-owned County Group has bought 100% of the share capital of Archenfield Insurance Management in Wales. The deal, for an undisclosed sum, has received regulatory approval County confirmed. It marks the first GRP buy since the £1.48bn takeover of the consolidator by US giant Brown & Brown was announced last month. That deal is expected to close in the third quarter of this year.

Movers & Shakers

RSA has announced that Dave Howell, currently Chief Auditor, will become Chief Risk Officer on 1 June. On the same date Yasemin Dogu, Head of Audit for UK and Europe, will succeed Howell as Chief Auditor, the Insurer confirmed with both being based in London.

Thomas Carroll has appointed Sarah Bessant as a full-time Account Broker and promoted two new Regional Directors to support its growth in the city. Sarah Bessant has worked in commercial insurance for over 15 years and joins Thomas Carroll from another leading Broker. Mark Slade and Greg Edwards have been promoted to Regional Directors for London. Edwards has been with Thomas Carroll for eight years and has been developing the business’ footprint in London since 2017, particularly focussing on the Property and Construction sectors. Slade also joined Thomas Carroll eight years ago and specialises in Commercial and Real Estate risk management.

Clear Group has added Phil Williams, formerly of Simply Business, as Chief Operating Officer. He previously undertook a number of roles at Simply Business where he led the Operations team and was Managing Director of its global MGA, instrumental in setting it up and supporting growth in the UK and North America.

Chaucer has appointed Ben Sheppard as Class Underwriter to join their recently created Renewable Power team, led by Lyndsey Picton. Sheppard brings over 19 years of experience to the role joining from Argenta Private Capital prior to which he worked at Aon and Marsh.

​Great American International Insurance (UK) Limited are pleased to announce as part of their continued growth, the appointment of Alexandra Barre to the role of Key Partnerships Manager. Alexandra joins from Hedron Network where she was a Business Development Consultant.

Detective Chief Inspector Tom Hill has been appointed as the new Head of the City of London Police’s Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department. DCI Hill brings over 15 years of experience as a Police Officer to the role, as well as being one of the first Detectives to work in IFED when the unit launched in 2012.

Global law firm Clyde & Co has announced the promotion of 23 Equity Partners, effective May 1. The promoted Partners represent each of Clyde & Co’s core sectors and each of its global regions. There were 14 promotions in Insurance, five in Projects and Construction, three in Energy, Marine and Natural Resources, and one in Aviation.

Apollo Syndicate Management has appointed Taryn McHarg as Group Chief Financial Officer, subject to regulatory approval. McHarg previously worked at Bupa, where she was most recently CFO for international markets – a role where she led global strategic change and transformation.

American International Group, Inc. has announced that Tom Bolt, 65, has been named Executive Vice President and Chief Risk Officer, AIG, effective immediately. Mr. Bolt replaces Sabra Purtill, who was recently named Executive Vice President and Chief Investment Officer for AIG’s Life & Retirement business. “Over his more than 35 years in insurance and reinsurance, Tom has developed deep underwriting expertise and, since joining AIG in 2018, he has played a critical role in the turnaround of our General Insurance business by setting standards for underwriting excellence and playing a leadership role in strengthening our culture while reshaping our portfolio,” said Peter Zaffino, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer.

QBEhas welcomed Anna Bennett as its new Underwriting Director for Casualty in the UK. Bennett joined QBE in 2018 as the European Operations Divisional Lead for multinational and Portfolio Manager in the UK Casualty major risks team. She was most recently the Interim Director of underwriting for Casualty since 2021.

Miller has appointed Adam Power as Account Executive in the international professional risks team and Rebecca Harvey as Account Executive in the North American professional risks team, strengthening the capabilities of its professional risk offering. Power has more than 25 years’ experience. He was most recently Director and practice leader of WTW’s Construction Professional Indemnity team. Harvey joined from independent Lloyd’s Broker Besso, where she was a Producer/Broker. Prior to this, she worked atMarshJLT Speciality as Vice President, Management Liability, focusing on a variety of Retail and Wholesale risks in the UK, the US, Canada and Australia.

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