Blog Img

General Insurance Newsletter Friday 29th April 2022

Back to Blogs

Insurance News

Zurich UK has added new cover and wording to its small fleet policy for firms with between two and 20 vehicles. The Insurer will offer a like-for-like electric vehicle replacement when customers use one of its approved repair networks, a move it claimed was an industry first. It comes as 40% of consumers - the highest percentage of those polled by Zurich - ranked concern for the environment as their number one reason for using an electric vehicle.

Arag has reported a pre-tax profit of £1.9m for 2021, up on the £500,000 achieved the year before. The legal expenses Insurer noted this is the twelfth profitable year in a row. The business stated that the 2021 performance was boosted by the receipt of some outstanding after-the-event income following successful outcomes to premium challenge cases in previous years and strong before-the-event growth, particularly in the commercial legal expenses insurance market.

Health Compass has launched its digital platform giving Brokers licensed access to the international private medical insurance market. According to the business, users can match product selection more precisely with their clients cover requirements and budgets. The platform caters for brokers with individual clients requiring IPMI cover.

Insurance pricing in the UK increased by 20% in the first quarter of the year but this was down on the 22% rise in Q4 2021, according to the latest research by Marsh. Property insurance pricing increased 9% with significant pricing increases imposed on clients with major loss activity or a challenging occupancy or business process, such as food production, warehousing, or waste recycling, the broking giant reported.

In further news...Global commercial insurance prices rose 11% in the first quarter, according to Marsh’s Global Insurance Market Index. This continues a trend in moderating rate increases that began in the first quarter of 2021. While this is the 18th consecutive quarter of increases, the rate of increase continued to moderate across most lines of business and in almost all regions, Marsh said.

The Financial Conduct Authority has revealed an expansion of its Early and High Growth Oversight offering with a commitment of providing closer support for 300 newly authorised businesses by the end of 2023. According to the FCA, the new approach will provide enhanced supervision for firms as they get used to their regulatory status and support them to understand their obligations so they can meet the expected standards as they grow.

The Chartered Insurance Institute and Islamic Insurance Association of London have worked with the Centre for Islamic Finance at the University of Bolton to launch a new executive MBA in Islamic Insurance and Risk Management. The CII detailed that the course will be delivered by distance learning with a blend of live online sessions, tutor support and independent study.

McClarrons have opened a branch in Hull adding to its Malton headquarters. McClarrons provide specialist insurance advice in a number of niche sectors, including Commercial, Rural, Care & Social Welfare and Art & Private Clients.

Almost all Brokers – 98% – currently have job vacancies with more than half (53%) reporting a vacancy that had been open for four months or more, according to research by Aviva. The Insurer warned that the recruitment issue could hinder Brokers’ ability to grow. The research, conducted across 220 Brokers in March and April, detailed that 99% of local Brokers have a vacancy with 59% having one that has been unfilled for more than four months.

AXA Partners, an AXA business unit offering a wide range of solutions in Assistance Services, Travel, and specialised insurance and Credit Protection, has teamed up with again to further expand a Travel insurance product in Europe. Made available in the UK in September 2021, the Travel insurance product provides a wide range of benefits, including medical, cancellation, and baggage cover, which can be selected when booking a flight on – a global travel agency and part of travel provider Group. The policy also protects customers from cancellation and medical costs if they contract COVID-19.

Chaucer, a global specialty insurance and reinsurance group, has announced its commitment to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions across all business operations by 2050 or before. This will include its global underwriting and investment portfolios.

Lancashire Holdings Limited (Lancashire) has become the latest insurance business to announce its trading results for the three months ended March 31, 2022. Among the key figures highlighted in its trading statement, the group noted that its GWP increased 34.7% year-on-year to $477.9 million (approx. £380.51 million). Except for its aviation division which dropped 7.4% to $23.7 million, each of Lancashire’s reinsurance and insurance arms saw year-on-year GWP growth in Q1 2022.

Life insurance providers in the UK are said to be potentially facing a class action lawsuit for their supposed “unjustified” hikes in premiums. According to a report by Law360, a group of experts and Lawyers trading as WLI Claims is looking to represent millions of UK residents who may have been paying increasingly high costs for whole-of-life insurance policies.

Arch Capital Group have released their financial results for the first quarter of 2022. The Pembroke-headquartered insurance group reported a decrease in net income available to Arch common shareholders – from US$427.8 million in Q1 2021 to US$185.6 million this time around. After-tax operating income available to common shareholders, meanwhile, grew to US$422 million from US$239.8 million previously.

Furthermore, Axis Capital Holidings have released their financial results for the first quarter of 2022. For the quarter ended March 31, fellow Bermuda provider AXIS Capital posted a higher net income available to common shareholders. The figure improved from last year’s US$116 million to US$142 million in the latest set of results. Likewise, operating income went up from US$83 million to US$180 million.

More first quarter results come from Everest Re Group. Bermuda-based Everest saw a decline in net income in the first quarter, from US$341.9 million in 2021 to this year’s US$297.8 million. Net operating income, however, rose from US$260.2 million in the previous year to US$405.8 million in Q1 2022.

Markel Corporation took a beating in the first quarter of 2022, suffering a comprehensive loss to shareholders to the tune of US$529 million. In the same period in 2021, Markel posted a comprehensive income to shareholders worth US$359 million.

It’s the turn of broking giant WTW to reveal how it performed in the first quarter of 2022, and the group believes it remains on track to reach its financial targets for the year despite an 83% decline in net income. In the three months ended March 31, WTW’s total revenue amounted to US$2.16 billion, a 3% drop from the US$2.23 billion posted in Q1 2021. Net income, however, fell significantly from last year’s US$736 million to US$125 million this time around.

Aviva, one of the largest Insurers in the UK, has signed an agreement with Tractable to improve the accuracy and efficiency of UK Motor claims by using artificial intelligence (AI). 

Coverys has launched Coverys International Insurance Company, based in Dublin, Ireland. Coverys International will write a portfolio of European specialty Liability business distributed through the group’s pan-European network of MGA companies, including Bridge Insurance Brokers in Italy, AEC Group in Italy and Spain, and Brady Underwriting in Ireland.

Movers & Shakers

The Chartered Insurance Institute has appointed Alan Vallance as CEO taking over from Jonathan Clark on 30 August. Vallance is currently CEO of the Royal Institute of British Architects. Clark has been holding the post on an interim basis since Sian Fisher left the role at the end of March.

The Lloyd’s Market Association has recruited Janine Powell as Claims Director to join later this year. Powell will come on board from Lloyd’s, where she is currently Head of Customer Oversight and Delegated Authorities, which includes responsibility for setting Lloyd’s customer standards and overseeing associated performance and compliance by syndicates and third parties. Prior to this she held various other senior roles within Lloyd’s since 2010 and has over 25 years of insurance industry experience.

Allianz Holdings has announced Teresa Robson-Capps and José Vazquez will join its board as independent Non-Executive Directors. Robson-Capps, who joins Allianz Holdings in April, has held a number of senior positions during her career across the insurance and finance sectors, including five years at HSBC Bank where her roles included Head of Strategy & Planning, and Deputy Head of Direct Bank First Direct. Vazquez joins following a career in the global insurance industry, where he most recently spent 10 years as Chief Risk Officer for Direct Line Group (DLG).

Miller has appointed Hayley Malin as Head of Infrastructure in its Construction team and Laura Gil Ramirez as Account Executive in its Renewable Energy and Environmental Technology team. With 25 years’ experience in the insurance industry, including ten years specialising in the Renewable Energy sector, Malin joins from RKH Speciality. Over the course of her career, she has also held positions at Willis and A J Gallagher. Ramirez joins Miller from Marsh where she was a Client Executive in their Renewable Energy team for five years covering Advisory, Construction and Operational risks for a variety of renewable clients.

Canopius Group has named Claire Wallace as Head of Marine Treaty, effective immediately. She joins from Atrium, where, since 2014, she held the title of Marine Reinsurance Underwriter, writing the Marine and Energy excess loss account, for London and international clients.

Close Brothers Premium Finance has appointed Colin Wallace as Director of Sales - Personal Lines. He brings 30 years insurance industry experience to the post. He has held roles at Aviva, Allianz and Hiscox, and Ace, where he was Head of Partnerships in the Consumer Lines division from 2013-2015, before moving to Brightside as Group Distribution Director.

Insurtech firm, Uinsure, has announced the appointment of two new Non-Executive Directors who have joined its board and leadership team. Dan Wright joins as Non-Executive Chair and Jo Smith joins as Non-Executive Director, having both led businesses and supported SMEs across the technology, financial services and insurance sectors.

​QBE has appointed Beatriz Valenti as Director of Insurance, QBE Europe. Beatriz joins QBE from Zurich, where she has held numerous roles for the past 20 years, her most recent as Head of Commercial Spain/CEO Global Corporate Spain.

Lockton has announced a new international leadership structure to support the company's continued growth and ensure clients across the globe benefit from Lockton's industry-leading talent. Effective 1 May 2022, EJ Hentenaar, Lockton's current Head of Global Financial Risks, will assume the role of CEO, Europe. As part of our planned succession, Neil Nimmo, currently CEO of Lockton International, will become the Chairman of Lockton International, reporting to Peter Clune. Chris Brown, current CEO Europe, is transitioning to a newly created role of President of Lockton International, reporting to Ron Lockton.

​AXAshareholders approved all resolutions submitted to them by the board of Directors at the company’s annual shareholders’ meeting. This means, CEO Thomas Buberl was reappointed by AXA shareholders as a member of the board of Directors, while Antoine Gosset-Grainville was appointed as Chairman of the board of Directors, succeeding Denis Duverne.

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