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General Insurance Newsletter Friday 8th April 2022

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Insurance News

​Global credit rating agency AM Best has published a new market segment report for UK non-life insurance in which it maintained its negative outlook due to factors such as inflation and volatility from weather-related events. In “Market Segment Outlook: UK Non-Life Insurance,” AM Best noted: “Factors that support the continued negative outlook in 2022 include expectation that high levels of general inflation will prevail over the medium term, driving up claims costs; ability of motor insurers to increase rates to offset the impact of claims inflation constrained by strong competition; exposure to weather-related events, especially flood risk, subjects property lines to volatility; and investment results are likely to be affected by volatile macro-economic conditions.”

Health solutions business Simplyhealth, which serves 2.3 million customers, will be moving to a single policy platform with the help of insurance software company Genasys. Lifting the lid on the partnership, Simplyhealth chief digital and technology officer Dave Exall said: “We are dedicated to improving access to healthcare for all in the UK, and we want to make it even easier for our customers to interact with us. Moving to a modern platform to act as the centre of our ecosystem, integrating easily with our other partners, was the logical choice.

Relm, a company that provides insurance to the crypto sector and the first and only commercial insurer globally to hold Bermuda’s IIGB license, has announced the launch of Relm II, the world’s first fully regulated collateralised reinsurance business that can accept both fiat and cryptocurrencies as collateral.

Marsh has announced the launch of new cybersecurity marketplace services aimed at simplifying the procurement process for US clients seeking to protect their organisations from cyber threats. Marsh will assist clients in identifying cybersecurity tools and services that align with their specific needs, helping them evaluate offerings that boost cyber resilience and insurability.

Geopolitical uncertainty following events in eastern Europe is creating increased need for companies to manage their energy transition risk, according to WTW's Energy Market Review 2022. The annual report covers the energy sector's volatility, including how commodity prices surged to record levels due to higher demand as economies emerged from the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as concerns around higher inflation rates. It also looks at how countries are shunning Russian oil and gas amid the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

​Bachy Soletanche Group – a specialist in geotechnical and foundation engineering services – has selected Gallagher to serve as the group’s insurance broker of choice for its UK operations. According to a company release, Bachy Soletanche chose Gallagher for its “strong track record in the construction sector,” and because the brokerage understood the geotechnical firm’s business and its varied risk exposures.

Mosaic has announced that it has added Lloyd’s carrier Apollo to its network of industry partners. The partnership will boost the amount of syndicated capacity Mosaic can deploy for high-demand transactional liability coverage worldwide.

Insurance analytics provider Verisk has announced the launch of the Verisk Climate Advisory Council, a body aimed to help organisations better understand the impacts of climate change and inform their sustainability efforts. Council members will provide guidance and feedback on climate change solutions being developed by Verisk, including the climate conditioning of the company’s extreme event models. It will also present research specific to each member’s specialty area regarding the evolving state of climate change.

A growing proportion of SMEs do not have any insurance, a survey commissioned by Allianz Commercial has revealed. Of those covered, a majority still fail to review their cover needs when circumstances change. The main reasons listed for not insuring their business were: the business is too small (47%), they work from home (42%), no customers come to the premises (34%), and there is not much to insure, e.g. no premises or vehicles (33%).

The Jensten Group today revealed it has embarked upon a significant transformation programme that will see the group simplify its corporate structure, systems, and brands. The restructure will see the business reform into five key trading divisions, with the introduction of four new brands to take place over the next few months – Jensten Insurance Brokers, Jensten London Markets, Jensten Underwriting and Jensten Brokers Europe, and the retention of the Coversure brand for franchise activities.

Arbroath FC winger Robert ‘Bobby’ Linn has had to abort an insurance claim that insurer Aviva describes as bogus. According to Aviva partner firm Horwich Farrelly, the Scottish footballer previously lodged court pleadings to indicate that he supposedly suffered soft tissue injuries to his neck following a vehicular collision in Dundee involving an Aviva customer back in 2018. “While his occupation as a binman was recorded,” noted the counter-fraud legal specialist in a release, “in every document produced Mr Linn omitted to mention that he was also a footballer and had continued to play without restriction.

Allianz Commercial has just unveiled its plans for the 2022 BIBA exhibition. In line with its commitment to build a sustainable future, Allianz is working with Extreme Exhibitions to ensure that its stand is as eco-friendly as possible while in transit at the event and post event.

The Financial Conduct Authority will focus resources on preventing serious harm, setting higher standards and promoting competition the watchdog detailed as it revealed its three-year strategy to improve outcomes. The regulator also revealed that it was creating 80 roles to shut down problem firms which do not meet basic regulator standards. The initiative - a three-year strategy - will protect consumers from potential fraud, poor treatment and create a better market, the authority argued.

Movo has added seven appointed representatives bringing the number of AR members to 55 and gross written premium to £50m. The developments see a mix of new broker start-up and brokers switching from other networks.

Mergers & Acquisitions

​Chartered insurance broker Partners& has forayed into Scotland via the MacDonald Group. “We’ve been presented with an unrivalled opportunity to join forces with Phil Barton and the wider Partners& team,” said MacDonald Group managing partner Ewan MacDonald. “Doing so will enable us to fulfil our ambition to be the leading advisory business in Scotland, by becoming part of an organisation whose aim is to be the best advisory business in the UK".

​Specialist loss adjuster QuestGates has completed its acquisition of Amedeo Adjusting (Amedeo) without the need for external funding. Founded in 2003, Amedeo provides property and liability loss adjusting services and operates in Glasgow, London, Manchester, and Birmingham. The deal, QuestGates’ first acquisition of the year, will enable Amedeo to use its long-standing reputation for providing catastrophe services in the Bahamas and Jamaica to enhance QuestGates’ global capabilities as part of the vrs Adjusters organisation.

​Rapidly expanding specialist insurance intermediary PIB Group (PIB) is on a roll this year, acquiring specialist independent Lloyd’s broker Guest Krieger Limited (Guest Krieger), its second swoop this month. Guest Krieger is one of the largest producers of Israeli financial lines, professional and general liability, tech and cyber liability, and political violence businesses in the London market. Additionally, it writes a highly profitable and growing portfolio of international specialty business in over 30 countries, mainly in Israel.

​The biggest secondary intermediary Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) network in the UK is now part of global specialty insurer Fortegra Group, LLC. According to the Florida-headquartered group, it has completed its acquisition of ITC Compliance GRP Limited, which originally came to life as an insurance-specific training company but has since specialised in providing regulatory support and exempt status.

​London-based Baily Garner (Health & Safety) Ltd (BGHS or Baily Garner HS) has joined the PIB Group family. Manned by a workforce of 18 people, the specialist independent health and safety consultancy will become part of PIB Risk Management, which is within the wider group’s specialty division. The BGHS line-up will remain intact under the company’s new ownership.

RSA Insurance Group has announced the sale of its 50.00002% shareholding in RSA Middle East to National Life & General Insurance Company, subject to regulatory approval.

Essex-based Claims Settlement Agencies Ltd (CSA) has been snapped up by Gallagher Bassett International Ltd (GB) for an undisclosed sum.

Crawford & Company has acquired the assets of Schaderegelingsburo R.P. van Dijk B.V. – a personal injury loss adjusting company in the Netherlands. Founded in 1989, R.P. van Dijk B.V. offers a suite of specialist settlement services for personal injury claims. The team has extensive experience in managing complex loss events resulting in injury or death, in addition to handling medical liability claims. 

West Midlands brokerage Think Insurance, which specialises in products like motor trade and young driver coverage, has acquired Oldbury-based commercial insurance broker Sovereign Insurance (Langley) Services Limited for an undisclosed sum.

Newcastle-based insurance broker and risk management firm The Sphere Group has been acquired by JM Glendinning Group for an undisclosed sum. Prior to being bought Sphere was an appointed representative and Gauntlet Group network member.

Movers & Shakers

​WTW has announced the appointment of Ed Day as head of international property. In his new role, Day will report to Garret Gaughan, head of direct and facultative at WTW. He will be based in London. Prior to joining WTW, Day served as EMEA strategic broking director at Aon. He is also a former partner at JLT Specialty/Marsh. Day has extensive experience in managing multinational accounts.

Aon has appointed David Kennedy to serve as client industry sectors leader for the UK. Officially joining the firm on April 11, Kennedy will report to Aon UK chief commercial officer Jane Kielty. Kennedy has over 20 years of experience in corporate risk management, insurance broking, and general consulting services. He joins from WTW, where he was GB health and social care industry practice leader.

DUAL has announced that Maurizio Ghilosso will become executive chair of DUAL Europe, which encompasses all the European businesses of the DUAL group. Ghilosso will take on the chairmanship in addition to his existing role as managing director of DUAL Italia.

​Fabian Desch has joined the European operations of QBE to serve as head of distribution for continental Europe. Based in Hamburg, Desch made the switch from WTW where he was deputy head of broking, Western Europe. At QBE, part of his remit will be building out the insurer’s portfolio further.

Elizabeth Robinson will be the director in financial lines for BMS effective 11 July. She will be based in London and report to Chris Madell, managing director of financial and professional lines at the independent specialist (re)insurance broker.

Specialist insurer Beazley has announced the appointment of Christian Taube as head of cyber services – international, continuing the rapid expansion of the company’s cyber team this year.

​Newcastle-based personal injury firm Winn Group (Winns) has unveiled a new leadership structure. Jeff Winn, who set up the business in 2002 and served as chief executive for two decades, was replaced by Chris Birkett at the helm on April 01. The latter came onboard in 2006 and was chief operating officer.

London-headquartered Send Technology Solutions Ltd (Send), whose composable platform has processed gross written premium worth US$3 billion, has appointed Stacey White as chief financial officer.

SCOR Syndicate has appointed Marie Biggas as active underwriter and chief underwriting officer of SCOR UK. Biggas will report to both SCOR P&C EMEA and SCOR Syndicate CEO Stuart McMurdo, as well as SCOR global CUO single risks Olivier Perraut.

Aviva plc (Aviva) has appointed Charlotte Jones as its new chief financial officer (CFO) and executive director, effective September 05, 2022.

Independent commercial risk and insurance broker Attis has appointed Depinder Lal as compliance director. Depinder, who has 15 years’ financial services sector experience, will lead the compliance function across the Leeds-headquartered group.

Risk Solved has recruited Richard Thomas as chief strategy and partnerships officer. Thomas brings over 25 years’ experience in the insurance risk management sector to the post. His most recent role was European risk control leader at Sompo International Global Risk Solution.

Miller has taken Chris Hardcastle from Alesco Risk Management as head of delegated authorities, a newly created role. He reports into Tim Norman, executive committee member and head of delegated authorities and professional risks.

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