Blog Img

General Insurance Newsletter Friday 27th May 2022

Back to Blogs

Insurance News

The British Insurance Brokers' Association has welcomed the Financial Services Compensation Scheme's decision to lower the Broker levy from £68m to £5m for 2022/23. David Sparkes, Head of Compliance and Training at Biba told said: “With everything else seeming to be going up at the moment, it is pleasing to see that what the FSCS will require from our members this year is bucking the trend."

UK general Insurers could face at least a 50% increase in average annualised losses in a non-additional action on climate change scenario, a report by the Bank of England has detailed. The Bank ran its first exploratory scenario exercise on climate risk last year involving the largest UK Banks and Insurers. It published the findings on 24 May. The exercise included three scenarios of early action and late action to reach net zero emissions globally by 2050 and a third where no additional action is taken.

Market conditions for Cyber insurance in the UK remain challenging with prices hardening by over 30% for the first quarter, according to an update by Aon. The global giant detailed in its Global Markets Insight Report for Q1 that geopolitical events in Eastern Europe had served to exacerbate and complicate matters for the UK Cyber insurance landscape. Cyber continued to be the most challenging line of business, experiencing a further reduction in capacity and the application of exclusions as well as the increase in pricing, Aon detailed.

Home and Motor Insurtech Policy Expert has agreed a six-year capacity deal with A- rated R&Q subsidiary Accredited Insurance (Europe). At the start of the year Accredited partnered with First Underwriting, the specialist MGA that is part of Kingfisher UK Holdings, in a five-year £1bn GWP deal. It has also previously worked with Brightside’s Managing General Agent Kitsune.

HDI Global and HDI Global Specialty’s UK and Ireland branches have been brought under a common leadership structure for the first time. According to the provider the changes are designed to deliver products and services more effectively, putting Broker partners and clients at the forefront of the proposition as well as creating a platform for staff to develop their careers in both businesses.

MS Amlin Underwriting has partnered with Insurtech Altelium to launch a battery energy storage system construction all risk and operational all risk insurance solution. The proposition is available to UK general insurance Brokers and according to MS Amlin has been launched as part of its commitment to supporting sustainability. The partnership will offer insurance capacity to support clients that build and operate energy storage facilities of all sizes.

Without admissions in respect of liability, causation, or loss, the Volkswagen Group has reached an out-of-court settlement to resolve the 91,000 claims in the British collective action featuring the 2015 emissions scandal known as “dieselgate”. Claimants will be paid £193 million, as well as a contribution towards legal costs and other fees. Further terms and conditions of the settlement were not disclosed.

Motor insurance Underwriter Sabre Insurance Group Plc has released a trading update for the four months ended April 30 – a period that looks to have been a good start for the expanding business. “We are pleased with the impact made by the partnerships in Taxis (Freeway) and motorcycles (MCE and Bennetts),” stated Sabre, whose policy count as of the end of April stood at 327,000 – higher than last year’s 276,000, and 45,000 of which consisted of motorcycle policies.

Broker representative body London & International Insurance Brokers’ Association (LIIBA) has launched a new campaign to increase awareness of diversity and inclusion initiatives in the London insurance market. Belonging@LIIBA will bring together a range of initiatives targeting younger people and those from less advantaged backgrounds by providing them with access to the London insurance market and the professional roles it offers.

Leading UK Insurer Aviva says that the proportion of insurance claims tainted with fraud grew by 13% in 2021. Aviva uncovered more than 11,000 instances of claims fraud last year, worth more than £122m. That is equivalent to detecting more than 30 bogus claims every day, worth a staggering £336,246. Aviva is investigating a further 16,700 claims for suspected fraud.

For the second year running, AXA UK&I has been listed as one of The Times Top 50 Employers for Women 2022 for taking action to decrease gender inequality in the workplace. 

Marshmallow, the digital insurance provider, has announced the launch of a new product, Marshmallow Van. The first product expansion outside of Marshmallow’s core Car insurance offering, the launch of Marshmallow Van signifies further growth for the unicorn off the back of its Series B round. The product covers van owners who use their vehicle for social purposes, domestic use and commuting.

Autonomous vehicle software provider Oxbotica has safely completed what is said to be the first zero-occupancy self-driving vehicle journey on an open road in Europe – an undertaking that would not have been accomplished without the appropriate insurance cover.

Insurance law firm BLM has been appointed to the legal panel for Hastings Direct. The announcement follows a six-month-long market review and re-tender process. Under the new three-year partnership, BLM will handle large and complex loss claims in the UK and Ireland.

After three years of unrelenting workplace disruption, digital transformation, and ransomware attacks, business leaders are no more confident in their ability to manage ccyber risk than they were two years ago, according to a study by global insurance Broker Marsh and tech giant Microsoft. With global organisations expecting to face more cyberattacks in 2022, the study by Marsh and Microsoft, called “2022 Marsh and Microsoft Cyber Risk Survey,” aims to help leaders from all departments align and prioritise their Cyber strategies for 2022 and beyond.

Mergers & Acquisitions

R&Q has detailed plans to raise $108m (£85.8m) as the proposed takeover by Brickell fell through. The cash takeover was first revealed at the start of April valuing Randall & Quilter Investment Holdings at £482m. A shareholder vote on the proposals at a special general meeting was delayed from 20 May to 25 May. However buyer Brickell PC Insurance Holdings wrote to R&Q on 23 May alleging that R&Q was “in breach of certain obligations” and seeking to end the takeover with immediate effect. As part of the deal Brickell had committed to invest $100m.

DCJ Group, part of Global Risk Partners, has acquired 100% of the share capital of SM Commercial Insurance Brokers. The transaction has received regulatory approval. SM Commercial was founded in 2006 and, like DCJ, is based in Chesterfield, Derbyshire. The deal is the third acquisition for DCJ since it became part of GRP in 2018.

Peter Cullum-backed Ataraxia broking group has increased its stake in Jones Taylor Steven, a commercial insurance Broker based in Worsley, Manchester. As part of the transaction, Chris Sedgley becomes a Shareholder for JTS, which was founded in 1971, and is also promoted to Managing Director for the Broker. Ian Horrocks, the Owner and current MD, has been with the business for over 24 years. Ataraxia confirmed he will stay on as a fully active Consultant post-deal working with his clients on a daily basis.

Ardonagh Advisory has agreed to buy Professional Indemnity and Cyber insurance specialists Alice Castle. Alice Castle’s specialisms also include Management Liability, Office, and Business insurance. The terms of the takeover have not been disclosed and the purchase is due to complete next month.

Global insurance broking group NFP has made its fourth acquisition in Ireland in the past two years, snapping up Simon Shirley Advisors (SSA) effective this month. A boutique financial advisory firm, Dublin-based SSA will continue to operate under its current branding for now, before eventually integrating under the NFP name. SSA’s full line-up, including Founder and Chief Executive Simon Shirley, will become part of NFP.  

Aviva has entered into exclusive negotiations with the specialist Managing General Agent Azur Underwriting Ltd to acquire its High-Net-Worth Personal Lines business in the UK and Ireland and transfer its expert team to Aviva under TUPE terms. The acquisition supports Aviva’s ambition to become the market leader in the High-Net-Worth Personal Lines market. On completion, the acquisition will build on Aviva’s strong existing distribution relationships, enabling the insurer to deliver an unrivalled proposition and efficient service to Brokers in the High-Net-Worth market.

Movers & Shakers

The former Customer and Marketing Director at SSP, Adrian Coupland, has joined Earnix as Head of Sales for insurance in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Coupland has over 25 years’ experience in sales and marketing in the insurance industry. He held multiple positions at software house SSP over his 17-year tenure.

Matthew Pyke has become a Non-Executive Director for SEIB, which is owned by Ecclesiastical's parent firm. Lloyd & Whyte is also 20% owned by the Benefact Group.

​The global insurance giant Chubb has revealed a trio of three senior appointments to its Financial Lines teams in the United Kingdom, Ireland and South Africa (UKISA) and Chubb Global Markets (CGM), the company's London Market wholesale and Specialty business including its Lloyd’s platform. Nadia Bagijn has been appointed Financial Institutions Manager UKISA and CGM, while Leon Adeyemi becomes Cyber Manager for UKISA and CGM, and Mary McGovern is promoted to Management Liability Manager for UKISA.

Financial & Legal Insurance (FLI) has named Jonathan Daniels as its new Commercial Director, effective June 13 onwards. Daniels has a wealth of experience in business development derived from his former roles in General Accident, Norwich Union, Tesco Bank and Vantage. He previously worked alongside Beales as Commercial Director at the Personal Lines MGA UK General.

AXA XL has named Libby Benet to the role of Global Chief Underwriting Officer (GCUO), succeeding Nancy Bewlay, who recently assumed leadership of AXA XL’s global reinsurance operation. Ms. Benet joined AXA XL in 2020 assuming the new role of Chief Underwriting Officer for Cyber, tasked with closely monitoring the Cyber risk portfolio and exposure from an aggregated global product view. When AXA XL implemented its new operating model, she expanded her role, assuming Global Chief Underwriting Officer responsibilities for all Financial Lines, including Cyber. 

Howden has announced the appointment of Sarah Neild as Head of UK Cyber Retail. Neild joins Howden from Marsh, and brings with her over 30 years of experience in the Cyber market.

A Glasgow-based insurance brokerage, Kelvin Smith Insurance Brokers which is preparing to celebrate 40 years in business has appointed two new Directors. Longstanding employees Rena Ross and Scott Gardner will now sit on Kelvin Smith’s board alongside Managing Director Stephen Travers. The pair have been instrumental in the growth of the £15m-turnover business which has added £1m per year in turnover every year since 2012.

Marsh has announced the appointment of Rob Perry as Global Political Risk & Structured Credit Leader, Marsh Specialty, effective 1 July 2022. Mr Perry is currently Asia Credit Specialties Leader, a position he has held since 2019. With over 30 years’ experience in the political risk and structured credit insurance market, Mr Perry has worked in the UK, the US, and Asia. Before joining Marsh Specialty, Mr Perry spent 20 years at Willis Towers Watson.

Somerset-based Claims Consortium Group has revealed that its management team has undergone a restructuring as part of its new five-year strategy. Chief among the changes is the appointment of Matt Brady as the claims management firm’s new CEO, succeeding Founder Jeremy Hyams. Brady most recently served as Managing Director of the group and first joined Claims Consortium in 2007. Meanwhile, Hyams will transition to the role of executive chair. He founded Claims Consortium in 2010 and previously served as the Chief Executive Officer of companies such as Synergy Cloud, Property Consortium Drainage, Building Claims Services, and Property Consortium UK. The restructuring also sees the promotion of Owen Pugh to Claims Consortium’s board of Directors.

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