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General Insurance Newsletter Friday 1st July 2022

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Insurance News

US based Cyber insurance provider Coalition is entering the UK market after partnering with Allianz. The UK offering will launch later this year. Allianz will be the exclusive backer of Coalition’s UK Cyber programme and as part of the package assume a share of all Coalition’s US non-admitted Cyber book in a multi-year partnership.

Brokers want better communication and a more personal touch from Insurers when dealing with complex claims, a study by Allianz found. According to the Allianz Broker Voice Survey, more than two-thirds of “claims-handling” said they spend at least three quarters of their time dealing with simple and straightforward claims, rather than complex or high-value (over £100,000) claims.

CEO of Howden Group, David Howden, has insisted MGAs, Underwriters and Brokers must work harder on self-regulation and call out bad behaviour when they see it. He commented: “The trouble with regulation is it’s quite a blunt instrument and what it’s tending to do is not weed out the bad guys, it just slows down the good guys. It’s very difficult to get the balance right. It’s a challenge for us as a market and if you look at it in the context of MGAs, it’s interesting that there’s now going to be some sort of rating of MGAs to look at how they perform.”

The Financial Ombudsman Service has revealed a 26% fall in insurance complaints for 2021/22. There were 33,127 new cases between April 2021 and March 2022 compared to 44,487 in the same period the year before. Car or Motorcycle insurance was the most complained about product with 9,310 complaints.

The Chartered Insurance Institute is seeking up-and-coming insurance professionals to join the body’s flagship talent programme: the New Generation Group. The 2022 to 2023 class will be made up of 40 promising professionals split into four groups - claims, underwriting, broking and the London Market.

A group of nurseries is banding together to sue Broker Pound Gates for an estimated £10m after it recommended Business Interruption insurance policies that failed to pay out during the Covid-19 pandemic. In a group statement the nursery owners explained that when they tried to claim for the losses they had suffered during the pandemic from their Insurer, Ecclesiastical, they were told that they did not have a valid claim as Covid-19 was not among a list of pre-specified diseases on their policy.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak told insurance Executives at a meeting on Monday that Britain wants to reform its Insurer solvency rules quickly. Sunak and Economic Secretary to the Treasury, John Glen, met with insurance Executives including Aviva CEO, Amanda Blanc, and ABI Director General, Hannah Gurga, as part of its ongoing consultation on post-Brexit reforms to Solvency II insurance regulations.

Maintaining the status quo in the insurance industry is “not an option” in a rapidly expanding risk landscape, according to the Head of Marsh McLennan. Speaking at Marsh McLennan’s Rising Professionals Global Forum 2022 in London, president and CEO Dan Glaser said he couldn’t remember a time when C-suites had been faced with so many risk issues.

In further news...Marsh has announced several enhancements to its Directors and Officers Liability insurance offerings that could allow more clients to benefit from superior environmental, social and governance frameworks. The enhancements signal a greater willingness among D&O Underwriters to recognise organisations with strong ESG risk management as better risks, Marsh said. ESG has implications for several insurance lines, including D&O, which is designed to respond to shareholder, derivative, and event-driven litigation, along with regulatory actions.

​Insurance Europe has revealed its response to a consultation conducted by the European Commission (EC) on withholding taxes and a new EU system to avoid double taxation. The federation of European Insurers and reinsurers welcomed the initiative, saying the current rules lead to lengthy, complex and costly withholding tax relief procedures. In some cases, investors end up waiving their right to claim a refund or relief from the withholding tax levied due to the complicated regulations, it said.

AXIS Capital Holdings Limited has announced that it expects to release financial results for the second quarter ended June 30, 2022, on Tuesday, July 26, 2022, after the close of the financial markets. Albert Benchimol, President and Chief Executive Officer, and Peter Vogt, Chief Financial Officer, will host an investor teleconference, including a question and answer period, on Wednesday, July 27, 2022, at 9:30 a.m. EDT to discuss the second quarter results as well as related matters.

The Thomas Carroll Group has reported a record financial year, with turnover topping £12m and pre-tax profit of over £2m for the first time in the business’ 50 year history. The independent insurance, risk and wealth management group saw turnover grow by 10.4%, from £11.7m in 2020 to £12.9m at year ending 31 December 2021. Pre-tax profits increased by 5.9% from £1.9m in 2020 to just over £2m in 2021.

Compliance experts at the Managing General Agents' Association conference, on 29 June, have suggested Insurtech and ESG as the next areas for regulatory focus by the Financial Conduct Authority. Chief Compliance Counsel at Harbour Underwriting, Nameeta Biswas, forecasts there could be more regulation around Insurtech and Fintech coming down the pipeline from the FCA. Director of Padda Consulting, Suneeta Padda, said there will be more focus on the aspects of ESG in the future.

Gallagher has released its latest Global Energy Market Insurance Update. The report examines the energy marketplace by industry segment and considers the impacts on the market from the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ukraine conflict and increasing interest in environmental, social and governance issues.

The London & International Insurance Brokers’ Association (LIIBA) will be hosting the largest group placement in the financial sector – the upReach Xperience – in the first week of July, extending the opportunity to those who would otherwise not have access to the industry. Xperience will extend the initiative to 30 university students from disadvantaged backgrounds to gain experience and insight into the London insurance market with engagement across 16 city-based firms, including LIIBA member firms.

Mergers & Acquisitions

Erimus lifts lid on Gallagher deal - Operations Director Lee Elgie said Erimus had not planned to sell the business ahead of its deal with Gallagher which was announced earlier this week.

PIB has added Worcestershire-based Broker Balens to its portfolio adding Health, Wellbeing, Fitness and Beauty insurance to its list of specialisms. The investment, which is undisclosed includes Balens in the UK and the wholly owned subsidiaries Balens Europe which is based in the Netherlands and regulated by the AFM (therefore pending regulatory approval).

Primary Group has taken on Perella Weinberg Partners to explore a potential £1bn sale of Policy Expert’s parent company QMetric. According to the article, Primary Group may start inviting bids for the Insurtech later this year with private equity houses having expressed an interest.

T​he future is what CEO Ronan Foley and his team at INNOVU Insurance are looking forward to – their future leading the charge of Gallagher’s expansion into the Republic of Ireland, following last week’s news of INNOVU Insurance’s acquisition by the broking giant.

Global Risk Partners (GRP) has acquired Prescott Jones Ltd, a well-regarded commercial Broker headquartered in Swansea, South Wales. Stephen Ross, Head of M&A at GRP, hailed the deal as a ‘great opportunity’ to build out GRP’s footprint in South Wales and the West.

Movers & Shakers

Ian Russell has been appointed Group CEO of Folgate Insurance with effect from 1 July 2022 and will succeed Brian Russell. Brian Russell will continue as Chief Actuarial Officer. According to Folgate, Ian Russell has a long-standing tenure within the group. He joined the company in 1995 and was appointed Chief Underwriting Officer in 2006, and has played a key role in driving the business forward.

BMS has made Ian Gormley UK CEO, effective immediately, reporting to group CEO Nick Cook. Gormley joined BMS as Managing Director of global risks in 2012, leading its specialty business and doubling the platform with revenues of more than £100m.

In further news...BMS has appointed seven people to its Casualty division to support its network of international clients. Andrew Park, Charles Waddington, Sean Cahill, and Natasha Anne Mitchell González join BMS as Directors, effective October 2022. Based in London, the team will report to Chris Ritchie, Managing Director of international direct and facultative at BMS. In addition, BMS has appointed Emily Weighton as Divisional Director, effective July 2022, Joe Crewdson as Senior Broker, effective September 2022, and Olivia Bellingham as Broker, effective July 2022.

Hiscox has appointed Stéphane Flaquet to the newly created role of Group Chief Operating Officer. Flaquet has been with Hiscox since 2010 and held a number of senior roles across the group. 

WTW has announced the appointment of Frank Schepers to lead its Insurance Consulting & Technology (ITC) business. Schepers will be based in Germany and will join WTW’s risk and broking segment leadership team. He succeeds Alice Underwood, who is retiring this year. Schepers will assume his new role in the coming weeks, following a handover period with Underwood. Schepers has been with WTW and its predecessor companies since 1994, when he joined as a Consultant. He has held several senior leadership roles in ICT during his tenure, including Risk and Consulting Software Leader for Germany and then northern and central Europe.

In further news...WTW has appointed Taffy Jo Mayers to its insurance consulting and technology business. In her new role, Mayers will lead the unit’s Commercial Lines pricing and underwriting propositions. Mayers most recently served as Head of Commercial P&C and Speciality Insurance and Underwriting Transformation for EY North America. Prior to this, she had several leadership roles at Zurich North America.

AXA UK plc has announced that Scott Wheway has decided to step down as Chairman of the Board (and associated roles) with effect from 30 June 2022. Mark Pain, Non-Executive Director, has been approved by the Board to succeed Scott as Chairman of AXA UK from 1 July 2022, subject to regulatory approval. Mark Pain was appointed to the Board as a Non-Executive Director in December 2018 and is Chairman of the Risk Committee and Senior Independent Director. He is a former retail banker with extensive experience of Strategy, Finance, Risk management and Customer service.

Insurance data intelligence provider, Percayso Inform, has hired Kieran Fisher to aid with the development of its vehicle data insight proposition. Fisher held the position of Head of Insurance at Cazoo Data Services for almost five years. His new role will see him build out Percayso’s existing vehicle data enrichment capabilities.

Motorcycle specialist, MCE Insurance, has promoted Sharon Steadman to Finance Manager. Steadman has worked at the UK based motorcycle Broker for over 30 years and has been a key member of the finance department for many of those years.

Bridge Insurance Brokers has promoted Andre Backner and Alex Cohen to be members of the board of Directors.

The Board of Convex Group Limited has named company Co-Founder Paul Brand as the group’s Chief Executive Officer, effective July 01. Brand has been Deputy Chief Executive Officer since he launched Convex with Stephen Caitlin, who is the Executive Chairman of the company.

AXA XL Insurance has promoted Ana Dores to the role of Chief Underwriting Officer for international Financial Lines for APAC and Europe, effective September 01. Dores has 17 years of experience in Financial Lines underwriting, eight years of which have been spent at AXA XL. She started her career as a Financial Lines Underwriter and later a Professional Indemnity Underwriter at AIG Europe before switching to a senior underwriting role at Liberty Specialty Markets.

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