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General Insurance Newsletter Friday 26th August 2022

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Insurance News

The Central London Employment Tribunal has found that Swiss Re Corporate Solutions Services Limited unfairly dismissed a female Underwriter who was both harassed and discriminated against by a male superior. Julia Sommer’s claims of direct sex discrimination, maternity-related discrimination, and sex-related harassment each succeeded in part. Her claims of equal pay and victimisation, however, failed and were dismissed, but the tribunal declared that Sommer was indeed unfairly dismissed by the Swiss Re unit.

Insurers have argued that BI claims from Premier League clubs should be capped at £2.5m per policy amid a court battle. The Insurers have accused eight Premier League football clubs of taking a “mistaken approach” in a legal claim regarding losses suffered by the clubs during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Wiser Academy has partnered with Global Risk Partners to boost graduate development. GRP is one of a number of businesses that have partnered with Wiser Academy to deliver its three and a half year graduate programme. Crescens George, MD of Wiser Academy, which provides training and development across the insurance sector, explained that many brokerages have launched its graduate academies to boost the numbers of executives gaining Cert CII and ACII qualifications.

The Association of British Insurers (ABI) has unveiled the latest quarterly figures from its household premium tracker. “Falls in the average cost of home buildings and contents insurance will be welcomed by households facing rising bills, as the cost-of-living crisis shows no signs of easing,” said ABI General Insurance Manager Callum Tanner.

“The insurance industry is working harder than ever to stop fraudsters in their tracks.” Those were the words of Insurance Fraud Bureau (IFB) Director Ben Fletcher when the Association of British Insurers (ABI) released its latest figures on fraudulent insurance claims. According to the ABI, both the number and cost of such claims fell in 2021, with the 89,000 detected last year signifying the lowest level since 2007 and the total value (£1.1 billion) being the smallest sum since 2012. Compared to 2020 figures, volume and value decreased by 5% and 2%, respectively.

It’s happening – the date is set for a special general meeting (SGM) at which shareholders of R&Q Insurance Holdings get to vote either in favour or against the resolutions put forward by Phoenix Asset Management Partners. Phoenix, which represents 46 million ordinary shares in the non-life insurance group, wants R&Q Executive Chair William Spiegel removed and Co-Founder Ken Randall to make a comeback. Phoenix is seeking that Randall, who retired last year, become an R&Q Executive Director while installing an independent Non-Executive Chair.

A second partnership agreement between insurance provider Markerstudy Broking and technology company Vet-AI has been sealed. Earlier this year, the two camps teamed up for the benefit of Asda Money customers. This time around, Vet-AI’s Joii Pet Care offering will be made accessible to Purely Pets policyholders. Purely Pets, a trading name of Insurance Factory Ltd, is a brand operated by Markerstudy Broking.

H&H Insurance Brokers continues to expand its business in Wales with the opening of an office in Wrexham. The move reflects H&H Insurance Brokers’ growth across Wales, Shropshire and Cheshire, and is in addition to its current bases at Ruthin Farmers’ Auction Mart and St Asaph Livestock Mart in North Wales.

Marsh has announced the launch of a first of its kind insurance and reinsurance facility that provides dedicated insurance capacity for new and existing green and blue hydrogen energy projects. Developed by Marsh in collaboration with Insurers Liberty Specialty Markets, part of Liberty Mutual Insurance Group, and AIG, the facility provides up to US$300 million of cover per risk for the construction and start up phases of hydrogen projects globally.

The Surrey-headquartered Motor and Home insurance provider esure Group Plc has revealed its trading highlights for the half-year period ended June 30, 2022. Among the key figures published, esure revealed that its in-force policies decreased 3.2% from December 2021 to 2.5 million. It noted that this figure reflects current market conditions within the general insurance market, which has seen significant change in the last six months.

Mergers & Acquisitions

Aston Lark, a Howden company, has acquired Essex-based AJ Insurance Services for an undisclosed sum. The Essex-based company was established in 1979 by father and son, Albert Wyatt and John Wyatt. According to Aston Lark, AJ Insurance Services will retain its original clients and its long-serving team members following the deal.

Seventeen Group has acquired Broker Scotland, a Property specialist Broker, for an undisclosed sum. The Broker operates out of central Glasgow and handles gross written premiums of £4.75m. Broker Scotland was formed in 2013 by Owners Scott Campbell and Louise Campbell, who will remain with the business in the existing offices alongside the wider team.

In further news...Seventeen Group has bought Glasgow-based Broker CCRS for an undisclosed sum. CCRS was established in 2008 by its Owner Neil Campbell and employs 30 staff in Glasgow handling gross written premium of £13.5m. The business handles a wide variety of clients within Scotland and the wider UK market and has a strong focus on the public sector and vehicle dismantling markets.

Premier Choice Healthcare, the health insurance intermediary owned by GRP, has announced two acquisitions; Mosaic Health and PNMCO. Both operate in the health insurance space and PCH is buying the portfolios of clients for both businesses. Mosaic Health has been an appointed representative of PCH since 2015. The business is based in Witney, Oxfordshire, and Founder Anne Cullinan is to retire following completion. PNMCO Limited was owned by Paul Mills, a healthcare consultant trading under the PCH brand since 2005, and will also be stepping away from his role following completion.

Movers & Shakers

Allianz Holdings has appointed Alison Rayner to the newly created position of Chief Compliance and Corporate Affairs Officer, effective from February 2023. Rayner joins Allianz from Aviva where she is currently Group Compliance and Financial Crime Risk Director. Prior to this, Rayner also worked at RSA, BGL and Direct Line Group and is highly experienced in all aspects of compliance.

Allianz Commercial has enhanced its distribution team with three internal promotions. Victoria Ashman has been promoted to the position of Strategic Account Manager, responsible for a number of national Broker relationships. Jane Bond becomes Distribution Manager for the Bristol and Cardiff branches, while Jess Kingdon starts in the same role at the Maidstone office.

BGL Insurance has named Laura Mullaney as Managing Director of distribution, a new position within the business. Mullaney was formally Customer Director for BGL and has been promoted to the new role and will lead the growth and distribution agenda for the business across its own brands and strategic partnerships. She will also join the BGL executive committee.

Liberty Specialty Markets has announced the promotion of Lewis Edwards to the newly created role of Head of Delegated Authority Practice. Edwards joined LSM in 2018 and has over 20 years of experience in the industry covering a wide range of roles. Prior to his promotion he was Head of the Specialty Binders within LSM.

In further news...Liberty Specialty Markets, part of Liberty Mutual Insurance Group, announced the appointment of Ankita Dutta to the role of Senior Underwriter - Financial Risk Solutions. She brings to the team a wealth of experience in credit and political risks and a strong technical background.

Saga, the UK specialist in products and services for people over 50, has announced three senior appointments. Anand Aithal will join the Board as an Independent Non-Executive Director on 1 September 2022. Aithal has extensive non-executive experience from fintech, insurance broking, asset management and accountancy. Michael O’Donohue has been appointed to the executive team, he joins from Camelot, the operator of the National Lottery, where he is currently Chief Data Officer. Ian Simkins, currently the Chair of luxury villa specialist, The Thinking Traveller, and of the Inside Travel Group which specialises in tailor-made trips to Japan and Asia, will become the Chair of Saga’s subsidiary Cruise Board.

CNA Hardy welcomes Edward Crew as Senior Technical Underwriter and Oliver Devenish as Underwriter to the management liability team. Based in London and working across both Lloyd’s and CNA Hardy’s platforms, Crew has nine years’ experience in management liability and Devenish has six years.

Aviva UK has spilt its Commercial Lines business into two divisions, SME and Global Corporate & Specialty and, in Personal Lines, HNW boss, Simon Mobey is set to step down. He will be replaced by APC’s Chief Underwriting Officer, Ann Owen. The Insurer announced that Nick Major, Commercial Lines Managing Director, has decided to pursue opportunities outside the Insurer after five years with the provider. Gareth Hemming, who replaced Phil Bayles last year, will become Managing Director, UKGI Distribution & SME, leading the SME business in addition to his responsibilities as Chief Distribution Officer. Additionally, Matt Washington will become Managing Director, UKGI Commercial Lines Underwriting & GCS. Washington will lead a single underwriting function for Commercial Lines.

HDI Global SE – UK & Ireland (HDI) has announced the appointment of Colin Lavey to the role of Director of Liability for its UK and Irish branches. Colin Lavey joined the HDI business in 2017 as a Senior Underwriter and takes over the role from Owen Digman, who left the business in July. Since joining HDI, Colin has built a strong and trusted reputation with Broker and client partners. As Director of Liability Underwriting, he is now responsible for the UK and Ireland Liability account.

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