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General Insurance Newsletter Friday 23rd September 2022

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Insurance News

Government Minister Simon Clarke has written to Steve White, CEO of the British Insurance Brokers’ Association, demanding immediate changes to unfair commissions and a plan to reform market culture and practice after the regulator’s report into multi-occupancy buildings insurance. The Financial Conduct Authority delivered its recommendations and potential remedies to reform the flats insurance market this week.

In further news...The British Insurance Brokers’ Association has teamed up with QuestGates to publish a guide to valuations for members to use with their customers. The new guide is the second launched by the trade body this year to help tackle the problem of underinsurance. Having committed in its 2022 manifesto to highlight the dangers of underinsurance Biba was supported by Allianz on the first guide which it launched at its annual conference in Manchester.

Aviva has launched standalone insurance products covering electric vehicle charging points aimed at installers and operators. According to Aviva, it is responding to demand from Brokers for a specialist all risk policy. The Insurer is now offering Erection All Risks and Operational All Risks cover for EV chargers on a standalone basis.

The Association of British Insurers has responded to the Financial Conduct Authority’s report on insurance for multi-occupancy buildings in which the regulator called for a cross industry pool. According to the FCA, the pool would limit the risk to individual insurers posed by certain buildings affected by flammable cladding or other material fire safety risks and would be aimed at reducing the price of insurance for these buildings. It urged the ABI to work with it, and government, to provide a plan for the solution and its implementation within two months.

CEO at Allianz Trade UK & Ireland, Sarah Murrow, has described Brokers as a "critical" distributer when promoting Trade Credit insurance to clients. She added Trade Credit policies were highly transactional compared to other insurance products and highlighted the importance of Brokers educating clients on their Trade Credit risks.

In further news...Enrolled across six schemes, Allianz Holdings has welcomed 37 new graduates to its first hybrid working graduate programme. Following the launch of Allianz’s new ‘Ways of Working’ model, the graduates will enjoy flexibility, as well as gaining wide-ranging skills and knowledge and extensive exposure to the UK business.

Somerset Bridge Group has posted a £7m drop in turnover for its broking arm in 2021 to £50m. However, despite the 12% fall, operating profit for the unit remained stable at £3.3m (2020: £3.5m). The division sold 158,000 renewal policies in the year to 31 December compared to 183,000 in 2020. New business volume was also down at 270,000 from 286,000 the year before.

Specialty and Commercial insurance provider Liberty Specialty Markets (LSM) has entered a partnership with the digital insurance distribution company REIN to provide a new embedded insurance offering to Sony Electronics and its customers. The two companies have teamed up to launch an insurance product for purchasers of Sony’s Airpeak S1 drone. First unveiled by Sony in December 2021, the Airpeak S1 is the world’s smallest class drone that can be equipped with a full-size mirrorless interchangeable lens Alpha camera.

The Retail division of AXA UK has launched a digital-only insurance brand called Moja. Optimised for use on smartphones and tablets, the new service is initially available on and for Motor insurance. A wider rollout across price comparison websites is slated for later this year, while 2023 will see the introduction of other insurance products aside from car coverage.

Global law firm Clyde & Co has announced the launch of a new international offering to help organisations manage and respond to Cyber risk. Called “One,” the new offering puts legal expertise at the centre of the fight against Cyber criminals and helps organisations respond to Cyber threats and strengthen their resilience. The lawyer-led program takes a one-stop-shop approach, utilising a global panel of vendors across all disciplines according to client needs. One builds upon Clyde & Co’s existing offering in response to the growing threat of Cyber risk, its increased complexity and the significant impact that Cyber threats now have on businesses across sectors and geographies.

Coalition has reported positive feedback from British Brokers following the Cyber insurance specialist’s launch in the UK market this month. According to Coalition, on its first day of trading, it bound a UK logistics company and long-time client of Berkshire-based Chiltern Insurance Brokers. The client was struggling to secure cover from the market due to its size, business activities, and request for a £5 million primary limit.

Mergers & Acquisitions

Staysure Group has bought the remaining shares in Travel insurance comparison site Payingtoomuch. The deal followed on from Staysure taking a majority stake in the aggregator in November 2019. The buyer confirmed that the purchase went through as Founder and Managing Director of Payingtoomuch Mike Ward stepped down.

Clear Group has made its 36th acquisition with the purchase of legal indemnities Broker LawSure Direct for an undisclosed sum. Based near Gatwick, LawSure Insurance specialises in insurance solutions for Solicitors and their clients and handles in excess of £2.8m gross written premium.

Howden has announced the acquisition of Swiss Broker, Born Consulting AG. Founded in 2003, Born Consulting is based in Bern, Switzerland and is an independent insurance Broker for national and international intermediaries, large companies and the public sector. Born Consulting prides itself on its client experience, an 'entrepreneur for entrepreneurs' approach combined with its enviable brokerage capabilities, all of which is a strong strategic and cultural fit for Howden.

In further news...Howden has announced its agreement to acquire Théorème, a family-owned corporate insurance Broker headquartered in Paris. This acquisition follows Howden’s recent agreement to acquire C.R.F. Conseils (“CRF”) and underlines Howden’s continued investment in expertise for the benefit of its French clients.

PIB has added to its specialisms division buying Zorab Insurance Services for an undisclosed sum. Founded by David Zorab over 30 years ago, ZIS specialises in Super Yacht and related Marine classes, as well as Property and Corporate insurance. The Romsey, Hampshire-headquartered firm has a team of nine and a satellite office in Palma, Mallorca.

Movers & Shakers

Spring Insure, the specialist Financial and Professional Lines Managing General Agent, has appointed Paula McManus as Senior Professional Indemnity Underwriter effective 3 October 2022. During her career, McManus has managed PI portfolios for Insurers including CNA, Beazley and Alterra. She joins from Burns & Wilcox where she was Head of PI Underwriting - London.

​Aon has announced that it has appointed Luise O’Gorman as Global Head of ESG Transaction Advisory Services for its M&A and Transaction Solutions practice. Prior to joining Aon, O’Gorman was a Management Consultant with a focus on climate risk, the energy transition, renewable energy and sustainability.

Gallagher has announced the appointment of Tim Wright as a Consultant in its global aerospace practice. Wright has more than 30 years of experience in space insurance, representing clients as a Broker and underwriting space risks for all the major operators, satellite manufacturers and launch vehicle providers.

WTW has appointed Alessandro Pesci as EMEA reserving Practice Director, under its insurance consulting and technology business. This marks Pesci’s return to WTW, where he held several roles in actuarial risk consulting and software from 2008 to 2021. He was most recently Head of Actuarial Reserving at Generali.

Endsleigh Insurance has hired Jon Taylor as Executive Director of its Education division. Taylor brings 30 years of experience in the education insurance industry to the role and will oversee the strategic development of the division.

Fusions Specialty has recruited Oliver Berridge as Director accompanied by Yinan Guo who joins as Associate.  Berridge joins from Aviva where he was a M&A Underwriter and Guo also joins from Aviva where worked on SME, technology and Real Estate transactions.

It’s official – the candidates put forward by the International Union of Marine Insurance (IUMI) nominating committee have been appointed as President and Vice President. Succeeding Richard Turner, who has completed his four-year term as IUMI President, Frédéric Denèfle is supported by Vice President Kosuke Hashimoto. The latter isn’t replacing anyone, as the VP post was newly created.

Sompo International has announced that it has appointed Stefano Chiurlo as Head of Accident & Health in Europe. Chiurlo brings with him over 15 years of insurance experience, most recently serving as Group Head of Health & Accident for the Generali Group.

Former Lloyd’s Market Association Claims Head Robert Gregg is making the switch from RiverStone International to Marco Capital Holdings Limited. Joining the European Property & Casualty run-off specialist on October 31, Gregg will be serving as Claims Director – the same post the Munich Re Underwriting alumnus held at RiverStone Managing Agency where he was in charge of the Lloyd’s claims platform comprising more than US$4 billion in reserves.

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