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US General Insurance Newsletter Friday 2nd September 2022

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​AXA Climate, an entity of the AXA Group that specializes in climate change adaptation, has announced that it will include HWind analytics from risk modeling company RMS as a principal trigger metric for its relevant US parametric insurance policies.

United Property & Casualty Insurance Co. (UPC), the Personal Lines subsidiary of United Insurance Holdings Corp., has filed plans to withdraw from Florida, Louisiana and Texas markets, and expects to do the same in New York. The plans entail the non-renewal of Personal Line policies in those four states. The plans will place UPC in an “orderly run-off” contingent on the company remaining in compliance with rules and regulations in each state.

One of the oldest insurance agencies in Texas has been named in a federal lawsuit brought by an AIG company, alleging that the agency was part of an elaborate fraud scheme involving forged signatures and fake policies for thousands of apartment residents in the state. The agency, Sanford & Tatum Insurance Agency, filed a crossclaim in Kentucky claiming that they were also victims of the scheme.

A three-judge panel of the Tennessee Court of Appeals has ruled in favor of Wolf Tree Inc (Wolf), an electric company's vegetation-management contractor taken to court by Insurers over an estimated $45 million in claims by homeowners and businesses from two wildfires in the state's Great Smoky Mountains.

​While most small-business owners still buy insurance through an agent or Broker, an overwhelming majority of those surveyed by Deloitte Global indicated a heightened interest in alternative channels, raising potential red flags about the staying power of the industry’s longtime distribution system. Indeed, the fact that 85% of the 500 U.S. buyers responding to Deloitte Global’s survey indicated a willingness to purchase insurance from an array of non-traditional providers could leave many agent-dependent Insurers vulnerable to deteriorating renewal rates and shrinking market share as they face off against emerging competitors.

HowdenCAP partnered with Mosaic Insurance to launch a pioneering integration of their technology platforms that promises to drive efficiency and speed of risk placement in the structured Credit insurance market. The HowdenCAP-Mosaic collaboration allows clients and their Brokers to obtain offers and execute business from across the structured Credit risk market, delivering a fast, data-driven method of trading and placement of insurance.

Origami Risk LLC and CLARA Analytics partnered to make CLARA’s claims solutions available to Insurers, Managing General Agents and self-insured pools using Origami’s industry-leading multitenant SaaS Property and Casualty platform. CLARA’s AI-driven tools and resources for insurance companies, MGAs and self-insurers include analytic solutions to assess commercial claims, provide litigation support and identify best-in-class medical providers by specialty and geographical location. The AI resources complement Origami’s versatile suite of claims capabilities currently accessible on its Core Solutions platform.

Teren launched Hermit’s Peak Watershed Protection Analysis to help the region mitigate immediate and long-term risks in the wake of recent wildfires. Teren’s expertise in natural resource conservation, remote sensing, geospatial modeling and high-performance computing will allow the company to analyze the entire affected area to reveal post-wildfire hazards and pinpoint priority zones for stabilization and reclamation.

​Erie Insurance Group has launched Erie Strategic Ventures, a technology investment fund meant to ultimately bolster the operations of its parent Insurer. Erie becomes the latest Underwriter to push into the Insurtech world with its own dedicated venture capital unit. Others include Nationwide, which last year increased its commitment to $350 million.

Beauty products retailer Sephora Inc. will pay $1.2 million to settle charges it violated the California Consumer Privacy Act, the California Attorney General’s office said.

A Chubb Ltd. unit does not have to indemnify a software company in an infringement lawsuit under its claims-made policy because the dispute is related to an earlier settlement, where the Insurer was American International Group Inc., a federal appeals court said, in affirming a lower court ruling.

New issuance of Property / Casualty catastrophe bonds totalled $8 billion in the first half of 2022, down 8.9% from the same period last year, according to a report from Swiss Re Ltd. The report said that 2022 issuance was still the third-highest total recorded for the first half of new issuance, though, and a pullback in traditional reinsurance capacity may provide additional opportunity for the sector.

​BRP Group Inc. said it has committed $5.2 million to the University of South Florida. The gift from the Tampa, Florida-based brokerage and the Baldwin family that helped found the brokerage will support educational programs in the school of risk management and insurance in the university’s Muma College of Business in Sarasota.

Accelerant Ltd., a Bermuda-based Insurer that operates through partnerships with Managing General Agents, launched a $175 million sidecar vehicle to add capital market capacity. Flywheel Re will provide multi-year capacity to the Insurer and the MGAs it works with, an Accelerant statement said.

Chinese Insurer Ping An Insurance (Group) Co. of China Ltd.'s net profit increased almost 4% year-on-year to 60.3 billion Chinese yuan ($8.8 billion) in the first half of the year. The increase in net profit comes after two successive years of declines as the Insurer battled a CNY54 billion exposure to debt-laden Real Estate Developer, China Fortune Land Development Co. Ltd.

Latú Seguros, a Brazilian commercial insurance startup, has closed a $6.7 million pre-seed round led by CRV and Monashees, with the participation of Onevc, Latitude and SVAngel. Latú, short for Latin American Tech Underwriters, will provide a variety of coverages for small and medium-sized businesses such as Liability, Property, Cyber, E&O, and D&O. The startup is currently focused on companies operating in Brazil and it will distribute insurance in partnership with different insurance companies.

WAX Insurance has introduced Wax Credit in NY, CA and FL, with plans to expand to TX, PA and NJ. With WAX Credit, users can use their collectibles as collateral to apply for a loan starting at $25,000 (other limits are available). For now, these collectibles must be watches.

Loop Insurance made cuts last month. The startup, which closed a $21 million Series A round last September, laid off around 15 employees, or about 20% of its workforce. The layoffs impacted the marketing and data science teams.

Marsh 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 $300 million of coverage per risk for the construction and start up phases of hydrogen projects globally.

Socotra, the modern core platform provider for innovative Insurers, has announced that Ledgebrook, an Insurtech MGA focused on the excess and surplus (E&S) market, has chosen Socotra policy core platform to help provide Wholesale Brokers with a faster and simpler quoting experience, as well as best-in-class pricing and risk selection.

Distinguished Programs, a national insurance program manager, has announced the expansion of its Coastal Builder’s RIsk coverage to five additional states – Alabama, Hawaii, Mississippi, Rhode Island, and commercial properties only in Texas. The program covers all risks for brand-new construction, remodeler’s risk and betterments only projects in select states. In addition to the new states, the program is available in Delaware, Maryland, Georgia, New Jersey, Virginia, North Carolina,  and South Carolina.

State Farm Fire and Casualty Company – a subsidiary of US insurance giant State Farm – has agreed to pay the federal government some $100 million in restitution over its alleged mismanagement of flood insurance claims related to Hurricane Katrina. The insurer will pay the $100 million in restitution to the federal government, and not to individual policyholders.

Mergers & Acquisitions

Stubben Edge has acquired specialist international insurance firm, Genesis Special Risks Ltd (GSR), along with its experienced team, led by MD Nick Howard. GSR is a Lloyd’s Broker and has a longstanding track record in the provision of bespoke warranty and related insurance products.

Specialty insurance brokerage Risk Strategies has announced that it has acquired New Jersey-based Dickstein Associates Agency. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Founded in 1965, Dickstein Associates is a full-service retail agency that provides comprehensive risk management services, including Property and Casualty insurance coverage for individuals and businesses. The firm has developed a loyal customer base, most notably among its top 10 clients, which average 22 years with the firm.

​Highstreet Insurance Partners (HSIP) has revealed its acquisition of Michigan-based Paragon Underwriters. Paragon Underwriters is a program manager specializing in serving attorneys and law firms.

Movers & Shakers

Swiss Re Corporate Solutions appointed Andrea Douglass as Senior Vice President, customer management Canada. She held numerous leadership positions of increasing responsibility within the customer and distribution space at Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty.

Liberty Mutual Insurance appointed Kevin Smith as President of Global Risk Solutions North America. He served as President and Chief Operating Officer of CNA’s specialty business.

Magnolia Grove Insurance Services announced the following appointments: Richard Edwards as Chief Underwriting Officer, Kevin Fussell as Vice President and Joliana Hodges as Senior Underwriter.

Canopius Group appointed Geoffrey Saville as Head of Catastrophe Research. He served at WTW as Head of Weather and Climate Risks Research. Canopius Group also appointed Roberta Sweeper as Lead Business Systems Analyst. She served as the Senior Business Systems Analyst at CNO Financial Group.

Prism Specialties announced the following appointments: Denise Lysak and Andrea Evans as Managers, National Account.

Verisk announced that Olumide Soroye joined as Independent Director of the company’s board of Directors. He served at CoreLogic as Managing Director.

PCF Insurance Services announced that Kenton Walker joined as Vice President of legal. He served at Adobe Inc. as Director and Associate General Counsel.

Munich Re Specialty Insurance appointed Jaymee Parker as Vice President and Head of Inland Marine. She served as Vice President and Regional Sales Director at AmeriTrust.

Zywave promoted Amanda Flynn to Senior Vice President of Marketing. She served in leadership roles at BenchPrep, Seismic and Nokia.

Corvus Insurance appointed Madhu Tadikonda as its new Chief Executive Officer. He served as Global Chief Underwriting Officer at AIG.

Mutual Insurance Company of Arizona announced that Edward G. Marley joined as President and Chief Executive Officer. He served as Vice President at The Doctors Company and at SCPIE Holdings Inc.

McGriff announced that Doug Hodo joined as Chief Strategic Growth Officer. He previously served as President of the West Region at McGriff. McGriff also appointed Seth Buchwald as a Vice President and Producer for its Executive Risk Advisors Transactional Risk team. He served as a Senior Associate in the Federal and International Tax Group of the international law firm Alston & Bird LLP.

MEMIC Group appointed Maryann Hoff as Vice President of Loss Control and Safety. She served at Safety National Casualty Corp. as Senior Risk Control Manager.

Ryan Specialty announced the following appointments: Bill Evans and Chris Kelleher as Co-President, Brian Lillis Chief Operating Officer and Eric Quinn and Chris Taggart as Senior Vice President. Ryan Specialty alsoannounced that Michael Blackshear joined as the Head of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. He served as Chief Compliance Officer at Chubb Insurance Group.

Nationwide appointed Julie Hespe as the Head of Underwriting Performance for the company’s excess & surplus / specialty team. She served as Senior Vice President at QBE WC Programs and Arrowhead Core Commercial divisions.

AXA XLInsurance promoted Michael Perrotti as Chief Underwriting Officer for its marine insurance business in the Americas. He previously served as Global Chief Underwriting Officer at AXA XL’s Marine business worldwide. AXA XL Insurance also announced the following appointments: Deuayne Crawford as Head of Cyber, Marisa Vero as Senior Underwriter and Hannah Baker as Underwriter.

Ametros promoted Meghan Mulroy to Vice President of Strategic Accounts. She previously served as Senior Strategic Account Executive at Ametros.

Alexander & Schmidt of Yarmouth promoted John M.Natale to become the company’s new Chief Executive Officer. He served as Vice President–Marketing at Concord Group Insurance Companies.

Coalition announced the following appointments: Jim Young as Chief Financial Officer, John Littzi as General Counsel and Julie Richardson as a board member.

Northern Trust announced the following appointments: Dean Marziarz as Senior Business Development Representative and Mauricio Sandoval as Senior Business Development Representative.

Fleet Response announced the following promotions: Allison Lanzilotta as President and Scott Mawaka as CEO.

Gallagher Re appointed Kelli Morash as Executive Vice-President in North America. She had 30 years of experience in the insurance and reinsurance sectors and a diverse set of skills to bear on behalf of Gallagher Re’s clients in the U.S. and worldwide.

Agero promoted Chris Small to the role of VP, contact center operations. He previously oversaw the customer experience and roadside product teams.

Holmes Murphy announced that Dave Ashton joined as its Chief Information Officer. He served as CEO of Principal Trust Company for Principal Hong Kong.

NFP appointed Pamela Derksen as Deputy Chief Compliance Officer, Canada. She served at Cowan Insurance Group as Vice President, brokering and insurance relationships, Personal and Commercial. NFP alsoappointed Javier Pardo as Senior Vice President, Complex Risk Solutions Group. He served at Parkland Fuel Corporation as Director, insurance.

Prism Specialties appointed Jeff Milligan as Vice President of business development and customer engagement. He has been a franchise owner with the company for nearly a decade.

Satellite Agency Network Group announced that Tom Lizotte joined as Chief Operating Officer. He previously held a variety of positions at Liberty Mutual Group.

Safety National announced that Steven Anderson joined the company’s Cyber insurance team as director of Cyber underwriting. He served in various underwriting and product leader positions managing the Cyber and E&O insurance offerings at global Cyber insurance carriers.

Janice Abraham, longtime President and CEO of United Educators Insurance, will retire next year, the member-owned Insurer announced this month.

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