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Claims Newsletter Monday 31st October 2022

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Claims News

Comprehensive car insurance premiums have increased 14% (£72) since Q3 2021, with UK motorists now paying £586 on average, according to the latest The latest Car Insurance Price Index in association with WTW also found that Motor insurance premiums have now risen for four quarters in a row, with a significant rise of 6% (£32) recorded in just the last three months. (Mark Dugdale, 25/10/2022, Claims Mag, 'Cost of car insurance jumps 14%')

First4InjuryClaims, the alternative business structure law firm set up by First4Lawyers, has recovered compensation of more than £1 million for clients in its first year of trading. The law firm, which was set up to deal solely with Road Traffic Accident (RTA) claims, has received more than 4,000 enquiries from individuals looking for support. This is despite the First4Lawyers group ceasing all marketing activity for RTA lead generation and the majority of its cases going through the Official Injury Claim (OIC) portal, which does not require the assistance of a Lawyer.(Mark Dugdale, 13/10/2022, Claims Mag, 'First4InjuryClaims achieves £1 million compensation milestone')

Insurer Allianz is calling on the industry to implement sustainable claims management as a means to lower the carbon footprint of car insurance. Speaking at the 10th Allianz Motor Day on 19 October, Klaus-Peter Roehler, a member of Allianz SE board of management with, responsibility for global claims, said: “In car insurance, we see many levers in sustainable claims management that can significantly reduce CO2 emissions. In this context, finding suitable opportunities to repair rather than use new parts is of the greatest importance.” (Mark Dugdale, 24/10/2022, Claims Mag, 'Allianz makes case for ‘sustainable claims management')

The City of London Police’s Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department (IFED) has executed warrants as part of a crackdown on Travel insurance fraud, resulting in seven arrests. The arrests follow an IFED awareness campaign run at the start of the summer holidays that urged the general public to check their insurance status before travelling abroad. The campaign also reminded the public that exploiting a Travel insurance policy to make bogus claims is a criminal offence. Over the past five years, IFED has received 57 referrals for Travel insurance fraud at a total estimated value of £2,393,680.51. (Mark Dugdale, 11/10/2022, Claims Mag, 'IFED campaign and crackdown on travel insurance fraud yields seven arrests')

Loss adjusting firm QuestGates has launched a new service to provide insurers and brokers with an integrated and comprehensive claims management solution for evolving digital risk. The service, which QuestGates called a first for the loss adjusting sector, offers a full range of specialist support for managing digital asset claims, from crypto response, post-loss investigation and token valuation, through to asset recovery and enforcement. (Mark Dugdale, 6/10/2022, Claims Mag, 'QuestGates launches new claims management service for digital assets')

HSBC Life has revealed that its breast cancer claims support is increasing as speed of payouts and help for customers expands. During the first half of this year, HSBC Group’s insurance business paid 100% of all breast cancer claims received, across the whole of its protection proposition, which built on a 2021 payout rate of 98.6%. It also enhanced its focus on fast turnround of claims. (Mark Dugdale, 27/10/2022, Claims Mag, 'HSBC Life pays 100% of all breast cancer claims received in H1 22')

Legal expenses insurer DAS UK Group has signed a major partnership deal with Admiral Insurance. DAS has developed a bespoke offering for Admiral and its customers that features a number of enhancements to its standard cover. The product line will include dedicated end-to-end claims handling on family legal protection and a hub for landlords and tenants, as well as access to the Admiral Legal Depot, an online resource featuring more than 1,000 customisable legal documents, guides and business templates. (Mark Dugdale, 10/10/2022, Claims Mag, 'Admiral chooses DAS for home and landlord legal expenses insurance products')

Inflationary pressures, monetary tightening, the global energy crisis and supply chain disruptions are jeopardising cash flows. And after two years of decline, Allianz Trade expects a broad-based acceleration in global business insolvencies. It says global business insolvencies could rise both in 2022 (+10%) and 2023 (+19%). Two significant rebounds, occurring after two years of decline, may bring global insolvencies back above their pre-pandemic levels in 2023 (by +2%). (CIR Reporter, 27/10/2022, CIR, 'Global insolvencies expected to rise by 19pc in 2023')

Nestle has been fined after an employee suffered life-changing injuries at one of its UK factories, when in November 2020, the man was drawn into a roller mechanism on a conveyor machine. South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court heard how the maintenance technician was investigating a problem on the conveyor belt of a machine used to make chocolate sweets. While checking the machine, his sleeve was caught in a roller, which dragged his left arm into the machine, trapping it between the roller and a conveyor belt. (CIR Reporter, 25/10/2022, CIR, 'Nestle fined after worker suffers injuries at factory')

Chartered insurance broker Verlingue has achieved bronze accreditation for its environmental, social and governance approach from independent assessor, EcoVadis. Verlingue’s ESG drive is lead by Director of Operations at Verlingue, Andrew Sugden, with the accreditation initiative led by Risk Management Director, Gayle Bennouir. (CIR Reporter, 4/10/2022, CIR, 'Verlingue’s ESG strategy gets EcoVadis seal of approval')

A Financial Conduct Authority review of Business Interruption claims handling has applauded insurers for quickly paying out interim payments, reallocating resources quickly and proactively communicating with policyholders to help them with claims, following last year’s test case judgment handed down by the Supreme Court. At the same time, the watchdog's report, raised concerns over how firms handled Business Interruption claims from vulnerable customers; record-keeping of policy wordings; and identifying where customers experienced unnecessary delays. (Deborah Ritchie, 4/10/2022, CIR, 'FCA publishes BI claims handling review')

A new study has revealed the impact and return on investment of the Property Flood resilience measures promoted by Flood Re's recent Build Back Better initiative. JBA Risk Management’s review modelled Flood risk impacts up to 2050 on residential properties in the UK, comparing the impact on typical residential houses without any property-level adaptations, with typical residential houses with both Flood Risk resistance measure and resilience measures in place. (CIR Reporter, 5/10/2022, CIR, 'Study reveals ROI of flood resilience measures')

The range of security vulnerabilities that Cyber attackers are exploiting continues to amplify, as does the level of threat across all geographies and industries. But while the increased demand has led to growth of capacity in the insurance market, the severity of attacks means that insurers are becoming warier about risks they are willing to insure. This is among the findings of a new report into international variations in response as Cyber risks ramp up worldwide and demand for cover grows ever stronger. Global Insurance Law Connect’s first ever Cyber Insurance Report provides insights from 19 countries on domestic Cyber insurance markets, including detail on the key changes to the global Cyber insurance market and provides an outlook for the coming years. (Deborah Ritchie, 7/10/2022, CIR, 'GILC: Cyber cover will be as ubiquitous as PL and PI')

Amid concerns that electricity and other sources of energy could become scarce in Europe this winter, companies are being advised to draw up thorough plans to address any threats to business continuity. To support practitioners looking to strengthen their resilience against potential energy shortages, Zurich Resilience Solutions has prepared a new whitepaper dedicated to just that. "Powered up: Avoiding the shock of an energy shortage with business continuity planning” suggests that practitioners analyse business processes now, define vulnerabilities, develop procedures, and be ready to implement plans and revise them when necessary. (CIR Reporter, 7/10/2022, CIR, 'Risk of power shortages calls for robust business continuity planning')

Whilst the potential for an increase in occurrence of natural disasters remains high in China, government support should mitigate the negative credit impact on issuers’ profiles, according to Fitch Ratings. A record heatwave in China this summer affected hydropower generation and the agricultural sector, particularly in the Yangtze River region. This impaired the capacity of utilities to generate electricity, disrupting manufacturing activity. Research from the World Bank projects increase in warming leading to greater probability of hazards such as droughts, floods and heatwaves. (CIR Reporter, 11/10/2022, CIR, 'State support mitigates issuers’ climate risk exposure in China')

FM Global has this week unveiled two new climate resilience tools. Its new Climate Risk Report scores each client organisation based on the actions they have taken to address climate risk and their unique exposure to events like flood, windstorms, hail and wildfire. A client’s score is based on both actionable risks and inherent risks. The tool is based on billions of property-risk data points collected by FM Global from more than 60,000 engineering visits each year to client sites. The report is also underpinned by artificial intelligence, machine learning and predictive analytics. (Deborah Ritchie, 12/10/2022, CIR, 'FM Global unveils new climate resilience tools')

Lloyd’s re/insurer MS Amlin has won key parts of a case against the Stonegate Pub Company. The high-profile case, brought by the pub group against its Business Interruption insurers, sought a claims settlement of over £1bn, challenging their interpretation of a number of policy coverage issues, several of which are of wider industry significance. (CIR Reporter, 18/10/2022, CIR, 'Court sides with MS Amlin in Covid BI dispute with pub chain')

Swiss Re estimates preliminary claims from Hurricane Ian at around US$1.3bn, resulting in an expected group net loss of approximately US$0.5bn for Q3 of 2022. While the 2022 target of 10% group ROE is unlikely to be reached given the impact from natural catastrophes, the Ukraine war and financial market volatility, the group says it remains confident in the mid-term outlook and committed to its 2024 profitability goals. (CIR Reporter, 18/10/2022, CIR, 'Swiss Re estimates Hurricane Ian claims at US$1.3bn')

Mergers & Acquisitions

Hugh James is extending its service across the north of the UK through the acquisition of Potter Rees Dolan. Potter Rees Dolan, a national Catastrophic Personal Injury and Clinical Negligence practice, has secured settlements worth more than £125 million for its clients the past year. The firm employs more than 65 staff, including nine partners. The acquisition is a significant move for Hugh James, with expansion into the northwest identified in the firm’s strategy five years ago. (Mark Dugdale, 18/10/2022, Claims Mag, 'Hugh James acquires Potter Rees Dolan')

Blume has received approval from the Financial Conduct Authority to complete the acquisition of Online Legal, a Liverpool-based technology-led customer acquisition specialist for the legal sector. The deal will enhance Blume’s cross-channel marketing expertise and enable the company to offer more service choice and flexibility, strengthening and broadening its proposition for law firms. (Mark Dugdale, 4/10/2022, Claims Mag, 'Blume announces acquisition of Online Legal')

Movers & Shakers

​Qlaims has appointed Simon Fenwick as Chief Operating Officer as it looks to continue its growth plans. Fenwick brings to Qlaims over 20 years’ experience in the UK general insurance market, joining from Hastings Direct where he successfully led insurer business development, system integrations and brought new insurer propositions to the intermediary market.(Lewis Catchpole, 13/10/2022, Insurance Intel, 'Qlaims expands team with new COO')

HDI Global Specialty UK has appointed Kirsten Westly to the role of Claims Director. Westly is a qualified Solicitor and has more than 15 years of insurance market experience having worked previously at The Hartford and Navigators. (Mark Dugdale, 19/10/2022, Claims Mag, 'HDI Global Specialty UK names new claims director')

Allianz has appointed Peter Milton to the role of Chief Engineer. He will lead Allianz Engineering and takes over from Peter Carless, who retired at the end of September, as the insurer rolls out a new strategy for the business. Milton, who has more than three decades of experience in the inspection and insurance industry, is a Chartered Engineer with a diploma in company direction. (Mark Dugdale, 7/10/2022, Claims Mag, 'Allianz appoints Peter Milton as chief engineer')

SCOR has announced the appointment of David Guest as Head of Crisis Management for SCOR UK and the SCOR Syndicate. Based in London, Guest’s remit includes Terrorism and Political. Guest brings with him more than 26 years of industry experience, having led underwriting teams across the UK and Asia-Pacific re/insurance markets. He joins SCOR from his most recent position as Global Specialty Regional Leader, APAC & Middle East at AXA XL. (CIR Reporter, 25/10/2022, CIR, 'SCOR appoints David Guest as head of crisis management')

Loss adjusting firm Woodgate & Clarkhas appointed Senior Claims Operations professional Irene Davies-Foo to oversee the development and launch of a new claims platform. Davies-Foo is an experienced Claims Operations professional with a strong track record in both Loss Adjusting and insurance, where she spent 12 years on technical projects with Direct Line Group. (Mark Dugdale, 31/10/2022, Claims Mag, 'Woodgate & Clark hires Irene Davies-Foo')

All information provided in this Market Digest has been gathered from Insurance Intel, Claims Mag and CIR.