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General Insurance Newsletter Friday 14th October 2022

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Insurance News

A-One Insurance Group has launched a grow-your-own academy to bring new employees into the industry. The Hampshire-based Broker said the academy will provide a steady flow of newly-trained and skilled employees into the A-One team. The academy will be based at its head office in Ringwood. The academy does not have an age restriction and it does not require A-Levels as candidates will have the chance to gain fully funded qualifications such as Business Admin Level Three NVQ and Cert CII. (Sophie Locke-Cooper, 13/10/2022, Insurance Age, 'A-One launches academy')

The Financial Conduct Authority “considered a number of options” as it worked on the multi-occupancy buildings insurance review and “one of them would include whether we should go forward and try to think about potential price caps or bans”, Sheldon Mills has confirmed. The Executive Director for Consumers and Competition at the FCA has also confirmed a further investigation into excessive commission levels. (Emmanuel Kenning, 13/10/2022, Insurance Age, ''FCA contemplated commission level ban in flats insurance review')

The Financial Conduct Authority is falling short on targets in speedily giving individuals approved person status to carry out work and has posted a worsening performance on approving changes of control requests for firms. The regulator aims to rubber stamp requests within five working days from at least 85% of people who want to work in customer functions. (Saxon East, 11/10/2022, Insurance Age, 'FCA continues to flounder on approved person authorisation targets')

Zurich is set to open an office in Bristol this year and aims to open in Southampton next year. The provider opened a regional office in Chelmsford in April to service East Anglia. (Emmanuel Kenning, 13/10/2022, Insurance Age, 'Zurich to open offices in Bristol and Southampton')

Insurance is growing its adoption of machine learning applications faster than any other financial sector, a Bank of England survey has found. UK financial firms expect the overall median number of machine learning applications to increase by 3.5 times over the next three years. “The largest expected increase in absolute terms is the insurance sector, followed by banking,” the BoE said, in the survey findings. (Saxon East, 12/10/2022, Insurance Age, 'Insurance set for boom in machine learning, Bank of England survey finds')

Pen Underwriting Limited’s turnover in the UK rose by 1% in 2021 as it remained on course for its £1bn gross written premium target, according to year-end accounts filed at Companies House. Pen’s UK turnover was up at £48.3m in 2021 (2020: £47.9m). Overall turnover last year, which includes global premium, decreased slightly 0.7%, to £50.2m (2020: £50.8m). (Saxon East, 12/10/2022, Insurance Age, ' Pen Underwriting Limited revenues in UK rise as it targets £1bn GWP')

Research which was conducted by Censuswide among 207 Brokers on behalf of RSA last month, has revealed that 93% of Brokers believe underinsurance poses a major threat to UK businesses during economic unrest. RSA’s Broker Pulse found more than half of brokers surveyed have seen clients change policies as a result of the energy crisis and 60% of Brokers cite economic uncertainty as their client’s most common concern. (Sophie Locke-Cooper, 11/10/2022, Insurance Age, 'RSA survey reveals underinsurance concern among Brokers')

Motor insurance Underwriter Sabre Insurance Group Plc has published its trading update for the period ended September 30, and Chief Executive Geoff Carter considers the company’s performance resilient. “I am pleased with the resilience of our performance through to the end of the third quarter,” stated Carter. “We have continued to focus on both margin over volume and fully covering the ongoing high levels of claims inflation through price increases that are significantly higher than the market." (Terry Gangcuangco, 14/10/2022, Insurance Business UK, 'Sabre maintains strategy against claims inflation')

A report from Lloyd’s and Aon has called on the insurance industry to help customers build resilience against the impacts of the Ukraine war. This is the second report Lloyd’s and Aon have published evaluating the crisis in Ukraine. The new report focuses on the actions the insurance industry can take to support clients in building resilience. (Ryan Smith, 13/10/2022, Insurance Business UK, 'Aon, Lloyd's report calls insurance to act to build Ukraine resilience')

Independent insurance brokerage Lockton has introduced a new custody insurance facility for digital asset clients. Backed by Lloyd’s syndicates and highly rated insurance companies, the facility will provide full access to London market capacity. Features also include a streamlined custody insurance underwriting process and the flexibility to incorporate various limits and cost structures. (Terry Gangcuangco, 13/10/2022, Insurance Business UK, 'Lockton unveils new insurance facility')

Rising energy prices and economic turmoil are leading to a dramatic shift in the insurance needs of UK companies, according to new research launched by RSA Insurance. RSA’s inaugural Broker Pulse, a representative survey of more than 200 Brokers from across the UK, shines a light on the risk of underinsurance for businesses in an era of inflationary pressures and increasing costs across the board. (RSA, 13/10/2022, YouTalk, 'RSA Research: 93% of Brokers believe underinsurance poses major threat to UK businesses')

11 major players with a vested interest in the UK built environment sector call for a new cross-industry sustainable buildings taskforce to ensure buildings are fit for the future. AXA UK, Arcadis and Kennedys are among signatories to the letter which has been sent to Simon Clarke, Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities. (AXA, 13/10/2022, YouTalk, 'AXA UK calls on Government to create taskforce to make buildings fit for the future')

Liberty Project Cargo Consortium 7763 is launched! It can write up to USD 205 million, providing the largest single Cargo capacity in the market. Liberty Specialty Markets (LSM), part of Liberty Mutual Insurance’s Global Risk Solutions division, has announced the launch of a new Lloyd’s facility for the London Market, the Liberty Project Cargo Consortium (LPCC), to underwrite global project-related Cargo risks. The facility, Consortium 7763, offers capacity to underwrite risks up to USD 205 million. (Liberty Specialty Markets, 13/10/2022, YouTalk, '​Liberty Specialty Markets announces new Project Cargo Consortium at Lloyd’s')

Mergers & Acquisitions

The Jensten Group has completed the purchase of Ravenhall Risk Solutions, following final regulatory approval, bringing an additional 2,500 clients and 25 staff to the group. Jensten first announced the deal in July this year confirming that Director Neil Grimshaw, who founded Ravenhall in 2006, will remain in the business. The Leeds-based firm serves commercial and personal clients including solutions for traditionally harder to place risks such as unmanned aerial vehicle operators and the equestrian industry. (Sophie Locke-Cooper, 11/10/2022, Insurance Age, 'Jensten completes Ravenhall buy')

PIB Group Ltd has made further inroads to building a strong retail presence in the Spanish market. Newly acquired Engloba, is PIB’s fourth investment in Spain (pending customary regulatory approval). The brokerage, which focuses on Personal Lines insurance with an emphasis on savings, investment and personal products, is formed of JMC Correduría de Seguros Mañero, S.L. (‘JMC’) and INS Brokers Consultang Correduría de Seguros Española, S.L. (‘IBC’). (PIB Group Ltd, 11/10/2022, YouTalk, '​PIB makes 4th investment in Spain with broker acquisition')

Howden has announced its acquisition of Seasecure Group, the last remaining independent Marine Broker in France. Seasecure Group is one of France’s largest Marine and Cargo insurance Brokers, and underlines Howden’s continued investment in expertise and desire to expand its product offering for the benefit of clients in the French market. (Howden, 10/10/2022, YouTalk, '​Howden continues French expansion with marine broker acquisition')

Movers & Shakers

Aon has appointed Jane Kielty as Head of Commercial Risk UK with James Baum switching to be Head of Wholesale and Specialty Broking. Kielty will keep her UK Chief Commercial Officer responsibilities, a position she took up in October last year, until a successor is appointed. She started her career at Marsh in 1999 and has been with Aon since 2005 joining as a Client Management Director in Manchester. After a series of promotions, she became Area Director – central and north in 2012 and then Managing Director, national, in 2017. (Emmanuel Kenning, 13/10/2022, Insurance Age, 'New roles for Jane Kielty and James Baum as Aon revamps UK commercial risk leadership team')

MS Amlin Underwriting has appointed Andrew Carrier as CEO, he is currently Chief Underwriting Officer and will take up the role on 1 January 2023, subject to regulatory approval. Carrier brings more than two decades of leadership experience in international (re)insurance markets, taking up his new job after two years as CUO. (Sophie Locke-Cooper, 12/10/2022, Insurance Age, 'MS Amlin Underwriting names Andrew Carrier as CEO')

Zurich Head of Retail Dave Martin has resigned. Martin left his previous role as Director of SME and Corporate Partnerships at Allianz in November 2018 to take up the role at Zurich in April 2019. The Retail Head position had previously been held by David White, who moved internally to take the role of EMEA Chief Executive Officer of Cover-More, a travel provider wholly owned by Zurich. (Jonathan Swift, 10/10/2022, Insurance Age, 'Zurich retail head Dave Martin quits')

HDI Global Specialty UK has appointed Kirsten Westly as its newest Claims Director. A qualified Solicitor with more than 15 years’ insurance market experience, Westly joined HDI two years ago. She is currently heading the Insurer’s Financial and Professional Lines claims team. Prior to joining HDI, Westly had worked for companies such as The Hartford and Navigators. (Lyle Adriano, 14/10/2022, Insurance Business UK, 'HDI Global Specialty UK names new Claims Director')

In further news...HDI Global Specialty UK (HDI) has introduced a new structure within Underwriting to align its business to clients and Brokers. The Insurer has identified six divisions or ‘pillars’ within its single risk business. Adam Curran takes up the position as Director of Specialty Lines and in turn reports to Rafael Rebitzky, Managing Director and CUO of HDI Global Specialty UK. The six new business divisions and leaders are as follows: Nick Robinson - Financial Risks, David Palmer - Crisis Management, Matthew Johnson - Mining & Energy, Mark Edwards - Private Clients, Charles Boorman - Financial & Professional Lines, Neil Dave - Transportation (HDI, 10/10/2022, YouTalk, '​HDI Global Specialty UK streamlines Specialty Lines Single Risk Underwriting')

SiriusPoint Chief Financial Officer David Junius has resigned to pursue other opportunities and will be succeeded by new hire Steve Yendall. Coming onboard the global Insurer and reinsurer at the end of the month, Yendall most recently served as Guy Carpenter’s Managing Director for Canada and North America. His two and a half decades of industry experience also includes time spent at RSA Canada.(Terry Gangcuangco, 13/10/2022, Insurance Business UK, 'SiriusPoint brings in new CFO')

QBE Insurance Group has been approved by the central bank of the Netherlands to write business in the country, with the new branch in Amsterdam to be manned by a handful of initial hires. Senior arrivals to QBE include Operations Manager Joyce Peters and Market Manager Ijaz Chishti, who both came onboard on September 1, followed a month later by liability Head Karin Bouman. Joining on the first of November are Property Head Henk Wessels and Senior Property Underwriter Walter Schouten. (Terry Gangcuangco, 13/10/2022, Insurance Business UK, 'QBE builds team in Amsterdam')

As it looks to champion equal rights and opportunities for both men and women, Wales-based independent insurance Broker BPW Insurance has promoted two female leaders. The Broker has promoted Alison Philips and Alisha Edwards to its board of Directors, in recognition of their skill, industry knowledge, and fundamental beliefs that “align with the company values of prestige customer service and continual development of staff,” a release said. (Lyle Adriano, 13/10/2022, Insurance Business UK, 'BPW Insurance pushes for inclusivity with female leadership moves')

Specialist engineering and technology Insurer, HSB has appointed Ross Tyler and Sharon Evans as Business Development Managers. Ross and Sharon will focus on implementing HSB’s sales strategies in all its distribution channels to support its corporate objectives and growth ambitions. Ross has worked across all Commercial Lines areas including Property and Casualty, Fleet, Construction and Inspection. Sharon joins HSB with over 30 years of experience in the insurance sector and will be based in Yorkshire and the North East. Sharon’s insurance career includes broking, underwriting and sales roles across Brokers, MGAs and Insurers. (HSB, 11/10/2022, YouTalk, '​HSB appoints 2 new Business Development Managers')

All information provided in this Market Digest has been gathered from Insurance Age, Insurance Business UK and youTalk.