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General Insurance Newsletter Friday 21st October 2022

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Insurance News

Trade bodies are working with the Financial Conduct Authority to narrow down the focus of its fair value assessments which comes with a huge regulatory burden. The organisations are seeking to cut the number of products that fall under the FCA’s assessment remit with only products shown to be ‘poor value’ coming under the watchdog’s microscope. (Insurance Age, 20/10/2022, Insurance Age, 'Trade bodies battle to trim FCA fair value paperwork ‘crippling’ small firms')

Average comprehensive car insurance premiums reached £586 in the third quarter, up 14% since Q3 2021 and by 6% in the last three months alone, according to research by Confused and WTW. The Car Insurance Price Index recorded a £72 year-on-year increase for UK motorists including a £32 rise during the quarter. (Emmanuel Kenning, 20/10/2022, Insurance Age, 'Biggest annual rise in five years as car premiums jump 14%')

Kingfisher Insurance has become the latest insurance company to be hit by a Cyber attack but claims its impact was "very limited". Hacking group LockBit 3.0 announced the hack on their dark web hosted blog, where they offered the purchase of the hacked information for $300,000 (£267,010) stating it was “very popular for phishing attacks.” (Lauren Ingram, 19/10/2022, Insurance Age, 'Kingfisher asserts "limited" impact despite $300,000 ransomware threat')

The insurance sector is well placed ahead of the implementation of new Consumer Duty rules but “there will be changes needed”, according to Daniel Hurl, Head of Market Analysis and Policy, Insurance, at the Financial Conduct Authority. The Consumer Duty comes into force on 31 July 2023 and is made up of an overarching principle and new rules firms will have to follow. (Emmanuel Kenning, 19/10/2022, Insurance Age, 'GI firms need to step back and consider what to do differently under Consumer Duty, says FCA')

Amazon has moved into the UK Home and Contents insurance market with the launch of Amazon Insurance Store and promised more is yet to come. The tech giant has partnered with Ageas, LV and Co-op for the rollout of the price comparison service and committed that more insurers will be added to the store early next year. (Emmanuel Kenning, 19/10/2022, Insurance Age, 'Amazon partners with Ageas, LV and Co-op on home insurance launch')

Accredited Insurance (Europe), the wholly owned subsidiary of R&Q Insurance Holdings, has signed a long-term extension with Professional Indemnity specialist Managing General Agent Inperio (London). The extension provides Inperio with £163.5m of underwriting capacity until 2027 and builds on the partnership launched in 2018, which has seen Inperio underwrite Professional Indemnity insurance for Solicitors, IFAs and insurance brokers on behalf of Accredited. (Insurance Age, 18/10/2022, Insurance Age, 'Broker PI expert Inperio extends capacity deal with Accredited until 2027')

​Marsh McLennan has reported an 8% increase in revenue, on an underlying basis, sitting at US$4.77 billion in the third quarter of 2022. Growth was driven across all geographies, with operations outside of the US and Canada producing underlying revenue growth of 11%. (Gia Snape, 20/10/2022, Insurance Business UK, 'Marsh McLennan unveils Q3 results')

“After years of underperformance and poor decision-making at Argo, we believe that shareholders have lost confidence in this board and in this management team’s ability and willingness to take the actions necessary to unlock value for shareholders.” Those were the words of Capital Returns Master President Ronald Bobman in his letter to shareholders of Argo Group International Holdings, through which he is asking for their support as activist investor Capital Returns puts forward two board nominees. (Terry Gangcuangco, 20/10/2022, Insurance Business UK, 'Activist investor says Argo board needs new directors')

At its 10th Allianz Motor Day, Allianz addressed the question of how sustainable car insurance can be, calling for an increase in so-called “green repairs” to vehicles. The discussions at the Allianz Motor Day event focused on how electromobility can be a driver for decarbonisation on both the products and services sides and how CO2 emissions can be reduced through sustainable claims management. (Ryan Smith, 20/10/2022, Insurance Business UK, 'Allianz breaks down sustainability of auto insurance')

​Nature-based solutions could play a significant part in the energy transition, according to a new report from Zurich Insurance Group. The world is further from its goal to keep global temperature rise below 2°C in 2022 than in previous years, according to Zurich’s Climate Change Scorecard. Russia’s war against Ukraine has pushed energy security to the top of the political agenda at the expense of the energy transition, Zurich said. In the short term, at least, countries are hitting pause on their energy transition plans – which could exacerbate climate change. (Ryan Smith, 20/10/2022, Insurance Business UK, 'Nature-based solutions could be essential to energy transition – Zurich')

It looks like Liverpool Victoria Financial Services Limited (LV=) is leaving the immediate past behind – a time during which LV= tried to sell itself – to start anew while sticking to mutuality. At LV=’s annual general meeting (AGM) this week in Bournemouth, the mutual life pensions and investments group saw nearly 41,000 members vote on 10 resolutions, more than half of which were resolutions on director appointments. All 10 resolutions were passed. (Terry Gangcuangco, 20/10/2022, Insurance Business UK, 'This is a new chapter” for LV=')

The Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) has imposed a financial penalty on MS Amlin Underwriting Limited (MSAUL) of £9,695,000 for failing to comply with its regulatory obligations relating to its governance and oversight of underwriting, underwriting controls, management information, data quality, and risk management strategies and systems. These failings took place in the period between 1 September 2014 and 31 December 2019. (Prudential Regulation Authority, 20/10/2022, YouTalk, ''PRA fines MS Amlin Underwriting £9,695,000 for failings in its governance, controls and risk management')

Aon plc has announced the UK launch of the Work Insights Programme to enhance social mobility and career opportunities for college students. The programme, which will offer 1000 work experience placements per year for three years, is designed for students from lower socio-economic backgrounds. (AON, 20/10/2022, YouTalk, ''Aon launches UK Work Insights Programme to provide work experience for 1000 students annually')

AXA UK has worked with the British Menopause Society and ITN Business on a news-style programme to coincide with World Menopause Day which takes place this week. AXA UK's contribution includes interviews with colleagues and Tracy Garrad, CEO at AXA Health and D&I Executive Sponsor, who discuss why it’s important to talk about menopause and show how the company is supporting its employees at every stage of their life and career. AXA UK is one of the few insurers to be accredited as a menopause friendly employer, which means it has been officially recognised as helping to promote and encourage better understanding and support around menopause in the workplace. AXA Health was also included as an example of best practice in the All Party Parliamentary Group on Menopause report, which was published earlier this month. (AXA UK, 20/10/2022, YouTalk, ''AXA UK takes part in a news-style programme to coincide with World Menopause Day')

RSA Insurance has announced they have now become an accredited menopause friendly employer, 12 months after announcing its commitment to reaching and attaining this standard. (RSA, 18/10/2022, YouTalk, ''RSA becomes accredited Menopause Friendly Employer')

Seventeen Group is pleased to announce its financial results for the year ending 31st December 2021. The Group reported a 27% increase in revenue over the prior year from £24.5m to £31.2m and increased EBITDA from £3.57M to £4.82M. This growth was fuelled through strong trading within both James Hallam and Touchstone with new business income exceeding £4.5M. In addition, there was a partial contribution from acquisitions made during the year, namely Ryan’s, PRS and Christopher Rowe. (Seventeen Group, 17/10/2022, YouTalk, ''Seventeen Group publishes 2021 results')

Aviva’s Pitheavlis site in Perth has taken a significant step towards achieving Net Zero operations following approval to install a wind turbine that will provide renewable energy for the site. The 77 metre turbine, approved by Perth and Kinross council, will be sited adjacent to the overflow car park area on the Pitheavlis site. Installation of the turbine means that, when combined with existing solar and battery technology, 100% of Pitheavlis electricity demand will be met through renewable energy. (Aviva, 17/10/2022, YouTalk, ''Aviva Perth site receives approval to install wind turbine as part of Net Zero ambitions')

Specialty MGA UK has commenced business in London, with its opening providing additional capacity for Specialty lines of businesses and hard-to-place risks, the company said. The new MGA is backed by Specialty Management UK. It provides all line services across all territories and is backed by rated securities, with more securities currently being added to the panel of reinsurers. Among its offered lines of business are Property, Construction, Energy, Marine, Construction, Aviation, Financial Lines, Accident and Health, and Surety. (Gabriel Olano, 21/10/2022, Insurance Business UK, 'Specialty MGA UK sets up shop in London')

Mergers & Acquisitions

Stubben Edge Group has bought regulatory and compliance experts Helodrium. Helodrium, an international insurance consultancy business specialising within the London Market in setting up Lloyd’s brokers, also offers services including on claims, authorisation and compliance support. According to Stubben Edge, joining forces will provide a comprehensive services for brokers. (Emmanuel Kenning, 19/10/2022, Insurance Age, 'Stubben Edge buys Helodrium')

Movers & Shakers

Aviva’s David Carey has jumped ship to Allianz Commercial in a newly created mid-market role effective from April 2023, subject to regulatory approval. As Managing Director for mid-market Carey will lead the Allianz Commercial regional trading teams and be responsible for driving profitable growth. Carey has been Director of Mid-Market and Speciality Lines - UK Commercial at Aviva since January 2020, and Head of Mid-Market at Aviva for a year and a half before that. Prior to this, he spent 13 years at Zurich. (Lauren Ingram, 18/10/2022, Insurance Age, 'Carey moves from Aviva to Allianz in new mid-market role')

Leading Trade Credit Insurer Allianz Trade has announced that Aylin Somersan Coqui will be stepping up as CEO and Chairperson of the board of management of Allianz Trade. Somersan Coqui, who has served as Group Chief Risk Officer of Allianz SE since 2020, will take over from Clarisse Kopff, who will be pursuing a new leadership role outside of Allianz as of November 30, 2022.(Mia Wallace, 20/10/2022, Insurance Business UK, 'Allianz arm names new CEO and chairperson')

Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty (AGCS) has announced the appointment of Mark Whayling as its new Entertainment Global Product Lead for the live sector. Whayling joined AGCS in 2017. Prior to taking his new role, he served as Senior Underwriter for live entertainment for AGCS’s London and Nordics region. Before joining AGCS, he worked as an Entertainment Underwriter at ProSight Syndicate 1100. (Ryan Smith, 20/10/2022, Insurance Business UK, 'AGCS welcomes product lead for live events')

Pool Re, Britain’s leading Terrorism reinsurer, has announced the appointment of Jonathan Gray as Chief Underwriting Officer elect. Gray has more than 30 years’ experience in the insurance market and joins Pool Re from Axis Re, where he most recently held the role of President of Global Specialties. Over many years at Axis and Novae (prior to its acquisition), he held increasingly senior positions, including Head of Axis’ business at Lloyd’s and Head of Property Reinsurance. His assumption of the CUO role will be subject to regulatory approval.  (Pool Re, 17/10/2022, YouTalk, ''Pool Re appoints Jonathan Gray as Chief Underwriting Officer elect')

Gareth Hemming, MD UKGI Distribution & SME, has decided to pursue new opportunities outside of Aviva and will leave the business at the end of the year. During his time at Aviva, Gareth has held a number of senior roles, including MD of SME, MD of Personal Lines and Chief Distribution Officer. David Martin will be joining Aviva as MD UKGI Distribution & SME in early 2023. David has worked in a variety of leadership roles spanning Distribution and Underwriting across the SME, Personal Lines and High Net Worth markets. He brings with him over 30 years’ experience, including extensive digital trading knowledge across insurance and broker markets which will support Aviva’s acceleration of its ambitions. (Aviva, 18/10/2022, YouTalk, ''Gareth Hemming to leave Aviva - David Martin appointed MD UKGI Distribution and SME')

Motorcycle insurance broker MCE Insurance is now led by new Chief Executive Alan Atkins, who succeeded ex-CEO and newly installed Executive Chair Julian Edwards. Prior to his appointment, which took effect this month, Atkins joined MCE earlier this year as an independent Non-Executive Director of the broker’s global expansion division. Launched in the second quarter, the unit was formed to expand not only MCE’s insurer claims handling model but also the company’s motorcycle sales business. (Terry Gangcuangco, 21/10/2022, Insurance Business UK, 'MCE Insurance names new chief')

PIB Group has appointed David Winkett as its new Group Chief Financial Officer, joining the company’s group executive team. Winkett is a Senior Executive, board member, and finance professional. His career spans more than 30 years in the international non-life and Lloyd’s re/insurance sector. He joins PIB after two decades at QBE in a number of senior positions, primarily as CFO in the UK and Europe, and other international locations. Winkett has also spent 10 years at PricewaterhouseCoopers. (Lyle Adriano, 21/10/2022, Insurance Business UK, 'PIB Group names new chief financial officer')

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