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General Insurance Newsletter Friday 18th November 2022

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Insurance News

WTW has staked its claim for a “step-change” in digital trading as it unveiled a collaboration with Liberty Specialty Markets and Markel launching the pilot phase of a commercial insurance platform. The global giant set out that using globally-recognised data standards, the platform has been designed to enable multiple insurers and brokers to trade complex specialty risks in real time. WTW detailed that the offering covers renewals and new business across short-tail and long-tail product lines. (Emmanuel Kenning, 17/11/2022, Insurance Age, 'WTW, Liberty and Markel team up on complex specialty risks digital trading platform')

Ardonagh achieved 12.1% growth in advisory income in the third quarter but turnover in retail dropped 11.3%. The advisory rise, compared to the same period of 2021, took income up to £99.1m for the three months. The result boosted the year-to-date figure to £300.1m, some 15.5% ahead of where the division stood at the same point last year. Ardonagh noted there was “continued strong organic income growth” in the quarter citing “new producer hires rapidly grow to maturity and growth initiatives build momentum”. (Emmanuel Kenning, 17/11/2022, Insurance Age, 'Ardonagh posts double digital advisory growth but retail fall')

Specialist insurance broker Capsule and technology provider Codat have teamed up with Aviva to pilot a new technology-led approach to ensuring high-growth businesses have the right level of cover in place. The group claimed Capsule can enable Aviva to onboard and review clients faster using Codat’s API that connects SMEs’ business data to service providers. As a result, growing businesses participating in the initiative will be able to share access to the data in their financial software – for example, in platforms like Xero, QuickBooks, and Shopify – with Capsule. (Insurance Age Reporter, 17/11/2022, Insurance Age, 'Capsule and Aviva launch start-up insurance pilot')

Beazley has raised £350m as it flagged plans to accelerate growth in Cyber and Specialty business. The placement has added nearly 10% to the insurer’s issued share capital. Ahead of the raise Beazley cited “market dislocation” in certain insurance classes as an opportunity to push ahead and deliver “outsized returns”. (Emmanuel Kenning, 16/11/2022, Insurance Age, 'Beazley raises £350m as it eyes cyber push')

Zurich Insurance has become the Group for Autism, Insurance, Investment and Neurodiversity’s first Industry Transformer member. This means that over the next three years, Zurich has committed to working with GAIN in its mission to spark a significant improvement in the employment prospects of neurodivergent people in insurance, investment, and related areas of financial services. (Sophie Locke-Cooper, 15/11/2022, Insurance Age, 'Zurich becomes GAIN’s first Industry Transformer member')

The Association of British Insurers has urged the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Jeremy Hunt, to freeze the rate of Insurance Premium Tax in the Autumn Statement on 17 November. The standard rate currently stands at 12% – it is higher for travel insurance at 20% – and throughout the years the British Insurance Brokers’ Association has argued that it is a “regressive tax”. (Sophie Locke-Cooper, 15/11/2022, Insurance Age, 'ABI urges the Chancellor to freeze IPT')

Renovation Plan has teamed-up with AXA as its exclusive partner for all the specialist home renovation provider’s insurance products. Renovation Plan first signed up with the British Insurance Brokers’ Association in 2017 to deliver a scheme for properties undergoing renovation works. The member scheme was renewed in 2020. (Emmanuel Kenning, 15/11/2022, Insurance Age, 'Biba schemes provider Renovation Plan ties up with Axa')

Following claims that schemes commission and volumes have dropped over the past 12 months, BLW Insurance Brokers’ CEO, Brett Sainty, said that insurers have gone back to basics when it comes to delegated authority partnerships. Earlier this month, SchemeServe released a report which revealed that there had been a considerable drop across the board on scheme numbers with the biggest falls being in Cyber.(Sophie Locke-Cooper, 15/11/2022, Insurance Age, 'Insurers going back to basics on schemes - BLW's Brett Sainty')

Covea, Hiscox and RSA have all committed to help the UK adapt to the changing climate by joining Flood Re’s Build Back Better scheme. Flood Re’s CEO Andy Bord, revealed at the World Climate Summit in Sharma El-Sheikh, that the three insurers will be joining the scheme. Flood Re launched Build Back Better in April this year to reduce the impact of future flooding for households. It claims it has now gained the support of around 60% of the UK’s residential property insurance market. (Sophie Locke-Cooper, 14/11/2022, Insurance Age, 'Covea, Hiscox and RSA commit to Build Back Better')

Insurtech MGA Qlaims has partnered with MVP and Ataraxia Network to offer their brokers its claims and risk management solution. Under the arrangement, Ataraxia Network Brokers can access bespoke rates for schemes and portfolios, with embedded wordings, as well as accessing the Qlaims Insurance standard policies, which are available via Acturis or the Qlaims web portal.(Insurance Age Reporter, 14/11/2022, Insurance Age, 'Qlaims partners with MVP and Ataraxia Network')

With a “dream team” assembled, an impressive panel of insurance partners confirmed, and new products in the offing, Jan-Vincent Finn, Co-Founder and CEO of the London-based MGA Aurora has got his eyes firmly fixed on the future. The vision behind Aurora is clear, he said - the commercial insurance market is primed and ready for something of a shakeup, and such a shakeup can only come through leveraging technology and talent to the benefit of the wider insurance value chain. With over a dozen years of broking experience to his name – including time spent at WTW and Miller – operating on the front line of the insurance market has offered Finn a first-hand insight into where the ecosystem is not fit for purpose and what can be done to serve underserved customers. (Mia Wallace, 17/11/2022, Insurance Business UK, 'Aurora CEO on shaking up the commercial insurance market')

Global broker WTW is supporting a newly announced initiative by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) to provide sustainable disaster and climate change protections geared to meet the needs of vulnerable children. UNICEF’s Today and Tomorrow initiative will invest in climate resilience and anticipatory action for improved cyclone awareness in certain climate-vulnerable countries. This will be complemented by a rapid response to tropical cyclones financed by a pre-arranged parametric insurance policy designed by WTW. The policy is funded with support from the German and UK governments under the newly launched G7-V20 Shield against Climate Risks. (Ryan Smith, 17/11/2022, Insurance Business UK, 'WTW reveals partnership with UNICEF')

The Chartered Insurance Institute (CII) has published a good practice guide for insurers in support of the Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA) flagship regulatory reform on Consumer Duty. In May and December 2021, the FCA published two more rounds of consultations on the Consumer Duty, then published its final Policy Statement and Guidance in July 2022. (Micah Guiao, 17/11/2022, Insurance Business UK, 'CII publishes Consumer Duty good practice guide for insurers')

Pikl – an insurtech specialising in solutions for the sharing economy – has announced a new partnership with Sykes Holiday Cottages. Sykes Holiday Cottages is one of the largest independent holiday cottage rental agencies in the UK. The partnership with Pikl enables Sykes’ holiday homeowners to purchase Pikl’s specialist insurance solutions through the former’s preferred partners programme. (Lyle Adriano, 17/11/2022, Insurance Business UK, 'Pikl to offer specialist holiday home insurance through partnership')

Ryan Specialty Transactional Risks International has opened a new office in Copenhagen, Denmark, marking the business’ fourth location. The Transactional Risks International business is a part of Ryan Specialty Group’s underwriting managers platform. It specialises in core transactional risk products of Warranty and Indemnity insurance and Commercial Tax Liability insurance and services brokers internationally.(Gabriel Olano, 17/11/2022, Insurance Business UK, 'Ryan Specialty cuts ribbon for Copenhagen office')

AXA Commercial has created a team of 120 experts to focus on the small to medium enterprise (SME) market to better equip business owners with the cover they need. The new operating model gives brokers more ways to trade, a wider risk appetite for new sectors and expands the dedicated support provided by SME specialists. For SME customers, it provides bespoke cover for larger, more complex policies, smart risk management with tools and services specific to their needs and faster payments for successful claims. (AXA UK, 17/11/2022, youTalk Insurance, 'AXA Commercial revamps intermediated SME business to give more to brokers and customers')

MS Amlin, the Lloyd’s global (re)insurer, has announced its Sustainability Strategy. The detailed plan acts as a statement of positive intent about how MS Amlin plans to support clients, partners, and the business, moving towards a low carbon economy. The detailed Sustainability Strategy sets out the steps which the company will take over the next 36 months and provides multi-point plans for how it will embed ESG criteria and monitor performance effectively. This will support MS Amlin’s commitment to minimise the environmental impacts of its operations globally while also building out more robust social and governance practices. (MS Amlin, 17/11/2022, youTalk Insurance, 'MS Amlin announces 36-month sustainability roadmap to embed ESG into business')

International General Insurance Holdings Ltd. has announced that Wasef Jabsheh, IGI’s Chairman and CEO, will lead IGI in ringing the Closing Bell at the NASDAQ MarketSite in Times Square, New York City. Joining in the celebration will be members of the Company’s Board of Directors, leadership team, and others who worked on the successful completion of IGI’s listing on NASDAQ on March 18, 2020. (IGI, 17/11/2022, youTalk Insurance, 'IGI rings the NASDAQ Closing Bell')

In further news...IGI has announced that its Board of Directors has declared an ordinary common share dividend of $0.01 per share for the period July 1, 2022 – September 30, 2022. The dividend is payable on December 14, 2022 to shareholders of record at the close of business on November 29, 2022. (IGI, 17/11/2022, youTalk Insurance, 'IGI rings the NASDAQ Closing Bell')

Football fans are being warned to keep their eye on the ball, with household breakages on the cards in the lead up to the World Cup. Aviva reveals accidental damage claims where football played a part increased by 82% during the last men’s football World Cup in 2018. Electronic equipment, windows and soft furnishings regularly fell foul of kickabouts and celebrations during matches.(Aviva, 14/11/2022, youTalk Insurance, 'IGI announces Quarterly Ordinary Common Share Dividend)

AS Amlin has announced that it has finalised its sustainability strategy for the next 36 months.

According to the (re)insurer, the detailed plan will act as a “statement of positive intent about how MS Amlin plans to support clients, partners, and the business,” as it moves forward to a low carbon economy.

The detailed sustainability strategy lays out the steps which the company will take over the next 36 months and provides multi-point plans for how it will implement ESG criteria and monitor its performance effectively, a release said. MS Amlin added that the plan would support its commitment to minimising the environmental impacts of its operations globally, while also expanding its social and governance practices. Lyle Adriano/18/11/22/Insurance Business UK/AS Amilin lays out its 36 Month sustainability roadmap

Mergers & Acquisitions

The global insurance broking group NFP has acquired Dublin-based health and life insurance advisors Tailored Finance Limited. Established in 2008, Tailored Finance is one of the leading independent health insurance brokers in the Irish market, with gross written annual premiums at €25 million in 2021. This marks NFP’s fifth acquisition in Ireland in the last two years, but the first healthcare-related broker, signifying a broadening of NFP’s portfolio of services. (Micah Guiao, 17/11/2022, Insurance Business UK, 'NFP secures its first healthcare-related acquisition in Ireland')

Continuing its rapid pace of expansion, Aston Lark Ireland, a Howden company, has announced that it has agreed terms to acquire William Lyons Insurances Limited (“William Lyons Insurances”) and wholly owned subsidiary J.C. Daly & Co. Insurances Limited (“J.C. Daly Insurances”). The acquisition is subject to regulatory approval. William Lyons Insurances is a long-established, second-generation family-run insurance brokerage based in Castleisland, County Kerry, serving customers in the south-west region of Ireland since 1952. (Aston Lark Ireland, 14/11/2022, youTalk Insurance, 'Aston Lark Ireland buys Irish brokerage and its wholly owned subsidiary')

Movers & Shakers

The Policy Shop Founder and former CEO Sean Byrne has joined niche Motor and Personal Lines insurance broker Got You Covered as Managing Director, reporting to CEO Rob Leigh. Byrne, founded The Policy Shop in Coventry in 1993 growing the firm to £20m of gross written premium and a headcount of 70. He left the business after selling it to Markerstudy in 2014. (Emmanuel Kenning, 16/11/2022, Insurance Age, 'Ex-Policy Shop CEO Sean Byrne joins Got You Covered as MD')

Allianz Holdings has announced the appointment of James Maxwell to the newly created position of Risk Director for its Commercial business. James has over 30 years’ experience in the market and joins Allianz having been a Partner at PwC in its insurance risk advisory practice, as well as interim CRO at MS Amlin. Prior to this James spent many years in various operational and advisory roles as a risk management specialist, including with EY and Marsh, and as CRO at BG Group, a FTSE100 oil & gas producer.(Allianz, 15/11/2022, youTalk Insurance, 'Allianz Commercial appoints new Risk Director')

American International Group, Inc. announced that AIG and Peter Zaffino, President & Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board, have entered into an agreement securing Mr. Zaffino’s employment through November 10, 2027. Speaking on behalf of the AIG Board of Directors, John G. Rice said, “We are fortunate to have Peter continue as the CEO of AIG for at least the next five years. Throughout his career, Peter has developed an excellent track record as a visionary, insightful leader, with an ability to execute comprehensive transformational programs that turn his strategic vision into tangible, measurable success. Under Peter’s leadership, AIG has delivered on ambitious operational and financial objectives and is well positioned to continue to drive long-term value for the company’s shareholders and other stakeholders.”(AIG, 14/11/2022, youTalk Insurance, 'AIG announces 5 year employment agreement with Peter Zaffino')

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