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General Insurance Newsletter Friday 16th December 2022

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Insurance News

Ageas, AXA UK and LV have some of the highest claims rejection rates in home insurance out of all the insurers who work with brokers, Financial Conduct Authority figures show. The FCA has released a slew of Personal Lines data – called value measures – that it wants brokers to use to help understand whether their insurer partners offer fair value.(Saxon East, 15/12/2022, Insurance Age, 'Fair value? Which household insurers are rejecting the most claims?')

Sam White, Founder of Freedom of Services Group, tackles the broking sector’s image, recruiting from other industries and the question of quotas as she shares her reaction to the gender diversity leader gap statistics. “I’m not hugely surprised but it is of course crushingly disappointing,” White told Insurance Age after a Freedom of Information request to the Financial Conduct Authority revealed there were only 1,892 women in six key senior management function roles approved by the watchdog. (Emmanuel Kenning, 15/12/2022, Insurance Age, 'Gender gap stats no surprise but “crushingly disappointing” – Freedom’s Sam White')

The Movo Partnership appointed representative network has expanded its apprenticeship programme taking on five new starters. The firm recruited its first apprentice in 2016. Apprenticeships have come increasingly to the fore in recent weeks and months with talent acquisition a key barrier to growth for the insurance industry. (Emmanuel Kenning, 15/12/2022, Insurance Age, 'Movo grows apprenticeship scheme')

The British Insurance Brokers' Association has revealed Rising to the Challenge as its theme for the 2023 conference. The theme, according to Biba, aims to show how the insurance industry is responding positively to the changing political, environmental and economic world. (Lauren Ingram, 15/12/2022, Insurance Age, 'Biba reveals 2023 conference theme')

The British Insurance Brokers’ Association’s Executive Director, Graeme Trudgill has responded to the Financial Conduct Authority’s review of the funding of the Financial Services Compensation Scheme. The FCA has revealed today the next steps it will take on improving the compensation framework. The review was launched following concerns about the increasing cost of liabilities falling to the FSCS. The watchdog has aimed to make sure the compensation framework continues to provide an appropriate level of consumer protection.(Sophie Locke-Cooper, 14/12/2022, Insurance Age, 'Graeme Trudgill ‘delighted’ to see FCA review funding of the FSCS')

Specialist law firm HF (formerly Horwich Farrelly) has worked with their client, First Central, to bring the now defunct Asons Solicitors, a medical expert and the former boss of a medico-legal agency to account. The very people normally held to the highest standards of integrity, made a dishonest claim in the name of a claimant who had no knowledge of it whatsoever. (HF, 15/12/2022, youTalk Insurance, 'Law firm sued for trying to defraud insurance firm by impersonating a client')

Prestige Underwriting’s year of record growth for its non-standard Motor proposition shows no signs of slowing down as it launches a new proposition with AA Insurance. As a leading MGA in non-standard and niche, Prestige Underwriting’s non-standard Motor product will provide the AA’s customers with a new, flexible solution for a diverse range of risk types including imports, modified & high-performance vehicles and cover options for motoring or criminal convictions.(Prestige Underwriting, 15/12/2022, youTalk Insurance, 'Prestige Underwriting & AA partnership accelerates with Non-standard Motor')

QBE has announced the introduction of Warranty and Indemnity (W&I) insurance in Europe for the first time to further support customers. The new product reflects an increased need for capacity and technical expertise to respond to the demands of customers and increased levels of M&A activity in the region. The product will offer protection for unknown breaches of target and seller representations and warranties in a purchase agreement.(QBE, 12/12/2022, youTalk Insurance, 'QBE expands financial lines offering with launch of Warranty & Indemnity product')

AXIS Capital Holdings Limited has announced that it expects to release financial results for the fourth quarter ended December 31, 2022 on Wednesday, January 25, 2023 after the close of the financial markets. Albert Benchimol, President and Chief Executive Officer, and Peter Vogt, Chief Financial Officer, will host an investor teleconference, including a question and answer period, on Thursday, January 26, 2023 at 9:30 a.m. EST to discuss the fourth quarter results as well as related matters.(AXIS 12/12/2022, youTalk Insurance, 'AXIS Capital to release Q4 Financial Results on 25th January 2023')

Mergers & Acquisitions

Aston Lark has bought Navigators and General's commercial direct Marine trade book. Aston Lark, part of the Howden Group, stated they made the acquisition to expand their range of marine insurance products. The trade book covers the full spectrum of the Marine industry and will be offered by Aston Lark alongside its brand Haven Knox-Johnston. (Lauren Ingram, 14/12/2022, Insurance Age, 'Aston Lark acquires N&G direct marine trade book')

The Jensten Group has acquired commercial broker Basil Fry & Company, its second acquisition in a week. Basil Fry, which is based in Surrey, specialises in insurance solutions for the removals, storage and self-storage industry in the UK. The new acquisition will bring an additional £25m GWP, 41 staff and over 2000 clients to the group, and is subject to regulatory approval. (Lauren Ingram, 14/12/2022, Insurance Age, 'Jensten Group acquires second broker in a week')

​PIB Group has welcomed Damus Acquisitions Holdings Ltd as part of its rapidly growing insurance intermediary. Formed from two businesses – BHP Community Ltd (trading as BHP Insurance) and Keegan Meredith & Williams Insurances Ltd (KMW) – Damus’ addition adds to PIB’s growth in Ireland and builds on the previous eight businesses the insurance intermediary had acquired in the region. (Lyle Adriano, 16/12/2022, Insurance Business Mag UK, PIB Group acquires Damus Acquisitions Holdings')

Movers & Shakers

​Rob Kuchinski, the Commercial Insurance Head of Zurich UK who is retiring at the end of the year, will be succeeded by Liberty Specialty Markets President and Managing Director Phil Hobbs as Chair of the International Underwriting Association of London (IUA). An IUA board member since 2019, Hobbs served as Deputy Chair and will assume the chairmanship on January 1, 2023. He was elected during a board meeting this week. As part of his remit, Hobbs will be the IUA’s representative on the London Market Group board.(Terry Gangcuangco, 16/12/2022, Insurance Business Mag UK, 'IUA announces chairman succession')

​Fidelis Insurance has made immediate internal appointments, including Director of Underwriting and Deputy Chair. Former Underwriting Director Charles Mathias is now Deputy Chair of the insurance group. The Lancashire alumnus has been with Fidelis since 2015 and brings nearly 40 years of broking and underwriting experience to the post. Succeeding Mathias as Director of Underwriting is Matthew Bellamy, who was promoted from Head of FUL (Fidelis Underwriting Limited) Property reinsurance. He came onboard in 2019 from Lloyd’s Acapella Syndicate and has over one and a half decades of underwriting experience to his name. Meanwhile, Michael Davern, who in late 2021 became Co-Deputy FUL Chief Underwriting Officer and Head of Direct & Facultative and Energy, has now joined the executive committee at Fidelis. Spanning more than 20 years, Davern’s industry experience includes time spent at AXA XL.(Terry Gangcuangco, 16/12/2022, Insurance Business Mag UK, 'Fidelis Insurance names deputy chair, underwriting director')

Thomas Miller has announced changes to its senior management team, with the promotions of Fiona Cowie to Group Chief Operating Officer and Vanessa Luty to Group HR Director. Cowie joined Thomas Miller in 2016 and was appointed Chief of Staff in 2021. She has three decades of human resources experience in the financial and professional services industry, after an early career as an Army officer. Cowie has worked for PwC, Pinsent Curtis and Pitney Bowes, amongst others. Luty joined Thomas Miller as Senior HR Business Partner in 2018 and was promoted to Head of HR in May 2021. Before joining Thomas Miller, she worked for Bird & Bird LLP and Olswang. In her new role, Luty will take over full leadership of the group’s HR function from Cowie. (Gabriel Olano, 16/12/2022, Insurance Business Mag UK, 'Thomas Miller names new chief operating officer, HR director')

Markel International (Markel), a subsidiary of Markel Corporation, has appointed Andrew Green as its Head of Underwriting Risk, while Emma Higgins takes over from Green as the Head of Catastrophe Management. Both moves are already effective. Green has over 15 years of insurance experience. Higgins has been with Markel for over six years and started as a Senior Catastrophe Analyst in 2016. (Roxanne Libatique, 15/12/2022, Insurance Business Mag UK, 'Markel International announces new senior appointments')

Former Kerry London Surety Manager Ben Milan has made the switch to Lockton. Milan, whose credentials also include time spent at RKH Specialty and Howden Insurance Brokers, will be in charge of running Lockton’s Surety practice in the UK and Ireland in his capacity as Vice President and Surety Practice Leader within the company’s global Real Estate & Construction (GREAC) division. (Terry Gangcuangco, 15/12/2022, Insurance Business Mag UK, 'Lockton names leader for surety practice in the UK and Ireland')

H&R Insurance Services has hired Mathew Johnston and Lynsey Yeats to serve as Commercial Account Executive and Commercial Account Handler, respectively. Between Johnston and Yeats, they have 34 years of insurance industry experience. The two join H&R from a “well-established, previously independent” insurance broker in Angus, a release said. (Lyle Adriano, 15/12/2022, Insurance Business Mag UK, 'H&R Insurance Services hires two new commercial account experts')

QBE has appointed Rob Stone as Chief Financial Officer for its International Division. Rob has been with QBE for over 14 years, most recently managing Equator Re, QBE’s inward reinsurance facility, before stepping in to run International’s Finance, Actuarial and Legal function on an interim basis following Chris Killourhy’s move to QBE Re. (QBE, 15/12/2022, youTalk Insurance, 'QBE International appoints Chief Financial Officer')

AXIS Capital Holdings Limited has announced that Andy Maher has been appointed Head of Cyber and Technology, London. Mr. Maher joined AXIS in 2018 as a Senior Cyber Underwriter before becoming Head of Large Accounts for Cyber in North America and then being appointed Deputy Chief Underwriting Officer, Cyber and Technology, in December 2021. Before joining AXIS he held Cyber underwriting positions with Markel and Beazley. (AXIS, 12/12/2022, youTalk Insurance, 'AXIS appoints Andy Maher as Head of Cyber and Technology, London')

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