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General Insurance Newsletter Friday 27th January 2023

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Insurance News

The British Insurance Brokers’ Association’s manifesto is not a “bellyache” document but one full of solutions, CEO Steve Whitesaid. The manifesto, themed Managing Risk – Delivering Stability, was launched in the Houses of Parliament at Westminster on 24 January. Along with viewpoints from Biba Chair Jonathan Evans and the economic secretary to the Treasury, Andrew Griffith, the document contained an executive risk survey with member Aon describing the risks leaders are focused on.(Emmanuel Kenning, 26/1/2023, Insurance Age, 'Biba eschews stuffing manifesto with simple, low hanging fruit, says White')

In further news...Some 40% of members involved in research by the British Insurance Brokers' Association told the trade body they had clients who were no longer insuring their Cyber risks due to the cost of living crisis. The manifesto highlighted that SMEs account for 96% of all cyber-attacks as they are often soft targets for criminals to extort money or can be used as a gateway into larger businesses. Graeme Trudgill, Biba’s Executive Director, said: “It is concerning that businesses are cutting Cyber cover when the risk is growing, so we want them to understand the protection and wider everyday support that is available with leading Cyber insurance.” (Sophie Locke-Cooper, 25/1/2023, Insurance Age, 'Biba flags concern on businesses cutting cyber cover')

Regulatory costs for brokers are 40% higher than in 2019, British Insurance Brokers’ Association research has found. The numbers show that regulation now costs 8.1% of broker fees and commissions. The results were published in the 2023 Biba Manifesto, with the research carried out by London Economics. (Saxon East, 25/1/2023, Insurance Age, 'Regulatory costs for brokers jump 40% in just three years')

Beazley has rolled out a Private Equity Liability insurance product designed to focus on the D&O risks within the long-term lifecycle of portfolios held by private equity firms. The specialist insurer has made the new product available via the London Market and worldwide but excluding US domiciled businesses. According to the provider, across the full lifecycle of investments, private equity firms and their Directors face a host of challenging boardroom risks. It highlighted that the cover stretched from the purchase of an asset through to the exit strategy. (Emmanuel Kenning, 26/1/2023, Insurance Age, 'Beazley launches private equity liability product')

Comprehensive car insurance premiums increased sharply by 19% during the last 12 months, with UK motorists now paying £629 on average, according to the latest Car Insurance Price Index. The research by aggregator Confused in association with broker WTW showed £100 had been added to the average bill during 2022. It is the biggest annual jump for six years.(Emmanuel Kenning, 26/1/2023, Insurance Age, 'Car premiums surge 19% in 2022')

Miller has revealed that it is realigning its business into two divisions, Miller UK and Miller International. The broker will split its business to support its presence in both the UK and internationally. Miller International will oversee all activity across Miller’s international offices, while Miller UK will focus on the London market and continued expansion in the UK. (Sophie Locke-Cooper, 26/1/2023, Insurance Age, 'Miller restructures business into two divisions')

Aviva has estimated that freezing weather in the UK during December will cost the insurer around £50m at a group level. In a trading update, the insurer revealed that its weather experience in the UK and Ireland for the full year was only marginally above the long-term average. The provider forecast that for the full year its group combined operating ratio would come in at 94.6%. After the announcement, at the time of writing, Aviva’s share price has risen by 3% to 454.2p. (Sophie Locke-Cooper, 25/1/2023, Insurance Age, 'Aviva hit with extra claims costs from cold weather snap')

In further news...Aviva has launched a Norwich-based digital training hub called The Foundry. The UK’s largest general insurer aims for The Foundry to boost digital skills in both the local workforce and with Aviva staff. The Foundry, by partnering with Norwich City College, will offer local students digital training, Aviva work placements and career opportunities.(Saxon East, 27/1/2023, Insurance Age 'Aviva launches digital training hub to boost workforce skills')

The Financial Conduct Authority has warned firms risk falling behind as the deadline for Consumer Duty looms. The regulator’s update revealed it had scrutinised a number of firms in their preparation for the 31 July deadline. Many firms understand good outcomes and have built complementary programmes, the FCA reported. (Saxon East, 25/1/2023, Insurance Age, 'FCA's Consumer Duty update is a ‘warning against complacency’ as firms fall behind')

Allianz Engineering, Construction & Power has brought its Renewable Energy experts into one team, with the ambition of growing its green power portfolio. The insurer detailed that the cross-regional team of local Underwriters will service brokers and customers working in the Renewable Energy sector. According to Allianz, the new structure, working from a single hub, will add “valuable expertise, resilience and scale”, helping its interactions with broker partners.(Emmanuel Kenning, 24/1/2023, Insurance Age, 'Allianz aims to boost broker interaction as it restructures renewable energy')

Zurich UK has launched a bespoke concierge service for its Personal Lines customers in a move it claimed was an industry-first. Following a five-month pilot, the provider has recruited an 18-strong team from the Retail and Hospitality sectors to support claimants. The insurer detailed that customers who chose Zurich suppliers or select its ‘vendor journey’ option, will be allocated a single concierge contact at the point of claim “to help smooth the process of repair or replacement of damaged property”.(Emmanuel Kenning, 24/1/2023, Insurance Age, 'Zurich to expand claims concierge service to commercial and SME mid-market customers from Q1')

In further news...Zurich Resilience Solutions (ZRS), the commercial risk advisory and services unit of Zurich Insurance Group, has partnered with climate services provider and carbon project developer South Pole to launch a new climate change-related offering to companies. According to Zurich, the joint offering will be initially available in the US, Germany and Switzerland. It will help businesses tackle both sides of the climate challenge at the same time, by helping them to define and execute their short- and long-term climate resilience objectives, as well as their net-zero goals. (Gabriel Olano, 26/1/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Zurich unveils climate offering for commercial clients')

​Marsh McLennan has reported financial results for the fourth quarter and year ended December 31, 2022. The global brokerage giant said it had consolidated revenue of US$5 billion for Q4 2022, which is 2% lower than the same period in 2021 but 7% higher on an underlying basis. Net income was US$466 million, or US$0.93 per diluted share, compared with US$1.57 in Q4 of 2021. Adjusted earnings per share was US$1.47, versus US$1.36 for the year prior. (Gia Snape, 26/1/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Marsh McLennan unveils Q4 and full-year 2022 results')

RSA Insurance employees with significant caring responsibilities for disabled dependents will now be entitled to five more days of paid leave per calendar year under the British insurer’s new carers’ policy. Spearheaded by the RSA Families Employee Resource Group, the development of the policy was made possible using an RSA Families survey which found that many such ‘carers’ use their annual leave to attend dependents’ medical appointments, etc., instead of using that time for themselves.(Terry Gangcuangco, 26/1/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'RSA introduces carers' policy for staff')

Marsh has posted a 3% revenue rise to $10.51bn (£8.5bn) in 2022. The EMEA division, which the UK is part of, delivered a 2% drop in revenue to $2.88bn for the year. CEO John Doyle, who took over at the helm at the start of this year, said: “Our expertise across the important areas of risk, strategy and people is more relevant than ever as we help clients navigate an uncertain world. I am excited about the possibilities ahead.” (Saxon East, 26/1/2023, Insurance Age, 'Marsh navigating ‘uncertain world’ as revenue rises 3% in 2022')

Broking group Arthur J Gallagher has unveiled its 2022 full year and Q4 results. Net earnings for the year were US$1.1 billion (adjusted: US$1.6 billion), up from US $955 million in 2021. Revenues before reimbursements were US$8.4 billion, an increase from US$8 billion the prior year. (Jen Frost, 26/1/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Gallagher 2022 full year results revealed')

Mergers & Acquisitions

Movo Partnership network has bought CCS Insurance adding £1.8m of gross written premium and three staff to the group. CCS Insurance, based in Woking, will trade as Movo Woking. The buy is Movo’s eight acquisition. Parent company Movo Investment Group bought a 50% stake in insurtech Durell last July having kicked off 2022 snapping up three brokers – Chiltern Insurance Group based in Reading, FLS General in Essex, and Kidd Insurance in West Lothian. (Emmanuel Kenning, 26/1/2023, Insurance Age, 'Movo buys CCS Insurance')

Movers & Shakers

Artex has appointed Mike Ellis as the Managing Director of their ​Gibraltar team. Over the past 33 years Mike Ellis has held a number of senior roles in the UK insurance community spending the last 9 years with Broker Network Underwriting/ Bravo Networks Underwriting as Managing Director. He held the role of Chief Operating Officer for Rural Insurance. Additionally his foundation as a Branch Underwriting Manager at AXA Insurance PLC UK means that he has a broad understanding of the client experience combined with technical insurance expertise. (Paul Eaton, 23/1/2023, Artex internal announcement)

Niraj Shah is joining specialist engineering and technology insurer HSB as Chief Underwriting Officer for the UK and Ireland. Described as an insurance leader with underwriting, actuarial, finance, and transformation expertise, Shah succeeds Underwriting Director Stephen Morris who is retiring this year after more than four decades in the industry. Shah’s credentials include time spent at Co-op Insurance, Ageas UK, and Zego. At HSB, he will be in charge of underwriting standards and strategy across the UK and Ireland, as well as leading the underwriting standards and strategy team.(Terry Gangcuangco, 26/1/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'HSB names new UK & Ireland chief underwriting officer')

Dr Christian Hermelingmeier – the Chief Financial Officer at HDI Global SE since September 2020 and the Managing Director at HDI Global Specialty SE since January 2023 – is about to wear another hat while continuing to carry out his existing functions. Come March, Hermelingmeier will also be in charge of leading the finance department at HDI Global Specialty SE, taking over from Thomas Stöckl who is leaving the group after nine years to pursue other opportunities. The latter became CFO of HDI Global Specialty SE in 2015. (Terry Gangcuangco, 26/1/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Remit of new HDI Global Specialty managing director to widen further')

QBE has announced that the leadership of its Trade Credit team in Europe has been restructured through several key promotions. Seb Rice has been appointed as Commercial Head, Trade Credit. Having joined QBE in 2013, Rice most recently served as the Leader of the New Business Underwriting team, Trade Credit, for Europe. In addition to Rice’s appointment, QBE has also named Dave Murray as Head of New Business for Trade Credit, and Jamie Calder as Head of Risk Underwriting. Both Murray and Calder were both previously jointly responsible for the Risk Underwriting team; they have both been with QBE since 2015. According to the company, it made the promotions following news that Ian Bocca, Commercial Underwriting Trade Credit Manager, would be retiring by the end of March this year.(Lyle Adriano, 26/1/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'QBE restructures trade credit senior leadership in Europe')

AXA XL Insurance has announced the appointment of Marine Charbonnier as Head of Captives & Facultative Underwriting, APAC & Europe. Mrs. Charbonnier was previously Global Programmes & Captives Regional Director for Europe at AXA XL. She joined AXA in 2013 as Head of Risk Financing Solutions, and was promoted to Head of Integrated Solutions A.R.T. (Alternative Risk Transfer) in 2018. Prior to working for AXA, Mrs. Charbonnier spent over 20 years at Gras Savoye, where she held various strategic roles in captives and alternative risk transfer. (AXA XL, 26/1/2023, youTalk Insurance, 'AXA XL bolsters captive business with key appointment in APAC & Europe')

Liberty Specialty Markets (LSM), part of Liberty Mutual Insurance Group, announced the promotion of Huw Owen to the role of Global Head of Financial Risk Solutions (FRS), effective immediately. Owen joined LSM in 2012 as Head of London Markets for FRS and has since held a number of roles within the team, most recently as FRS Chief Underwriting Officer. Prior to joining LSM, Owen was Senior Underwriter at Zurich Financial Services. He brings more than 20 years of industry experience to the role.(Liberty Specialty Markets, 23/1/2023, youTalk Insurance, 'Liberty Specialty Markets promotes Huw Owen to Global Head of Financial Risk Solutions')

Gallagher has appointed Louise Piper as Head of Strategic Account Management. Louise joins Gallagher with a wealth of industry experience gained at both global brokers and insurers. Louise most recently was International Brokers Director at Aviva where she was responsible for managing all large and consolidator broker relationships for the insurer and leading its distribution and sales team to grow the business. Prior to this, she worked at AXA XL as Head of Client and Distribution Management. She has also held leadership roles at WTW as Head of UK Retail Broking, and Marsh as Head of National Corporate Placement. (Gallagher, 24/1/2023, youTalk Insurance, 'Gallagher appoints Louise Piper as Head of Strategic Account Management')

American International Group, Inc. has announced that Thomas F. Motamed, a Director of the company since January 2019, is retiring from the Board of Directors for health reasons. Mr. Motamed was Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of CNA Financial Corporation from 2009 to 2016. Prior to CNA, Mr. Motamed spent over 30 years at The Chubb Corporation, where he rose to Vice Chairman and Chief Operating Officer. He is a past Chairman of the Insurance Information Institute and is Chair Emeritus for Adelphi University. (AIG, 24/1/2023, youTalk Insurance, 'Thomas F. Motamed to retire from AIG’s Board of Directors')

Direct Line Group (DLG) CEO Penny James is stepping down from her role with immediate effect. The breaking news from the British Motor insurer closely follows the trading update it delivered earlier in January which included the update that a final dividend for the 2022 financial year had been cancelled. The market’s reaction to the news led to a rapid dip in its share price. James, who first joined Direct Line as CFO in late 2017, took over as CEO in May 2019. A report from the Financial Times indicated that CFO Jon Greenwood has taken on the role of acting Chief Executive. (Mia Wallace, 27/1/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Direct Line CEO Penny James steps down')

Thierry Léger is moving from Swiss Re, where he served as Group Chief Underwriting Officer from September 2020, to join global reinsurer SCOR as Chief Executive beginning May. According to Swiss Re’s announcement, Léger is stepping down as Group Executive Committee member effective immediately. In the meantime, Group CEO Christian Mumenthaler is taking over the CUO function. (Terry Gangcuangco, 27/1/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Swiss Re group CUO leaving to join SCOR as chief executive')

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