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General Insurance Newsletter Friday 3rd March 2023

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Insurance News

London-based insurtech Flock has raised $38m (£31.7m) in a series B funding led by Octopus Ventures. According to Flock’s CEO, Ed Leon Klinger, the funding round will allow the company to expand into new segments of the commercial motor industry, as well as new geographical locations. (Sophie Locke-Cooper, 27/2/2023, Insurance Age, 'Fleet specialist Flock secures $38m in funding')

The UK led the way on carrier mergers and acquisitions in Europe during 2022, as the overall region saw 127 deals – a 1.6% year-on-year rise. According to the latest research by law firm Clyde & Co, there were 25 transactions in the UK in 2022, topping the charts ahead of France with 18 and Spain with 16. (Emmanuel Kenning, 27/2/2023, Insurance Age, 'UK leads on insurer M&A while MGA market ‘buoyant’)

A female rugby player has won compensation, which could reach £10m after a tackle from an opponent left her paralysed. Dani Czernuszka, 34, broke her spine following a tackle from a 17-stone opponent. (Saxon East 27/2/2023, Insurance Age, 'Insurers could face £10m claim from paralysed female rugby player)

Ansvar, part of the Benefact Group, has launched a clubs, groups and societies policy for associations or organisations dedicated to a particular interest or activity. The product is open to those that have an annual income of under £1m, assets of up to £2.5m, a payroll of up to £500,000 and fewer than 500 volunteers or members. (Emmanuel Kenning, 27/2/2023, Insurance Age, 'Ansvar rolls out clubs, groups and societies cover')

Randall and Quilter’s European program arm, the capacity backer of Policy Expert and Inperio, is looking to partner with UK managing general agencies. Accredited Insurance (Europe), in 2022, held around £450m gross written premium through UK MGAs, making it one of the biggest capacity providers to underwriting agencies in the UK market. (Saxon East, 28/2/2023, Insurance Age, 'Accredited Europe looks to partner with UK MGAs as premium nears £500m')

Jensten Group has bought schemes broker Darwin Clayton for an undisclosed amount. The deal, subject to regulatory approval, will add 44 staff, 2,300 clients and more than £20m in gross written premiums to Jensten. Darwin Clayton, which has been trading for over 100 years, is based in Tunbridge Wells, with a further regional office in Nottingham. (Sophie Locke-Cooper, 28/2/2023, Insurance Age, 'Jensten Group snaps up schemes broker Darwin Clayton')

Reich Insurance Brokers increased revenue organically by 10.4% to £14.68m in the year to 31 March 2022. The financial results, released in a filing at Companies House, showed post-tax profits at the Top 75 UK broker jumped year-on-year by nearly £450,000 to £4.04m. (Emmanuel Kenning, 28/2/2023, Insurance Age, 'Profits and turnover up at Reich in 2022')

CFC has launched a product specifically designed to protect start-ups and small businesses from threats to their intellectual property. Protecting the patents, trademarks, copyrights and other IP the policy covers defence and pursuit enforcement, oppositions, protection of loss of future profits and loss of IP rights which CFC stated were the “primary IP battlegrounds”. (Emmanuel Kenning, 28/2/2023, Insurance Age, 'CFC targets start-ups and SMEs with intellectual property policy')

CNA Hardy has launched a new package product solution for multinational businesses called Atlas. The insurer is building on its existing suite of combined coverage products known as Package+. It covers businesses in manufacturing, professional services and wholesale durable goods industries. (Saxon East, 1/3/2023, Insurance Age, 'CNA Hardy unveils new product for multinational businesses')

The broking sector is changing, and while there is still work to do, progress on closing the gender gap is being made, according to SJL Insurance Services founder and CEO Simon Lancaster. “Ten to 15 years ago the industry could be described as a bit of a boys’ club really, certainly London could,” Lancaster told Insurance Age. (Emmanuel Kenning, 1/3/2023, Insurance Age, 'BDP: Broking not a boys’ club, says SJL CEO Simon Lancaster')

Bravo has hailed its latest launch as “the biggest transformation” to how broker networks add value for members in the past 20 years. The new Accelerator initiative – a suite of data-, trading- and service-driven tools – was unveiled to delegates attending the Bravo Networks annual conference at the Hilton Metropole in Birmingham this morning. (Insurance Age Staff, 1/3/2023, Insurance Age, 'Bravo unveils ‘biggest transformation’ in broker network trading for two decades')

Clear Group has acquired Sheffield-based broker IFM Insurance Brokers. IFM is a Chartered broker that works across the region, placing business from large manufacturing firms and SMEs through to tradesmen. The broker has 24 staff and controls gross written premium of more than £12m. (Saxon East, 1/3/2023, Insurance Age, 'Clear snaps up IFM Insurance Brokers')

The British Insurance Brokers’ Association has launched a holiday and residential park scheme for its members with specialist provider Binnacle Insurance. The scheme covers risks from large commercial holiday and residential businesses to small family owned touring and holiday locations. The cover can also be adapted for caravan dealers, storage sites and distributors. (Insurance Age Staff, 1/3/2023, Insurance Age, 'Biba pitches holiday and residential park scheme with Binnacle')

City of London minister Andrew Griffith is concerned Consumer Duty could unleash spurious lawsuits from claims management companies, according to a report in the Financial Times. Griffiths is reportedly sympathetic to financial bosses concerns that Consumer Duty is a burdensome workload and risks triggering lawsuits from customers. (Saxon East, 2/3/2023, Insurance Age, 'Minister concerned Consumer Duty could unleash claims farmers – report')

Wholesale travel broker PJ Hayman has topped up its cancellation cover from £20,000 to £50,000 amid the rise of travel restrictions since Covid. The age limit for the cover is also increasing from 75 to 85, meaning older customers can also benefit. (Saxon East, 2/3/2023, Insurance Age, 'Wholesale travel broker tops up cancellation cover to £50,000')

Beazley has reported gross written premiums of $5.27bn (£4.4bn) for 2022, up by 14% on the year before. However, pre-tax profit fell year-on-year from $369.2m to $191m. The near 50% drop was driven by investment losses of $179.7m compared to a profit of $116.4m in 2021. (Emmanuel Kenning, 2/3/2023, Insurance Age,'Beazley posts 14% GWP growth as profits nearly halve in 2022')

The Managing General Agents’ Association’s CEO Mike Keating has revealed that the trade body is close to surpassing 200 full members in the next couple of months. The figure currently stands at 196 having risen from 180 in May. Speaking with Insurance Age at the MGAA’s Meet the MGA Market event in Manchester on 1 March, Keating, pictured, stated that the association was also going to continue to push for insurer membership growth. (Sophie Locke-Cooper, 2/3/2023, Insurance Age, 'MGAA edges closer to membership milestone')

Hiscox has launched a broker extranet claiming it is the first full cycle digital trading extranet built by an insurer that supports integration into brokers’ Acturis back office. Along with the ability to source quotes the platform will enable brokers to fully manage clients’ policies, including new business, mid-term adjustments and renewals. (Sophie Locke-Cooper, 2/3/2023, Insurance Age, 'Hiscox launches broker extranet')

The number of policies traded on imarket, which connects broker software platforms to insurer systems for the placement of commercial lines, hit a record 497,883 in 2022, Polaris has revealed. This was a 1.7% increase for the UK insurance industry owned organisation dedicated to support the growth of digital trading. (Emmanuel Kenning, 2/3/2023, Insurance Age, 'Polaris’s imarket hits new high with £322m premium in 2022')

The British Insurance Brokers’ Association and the Association of British Insurers have released a code for capturing risk information, one of the first steps in solving the crisis in affordable premiums for residents in tower blocks, Insurance Age can reveal. In September last year, the Financial Conduct Authority called for the insurance industry to work together to create a code to improve data collection and quality around multi-occupancy buildings. (Saxon East, 3/3/2023, Insurance Age, 'Code released to ease crisis in affordable premiums for tower block residents')

Risk advisory and response firm Inherent Risks has been retained by Lloyd’s of London underwriters to lead a disaster risk and earthquake damage assessment in Turkey following the devastating earthquake sequence there. On Feb. 6, a 7.8-magnitude earthquake hit southern and central Turkey and northern and Western Syria. This was followed by a 7.7-magnitude quake later the same day. (Ryan Smith, 3/3/2023, Insurance Business Mag, 'Inherent Risks to lead Turkey quake damage assessment')

Insurance Business UK is proud to present the picks for best cyber insurers of 2023, highlighting industry experts and the ever-growing need for cyber insurance. The report emphasises how cyber insurance affects brokers and businesses and what is most important when creating custom insurance policies tailored to client needs. (Insurance Business, 3/3/2023, Insurance Business Mag, 'Unveiling the top cyber insurers of 2023')

Mergers & Acquisitions

Howden has bought Reich Group for an undisclosed sum, Insurance Age can reveal. Manchester-headquartered Reich will add 140 staff and £120m of gross written premium to Howden which previously bought Aston Lark and A-Plan. Insurance Age understands that Reich will sit alongside Aston Lark and become a northern hub for Howden. (Emmanuel Kenning, 1/3/2023, Insurance Age, 'Howden buys Reich')

Howden has confirmed Insurance Age’s exclusive story that it has bought Reich Insurance Group. Howden noted that the purchase, revealed earlier today, marked “a significant step in its expansion in the North West of England”. Reich adds £120m of gross written premium and 140 staff to Howden. (Emmanuel Kenning, 1/3/2023, Insurance Age, 'Howden confirms Reich takeover')

Reich will add bolt-on acquisitions, becoming the Northern hub for Howden’s expansion into the region, according to Aston Lark CEO Peter Blanc. As first revealed by Insurance Age, Reich has been bought by Howden in a deal which adds £120m of gross written premium onto the consolidator’s books. (Saxon East, 2/3/2023, Insurance Age, 'Howden to become broking powerhouse in the North after Reich buy')

Clear Group expands UK footprint with acquisition of Sheffield broker IFM Insurance Brokers Limited. Leading independent broker, the Clear Group today announces the acquisition of IFM Insurance Brokers Ltd. This latest deal represents the 37th acquisition made by the Clear Group and enhances its presence across the Yorkshire region. (Clear Group, 2/3/2023, YouTalk Insurance, 'Clear Group buys IFM Insurance Brokers')

Talks between Saga and Australian insurtech Open Insurance Technologies to sell underwriting business Acromas Insurance have ended without a deal, the over-50s specialist has confirmed. In a London Stock Exchange announcement on Thursday (2 March) Saga revealed the “termination” of the discussions but did not elaborate on why the sale had broken down nor the next steps. (Emmanuel Kenning, 3/3/2023, Insurance Age, 'Saga’s exclusive Acromas sale talks collapse')


Optio Group, the specialty MGA, today announces the appointment of David Robinson as chief executive officer, effective immediately. Robinson was initially appointed by Optio in March 2022 as managing director and his promotion reflects his work to optimise operational excellence across the group’s underwriting, claims and data support functions. He has also been at the forefront of driving Optio’s expansion across multiple lines and geographies, notably in establishing Optio Re MENA Ltd, which began trading February 2023. (Optio Group 28/2/2023, YouTalk Insurance, 'David Robinson appointed CEO of Specialty MGA Optio Group')

Keep up to date with the latest personnel moves within insurance. Featuring: Optio, Close Brothers, Broker Insights, Aurora, Open GI, Pen Underwriting, MIB, Allianz, Carbon Underwriting, Spring Insure and TL Dallas. (Sophie Locke-Cooper, 3/3/2023, Insurance Age, 'People Moves: 27 February - 3 March 2023')

Spring Insure (Spring), a specialist financial and professional lines MGA, has boosted its underwriting team with a host of promotions. It has promoted Jamie Boyd and Tom Hodgson to senior underwriters based in the Guernsey office. Meanwhile, Jacob Gunn continues his career at the group’s London office as an assistant underwriter.  (Roxanne Libatique, 3/3/2023, Insurance Business Mag, 'Spring Insure announces key promotions')

London-based Carbon Underwriting Limited (Carbon) has announced the appointment of two new senior hires to expand its underwriting team, welcoming Howard Gras as head of financial lines and Alex Marshall as an underwriter focused on building out Carbon’s US property portfolio. Gras has extensive experience as a professional indemnity (PI) and financial lines specialist, having previously served as PI class manager with CNA Hardy and commercial PI manager with Nexus Underwriting. (Mika Pangilinan, 3/3/2023, Insurance Business Mag, 'Carbon Underwriting expands team with two new hires')

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