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General Insurance Newsletter Friday 2nd June 2023

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Insurance News

​Maritime safety remains a critical concern as shipping plays a vital role in transporting approximately 90% of world trade. While significant improvements have been made in the sector over the past decade, resulting in a record-low number of large ships lost in the previous year, challenges persist, according to Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty SE's (AGCS) Safety & Shipping Review 2023. Factors such as fire risk, the ripple effects of the Ukraine conflict, decarbonization challenges, economic uncertainty, and the rising cost of marine claims pose obstacles for the industry. (Steven Byerley, 1/6/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Shipping losses drop to record low')

The correlation between a country's digital advancement and public trust in artificial intelligence (AI) revealed an interesting dynamic, according to the analysis conducted by Swiss Re Institute. The study evaluated 120 countries and found that Germany, France, the UK, Canada, and the US ranked among the top 20 in AI preparedness. Surprisingly, trust in AI remained relatively low in these advanced digital economies, with only around a third of respondents in each country expressing understanding and trust in AI. In contrast, those in emerging digital growth markets such as India, Nigeria, Mexico, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Argentina demonstrated higher levels of trust in AI. (Steven Byerley, 1/6/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Trust in AI lower in high-tech countries – report')

The UK P&I Club and NorthStandard, both members of the International Group of P&I Clubs, have released their respective sets of financial results. According to the UK P&I Club, its gross written premium for the year ended February 20, 2023, went past the US$500 million mark for the first time. The milestone was attributed to the expansion of the club’s fixed premium protection & indemnity business. NorthStandard’s net combined ratio for 2022/23 stood at 95%. Combined specialty revenues, meanwhile, contributed more than US$200 million towards overall 2023 premiums. It was noted that total post-renewal premium revenues grew to over US$800 million.(Terry Gangcuangco, 1/6/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'UK P&I Club, NorthStandard report financial results')

International insurance broker Howden has launched its telematics data services in the UK. The product, called Howden Drive, utilises over a decade’s worth of driving and claims data from Europe, as well as data from Ingenie in the UK, to optimise insurer loss ratios and reduce risk in insurer portfolios. It involves the use of a customer application connected to a beacon installed in the vehicle, which sends intervention communications to improve driving behaviour. (Mika Pangilinan, 1/6/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Howden announces UK launch of telematics solution')

​Third-party administration operator Davies and claims and estimating platform provider GT Motive have partnered to boost the latter’s cloud-based estimating solutions. “We’re very excited to be working with GT Motive, which is an innovative business developing up-and-coming technology for the benefit of the whole industry,” said Davies Customer Relations Director Shaun Woods, whose camp’s motor claims, and motor engineering units have enjoyed increased investment over the past five years. (Terry Gangcuangco, 31/5/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Davies, GT Motive team up')

The latest price index found that the average quote price of home insurance rose by 6.7% in the past year, the highest annual increase since 2018. According to market researcher Consumer Intelligence, the average quoted premiums for buildings and contents policies are at £162, but they could be heading higher. Research suggests quoted prices rising by 9.3% in the past three months, which makes it the second highest quarterly increase since tracking began in 2014. (Kenneth Araullo, 31/5/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Quoted home insurance prices hit five-year high – study')

Lloyd’s-focussed investment company Helios Underwriting Plc, which writes approximately £297 million of capacity for the 2023 account, has released its audited final results for 2022. Despite its total comprehensive loss, Helios described the company’s performance as having been “robust against the backdrop of another challenging year for the global Lloyd’s market,” adding that it is in a good position to maximise market opportunities. (Terry Gangcuangco, 30/5/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Helios Underwriting reports final yearly results')

Tokio Marine has confirmed its exit from the Net Zero Insurance Alliance (NZIA), the latest big industry name to do so following several high-profile departures. Tokio Marine, the largest insurer in Japan, declined to give a reason for its exit. The insurer said that it will continue to consider measures to materialize a cleaner future such as the use of renewable energy, as well as emphasizing that it will keep a close eye on social and environmental initiatives. (Kenneth Araullo, 30/5/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Tokio Marine steps away from NZIA')

​Cevian Capital, which wanted Aviva to return £5 billion to shareholders, has sold its entire shareholding in the insurer after achieving the activist investor’s desired outcome and following Aviva’s ‘transformation’. Cevian commonly acts as a reference shareholder, an anchor shareholder, or an external catalyst for change. In Aviva’s case, the international investment firm built up its Aviva position in 2021, to 5.017%, to seek change in the form of shareholder returns. (Terry Gangcuangco, 30/5/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Aviva no longer “poorly performing,” says ex-shareholder')

Lloyd’s and QBE have become the latest participants to withdraw from the Net Zero Insurance Alliance (NZIA), according to updates. “Lloyd’s has decided to withdraw from the NZIA with immediate effect,” Lloyd’s said in an update shared on its website. “We continue to support the UN’s Principles for Sustainable Insurance and Sustainable Development Goals and remain committed to delivering our sustainability strategy including supporting the global economy’s transition.” (Jen Frost, 29/5/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Lloyd's, QBE latest to depart from NZIA')

At the International Congress of Actuaries in Sydney, former Lloyd’s of London CEO, Dame Inga Beale, called on the insurance industry to take steps to rectify the exit of big insurers from the Net Zero Alliance. No longer representing a particular company, Beale said she was “speaking from the heart.” The insurance sector cannot back away from their responsibility to try and meet those Paris Agreement climate targets,” she said in her keynote address. “We have to keep driving that.” Beale said the exodus of nine global insurers from the Net Zero Alliance is indicative of the divide “in this fragmented world.” She said it was “really worrying” that “rhetoric” in the United States could cause insurers to pull out of an alliance for fear of potential lawsuits and antitrust actions by regulators. (Daniel Wood, 29/5/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Ex-Lloyd’s CEO: “We’ve got to do something about” NZIA departures')

​The reinsurance market continues to experience rate hardening, according to a report from global reinsurance broker Howden Tiger. According to the report, risk-adjusted property-catastrophe pricing has increased by an average of 33% as of 1 June, falling within a typical range of 25% to 40%, with significant variations by layer. This follows a 25% uptick in 2022, bringing the index to its highest level since its inception. (Steven Byerley, 2/6/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Reinsurance market continues to see rate hardening – Howden Tiger')

Berlin-based company omni:us has emerged as a global winner in the 2023 Zurich Innovation Championship for its Digital Claims Adjuster platform. The championship, part of Zurich Insurance Group's startup program, aims to identify the most innovative startups and collaborate with them on solutions for the insurance industry. This year, a record-breaking 3,500 startups participated inthe competition, and omni:us was selected as one of the 13 winners. (Steven Byerley, 2/6/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Berlin insurtech a winner in Zurich innovation challenge')

Brokerbility, which introduced a new membership framework in April, has welcomed its first member post-change. In an emailed release, the network said independent broker A-One Insurance Group is now on board. “A-One is a great addition to our community network, which supports our members’ growth ambitions in an environment where they can benefit from collective working and knowledge sharing,” Brokerbility Managing Director John Dunn stated. “We are keen to speak to brokers of different sizes who have strong growth ambitions and commitment to staff development, who would truly benefit and enjoy being part of the Brokerbility community.” (Terry Gangcuangco, 2/6/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Brokerbility adds A-One Insurance Group to members line-up')

WTW and the Mesoamerican Reef Fund (MAR Fund) have announced the third annual placement of the MAR Insurance Programme, with AXA Climate serving as the insurance capacity provider. The programme, a crucial component of MAR Fund’s Reef Rescue Initiative, utilises parametric insurance to quickly deploy funds for community-led response activities in repairing reef damage in the aftermath of hurricanes. (Mika Pangilinan, 2/6/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'WTW expands insurance programme to safeguard coral reef')

Mergers & Acquisitions

​Major European insurance group Talanx Group (Talanx) has acquired companies from Liberty Mutual Insurance (Liberty Mutual), one of the largest property and casualty (P&C) insurers across the globe. Talanx confirmed that its retail international division has signed a purchase agreement to acquire Liberty Seguros personal and small commercial business in Brazil, Chile, Colombia, and Ecuador. (Roxanne Libatique, 29/5/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Talanx continues expansion by acquiring Liberty Mutual businesses')


​Allianz Holdings has revealed that Simon McGinn will be stepping down from his role as CEO of Allianz Commercial as of July 1. The news follows last week’s announcement that Allianz Personal CEO Steve Treloar and Allianz UK CFO Fernley Dyson will be stepping away from their respective roles to take on new opportunities. In a Press release, Allianz Holdings noted that McGinn joined the business as a Trading Director in 2004 before taking on the role of Director, Commercial Broker Markets. In 2013 he was selected to join the UK management board as General Manager for commercial, where he led the business through a revision of its strategy driving modernisation, profitability and a growth culture. (Mia Wallace, 1/6/2023, Insurance Business, 'Allianz Commercial CEO steps down')

Global specialty (re)insurance group Chaucer has announced the appointment of Andrew Pearce as an Independent Non-Executive Director on the CSL Board, Audit Committee, Risk and Capital Committee, and Remuneration and Nominations Committee. Pearce joins Chaucer after serving as Managing Director at Accenture since 2007. With a background in application development and delivery across various sectors including telecommunications, finance, defence, and government, he brings extensive expertise in leading multinational programs in outsourcing and IT transformation, Chaucer said. (Steven Byerley, 1/6/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Chaucer snags new non-executive director')

James Hillman is making the switch to Aviva Plc later this year to take on the role of Chief Risk Officer. At present, Hillman serves as Scottish Widows Chief Financial Officer and Lloyds Banking Group’s Finance Director for insurance, pensions, and investments. (Terry Gangcuangco, 1/6/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Aviva snaps up key hire for top risk function')

Close Brothers Premium Finance (CBPF) has announced the appointment of Christian McIntosh as its new Head of Business Development. McIntosh joins CBPF from NIG Insurance, where he worked for over a decade managing product distribution and broker relationships. According to his LinkedIn, he also served as President of the Insurance Institute of Shropshire & Mid-Wales for the Chartered Insurance Institute (CII) and as Business Development Manager for Keychoice. He started his career in insurance at Folgate in 2003, followed by six years in several sales positions at Towergate. (Kenneth Araullo, 1/6/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Close Brothers introduces new head of business development')

SCOR has appointed François de Varenne as Chief Financial Officer and Deputy Chief Executive. The new finance chief has been with the reinsurer since 2005, with previous roles including Chief Operating Officer and Global Investments CEO. Most recently, de Varenne served as the executive committee member in charge of investments, technology, transformation, and group corporate finance. (Terry Gangcuangco, 31/5/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'SCOR appoints CFO and deputy CEO')

International specialist insurer Hiscox has announced the appointment of Jonathan Bloomer as Chair Designate. Bloomer brings with him a proven track record in leading financial services organisations. He previously served as a Partner at Arthur Andersen before joining Prudential Plc in 1995 where he initially held the position of Chief Financial Officer and later became Chief Executive from 2000 to 2005. His final executive role was as an Operating Partner at Cerberus. (Mika Pangilinan, 31/5/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Hiscox names chair designate')

Property, commercial, and specialty insurer and reinsurer IQUW has announced the promotion of Robbie MacDonald to Head of Property, Direct and Facultative (D&F) and Tom Hennessey to Head of Property, Delegated Authority (DA). MacDonald was formerly the Lead Underwriter for property D&F at IQUW. He began his insurance career at Marsh in London in 2007, followed by positions at Tokio Marine Global, Tokio Marine Kiln, and Tokio Marine HCC. He subsequently joined the IQUW D&F underwriting team in 2021. Hennessey started his career as an Insurance Broker in the property team at Price Forbes & Partners. He later transitioned to a role as a Property Underwriter at Hiscox before joining Arcus Syndicate in 2020. Following IQUW’s acquisition of Arcus in 2021, Hennessey assumed the position of Lead Underwriter, DA at IQUW. (Mika Pangilinan, 30/5/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'IQUW announces key promotions')

​Global specialty insurer and reinsurer SiriusPoint has appointed Nestor Lopez to its executive leadership team to serve as Chief Technology Officer. Prior to his promotion, Lopez reported to outgoing CTO Darryl Siry in his capacity as Chief Information Officer. In a release, SiriusPoint said Siry is leaving after a handover period at the end of June to pursue other opportunities. (Terry Gangcuangco, 30/5/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'SiriusPoint confirms change to executive leadership team')

​Liberty Specialty Markets (LSM) has announced the dual appointments of Dillion Matthews and Chris O’Brien to the multi-buyer trade credit (MBTC) UK and Europe team as Senior Underwriter and Underwriter, respectively. Prior to his new role, Matthews worked as a Credit Risks Strategist for EMEA at Stripe, in addition to almost five years at Markel International. O’Brien previously worked at Atradius as a Senior Credit Risk Underwriter for more than 17 years. (Kenneth Araullo, 2/6/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'LSM taps two for multi-buyer trade credit team')

All information provided in this Market Digest has been gathered from Insurance Business UK.