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General Insurance Newsletter Friday 16th June 2023

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Insurance News

​Swiss Re has released its 11th edition of the SONAR report, shedding light on the evolving landscape of emerging risks. The report identifies various threats that arise from the dynamic changes in technology, geopolitics, and society. One prominent emerging risk highlighted in the SONAR report is the “Arctic opening,” which encompasses technological, economic, social, and environmental factors. As the Arctic region experiences accelerated warming, leading to the melting of ice, new shipping routes are becoming accessible. However, the increased economic activities in the area also bring potential geopolitical tensions and concerns about risk management in the region. (Steven Byerley, 15/6/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Swiss Re unveils report on emerging risks')

The Chartered Insurance Institute (CII) has announced that Allison Potts, Insurance Institute of London CEO, and Melanie Jordan, Local Institute Network forum representative for the North East, are due to receive the President’s Award. Reserved for CII or PFS members, or employees who have demonstrated outstanding contributions to the work of the CII or PFS, the prestigious awards will be formally presented at the CII President’s Dinner in November. (Mia Wallace, 15/6/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Local Institute ambassadors to receive CII President's Award')

​Lemonade UK has settled an insurance claim in two seconds, beating the three-second record held by Lemonade in the US. The record-breaking settlement involved a stolen bike in London and the digital insurer’s claims bot known as AI Jim. In the two seconds, according to Lemonade, AI Jim not only reviewed the claim but also ran anti-fraud algorithms. The near-instant process, to be considered closed, also included bank wiring instructions.(Terry Gangcuangco, 15/6/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Lemonade UK makes claims record')

Allianz Commercial has partnered with Lightfoot to support the Elite Driver Championship, an initiative that aims to promote safer and more sustainable driving practices among the UK’s motor fleet drivers. The Elite Driver Championship rewards drivers between £1,000 and £7,000 for demonstrating safer driving behaviours through the Lightfoot app. Starting last month, drivers who consistently achieve the Lightfoot Elite Driver standard and maintain an average score of 85% or higher get a chance to win £1,000 monthly. They will also be qualified to win £7,000 during the Championship Christmas event. (Mika Pangilinan, 15/6/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Allianz Commercial enters partnership to promote safer driving')

Commercial property insurer FM Global has unveiled its 2023 resilience index, its yearly tool that ranks countries on 15 measures of economic, risk quality, and supply chain resilience. The interactive tool is considered an essential one for site selection, supply chain design, and market targeting amid critical business risks like climate change, economic volatility, and geopolitical tensions. FM Global also touted the index’s reputation as a valuable integration for several global organizations, attributable to its data-rich index that helps with strategic decision-making for businesses. (Kenneth Araullo, 14/6/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'FM Global reveals 2023 resilience index')

Northern Ireland is the most expensive region in the UK when it comes to home insurance, according to data released by price comparison website Go.Compare. The average cost of a combined home insurance policy, which Go.Compare found has risen consistently since 2021, stood at £162 in Q1 this year. (Terry Gangcuangco, 14/6/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Revealed – most expensive UK region for home insurance')

UK-based fintech Stubben Edge Group has announced the launch of its capital arm, Stubben Edge Capital. In a Press release, Stubben Edge said the goal will be to drive sector-wide innovation while providing financial tools and services to support established and emerging ventures in the UK. “Stubben Edge Capital presents an exciting opportunity for the sector,” said Chris Kenning, CEO of Stubben Edge Group. “We are committed to helping insurance brokers, MGAs, and insurers grow their businesses. We provide them with the technology, data, analytics, regulatory licensing, and now capital solutions."(Mika Pangilinan, 14/6/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Stubben Edge launches capital arm')

A Brit marine insurance salesman has been named responsible for keeping North Korea’s foreign trade fleet afloat, violating UN sanctions and evading suspicions for years until the UK government was made aware of his activities. David Skinner, who died in 2016, ran a firm called DGS Marine which issued fraudulent insurance certifications for at least 29 North Korean ships in the five years before his death. In a report from The Financial Times, Hugh Griffiths, a former UN panel coordinator who monitored North Korea sanctions, said that it is not an exaggeration to say that Skinner “kept North Korea’s foreign trade fleet afloat” for years. (Kenneth Araullo, 14/6/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'British insurance salesman responsible for keeping North Korea's UN-sanctioned fleet afloat')

LexisNexis Risk Solutions has launched a new solution aimed at helping motor insurance providers gain a comprehensive understanding of the vehicles they insure. Access to detailed information about vehicles has been a long-standing challenge for insurance providers, especially amidst rising costs. The new LexisNexis Vehicle Insights solution, in conjunction with other vehicle data products like LexisNexis Vehicle Build, aims to resolve this issue by creating a single source for accurate, real-time information on a vehicle’s ADAS fitment, current status, valuation and maintenance history. (Mika Pangilinan, 13/6/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'LexisNexis Risk Solutions launches new vehicle data solution')

​Managing general agency Travel Insurance Facilities (tifgroup) has announced a new platform to help clients buy travel insurance based on their needs rather than the pricing. Called albert & eddie – named after Albert Einstein and Thomas Edison – the platform also allows travellers with medical conditions to compare quotes from the two screening tools from the same site. As access to travel insurance for those with these conditions can be both challenging and time-consuming, albert & eddie speeds up the process by offering customers a choice between Protectif and Verisk, the two screening tools. (Kenneth Araullo, 13/6/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'tifgroup unveils new travel insurance platform')

Acrisure has announced that legendary recording artist Lionel Richie will be joining the company as an official brand ambassador. In his new role, Richie will leverage broadcast and social media platforms to raise awareness and generate excitement as Acrisure expands its direct-to-consumer offerings. Additionally, he will contribute to various marketing initiatives, showcasing Acrisure's transformation into a comprehensive fintech services provider. (Steven Byerley, 12/6/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Acrisure taps music legend Lionel Richie as brand ambassador')

The Association of British Insurers (ABI), which has been collecting data for a decade now, has released the latest motor insurance claims numbers in the UK. The number of motor insurance claims settled in the first quarter was 599,000. Just like with the payout value, the growth in the claims count was 14%. (Terry Gangcuangco, 12/6/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'ABI releases quarterly figures for motor insurance claims')

Insurance broker and financial adviser Lycetts has reported an increase in turnover and pre-tax profits, despite the market challenges posed by the past year. In the financial year ending 2022, Lycetts witnessed a £2 million surge in turnover, reaching £25.5 million compared to £23.5 million in 2021. Furthermore, the group’s pre-tax profit saw an 11% year-on-year increase, climbing from £2.7 million to £3 million. (Mika Pangilinan, 12/6/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Lycetts reports profit growth amid challenging market')

Hampden Risk Partners (Lloyd’s Syndicate 2689) has chosen VIPR Solutions as its insurance technology provider for bordereaux data management and analytics. Under the partnership, VIPR will implement a customised business process as a service featuring gateway VIPR Portal, bordereaux management solution VIPR Intrali, data analysis application VIPR Insights, and repository VIPR Data Cloud. (Terry Gangcuangco, 12/6/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Lloyd’s syndicate picks tech partner')

Global broking business Brokerslink has announced the addition of four new Eastern European affiliates to its global network, further expanding its reach in the region. These new affiliates will extend Brokerslink’s reach in six markets, including Romania, Moldova, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Bulgaria, and Hungary. The affiliates are as follows: Destine– founded over 15 years ago, and with a growing workforce of 10 insurance experts across Romania and Moldova, as well as 8,000 brokerage assistants. Destine specializes in auto, life, health, and home insurance. Instrade– has been in the industry since 1995 and is based in Bulgaria. Instrade specializes in liabilities, CAR, industrial risks & property, cargo risks, bonds, and health insurance. HUNInsurance– based in Budapest and a member of the Hungarikum Alkusz Group. It is the largest Hungarian-owned insurance broker group in the domestic market, offering insurance solutions across trade credit as well as financial lines including cyber, commercial property and casualty, and employee benefits. Satum - has offices in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. Satum specializes in industrial risks and property, liability, public sector, and CAR, and is a country leader for transport and logistics lines.(Kenneth Araullo, 12/6/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Brokerslink adds four to expand global network in Eastern Europe')

MS Amlin, the Lloyd’s global (re)insurer has announced the launch of a new claims triage capability, the first in a series of developments originating from a newly formed partnership with Genpact, a global professional services firm focused on delivering outcomes that transform businesses. The partnership sees Genpact supporting a number of functions to transform MS Amlin’s processes and accelerate its ability to provide leading client service. (MS Amlin, 12/6/2023, youTalk Insurance, 'MS Amlin launches new AI powered claims process')


​The Legal & General Group has appointed António Simões to Group Chief Executive Officer, subject to regulatory approval. Simões will join the financial services group from Banco Santander, where he has been Regional Head of Europe since September 2020. He also spent 13 years at HSBC, including as CEO of UK and Europe, and latterly CEO of global private banking, based in London and Hong Kong. (Rommel Lontayao, 15/6/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Legal & General Group appoints new CEO')

International insurance broker Howden has welcomed three colleagues to its casualty practice – two in London and one in British overseas territory Bermuda. According to Howden’s emailed release, the following came on board in May, Chris Harris appointed as Divisional Director for US liability; from Marsh, Fiona Woodcock appointed as Associate Director for international liability; from BMS and Andrew Halls appointed as Property & Casualty Specialist in Bermuda; from Price Forbes. (Terry Gangcuangco, 15/6/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Howden adds three to casualty practice')

Aspen Insurance Holdings, a global insurance company, has announced the appointment of John Welch as Chief Underwriting Officer for reinsurance, effective June 26. Welch has more than 30 years of industry experience. He previously served as Chief Executive for domestic markets at AXA XL Re. He has also held senior roles at AXA XL, XL Catlin Group, and XL Group. (Steven Byerley, 14/6/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Aspen taps new reinsurance CUO')

Verlingue Ltd, the UK-based Chartered insurance broker that is part of French group Verlingue, is supporting its continued growth in the British corporate sector by installing a Deputy Head of Corporate. Howard Jones brings more than 17 years of insurance broking experience to the business. His credentials include time spent at PIB – where Jones most recently served as Branch Director – Erskine Murray, WTW, and Heath Lambert (now Gallagher). (Terry Gangcuangco, 13/6/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Verlingue adds to UK team')

Everest Insurance, the insurance division of Everest Re Group, has announced the appointment of Bruno Laval as Chief Commercial Officer for its international division, effective June 26. Laval has more than three decades of industry experience. Prior to joining Everest, he served as a Partner and advisory board member at iMeureka. He also held key positions at AXA XL, including Regional Manager for the European growth markets and Chief Distribution Officer for Europe, Asia, and the Pacific. He has also held various leadership roles at XL Catlin. (Steven Byerley, 13/6/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Everest Insurance unveils key hire')

QBE has appointed Gary Payne as Senior Underwriter, Trade Credit to support and grow QBE’s presence in the North of England and Scotland as part of a restructure in the trade credit team supporting new business. Gary joins from Coface where he was Senior Sales Executive for Trade Credit insurance. In his new role, he will be responsible for all new business with turnover in excess of £35m in the region. He will be based in Manchester and report to Dave Murray, Head of New Business. (Sandra Villanueva, 15/6/2023, youTalk Insurance, 'QBE restructures new business trade credit team to support growth opportunities')

​Bspoke Commercial Ltd, the specialist MGA, has appointed Nick Grazier in the role of Managing Director, reporting to Group CEO, Tim Smyth. The role incorporates the leadership of the Bspoke Commercial, Bspoke Private Clients and Bspoke Sports & Leisure businesses. Nick is a highly experienced insurance professional, starting out as a Graduate Trainee at Commercial Union in 1994 before moving on to develop a broad knowledge of the broker market through roles with AXA and Allianz. In a career that evolved to focus on transformational commercial change, he has since held board level roles at several major UK and international MGA’s, most notably DUAL and Geo Underwriting, where he was the Founder and Managing Director of Geo Specialty. (Bspoke Commercial Ltd, 12/6/2023, youTalk Insurance, 'MGA Bspoke Commercial appoints new Managing Director')

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