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General Insurance Newsletter Friday 21st July 2023

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​Marsh McLennan has reported its financial results for the second quarter and first half of 2023, ending June 30. The global brokerage and consulting group posted consolidated revenue of $5.9 billion in the second quarter of 2023, a 9% rise compared to the same period last year. Revenue rose 11% on an underlying basis. Operating income sat at $1.5 billion, a 7% rise from the second quarter of 2022, while adjusted operating income surged 17% to $1.5 billion. (Gia Snape, 20/7/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Marsh McLennan reports first-half financials')

​Car insurance premiums in the UK are at their highest recorded levels, according to WTW and Launched in 2006, the Car Insurance Price Index in association with WTW shows that UK motorists are now paying £776 on average for comprehensive car insurance. In an emailed release, it was noted that the figure represents an all-time high. The previous peak, at £663, was recorded in 2011. The current average, meanwhile, is £222 more than 12 months ago, with premiums having increased for seven straight quarters. (Terry Gangcuangco, 20/7/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'UK car insurance premiums break records')

​The offices of eight Lloyd’s insurers in the UK were graffitied this week as part of protests against coverage for the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP). According to Money Rebellion, Chubb, Travelers Syndicate Management Limited, Lancashire Syndicates Limited, Chaucer Syndicates, Talbot Underwriting, Liberty Managing Agency, Hiscox Syndicates, and Tokio MarineKiln Syndicates have not ruled out insuring the EACOP. In protest, activists marked the outside of the companies’ offices on Tuesday using a “Don’t Insure EACOP” stencil. (Terry Gangcuangco, 20/7/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Offices of Lloyd’s insurers graffitied over EACOP project')

Northamptonshire-based insurance broker MCE Insurance Limited, which is separate from what used to be known as MCE Insurance Company Limited, has been placed into administration by its Directors due to the firm’s financial position. In a statement, MCE Insurance Limited said: “The company will not be writing any new policies. The joint administrators are working closely with [underwriter] Sabre to find a resolution that minimises any disruption to existing policyholders and ensures they are treated fairly." (Terry Gangcuangco, 20/7/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Directors place MCE Insurance Limited into administration')

Five companies have been recently granted corporate Chartered status, according to the Chartered Insurance Institute (CII). The financial planning and insurance firms that made the cut are Astute Wealth Planning Ltd, BPW Insurance Services Ltd, East Anglian Financial Planning, Hargreaves Lansdown, and Synthesis Wealth Management. (Terry Gangcuangco, 20/7/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'CII announces firms granted corporate Chartered status')

Horwich Farrelly (HF) has achieved four victories in holding credit hire companies accountable, resulting in savings of approximately £650,000 for insurer clients Admiral Insurance, Hastings Direct, KGM Underwriting Services, and LV= General Insurance. In one of the cases, a claimant sought £252,000 for credit hire and other losses. This was dropped after an investigation carried out by Admiral and HF, with the claimant’s credit hire organisation agreeing to pay defence costs totalling £40,000. (Mika Pangilinan, 20/7/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'HF’s successful defence against credit hire claims saves insurers £650k')

QBE Foundation has announced a partnership with charity group Action Tutoring to invest over £1.5 million to support children from disadvantaged backgrounds in their education. With support from the insurer’s funding, Action Tutoring aims to double within five years its number of pupils and reach more remote locations in the UK. (Kenneth Araullo, 20/7/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'QBE Foundation pledges more than £1.5 million for disadvantaged pupils in UK')

Reporting on its financial and operational performance for the financial year 2022/2023, Flood Re issued forth a call for government, insurers and consumers to take urgent adaptive action to combat accelerating flood risk. The joint initiative between the UK insurance industry and the UK government revealed that it backed 265,826 million policies during the year, up 3.6% from last year. It has been a busy period for the organisation, which will see Mark Hoban come to the end of his tenure as Chair in September after eight and a half years of service, during which he successfully oversaw the creation, authorisation, and establishment of Flood Re. In a media briefing discussing the annual report, CEO Andy Bord paid tribute to Hogan and said he personally has “benefited hugely” from Hogan’s guidance and counsel since he joined Flood Re in 2017. He added that he is looking forward to working with the organisation’s new Chair, who will be announced in due course. (Mia Wallace, 19/7/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Flood Re CEO Andy Bord issues update on joint initiative's progress')

Natural catastrophe losses have surpassed average levels in the first half of 2023, as the arrival of El Niño declared by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) is expected to further influence global weather and climate events throughout the year, according to a new report from Gallagher Re. The report found that total direct economic losses from natural hazards for the first half of the year were preliminarily estimated at US$138 billion. The impact of US thunderstorms and the global effects of El Niño contributed to these losses. (Steven Byerley, 19/7/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Report reveals H1 natural catastrophe losses')

AXA XL in the UK has launched a carbon emissions product designed to help marine clients manage their environmental footprint. The Excess Emissions Insurance product was developed in collaboration with ClimateSeed, an impact company specialising in premium carbon removal and avoidance projects. It is the brainchild of AXA XL’s newly established carbon team, which is responsible for assessing and developing carbon-related products and services internally and within the London Market. (Mika Pangilinan, 19/7/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'AXA XL unveils carbon emissions product for marine clients')

Manchester-based specialist insurer Financial & Legal Insurance (FLI) has partnered with insurance provider Legal Protection Group (LPG) to offer landlords a suite of products amid the challenges and changes within the private rental sector. The partnership’s proposition features legal expenses cover for issues such as tenants abusing properties; rental guarantee for when tenants fall into arrears; and home emergencies for perils like escape of water. (Terry Gangcuangco, 19/7/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Financial & Legal Insurance launches landlords product suite with Legal Protection Group')

More than half of adults in Britain are concerned about the impact of climate change on their homes, according to AXA UK’s newly released homeowner resilience report. The insurer’s research findings include 68% saying long-term cost savings were the biggest motivation for making green improvements, such as installing solar panels in their homes. Less than half (47%) picked environmental sustainability as their reason. (Terry Gangcuangco, 19/7/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'AXA UK releases homeowner resilience report')

Tokio Marine HCC subsidiary Qdos Contractor has completed its digital revamp, unveiling a new brand and customer-centric website. Worth £500,000, the transformation project provided Qdos a streamlined quote journey for faster insurance transactions, a product personalisation feature, as well as the benefit of enabling users to make policy amendments online. The tax insurance provider’s new website also features intuitive searching or filtering and enhanced accessibility. (Terry Gangcuangco, 18/7/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Qdos Contractor completes £500k digital revamp')

RSA Insurance has introduced an excess of loss (XOL) product as part of the insurer’s professional indemnity proposition. Now accessible to brokers and commercial lines customers through RSA’s regions business, the XOL product is designed for firms with annual professional fees of at least £1.5 million. Target sectors include accountants, engineers, building contractors, surveyors, and IT companies. (Ada Tabanao, 18/7/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'RSA expands proposition with new product')

Allianz Holdings has been awarded gold status by the Armed Forces Covenant Employer Recognition Scheme. The government-backed scheme aims to ensure fair treatment for current and former armed forces personnel and their families while encouraging companies to support the defence community. Employers can be awarded different levels of accreditation, with Allianz previously achieving bronze status in 2020 and silver status in 2021. (Mika Pangilinan, 17/7/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Allianz achieves gold status in the Armed Forces Employer Recognition Scheme')

A new reinsurance broker has entered the market. Backed by private equity firm Altamont Capital Partners, Augment will have access to as much as US$100 million in funding to offer bespoke reinsurance solutions from its locations in London, Dublin, Bermuda, Miami, and Cayman. Augment Managing Director Alex Kazanjian, whose credentials include time spent at Aon’s reinsurance operations and McGill and Partners, said in a release: “Augment was founded because we believed that by taking a holistic approach to our partners’ needs – broking the entire client, rather than any single class of business – we could unlock unprecedented opportunities for growth." (Terry Gangcuangco, 17/7/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'New broker Augment Risk enters reinsurance market')

Davies has announced the transformation of its contact centre and customer experience (CX) infrastructure by selecting CX transformation specialist Sabio as the group’s partner in a multi-year agreement. Under the collaboration, Sabio will guide Davies’ transformation to a new cloud-based customer service platform on the Genesys Cloud CX which provides a flexible, scalable, and unified CX platform. This platform has been especially developed and selected by Davies and will enable the firm to bolster telephony operations as well as open new communication touchpoints. (Kenneth Araullo, 17/7/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Davies unveils global digital transformation project with Sabio')

A recent survey from Aon found that nearly half of dealmakers expect the number of mergers and acquisition (M&A) deals globally to increase somewhat or significantly over the next year or so compared to 2022. The report from the global brokerage, in partnership with intelligence provider Mergermarket, also found that a further 20% of the 50 senior executives surveyed expected M&A figures to remain with current volumes. (Kenneth Araullo, 17/7/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Rise in M&A deals expected over next 12 months – Aon')

​AXA UK has become the first insurance company to achieve the Age-Aware Accredited Employer status from 55/Redefined, an employer focused organisation supporting businesses on age inclusivity. The new accreditation demonstrates AXA UK’s ongoing commitment to implementing age-inclusive policies and is testament to the company’s belief that employees should be able to progress whatever their background, heritage, lifestyle or life stage. (AXA, 17/7/2023, youTalk Insurance, 'AXA UK first insurer to receive Age-Aware Accreditation')

The ACORD Global Insurance Stock Index delivered an impressive 15.7% return during the second quarter of 2022, matching the robust performance of the global equity market, which saw a 14.2% return over the same period. The economic landscape is currently marked by mixed news, leading to increased stock volatility and uncertainty about the global economy's future direction, ACORD said. Nevertheless, global insurers are reaping the benefits of strong underwriting fundamentals and significantly higher investment gains, driving double-digit returns across all segments. (Steven Byerley, 21/7/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Insurance stocks deliver robust performance in Q2 – ACORD')

The counter fraud team at international law firm DAC Beachcroft’s Claims Solutions Group (DACB) has concluded almost 200 multi-claimant motor fraud cases for Aviva Insurance over the past year. The claims were dispersed across 47 separate organised fraud networks, with the DACB team recording an average of £12,000 in fraud savings per claimant. Moreover, 76% of all claims were fully or partially repudiated for reasons of fraud. (Mika Pangilinan, 21/7/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Aviva and DAC Beachcroft score victories against organised motor fraud')

Lockton Re, the reinsurance arm of Lockton, has announced the launch of a new research series, starting with a comprehensive analysis titled "Storm Dynamics and The Reinsurance Industry – Exploring Hurricane, Tropical Cyclone, and Typhoon Patterns and Trends." This research delves into the hurricane peril, encompassing tropical cyclone and typhoon patterns, and examines the potential impacts of climate changes that might alter the nature of this peril. (Steven Byerley, 21/7/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Lockton Re unveils new research series')

QBE Insurance Group has published its results forecast for the first six months of 2023 (1H23). In its update, the global insurer said: “A series of North American convective storms through the second half of June has resulted in additional pressure on catastrophe costs beyond those outlined on May 12, 2023. QBE currently expects 1H23 net catastrophe costs of ~US$700 million." (Terry Gangcuangco, 21/7/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'QBE Insurance Group outlines half-year results expectations')

The Movo Partnership, now with 85 members, has already surpassed the insurance broker network’s year-end target of 80 members. By 2024, Movo expects to reach a members count of 120, with gross written premium (GWP) at £100 million. This year, 28 brokers have come on board Movo, of which 64% are startups. (Terry Gangcuangco, 21/7/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Movo Partnership exceeds membership target')

Mergers & Acquisitions

The ARAG Group and ERGO Versicherung AG – ERGO Group’s property & casualty insurer in Germany – revealed that they have signed an agreement regarding the acquisition of D.A.S. UK, ERGO’s legal protection insurance business in the UK. The financial terms of the agreement have not been disclosed. In a Press release, ARAG noted that it has run its UK operations via ARAG plc as a managing general agent (MGA) since 2006, reporting gross written premium (GWP) under management of £61 million in 2022. (Mia Wallace, 17/7/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'ARAG SE acquires D.A.S. UK')

Helios Underwriting Plc has given its underwriting capacity a further boost by purchasing limited liability vehicle (LLV) Chorlton Underwriting Limited for nearly £2 million. In its announcement, the Lloyd’s-focussed investment company said: “Helios is pleased to announce that, in line with its strategy of increasing underwriting capacity through acquisition, it has acquired the entire issued capital of Chorlton Underwriting Limited for a total consideration of £1,996,830, of which £200,000 has been satisfied by the issue of 123,457 ordinary shares of £0.10 each in the company at £1.62 per share with the remainder satisfied in cash." (Terry Gangcuangco, 17/7/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Helios Underwriting boosts capacity with Chorlton Underwriting buy')

NBS Underwriting has acquired Lloyd’s coverholder Capital Markets Underwriting (CMU) as part of the managing general agent’s target to double in size within the next five years. “This acquisition allows us to expand into the commercial combined arena and provide an even wider range of products to brokers,” NBS Managing Director Steve Cowman said in a release. (Terry Gangcuangco, 17/7/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Capital Markets Underwriting joins NBS Underwriting')


​The European insurance giant AXA has announced the appointment of Tara Foley as Chief Executive Officer of AXA UK & Ireland. In her time as CEO of AXA UK Retail Insurance, Foley oversaw several key projects, including the launch of digital disrupter Moja and the delivery of a comprehensive transformation programme. Before joining AXA, she served with Lloyds Banking Group (LBG) for 12 years, where she held several senior positions both in banking and insurance. Prior to LBG, she held roles at Deutsche Bank and Accenture. (Mia Wallace, 20/7/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'AXA names new UK & Ireland CEO')

AXIS Capital Holdings has announced the appointment of Lori Bailey as the Head of Cyber and Technology. She succeeds Dan Trueman in the role. Bailey joined AXIS in June as the Global Head of Growth within the global cyber and technology team. Prior to her tenure at AXIS, she served as the Chief Insurance Officer at the cyber-focused MGA Corvus, where she led risk capital and capital procurement strategy, while also overseeing actuarial, catastrophe modelling, and captive management. She has also held senior positions at Zurich Insurance Group. Earlier in her career, she held underwriting and client advisory roles at AIG and Marsh. (Steven Byerley, 20/7/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'AXIS Capital announces new global cyber head')

​Global insurance group Howden has announced two key appointments in its aviation division. Steven Crook has been appointed as Divisional Director and Head of Claims, Aviation, bringing over 30 years of industry experience, including a tenure at Marsh with a focus on aviation claims. Wayne Hawkins will join as Divisional Director and Head of Airlines, Aviation, once his current contractual obligations with McGill and Partners conclude at the end of 2023. Hawkins began his career in 2005 at Willis Towers Watson and subsequently held positions managing complex risks for various companies. (Steven Byerley, 20/7/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Howden strengthens aviation division with key hires')

​The Lloyd’s managing agency Argenta Holdings Limited (Argenta) has announced that subject to regulatory approvals, Adam Cragg will be joining the business as Group Chief Operating Officer. Cragg brings over 25 years of industry experience to the role, having previously held several senior positions including as Group COO of Axis Novae and Head of Operations at Beazley. He most recently served as COO of Global Marine, Transportation & Logistics, at Lockton International. (Mia Wallace, 19/7/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Argenta appoints new group COO')

The Broker Investment Group (TBIG), which invests in UK insurance brokers, has appointed Andy Roden as Chief Executive of Retail. “I have worked with Andy throughout my career,” TBIG Group Chief Executive Dave Clapp said in an emailed release. “We first worked together some 25 years ago. Andy is an absolutely top-class operator, and I can’t wait to work with him again. He will help us deliver our ambitious growth plans." Clapp was CEO at The County Group – where Roden most recently served as Managing Director of Retail – until 2020. (Terry Gangcuangco, 19/7/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'The Broker Investment Group names chief executive of retail')

Chaucer, the global specialty (re)insurance group, has announced the promotion of Chris Baker to the position of Head of Global Reinsurance. In his new role, Baker will be responsible for overseeing all lines of reinsurance business and territories. Baker has nearly two decades of industry experience. He joined the company in 2004 as a Marine and Energy Reinsurance Underwriter. Over the years, he has held various leadership positions within the organisation, including Head of Specialty Reinsurance in 2016 and Head of International and Specialty Reinsurance in 2020. Baker is a Chartered Insurer and has recently served as Deputy Chairman of the LMA Marine Reinsurance Committee. (Steven Byerley, 19/7/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Chaucer unveils head of global reinsurance')

Howden Driving Data, the telematics arm of the insurance group, has announced the appointment of Tommy Ahearne as its Chief Data Officer. The appointment follows the recent launch of Howden Drive, the firm’s telematics service that helps lower motor insurance premiums for customers in the UK, further reflecting Howden Driving Data’s commitment to invest in talent to develop enhanced data solutions for insurers and brokers. Ahearne has been in the insurance telematics industry for over 10 years. According to his LinkedIn, he previously worked as Senior Director of Software Engineering for CalAmp. Prior to this, he was also the Vice President for Technology for LoJack Corporation. He has also worked at Jenison, Wunelli, and Smartdriverclub Insurance. (Kenneth Araullo, 19/7/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Howden Driving Data makes key appointment')

Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance (BHSI) has appointed Mark Walker, who currently serves as Head of Customer & Broker Engagement for the UK, as the insurer’s Head of National Business in Britain. Based in Manchester, Walker has been with the insurer since 2019. He has more than 35 years of industry experience from companies in the UK, Latin America, the Caribbean, and Asia. (Terry Gangcuangco, 18/7/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance appoints UK national business head')

Tokio Marine HCC International (TMHCCI) has bolstered its legal and compliance for its European operations, Tokio Marine Europe (TME), with the appointment of Sandy Mavrommati as the division’s new Head. Mavrommati brings with her nearly 20 years of industry experience in compliance and regulatory roles across insurance and banking sectors. Prior to joining TMHCCI, she worked as the European Compliance Manager for Hiscox. According to her LinkedIn, she also had previous senior roles at Credit Suisse, AXA, Piraeus Bank, EFG Bank, European Central Bank, University of Warwick, and Trafalgar Oil. (Kenneth Araullo, 18/7/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Tokio Marine HCCI strengthens European legal and compliance with key appointment')

Verisk, a global data analytics and technology provider, has announced the appointment of Samantha Vaughan as Chief Privacy Officer. Prior to joining Verisk, Samantha Vaughan held key positions at notable organisations. She served as the Managing Director and Global Head of Privacy Legal at Dell Technologies and served as Senior Vice President of Corporate Ethics and Compliance and Chief Privacy Officer at Wyndham Hotels & Resorts. (Steven Byerley, 17/7/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Verisk announces new chief privacy officer')

​Aston Lark isn’t done building its new team in Wales, adding Development Executive Deborah Barber as the insurance broker’s latest hire. Barber’s appointment is part of Aston Lark’s recruitment streak in Wales, where Catherine Robinson and Alex Davies recently joined as Account Executives. Led by South Wales Regional Director Gary Stevens, the new unit was unveiled in January. Barber brings more than 30 years of insurance know-how to Aston Lark. (Terry Gangcuangco, 21/7/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Hiring spree continues at Aston Lark Wales')

Arch UK has announced the promotion of Kirsty Blois to Underwriting Manager for Miscellaneous and Emerging Professional Indemnity (PI). According to her LinkedIn, Blois was previously a Senior Underwriter for Miscellaneous PI and Senior New Business Underwriter for Hiscox, her home firm for more than 12 years. Before that, she also worked as a Senior Commercial Account Handler and Team Leader for The Oval Group (now Gallagher). In addition to the promotion of Blois, Arch UK also appointed three new underwriting practitioners for the PI team: Hayley Bilas and Timothy Rolph join as Development Underwriters, while Joshua Woods joins as Underwriter, PI. (Kenneth Araullo, 21/7/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Arch UK announces senior promotion to bolster financial lines')

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