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General Insurance Newsletter Friday 19th January 2024

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Insurance News

Just Insurance Agents Limited has rolled out Aneevo, a new travel insurance distribution platform for brokers in the UK. The launch comes following the separation of Just Travel Cover wholesale from its direct-to-consumer counterpart. It was announced that brokers using the Just Travel Cover wholesale portal will be upgraded to Aneevo before the end of February. Aside from a wide range of leisure risk products and an efficient quote process, Aneevo will offer UK brokers a bespoke white-label website and end-to-end branded communications. (Terry Gangcuangco, 19/1/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'Just Insurance Agents introduces Aneevo')

​Insurtech Qover has announced the launch of its motor insurance solution in the United Kingdom, designed to enable car manufacturers to provide digital insurance programs across Europe. The UK marks the ninth European market for Qover's motor insurance programs, joining Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Portugal, and Spain. The company aims to cover all European markets by the end of 2025. (Kenneth Araullo, 18/1/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'Qover enters UK motor insurance sector')

Specialist broker Principal Insurance has entered into a new agreement with insurance intelligence provider Percayso Inform to enhance its access to advanced data intelligence. This collaboration aims to furnish Principal Insurance with sophisticated data analytics capable of predicting consumer behaviour. Such insights, Principal Insurance noted, are expected to aid the broker in identifying policyholders with a higher propensity to cancel their policies mid-term, thereby assisting in better risk assessment and policy terms determination. (Kenneth Araullo, 18/1/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'Principal Insurance partners with Percayso Inform to enhance consumer behaviour data')

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is working to find out how companies are detecting and resolving non-financial misconduct cases, according to FCA Executive Director Sarah Pritchard. “In the supervisory work that we have just commenced, we are looking to firms to explain numbers of non-financial misconduct cases, methods of detection, and methods of resolution,” Pritchard said during the oral evidence session as part of the Treasury Committee’s ‘Sexism in the City’ inquiry. (Terry Gangcuangco, 18/1/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'FCA confirms start of supervisory work on non-financial misconduct cases')

The profitability of UK auto and home insurers Admiral and Direct Line could face challenges following potential regulatory actions by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), according to Bloomberg Intelligence (BI). The FCA is scrutinising the practice of premium finance, where insurers charge interest to customers opting to pay their auto or home insurance premiums monthly instead of in a single payment. In the first half of the year, Direct Line generated £45 million in revenue from premium-finance income, while this form of income constituted 13.6% of Admiral's profit before tax in 2021, as noted by BI. The increased regulation by the FCA, coupled with a highly competitive market and rising claims costs, is presenting a challenging environment for these insurers. (Kenneth Araullo, 18/1/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'Admiral, Direct Line profits could be affected by FCA clampdown')

Of the 1.4 million new homes that were built in England from 2013/14, one in 13 are in national flood zone three, according to analysis by Aviva. In a release, the insurance giant said 8% (equivalent to 109,017) of new homes face the highest risk from flooding in England. In flood zone three, there is a one in 100 or greater annual probability of river flooding or a one in 200 or greater annual probability of flooding from the sea in any year. It was noted that 2022/23 figures, which are not yet available, do not form part of the at-risk homes approximation. (Terry Gangcuangco, 18/1/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'Nearly 110,000 new homes built in England in last decade are in national flood zone three – Aviva')

Rising Edge has announced the expansion of its commercial directors and officers (D&O) insurance portfolio, introducing a specialised D&O insurance product designed specifically for non-executive directors (NEDs), a segment that has unique risks and challenges in the corporate world. The product, named NED Protect, offers exclusive Side A D&O coverage with distinct policy limits catering to individual NEDs. This bespoke insurance solution is structured to provide enhanced protection, acknowledging the distinct position NEDs hold on corporate boards. (Kenneth Araullo, 17/1/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'Rising Edge unveils new D&O insurance aimed at NEDs')

The latest car insurance price index by Consumer Intelligence points to the highest annual increase on record. In a release, Consumer Intelligence said the average quoted motor insurance premium in the year to November went up by 67.2%. The biggest leap was recorded in London. Prior to the 67.2% rise, the previous record stood at 61%. The latter statistic was for the year to August 2023. On a quarterly basis, meanwhile, the climb in premiums was less steep – at 10.6% in the three months to November, compared to 22% in the three months to August. (Terry Gangcuangco, 17/1/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'New index shows record rise in quoted car insurance premiums')

NFU Mutual has announced plans to allocate a total of £3.25 million in funding to local and national charities throughout 2024. In an emailed news release, the UK rural insurer said it is pledging this support to help communities tackle the challenges brought by the ongoing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and the rising cost of living. (Mika Pangilinan, 17/1/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'NFU Mutual announces £3.25 million charity pledge for 2024')

​Allianz is boosting its brand presence in the UK this year with the upcoming rebrand of personal lines businesses LV= Broker and Flow. A registered trademark of Allianz subsidiary LV= General Insurance, Flow is a digital motor insurance provider. It will be rebranded to Allianz in March. LV= Broker, meanwhile, will roll out its identity shift in the second quarter, with the Allianz brand set to appear on customer-facing documentation, software houses, and broker systems from May 24. (Terry Gangcuangco, 17/1/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'Allianz announces rebrand of two UK personal lines businesses')

The Founder and Chief Executive of Steer Automotive Group, Richard Steer, has reportedly sold a majority stake in the automotive repair business to private equity firm Oakley Capital. According to Sky News, the transaction is likely to be made public this week. On its website, Steer lists the likes of Admiral, Allianz, Covéa, Enterprise, LV=, and NFU Mutualas its insurer partners. Meanwhile, the supposed deal with Oakley is said to feature a £500 million valuation. (Terry Gangcuangco, 16/1/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'Steer Automotive Group CEO sells majority stake – report')

Direct Commercial is set to launch a series of regional claims clinics, marking a significant step in its ongoing efforts to enhance engagement with brokers. The initiative, focusing on commercial motor claims, is part of Direct Commercial’s strategy to strengthen its relationships with brokers and claims handlers across the country. The first of these Direct Commercial Claims Clinics is scheduled to take place in Manchester on February 7 and 8, 2024. Brokers affiliated with Direct Commercial Ltd (DCL) and claims handlers are invited to attend and engage in face-to-face sessions with senior members of the DCL claims team. (Kenneth Araullo, 15/1/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'Direct Commercial announces claims clinics to further engage brokers')

The Ecclesiastical and Benefact Group's Movement for Good Awards, now in its sixth year, is set to provide charitable organizations across the UK and Ireland with the opportunity to receive a £1,000 donation in 2024. The initiative, which has been a recurrent feature since its inception in 2019, has contributed over £5 million to various charities in the region. (Kenneth Araullo, 15/1/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'Ecclesiastical brings back Movement for Good awards')

Travel insurance provider InsureandGo Ireland, a MAWDY brand, now features a real-time flight disruption offering that is powered by Blink Parametric. “This is the first quarter since our agreement with Blink Parametric last October, and we mark it with the early completion of our first brand to embed real-time flight delay services,” MAWDY Ireland Commercial Head Declan Murphy said in a release. “InsureandGo is one of Ireland’s travel insurance specialists, supporting value-add, world-class, direct-to-consumer products and services." (Terry Gangcuangco, 15/1/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'InsureandGo Ireland rolls out Blink Parametric solution')

The National Security and Defence Council of Ukraine (NSDC) has met with Marsh McLennan to talk about the country’s transformation strategy. In a release, the state body said an online meeting was held with representatives of Marsh McLennan and its management consulting firm Oliver Wyman to discuss the development of the strategy, which is under the control of President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. NSDC’s Andrii Ziuz, who thanked those responsible for facilitating the cooperation, said in the release: “Despite the pain, suffering, grief, and huge losses, this war brought Ukraine a chance to get rid of the Soviet heritage that hindered the development of our country. Therefore, the transformation process that we are working on together with Marsh McLennan should fundamentally change the approaches to Ukraine’s post-war recovery.” (Terry Gangcaugnco, 15/1/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'Ukrainian state body working with Marsh McLennan on transformation strategy')

The recent Houthi attacks on commercial ships in the Red Sea have caused notable disruptions in global shipping, leading to longer routes and increased costs, as reported by Allianz Trade. The Red Sea plays a crucial role in global trade, with one-third of worldwide container traffic and 40% of Asia-Europe trade passing through this route. Moreover, 12% of the world's seaborne oil and 8% of liquefied natural gas (LNG) traverse the Suez Canal. (Kenneth Araullo, 15/1/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'Persisting Red Sea conflict contributes to inflation increase – Allianz Trade')

Mergers & Acquisitions

​Loss adjusting and claims solutions group QuestGates has bolstered its presence in the UK motor claims sector through the acquisition of Claims Management & Adjusting Ltd (CMA), a Kent-based business that has been handling specialist vehicle claims for nearly three decades. Chris Hall, Managing Director of QuestGates, commented on the acquisition in a news release and said the CMA team brings “a wealth of experience from the more challenging end of the motor claims sector.” (Mika Pangilinan, 18/1/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'QuestGates expands UK motor claims reach with latest acquisition')

​PureHealth, a healthcare platform headquartered in Abu Dhabi, has completed its acquisition of Circle Health Group, a large independent hospital operator in the UK. The finalised transaction marks a significant milestone in PureHealth’s plans for global expansion, according to a news release. Farhan Malik, Founder and Managing Director of PureHealth, sees the acquisition as a strategic leap forward for the company. (Jonayln Cueto, 16/1/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'PureHealth acquires UK-based Circle Health Group')

​ARAG Group is pleased to announce it has completed the acquisition of DAS UK, a legal protection insurance business in the United Kingdom. DAS UK was purchased from ERGO Versicherung AG, a property and casualty insurance subsidiary of ERGO Group located in Germany. For the time being the business will remain independent from ARAG Group's existing Managing General Agent in the UK trading as ARAG plc since 2006. Together the companies represented gross written premium of approx. £190 million and had around 800 employees in 2022. (ARAG, 18/1/2024, youTalk Insurance, 'ARAG completes acquisition of DAS and Executive Management Committee announced')


Markel Group has announced the appointment of Sebastian Rice as Senior Underwriter and Head of Business Development for Europe as part of the firm’s plans to expand its trade credit portfolio and reinforce its leadership in the excess of loss (XoL) trade credit insurance market. With over two decades of experience in the trade credit industry, Rice joins from QBE Europe, where he served as Head of Commercial Underwriting for the past ten years. His previous roles at Allianz Trade and Atradius have equipped him with extensive expertise in both risk management and commercial aspects of the trade credit sector. (Kenneth Araullo, 19/1/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'Markel bolsters trade credit division with key underwriting appointment')

Managing general agent Alta Signa has formed a European marine underwriting unit to be led by Francesco Dubbioso in Italy. In a release, the MGA said the Head of Technical Underwriting for marine will be joined by Group Claims Manager Marie Lepelletier, Marine Technical Accounting and Operations Manager Simona Ballestrero, Head of Technical Underwriting for cargo Barbara Vida, and Head of Technical Underwriting for hull & yachts Danilo Fiore. Dubbioso, Vida, and Fiore were appointed earlier this month as part of the new underwriting structure at Alta Signa. (Terry Gangcuangco, 19/1/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'Alta Signa forms European marine unit')

Motor Insurers’ Bureau Chief Executive Dominic Clayden, who took on the top post in May 2018, is stepping down at the end of June 2024. In a release, Clayden said: “It has been an absolute privilege to lead such a fantastic organisation over the last six years, and I’m grateful for all the support I’ve had from the market in making these achievements possible. Together we have achieved a great deal at a time when the world has gone through significant change, notably Brexit and a global pandemic." Meanwhile, it was announced that Clayden’s successor will take over on July 1. The incoming CEO has already been selected, with the appointment to be disclosed before then. To ensure a smooth handover, Clayden will serve as a strategic advisor to MIB for the entire second half. (Terry Gangcuangco, 19/1/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'Motor Insurers’ Bureau chief stepping down after six years')

Independent insurance broking and risk management specialist TL Dallas has expanded its Cockermouth team with the addition of two new hires. The firm has substantially grown its workforce since opening its office in Lakeland Business Park in May 2023. Joining this team are Karen Coombe, a seasoned professional with 40 years of experience as a Broker, and Talia Frazer, who is joining as an Apprentice. Coombe is a former colleague of Heather Wood, Lynne Taylor, Emma Irving, and Philip Jackson, who previously worked together at C H Jeffries before joining TL Dallas. Frazer, who joins as an Apprentice at TL Dallas, is currently enrolled in the Level 3 Insurance Practitioner Apprenticeship Program facilitated by industry-leading training provider Davis Group.(Mika Pangilinan, 19/1/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'TL Dallas announces twin hires')

Munich Re has announced the appointment of Jeff Marks as Chief Operating Officer of Munich Re Specialty Insurance (MRSI). Marks has more than 20 years of leadership experience at large, global firms. He joined MRSI in 2019 as Head of Service Delivery, and has since served on MRSI’s operations and leadership teams. Marks most recently served as interim COO for the company. (Ryan Smith, 19/1/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'Munich Re Specialty Insurance names new COO')

​VIPR Solutions (VIPR) has announced Latha Horne as the insurtech’s new IT Operations Manager. Horne’s professional background spans over two decades, with significant roles in IT operations and customer service management, including positions at Charles Taylor and the BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation). (Kenneth Araullo, 18/1/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'VIPR names new IT operations manager')

SME-focused insurance platform Aurora has announced the appointment of Tom Willmore to a pivotal broker-facing role, with the hiring coming as the firm prepares to launch its flagship commercial combined offering this spring. Willmore’s professional journey includes significant experience in broking and underwriting within the UK's leading delegated authorities. His most recent position was with the Kingsbridge Group, where he served as a Senior Development Underwriting and Account Executive. His career also includes tenure at PIB Group and Jelf, among others. (Kenneth Araullo, 17/1/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'Aurora preps for flagship offering launch with key appointment')

Aspen Insurance Holdings Limited (Aspen) has announced the appointment of Sarah Stanford as interim CEO of Aspen UK, effective immediately. Stanford takes over from Richard Milner who will be leaving Aspen on March 31 to pursue other opportunities. A press release from Chaucer Group has confirmed that Milner will be stepping up as the firm’s Group CEO, subject to regulatory approval. Aspen noted that in her new role, Stanford will continue to report to Mark Cloutier, Executive Chairman and group CEO and remain a member of the group executive committee. In addition to her interim UK CEO role, she will also continue in her position as Active Underwriter, Lloyd’s Syndicate 4711 - which represents approximately 75% of Aspen’s UK business. (Mia Wallace, 17/1/2024, insurance Business UK, 'Aspen UK appoints interim CEO as chief exec departs for Chaucer Group')

Global broker Marsh has announced that Rob Powell has resumed his role as Global Chief Claims Officer. It had been announced in October that Powell would be leaving the company for another firm. Powell joined Marsh in 2014 and has been Global Chief Claims Officer since 2016. In that role, he leads the company’s team of claims specialists around the world and is responsible for driving innovation in the claims resolution process. Powell has more than 30 years of experience in international loss adjusting. Prior to joining Marsh, he served as Global Chief Claims Officer at Torus Insurance. He also served as President of Cunningham Lindsey International from 2001 to 2006. (Ryan Smith, 17/1/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'Global broker’s claims head to resume role')

PIB Group’s broker network Cobra Network has promoted Joanne Russell to Chief Operations Officer. Russell, who came on board in 2020 as Head of Operations & Marketing, brings more than two decades of experience to the COO post. Her credentials include time spent at Giles Insurance Brokers and Gallagher. Prior to the promotion, Russell was already involved in all aspects of the network operations, from key partner relationships to service development. (Terry Gangcuangco, 16/1/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'Cobra Network names chief operations officer')

Dale Underwriting Partners (DUP), operating under the Lloyd’s Syndicate 1729 and part of Dale Managing Agency Limited, has announced the appointment of Andrew Carter as Class Underwriter for energy and liability insurance as the firm looks to expand its presence in the marine and energy liability sectors. Carter’s career history includes a significant tenure at Markel International, where he held the position of Director of Liability. During his time at Markel, he oversaw the marine & energy liability and transport & logistics teams in London and Asia. His tenure at Markel began in 2014, following a 19-year stint at QBE Syndicate 1036, where he served as Portfolio Manager for liability and was a member of the joint liability committee for eight years. (Kenneth Araullo, 16/1/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'Dale Underwriting Partners bolsters liability offering with key move')

The Chartered Insurance Institute (CII) has announced that Matthew Hill will be replacing outgoing Chief Executive Alan Vallance to lead the association. Hill will join the CII in early April, with Gill White remaining as acting Chief Executive until his arrival. According to a press release issued by the CII, Hill has served as Chief Executive of the Legal Services Board since August 2019. He previously spent time with both the General Dental Council and the Gambling Commission, after over 20 years serving central government in a variety of areas. (Mia Wallace, 15/1/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'CII names new chief executive')

HDI Global SE UK & Ireland (HDI) has named Kate Sutcliffe as Director of Property for UK & Ireland, effective January 15, 2024. Sutcliffe succeeds Jon Bartlett, who retired at the close of last year. With over two decades of underwriting experience, Sutcliffe joins HDI from Sompo International, where she served as the Head of UK Retail Property in London. Her previous positions include roles at Swiss Re and AIG, and she is recognised as a subject matter expert on commercial property underwriting for the CII. (Roxanne Libatique, 15/1/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'HDI Global SE UK & Ireland unveils new director of property')

Personal lines insurtech Policy Expert has added seven members to its executive team, creating new leadership roles as part of the company’s growth aspirations. The promoted colleagues, who took on their posts this month include: Linda Crichton – Chief Customer Officer, Alex Bearpark – Chief Insurance Risk Officer, Antony Green – Chief Product & Technology Officer, Christine Minetou – Chief Pricing Officer, Audrey McDade – Chief Compliance Officer, Millie Nash – Chief People Officer and Gary Barker – Managing Director, Trinity. Aside from Hardy and the seven listed above, other members of Policy Expert’s leadership team are Chief Operating Officer Adam Powell, Chief Financial Officer Kevin Chidwick, and Chief Underwriting Officer David Prior. (Terry Gangcaugnco, 15/1/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'Policy Expert expands executive team')

Previsico, an insurtech specialising in live flood forecasting, has strengthened its leadership team with the appointment of Craig Deacon as Chief Financial Officer. Deacon has extensive experience in financial strategy and planning within investor-backed businesses. He also has experience working with startups and SMEs across hardware, software, and service models. His previous roles include Vice President, finance for Disguise Technologies, Chief Financial Officer for Ncam Technologies, and Non-Executive Director for Nvizible. (Mika Pangilinan, 15/1/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'Previsico appoints chief financial officer')

Coalition has announced the appointment of Mark Bird, a former police cybercrime unit acting sergeant, as the leader of its affiliate incident response and cyber forensics organisation, Coalition Incident Response UK Ltd. (CIR). Bird is set to commence his role as the UK CIR lead this month. His career spans 16 years with the West Midlands Police, where he specialised in investigating cybercrime within their regional organised crime unit. Bird transitions to CIR from Pragma, a network security company, where he served as Head of Incident Response. (Kenneth Araullo, 15/1/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'Coalition appoints incident response lead for the UK')

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