Blog Img

General Insurance Newsletter Friday 26th January 2024

Back to Blogs

Insurance News

Ageas UK has incorporated WeatherNet’s SurgeCast application with policyholders’ precise geographical location in what is said to be a pioneering move. “SurgeCast delivers Ageas bespoke weather forecasts for the postcodes of its policyholders, up to 16 days ahead, refreshed four times every day,” WeatherNet Managing Director Stephen Roberts said in an emailed release. “Ageas is the first to apply deep learning from a detailed study of historical severe weather events to predict the impact of forecast ones." (Terry Gangcuangco, 26/1/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'Ageas UK in ‘market-first’ move')

​Marsh McLennan (Marsh) has revealed its financial performance for the fourth quarter (Q4) and the year concluding on December 31, 2023 (FY23). The results, presented by President and CEO John Doyle, gave the brokerage giant plenty of reasons for cheer. For the entire fiscal year 2023, Marsh reported revenue of $22.7 billion, marking a 10% increase compared to 2022, or 9% on an underlying basis. Operating income amounted to $5.3 billion, with adjusted operating income rising by 17% to $5.6 billion. (Roxanne Libatique, 25/1/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'Marsh McLennan reveals full-year financial results')

​AbbeyAutoline has announced the conclusion of its 50th anniversary programme, revealing that it was able to extend support to over 40 charity and voluntary organisations. The Northern Ireland broker raised more than £9,000 for local community organisations as part of its anniversary celebrations. Over 400 employees contributed to the programme, which aimed to give back to the communities that have been instrumental in AbbeyAutoline’s success over the past five decades. (Mika Pangilinan, 25/1/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'AbbeyAutoline wraps up 50th anniversary celebrations with major charity support')

​Kingfisher Insurance has announced several major sponsorships through its specialist brands, REIS Motorsport Insurance and Classic Insurance Services. These partnerships encompass a range of motorsport events, highlighting Kingfisher’s commitment to the sector. One of the broker’s recent announcements named REIS Motorsport Insurance as an official partner of the ROKiT British F4 Championship for the 2024 season. This FIA-affiliated event aims to nurture young talents in single-seater racing, positioning them for potential entry into the F1 circuit. (Mika Pangilinan, 24/1/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'Kingfisher announces motorsport sponsorships')

The Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) is now consulting on its proposed rules that, if implemented, would require PRA-regulated insurers to prepare for a solvent exit as part of their business-as-usual activities. “In this consultation, a ‘solvent exit’ means the process through which a firm ceases its insurance business (including both effecting and carrying out contracts of insurance) in an orderly manner while remaining solvent throughout,” the regulator noted. The move is part of the PRA’s work on increasing confidence that regulated companies can exit the market in an orderly fashion and with minimal disruption. With mandated preparations, the goal is to avoid having to rely on the backstop of an insolvency or resolution process. (Terry Gangcuangco, 24/1/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'PRA sets out proposed rules on 'solvent exit' planning')

The Amazon Insurance Store, which entered the UK insurance comparison market 15 months ago, will be closing following an internal evaluation. E-commerce giant Amazon introduced to select customers on October 19, 2022, before a subsequent nationwide rollout by the end of that year. The initial home insurers on the panel were Ageas UK, Co-op, and LV= General Insurance. Policy Expert and Urban Jungle were eventually added. “Over the last year, we have been evaluating various businesses and programmes, and as a part of that we’ve made the difficult decision to discontinue the Amazon Insurance Store,” an Insurance Post report quoted Amazon Insurance Store head Vassil Gedov as saying in a statement. (Terry Gangcuangco, 24/1/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'Amazon Insurance Store closing after 15 months')

AXIS Capital Holdings, which is releasing its full-year financial results for 2023 on January 31, has published the insurance group’s forecast. “AXIS delivered strong underlying performance in 2023, and we believe the company is on a clear trajectory to becoming a specialty underwriting leader,” President and Chief Executive Vince Tizzio noted. He also highlighted the firm’s “well-positioned” portfolio and strong capital position. (Terry Gangcuangco, 24/1/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'AXIS Capital outlines financial results forecast')

​Australian managing general underwriter Criterion Underwriting has expanded into the UK through specialist managing general agent and broker services platform OneAdvent. Based in Brisbane, Criterion Underwriting is backing Criterion Ltd in London to underwrite with a focus on sectors such as waste management, recycling, and mining. The UK launch was made possible by OneAdvent, which provided regulatory, compliance, and business oversight. (Terry Gangcuangco, 24/1/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'Australia-based Criterion Underwriting expands into the UK')

The UK marine sector is projected to see growth by 2025 following a period of contraction, according to new research by QBE. QBE’s latest report noted that the 8.5% decline witnessed by the sector in 2023 marks its most significant drop since 2016, barring the downturn it faced during 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Forecasts also indicated another marginal decline of 0.4% in 2024, followed by a slight 0.8% upturn in 2025. (Mika Pangilinan, 23/1/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'UK marine sector projected to rebound by 2025 despite challenges – QBE')

The Lloyd’s Market Association (LMA) has published the LMA Strategic Focus 2024. LMA Chief Executive Sheila Cameron said in her message: “We will continue to work in the best interests of our members and the market as new challenges and opportunities emerge throughout the year. I am excited about the opportunities that lie ahead and look forward to witnessing our collective achievements.” (Terry Gangcuangco, 23/1/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'Lloyd’s Market Association outlines priorities for 2024')

Manchester-based Irwell Insurance Company Limited has joined the Association of British Insurers (ABI). In a release, Irwell Chief Executive Giles Reading said: “Our membership demonstrates our commitment to providing reliable and knowledgeable advice and support to our clients and growing team." (Terry Gangcuangco, 23/1/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'ABI adds Irwell to membership roster')

Travelers Companies reported quarterly earnings that surpassed expectations, according to an analysis by TD Cowen. Travelers’ strong performance was attributed to robust underwriting gains, higher net investment income, and reduced catastrophe losses. Travelers posted core earnings per share (EPS) of US$7.01, exceeding TD Cowen’s estimate of US$5.05 and the consensus estimate of US$5.10. Pre-tax catastrophe losses were reported at US$125 million, significantly below TD Cowen’s estimate of US$268 million. (Ryan Smith, 22/1/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'Travelers’ earnings exceed expectations')

Insurance Connections, a new venture in the commercial insurance brokerage space, has announced its launch. This new firm was established by Nathan Walton, a seasoned professional in the insurance broking industry, with the backing of The Broker Investment Group. Walton, known for his extensive network within the insurance sector, has put together a team of professionals specializing in commercial insurance broking. Leveraging his long-established relationships with insurers, Walton has already achieved significant client acquisitions and growth in gross written premium (GWP) since the company's inception. (Kenneth Araullo, 22/1/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'Industry stalwart establishes Insurance Connections, a new brokerage backed by TBIG')

Mergers & Acquisitions

​Munich-based Allianz Direct, the European direct business of Allianz, has added more than 100 colleagues to its team in France by acquiring part of online insurer Luko. As reported last November, Luko’s prior deal with Welsh financial services provider Admiral Group fell through after transaction conditions were not met. At the time, it was noted that Allianz had offered to take Admiral’s place in the sale of Luko’s French household business. (Terry Gangcuangco, 25/1/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'Allianz Direct buys Luko’s home insurance business in France')

​NFP has announced its acquisition of Advanced Insurance Consultants Limited (AIC), an independent insurance broker located in Hemel Hempstead, near London. The acquisition, finalised on December 15, will see the complete AIC team integrating into NFP. AIC is known for its specialised expertise in several sectors, including agriculture, marine, leisure, vehicle, and construction. The firm's service offerings extend beyond commercial insurance, as it also provides personal insurance solutions for individual clients. (Kenneth Araullo, 24/1/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'NFP announces major broker acquisition in London')

​APRIL Group (APRIL), the prominent wholesale insurance broker in France and Europe, has successfully finalised its acquisition of Lexham Insurance, a key player in two-wheeler insurance in the UK. The shared objective of APRIL and Lexham Insurance is to bolster the presence of the Lexham brand in the UK market. This involves a commitment to providing an increasingly distinctive insurance experience and maintaining a robust service approach. (Roxanne Libatique, 22/1/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'French wholesale broker acquires Lexham Insurance')

Generali, which is acquiring Liberty Seguros from Liberty Mutual for €2.3 billion in cash, has secured approval from the European Commission under the European Union merger regulation. In a news bulletin, the Commission said: “The transaction relates primarily to the non-life insurance sector in Portugal, where the activities of Liberty Seguros and Generali overlap." First announced last June, the deal is poised to deliver “attractive financial benefits” for Generali. (Terry Gangcuangco, 22/1/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'European Commission approves Generali's swoop for Liberty Seguros')

​Howden has announced the acquisition of Laurie Ross, a personal and commercial lines broker based in Scotland. This acquisition further strengthens Howden’s commitment to growth in the UK and supports its growing high street presence. The addition of Laurie Ross will take Howden’s high street branches to 117, with a total of over 200 centres across the UK. (Howden, 25/1/2024, youTalk Insurance, 'Howden expands UK network with acquisition of Scottish broker')

PIB Group Ltd has announced the acquisition of Aguirre Vila-Coro Correduría Seguros S.L.U (‘AVC’) and Grupo IDDEAS, as well as Javier Sánchez Consultores, S.L. (‘JSC’) which is pending regulatory approval. The new arrivals to PIB demonstrate the Group’s ongoing ambition to build a strong presence in the Iberian Peninsula. (PIB Group, 25/1/2024, youTalk Insurance, 'PIB Group continues expansion in Spain through acquisition of three new companies')


Chubb has announced the appointment of Anna Källs as the new Country Manager for Sweden and Finland, effective from Feb. 1. Källs takes over from Margaretha Mo, who has left the company to explore new opportunities. Prior to joining Chubb, she was employed at Willis Towers Watson (WTW) since 2022, where she served as the Head of Large and Complex Business and Practice Leader for liability. Källs's career in the insurance industry spans nearly two decades. She began as an intern at If Insurance in Sweden in 2007 and progressed through various roles at the company, including Key Account Manager, Affinity, and Head of Underwriting for commercial business, before moving to WTW in 2019. (Kenneth Araullo, 26/1/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'Chubb names new country manager for Sweden and Finland')

The London Market Group (LMG) has announced the appointment of two new board members who will represent different market associations for 2024. Jane Warren joins the board as a representative of the Lloyd’s Market Association. She currently serves as Active Underwriter for Liberty Specialty Market’s Syndicate 4472 and UK Branch Manager for its European business. She spent time as Chief Operating Officer of AXIS Specialty Europe prior to her present roles. Joining alongside Warren is Claire McDonald, who became Chair of the International Underwriting Association this year. McDonald is a member of the executive board at HDI Global SE and is also a council member of the Insurance Institute of London. (Mika Pangilinan, 26/1/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'London Market Group appoints new board members')

Dale Willetts, whose industry experience spans three decades, has been hired by managing general underwriter Carbon Underwriting as Head of Specialty. The new specialty head’s credentials include time spent at Sompo International, Travelers, and QBE. (Terry Gangcuangco, 26/1/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'Carbon Underwriting brings in specialty head'

​London-based insurtech ChainThat has appointed Vikas Acharya as its new CEO, effective immediately. Acharya, previously serving as ChainThat's COO, has played a significant role in the company's development. His responsibilities included managing operations from pre-sales to delivery, encompassing the entire operational spectrum. Acharya, who is also a co-founder of ChainThat, brings extensive enterprise technology experience in the insurance market to his new role. (Kenneth Araullo, 25/1/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'ChainThat names new CEO')

Former Marsh Pacific Chief Executive Nick Harris is not assuming the role of UK Retail CEO. From 2019 until the end of last year, Harris led Marsh’s operations in Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, and Papua New Guinea. Before then, he served as CEO of JLT Australia and New Zealand. In September 2023, Harris was appointed to become Chief Executive of UK retail at Marsh. At the time, Marsh parent Marsh McLennan announced that Harris was going to return to London to take on the post on January 1, 2024. Now it’s been revealed that Harris, after leaving his Pacific position, will not become UK Retail Chief. (Terry Gangcuangco, 25/1/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'Major departure at Marsh - report')

Ardonagh Specialty business Price Forbes has announced its entry into the real estate and legal indemnity market, marking a significant expansion of its services, coming with the appointment of key industry figures: Mark Manwaring as Managing Director of real estate, Craig Taylor as Executive Director of real estate, and Dave Woolley as Executive Director of legal indemnities. Manwaring, who previously held the position of Managing Director at Aon’s real estate practice, brings extensive experience in managing large multinational portfolios, mid-tier growth clients, and a legal indemnity team. Taylor, with over two decades of experience, has a background in providing insurance solutions to a diverse range of real estate clients, both in the UK and internationally. He has worked across various asset classes and was formerly an Executive Director in the real estate practice groups at Aon and Marsh. Woolley, joining from his role as Director of legal indemnities at Aon, has a history of collaborating with professionals in law, surveying, and property development on significant property and land transactions. (Kenneth Araullo, 25/1/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'Price Forbes launches real estate and legal indemnity division with key appointments')

Genasys, a provider of insurance software solutions, has announced the appointment of Sharon Brown as a board advisor. Brown, who possesses over 30 years of experience in the insurance industry, is set to bring her extensive expertise to the Genasys board. Her role will involve providing strategic counsel as Genasys continues to grow its operations both in current markets and new territories. According to LinkedIn, Brown's professional background includes several senior leadership roles, such as a directorship at the Managing General Agents’ Association. (Kenneth Araullo, 24/1/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'Genasys adds new board advisor')

​Liberty Specialty Markets (LSM) has promoted Sarah Howell to London Head of First-Party Claims with immediate effect. Howell returned to the Liberty Mutual Insurance Group business in 2022, having previously worked at LSM for seven years. Before rejoining two years ago, she held the position of Property Claims Head at Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance. (Terry Gangcuangco, 24/1/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'LSM announces internal hire in London')

MorganAsh, a support services provider to the financial services sector, has appointed Johnny Timpson as its new Chairman, pending regulatory approval. Timpson, an esteemed industry veteran boasting over four decades of experience in the insurance and protection sectors, brings a wealth of expertise to his new role. Recognised for his commitment to assisting vulnerable consumers, Timpson holds various prominent positions within the industry, including Financial Inclusion Commissioner and membership in the Financial Conduct Authority’s Financial Services Consumer Panel. (Rommel Lontayao, 23/1/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'MorganAsh appoints industry veteran as new chairman')

Qlaims Limited Founder Malcolm Harvey has retired. Harvey, who is credited for creating the original loss recovery insurance product in the ‘80s, founded Qlaims in 2017 before launching the managing general agent in 2020. The claims advocate stepped down as Chief Executive in 2021, staying on as Executive Director and promoting then Chief Commercial Officer Liz Latter to CEO. (Terry Gangcuangco, 23/1/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'Qlaims founder retires')

​Michael Creighton has been promoted, with immediate effect, to Head of Trade Credit and Trade Finance for Great Britain at Willis Towers Watson. Prior to his promotion, the Coface alumnus served as Executive Director within financial solutions from 2019. Creighton joined WTW from Nedbank where he was Export Credit Finance Head. (Terry Gangcuangco, 23/1/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'WTW creates new trade credit, trade finance role')

Insurance law firm Fenchurch Law has announced two new additions to its coverage disputes team in London: Jessica Chappell and Isabel Becker. Chappell steps into the role of Senior Associate at Fenchurch Law, backed by over eight years of experience in complex commercial litigation. Before joining Fenchurch Law, Chappell was a Senior Associate at Davis Woolfe. She also spent time at Calibrate Law and Partner Law. Becker joins the firm as a Foreign Qualified Lawyer in the reinsurance & international risks team. She previously trained at Bach Langheid Dallmayr in Germany, focusing on international insurance and liability. Her work there included handling claims related to COVID-19 business interruption and private health insurance. (Mika Pangilinan, 22/1/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'Fenchurch Law announces new hires in London')

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