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General Insurance Newsletter Friday 24th May 2024

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Insurance News

​In a challenging year marked by geopolitical events, 69% of companies around the world reported supply chain disruptions due to political events, according to a new report by WTW. The “How are leading companies managing today’s political risks?” report, now in its seventh annual edition, reflects a shift from alarm to preparedness. The survey found that 96% of companies have invested in new political risk management capabilities. These investments include enhancing corporate processes and creating cross-functional teams. (Jonalyn Cueto, 23/5/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'Geopolitical turmoil continues to disrupt global businesses – report')

Channel 4 Sales has announced a partnership with Allianz and Toyota that will see them sponsor the Paris 2024 Paralympic Games. According to a news release, this collaboration includes extensive coverage across Channel 4, More 4, Channel 4 Streaming, and social media channels. The partnership was brokered by Allianz’s media agency Mindshare UK and Toyota’s full-service agency T&Pm. Both agencies will manage the deal activation. In addition to broadcast coverage, Allianz and Toyota will participate in Channel 4’s marketing campaign to raise awareness of the Games before they begin on August 28. (Jonalyn Cueto, 23/5/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'Allianz announces major partnership with Channel 4 and Toyota')

Aviva plc (Aviva) has released its financial results for the first quarter of 2024 (Q1 2024), showing growth across various business segments and maintaining a solid capital position. For Q1 2024, Aviva’s insurance premiums increased by 16% to £2.7 billion, up from £2.4 billion in Q1 2023. Commenting on the company’s performance, Aviva Group CEO Amanda Blanc said: “This is another set of excellent results, extending our track record of consistently strong trading. Our diversified business model is continuing to deliver, and we are growing right across the group.” (Roxanne Libatique, 23/5/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'Aviva unveils Q1 2024 results')

​Lloyd’s syndicate AEGIS London has unveiled a new wind deductible buy-back product tailored for private property owners in the US. Calum Williams, Digital Development Manager, explained that shifts in the US homeowners’ insurance market have driven brokers to seek a residential version of AEGIS London’s commercial wind and hail deductible buy-back product. “The growing number of severe weather events in North America has led to growing demand for greater protection for private property owners who are increasingly having to retain more risk, particularly in the high-net-worth sector,” Williams noted. (Terry Gangcuangco, 23/5/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'AEGIS London introduces residential wind buy-back product')

Distinguished Programs, a US national insurance program manager, has announced a new partnership with re/insurer SiriusPoint for its inland marine insurance program. The program will provide tailored coverage for inland marine exposures, including motor truck cargo, transportation, contractors’ equipment, and builders’ risk. To offer a comprehensive solution for contractors and logistics providers, the product will also include ancillary coverages such as rigging liability, installation, and relevant commercial property. The coverage will be available nationwide and backed by SiriusPoint. (Kenneth Araullo, 22/5/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'SiriusPoint, Distinguished Programs announced inland marine partnership')

In 2023, the group risk sector in the UK reached a record payout of £2.49 billion, equating to £6.82 million daily, according to industry data compiled by Group Risk Development (GRiD). The sum represents a £278.4 million increase from 2022, indicating the extensive use of employer-funded life assurance, income protection, and critical illness benefits to support employees and their families last year. Broken down, group life assurance policies provided £1.69 billion in benefits in 2023, up £160.9 million from the previous year; group income protection (GIP), £633.6 million (£85.7 million higher than the 2022 count); and group critical illness, £160.3 million as a result of a £31.8 million rise. Average new claim amounts were significant, with group life assurance at £137,448, group income protection at £27,206 annually, and group critical illness at £77,743. (Terry Gangcuangco, 22/5/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'UK group risk sector hits record claims payout in 2023')

Global insurance intermediary group Howden has introduced a new cyber insurance platform aimed at small and medium-sized enterprises, simplifying the process of obtaining coverage. Targeted at businesses with revenues up to US $250 million, the platform allows users to purchase cyber insurance in just four steps, eliminating the need for lengthy questionnaires or complex jargon. Supported by three global carriers, Howden’s cyber insurance platform offers up to US $6 million in capacity. Clients are pre-approved, requiring only basic information – name, industry, annual revenues, and website – to receive a quote. Additional data is collected through open APIs (application programming interface), ensuring that underwriting standards are maintained despite the streamlined process. (Terry Gangcuangco, 22/5/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'Howden unveils cyber insurance platform for SMEs')

​Generali Group reported continued growth in its operating results for the first quarter of 2024, supported by positive contributions from all business segments and a return to positive net inflows in the life segment. Generali's gross written premiums rose by 21.4% to €26.4 billion, with notable performances in both the life and property & casualty (P&C) segments. Life net inflows returned to positive levels, reaching €2.3 billion, driven entirely by protection and unit-linked products. This aligns with the group's strategy and reflects the success of commercial actions implemented since 2023. (Kenneth Araullo, 21/5/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'Generali posts continued growth in Q1 2024 results')

​Ecclesiastical Insurance has introduced a new digital portal aimed at enhancing brokers’ ability to manage their schemes. Developed internally by Ecclesiastical, the Schemes+ platform addresses the persistent reliance on manual processes among brokers when onboarding new schemes clients. The tool allows brokers to directly input details into the system to generate quotes, streamlining the process and boosting customer service. The system also facilitates instant comparison of different limits and provides swift access to policy information. Additionally, Schemes+ features automated alerts that identify areas lacking data or requiring underwriter referral, with the referral process fully integrated into the platform. (Terry Gangcuangco, 21/5/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'Ecclesiastical rolls out Schemes+ platform for brokers')

Global reinsurer MS Reinsurance reported a net profit of $366 million for 2023, marking a significant turnaround from a net loss of $50 million in 2022. The announcement followed the release of parent company MS&AD’s worldwide financial results for the full year 2023. MS Reinsurance reported a net profit after tax of $366 million, driven by favourable non-catastrophe experience across the portfolio, equity returns in line with wider market performance, and higher than planned returns on liquid assets. (Kenneth Araullo, 20/5/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'MS Reinsurance highlights strong results in full-year financials')

Gallagher Re and Oxford University’s Program for Sustainable Infrastructure Systems (OPSIS) have announced a research collaboration to help re/insurers understand critical chokepoints in the global supply chain. With 80% of the world’s trade conducted through global shipping lanes and ports, the geopolitical landscape has presented challenges for the re/insurance industry. The post-COVID-19 recovery saw significant supply chain disruptions, followed by geopolitical conflicts affecting trade in both the Black Sea and Red Sea. According to the reinsurance broker, the OPSIS research will examine the impacts of disruptions on global supply chains and assist re/insurers by creating realistic disaster scenarios. (Kenneth Araullo, 20/5/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'Gallagher Re, Oxford University partner on marine modelling initiative')

The ARAG Group reported a 7.9% increase in gross premium income for 2023, amounting to €2.37 billion, an increase of €174 million. Including sales from service companies, total revenues for the insurance group exceeded €2.4 billion. The underwriting result was €138 million, which the group said is the second highest in its history. Profit from ordinary business activities rose by 40% to €137 million, and net profit doubled from the previous year to €86 million. (Kenneth Araullo, 20/5/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'ARAG Group doubles net income in financial results')

​RSA Insurance, in partnership with Q Underwriting, a subsidiary of PIB Group, has launched a new comprehensive management liability product. This management liability insurance covers directors, officers, and companies against risks stemming from their decisions and actions on behalf of their organisations. The new product provides management protection, including directors and officers (D&O) insurance, corporate liability, employment practice liability, and employee crime coverage. RSA explained that it also offers bespoke limits and enhanced cover, to meet the needs of private limited companies and limited liability partnerships. The target market includes care establishments, educational institutions, leisure and hospitality, haulage, transport, and motor trades. (Kenneth Araullo, 20/5/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'RSA collaborates with Q Underwriting for management liability product')

Zurich UK has merged its commercial and retail distribution teams, creating a single access point for brokers engaging with the company. In response to feedback from the insurer’s partners, Zurich set up the consolidated unit to provide brokers with a one-stop shop. The restructured team will be led by Sales and Distribution Head Jacqui Kelly. The customer team, meanwhile, will not be impacted by the changes. (Terry Gangcuangco, 20/5/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'Zurich UK brings together commercial and retail distribution units')

Mergers & Acquisitions

French aviation insurance brokerage Air Courtage Assurances has been snapped up by Brokerslink. Founded in 1999, Air Courtage Assurances is one of the leading insurance brokerages in France, solely focusing on managing aviation-related risks. It has offices in its home country, as well as Switzerland and the UK. “We are thrilled to announce the addition of a new specialist broker to our network,” said Anne Collette, Business Development and Partnerships Director – Brokerslink. “With more than two decades of specialized experience, they are renowned for their expertise in the aviation insurance market. They will provide our broker partners and affiliates with meaningful client support and tailored insurance solutions in both aviation and corporate risks.”(Insurance Business UK, 24/5/2024, 'Brokerslink announces new broker deal')

Premier Choice Healthcare (PCH), a health insurance intermediary owned by Brown & Brown (Europe), has completed its third acquisition in three months. In March, PCH acquired Central Healthcare Limited, a Midlands-based intermediary. This was followed in April by the acquisition of PCH Solutions, an intermediary partnership based in Kent. Most recently, PCH has acquired MGM Health Limited, a North West London-based intermediary, from Dr Geetha Muralee, a specialist in the health industry. All three intermediaries provide consumer and business healthcare insurance. Following these acquisitions, Marc Nicol (Director of Central Healthcare), Ian Reader and Russell Turner (Partners of PCH Solutions), and Dr Geetha Muralee will serve as PCH ambassadors. (Kenneth Araullo, 22/5/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'PCH marks third acquisition in three months')

​The fast-growing specialist insurance intermediary Specialist Risk Group (SRG) has announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to be acquired by Warburg Pincus and Temasek. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed. The deal, which is subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals, will see SRG's management team invest alongside Warburg Pincus and Temasek and continue to hold a significant stake in the business. Since launching in January 2020, SRG – which is headed up by group CEO Warren Downey and Group Deputy CEO Lee Anderson – has grown through a blend of organic and inorganic growth to boast a team of over 600 people, placing premiums of more than £1 billion. In a Press release, it was noted that its new investors will support the continued realisation of SGR’s growth ambitions and its strategy. (Mia Wallace, 21/5/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'Specialist Risk Group acquired in major deal')

International insurance intermediary group Howden has snapped up microinsurance specialist MiCRO, which provides parametric natural disaster insurance to underserved populations in Latin America. The move, according to Howden, underscores its commitment to leveraging insurance as a ‘force for good’, particularly in emerging markets. Howden said the transaction, financial terms of which were not disclosed, aligns with the group’s goal of empowering vulnerable communities to become more resilient and adapt to climate change threats. At the same time, MiCRO will now have the opportunity to grow by leveraging Howden’s international reach, global markets access, and robust data and analytics capabilities. (Terry Gangcuangco, 21/5/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'Howden swoops for microinsurance specialist')


Canopius has announced the appointment of Andy Haste as its new Group Chairman, effective July 1, 2024. Haste will chair the group board following a record year for Canopius in 2023, according to a news release. He brings extensive experience to his new role, having held positions such as Group Chief Executive of RSA Insurance Group and CEO at AXA Sun Life. He also served as Senior Independent Director and Deputy Chairman of Lloyd’s from 2012 to 2021. Currently, Haste chairs the board of esure group. Haste will succeed Michael Watson, who will step down but continue to support Canopius in an advisory role. (Jonalyn Cueto, 23/5/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'Canopius announces new group chairman')

​Allianz UK has announced two significant appointments to its senior leadership team: Hanna Kam as Chief Risk Officer John Berry’s successor and Jason Howes as the company’s first-ever Chief Transformation Officer. Kam previously served for nearly 10 years as Group Chief Risk Officer at Hiscox, where she managed enterprise risk and compliance on a global scale. A qualified Actuary, Kam will bring more than 25 years of global insurance industry experience – including time spent in senior positions at EY and Zurich Australia – to Allianz. Berry, Kam’s predecessor, is stepping down after a decade at the UK operations to pursue new opportunities within the wider Allianz Group. The WTW alumnus was Personal Lines Chief Underwriting Officer before he took on his current position in January 2020. Howes, with nearly 27 years of industry experience, has spent over two decades at Allianz and most recently served as Business Transformation Director. In his new role, he will oversee all major transformation projects for Allianz UK. (Terry Gangcuangco, 23/5/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'Allianz UK appoints risk and transformation chiefs')

​American International Group (AIG) has appointed Gordon Browne as Global Head of Specialty. Effective June 11, the appointment marks Browne’s return to AIG. He is making the switch from Allianz, where he has been Global Head of Specialty since April 2023. Browne will also be part of the international insurance leadership team. (Terry Gangcuangco, 23/5/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'AIG appoints global head of specialty')

Specialty MGA UK has expanded its expertise and global reach by appointing Jonathan Wingett as Senior Underwriter for agriculture. Wingett is an experienced Reinsurance Underwriter and Broker with over 40 years in the industry. His career includes significant time in Asia, including Japan, Singapore, and Malaysia, where he established an agriculture practice with Asia Capital Reinsurance (ACR) and formed the Asia Agriculture Pool to write agriculture reinsurance globally. Wingett's experience also spans work in Kuwait with Al Fajer Re, the country’s first licensed Retakaful company, and in Cyprus with Alliance Re, where he managed underwriting operations on the non-marine treaty account. His expertise includes writing risks for agricultural clients worldwide, from small growers to international corporations. (Kenneth Araullo, 22/5/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'Specialty MGA UK bolsters agriculture expertise with underwriting appointment')

​The Association of Average Adjusters (AAA) has elected Ann Waite as its 2024-25 Chair, making the marine claims expert the first woman to chair the AAA since its 1869 founding. During the annual general meeting of fellows, Waite was also named an honorary fellow of the association, where she notably served as Secretary for 11 years. Heading AW Marine, an independent claims management firm in London, Waite succeeds AAA ex-Chair and Albatross Adjusters Director Burkhard Fischer. (Terry Gangcuangco, 22/5/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'Association of Average Adjusters names new chair')

Fortitude Re has announced the appointment of Carla Albertze as Senior Vice President (SVP), Head of Internal Audit. Albertze brings extensive experience to the position, having previously served as Vice President, Internal Audit. Her responsibilities included performing audits in areas such as deal pricing, model risk management, system implementations, data migrations, and enterprise risk management. She joined Fortitude Re from KPMG, where she conducted external audits of SEC registrants and worked with clients in the reinsurance industry. (Kenneth Araullo, 21/5/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'Fortitude Re appoints head of internal audit')

Victoria Howell, Head of Program Management at global re/insurer SiriusPoint International, has been appointed to the newly established Lloyd’s Market Association (LMA) Delegated Authority – BAU (DABAU) Group. Howell recently discussed the significance of industry bodies and her objectives in collaborating with members from AXIS, Liberty, MS Amlin, Munich Re, and others. “The LMA’s DABAU Group is the perfect conduit between insurance carriers and Lloyd’s,” Howell said in a news release. “Each member of the group shares common goals. By coming together, we can help to shape the future of delegated authority across the industry, and for the benefit of the wider market. With a focus on systems, processes, and people, members and those we work with will be able to plan well, make informed decisions, and develop reporting within their own companies.” (Kenneth Araullo, 21/5/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'SiriusPoint head joins new LMA DABAU Group')

Arch Insurance UK Regional Division has announced the appointment of Adam Waterstreet as Claims Relationship Manager, effective immediately. Waterstreet joins Arch with over 10 years of experience in claims. He was previously a Claims Management Executive at Aon, managing large client accounts. Before that, he served as a Claims Relationship Manager at Allianz. (Kenneth Araullo, 21/5/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'Arch Insurance UK names new claims relationship manager')

Hedron Network has announced the appointment of Nick Jones as Growth Consultant. Jones, previously with Focus Oxford Risk Management Ltd, a part of Partners&, will report to Duncan Pagan, Consultancy Services Director. His role involves assisting Hedron brokers in expanding their businesses. Jones' background includes being a Partner at Focus Oxford Risk Management Ltd, which was part of the Bluefin Network. In 2017, he financed and led a management buyout to create his own company, Focus Oxford Risk Management Ltd, growing it successfully over the years. The company was later acquired by Partners&, where Nick took a senior role on the trading board, overseeing the Markets and later leading the South East region. (Kenneth Araullo, 21/5/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'Hedron appoints new growth consultant')

​Arch Insurance International has promoted Laura Brahams to Head of Third-Party Claims, with the appointment effective immediately. Brahams, who joined Arch in 2015 and previously served as Financial Lines Claims Manager, brings over 18 years of insurance experience. Before joining Arch, she worked at various law firms including Kennedys Law LLP and is a qualified Solicitor in England and Wales. Brahams currently chairs the International Underwriting Association’s Professional Lines Claims Committee and co-chairs the Arch Insurance International Culture Committee, which aims to promote a positive workplace culture within the company. (Kenneth Araullo, 20/5/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'Arch names new head of third-party claims')

Come July, Robert Riha will serve as AXA XL’s Chief Client & Distribution Officer for Asia-Pacific and Europe. Riha, who will be moving from Singapore to Dublin, began his insurance career in 2006, initially working in-house at RSA for Parabis Law before qualifying as a Solicitor and specialising in insurance litigation with Kennedys. The internal hire joined AXA XL in 2012 as a Senior Claims Adjuster in London, later relocating to Singapore to lead AXA XL’s claims teams for Southeast Asia. In 2021, he was promoted to Head of Claims for Asia. (Terry Gangcuangco, 20/5/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'AXA XL names chief client & distribution officer for Europe, APAC')

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