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General Insurance Newsletter Friday 1st February 2019

01 Feb 2019

Insurance News

Independent insurance Broker Lockton, which has its eyes set on growth, has moved to a bigger office in Manchester with the help of workspace specialist TSK. The new site at 3 Piccadilly Place serves as the workplace for 50 of Lockton’s more than 1,000 associates in the UK.

Chubb has outperformed its UK peers when it comes to ‘digital maturity’. Digital agency Kagool examined nearly 50 insurance companies in the UK, ranking their digital performance based on eight key aspects including mobile effectiveness, digital services for customers and adoption of email marketing. The overall digital maturity ranking is arrived at by combining the key aspects. Aside from the league table, the 2019 Insurance Digital Census also includes comparative analysis of the components required for digital success, as well as valuable insights and statistics to highlight digital transformation.

Injury Claims Handlers of Allianz Insurance will now have an easier time actioning UK Ministry of Justice Stage 3 claims using a new proposition launched in partnership with legal services provider Keoghs. Previously, handlers had to check and respond to a court proceedings pack and manually download claim-related documents to be relayed to legal providers, with the outcomes subsequently shared with Handlers – who would populate the information back into the system – once a Stage 3 hearing had taken place.

In other news... Allianz is celebrating another record year for fraud success, reaching a total saving of £64.75m in 2018. The total savings have increased by £2.75m since 2017, with an increased performance against an indemnity spend up 10% from the previous year. Motor claims were the most common type of fraud detected by Allianz in 2018, amounting to 41% of fraudulent claims but Allianz’s data reveals that fraud is increasing significantly in the Casualty space with detection up 61%. This follows significant investment by Allianz in this area.

Ecclesiastical is giving LeakBot a shot – trialling the smart water leak detection device in the homes of its Brokers and their customers as part of the specialist Insurer’s innovation programme. Designed by HomeServe Labs, LeakBot detects leaks anywhere on the mains water system once clipped next to a stop tap and instantly alerts users when a leak is detected. HomeServe Labs is a subsidiary of home assistance provider HomeServe, whose ‘Find and Fix’ service is used by members of the trial to repair detected leaks.

At more than 29,000 feet, climbing Mt Everest in Nepal is one of the world’s riskiest activities. Purchasing insurance is not just a good decision – it’s absolutely necessary. However, a rash of insurance fraud involving trekking guides and helicopter rescue outfits has Insurers threatening to halt coverage. The scam was detailed by The New York Times in their story of Australian trekker Geoffrey Chang, who was convinced by his guides that he was suffering from acute mountain sickness (AMS) at Everest’s base camp. The guides pushed for an immediate (and costly) helicopter evacuation and Chang dutifully complied – only to find out later that he and his insurance company were taken for a ride.

The International Underwriting Association has issued its 2019 business plan, with the fall-out from the UK’s divorce with the European Union “far from the only topic occupying attention.” Among the several regulatory issues set to dominate the IUA’s agenda this year is the Financial Conduct Authority study examining competition in the wholesale insurance Broker sector. Results of the two-year assessment by the FCA will be released in the next few months.

While artificial intelligence bots remain a futuristic concept for others, major Insurer AXA has three of them working alongside its human staff. The AI bots take on what the firm described as “repetitive” admin work, affording employees time to focus on tasks that are more analytical in nature. Harry, who came to life in June 2018, assists the customer property claims team while Bert and Lenny came onboard the commercial property and liability units, respectively, at the end of last year.

EC3 Brokers is expanding into the Middle East with the launch of EC3 Brokers MEA, alongside the appointment of Steve Hart as Senior Executive Officer (SEO) to lead a team of four in Dubai’s International Finance Centre. This new venture marks the strategic expansion of the EC3 Brokers team, which already has offices in London and the United States, a statement by the firm said. The new operation will do business across the Middle East and Africa region, including offering extra-regional business to the local A-rated markets.

It’s not every day that you get to strike a deal with the British Insurance Brokers’ Association – but for Jackson Lee Underwriting, last week’s news of the renewal of its GAP scheme represented the continuation of a partnership dating all the way back to 2012. Insurance Business spoke to the firm’s joint MD Mark McLaren to discover how the deal came about.

In other news... The British Insurance Brokers’ Association has partnered with Allianz-owned Home & Legacy for its high net worth (HNW) insurance scheme. Biba listed that members will get access to three tiers of household cover as well as “flexible underwriting and competitive pricing” due to Home and Legacy’s panel arrangement. In addition the trade body highlighted Home and Legacy’s in-house claims handling and online e-trading capability as benefits for users.

Remember buying Royal London insurance policies from door-to-door agents back in the day? It turns out many forgot and the British firm is bent on finding these ‘lost’ customers with the help of tracing partner LexisNexis. “Reuniting customers with money that is rightfully theirs is a priority for us,” said Royal London group operations Director Jon Glen. “Many policyholders paid premiums for years but for various reasons have lost touch.

Start-up managing general agent (MGA) C-Quence has gone live with its underwriting platform C-Q Elements. The InsurTech MGA has also launched its management liability product ML5. The start-up was founded by Chief Executive Jacqueline McNamee, who was previously managing Director of AIG in the UK.

BGL Group is to invest £3m in a new tech hub at its base in Sunderland, in a move that it said will create 40 new jobs. This follows the opening of its first tech hub in London’s Shoreditch in June 2017. BGL Group, which owns comparison website Comparethemarket and Brokers Budget and Dial Direct, said it is now recruiting delivery professionals, software engineers, software quality Engineers and Business Analysts in the initial phase of the project.

Cavere Group has launched Cavere Intermediary, a technology-driven provider offering wholesale insurance products to Brokers and intermediaries. The business noted that it is backed by A-rated Insurers in the UK and its product range currently includes home, landlords and tenants, personal accident, travel and non-standard insurance cover. According to Cavere, which describes itself as a disruptor, the new firm embraces the latest advances in technology to deliver improved flexibility, capability and efficiency to assist Brokers while offering “transparency” and end-to-end policy administration.

Instant Underwriting, which is a Lloyd’s coverholder, has developed a wholesale liability scheme aimed at tradesmen, premises-based businesses and land owners. The product is available on a platform developed by tech provider SchemeServe. According to the SchemeServe the cover combines public and product liability as standard with optional extensions for employers’ liability and tools cover.

Loren Gould, head of growth at InsurTech Broker Cuvva, has stated that the firm wants to work with the police to stop fraud and uninsured driving. The comments follow an article in The Examiner Live outlining how an uninsured driver stopped by a Policeman tried to use the Cuvva app to buy insurance while she was still talking to the police. “Unfortunately, we’ll never be able to fully stamp out fraud because there will always be bad actors in the mix, but we’re able to mitigate it as much as possible.

Iotatech, a pay-per-use tech platform for Brokers, has launched with Commercial and General signing up to use its claims solution. The new provider aims to challenge software houses by offering Brokers a bespoke, bitesize technology option as an alternative to traditional and legacy options. Fresh founder, Lisa Powis, who sold the personal lines Broker to Vantage last year, is part of Iotatech’s strategic advisory council.

First Academy, NIG’s club for its top independent Brokers and their staff, has expanded its training programme for 2019. The club offers soft and technical training for people at all levels of experience to add to their professional skills and knowledge. The Insurer, which is part of the Direct Line Group, noted that the new content, Connect for Brokers, is partly based on its own internal training programme and built around three leadership courses and five modules for customer-facing staff.

The Financial Conduct Authority has revealed that claims frequencies fell for home insurance in 2018 while average claims payouts increased. The findings came as the regulator collated data from 31 Insurers for the year ended 31st August 2018. The research was part of the watchdog’s pilot project, launched in 2016, into measuring value in the general insurance market.

In other news... The Financial Conduct Authority has opened a consultation on making firms submit general insurance value measures data for publication and extending the scope to cover most general insurance products. The move comes after a pilot project was launched in 2016 following a discussion paper in 2015. The first set of figures were revealed in 2017 and it published the third set of numbers (30th January 2019).

The cyber market has hit back at a recent Mactavish report which claimed that the insurance was “flawed” and suggested that some companies are being “mis-sold” cover. Richard Hodson, Director at UKGlobal Group, was disappointed by the report and said he did not believe it reflected the current cyber market. He insisted: “Most of the bad policies have now fallen away and a lot of them were bolt-ons.”

Zurich Insurance Group has appointed Drazen Jaksic as the new Head of Accident and Health (A&H) Underwriting within its Commercial Insurance business, earlier this year. Mr. Jaksic is based in London and will help drive greater consistency and growth across the globe in Zurich’s global Accident and Health portfolio. Zurich has previously stated its ambition to rebalance its Commercial Insurance portfolio with a focus on profitable growth in Specialty Lines.

The publication of a major official report on the wholesale insurance market is just one of several regulatory issues expected to dominate the International Underwriting Association’s agenda in 2019. The body, which represents the London company market, has issued its annual business plan to members and the fall-out from Brexit is far from the only topic occupying attention.

ACORD, the global standards-setting body for the insurance industry, announced its 2019 Board of Directors. The ACORD Board continues to be chaired by J. Spero Zacharias and consists of 27 members, including nine new Directors. “ACORD’s efforts in 2019 will be driven by execution, results and most importantly value to our members,” said ACORD President and CEO Bill Pieroni. “The expertise and leadership of our Board are invaluable in fulfilling this mission and improving the global insurance industry.”


Market Movers and Shakers

Jon Dye – not the Allianz UK Chief Executive, who shares the same name, but the Insurer’s commercial motor head – is making the switch to QBE. Appointed as Director of motor for the UK, Dye is succeeding Roger Ball who has retired. He brings more than two decades of industry experience, including 14 years from Allianz.

American International Group has announced the appointment of Edward Levin as global head of accident and health for general insurance. Levin will report to Christopher Townsend, CEO of AIG International General Insurance and will assume his new role next month, based in London. In the position, Levin will be responsible for the global accident and health (A&H) portfolio, including distribution and underwriting strategy. Prior to AIG, Levin served in senior roles at Chubb, including as group digital business officer and division president of international A&H. Prior to that, he spent four years as Executive Vice President of A&H, life and personal lines at ACE Europe. Levin has also held positions at Citigroup and Booz Allen Hamilton.

Zurich Insurance Group has appointed Drazen Jaksic as the new Head of Accident and Health (A&H) Underwriting within its Commercial Insurance business, earlier this year. Mr. Jaksic is based in London and will help drive greater consistency and growth across the globe in Zurich’s global Accident and Health portfolio.

Aon Plc (NYSE: Aon), a leading global professional services firm providing a broad range of risk, retirement and health solutions, has announced that Tom Fitzgerald is leaving the firm after 27 years of service. Tom most recently served as Chief Executive of Aon Broking and previously led the US Commercial Risk and Health businesses.

Chubb announced the appointment of Julie Chalmers as Claims Director for Europe and Eurasia & Africa. Previously Senior Vice President Claims, Financial Lines and Personal Risk Services, Chubb Overseas General - the company’s international general insurance operation - Julie will have overall responsibility for the strategy and delivery of Chubb’s claims services in these two regions. In this regional Executive role, she will continue to be based in London and will report to David Furby, Regional President, Chubb European Group and also to Andrew McBride, Executive Vice President of Claims for Chubb Overseas General. Julie replaces Steve Parry, who is leaving the company and assumes her new role effective immediately. She will work closely with Steve to ensure a seamless handover. Her appointment is subject to regulatory approval.

Lloyd’s confirmed the appointment of former United States Senator John E. Sununu as a new member of its Council for a three-year term, beginning February 6, 2019. During his tenure in the Senate, John served on the Senate Banking Committee, where he actively prioritised insurance issues and the Senate’s subcommittee on Science, Technology and Innovation. He now acts as a Senior Policy Advisor for Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP, an international law firm headquartered in Washington and holds office as a nonexecutive Director for the publicly traded companies Boston Scientific Corporation and Afiniti Inc. He holds Engineering degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and earned his Master of Business Degree from Harvard University.

in other news... Channel Syndicate 2015 at Lloyd’s (“Channel”) is pleased to announce the appointment of Gillian Anderson as Head of Technology and Cyber with immediate effect. She reports into Tom Corfield, Active Underwriter at Channel. Gillian joined Channel in June 2016. Prior to this she held roles with Talbot Underwriting, ANV Syndicate 1861 and CFC Underwriting as a Cyber and Tech Underwriter. Gillian started her career at JLT as part of the then Global Risk Solutions in the Technology and Media team.

Two top Executives at the largest Insurer in the UK are said to be neck and neck in the group CEO race following Mark Wilson’s shock departure from Aviva last October. Citing industry sources, The Mail on Sunday pointed to a probable promotion for either UK insurance Chief Executive Andy Briggs or international insurance CEO Maurice Tulloch. The Executive Directors were described as frontrunners in the search for Wilson’s successor.

AXA has introduced three new AI bots – Harry, Bert and Lenny – to help staff across the business with admin work. Harry was rolled out in June 2018 and is part of the customer property claims team. At the end of last year, Bert joined the commercial property team and Lenny the liability team. Operating among the human workforce, the bots are designed to pick up repetitive admin tasks, allowing staff to concentrate on more analytical work. The arrival of Harry, Lenny and Bert has been welcomed by employees and their deployment has not resulted in job losses.

All information provided in this Market Digest has been gathered from multiple General Insurance Media sources and individual company press releases.

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