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General Insurance Newsletter Friday 10th August 2018

10 Aug 2018

Insurance News

The British Insurance Brokers’ Association (BIBA) has launched a new drone insurance scheme with leading specialist and corporate Insurer Tokio Marine Kiln (TMK). The new scheme offers comprehensive and competitively-priced coverage for companies operating drones, also known as Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS), for commercial or business purposes. The Lloyd’s backed scheme is available via, a digital platform which enables Brokers to quote and bind business quickly online, in real time 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Liberty Specialty Markets (LSM), part of Liberty Mutual Insurance Group, announced that it has developed its existing Political Violence coverage to include a range of news risks, offering much more expansive cover under one policy wording.

CDL has launched an anti-fraud syndicate, which is seeing a number of major insurance brands join in order to combat the growing challenge of quote manipulation. According to CDL the syndicate allows insurance retailers to identify potentially suspicious patterns of consumer behavior using Hummingbird, CDL’s data intelligence solution, which is able to search and analyse millions of records at sub-second speed.

Allianz began the process of issuing new commercial lines “invitations” for LV business on the 6th of August 2018 - the Insurer has confirmed having previously committed to doing so in the third quarter. The first step is for policies with the effective date of 20th September onwards. When Allianz began the switch for personal lines it started with Acturis and added software houses in turn.

In other news.... Allianz Insurance is making its debut in Lloyd’s after taking on a team in the joint venture with LV. The Insurer is taking over from LV, trading within a rebranded underwriting box on the fourth floor of the London market. LV has had a presence at Lloyd’s since it bought Highway in 2008. The new specialist London Motor Fleet team will consist of nine people including back office staff.

LV= has released its interim results which are divided. As a group, LV= reported an operating profit of £42 million in the first half of 2018 – a decrease from the £56 million in the same period last year. Breaking this down, life and pensions posted a huge 171% rise in operating profit for the period, to this year’s £19 million from £7 million in the first half of 2017. General insurance, on the other hand, saw its operating profit slide 53% from last year’s £49 million to £23 million. The unit’s underwriting profit also went down 33% to £26 million, from £39 million previously. According to LV=, the lower general insurance figures were a result of increased claims from the poor weather at the start of 2018. It cited Storm Eleanor and the ‘Beast from the East’ as having resulted in £17 million of net claims.

The cost of player injuries for Premier League football clubs increased over 21%, with teams paying out more than £217 million in wages to injured players, in the 2017/2018 season, according to JLT Specialty. In its third annual sport injury index the Broker reported that although costs increased, the total amount of injuries dropped by 10% compared to 2016/2017 falling from 735 to 663.

AIG’s general insurance business saw an $89 million loss in underwriting income during the second quarter of 2018 – a stark contrast to the $149 million gain it enjoyed in the same period in 2017. Adjusted pre-tax income, meanwhile, fell 46% from last year’s more than $1 billion to only $568 million this time around.

The Bennett Christmas family has just gotten bigger. Announcing its latest swoop, the rapidly expanding firm said it will have a satellite office in the form of Cardale Assurance facilities’ base in Horley. The acquisition will see Cardale staff, from their current location, augment the Bennett Christmas insurance Brokers team effective immediately. In addition, the BC risk management unit will move from the Burgess Hill headquarters to the Horley site.

AXA UK and Ireland’s Interim CEO Bertrand Poupart-Lafarge has said that the pending XL Catlin acquisition will have a “limited impact” on business this side of the pond. AXA’s deal to purchase 100% of XL Group, announced in March 2018, is expected to close in Q4 this year. AXA posted a 28% increase year-on-year in underlying earnings to £145 million in its H1 results this week. Revenues for the first half of the year were up 2% to £2.5 billion, but personal lines dropped to £797 million compared to £814 million in H1 2017. Poupart-Lafarge attributed that slide to the loss of AXA’s affinity account with Marks & Spencer as well as soft market conditions during 2018.

In other news... AXA Insurance – in line with its efforts to transform digitally – has partnered with Singapore-based airline Scoot to provide Travel insurance to millions of flyers via the online booking route. Called “Scootsurance,” the offering provides comprehensive coverage against trip interruptions and cancellations, travel delays and missed connections, accidental death and permanent disablement, baggage losses, as well as terrorism. Features also include emergency medical repatriation, hospital visitation benefit and fast track claims service. 

Aviva taps Toronto-headquartered Symbility for claims streamlining. “Having to make a claim can be a stressful time, so we want to make the process as simple and pain-free as possible by embracing new technology” stated Aviva’s GI home Claims Director Kelly Robson when the Insurer’s partnership with Symbility Solutions was announced. The global software house has been tapped to streamline the process for property – both home and commercial – insurance claims.  

Three insurance companies could be facing fines over their alleged failure to disclose climate risks in their annual reports, it has been revealed. Admiral, Lancashire Holdings and Phoenix Group Holdings have been reported to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) by environmental law group Client Earth.

Investment Manager Nephila Capital can now proceed with its Lloyd’s managing agency plans after having received the initial green light. In an announcement, Nephila said the Lloyd's board has granted in-principle approval, which means Nephila Syndicate Management Ltd (NSM) can forge ahead and submit an application to the Prudential Regulation Authority and Financial Conduct Authority. Once formally authorised, NSM will take over Syndicate 2357, which has been managed by Third-Party Syndicate Manager Asta since 2013.

Aspen Insurance, which last week reported a second quarter net loss after tax of $14.7 million, is handing over the reins of its aviation operations to Starr Insurance Companies – the latter outlining details of the swoop in an announcement.

Ageas UK has posted a significant net profit rise for the first half of 2018 to €31 million (£27.8 million) from €11 million in H1 2017. However, revenue for the provider, including Tesco Underwriting, fell to €921 million for the six month period compared to €1.1 billion in H1 2017. The Insurer stated that this reflected “focus on pricing and underwriting discipline in a softening motor market”.

In other news... Belgian-Insurer Ageas has faced its fair share of troubles on UK turf in recent years – from problems with its Kwik-Fit insurance brand to difficulties relating to the Ogden rate. Now, however, it appears to be fighting back. The company saw its combined operating ratio recover from last year’s 105.6% on the back of the Ogden spike, to 99.0% this time around.

The ambitious growth plan of Allianz’s Engineering business has resulted in a significant expansion of its team of Engineer Surveyors. So far this year, Allianz has specifically recruited an additional 30 Engineer Surveyors, taking the total number operating across the UK and Ireland to over 620. This is believed to be the largest number of any engineering inspection company. With an increasing demand for construction services in London, 60% of the new recruits will primarily focus on the capital in with the remainder more widely spread across the UK. 

Saffron Insurance Services
is being sued for around £2.6 million for breach of duty after allegedly failing to tell a customer that his policy would be invalid because he had previously been involved in a court judgment. Law 360 has reported that Maurice Parker, tenant of Four Winds Garage in South East England, filed a claim against Saffron at the high court in London on 19th June 2018. Parker alleged that the Broker let him buy a policy which was then invalidated because he failed to disclose a county court judgment against him following the insolvency of his previous company.

The Clear Group CEO Howard Lickens says the business was on the clock when it bought John Ansell following ECI investment. Clear Group’s first deal since it received investment from ECI Partners last month was to buy Broker John Ansell & Partners. It was a “race against time” to finish the deal because the lease on the Enfield-based John Ansell office was ending and all nine staff were transferring to Clear’s London branch. The deal adds around £5m in GWP to Clear Group’s numbers, taking it to over £100m of GWP.

Zurich UK’s CEO Tulsi Naidu has hailed the H1 2018 numbers for the general insurance division as a strong result. The numbers showed that the GI COR improved to 95.5%, significantly ahead of last year’s 99.2% (119.0% including Ogden impact). In addition business operating profit also shot up to £75.9 million – up 24% on £61.1 million in H1 2017.

Global Re-Insurer Munich Re has announced it generated profit of €728 million (about £654 million) in the second quarter (Q2) of 2018, taking its half-year (H1) profit to €1.6 billion (about £1.4 million). The Group’s Q2 net result has stayed pretty much level with the same period in 2017 (€733 million) despite significant man-made major losses. In fact, overall profit for the first half of this year is up by 20.5% compared to H1 of 2017.

Next month the Aviva Community Fund will reopen for submissions, giving insurance Brokers the chance to support a local cause they care about to win up to £25,000. This year there are more awards for insurance Broker backed projects.




Market Movers and Shakers

Brendan McCafferty has been appointed CEO of Brightside Group. His appointment is subject to regulatory approval. Brendan’s new role follows the announcement that Mark Cliff is stepping back to become Non-Executive Chairman.

The London Market Group (LMG) has revealed that JLT Speciality’s Clare Lebecq is to become CEO on a permanent basis, replacing current leader Chris Beazley who is stepping down.

Markel International has a new Underwriter in the form of Tom Simpson, who brings more than 15 years of insurance experience. Augmenting the Specialist Insurer’s terrorism team, Simpson joins as War and Terrorism Underwriter and will report to Senior Underwriter Ed Winter. Prior to Markel International, the industry veteran served as political violence Underwriter at Axis Capital.

Charles Taylor Adjusting (CTA) has new additions to its senior management team. Bringing a combined four decades of experience to the table are James Norman and Sean O’Dowd, who have been tapped to serve as Strategy and Business Development Director and Legal Counsel and Compliance Officer, respectively.

Raheila Nazir, former head of International Cyber and Technology at Aspen Insurance, has moved to Chubb. Effective immediately, Nazir will serve as Chubb’s Cyber Underwriting Manager for the UK and Ireland – reporting to Kyle Bryant, Cyber Risks Manager for Europe.

Gallagher has continued its investment in specialty expertise with the appointment of Julie Scott FCII into its expanding Construction division. Julie, who joins with immediate effect, will have a specific focus on business development in the UK construction market.

International General Insurance Holdings Limited (IGI), the international specialist commercial Insurer and Re-Insurer, has strengthened its energy offering with the appointment of James Green as Senior Underwriter for Downstream Energy. James will focus on growing and developing a focused Renewable Energy and Conventional Power portfolio with large corporate clients or Independent Power Providers as part of IGI’s wider Downstream Energy offering.

In other news... International General Insurance Holdings Limited (IGI) is pleased to announce the appointment of David Anthony and Anwar Al-Jabri as two new Non-Executive Directors to its Board.

Global Insurer AIG has appointed industry veteran Jonathan Wismer to the triple roles of Senior Vice President, Deputy Chief Financial Officer and Chief Accounting Officer, effective immediately.

In other news...American International Group (AIG) has named Thomas Lillelund as Chief Executive Officer of AIG Europe SA. The move will see Anthony Baldwin, current CEO of AIG Europe, become Chief Executive of AIG’s UK entity.

Former LV Broker Managing Director Phil Bunker has become a Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) approved person again in his new capacity as non-Executive Director of AA Insurance

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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Market Movers and Shakers



Market Movers and Shakers

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