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General Insurance Newsletter - Friday 11th May 2018

11 May 2018

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Market News

The Association of British Insurers (ABI) has urged the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to use its powers and back the new guiding principles and action points on tackling dual pricing in personal lines.
The principles, annouced this week in partnership with the British Insurance Brokers’ Association (BIBA), saw both organisations list the commitments for members including that the ethos and approach to better outcomes for long-standing customers be embedded into every organisation and given board or senior management level priority.

Michael Rea, Gallagher’s UK retail CEO, has described its buy of Risk Services as the “template” for future UK deals. He commented: “Risk Services is exactly the sort of profile we are looking for. “If you think about Gallagher from a retail perspective our branch network runs through the whole spine of the UK.” Rea explained that Risk Services has GWP of between £10 - £20m and advised that Gallagher would not be looking to relocate the Chester based business or make any staff redundant.

Chubb has created six independent Broker teams based in London, Leeds, Manchester, Birmingham, Glasgow and Ireland, with the aim to work more closely with local Brokers.

Broker Network-owned Finch Group has bought existing network member Opus Risk Solutions for an undisclosed sum. This is Finch’s sixth purchase since it became Broker Network’s first “regional powerhouse” in October 2016.

Beazley has launched event cancellation insurance for registered charities to protect against costs and/or loss of revenue associated with events. The insurer noted that the cover includes income derived from donations made at events, which it said was in recognition of the significant funds that can be raised. The product is available to Brokers in the UK and worldwide via Beazley’s online trading platform MyBeazley.

Danish-based unrated Alpha Insurance has been declared bankrupt after a filing by the liquidators. The Danish Financial Supervisory Authority has urged all policyholders to seek new policies as all existing cover has been terminated. Claims already filed may be met by the Danish Guarantee Fund in certain categories and new claims can be “incurred” until 5 June but must be lodged by 8 November 2018

Broker Network has a “buoyant pipeline” of potential acquisitions, according to its Chief Executive officer Andy Fairchild. It was reported that the group posted revenue of £23.1m for the year ended 31 December 2017, up 13% on a like-for-like basis from the prior year. In addition, group Ebitda was £5.7m, an increase of 10% compared to 2016.

Two become one at Allianz, with its British unit combining the regional teams for the North and Scotland. With the operational restructure at Allianz Insurance plc, one team will comprise 170 commercial market-facing staff based in the Leeds, Manchester, Newcastle, and Glasgow branch offices. The consolidated regional team will be headed by Chris Everett, who currently serves as regional manager for the North.  The move is aimed at bolstering Allianz’s service to Brokers in the combined regions.  

Allianz has also revamped its motor fleet products in the UK . Starting next month, the upgraded products will be available for both small and larger fleets, as well as new and renewing policies. Added features include cover for in-vehicle safety technology such as dashcams; cover for misfuelling and child seats; and pay-on-use breakdown cover.

In further news, according to Allianz Chief Executive Oliver Bäte, large deals within the financial services industry would not succeed without the support of both sides – ruling out hostile takeovers in its hunt for firms to snap up.

The Lloyd’s Market Association (LMA) and the International Underwriting Association (IUA) have a new cyber resource – one that zeroes in on the oil and gas sector amid evolving exposures.
The Lloyd’s Corporation has directed all Lloyd’s underwriters to terminate any existing insurance programs associated with the National Rifle Association (NRA). A statement released on 9th May announced: “The Lloyd’s Corporation has given very careful consideration as to whether syndicates at Lloyd’s should continue to insure programmes offered, marketed, endorsed or otherwise made available through the NRA.

ARAG’s “Essential Business Legal,” described by the legal expenses and emergency assistance provider as its most popular commercial product, gets refurbished today. It now includes cover for Fees for Intervention (FFI) levied by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) – an enhancement based on brokers’ requests.

AXA Commercial has created a new Director role which it says will bring together all of its Broker trading contact points to help deliver “enhanced cohesion” to its Broker distribution strategy in the UK commercial market.

Legal expenses insurer Das has developed a set of commercial products which will be made available on its new e-trade platform Das Connect. The products can also be sourced by brokers on Acturis and SSP.
The provider stated that a range of personal lines products were also being developed for launch later this year.

Carrot Insurance has replaced bankrupt Alpha Insurance with Aviva for affected policyholders according to reports. According to a market source the process for relevant customers actually began in March when Denmark-based unrated Alpha’s financial woes first came to light. However, it was reported that the sudden nature of this week’s bankruptcy left approximately 9,000 policyholders in the lurch and yet to complete the switch.

Tokio Marine Group has received regulatory approval from the Commissariat aux Assurances (CAA) and the Japanese Financial Services Authority (JFSA) to set up a new insurance company, Tokio Marine Europe S.A.

Following comments on cyber insurance by Warren Buffett underlining the importance of diligent cyber underwriting, AIG has produced a Cybersecurity Program Checklist to help clients understand cyber exposure through data-rich cyber assessment reports and expert insights that can help reduce risk.

Deliveroo to provide 35,000 riders around the world with free insurance to protect them and their earnings if they’re involved in an accident Riders will be automatically enrolled in the first-of-its-kind global insurance package to ensure all are covered whilst out on the road.

Market Movers and Shakers

Award-winning insurance software solutions provider ICE InsureTech has announced that Lloyd Overton has joined the team, bringing his skills and experience as business development manager to ICE InsureTech.

UnderwriteMe, the largest supplier of automated underwriting systems in the UK and Ireland, has appointed Julie Evans to the post of Chief Operating Officer (COO).

AXA Commercial has appointed former Arista MD, Nick Watson, as Director of Commercial Distribution andTrading. The new role has responsibility for broker marketing, development, the branch network and strategic partnerships. Bringing these Broker touch points under a single point of ownership will allow AXA to deliver enhanced cohesion to its Broker distribution strategy in the UK commercial market.

Former Transactor boss Ray Vincent has taken over as Chief Executive officer at i-Wonder Group in a job swap that sees Steve Young become Chairman.

Mark Coffey has joined The Ardonagh Group from RSA and will take up the role of Commercial Director for Autonet and Carole Nash at the end of June.

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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