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General Insurance Newsletter - Friday 13th July 2018

13 Jul 2018

Insurance News

Travelers Europe has unveiled Travelers CyberRisk, a standalone product for businesses of all sizes in the UK and Ireland. The provider stated that the product provides Liability and First-Party cover for losses from cyber-attacks, as well as access to assistance that can help limit client exposures to cyber events. These include breach coaches, forensic investigators, public relations support and credit monitoring services. It detailed that Travelers CyberRisk includes limits up to £10m across Liability, Breach Response, Cybercrime and Business Loss covers.

Das UK Group has launched a new suite of commercial products, this week, which will be available on its new quote and buy web portal, Das Connect. The products will be immediately available on the portal as well as on Acturis, with SSP to follow in the coming weeks. The provider said the policies have been tailored to the specific needs of businesses of different sizes, providing Legal Expenses insurance cover for issues such as employment disputes, property protection, personal injury, legal defence and tax protection.

Two Das UK legal expenses products have been added to the Keychoice distribution platform by software house SSP. Brokers have the ability to access commercial legal expenses (LEI) cover and loss assist policies via Keychoice. According to SSP the LEI product is suitable for both small businesses and those with a turnover of up to £50m per annum, providing them with cover for the cost of legal representation. Loss assist is designed to allow Keychoice members to help customers facing a large cost claim on a commercial policy and the product covers the professional fees of a loss adjuster. Both products are available as standalone policies, with commercial Legal Expenses also available as an add-on, and include access to telephone legal advice for any commercial problems. SSP also revealed that Das would be adding further commercial and personal lines products to the SSP proposition over the coming months.

In further news, Das UK Group has become the first Legal Expenses Insurer to launch a suite of Cyber security information and guidance for the virtual assistants Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa.

Covéa Insurance has announced a change to its regional structure that has resulted in 11 people leaving the company. The insurer is also set close its Glasgow and Newcastle branches at the end of August. According to the provider the changes focus on its commercial and HNW business.

Former Das CEO Paul Asplin was found guilty on fraud charges this week at Southwark Crown Court. Fellow defendants David Kearns, ex Claims Director at Das, and Sally Jones, Asplin’s former wife, were also found guilty at the criminal trial. Three other defendants, Robert Dalley, Karen Asplin (Paul Asplin’s current wife) and Jayne Kearns (David Kearns’ wife) were all found not guilty. Asplin was alleged to have defrauded the Insurer while he was CEO by encouraging contracts with companies – CW Law and Med Report – that he had an undeclared interest in. He was found not guilty with regard to charges relating to CW Law and did not hold any interest in the company.

The administration period for Ignition Select has been extended to 17 July 2019 according to a filing at Companies House. The Ipswich-based car insurance Broker appointed Begbies Traynor in July 2017 as 70 people lost their jobs. An update from the administrators earlier this year showed that creditors including Close Brothers, Open GI and numerous others were set to lose millions of pounds in total. The document detailed then that it was unlikely the unsecured creditors will be paid back due to “insufficient funds”.

Nexus and Ardonagh have both remained silent on the news that the two parties are heading towards exclusivity on takeover talks. According to reports, the discussions follow on from Nexus confirming at the start of the year that it was considering its options around a sale, IPO or investment from private equity. The Managing General Agent described the move at the time as a “potential shareholder liquidity event” but declined to express a preferred option.

Provenance Insurance Brokers, a HNW personal lines specialist, has begun trading this week. The business has been set up by former Zurich Private Client head of sales and distribution Jason Connon who wants to position the Broker as one with a reputation for traditional values and personal service. According to a statement the business will specialise in cover for “cherished possessions” including Classic and Luxury Cars, Yachts, Aircraft, Jewellery, Watches, Fine Art and Collectables and also Home insurance. It will also look after commercial clients.

Academy Insurance has concluded a deal which saw the existing senior management team take over on 1 July 2018. The new team is led by Neil Turner, who takes over as Managing Director, and Vanessa Farrelly, who becomes Finance Director. Turner was previously General Manager of the Broker. In addition, former Chairman Dave Bard has moved to become a Non-Executive Director while former Managing Director Kevin Munn is now a Non-Executive Chairman.

In the face of “considerable strategic challenges,” Advent Capital Holdings and Brit Limited may be set to combine some of their Lloyd’s businesses. In a release issued moments ago, the firms outlined that the Advent syndicate has been facing challenges as it looks to build its strategic presence in its target areas, with the marketplace proving particularly competitive. As such, it has been undertaking a portfolio review to look at how it can optimise its business model – and going forward that focus will be on how it can work with Brit and will also consider which parts of the portfolio can be transferred, while the remainder of the business looks set for run off.

Dr Andy Kuper, founder and CEO of LeapFrog Investments, has been awarded the 2018 Founder’s Award and gold medal from the International Insurance Society for his pioneering work. LeapFrog, which was launched in 2008, invests in companies which deliver insurance services to underserved consumers. Its portfolio companies have reached 130 million individuals to date. During Kuper’s acceptance speech at the International Insurance Forum in Berlin, he announced LeapFrog’s intention, through its portfolio of companies, to reach one billion emerging consumers with essential services by 2030. He also called for the world’s largest insurance firms and investors to come together and help close the global protection gap by covering four billion people by 2030.

Releasing its second transition plan called Flood Re, Our Vision: Preparing for a future of affordable flood insurance, Flood Re sets out its long-term vision for when it exits the market in 2039. As the title suggests, the dream is for the end of the scheme to usher in affordable risk-reflective pricing. For us to get there, Flood Re believes action will have to come from all corners.

Zego has launched a pay-as-you-go insurance, which is aimed at addressing the coverage needs of about five million freelancers and self-employed workers in the UK. Zego said the policy provides Public Liability protection for periods as short as one hour for as little as 4 pence, enabling the likes of babysitters and freelance photographers to be insured only as needed. 

It was a “fortunate” first half of the year, according to Munich Re, after overall losses from natural disasters – at least as far as provisional figures show – fell to their lowest levels since 2005. At US$33bn, overall losses for the first six months of 2018 amounted to about half of those of the previous year. As for insured losses, they’re estimated at approximately US$17bn – also much less when compared to 2017’s US$25.5bn but not far from the US$17.5 bn average for the same period over the last 30 years.

Announcing the formation of the global team, LexisNexis Risk Solutions said it has made a multi-million dollar investment to make it happen. And the plan is to expand the group to 100 dedicated specialists over the next five years. LexisNexis Risk Solutions, which works not only with 95 of the top 100 US personal lines insurers but also with over 90% of the UK motor insurance market, said the team consists of experts in data science, technology, as well as product and market strategies. Together, the specialists have more than 125 years of experience in automotive, telematics, and technology.

In June 2018, Aviva have expanded their criteria on their online Minifleet product, from a minimum of 3 to a minimum of 2 vehicles. Their Minifleet policy now caters for a wide range of vehicle types including private cars, motorcycles, trucks, vans, special types and agricultural vehicles, either Fully Comprehensive, Third Party Fire & Theft or Third Party Only cover.

RSA, is delighted that Jaymin Patel, a senior specialist Underwriter within its London market construction team, has been crowned Young Achiever of the Year at the British Insurance Awards. At the glitzy ceremony hosted by Katherine Ryan at the Royal Albert Hall in London on 4 July 2018, RSA Insurance and RSA Motability also jointly won Claims Initiative of the Year.

Liberty Specialty Markets (LSM), part of Liberty Mutual Insurance, has entered into a renewal rights agreement with Ironshore Europe to take on its European non-M&A business and staff. Liberty Specialty Markets and Ironshore are parts of Liberty Mutual’s Global Risk Solutions division, writing speciality insurance and reinsurance business.

The British Insurance Brokers’ Association (BIBA) has urged the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to act faster to stop fraudulent activity online, following the news from last week that the regulator had failed to stop a clone Broker on Facebook.

Seventeen Group has bought West Malling-based Everard Insurance Brokers for an undisclosed sum. Everards, which was established in 1969, specialises in Marine and Marine Trades controlling £10m of gross written premium. Seventeen confirmed that all the staff including the vendors Managing Director Stephen Roper and director Tim Gilbert will remain with the business and continue to operate out of the existing office in Kent.

The Insurance Charities is to provide a toolkit to help employers assist their staff if they are affected by domestic abuse. The practical toolkit, produced by Business in the Community and supported by Public Health England, is designed to sit within HR teams and with line managers to aid those dealing with this sensitive and difficult issue regardless of the size of company.

Prestige Insurance Holdings has signed a deal with global equity firm Capital Z Management, which will see a multi-million pound investment into the business. Prestige, based in Northern Ireland, has a number of different trading companies including Abbey Insurance Brokers, Prestige Underwriting Services (UK), Octane and Octane London Markets. The deal was for an undisclosed sum and Prestige stated that US-based Capital Z will buy the shares of a number of retiring shareholders.

Rowetts Insurance Brokers, which has offices in St Austell and Plymouth, has bought Plymstock-based Curwins Insurance Services for an undisclosed sum. All Curwins staff and its office will remain, with Rowetts closing its Plymouth base and moving staff to the Curwins Plymstock location. According to Rowett’s, which offers both commercial and personal lines cover, it now writes £6m in GWP each year.

The fourth annual Dive In Festival for diversity and inclusion in insurance has this week opened for registration. The festival, which is an initiative of Inclusion at Lloyd’s, is aimed at embracing and embedding diversity in the insurance sector, and will take place on 25 to 27 September 2018 with 26 countries taking part. This year marks the start of a two-year campaign, Awareness into Action. 



Market Movers and Shakers

Charlie Scott has become Gallagher’s UK Chief Financial Officer replacing Ian Story.

Marsh has announced it has appointed Kevin Richards to the newly created role of Global Head of Cyber Risk Consulting. 

Claudio Gienal has been named as Axa's new Chief Executive Officer of UK and Ireland and will take up the role on 1st September 2018.

Markel Corporation has announced changes to its executive leadership structure. Robert Cox will join the company in the newly created role of President and Chief Operating Officer of Insurance Operations. Markel has also announced the promotions of Brad Kiscaden to President and Chief Administrative Officer and Bryan Sanders to President of US insurance.

The Chartered Insurance Institute (CII) has bolstered its Insuring Futures programme with the appointment of Helen White as Director of Insuring Futures.

Markel International, the specialist Insurer, has appointed Simon Barrett as Finance Director.

Lloyd’s Broker and delegated authority specialist Endeavour Insurance Services (Endeavour) has announced that Karen Allen is to be appointed CEO designate of Endeavour, and will be joining the business in October, 2018.

Over 50s Travel insurance specialists, Staysure, has announced the appointment of Lloyd Bailey as Sponsorship Manager to oversee the newly added Staysure Tour to the Staysure portfolio.

Price Forbes & Partners, part of the Ardonagh Group of companies, today announced four new appointments to the Power, Utility and Construction team: Simon Howell, James Williams, David Cramperhorn and Charlotte Higgins.

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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