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General Insurance Newsletter - Friday 13th October 2017

13 Oct 2017

Market News

The British Insurance Brokers’ Association (BIBA) has announced that ‘Innovate Evolve Thrive’ is the theme for its 2018 Conference & Exhibition. The trade body said this builds upon 2017’s ‘Connections’ theme and explained that it is keen to explore the world of insurance innovation as InsurTech establishes itself as an opportunity in insurance product development and delivery.

With almost one in eight workers in the UK also responsible for caring for either older relatives, partners, or children with disabilities, Insurer Aviva has launched a carer policy for its UK staff. Following a successful pilot in Bristol, the newly rolled out policy will provide Aviva employees who have caring duties with a wide range of support and flexibility.

Regional Broker SJL Insurance Services has received Lloyd’s accreditation. To support this, the Worcester-based business has opened an office in London and formed a London Market division.

App-based insurance provider Homelyfe has launched with cover to protect home buyers from gazumping. According to Homelyfe, which is an AR of MGA Vibe, it is set to release multiple lines of insurance over the coming months. The firm stated that its technology would allow users to manage all their insurance requirements within one “easy to use” app.

CFC Underwriting and Cyber Risk aware have joined forces to provide CFC’s insurance customers with free phishing simulation tools, as an additional benefit to their policies. The tools help businesses to educate employees by sending fake phishing emails and providing feedback that can be used to develop training.

Lloyd’s underwriting syndicate, Probitas 1492 has confirmed completion of its partnership deal with Saudi Re. Approval from both Lloyd’s and the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA) has now been finalised. Probitas 1492 specialises in Property, Construction and Casualty insurance and reinsurance solutions. It can underwrite risks across the UK, Europe, the Middle East and Africa, Asia, Latin America and Canada and it has a particular focus on high growth markets.

An Australian insurance disruptor is set to launch its services in London amid increasing pressure faced by the capital’s enormous gig economy to better protect its workers. Roobyx recently teamed up with Sydney-based online and mobile marketplace Airtasker to roll out a world-first income protection insurance product for workers in the sharing economy. Now the company sees great potential for expansion in the UK.

Comprehensive Car insurance premiums for Q3 2017 have fallen by an average of £9, or 1.1% according to the Confused Car Insurance Price Index which it produces in association with Willis Towers Watson. The average price was £838 and experts suggested that prices have fallen due to Insurers adjusting premium in anticipation of an Ogden/discount rate adjustment.

XL Catlin has launched Private Clients, a suite of coverages specifically designed to address the complex insurance needs of Ultra High Net Worth (UHNW) individuals and their families. According to the Insurer, the product suite, which is available via a very exclusive Broker panel, offers broad policy coverage with the ability to write multiple Homes (including overseas), large collections of Fine Art, Jewellery and Motor all in one single package with one renewal date.

An alliance of Insurers has agreed to combat pirate fishing by refusing to provide Marine insurance for fishing vessels that bring in more than US$10bn worth of illegal catch a year. The agreement was signed by over 20 companies, headlined by Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty, AXA, Generali, Hanseatic Underwriters and the Shipowners’ Club. The United Nations has also lent its support to the project.

Offley Insurance Services, which is based in Cheshire, has been bought by Erskine Murray for an undisclosed sum. According to Tom Bartleet, Erskine Murray CEO, the deal, will give the Broker greater presence in the North West and enable it to extend support for existing customers. The deal takes Erskine Murray’s GWP up to £27m and will see the Offley brand, office and staff remain in their current positions. Offley founder and CEO Peter Morrissey is set to stay with the business.

Arron Banks is planning to float Eldon Insurance on the London Stock Exchange early in the New Year according to reports. The newspaper revealed that the float could value Eldon at £250m. According to the same report Banks said that the business was expecting full year profits for 2017 of £24m to £25m.

This week, Towergate-owner Ardonagh Group has announced 2 further set acquisitions; Motor Broker, Carole Nash and SME broker Mastercover. Manchester based Carole Nash will join Autonet, which the Group acquired in 2015, in Ardonagh’s distribution segment, in a deal believed to be worth over £60m. The deal is expected to go through by the end of this year and both Autonet CEO Ian Donaldson and Towergate CEO Insurance Broking Janice Deakin have no current plans to change the brand, staff or office. Carole Nash CEO, David Newman also remains in place. 400 people are based at the Carole Nash headquarters in Altrincham, South Manchester, with a further 30 in Dublin.

In terms of Mastercover, it is a specialist SME insurance broker focusing on niche products across both personal and commercial lines, with a leading position in both driving instructor and removal company cover. In 2016 the business, which will also become part of Ardonagh’s distribution segment, generated income in excess of £1.5m.

Brokerbility members have given Allianz the overall top spot in their bi-annual yearly survey. It is the first time the Insurer has achieved pole position with Axa having held the slot for many years. However Axa still retained top ranking for its claims service. Aviva Bonus remained top in underwriting and likewise RSA top of the accounts survey.

Market movers and shakers

The Association of British Insurers has announced that Susan McInnes, Customer Director at Phoenix Group, as the new Chair of its Long-Standing Customers Committee.

Aviva has announced the appointment of Graeme MacMillan as Director, International Brokers.

Arthur J. Gallagher has appointed Gareth Birch as Managing Director of its UK Small Business & Personal Lines division.

Argo Group International Holdings, Ltd. has appointed Steve Eccles to serve as the Chief Underwriting Officer for its international business.

Willis Towers Watson has announced two senior appointments for its insurance consulting and technology business, adding to more than 1,200 executives operating in 35 markets worldwide. Neil Brucemoves to the UK P&C insurance consulting and technology team from Travelers Syndicate Management, while Tim Rourke joins the business from LV=.

Endsleigh Insurance Services has appointed Paul Bolton as Head of its personal lines business which consists of Motor, Home and Possessions.

SSP has strengthened its Keychoice insurance distribution business with the appointment of Graham Walker as Commercial Lines Relationship Manager.

Hiscox (LSE:HSX) has announced the appointment of Kate Markham as CEO for its London Market business, subject to regulatory approval.

Barbican Insurance Group today announced two senior promotions. David Booth, previously Active Underwriter, Syndicate 1955, is promoted to the new role of Director of Underwriting for Barbican Managing Agency Ltd (BMAL); while Andy Caldwell, previously Deputy Active Underwriter, Syndicate 1955, is promoted to Active Underwriter.

NIG has recruited seven staff from LV's (Liverpool Victoria) Glasgow office in a move that further demonstrates NIG's commitment to the Scottish market. Jim Rennie, former LV Glasgow Branch Manager and six of his underwriting team will join NIG in January 2018.

Hamilton Fraser has announced the appointment of Derek Findlayson as Chief Marketing Officer, with immediate effect.

La Playa has promoted Mike Taylor-West to its board, in the new role, Director, Global Markets- Private Client, Marine & Aviation. Mike joined La Playa in 2011 to integrate Superyacht and

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

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