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General Insurance Newsletter - Friday 15th December 2017

15 Dec 2017

Market News

The FCA is consulting on how firms should transition from the Approved Persons regime to the new Senior Managers Regime. The Senior Managers and Certification Regime aims to make individuals more accountable for their conduct and competence. In July last year the FCA proposed to extend the regime to cover more firms. The regulator said it wanted “proportionate approaches for different types of firms”. It noted in a statement:  “For the majority of FCA regulated firms, the FCA is proposing to automatically convert individuals from the Approved Persons Regime to the new regime. “This means the majority of firms will not need to submit applications to convert Approved Persons to Senior Managers. Firms can instead focus on embedding the cultural changes that the new regime introduces and making sure their staff know what they need to do.” The FCA has proposed that individuals at “core and limited scope” firms will move automatically to the new regime. Those that fall into the definition of “enhanced firms” will need to submit conversion notification, statements of responsibilities and a responsibilities map before moving to the new regime. The watchdog has provided a firm checker tool so companies can check their status.

The Access to Insurance report by the Financial Inclusion Commission (FIC) has highlighted huge gaps in insurance coverage across the UK. The body found that 16 million people (35%) in the UK do not have contents insurance. The report also found that 60% of those earning £15,000 or less per annum have no contents cover and few of these people could afford to replace lost belongings. The report set out a number of recommendations to help more people to gain access to insurance. These include: increasing access to contents insurance coverage for both social tenants and private tenants; providing better access to Household insurance for other groups who are not well served by the mainstream market; increasing the profile and understanding of Household insurance as part of a wider financial inclusion agenda; and a collaborative approach with Government, regulators, Insurers and others, with the former to take overall responsibility through a national strategy.

In further news, research from Coverbuilder has found that Home Contents insurance is the first monthly financial outgoing that young people in the UK would give up. Almost two-thirds of renters in the UK aged 18-30 believe that home contents insurance is ‘pointless’ for those that do not own their own home, with the majority believing that they will never need home insurance as they deem their homes to be safe. Of the 2,398 young people polled, 38% of respondents said they hadn't taken out home insurance cover to protect their belongings since moving into rented property. When asked why, 12% said they hadn’t gotten around to it yet and 16% thought they couldn’t afford a policy. The findings highlight the challenge that the insurance industry faces in targeting the so-called millennial generation, who have been nicknamed ‘generation rent’ thanks to rocketing house prices.

Liberty Specialty Markets (LSM) has confirmed that it will move its UK insurance company to Luxembourg. LSM's worldwide operation will be continued to be headquartered in London, however, the actual company will be based in Luxembourg and the UK operation will be a branch office for the business. The Provider has appointed Eric Daout as the General Manager of its Luxembourg companies, whilst Dieter Winkel has been appointed to lead LSM's European businesses.

Das UK has partnered with VM Insurance to provide a bespoke breakdown scheme for motorhomes and campervans. The new product is designed to meet the breakdown needs of these vehicle users by providing UK and European breakdown cover, as well as commercial legal protection for policyholders.

Broker Network has bought Broker Thompson& Richardson. The deal sees the Brokers build on its strategy to build regional powerhouses, following the acquisitions of Finch Group in October 2016 and Boyd Insurance in May 2017. Thompson & Richardson's Director Chris Travers and the rest of his senior team will stay in order to "continue their acquisition programme".

Mark Hands, former Head of Trading (North) at LV has left the Insurer to set up managing general agent Mercia Underwriting, which is due to begin trading on 1 January 2018 and will be based in Birmingham. The capacity for the provider has been sourced by Circle Insurance Services through Lloyd's and Hands has brought two members of staff from the regional LV team to set up the MGA.

Allianz Insurance and Marmalade have extended their partnership with the Insurer now becoming a telematics service provider for their young driver offering. Allianz Insurance has been sole Insurer for Marmalade, the specialist telematics provider for young drivers, on its New Driver Insurance policy since 2013. This new dimension to the partnership will make use of Allianz’s global Connected Car platform, with Marmalade becoming the first Broker to integrate with the Allianz Group technology. The platform enables partners to adapt Internet of Things (IoT) value propositions, services and modules to suit their market.

Research by insurance specialist Rias and the University of Salford reveals that ' Insta-braggers’ leave an average of five clues on their profile that can tell a thief where they live and why it’s worth breaking in. 244 public Instagram accounts, who have used the hashtag search of ‘new’, e.g."#NewLaptop" "#NewWatch”, “#NewHandbag” were selected for analysis by criminologists from the University of Salford. The criminologists found that many posts included photos or text references that showed the account holder owned objects of desire. These ranged from new cars (often with private registration plates), mobile phones (iPhones), perfume, designer shoes, designer handbags, to property (e.g. new home or apartment). These images and/or videos, were always accompanied by a hashtag that described the luxury status of the item. To reduce the risk of becoming a target, social media users should avoid posting: images and location tags that give details about holidays or car registration plates; pictures of your property where you can see the door number and street name; documentation that shows personal data, including the front of an envelope; objects of desire including new phones, electronic devices, high performance cars and designer clothes.

PolicyCastle now offers a market-leading 15% Home insurance discount to Cocoon home security customers who use the AI-powered smart home security device to protect their home. Cocoon, the Aviva-backed smart home security system, has announced a deal with PolicyCastle, the innovative digital Home insurance platform, giving people buying home insurance through PolicyCastle a 15% discount when protecting their home with the connected security system.

Stanmore Insurance, the Broker behind Nursery Scheme dot2dot, was crowned ‘Schemes Broker of the Year’ at the ‘Insurance Times Awards’ held at the O2 in London, beating 11 other scheme Brokers to the prize. Established in 2003, dot2dot is the UK’s leading nursery and childcare insurance specialist.

Plum Underwriting has opened an underwriting and service centre in Basildon, Essex. The Home insurance MGA said that the move is part of its strategy to support growth and brings together its Sudbury, Southend and Brentwood branches. The new centre opened with 25 staff and they are continuing to expand with immediate appointments and plans for further recruitment over the coming months.

Specialist acquisition vehicle Global Risk Partners (GRP) has joined the list of the top 20 largest Brokers in the UK, following a stream of acquisitions in 2017 – which it called a transformational year. Since March, GRP has completed 12 acquisitions, continuing its focus on building regional hubs. This year, GWP increased to £550m up from £400m in 2016 and run rate income was £76m, up from £45m last year, the firm revealed in a statement. A ‘war chest’ of £200m has been earmarked for further acquisitions, secured from Ares Capital Europe and HSBC. That, alongside a “very strong pipeline,” means GRP is on track to reach its £1bn GWP target, CEO David Margrett said.

Tysers, a leading independent Lloyd’s insurance Broker, has announced the acquisition of the London based Commercial Lines business of Cosmos Services Co Ltd, Hong Kong, which is a subsidiary of the Japanese global trading firm ITOCHU Corporation. The acquisition strengthens Tysers’ UK and International Practice and its capabilities and resources in serving Japanese clients in the UK and Europe, as well as forging a closer strategic relationship between Tysers and ITOCHU to develop further business.

A man was sentenced at Liverpool Crown Court after he attempted to claim compensation on 13 separate occasions for alleged damage caused to his car by heavy goods vehicle, leading to one of the drivers resigning from their place of work. Following a joint investigation by the IFED and Royal Mail, Neil Oldfield pleaded guilty to six counts of fraud by false representation and was sentenced to eight months imprisonment, suspended for two years and 20 days at an attendance centre.

Airmic has confirmed that Aviva will become a full Airmic Partner in 2018. "We are thrilled," commented chief executive John Ludlow. "Their rapidly expanding offering in the corporate solutions space makes them the perfect candidate for full partnership and I am very much looking forward to working even more closely with them in the coming months," he said. "We have been particularly impressed with their innovative approach to insurance purchase, especially on the strides they have made on integrating employee benefits with general insurance programmes," Mr Ludlow added. "It's an excellent example of how insurance purchase can result in greater collaboration and efficiency across a business, and we feel our members will benefit greatly from their expertise."

Hughesis aiming to grow its personal lines business with 20 new hires. The Northern Ireland Broker said that it is taking on sales and service staff for 2018 as it "expands its share of the insurance market in Northern Ireland". The recruitment drive follows a management restructure which saw David Egan becoming CEO and Richard Fulton appointed as Chairman.

Market movers and shakers

Allianz Insurance has appointed Andy Roberts to the position of Head of Data, Claims. In his newly created role, Andy will lead a team of data experts to deliver insights, projects, and solutions for the Claims team. He will also be responsible for developing the data and analytics strategy for claims utilising Allianz UK recent investment in advanced data capabilities.

Covéa Insurance has announced the appointment of Carolyn Callan as its new Head of Small Business and Schemes and Nick Crabbe has been appointed Schemes Development Manager.

ABACUS has announced the promotion of Robin Gentle to Head of Sales and Marketing and the appointment of Ben Brook as Business Development Manager.

Towergate Underwriting has launched another London markets team within its Geo Speciality business. Chris Thomas has been appointed to lead the team which will specialise in International Contractors, Plant and Machinery.  

CBC UK Limited has announced the expansion of its MGA, Bell Underwriting with the appointment of Emma Bennett to head up the private client side of Bell.

One Broker Group has announced that Sean Clark is to join the Broker on 2nd January 2018 as Group Broking Director.

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

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