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General Insurance Newsletter Friday 1st November 2019

01 Nov 2019

Insurance News

Private equity firm B.P. Marsh & Partners has invested £1m in specialist Marine Lloyd’s Broker, Lilley Plummer Risks. The deal sees B.P. Marsh take a 30% equity stake in Lilley Plummer for a total cash consideration of £1m, in a mixture of redeemable and non-redeemable preference shares. Newly launched Lilley Plummer is led by Founders Stuart Lilley, who is CEO and Dan Plummer, who is Managing Director.

Aston Lark has purchased Protean Risk for an undisclosed sum. Protean Risk is a specialist Lloyd’s Broker which focuses on the investment industry, financial services and the FinTech and technology sectors. Aston Lark said that Protean Risk’s 700 clients range from start-ups to international organisations.

Revenue has fallen at Hastings despite an increase in gross written premium (GWP), a trading update for the group reported. GWP for the nine months to 30 September 2019 was £753.1m. This was an increase of 2% from £738.5m in the same period a year prior. However, revenue fell 2% from £574.1m to £563.8m.

The Chartered Insurance Institute (CII) wants to start as many conversations about money as possible at the Insuring Women’s Futures Initiative, held on the 21 November. During the event which will be led by the CII, the body wants as many women as possible to engage in conversations taking place across social media under the hashtags #femalemoney #InsuringFutures #MakeEachMomentCount. In a statement the organisation detailed that insurance professionals including CEO of the CII, Sian Fisher, will be online to contribute to these conversations and explain the financial perils and pitfalls that women face as well as highlight firms that can aid women as they look to deal with these problems.

DUAL Asset, part of DUAL, the underwriting arm of Hyperion Insurance Group, announced a long-term partnership with Aviva, the UK’s largest general Insurer, for their UK Legal Indemnity insurance business. This deal sees DUAL Asset further consolidate its position as one of the leading Legal Indemnity underwriters worldwide. A range of insurance products for both residential and commercial Property transactions will be available under the Norwich Union brand through DUAL Asset’s online quote and buy portal. This new partnership means the online portal now offers quotes and policies from up to three major ‘A’ rated Insurers – AXA (XL Catlin), RSA and Aviva. Aviva will also be providing £75m of capacity to DUAL Asset for rights of light policies, with DUAL underwriting all enquiries received by Aviva or through their normal distribution channels.

Total new worldwide funding commitments to the InsurTech sector in 2019 have already surpassed the 2018 full-year total and during the third quarter exceeded $1.2 billion for the fifth consecutive quarter-year period, according to the new Quarterly InsurTech Briefing from Willis Towers Watson. 83 deals with a total value of $1.50 billion were announced in Q3, 2019, up 6% over the previous three months to reach the third-highest quarter for global InsurTech investment to date. Deal numbers were up 20% and marked the first quarter since Q2, 2018 when investments in B2B InsurTechs outnumbered investments in distribution-focused ventures.

QBE is asking Brokers to prepare January 2020 renewal information in October or November using the mandatory MRC v1.5 template. Line slips are an efficient mechanism for receiving and underwriting risks in the Lloyd’s market, but poorly constructed slips have a detrimental effect on data capture quality, underwriting controls and results. The provision of risk details [bordereaux] should be shown under the Line Slip Administration heading within the Subscription Agreement section of the contract. Action to improve the quality of line slips is part of the ongoing drive to raise standards in the London market. The move also comes at a time of changing market conditions in London. Lloyd’s and individual Insurers are steadfast in their drive to increase underwriting discipline and generally improve underwriting results.

Specialist Risk Investments (SRIL) has purchased Square Mile Broking for an undisclosed sum. Square Mile handles approximately £20m in GWP and employs more than 20 staff. No redundancies are expected as a result of the deal with SRIL. Joint Managing Directors David Garrad, Dominic D’Inverno and Jamie Coyne will also stay with the firm.

Judge Mr Justice Freedman criticised senior staff at Arthur J. Gallagher for “wholly gratuitous” and “grossly insulting” language in his judgment on the staff poaching case that the firm brought against the Ardonagh Group. During proceedings, Simon Matson, CEO of Gallagher UK, acknowledged that he had referred to exiting staff member Nawaf Hasan as a “complicated fat Arab” during a WhatsApp conversation with Gary Lashmar, then CEO of appointed representative Alesco, on 5 July 2017. Matson also denied understanding a reference to the Quran made by Vyvienne Wade, International Commercial Director at Gallagher.

Brokerslink has announced that it has added a new specialist law firm to its business. Wilson Elser, a law firm with 38 offices and more than 800 attorneys, will support Brokerslink’s global network by providing access to dedicated insurance legal expertise. Wilson Elser is a founding member of Legalign Global, an alliance of four leading insurance law firms with more than 60 locations worldwide. The alliance combines insurance industry and legal expertise focused on reinsurance coverage, reinsurance defence and insurance regulatory and compliance services.

Despite economic uncertainty, sales on trade credit are on the rise as UK businesses endeavour to appear more attractive to potential customers. A new report from trade credit Insurer Atradius revealed that more than half (56%) of the total value of B2B sales was transacted on credit this year – an increase of 45% from last year. The report also showed that UK businesses focus on managing receivables through a balanced mix of credit management techniques – including trade credit insurance. According to the report, the sharp increase in the use of trade credit is primarily a “reflection of the current economic climate, with a forecast rise in insolvencies of 10% this year and a further 5% rise in 2020, assuming an ‘orderly’ Brexit.”.

RSA Ireland has entered a three-year commitment with BAE Systems to adopt its NetReveal counter-fraud technology. BAE Systems’ NetReveal platform allows Insurers to detect, investigate and prevent fraud, while minimising the impact on genuine claimants. For RSA Ireland, this will specifically include utilising NetReveal’s advanced analytics for Property and Casualty claims.

Plan Insurance Brokers has been selected by Dynamo Motor Company as their preferred insurance partner. The brokerage firm will be providing coverage for Dynamo’s recently launched Nissan Dynamo Taxi. Originally a Nissan production, the project was instead picked up by Dynamo when they purchased 100 of Nissan’s original vehicle designs – based on the Nissan e-NV200 – and made a number of modifications.

Insurance companies around the world are concerned that ransomware-based cyberattacks are on the rise and that they stand to lose more as hackers step up their efforts to demand bigger ransoms from their victims. Hackers have grown bolder over the past year, cybersecurity experts have noted; the experts also found that hackers have moved on from targeting individuals and small operations and have now set their sights on larger companies that they know can afford larger ransoms. This method of going after larger companies, known as “big game hunting” in the cybersecurity industry, has hurt Cyber Insurers – particularly those which offer Cyber coverage to mid-sized companies.

GoCompare Car Insurance has warned that victims of ghost broking lose £769 on average and face penalties for uninsured driving. The price comparison website called on consumers to avoid heavily discounted car insurance deals they see advertised on social media. A ghost Broker is someone who poses as a legitimate insurance Broker to sell forged or invalid Car insurance policies to drivers, who are attracted by cheap, too-good-to-be-true premiums.

Aviva has re-joined the panel for Broker and Motor services provider The AA. The AA confirmed that the Insurer has returned to its panel after around 11 years. Aviva completed a £1.1bn deal to buy AA rival RAC in September 2005. Three years later, it exited the panel of the AA.

Aon has revealed plans to move the jurisdiction of incorporation for its parent company from the UK to Ireland due to Brexit, according to a statement. The Broker is keeping its headquarters at the Leadenhall Building in London and noted that its “commitment to the UK and the important London insurance market remains unchanged”. It further explained that this will not result in any material change to Aon’s current business operations, reporting requirements or listings.

The British Insurance Brokers’ Association (Biba) launched its Biba Brexit Guide. The guide seeks to help Brokers understand exposures they may have in the event of a no deal Brexit and how these can be mitigated. Steve White, Chief Executive at Biba, commented: “We’re very excited to launch our new Brexit guide, hoping to help Brokers from all firms navigate Brexit. We’re grateful for the support of experts KPMG in helping to create this useful tool.".

A global Cyber survey by Marsh has revealed that 79% of respondents see Cyber risk as a top five concern for their organisation, up from 62% in 2017. In the UK specifically 72% saw Cyber risk as a top five concern, up from 58% in 2017. The survey also showed that the majority of board members and C Suite level individuals in the UK & Ireland only spend a few days a year on Cyber risk.

Start-up broker Zego is targeting expansion both in the UK and across Europe, according to Co-Founder and Chief Executive, Sten Saar. Speaking to Insurance Age Saar detailed the InsurTech start-up’s plans for the future, stating: “In 2020 we will be increasing the team again, at the same pace that we are doing now. We will also be expanding numerous European markets and we will adapt the focus and within those markets, grow rapidly.”.

The stage is set for the big finale after a weekend of semi-final surprises. The QBE supercomputer predicts England will put to rest their 2007 defeat to South Africa by beating the Springboks with a slim two-point margin on Saturday. The QBE Rugby Predictor, which applies some of the techniques actuaries use to predict the impact of catastrophes such as earthquakes and floods, has calculated that England will just have the edge over South Africa with a 22-20 victory. In a tournament defined by unexpected performances, the final could clearly go either way.

It’s no accident that the origins of contemporary civilization sprang up on fertile floodplains. The annual floods along the Nile, Tigris and Yellow Rivers were welcomed as they returned nutrients to the soil and replenished the groundwater, creating ideal conditions for intensive agricultural production. However, as towns and cities developed alongside major rivers worldwide, floods took on a new, modern context: destructive as opposed to regenerative. That has led to ongoing efforts to minimize their capacity to wreak havoc in our lives. Massive investments have been made, for instance, in engineering solutions designed to constrain floodwaters; meanwhile, our predictive capabilities continue to improve. Detailed flood maps exist for virtually every location where floods pose a significant risk to people and property. Combined with increasingly sophisticated weather forecasting, we can now predict – further in advance and with greater accuracy – areas that will be affected by flooding as well as the duration and extent of the impacts.

Payouts for mis-sold payment protection insurance (PPI) policies have caused Lloyds Banking Group to report pre-tax profits of £50 million for the third quarter of 2019 – far below the £163 million forecasted by analysts. Lloyds released its quarterly results after making a further £1.8 billion provision for PPI payouts, according to Reuters. The policies were sold alongside mortgages to cover repayments if borrowers couldn’t meet deadlines.

Market Movers and Shakers

PremFina has announced that Lisa Powis has joined its advisory board. The company stated that Powis would assist PremFina in providing intermediaries and Underwriters with an instalment plan option for customers purchasing insurance.

Insurance platform, Honcho has appointed four new members of staff, amid plans for further growth. The company has hired three new Developers: Ian Porritt, Adam Preston and Nathan Sanderson, along with Faith Chipuriro as a tech intern.

Property and Casualty Insurer, Chubb has appointed Jonathan Poole as Head of Middle Market for the UK and Ireland. In this role Poole will look after Chubb’s middle market strategy for the UK and Ireland which includes sales and distribution, its underwriting centres and product development. He will succeed Sara Mitchell who was appointed Division President for Chubb’s UK and Ireland Retail Business in April.

Marsh has announced the appointment of Louise Nevill as Chief Executive Officer for Marsh JLT Specialty’s UK Marine & Cargo business. In her new role, Nevill will assume overall responsibility for one of the world’s largest Marine and Cargo insurance broking teams, consisting of over 200 colleagues in London, Norwich and Birmingham. She is expected to join the firm early next year and will report to Paul Moody, UK Chief Executive Officer, Marsh JLT Specialty and Marcus Baker, Global Head of Marine & Cargo, Marsh JLT Specialty. In further news...Marsh has promoted Mark Mansfield to Head of Office, corporate division, Manchester. In his new role Mansfield assumes overall responsibility for Marsh’s corporate clients in one of the firm’s largest regional UK offices outside London.

Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance (BHSI) has announced the commencement of underwriting Casualty and Construction insurance in France with the appointment of two industry veterans to key in-country leadership posts. Olivier Antiphon has been appointed Head of Construction, while Anne-Sophie Bonifay has been named Head of Casualty.

AEGIS London has launched a digital trading division, calling the move “the beginning of a new era.” In a statement, the Lloyd’s Insurer said that Tom Squires, Head of Digital Trading at AEGIS London, will lead the new division, reporting to Nigel Roberts, Head of Distribution. Squires will be supported by Angus Turner, Digital Trading Manager, Phil Lucas, Business Application Manager and a series of new posts to be announced.

Ageas Insurance has created three new Directors of Distribution roles that will replace Broker Distribution Director Chris Dobson when he retires. Dobson revealed in September that he was set to retire at the end of this year. Two of the positions have been filled internally. Darren Whittaker, current Head of Personal Lines key accounts, has been named as Director of Distribution for large personal lines Brokers and affinity partnerships. Mark Auchterlonie, current Head of Strategic Accounts, has been appointed as Director of Distribution for large commercial lines Brokers and new business development. The provider further stated that recruitment for the role of Director of Distribution for regional Brokers, niche and specialist schemes is underway. Ageas expects to confirm an appointment by the end of the year.

Sedgwick has announced the appointment of Stephen Kerr and Steve Whetter as Managing Directors for its UK operations. Kerr will oversee Sedgwick’s home claims services in the UK, filling the role vacated by Neil Gibson, who was recently promoted to UK Chief Operating Officer. Kerr has spent over 30 years in the industry and has a wealth of experience in senior leadership roles, most recently as Director of Sedgwick’s home specialty team in the UK. In his new role, he will focus on Sedgwick’s delivery of exceptional customer service, supported and enabled by industry-leading technology.

Erskine Murray has announced that it has restructured its regional operations. The new structure is underpinned by the appointment of four head of regions. Lynette Houghton has been appointed Head of Northern Region. Prior to joining Erskine Murray, she worked at Marsh and AIG. The position of Head of South Region has been filled by Howard Jones. He has over 12 years’ experience in the commercial insurance sector. Georgia Leigh and Judy Vincent will take on the positions of Head of Midlands Region and Head of South-East Region respectively.

AmTrust International has hired Steven Moore as Lead Underwriter for Professional Indemnity (PI) within its specialty division. Moore will be based in London and report to Bruce Whitmee, Chief Underwriting Officer and Angel Mas, Chief Executive Officer at AmTrust Europe. According to the provider, Moore has worked in the PI market for over 25 years and has been with AmTrust since 2014, writing risks for UK domestic, international and multi-national firms.

One of the UK’s largest personal lines Insurers has appointed a digital transformation expert to a newly created leadership role within its sales and marketing team. LV= General Insurance (LV= GI) has promoted Jon Mansley to the position of Sales and Marketing Director. He will take on his new role on with immediate effect, and will report to Heather Smith, Managing Director of the LV= GI Direct business.

Aviva has announced the appointment of Danielle Harmer as Chief People Officer, reporting to Maurice Tulloch. Danielle (Danny) will join Aviva in February 2020 and will be a member of the Aviva Leadership Team. Danny will take responsibility for Aviva’s people agenda: ensuring Aviva remains a great place to work and with a strong customer focused culture.

Beazley has announced that its Head of Third-Party Complex Claims, Beth Diamond, will succeed Anthony Hobkinson as group Head of Claims after Hobkinson’s retirement in February.

Insurtech firm VIPR has announced that its Chief Technology Officer, Paul Templar, has been promoted to Chief Executive Officer, succeeding Co-Founder Bob Brown who will take on the new role of Chairman.

Ernesto Suarez has been appointed to the newly created position of CEO, UK, of the Cover-More Group. The insurance provider stated that the move indicates its ambition to accelerate growth across the Travel insurance, Rental insurance and travel services sectors.


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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