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General Insurance Newsletter Friday 20th November 2020

20 Nov 2020

Italy’s top Insurer, Generali, has announced that it intends to become a top player in asset management after confirming its 2021 financial targets. Generali told investors that asset management allowed it to expand its customer base and diversify revenues, which it said remained resilient despite the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has fined ComparetheMarket £17.9 million after an investigation discovered that clauses used in the business’s contracts with home Insurers breached competition law.

The Ardonagh Group has published its interim financial results, showing that Ardonagh posted a £133.2 million loss for the 9 month period – a tougher period compared to the £65.7 million loss in the same nine-month span in 2019. The insurance brokerage took the hit despite the growth in both its total income and operating profit. “Total income increased by £14.1 million to £519.5 million,” reported Ardonagh, “and adjusted EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortisation) increased by £20.7 million to £165.2 million.".

The Lloyd’s Market Association (LMA) has launched Project DARE – which seeks to re-imagine the existing business and distribution model for delegated authority (DA). The project is led by LMA’s recently-formed Delegated Authority Committee (DAC) and "it seeks to place customers and clients at the centre of the innovative new DA model.".

Convex Group Limited has announced that it has secured commitments for an additional US$1 billion in equity capital, subject to regulatory approval. Convex launched in 2017 with US$1.7 billion in initial capital. This brings the company’s total committed capital to more than US$2.7 billion in just over 18 months. Convex currently has an A.M. Best rating of A- (excellent) and an S&P rating of A- with a stable outlook.

Specialist Insurer HSB, a Munich Re firm which provides inspection and risk management services, is widening its engineering offering with the introduction of consultancy services designed to help businesses become more efficient.

Although the insurance sector has invested nearly US$28 billion in customer experience, just 49% of customers feel their insurance provider will be responsive to their basic needs, according to a survey by EIS, a core and digital platform provider for Insurers.

It’s often said that the insurance industry has a problem attracting new talent – so the Chartered Insurance Institute (CII) is looking to its latest education provider partnership with Manchester Metropolitan. They are aiming to help students kickstart an insurance or personal finance career.

In an effort to enhance the service it offers to insurance Brokers, Allianz has introduced live chat to its claims hub. The move allows brokers to have online conversations with expert Motor Claims Handlers and is the first in a series of enhancements planned for the hub.

Insurance marketplace Lloyd’s of London, the beginnings of which date back to 1688 in Edward Lloyd’s coffee shop, could be looking at a possible future not too distant from its 17th century past. In an interview with The Mail on Sunday, Lloyd’s Chair Bruce Carnegie-Brown hinted at the idea of a less grand underwriting room ahead of a consultation with market stakeholders in 2021.

Gallagher has been appointed as the preferred insurance Broker for Special Olympics GB. A part of the global Special Olympics movement, Special Olympics GB is a non-profit organisation and the largest provider of year-round, sports coaching and athletic competitions for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. 

SSP has confirmed it is experiencing issues with its SSP Pure Broking application. In a communication sent to Brokers, the software house apologised for an “ongoing disruption” to Brokers’ businesses caused by the issues affecting access to the Broker platform.

“Promise. Trust. Protect. At the center of everything we do.” That is the new tagline of Sompo International Holdings, as part of the specialty provider’s brand campaign designed to shine a spotlight on the firm’s commitment not only to customers, but also to its workforce and partners. Additionally, according to the Bermuda-based enterprise, the branding is a reaffirmation of the company’s “increasing relevance” in the world of international commercial Property and Casualty (re)insurance.

The hearing in the Supreme Court examining the insurance Business Interruption appeals has ended without giving stakeholders a date for when to expect a judgement. Lord Reed, presiding over the case, said himself and the other judges, Lords Briggs, Hamblen, Hodge and Leggatt, were yet to discuss the case so he was unclear if they were all of the same mind on the various issues raised.

Global insurance losses from the COVID-19 pandemic will be higher this year than Lloyd’s of London had previously estimated. They originally projected global COVID-19 losses would be about $107 billion. 

Ecclesiastical Insurance has reintroduced its temporary cover enhancements as the UK undergoes a second lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Due to the lockdown that came into effect on November 05, Ecclesiastical will extend contents cover for businesses to cover office equipment while employees are working from home until December 31, where policies do not already provide cover.

Premium Credit has undertaken a series of studies and unique market analysis to gauge sentiment towards buying insurance and the use of credit – among personal, SME and corporate customers in 2020. The research and analysis focus on the impact of Covid-19 on the purchase of insurance and how personal, SME and corporate customers have changed buying habits and shifted priorities in the wake of the pandemic. The Index shows some interesting findings not least that premium finance has an increasingly central role to play in helping consumers and businesses better manage the cost of buying insurance – it enables them to pay monthly for cover instead of in a lump sum which can help with cash flow and payment challenges. 

Newly formed specialty (re)insurance holding company Inigo Limited is buying Lloyd’s managing agency StarStone Underwriting Limited (SUL) from Enstar Group Limited and Stone Point Capital LLC.

After weeks of speculation and financial manoeuvring, a huge insurance deal has finally been confirmed. Canadian Insurer Intact Financial Corp. and Danish Insurer Tryg A/S have agreed to purchase RSA Insurance Group Plc for £7.2 billion. This takeover tops the M&A charts as the biggest acquisition of a UK-listed company in 2020.

Swansea-based Compare Insurance Ltd has finalised its swoop for Middlesex Broker Churchill Insurance Consultants R & L Ltd.

Aon is seeking European Union antitrust approval for its US$30 billion deal to acquire Willis Towers. The EU regulator has set a deadline of December 21 for its decision. The deal would create the world’s largest insurance Broker. 

Mere days after announcing its last acquisition, Aston Lark has revealed its purchase of Risk Alliance Limited and Risk Alliance International Limited, two Brokers owned by Risk Alliance Group, a subsidiary of Accelerant Holdings Ltd.

It’s a done deal for Hastings Group Holdings Plc and buyer Dorset Bidco Limited (Bidco), as their scheme of arrangement has become effective with the delivery of the court order to the Registrar of Companies on November 16.

Chester-based community brokerage Daulby Read Insurance Brokers has acquired Townsends Insurance Brokers for an undisclosed sum. Daulby Read’s announcement noted that the snapped up firm, which operates in Prestatyn, will continue to be manned by its current workforce and retain the Townsends name.

 

Kennedys has named Tobin Ashby as Partner for its corporate insurance, financial regulation, and products practice. Ashby joins Kennedys from Pinsent Masons, where he was most recently serving as a Partner. He has more than 18 years of experience in the financial services industry

Ex-GlobalData Chief Financial Officer Simon Pyper is now the CFO at Xenia Broking Group. Pyper, who most recently served as Chief Executive and Chief Financial Officer at media company Be Heard Plc, has joined the credit insurance and surety specialist following his garden leave.

The Ardonagh Group has made a handful of major appointments at its specialty unit. Firslty, Ardonagh Specialty Holdings Ltd Chief Financial Officer Antony Erotocritou will now serve as Ardonagh Specialty Managing Director. Erotocritou has been with Ardonagh since 2016. Meanwhile Price Forbes Deputy Chief Executive Richard Peers has been promoted to CEO of the global wholesale insurance Broker. Over at London-based Bishopsgate, tapped to serve in the same capacity is former North American binding division MD Graham Kilby. Finally, Greg Ferguson has been appointed as International Chief Executive of Price Forbes. Jonathan Turnbull, who was Bishopsgate CEO, will become Ardonagh Specialty’s Corporate Development Director. 

Global Risk Partners (GRP) has hired Grant Strickland for the newly created role of Chief Data & Analytics Officer. He reports to Mike Bruce, Group CEO.

Charles Taylor Adjusting has swooped on a three-decade veteran Mike Holley as Business Development Consultant, to bolster its trade credit and political risk business.

 

 

 

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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