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General Insurance Newsletter - Friday 20th October 2017

20 Oct 2017

Market News

The British Insurance Brokers’ Association (BIBA) is to increase the fees it charges to members by 2.5% in 2018. CEO Steve White confirmed that the fees would be going up next year and argued: “Our fees have an inflationary increase year-on-year and that’s what we have for next year.”

When the Ogden rate was slashed to -0.75%, the decision was met with widespread uproar among the insurance community – the Association of British Insurers even going as far as to describe the move as “crazy”. The Government has, of course, since backtracked somewhat by announcing an outline of plans to adjust the rate, but that move has been met with a stark response from campaign group Access to Justice (A2J). Offering an alternative perspective to most of those within the insurance industry, A2J has now urged the House of Commons Justice Select Committee to “put injured people at the heart of its inquiry into the discount rate”.

Cyber cover has been added to the Oak Underwriting Home HNW product for the first time. The provider explained that it would automatically include Home Cyber assistance within its Legal Expenses and Home Emergency cover from 1 December 2017. Oak stated that it will support customers by investigating and rectifying damage to the computer; locating and removing a computer virus; and hiring a professional consultant to advise on prevention measures against future cyber-attacks.

Hyperion is planning a minority stake sale and has hired Morgan Stanley to advise on the matter according to reports. According to a report, the Broker is hoping to sell around 25% of the business to a sovereign wealth fund or long term investor. Hyperion is the owner of Brokers RK Harrison, Howden and Underwriter Dual.

High Net Worth Broker Stackhouse Poland has reported increased revenue and profits for the year ending 31 December 2016. Results posted to Companies House showed that turnover grew to £19.1m from £16.4m in 2015. Profit after tax was £1.5m (2015: £1.4m). However, costs were up to £11.4m (2015: £9.5m) and operating profit actually fell to £1.4m from £1.6m. A tax income of £139,000 pushed the business into higher profits than the previous year.

Marmalade has teamed up with software provider Ignite Insurance Systems on digital systems for its new young driver telematics project. According to Ignite the partnership will see the firm provide its telematics platform for Marmalade’s New Driver – Family Car policy. It detailed that the cover, underwritten by Markerstudy, is offered to provisional and fully licensed drivers who use a parent’s car rather than their own when they are initially learning and licensed to drive.

The Chartered Insurance Institute has sold its Aldermanbury building to the City Of London Corporation as it looks to move to new premises in East London. The building was sold for an undisclosed sum. The body said in a statement: “The sale is part of the CII’s Strategic Manifesto commitment to ensuring it is relevant, modern and diverse. Within the next 12 months CII will be relocating to EC3. Its South Woodford office is unaffected.”

Looming personal injury reforms will have a knock-on effect on the Before the Event (BTE) insurance market, according to the CEO of Legal Expenses Insurer MSL. BTE insurance provides policyholders with access to legal advice and help in the event of an accident and injury. The typical gross cost of a policy is between £20 and £28, but often BTE is provided to Brokers by Insurers at no cost, Chief Executive Nick Garner explained.

Chubb launched a study into Risk Managers and IT professionals and released the results today as part of the FERMA European Risk Management Forum in Monte Carlo. Known as Bridging Cyber Risk, it took into account the views of more than 250 senior managers across Europe with revenues exceeding more than US$500m.

Cardiff-based fraudsters are now facing months of imprisonment, hours of community service, and significant fines after staging a crash and making fake claims. US Insurer AIG – cover provider of the car rental company whose unit was involved in the staged collision – referred a “suspicious” crash to the City of London Police’s Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department (IFED). The case also reached the Insurance Fraud Bureau (IFB).

Pet Insurer Buddies is set to become part of Legal & General to beef up the latter’s Pet cover product. According to reports, the FTSE 100 firm has agreed to buy the family-run business to bank on pet-loving Britain as it expands into the market. “The UK is very much a nation of pet lovers,” City A.M. quoted L&G general insurance Chief Executive Cheryl Agius as saying.

Bosses at M&D’s theme park in Lanarkshire have been handed a £1.4m insurance payout after being forced to close last year when a rollercoaster crashed. Their annual turnover was affected as it fell from £8,240,240 in 2016 to £7,840,537. A spokesperson was also cited as saying that a Business Interruption policy partially covered staff wages and other normal running costs during the affected period. The report added that claims from injured parties were being dealt with but it was not disclosed how much it would cost the firm’s Insurers.

Ecclesiastical has launched three new products as part of its commercial heritage proposition in order to meet the changing needs of customers. The three products are: Arts and Culture, Historic Britain and Heritage Business and Leisure.

A woman’s attempt to defraud Aviva went wrong when footage emerged of her bungee jumping on Channel 4’s Coach Trip. Noreen Murray, who tried to get £19,000 in compensation for a fake back injury, pleaded guilty to fraud by false representation at Manchester Crown Court and was handed a suspended sentence of 10 months in prison. The woman claimed she was injured at work on October 19, 2013 and that she could not stand or walk for more than 30 minutes because of it.

Paul Dilley, Towergate Underwriting Chief Executive has announced that Towergate’s current brands, including Towergate Underwriting, Fusion and Arista, will be rebranded to Geo. Towergate’s two Agriculture underwriting brands, AIUA and BIBU, will become trading names of Geo Agriculture.

Market movers and shakers

NMU are pleased to announce the arrival of Amie Parsons, who will assume a Development Underwriter role based out of the Birmingham office.

Bermuda-based Ascot Group Limited has appointed Joe Roberts and Rob Dimsey as Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer, respectively.

SchemeServe has announced the appointment of three new appointments as it continues to expand to meet demand for its innovative cloud-based insurance software solutions. Broker Craig McGavin joins the Scheme Tailors team. He is joined by Developers Scott Warren and Lee Rogers.

AmTrust at Lloyd’s (ATL) has announced the appointment of Rachel Anne Carter as Cyber Innovation Underwriter, effective immediately.

Ageas UK has announced the appointment of Robin Challand as Director of its award-winning claims service.

Citynet Insurance Brokers has expanded its property team with the appointment of Carl Salt as the new Head of Real Estate division.

Leeds based Fiducia MGA has announced that Debbie Sudlow has joined to work in Underwriting and Operations.

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

Tagged In: General Insurance
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