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General Insurance Newsletter Friday 20th September 2019

20 Sep 2019

Insurance News

The Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) has stated that Lamp GAP policies through Warranty Direct are no longer in force. The organisation explained that the liquidator had disclaimed the policies on 29 August 2019. Unrated Gibraltarian Insurer Lamp applied for liquidation at the Supreme Court of Gibraltar in late May and the application was accepted by the court on 31 May. According to the FSCS, policyholders are entitled to a pro-rata return of premium on the unused period of their policy.

Allianz achieved £35m in gross written premium (GWP) and 4,000 new customers in its first year at Lloyd’s. Nick Hobbs, Director of Broker Markets at Allianz, discussed how the Insurer has fared at Lloyd’s since it announced its entry to the market in August 2018, following its tie-up with personal lines Insurer LV. “In terms of revenue written, profit performance and feedback from our Broker partners, this has all been positive, which I believe is a good measure of success so far,” he summarised.

Vibe Syndicate Management, a Lloyd’s managing agent, has closed its Accident & Health and Property D&F units and will stop underwriting new and renewal business immediately. Joe England, the syndicate’s CEO who is also CEO of Syndicate Holding Corp, commented: “As we continue our strategic review of the Vibe business we have decided to cease underwriting new and renewal Accident & Health and Property D&F business, until such time as the market returns to a more sustainable economic footing.” He added: “This decision is not taken lightly and I would like to thank the respective teams for their professionalism and commitment in the face of difficult market conditions. We will be communicating with all customers and Brokers concerned to support an orderly transition.”

Brokers and Insurers gathered at The Brewery in London on Friday (13 September) to celebrate the successes of the Broker sector in 2019. It may have been Friday the 13th but the day proved lucky for the deserving winners of the UK Broker Awards. Some of the awards and winners are as follows...Broker of the Year: Clear Insurance Management, Broker Network of the Year: Compass Network - winner and Willis Towers Watson Networks were highly commended. The Young Broker Award: Daniel Taylor – Ten Insurance - winner and Sian Cassie – Towergate Insurance - highly commended.

Clear Insurance Management is looking to make more deals before the end of the year, according to Chief Executive Officer Howard Lickens. The Broker bought Morrison Insurance Solutions and Lickens explained that the deal would boost its existing specialism in Property Owners insurance. He said: “We’ve known them for quite some time because they’re fellow Brokerbility members, so that made it a very easy choice."

Commercial insurance Broker, Flint Insurance have launched a Media, Entertainment and Technology (MET) branch. The MET office is designed to look after corporate insurance needs and provide in-house risk management and certified by the CII claims teams. Members of the branch include: Andrew Harkin as Marketing Development Executive who joined the firm three months ago and Jonathan Garrett who will have a team of five assisting him.

New research from Premium Credit, the UK’s leading premium finance company, amongst 183 board Directors and senior management reveals 35% expect a no deal Brexit to have a negative impact on the companies they work for, with 14% saying it will be ‘very bad’. However, 15% believe it will have a positive impact on the organisations they work for and 36% expect no change at all. In terms of how prepared they think the organisations they work for are for Brexit, 23% say they are ‘very prepared’ and 37% ‘quite prepared’.  Just 21% don’t think they are ready.

The Chartered Insurance Institute (CII) has launched a practical framework for SME’s on promoting ethical culture and the link to building trust with clients and the public. The report builds on the recently updated SMCR from the FCA. It outlines how behaviours, beliefs and habits will impact the ethical culture within a firm and explains how that ethical culture will influence the trust that both employees and clients have in a firm and how ultimately trust will influence the success of a firm.

In further news...a masters qualification from the Chartered Insurance Institute (CII) and Glasgow Caledonian University (London) can now be completed from any location. The course, which used to be taught in London is now available online so students can watch lectures and speak to tutors remotely. The master of science (MSc) qualification, which is full-time, is suitable for graduates and registration is open until 23 September.

Davies has announced the acquisition of Frontier Adjusters, Inc, the multi-line independent claims adjusting provider, headquartered in Independence, Ohio. Founded in 1957, Frontier provides its clients with national field claims adjusting services across all 50 US states and parts of Canada through its network of franchised locations. Specialising in all major Property, Casualty and auto insurance claim types; Frontier works in close partnership with national and regional insurance companies, third party administrators (“TPAs”), self-insured entities and governmental agencies. Frontier deploys its proprietary multi-line claims management platform, FACTS, enabling end-to-end claims lifecycle management, including automated intelligent loss-intake, intuitive workflow management, integrated reporting and claim tracking.

One in five fatal and serious collisions could be prevented with the introduction of automated vehicles, according to new research carried out by TRL, the global centre for innovation in transport and mobility. The study considered the scenario with traditional and autonomous vehicles coexisting and revealed that 22% of collisions could be avoided if we supposed that one of the vehicles was replaced by a level 4 automated vehicle. This type of vehicle is controlled for the entire dynamic driving task, both laterally and longitudinally, within a defined use case (e.g. motorway driving) such that the human driver is not required or expected to intervene. The in-depth case analysis suggested we will additionally see a reduction in collisions at junctions (10%), collisions involving vulnerable road users (10%) and single vehicle run off road collisions (12%). The report states that by 2040, up to 650 fatal and serious injury collisions could be prevented annually due to the introduction of autonomous vehicles. This is based on between 8% - 19% of the total car fleet being autonomous.

Hyperion Insurance Group has announced that its retail and specialist broking businesses, Howden and RKH will combine under one management team, effective 1st October 2019 led by José Manuel González as CEO.  José Manuel will move to London to lead the Combined broking group. In the UK and effective 1 October 2019, Andy Bragoli, in addition to his role as CEO of RKH, will lead a newly formed UK Broking Executive Committee, which will sit above both RKH and Howden UK. Chris Evans, in addition to his role as CEO Howden UK, will be his deputy.  Barnaby Rugge-Price, CEO of Hyperion X, will chair the committee, supported by Paul Redgate as deputy.  Elliot Richardson will continue to lead Reinsurance.

Azur has launched two new products – Azur Niche and Azur Unoccupied – aimed at high net worth (HNW) clients. The managing digital agent noted that the new policies were designed to provide protection for a broader range of HNW clients whose insurance needs fall outside of their typical HNW offering. The business detailed that Azur Niche is aimed at clients who require a solution for their assets, but who might be considered higher risk than normal.

A recent YouGov report Better Safe than Sorry has revealed that 73% of insurance policyholders would class themselves as active in regards to shopping around for insurance. Within this number 39% considered themselves to always be shopping around (very active) while 34% try to shop around (fairly active). Within the 39% of very active consumers only 14% use word of mouth when switching their insurance, while price comparison sites was listed as the most popular way to shop around among the 73% who do so actively.

TL Dallas has published full-year financial results for 2018, revealing increases in turnover and profit before tax. The numbers show that turnover grew by 4.4% from £5.66m in 2017 to £5.92m in 2018 and expenses grew 4.0% from £5.05m to £5.25m over the same period. This increase in turnover above expenses helped profit before tax to rise 10.2% from £630,000 in 2017 to £694,000 in 2018.

Lloyd’s has posted a pre-tax profit of £2.3bn for the first six months of 2019, up on the £600m achieved at the start of 2018. Meanwhile, its combined operating ratio deteriorated to 98.8% for the half-year (H1 2018: 95.5%). Gross written premium (GWP) saw a slight uptick to £19.7bn over this period, compared to £19.3bn in H1 2018.

Insurance Age’s High Net Worth Forum, sponsored by Ecclesiastical and Home & Legacy, will be hosted at America Square on 24 September. Bringing together over 150 delegates from across the sector, High Net Worth Forum is the only event in the UK aimed at High and Ultra-High Net Worth Brokers. Ian Morley, Chairman at Wentworth Hall Consultancy, will give a keynote speech on the intersection between family offices and the insurance landscape. Attendees can also expect a panel discussion on the hardening market.

Charles Taylor – a UK-based provider of professional services to the global insurance market – has revealed that it has agreed to a private firm’s takeover bid. The insurance services company revealed that it has agreed to a £261 million takeover by Jewel Bidco, a firm formed on behalf of funds advised by Lovell Minnick. Jewel Bidco has offered 315 pence per share in cash to take Charles Taylor.

In a shocking turn of events, Kevin Lunney, the Director and Chief Operating Officer of Quinn Industrial Holdings and former Director of Quinn Insurance, was abducted and assaulted earlier this week. In what is being reported as an escalation of violence against the firm, the Executive’s car was discovered close to his family home and then, hours later, he was found “badly beaten” just across the border into the south of Ireland. He was left at the side of the road by his attackers, according to a Quinn statement sent to Bloomberg. The statement goes on to outline that Lunney was left with a broken leg and “very severe” injuries although they are not thought to be life threatening.

Ardonagh’s URIS Group has extended its long-term partnership with Ageas Insurance with the signing of a four-year contract worth £200 million. “URIS Group prides itself on serving the specific insurance needs of niche customer communities, and Ageas has proven over many years that they can provide us with the specialist expertise and service we are looking for,” noted URIS Group Chief Executive Derek Coles.

Global insurance premium volumes reached a new benchmark high of US$5 trillion in 2018, according to the Swiss Re Institute’s report, World Insurance: The Great Pivot East Continues, but that doesn’t mean all is well for insurance sectors in every part of the world. China and Asia-Pacific more broadly will continue to dominate when it comes to global economic growth as well as insurance demand, predicted the report, though the US and Canada, alongside well-developed economies in Asia-Pacific will come out on top in non-life premium growth.

Arch Insurance (UK) Limited has collaborated with Marsh to roll out what is described as the first offering of its kind to be placed in the Specie insurance market. Called “Blue Vault,” the new proposition is designed to deliver insurance protection for the secure storage of digital asset private keys – the alphanumeric data that enable the transaction of digital assets on a blockchain – held in traditional vault facilities. The solution is backed by the likes of Lloyd’s of London syndicates Arch 2012 and Canopius 4444. Meanwhile, legal and technical consulting support is provided by Norton Rose Fulbright.

Meet YOGA Insurance, the freshly launched Motor insurance brokerage whose promise is to provide consumers full control of their cover. The self-service proposition features a streamlined online journey as well as a user-friendly platform that allows policyholders to manage their accounts from their mobile devices at any time of the day.

There will soon be a Lloyd’s of London office in Miami. The news was revealed by Lloyd’s Director general for Latin America and the Caribbean Daniel Revilla, who is country Manager for Mexico as well. According to him, the insurance marketplace is implementing changes in the region to bolster its presence.

Amid a wider range of issues to handle, a majority of board members and senior Executives responsible for their organisation’s Cyber risk management had less than a day in the last year to spend focused on Cyber risk issues. The findings form part of a new report published by Marsh and Microsoft Corporation. This lack of time for senior leaders to focus on Cyber risk comes as concern over Cyber threats hits an all-time high, and as confidence in an organisation’s ability to manage Cyber threats has declined, the 2019 Marsh Microsoft Global Cyber Risk Perception Survey found. The global survey of 1,500 organisations details the current state of Cyber risk perceptions and risk management, building on a related survey conducted in 2017.

Folgate Insurance Company have now launched two brand new Property Owners products for Residential & Commercial Landlords. Residential Property Investors & Commercial Property Investors are now available on Folgate’s online trading platform and replace existing products. New and existing clients will benefit from a variety of additional covers as standard and optional cover enhancements have been increased. 

Enrolled across six schemes, Allianz has welcomed 30 new graduates to its programme. With degrees ranging from Business Management through to Sports and Physical Education the graduates will gain extensive exposure to the business and wide ranging career skills. New for 2019 is a graduate technical underwriting scheme entitled ‘a home for those who love data’ recognising the growing importance of data and pricing skills alongside traditional underwriting methods.

 

Market Movers and Shakers

Aspen Insurance Holdings has appointed Clive Edwards as Chief Executive Officer of Aspen Insurance UK (AIUK) and Aspen Managing Agency (AMAL). He succeeds Mike Cain who has moved to the position of Group Chief Operating Officer. As a result, Edwards will leave his current role as co-Chief Underwriting Officer of AIUK and Aspen has named Henry MacHale and Jamie Lewis as the co-CUOs for AIUK, for insurance and reinsurance respectively.

Tokio Marine Kiln (TMK) has revealed that after eleven years as Chief Executive Officer, Charles Franks is assuming new responsibilities within the Tokio Marine Group (TMG). Franks will be succeeded by Brad Irick as CEO of TMK from 1 January 2020. He will remain a member of the TMK board.

HDI Global Specialty, the specialty lines Insurer, has announced that its new head of crisis management will be David Palmer. Palmer has previously been London Head of Crisis Management at Marsh and has 35 years’ experience in the insurance market. He has also held senior crisis management lines of business roles at both AIG and Aon in the past.

Marsh has appointed Andy Smith as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of its UK Aviation practice, within Marsh JLT Specialty. Smith will report to Paul Moody, UK CEO, Marsh JLT Specialty and Simon Harker, Global Head of Aviation, Marsh JLT Specialty. Further appointments of Stephanie Pestorich Manson as Chief Client Officer for Management Liability and Head of Directors’ & Officers’ (D&O) Product and Jason Mills as Wholesale Leader in the UK Financial & Professional (FINPRO) Practice, both within Marsh JLT Specialty. In what are newly-created roles, Ms. Manson is expected to join the firm later this year, with Mr. Mills joining in Q1 2020.

Cuvva has recruited Serge Corel as Director of Partnerships. The former Chief Executive of Allianz Partners joined Cuvva at the beginning of September. He has previously served over 22 years at Allianz Partners as CFO and more recently as Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer. The InsurTech Broker stated that in his new position, Corel will play a key role in driving continued growth at the startup.

Axa XL has chosen Luis Prato to be Chief Underwriting Officer (CUO) of its UK legal entities: Catlin Underwriting Agencies and XL Catlin Insurance Company UK, subject to regulatory approval. Prato will look after the development of core underwriting strategies and work on optimising product offering and profitability for both of the legal entities. He took up the new role in September 2019 and will keep his previous responsibilities of being insurance Active Underwriter for Syndicate 2003 and Regional Specialty Leader for the UK & Ireland.

Recently rebranded HI Commercial, based in Hull and Cottingham has announced its recruitment of new Commercial Account Handler, Alan Hamilton. Hamilton has over ten years’ experience in the industry and has spent his career advising clients in both personal lines and commercial insurance with a number of UK Brokers.

London Broker, AssuredPartners, has unveiled its new M&A insurance division with the hire of Ben Crabtree and Felix Sloman. Crabtree has over 16 years of experience in the transactional Liability space and will now be responsible for growing the practice in the UK and European market place while helping to broaden the offering across the network of AssuredPartners’ offices in the United States. 

Independent specialist (re)insurance Broker, BMS Group (BMS) has hired Neil Prior as a Director in its global risks division. In his new role Prior will support the Global Risks division by developing market relationships and exploring new distribution channels. He will be supervised by Ian Gormley, Managing Director at BMS.

Kevin Thompson has been appointed Chief Executive Officer of RSA Ireland after being approved by the regulator Central Bank of Ireland. Thompson will replace Ken Norgrove, who is moving to the role of Chief Executive Officer of Codan/Trygg-Hansa, RSA Group’s Scandinavian business. Kevin Thompson has spent seven years as CEO of Insurance Ireland where he had overall responsibility for the organisation and its strategic and commercial objectives. In that time he led major organisational change programmes and grew membership by over 40%. Prior to that he held roles as CEO for AIG Life Ireland and VP for Multinational Group Risk Europe.

The Lloyd’s Market Association (LMA) has announced the appointment of Fiona Temple as LMA Academy Director and Matthew Wilson, Group CEO at Brit Limited, as Chairman of the LMA Academy Committee, effective 25 September. The LMA Academy is the leading provider of technical training to support the learning and development needs of Lloyd’s market practitioners.

Paul Samways has retired after ten years as Managing Director of Miles Smith. He will remain as a consultant to the business, advising on corporate risks. The role will be filled on an interim basis by Ian Cook, who has been with Miles Smith as Sales and Development Director since July 2018.

InsurTech start-up Inshur has appointed Simon Logan as Vice President of commercial and legal. Logan was previously Legal Director of Insurance, EMEA at Uber, where he was responsible for providing legal and commercial counsel throughout the 40 countries Uber is active in the EMEA region. Prior to joining the ride-sharing app, he worked as Head of Legal at RSA. Logan’s credentials also include a stint at Aviva. The new VP is a familiar face for Inshur, which is Uber’s partner in providing private hire vehicle insurance to drivers of the ridesharing platform.

Ascent-Cove – the product of the merger between Cyber and Specialty Lines managing general agent Ascent Underwriting and US Construction-focused MGA Cove Programs – has recruited Paul Western as Group Chief Underwriting Officer. Effective on October 07, the appointment will see Western make the switch from MS Amlin after 17 years with the firm. He most recently served as US Casualty and Specialty Lines Product Lead.

Global reinsurance, wholesale and specialty Broker Ed has announced the appointment of Simon Stovell as Divisional Director for its Risk Solutions team. Stovell will report to Stephen Louden, Managing Director of Risk Solutions. Stovel has more than 30 years of industry experience and has worked in the Lloyd’s market as both a Broker and an Underwriter. Prior to joining Ed, he served as Senior Binder Underwriter at Faraday. Stovell began his career in 1987 as a Broker at Robert Barrow and went on to hold a number of senior positions, including Partner in the Property Fac division of JLT Re and Executive Director of Lonmar in the Non-Marine division.

Things are now official for David Sansom, who has been named Chief Risk Officer at Lloyd’s of London after serving as interim CRO from October 2018. Sansom’s time as interim CRO was a secondment from EY, where he spent nearly a decade, most recently as Director of financial services risk. His Chief Risk Officer appointment is subject to regulatory approval.

Ecclesiastical has stated that John Blundell, Managing Director of its UK general insurance business, will retire in 2020. Blundell joined Ecclesiastical in September 2016 and the provider explained he had led the business through a period of ongoing change. His career in the insurance industry has spanned 35 years, starting as a graduate trainee at Norwich Union (now Aviva).

 

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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