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General Insurance Newsletter Friday 23rd November 2018

23 Nov 2018

Insurance News

Folgate Insurance has partnered with MS Amlin for its launch in December. Managing general agent APC Underwriting bought Folgate from Towergate in 2014 for £1.9m. The Insurer had been in run-off since 2002 and APC said at the time of the purchase that it would relaunch the business in the UK market.

In further news Folgate Insurance Company has been assigned a financial strength rating (FSR) of B (Fair) and a long-term issuer credit rating (long-term ICR) of “BB+” by A.M. Best. The ratings service noted that the outlook assigned to the credit ratings is stable.

The Chartered Insurance Institute (CII) has launched an ambitious programme to bolster its outreach to young people across the UK, with over 1,000 schools to be targeted nationally in the new Discover Risk programme. Discover Risk uses interactive games to engage and interact with young people on how risk impacts the decisions we make each day. It has evolved as a formal pro bono programme for the insurance profession, as many professions have formal pro bono programmes which give back to society.

In other news...The Chartered Insurance Institute has revamped their website to make it easier for members and wider stakeholders to find relevant content more quickly and easily.

In response to cyber and digital risk being identified as the top concern facing airports, Willis Towers Watson has introduced CyFly for Airports, an innovative and flexible insurance solution specifically tailored to cover cyber exposures affecting airports around the globe.

As a part of Aviva’s pledge to continually review and update their existing products for the benefit of our Brokers and their clients, Aviva has made some significant changes to their engineering product range for their Brokers. In September 2018, they launched a new Plant and Equipment product as a part of these enhancements.

Motor insurance pay-outs have reached record levels this year with more than £23m being paid every day, according to research by the Association of British Insurers. In the first nine months of 2018, a total of £6.4bn was paid out to private motorists and in compensation to crash victims, highlighted the data. This was an increase of 4% on the previous year.

Managing digital agent Azur has Partnered with Grohe, a German manufacturer of smart water detection devices, on a scheme aiming to protect high net worth (HNW) clients against water leaks. Azur stated that the scheme will involve working exclusively with Broker Partners and their existing HNW clients. According to the business, it will provide clients with complimentary supply and installation of the Grohe water leak detection system to guard against water damage in the home.

Tokio Marine Group has announced that it has received approval from the High Court of England and Wales to complete the Part VII process of transferring the existing portfolio of policies written out of Continental European operations to its newly established insurance company subsidiary, Tokio Marine Europe S.A. (TME), in preparation for the UK’s exit from the European Union (EU).

CNA Hardy have released their 4th Annual Risk and Confidence Survey. The most recent global survey concluded that “Risk is global, but confidence is local” and reveals the major concerns, risk blind-spots and confidence levels of business leaders across the globe. It discovered that confidence levels of business leaders vary significantly between regions, with Asia Pacific and the UK extremely cautious compared to Europe and North America. 

Last week Equipsme, the SME health insurance plans provider announced a distribution deal with Welsh Broker Watkin Davies and now another firm has entered the picture. Coversure Insurance Services, which operates a franchise of more than 90 offices across the UK, is now part of the healthcare managing general agent’s distribution panel. With its nationwide network, the independent insurance Broker will allow Equipsme to hit the high street.     

Back in June it was revealed about the partial compensation received by claimants of insolvent Maltese firm Setanta Insurance in Ireland… now the country’s High Court has approved further payments by the insurance compensation fund, which has a 65% payout limit, to cover the 35% gap for certain claims. An Irish Examiner report noted that the Insurance Amendment Act 2018 had removed the statutory cap for third-party claims and third-party legal costs, meaning those under these categories will now be paid in full. First-party claims like own damage, however, are still subject to the limitation. The new payment orders amount to €20.6 million and involve more than 1,200 eligible claims. The compensation will be paid in three tranches.

AXA XL now has a new wholly-owned subsidiary within its alternative capital business. Without disclosing the financial terms, the company said its reinsurance unit has completed the acquisition of all third-party ownership interests in its majority-owned asset management affiliate New Ocean Capital Management Limited. The latter was instrumental in AXA XL partnering with private equity fund Stone Point Capital and Japanese conglomerate Mitsui & Co., Ltd. Meanwhile New Ocean founding CEO Chris McKeown will continue to serve as an advisor to AXA XL’s alternative capital business for a transitionary period and will also remain as a Director of certain funds.

In other news...AXA’s new 2018 Stress Index has revealed that 87% of workers in accounting/financial services or in cleaning/domestic services feel stressed at least some time during a typical week. 12% of those in cleaning/domestic services and 7% in accounting and financial services go as far as to say they feel stressed all the time. At the opposite end of the scale, employees in training and education are the least stressed in the UK – indeed 29% of staff in this area never or rarely feel stressed.

Humans are becoming increasingly reliant upon technology to go about their everyday lives; the line between technology and reality is becoming increasingly blurred by the constant ‘cybering’ of the everyday and the mundane. Cybersecurity is an immense challenge because of the pace of change in cyber evolution, according to Sadie Creese, Professor of Cybersecurity at the University of Oxford and Principal Investigator on the AXIS Insurance project ‘Analysing Cyber Value-at-Risk’. Speaking at the AXIS Cyber Incyte event in London Sadie explained there’s no such thing as 100% security, therefore, it’s important that Insurers and Risk Managers understand they’re dealing with probability and uncertainty when contemplating and modelling cyber risk. “We need to be as open-minded and prepared as possible when we’re dealing with uncertainty on a threat,” Creese commented.

The first transformer vehicle to be granted permission by the PRA to “carry out the activities of a multi-arrangement insurance special purpose vehicle (mISPV) writing generalised collateralised reinsurance for multiple cendants via Brit’s distribution network in the London market” under the UK’s new insurance linked securities regime. That is what Brit Limited is claiming to offer with the launch of Sussex Capital UK PCC Limited. The global Insurer has outlined that the vehicle will initially focus on catastrophe coverage.

Darren Christopher Bullough, the sole Director of closed personal injury claims management company (CMC) Direct Assist Ltd, has been imprisoned and given a disqualification order. The 21-month jail sentence at Bolton Crown Court comes following his guilty plea to one count of fraudulently removing funds and another count of failing to provide company books and records to the liquidator. Bullough is now also banned, for seven years, from directly or indirectly becoming involved, without the court’s permission, in the promotion, formation, or management of a firm.

Ecclesiastical has targeted further growth in the Real Estate insurance market with an enhanced Property Investors product. It will be available to new business and renewals from 1 January 2019. The provider detailed that the refreshed offering included a series of new features including a ‘Green Clause’ covering the cost of improved environmental performance as part of the reinstatement of buildings.

InsurTech start-up With Jack has been authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). The Broker was previously part of Worry+Peace’s InsurTech incubator, which was launched in February 2017 to support UK-based start-up insurance distributors. With Jack was founded by ametaur photographer Ashley Baxter and provides insurance for freelancers, predominantly underwritten by Beazley.

Burns & Wilcox has formed an exclusive Partnership with a London-based cybersecurity company. The cybersecurity company, BreachAware, specialises in data breach research and analysis. BreachAware is the developer of a proprietary risk mitigation tool that helps users identify compromised assets such as company email addresses, passwords and personally identifiable information linked to employees of an organisation. Through the Partnership, BreachAware’s platform will be provided alongside Burns & Wilcox’s other cyber products and services, allowing commercial clients to better understand their exposure to compromised credentials, a release said. BreachAware’s platform could also lead to more favourable Cyber insurance premiums for Burns & Wilcox’s clients.

ECIC has teamed up with Cobra Network for the first time to provide specialist Contractors insurance. The Markel-owned business stated that the alliance will help expand its Broker relationships, build its book of contractor business and provide a “competitive edge” for Cobra members. The Insurer, which targets the UK building services sector and other niche markets, detailed that the bespoke offerings, unveiled at Cobra’s conference, include specific extensions for covers to the core policies and showed its focus on supporting regional Brokers.

Bridges Insurance Brokers has moved from Open GI to Applied Systems. The software house explained that the Ramsgate-based Broker had selected its technology in order to digitally transform its business. Bridges is now using a cloud-based Broker management system, which Applied said provides a single view of the business across all lines of business, integrated with customer self-service software.

NIG has launched First Forward, an apprenticeship-based programme for Brokers designed to meet firms’ needs for staff training and development. The Insurer highlighted that it was the first provider to bring out such an offering for Broker Partners since government policy around apprenticeships changed in August 2018. It has already picked 10 people for the scheme which it said will support Brokers to deliver for the needs of their most talented individuals.

BIBA looks at the considerations required in the modern world when it comes to Business Interruption (BI) covers. Mike Hallam, Head of Technical Services, BIBA, describes business interruption (BI) as "one of the most complex insurances that a business will need to buy"; so it's not entirely surprising that underinsurance is common, with confusion about key definitions, seasonal changes not being taken into account, recovery times underestimated and many other issues.

Staff in Bristol are excited to soon be moving into ARAG’s newly acquired building, directly opposite the current head office on Whiteladies Road, which will help with their continuing expansion.

Market Movers and Shakers

Willis Towers Watson has expanded its analytics and digital transformation team with the appointment of Iain Whittingham as a Senior Director in the company’s Insurance Consulting and Technology business. Based in Lime Street, London, Iain will support the continued growth of Willis Towers Watson’s Insurance Consulting and Technology business.

DWF has further strengthened its insurance division with the appointment of David Abbott as Head of London Markets. David will join from Clyde & Co where he is Global Co-Head of Reinsurance and a Senior Partner in the Specialty and Energy teams. David brings significant experience advising Insurers on Trade Credit and Political Risk, as well as many years of experience in reinsurance. He also advises the London and international markets on energy matters, including the onshore market and related mining and industrial work, as well as a range of liability coverage matters. He regularly advises on high value, high profile matters in both contentious and non-contentious work. 

Leading specialist Loss Adjuster, QuestGates, has appointed Gary Stoops as Regional Manager, Northern Ireland. Gary, who has extensive loss adjusting experience gained with Crawford and OSG, will report to QuestGates Divisional Director for Ireland, Glen Donaldson.

Auto Legal Protection Services, one of the UK’s leading providers of motor claims solutions, Legal Expenses and additional products, has appointed Lyndon Willshire as Head of Sales. Lyndon joins the ALPS team with over 30 years’ experience in insurance, specialising in Legal Expenses and add-on products. He joins ALPS from Applied Systems where he was Director of Corporate Accounts. Prior to that he spent more than 20 years at DAS as Head of Corporate Partnerships and then as its Head of Sales and Marketing.

Liberty Specialty Markets, part of the Liberty Mutual Insurance Group, is to expand its Ports and Terminals offering with the addition of Charlie Bragg to its Marine Liability team. He arrives with 49 years’ experience and will be based in London.

Chris Haggart has joined GRP from Zurich, where he was a strategic Account Manager, to take up the newly created role of Commercial Director Retail Broking. The new position will focus on the integration of new acquisitions and driving profitability.

Willis Towers Watson will have a new Chairman of the board come 2019. James McCann, who is completing his current term as chair three years after the merger of Willis and Towers Watson, will be succeeded by Victor Ganzi on January 01 2019. Meanwhile the predecessor will continue to serve as a Director and as chair of the nominating and governance committee.

Global risk management firm Assurant has announced the appointment of Claude Sarfo as its new Chief Financial Officer for Europe. Sarfo will be responsible for planning, implementing, managing and controlling all financial activities, including forecasting, strategic planning, deal analysis, capital management and support of mergers and acquisitions. He will also be appointed as a statutory director of Assurant’s core legal entities, pending regulatory approval.

Touchstone Underwriting has recruited four regional Business Development Underwriters from Arista, MS Amlin and Allianz in a three-year expansion push. The managing general agent (MGA), part of Seventeen Group which also owns James Hallam, is based out of Watford with staff in London and Chelmsford. According to Touchstone Managing Director Alan Roe approximately 80 percent of its business is generated in London and the Home Counties with the remainder in pockets around the country.


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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