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General Insurance Newsletter Friday 27th November 2020

27 Nov 2020

Aviva PLC has announced its Q3 2020 update with the Insurer highlighting progress in its portfolio simplification strategy, including the sale of Aviva Singapore and Aviva Vita in Italy for £2 billion. Aviva reported that its general insurance net written premiums stood at £7.1 billion for the first nine months of 2020, compared to £7.0 billion in the same period last year. New business is down to £714 million this year, from £828 million in the same period in 2019. While its life business is also down to £32.1 billion from £32.4 billion. On the plus side, the insurer has cut its estimate for COVID-19 related claims from £165 million to £100 million, which is largely a result of lower claims frequency during Q3 2020, reflecting reduced economic activity.

Demand for predictive analytics is on the rise as life Insurers look for new ways to boost business performance and customer relations in a tight market, according to a new study from Willis Towers Watson. A survey of European life Insurers found that more than 80% of companies that already use predictive analytics reported a positive impact on their business – and none reported negative outcomes.

Insurance marketplace Lloyd’s of London has ironed out the kinks in its Brexit continuity plan, announcing the receipt of final approval to transfer European Economic Area (EEA) policies to Lloyd’s Insurance Company SA (Lloyd’s Europe) in Belgium.

The insurance world has been introduced to a new Managing General Agent (MGA) platform with the arrival of Spring Partners (Holdings) Ltd. Spring Partners, is a joint venture with Aston Lark and has been created to invest in existing MGAs and create new ones. 

Global broking business Brokerslink has announced the launch of a dedicated international insurance program management platform to drive the growth and digitalisation of its international portfolio.

Insurtech platform provider Novidea has announced the completion of US$15 million (£11.2 million) in Series B funding. The funding round was led by JAL Ventures Fund II. Existing investors including KT Squared and 2B Angels also participated in the funding round.

London-based MGA Harbour Underwriting has launched with a fanfair this month, offering an after the event (ATE) commercial dispute insurance product. The MGA was previously known as QLCC and is led by Sharon Brown, who joined the business last year. 

North P&I Club has announced its intention to seek a 10% general increase in P&I rates for the 2021/2022 policy year. North said the decision was prompted by a rapid rise in pool claims and unsustainable premium growth rates.

Intact Financial CEO Charles Brindamour has plans to relocate both himself and some of his Toronto-based team across the pond to the UK to oversee the company’s acquisition of RSA’s insurance business in the region. According to the Chief Executive, the quick integration of RSA’s British business is a critical factor in the success of the deal, but he also noted that the process itself would not involve a major organisational shake-up.

A new Terrorism insurance product has been introduced by Arch Insurance (UK) Limited for small and medium-sized companies in the UK. “Recent incidents have shown how quickly the terrorism threat level can escalate and how difficult it can be to predict where and when businesses will be impacted,” said Stuart Danskin, Underwriting Director for Arch UK’s regional division.

A new insurance group has completed a capital raise of about £600 million, in preparation for its launch next year. Inigo Limited is founded by former Hiscox Chief Underwriting Officer Richard Watson and joined by Russell Merrett, former Managing Director of Hiscox London Market, and Stuart Bridges, former Chief Financial Officer of both Hiscox and ICAP.

Lockton has entered into a legal battle with an Account Executive, who left the Broker’s Dublin operations last month, over the ex-employee’s supposed breaches of non-solicitation and non-competition covenants. Ahead of a full hearing in the Lockton Insurance Brokers Ltd v Lougheed case,  Ireland’s High Court Judge Leonie Reynolds granted Lockton’s application for an emergency freezing order in relation to Andrew Lougheed’s correspondence with client Grant Thornton, which is at the centre of the lawsuit.

Partners& has launched a Cyber risk management offering in collaboration with a trio of sector specialists CFC underwriting, CPP Group and Mitigate Cyber. The start-up broking group said the move was in response to remote working, connected devices and smart gadgets increasing the risk of incidents, citing the fact hackers attack every 39 seconds, on average 2,244 times a day and there has been a 480% rise in data breaches reported to the Financial Conduct Authority.

Fully digital insurance Company Getsafe is charging ahead in its ongoing British expansion by partnering with price comparison brand GoCompare. “The UK is a very important but also a very competitive market,” said Getsafe Founder and Chief Executive Christian Wiens. “Innovation is what will make us stand out, and that’s what we’re all about.

Positive news coming out of the market, with Beazley claiming that next year could be one of its strongest for more than a decade, the Insurer’s CEO said. “We hope that the COVID-19 claims are generally behind us,” Andrew Horton said at the Reuters Events Future of Insurance Europe conference. “We have written more insurance in 2020 than we originally thought, and we think 2021 is looking better. It is probably going to be one of our best growth years since the early 2000s.”.

Travel insurance company Trawick International has announced that it offers trip interruption and travel medical protection plans that may cover travelers’ expenses if they contract COVID-19 while visiting New York. “New York is a special place to visit during the holiday season and we don’t want potential visitors deterred from visiting because of COVID-19,” said Daryl Trawick, president of Trawick International. “We are proud to offer industry-leading travel protection products that will provide the necessary protection visitors will need while enjoying New York.”.

Reinsurance business Ariel Re is now officially owned by Pelican Ventures and J.C. Flowers & Co. Announcing the deal’s completion, specialty insurance Underwriter Argo Group International Holdings Ltd. revealed that it received US$30 million (around £22.4 million) for offloading Ariel Re.

The AA announced that terms of the cash acquisition have been agreed between its board and that of Basing Bidco Limited, the newly incorporated entity owned by the TowerBrook-Warburg Pincus consortium. The abovementioned price tag values The AA at approximately £219 million.

GoCo Group Plc – the name behind price comparison brand GoCompare – will soon become part of specialist media platform Future Plc. in a deal valued at £594 million. GoCo Group shareholders will own approximately 19% of the combined business upon completion of the transaction.

Specialty reinsurer Third Point Reinsurance Ltd and global multi-line (re)insurer Sirius International Insurance Group are inching closer towards their planned union. The companies announced that their shareholders approved all the merger-related proposals at Third Point Re and Sirius Group’s respective special general meetings on November 23. These include the proposal to rename Third Point Re as SiriusPoint Ltd upon the deal’s completion, which is expected to take place early next year.

International insurance Broker Howden has announced that it has reached an agreement to acquire Safeonline, a Cyber and tech specialist Broker and Lloyd’s coverholder. The acquisition boosts Howden’s presence in the US wholesale sector and brings a team of Cyber insurance specialists to the company’s Cyber division. The deal is subject to regulatory approval.

PIB Group has expanded its footprint in Europe with its recent acquisition of Polish insurance Broker WDB, which joins Marx Re in Germany and Optis Insurance in Ireland as PIB’s third business in Europe.

Legal expenses insurance provider ARAG has appointed Simon Barrett as the company’s newest Chief Financial Officer. He previously held senior roles with Mitsui Sumitomo, QBE, XL Group, Hamilton Insurance Group and Markel International.

Gallagher have promoted East Midlands Managing Director, Gareth Parry-Jones to Midlands Regional Managing Director. Parry-Jones, whose experience spans more than three decades, will now be in charge of the Birmingham, Coventry and Leicester branches in the region, collectively employing over 200 people. 

Commercial lines business JM Glendinning Insurance Brokers has unveiled an executive shake-up as the firm sees the completion of the management buyout (MBO) led by Group Managing Director Nick Houghton and backed by growth investor Synova Capital. Incoming, as Executive Chairman, is former Stackhouse Poland CEO Tim Johnson and Stackhouse Poland Founder Jeremy Cary as a Board Advisor.

Aon has announced the appointment of Karen O’Donnell as a Client Director within its PFI and infrastructure team, a specialist practice in its construction division within the Global Broking Centre.

Global insurance services and tech solutions provider Charles Taylor has appointed Bobby Gracey to the role of Global Head of Fraud. As the Global Head of Fraud, Gracey will help reinforce Charles Taylor’s existing counter fraud capabilities across the organization, through class leading innovation, technology, thought leadership and operational cost containment solutions to the market, a company release said.

Arch Insurance International has appointed Jason Page as a Senior Underwriter for Hull & War, only two weeks after it rolled out its new Marine insurance offering.

 

 

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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