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General Insurance Newsletter Friday 30th October 2020

30 Oct 2020

Bury-based Reliance Advisory Limited (RAL) has been fined £250,000 by The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) for breaking the law banning unsolicited calls for direct marketing purposes. The ICO revealed that over a six-month period, RAL made over 15 million calls relating to claims management services, including mis-sold PPI. In total, 1.1 million connected calls were made to individuals who had not consented to receive them, contravening regulation 21A of the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations 2003. 

AXIS Capital Holdings Ltd has announced its financial results for the third quarter of 2020. The insurance group revealed its estimated pre-tax catastrophe and weather-related losses – net of insurance and reinstatement premiums – amounted to US$240 million, a year on year rise of 50%. They also posted a US$159 million drop in GWP, representing a 3% decrease to US$5.5 billion. 

After rebranding early in 2020, insurance “challenger” Superscript is ready to undertake the next phase of its growth thanks to some huge financial backing. They are looking to double their workforce and have announced an £8.5 million funding raise, led by existing investor BHL Holdings, alongside Seedcamp, the London Co-Investment Fund, Concentric and the Government’s Future Fund.

RSA is collaborating with the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) on a range of initiatives to reduce injuries and deaths both at home and on the road. The partnership focuses on accident prevention, particularly among the under-fives at home, 17- to 25-year-olds on the road, as well as the over 65s in both areas. 

Kirsty McKno, Chair of the Credit Hire Organisation (CHO), has set out plans to step down following her four-year term. Her decision brings to an end a run that has seen her modernise the organisation and launching a new CHO Constitution.

In its Quarterly InsurTech Briefing, Willis Towers Watson has announced that the insurtech sector has seen record-breaking investor appetite in the third quarter of 2020, with US$2.5 billion raised across 104 deals – up 63% and 41% respectively over the prior quarter. This included two US$500 million rounds, the mid-tier funding gap for firms seeking investments in the US$20 million to US$50 million range has widened.

Chubb has reported net income of US$1,194 million, or US$2.63 per share, for the quarter ended September 30 (compared with US$1,091 million, or US$2.38 per share, for the same quarter last year). However, the story with core operating income was much different, coming in at US$907 million, or US$2.00 per share, compared with US$1,236 million, or US$2.70 per share, for the same quarter in 2019.

The Association of British Insurers (ABI) is among a number of firms that have pledged support to the “10,000 Black Interns campaign”. According to a statement, the campaign seeks to transform the horizons and prospects of young Black people in the United Kingdom. It provides paid work experience across a wide range of sectors, as well as training and development opportunities to create a sustainable cycle of mentorship and sponsorship for the Black community.

Dozens of insurers have sued, now defunct, UK law firm Richmond Law to recover costs they paid under a Professional Indemnity policy, due to a separate fraud lawsuit slapped against the firm by major bank Santander UK PLC and other mortgage providers. 24 insurance Providers, including Chubb, AIG, Aviva, Hiscox, and QBE, were seeking to recover £816,000 they paid out under the policy, according to a High Court filing dated October 12.

American International Group (AIG) has revealed its intention to separate from its life & retirement business – a decision the company hopes will result in two “market-leading” “stand-alone entities.”

James Hallam Insurance Brokers has teamed up with the UNA Alliance, as a new member. UNA was founded in 1997 and noted that it “comprises a broad spectrum of broker partners, working to bring strength in numbers”. The network of independent brokers now has 13 members in total.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has publicly censured Aviva for making an announcement that had the potential to mislead the market. The regulator detailed that the announcement on 8 March 2018 concerned Aviva’s preliminary year-end results. The watchdog has not issued a financial penalty because Aviva reacted quickly and put in place a payment scheme for shareholders affected.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has ordered Coventry-based Inspire Insurance Services Ltd to cease trading effective October 23. An advisory on the company’s website, which is currently disabled, says the FCA has ordered them to “cease all regulated activity pursuant to section 55L of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000.”

 

Swiss Re has joined The Trinity Challenge, a global coalition with the aim of harnessing data and analytics to predict and prevent disease outbreaks, epidemics, and pandemics. In their statement, Swiss Re said that it has created a platform, known as the Risk Resilience Centre, which integrates COVID-19 related health, economic and social data. 

 

PIB Group (PIB) has completed its acquisition of London-based Real Estate insurance Broker Arlington Insurance Services Ltd (Arlington). Founded in 2005, Arlington offers a comprehensive insurance broking service to professional property investors across the Real Estate sector. 

Aston Lark CEO Peter Blanc recently commented on their “exceptionally busy pipeline of deals”, and it seems he was right. They have just snapped up Birmingham city centre-based Dunsby Associates, who recently celebrated their 10th anniversary. The Broker controls a GWP of £6 million and is made up of a long-standing team of 12.

Coverys European Holdings (CEH) is expanding its European reach by acquiring Italy-based Bridge Insurance Broker. A Lloyd’s wholesale broker and coverholder based in Lucca, Italy, the firm manages around 25,000 active policies, has a 450-strong network of distribution partners and provides both specialty insurance products and claims management services.

Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty (AGCS) have announced their new Regional Head of Liability for London and the Nordics. Luke Baker will step into the role in 2021 and lead the liability business across the UK, Ireland, the Middle East and the Nordics.

SCOR Specialty Insurance has appointed Richard Morris to focus on jewellers block and cash in transit, sitting alongside the fine art and cargo books, to complete the insurer’s product set. He will be based in London, reporting into Global Head of Marine Single Risk Underwriting, Gregory Delaisse.

MS Amlin Underwriting Ltd (MS AUL) has announced that Johan Slabbert will take up the role of CEO on November 01, 2020, subject to regulatory approval.

The Managing General Agents’ Association (MGAA) has continued its growth plans, welcoming Helen Ferris to its team. She will be its new Head of Communications and Digital Strategy.

Specialist Insurer Hiscox is keen to keep the leadership changes coming. After revealing a new CEO for Hiscox Re and ILS, the company has now announced the appointment of Yana O’Sullivan as its Head of Investor Relations. They commented “O’Sullivan is a senior investor relations and strategy leader that boasts more than 15 years’ experience in global financial services, including insurance, banking, investment management, as well as telecoms in the UK, EMEA, US, and Asia.”

In other news...Louise Marling has been promoted to Chief Operating Officer for Hiscox UK. She joined the Insurer in December 2019 as Interim Change Director, having previously held the role of Chief Operating Officer at William Russell.

Arch Insurance International has appointed Chris Rackliffe as its new Head of Accident & Health and Contingency. Rackliffe is a market-leading figure in these sectors, according to the Insurer, boasting 25 years of industry experience.

Pen Underwriting will soon have a new Chief Financial Officer. Pending regulatory approval, Sarah Breslin has joined the MGA’s executive team, bringing a wealth of knowledge having been with Gallagher for more than eight years.

Patrick Tiernan, Managing Director UK Commercial Lines and Global Corporate and Specialty at Aviva, has joined the London Market Group, as a new representative from the International Underwriting Association. 

American International Group, Inc. (AIG) has appointed Peter S. Zaffino as Chief Executive Officer of AIG, effective March 01, 2021. He will take the reins from current CEO Brian Duperreault, who will become Executive Chairman of the insurance firm.

Mactavish has appointed former Aston Scott Chief Executive Officer, Heidi Carslaw, to the newly created role of Managing Director. Carslaw joins from Aston Lark Group, where she was Executive Director following her role as CEO of predecessor firm, Aston Scott.

 

 

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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