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General Insurance Newsletter Friday 4th September 2020

04 Sep 2020

The International Underwriting Association of London (IUA) has a warning for the legal industry. In an open letter, the IUA asserted that the credit risk taken on by Professional Indemnity insurance (PII) providers for non-payment of excesses and premium is in danger of reaching commercially unacceptable levels, a possible outcome of which would be a restriction in the availability and affordability of PII.
 
Pen Underwriting has renewed and increased its Lloyd’s Cyber insurance capacity to £55 million to support Brokers and their clients in key territories worldwide. The agreement allows Pen Underwriting to write in excess of £55 million in Cyber insurance premiums in the UK, Canada, New Zealand and the US over the next 12 months – a 15% increase on the previous year.

Ecclesiastical Insurance has launched new video software that allows remote inspections along with desktop reviews to assist risk management surveys. The video streaming function, which was developed by Risk Solved, provides a real-time view of the client’s property.

Digital insurance Broker Get Indemnity has joined Willis Towers Watson Networks to grow its business. Get Indemnity, which can accommodate companies with a turnover of up to £100 million, boasts a digital onboarding process that guides applicants through various available products and captures relevant risk information.

Her Majesty’s Treasury has announced the launch of the latest five-year review of Pool Re, with the objective of ensuring the good functioning of the UK’s Terrorism (re)insurance market, the proper protection of public interests and agreeing Pool Re’s proposed strategic direction for the next five years. The review will be conducted by Her Majesty’s Treasury (HMT), with close engagement with Pool Re and stakeholders across Whitehall and in consultation with the UK (re)insurance sector. In addition, Pool Re have announced that it will form a Review Advisory Group to advise Pool Re throughout the review. It will consist of CEOs drawn from large and small member Insurers, captives as well as other stakeholders representing the interests of the customer and the industry as a whole.

From 01 October 2020 Capsicum Re will trade as Gallagher Re to fully align the group’s fast-expanding reinsurance powerhouse with its global retail and wholesale insurance broking operations.

Somerset Bridge has recorded a profit slip for the full year 2019 according to documents posted to Companies House. Turnover went down to £86.5m from £87.9 in 2019 and profit before tax dropped to £5.0m (2018: £6.4m).

The latest progress report into the administration of lead-generation provider Call Connection has showed that the process is set to be concluded before 12 July 2021. Joint administrators Martha Thompson and Colin Haig, both of BDO, said in the document that they are currently liaising with HM Revenue and Customs about a VAT reclaim position of around £30,000, which they believe is due to the company.

Union Unite and local MP Tony Lloyd gathered at the Rochdale Pioneers Museum to protest the deal which has seen Markerstudy agree to buy the Co-op’s underwriting business for £185m. Lloyd also launched an Early Day Motion (EDM) designed to raise discussion of the sale in Parliament which called on the Co-op to reassess its decision to sell and “examine its moral compass”.

Saga has stated that it is at an “advanced stage” of a prospective £150m equity capital raise, with former owner and CEO, Sir Roger De Haan, set to invest £100m. The provider noted that it expects to launch the prospective equity raise on or around 10 September. Sir Roger, alongside affiliated family trusts, owned Saga before it was sold to private equity firm Charterhouse in 2004. Prior to the sale, he was Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of Saga for 20 years.

In further news...Saga Plc recently revealed having rejected what it described as an unsolicited and highly conditional 33 pence indicative approach for the over-50s travel and insurance group. Now a major industry name has been linked to the dumped suitor. Saga disclosed that the offer it declined followed several earlier indicative approaches from a consortium of two US financial investors.

Fenchurch Law has launched a claims advocacy service for Brokers with the aim of giving smaller and regional Brokers access to wider claims services. The business stated that the Fenchurch Advocacy Services will provide Brokers and their clients with access to experienced and qualified support, advice and assistance on claims-related issues for a fixed monthly fee.

Allianz has been nominated in 2 categories for the Insurance Times Awards 2020. At last year’s Awards, Allianz won Commercial Lines Insurer of the Year, Fleet Product of the Year and Jon Dye was named the CEO’s CEO. 

Diversity Best Practices (DBP), a division of Working Mother Media, unveiled its fourth annual Inclusion Index. The index helps organizations understand trends and gaps in demographic representation, creates a road map to drive internal change and identifies diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) solutions to close the gaps. AXA XL was among the 98 organizations that earned a score of at least 60 percent (AXA XL’s score was 70%) and a place on the index. 

Aston Lark presents its first set of financial results since its majority stake acquisition by Goldman Sachs Merchant Banking Division on 2nd September 2019, with Bowmark LLP also re-investing in the newly created group. The highlights are: revenue increased 25% to £71.6m in 2019, organic commission and fee growth of 3.4%. A positive result against a backdrop of a highly competitive market and the economic environment. EBITDA growth of 30%, adjusted EBITDA* of £26.9m for 2019 up 40% when adjusted to include a full 12 months of acquisitions made in 2019 along with their associated integration benefits.

LexisNexis Risk Solutions has launched a new tool that will help the insurance sector to forecast environmental and peril risks. The new geospatial data visualisation tool, LexisNexis Map View, offers Insurers greater visibility into environmental and peril risks across the whole of their book to help them come up with prices accurately, manage claims and plan resources for extreme weather events.

Another chapter in the saga featuring Quinn Insurance Limited (QIL) has been closed. The Central Bank of Ireland, which in 2013 entered into a settlement agreement with QIL, has concluded its inquiry into former Directors Liam McCaffrey and Kevin Lunney. Commenced in 2015, the inquiry examined the duo’s alleged participation in QIL’s suspected breach – relating to the soundness and adequacy of the firm’s administrative and accounting procedures and internal control mechanisms in terms of managing and monitoring subsidiaries’ assets – of Regulation 10(3) of the European Communities (Non-Life Insurance) Framework Regulations 1994.

QBE Re has created a single Casualty Treaty reinsurance team to enable a unified market proposition as it seeks more growth opportunities in the Casualty market. QBE Re’s Casualty Treaty reinsurance team was created as part of the reinsurance team’s growth strategy for 2020, bringing together the US and international Casualty Treaty reinsurance teams into one business unit.

London Market Group has partnered with the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) to launch a detailed client research programme that will form part of its Client Lens workstream. The new client research programme aims to help businesses understand the issues in their operations and the implications of potential disruptions on their risk management and insurance strategies.

 

The new school year can be a nerve-wracking experience for families. This year especially so, following a long period at home, without school, nursery and playgroups. To help colleagues and families across the country, Aviva is offering parents a half-day of leave to help make their child’s first day at a new school a little easier.

Lloyd’s of London recently revealed a “Response to COVID-19” programme via its accelerator the Lloyd’s Lab, to enable the insurance sector to bring coronavirus related innovations to the marketplace as quickly as possible. Three businesses were selected to participate in this fast-tracked Lloyd’s Lab, among them Dialogue, the specialty insurtech focused on credit and political risk.

To support customers and provide additional peace of mind, Virgin Atlantic has introduced Virgin Atlantic COVID-19 Cover, which will apply to all existing and new bookings, travelling from 24 August 2020 up until 31 March 2021. The insurance policy with Allianz Assistance offers comprehensive cover in the event that a Virgin Atlantic customer or travel companion becomes ill with COVID-19 while on a trip.

 

The AA has been granted a deadline extension as it explained that takeover talks with a number of potential offerors have “continued to progress”. The business announced on 4 August that it was in talks with several parties with the possibility of an offer being made in connection with a refinancing deal. Platinum Equity Advisors and Warburg Pincus International are both looking at making a bid for the whole business, while Centerbridge Partners Europe and Towerbrook Capital Partners are considering a joint bid.

 

Zurich have appointed Tim Bailey to replace Tulsi Naidu as UK CEO. He will, subject to board and regulatory approval, replace Tulsi Naidu on 1 January as she switches to the role of Asia Pacific CEO in Singapore.

After nearly 23 years at MS Amlin, Senior Underwriter Lisa Perry is moving to White Oak Underwriting Agency to take on the role of Chief Underwriting Officer.

MS Amlin AG (MS AAG) has welcomed Stephan Knipper to the MS AAG Supervisory Board as a new Non-Executive Director. Knipper, who started in the position on September 01, brings over 30 years of industry experience and expertise to MS AAG.

Avid Insurance Services (Avid) has hired specialist Underwriter Michael Patchett. Patchett joins Avid on 1 September from his previous role at Lloyds Syndicate DTW 1991. His specialisms include Equine, Motorsport and Leisure. In further news, Senior Insurance Executive Mark Cliff has been appointed Chairman of Avid Insurance Services Ltd.

Ed has announced the appointment of John Head as a Broker and Producer with immediate effect.  John will support the growth of the professional and executive risk portfolio, a key area of focus and development for Ed and further strengthen the firm’s Cyber offering.

Liberty Specialty Markets (LSM), part of Liberty Mutual Insurance Group, announced the appointment of Pierre-Édouard Fraigneau to the newly-created role of Chief Underwriting Officer Europe. He will report jointly to Kadidja Sinz, Head of Europe and Phil Hobbs, Deputy Managing Director at Liberty Specialty Markets. Pierre-Édouard takes up the role with immediate effect and will be based in Luxembourg. 

Allianz Holdings has appointed Christopher Twemlow to the role of Chief Legal Officer. Christopher will act as General Counsel and Company Secretary overseeing the legal and company secretariat functions across the Allianz Holdings group.

Troy Cook – who was NPC International’s Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer for more than two decades prior to his retirement in 2018 – is joining Lockton’s management roster on September 24 to serve as CFO.

THB Europe is welcoming Jord Westerloo as a new Facultative Broker following the company’s announcement of a new Executive Director who will lead its treaty offering.

Specialty Managing General Agent Fiducia has announced three new appointments. The Leeds-based business has appointed Scot Dowson as Underwriter, with Claire Kilbane and Ben Warburton joining the firm to support the growing underwriting teams.

QBE Insurance Group has confirmed that Group Chief Executive Officer Pat Regan is leaving the business. The Insurer said in a statement on the Australian Stock Exchange that the move follows the outcome of an external investigation into “workplace communications” that the board concluded did not meet standards set out in the group Code of Ethics and Conduct.

 

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

Check out one of our featured jobs below.

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

Check out one of our featured jobs below.

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

Check out one of our featured jobs below.

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

Check out one of our featured jobs below.

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