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General Insurance Newsletter Friday 6th December 2019

06 Dec 2019

Arch Capital Group has completed its acquisition of Barbican Group Holdings, which includes Barbican Managing Agency Limited, Lloyd’s Syndicate 1955, Castel Underwriting Agencies Limited and other associated entities. Following close of the transaction, Barbican will be consolidated into Arch’s insurance and reinsurance operations, while continuing to develop partnerships with third-party capital relationships, a release said. Castel will continue to be operated independently, but will receive financial support from Arch.

Social media has again foiled a fundamentally dishonest claim. Cyclist Andy Airey, who stated he had stopped running and reduced his cycling, was claiming against a QBE-insured driver but was forced to discontinue his claim for damages after the fraud intelligence team of law firm BLM found numerous social media posts contradicting his assertions regarding pain, suffering and loss of amenity, among other things.

The recent dismissal of the Gallagher suit against Ardonagh Group has been instrumental in highlighting the subject of racism within the insurance industry and in creating a dialogue around this sensitive subject. The Insurance Cultural Awareness Network (iCAN) has been at the forefront of addressing the topic.

US private equity firms Madison Dearborn Partners, LLC (MDP) and HPS Investment Partners, LLC (HPS) – which in May upped their stake in British intermediary The Ardonagh Group to 43% and 54%, respectively – have reportedly snapped up Arachas Corporate Brokers. The sale price for the Ireland-based Lloyd’s Broker is in excess of €250 million (around £213 million). According to the publication, the deal is expected to be confirmed shortly.

Tokio Marine Kiln Europe SA (TMKE) will become part of the Ed family. Cooper Gay France SAS (CGF), the Parisian operations of London-headquartered wholesale (re)insurance Broker Ed, announced that it is buying Belgium-based service company TMKE from Tokio Marine Kiln. Financial details of the acquisition were not disclosed.

A report has found that while the number of insurance companies that have withdrawn support for coal has more than doubled in 2019, the US insurance industry is still trying to catch up with its European counterparts. The report, “Insuring Coal No More,” is the third annual scorecard by the Unfriend Coal campaign. According to the report, at least 35 insurance companies with combined assets of about US$8.9 trillion (37% of the industry’s global assets) have now adopted coal divestment policies – up from 15 companies with US$4 trillion assets under management in 2017 and 19 with US$6 trillion in 2018.

The future isn’t so bright for Home and Motor Insurers in the UK, according to EY. Citing industry forecasts by the top accounting firm, a Financial Times report said 2020 will prove to be difficult for both the Motor and Home insurance sectors amid expected underwriting losses due to increased costs. The outlook for UK Home and Motor Insurers in 2020 is negative due to a high claims inflation and a weak pricing environment, according to Fitch Ratings. The credit rating agency stated that it expected these factors to lead to a fall in Insurer’s underwriting profitability. In addition, it warned that regulatory measures to reform pricing practices could impact profitability and “put significant strain” on Insurers’ business models.

Two well-known names in the UK broking sector are about to undergo a revamp – as part of a significant merger. Finch Insurance Brokers and Employee Benefits and ICB Group have announced a merger– with the two to come together under the Verlingue brand, the name of the French parent company.

At a recent Marsh media briefing on the D&O sector, Head of Management Liability, Marsh UK and Ireland, Beth Thurston provided an intricate breakdown of the key challenges facing this sector. With rate increases hitting 77.3% in Q3 of 2019 within Marsh’s FTSE 100 portfolio, the sector is facing enormous upheaval. The D&O sector has been undergoing extensive changes for the last 18 months, Thurston outlined and, throughout 2019, the degree of change has continued to accelerate.

In light of the Swiss Re Institute’s recently published Global Economic and Insurance Market Outlook 2020/2021, Swiss Re’s Group Chief Economist, Jérôme Haegeli, discussed its implications. The main risk of the trade war, he said, is that, in a worst-case scenario, it can lead to a global recession. Another risk is its impact on the structure of economies and the removal of multi-lateral coordination and open markets. Without these open markets, he said, societies and economies will suffer and though insurance is likely to hold its value proposition, this will come at a higher cost.

The Society of Claims Professionals (SOCP), in its good practice guide to spotting fraud, recommends four things to Claims Handlers – one of which is about understanding fundamental dishonesty rules.The other key recommendations are treating the customer fairly; maintaining high-quality data; and keeping up to date with new types of fraud.

With Association of British Insurers data showing escape of water claims made up nearly a third (30%) of all domestic household claims in 2018, Horizon (UW) Limited has decided to address the issue by partnering with smart-home specialist Hive. Horizon, which underwrites on behalf of a consortium of Insurers led by Legal & General, will be including the Hive Leak Sensor in all its policies starting January 01 next year for new business and from February 01 for renewals. The goal of the Worcestershire-based underwriting agency is to tackle escape of water, the cause of approximately £1 billion in damages last year.

Allianz Insurance Plc, the UK arm of Allianz Group, has teamed up with insurtech Dinghy to cater to freelance professionals. Dinghy specialises in flexible app-based business insurance for freelancers, who are charged by the second and only for what they use. The partnership with Allianz UK will feature coverage for Professional Indemnity, Public Liability and business equipment.

AXA Group recorded more than €375 million (c£321 million) in aggregate proceeds from its 2019 employee share offering. SharePlan 2019, a capital increase reserved to the Insurer’s global workforce, saw approximately 26,000 employees in 40 countries subscribe at a price of €18.30 for the classic plan and €21.73 for the leveraged plan. An estimated 18 million newly issued shares were snapped up.

AXA UK has become a Disability Confident Leader, as the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has granted the Insurer the highest level of recognition in a scheme that encourages employers to recruit, retain and develop people with disabilities. The news was announced on Wednesday 3 December to coincide with the International Day of People with Disabilities (IDPWD), a United Nations (UN) initiative which has chosen ‘The Future Is Accessible’ as its 2019 theme.

Hiscox insurance group faces the prospect of getting the boot from the FTSE 100 index. Global index provider FTSE Russell has listed Hiscox under “indicative FTSE 100 deletions” – in this case, just deletion as no other firm has been identified as at risk of being downgraded to FTSE 250. Meanwhile waiting in the wings is British airline EasyJet, which FTSE Russell said is likely to move up.    

Alto Insurance Group – the holding company for Cobra’s network, London Markets, underwriting and insurance Brokers businesses – delivered revenue growth to £14.8m in 2019 (2018: £14.4m). Its results for the year to 31 March 2019, published on Companies House, also saw it report Ebitda of £1.5m, which edged up from 2018’s £1.4m. Commission and fees also went up to 3.7% from 0.8%. Operating profit before exceptionals was £744,764, a lift compared to the £645,311 posted last year.

InsurTech Broker Cuvva is set to launch a pay-monthly Motor insurance product, which it claimed is the first of its kind. According to the app-based Broker, the new product will launch in early 2020 and the plan is to “cut out all middlemen including Brokers and comparison websites”. The start-up is regulated as an insurance Broker and founder Freddy Macnamara denied that it aims to be a disruptor. He described the business as a technology platform and a marketplace.

The British Insurance Brokers’ Association (Biba) has teamed up with Mental Health In Business to offer mental health first aid training to its member Brokers. Biba will pay 75% towards the cost of the course. Each has 12 places and there will be one available place per member on a first come, first served basis.

A-Plan Holdings spent £13.11m on book acquisitions in 2019, up from £5.58m a year prior, financial results filed on Companies House have revealed. The results covered the year to 28 February 2019. During this time, the Broker spent £9.4m acquiring Jelf’s personal lines business. The deal added two offices in Evesham and Malvern to the business.

Country and Commercial Insurance Brokers (CCIB), part of Global Risk Partners (GRP), has bought Worcester-based agricultural Broker Barpax Associates. GRP bought a majority stake in Lancashire-headquartered CCIB, which also specialises in agricultural insurance, in January 2018. This is the Broker’s second acquisition since the GRP takeover and follows its deal to buy Key Insurance Group at the start of 2019.

The Aviation team at Willis Towers Watson has entered a corporate partnership with the Airport Operators Association (AOA), the leading trade body representing UK airports. The agreement reflects Willis Towers Watson’s commitment to the aviation and airport industry as it navigates and encounters a diverse and evolving range of business risks.

Aston Lark has bought commercial lines specialist Wright Insurance Brokers for an undisclosed sum. This is its second Irish deal following the purchase of Dublin-headquartered Robertson Low in January. 
Wright Insurance specialises in the commercial, transport and high net worth, has a GWP of €37m (£31.3m) and employs 62 staff.

Legal Protection Group (LPG) has agreed a new capacity arrangement with Alwyn Insurance Company. HDI Global Specialty stopped providing capacity for the MGA, which lists Arron Banks' Eldon Insurance Services as a major shareholder, in February this year. 

MCE has teamed up with Inzura an Inurtech start-up to launch a new app. Inzura’s digital insurance platform and smartphone app will automate the process of collecting and verifying all policy documentation, utilising both AI-based fraud detection and photo analysis technology.

Scottish Broker J Moore & Co has been purchased by Greenwood Moreland Insurance Brokers for an undisclosed sum. 

 

Former Axa and Zurich boss, Amanda Blanc, has been appointed as an independent Non-Executive Director of Aviva. Blanc most recently worked as Chief Executive officer for Europe, the Middle East and Africa at Zurich, a role she left in July this year after only nine months at the provider. In addition, specialist Motor Insurer ERS announced the proposed appointment of Amanda Blanc as Non-Executive Director and Chair-designate of ERSSML, the managing agent of Syndicate 218 at Lloyd’s, and as a Non-Executive Director of its holding company, ERS DGB Ltd.

Marsh has announced the appointment of Jenny Yu as Chemicals and Life Sciences Industry Practice Leader for the UK & Ireland. Based in London, Ms. Yu will join Marsh in January 2020 and report to Charles Beresford-Davies, Head of Industry Practices, UK & Ireland. She succeeds Simon Thompson, who is retiring from the firm.

Erskine Murray has announced the launch of its new risk management function. The service will be managed by new recruit David Plowman, who has been hired as Risk Management Executive. Plowman has over 25 years’ experience in the insurance industry and has specialised in risk management for more than 18 years.

After nearly 40 years with the firm, John Moore MBE has stepped down as Chairman of Thomas Carroll Group. John was awarded an MBE in 2014 for services to the financial services sector and children’s hospice Ty Hafan, then became the 120th president of the Chartered Insurance Institute (CII) in 2016.

Arch Insurance has promoted Stuart Danskin from Senior Underwriter to Director of Underwriting for Arch UK Regional. He is tasked with leveraging regional Broker relationships and deploying new products.

 

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. 

 

 

 

Meet our specialist General Insurance team here

 

IDEX Consulting are proud to have teamed up with the Insurance Times to bring you the latest news on salary movements and job prospects across the UK General Insurance sector.

Please follow this link to read the article and if you would like to download the full salary guide, its available here.

 

 

 


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. 

 

 

 

Meet our specialist General Insurance team here

 

IDEX Consulting are proud to have teamed up with the Insurance Times to bring you the latest news on salary movements and job prospects across the UK General Insurance sector.

Please follow this link to read the article and if you would like to download the full salary guide, its available here.

 

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. 

 

 

 

Meet our specialist General Insurance team here

 

IDEX Consulting are proud to have teamed up with the Insurance Times to bring you the latest news on salary movements and job prospects across the UK General Insurance sector.

Please follow this link to read the article and if you would like to download the full salary guide, its available here.

 

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. 

 

 

 

Meet our specialist General Insurance team here

 

IDEX Consulting are proud to have teamed up with the Insurance Times to bring you the latest news on salary movements and job prospects across the UK General Insurance sector.

Please follow this link to read the article and if you would like to download the full salary guide, its available here.

 
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