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General Insurance Newsletter Friday 6th September 2019

06 Sep 2019

Insurance News

Specialist Insurance Recruitment and Talent Management Consultancy, IDEX Consulting has announced that it is joining forces with leading insurtech partnership, Insurtech UK to support the growth and development of members across the Insurance industry. IDEX aims to work closely with a growing membership to provide talent management advice and assistance, particularly to new start-ups who are looking to grow and expand in the early stages, when managing recruitment costs and balancing time & money, are so important to survival. IDEX CEO Matt Green commented “IDEX have already been instrumental in the development & growth of a number of traditional and insurtech firms, so this was a logical step for IDEX, allowing us to positively contribute to the UK Insurance industry and ensure that firms are prepared to take advantage of the competitive benefits created by technology.”

Research published by Allianz has revealed that SMEs are most worried about regulation. The independent research asked Brokers to report the concerns that their SME customers were raising. The top five risks shared by SMEs were found to be regulation (59%), Cyber (56%), data loss (36%), Brexit (32%) and Business Interruption (27%).

Three Hills Capital Partners (THCP) is set to take a minority stake in Trak Global Group (TGG), owner of telematics Car insurance Broker, Carrot Insurance. THCP will invest over £40m into the firm and TGG stated that it will now focus on supporting growth in North America and is considering making more acquisitions. TGG is a telematics technology company which has operations in the UK, Europe and North America.

More than 30 firms have signed up to support the Insurance Day of Giving on 7 November. The event is part of the Insurance United Against Dementia (IUAD) campaign by the Alzheimer’s Society and its industry partners. Money raised on the day will support the UK Dementia Research Institute and 700 researchers working to develop treatments for people with dementia.

Private equity house Goldman Sachs is now the majority owner of Aston Lark following the conclusion of an investment deal believed to be in the region of £320m. Long-term backer Bowmark Capital remains an investor in the business which was formed in 2017 when Aston Scott and Lark Group merged. Peter Blanc, Aston Lark CEO said: “We’re thrilled to have completed this investment which will help us to continue our independent growth journey over the coming years. It’s also a great vote of confidence in our team to have Bowmark Capital reinvesting alongside Goldman Sachs."

In its biggest deal to date Finch Group has bought commercial and personal lines business, Bridle Insurance. Bridle is headquartered in Witney, Oxfordshire and manages £10m GWP and places emphasis on Fleet insurance. The brokerage has a staff of 17 with Directors, Neil Fox and Bob Turley at the helm. Following the purchase the firm will keep its current office and all of its staff, Fox will transfer to a consulting position while Turley will become part of Finch Group management.

Open GI has invested in InsurTech specialist Machine Learning Programs (MLP). MLP was founded in 2018 and offers a range of machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) services to the GI and financial markets, which Open GI said can identify predictive behaviours and generate insights from combined datasets. The software house noted that MLP will become part of the Open GI Group as a result of the investment.

On Friday 30th August 2019 a man was jailed after he orchestrated a series of false medical claims made by him and five others, against their company’s medical benefits package. Following an investigation by the City of London Police’s Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department (IFED), Kasim Mughal and four others in the group pleaded guilty to their respective involvement in making the fraudulent medical claims. The fifth person, Amanda Jowsey, was found guilty following a trial.

Allianz has announced fraud savings of more than £29.6m in the first half of 2019, an increase of £6.9m compared to H1 2018. Casualty claims accounted for the highest value of fraud savings recorded, closely followed by Motor. Although not as frequent, Property claims saw more than a 100% increase in fraud savings compared to the same point last year. Allianz data also revealed that ‘trips and slips’ and manual handling fraud continue to be the most prevalent Casualty cases, with more fabricated and misrepresented claims in this area.

In further news...Allianz Insurance has revitalised its award winning underwriting academy by launching Excellence in Technical. Reflecting the latest advances in technology and supporting the development of the underwriter of the future, new faculties include data, pricing and portfolio management. Key highlights include specialist online and external training alongside on the job support and a greater range of learning styles reflected in types of training available. Modules have been refreshed and new areas of expertise have been introduced to the programme. The new data management faculty is split into seven areas of specialism so that the learning journey can be tailored to suit each individual role within that part of the business.

Ecclesiastical Insurance Group (EIG) has announced a number of changes at Ansvar as it positions the business for future success. Ansvar has a loyal Broker and customer base and a reputation for outstanding customer care, particularly in the charity and Free Church markets and the changes will help it to build on this and develop its distinctive propositions further. It will also allow the business to position itself to take advantage of any future potential opportunities offered by a post-Brexit world.

The Chartered Insurance Institute and a key Think Tank for Chinese Insurers (TTCI) have agreed a historic first Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to establish a professional body and qualification framework for China which will incorporate International standards. The Think Tank for Chinese Insurers was formed jointly by the Insurance Society of China, China Insurance Newspaper Co. Ltd and the Enterprise and Education Research Centre of Peking University in December 2016. Registered with the government of China, its mission is to serve as an expert panel for decision-making within the Chinese insurance industry by providing first class intellectual services such as training, education, consultancy, performance assessment, competition, international forums and professional exchanges.

Tokio Marine HCC’s first Broker Roadshow - “The Professional Indemnity Market, Today and Tomorrow” will be kicking off the first of many Broker Roadshow events, they are heading to Reading’s Madjeski Stadium to talk about “The Professional Indemnity (PI) Insurance Market, Today and Tomorrow” on Wednesday 18 September. Tokio Marine HCC have got members of their team sharing their insight on the day, including Andrew Wallen Solicitor/PI Claims Underwriter and Colin Brown, Head of Sales and Business Development along with some specialists from the innovation team at Weightmans.

Dreamflight is not just a holiday; it does something that medicine can't. The children are given an opportunity to discover independence, confidence and a whole new outlook on life. Often for the first time, these children realise that they are not alone and they are not the odd one out. They see children around them who have also suffered, they gain perspective and experience things they never thought possible. QBE play a very important role in making this happen, so we really can’t thank you enough for your support.” Samantha Morrison, Dreamflight. The Foundation have been supporting the charity Dreamflight for several years now and last year we provided them with a £10,000 grant to help enable another life changing holiday to go ahead.

Bertrand Romagne, Chief Executive, Europe and Chief Underwriting Officer for Property and Casualty comments on AXA XL taking reinsurance into the future: 'It was a huge honour for me to be elected president of l’Association des Professionels de la Réassurance en France (Apref) last year. I have spent my entire 25-year career in reinsurance and seen the market evolve and adapt to meet its clients’ changing needs. It is exciting for me to take on the role at l’Apref at this time in the industry’s development and at this stage in my career. L’Apref is an association with a small but dedicated and talented staff. And much of the association’s work is done by the reinsurer members themselves; they drive the association’s vision and agenda. Our purpose includes being a laboratory for ideas on all questions related to the French reinsurance market, being a discussion forum, ensuring good relationships with other professional bodies, public offices and the wider market, contributing to efforts to increase the attractiveness of the subscription reinsurance market in France and to maintain a healthy network with international bodies.'

As many families get ready for the start of the new school year, Aviva is offering parents a half-day of leave to help make their child’s first day at a new school a less nerve-racking experience. Since 2016, Aviva UK employees have been able to take a half-day, to drop-off or pick-up their child on the first day of a new school. The leave is in addition to holiday entitlement and is available to parents of children starting a new primary or secondary school. Last year, 419 parents took the ‘first day of school leave’ to support their children and since it was first introduced almost 1,000 UK employees have taken Aviva up on the additional leave opportunity.

ArgoGlobal, the Lloyd’s Insurer and member of Argo Group, has announced plans to exit Syndicate 1200 underwriting operations in Asia and most of its hull underwriting business within the syndicate. All existing policies remain valid and the company will manage claims handling through its London operation.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has published multiple warnings on two unauthorised insurance-related firms targeting people on social media. The regulator stated that Fast Camel Car Insurance has been active on Facebook, while @carinsurance.lltd has been targeting consumers on Instagram. Fast Camel Car Insurance also has a website, which is still active, however the Facebook page has been taken down.

Gallagher has bought Brentford-based RGA Group for an undisclosed sum. RGA Group comprises three businesses – Rentguard, Home & Travel and RGA Underwriting – and is a UK intermediary specialising in Landlord insurance and the lettings industry. The business was founded by Group Chief Executive Officer James Castell, who launched Rentguard in 2001 to target the private landlord sector.

Widespread adoption of autonomous vehicles will herald dramatic changes for the Motor insurance market according to a new report published by global law firm Kennedys. Industry leaders cited the potential that significant amounts of premium could disappear from the market and that the focus would shift towards product Liability cover for the manufacturers and software providers. The new report polled over 6,000 people across six territories (United Kingdom, United States, Australia, China, Singapore and Hong Kong) as well as gaining insights from key industry leaders in the insurance sector.

Zurich Insurance Group (Zurich) announces a new data protection commitment, which honors its customers’ long-standing trust with a promise to both protect their data and be completely open about its use. Going beyond legal requirements, Zurich’s data commitment includes a promise never to sell customers’ personal data nor to share personal data without being fully transparent, meaning customers will always be notified if their personal data is shared and with who. Further, any third party with whom Zurich does share personal data is bound by an enforceable contract, which sets out how that personal data can be used.

Total capital dedicated to the global reinsurance industry reached US$559 billion at the half-year point of 2019, up 8% from US$518 billion at year-end 2018, driven by strong investment markets, according to Willis Re’s latest Reinsurance Market Report. The largest component of the overall figure is the capital of the 36 reinsurance companies tracked in the Willis Reinsurance Index, which was up 11% to US$440 billion, principally due to falling bond yields and rising equity markets. This reversed trend was noted in the year-end 2018 Reinsurance Market Report, with fresh capital backing the Convex start-up contributing to the H1 2019 capital growth.

Capsicum Re and Swiss Re have teamed up to develop what they describe as a holistic Cyber reinsurance offering. Called Decrypt, the new proposition is designed to provide a “single, flexible, end-to-end” means to address the Cyber exposure challenges faced by Insurers. These include affirmative, silent, and embedded Cyber risks. Backed by a lead line from top reinsurer Swiss Re of as much as US$50 million per client, Decrypt features a modular approach that consists of risk identification, quantification and transfer. Co-created by specialist reinsurance Broker Capsicum Re, the product offers market-leading Cyber risk evaluation expertise. 


Market Movers and Shakers

Aviva has appointed Erica Arnold to the new position of Chief Operating Officer, a role she will take up in early 2020. As COO Arnold will look after Aviva’s customer strategy and every part of IT across the group and she will be supervised by Maurice Tulloch who became CEO earlier this year after Mark Wilson left the Insurer. She joins Aviva from her group enterprise services officer role at Zurich. She has also held a number of senior posts at AIG.

Derek Henry has joined Brightside as Managing Director of Broking on 1 September. He replaces Russell Bence, who has left the business to explore other interests. Henry has previously worked at Ardonagh Group where he led the business’ relationship with the insurance industry, but he left the firm last year to start his own advisory business. He has also worked at RAC, Capita Insurance Services and Junction.

Specialist MGA, Renovation Underwriting has added Natalia Child as Broker Relationship and Training Officer. According to the firm Child will build on its legacy delivering CPD and broadening the company’s offering to feature online training packages, podcasts and refresher videos as well as answering technical queries and help with business development.

Cloud-based insurance software provider, SchemeServe has appointed Alex Astengo to the position of Sales Director. John Price, Chief Operating Officer of SchemeServe, said: “Alex is a talented senior sales and business development professional and his accounting background also gives him solid commercial awareness."

HDI has appointed Stephanie Ogden to be its Director of Distribution for UK & Ireland, taking on the post on 2 September. She joins the firm after working at Lloyd’s as Oversight Manager for just over a year. In her new role Ogden will look after distribution, Broker and client relations and marketing across the firm and will become part of HDI Global SE’s UK & Ireland executive committee.

Paula Williams has been chosen by County Group to be the Group MD of its commercial division, joining the Broker in September. She will report to Alastair Christopherson, Group MD, who said: “Paula brings significant commercial experience to the Group, as well as an excellent track record in managing and motivating teams and growing business."

David Lane, Managing Director of Ecclesiastical Ireland, will take on the newly created role of Executive Chairman of Ansvar UK. David joined Ecclesiastical Ireland in January 2012. Prior to this, he was Managing Director for Western Europe at Genworth Financial where he worked across several European markets including Ireland, UK, France, Germany and the Netherlands. Sarah Cox has been appointed as Managing Director of Ansvar following the retirement of Richard Lane earlier this year and will report in to David. Sarah joined Ecclesiastical in May 2011 as a technical claims consultant following success in previous roles at Chubb and Aviva. Most recently, she has worked as a Property Technical Claims Manager at Ecclesiastical. Sarah has won numerous industry awards for claims service and customer care during her time at Ecclesiastical and has been instrumental in shaping its claims strategic plan.

AXA XL Insurance has announced that Steven Farr has been promoted to Global Head of Upstream Energy, effective immediately. In his new role, Mr. Farr will lead AXA XL’s Global Upstream Energy team. Based in London, he will be responsible for developing the Upstream Energy book, expanding on and delivering underwriting strategy and product profitability.

NMU is delighted to announce the appointment of Robbie Farrington as a Development Underwriter. Having been in the industry nearly 20 years, Robbie started his career as a Broker then moved into Underwriting with Bluefin Underwriting (now Victor Insurance), heading up their Marine Team as Marine Manager for nearly 10 years. Robbie specialises in underwriting Cargo and Freight Liability risks but also has a background in Liability and Motor insurance.

Hiscox has promoted Joanne Musselle to Group Chief Underwriting Officer, after conducting what it said was a thorough internal and external search. Musselle will succeed Richard Watson, who earlier this year announced he is set to retire on 31 December 2019 after 33 years at the provider. She is currently CUO for Hiscox Retail and will take on her new post when Watson retires. In February 2020 she will also join the Hiscox board as an Executive Director.

Liberty Mutual Re (LM Re), part of Liberty Mutual Insurance Group, has promoted Alice Blake to the role of a Senior Underwriter – Financial Risks Reinsurance. Based in Bermuda, Alice takes up her post immediately and will report to Steve Horton, President, Liberty Specialty Markets Bermuda. She will also continue to report into Susan Barber as part of the global Financial Risks Reinsurance team.

Marsh has appointed Adam Wickens as Digital Asset Leader and Brian Warszona as Cyber Growth Leader in the UK Financial & Professional (FINPRO) Practice of Marsh JLT Specialty. In this newly created position, Mr. Wickens is responsible for development of new insurance solutions for digital assets such as cryptocurrency. He will also work closely with Marsh JLT Specialty’s New York based Digital Asset Risk Transfer (DART) team, which offers risk transfer solutions to firms operating in the blockchain, cryptocurrency and digital asset arena.

MS Amlin, a global (re)insurer, announces that Chris Beazley, CEO of MS Amlin AG, will be expanding his leadership role to include all of MS Amlin’s reinsurance business with immediate effect. Chris takes over the responsibilities from James Few, Global Managing Director, of MS Amlin’s reinsurance division. James is stepping down from his role to join TigerRisk Partners, a privately-held reinsurance Broker, as CEO of their London office.

Hyperion X, the data and technology arm of Hyperion Insurance Group has announced that David Flandro has joined as Managing Director, Analytics. In this role, he will spearhead the development of Hyperion’s new analytics business, Hyperion X Analytics (“HX A”), a joint venture between Hyperion X and RKH Reinsurance Brokers. The new business will service RKH’s treaty, facultative and specialty clients in addition to the wholesale and MGA clients of Howden and DUAL. HX A will encompass Hyperion’s actuarial, catastrophe modelling and thought leadership functions and will create the sector’s most innovative strategic advisory offering, underpinned by Hyperion X’s unique and developing product set and by its proprietary Accelerator data platform.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has announced the appointment of Marlene Shiels OBE as Chair of its small business practitioner panel. Shiels, who is currently Chief Executive of Capital Credit Union, also works as an adviser to HRH Duchess of Cornwall on credit unions and financial inclusion. Charles Randell, Chair of the FCA, commented on the appointment: “The smaller business practitioner panel plays a vital role in ensuring that the voice of smaller firms in the industry is heard in the UK’s regulatory system."

The UK executive team at HDI Global Specialty SE has become bigger. Announcing the widened roster, the specialty lines insurer said Will Morris has joined as Director of Underwriting for delegated authority while Clare Constable has come on board as Claims Director.

Lockton has appointed Simon Gilliat as Head of International Benefits, based in London. In this role, Gilliat will provide strategic direction to the company’s global employee benefits offering and lead teams in the UK, Asia, Latin America, and MENA regions.



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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