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General Insurance Newsletter Friday 7th May 2021

07 May 2021

Insurance News

Bravo Networks has launched a new three-stream proposition setup for members. The announcement coincides with the unveiling of the Bravo Networks brand, which incorporates Broker Network and Compass and represents over 700 independent regional Brokers across the UK.

Countrywide Legal Indemnities has stopped working with general insurance Brokers. In a communication sent to Brokers, the provider said it would no longer be underwriting new legal Indemnity business by insurance Brokers from 1 May 2021. The legal indemnity specialist, which had been working with around 80 Brokers, says it has decided to revert to a sole focus on Solicitors.

Marshmallow Financial services has denied accusations of misuse of confidential information in its ongoing legal dispute with Mulsanne Insurance. Mulsanne brought the case against the Insurtech start-up in March, claiming damages of at least £39m and accusing Marshmallow of stealing trade secrets and confidential information, including utilising its rating engine and other underwriting data relating to the pricing of Motor insurance policies.

Brokers have stated that they would be supportive of a flexible working charter for the broking industry. This follows the news from last week that the Association of British Insurers (ABI) had launched its Making Flexible Work Charter in a campaign which it said aims to attract and retain the best talent from all backgrounds to the sector. The ABI stated that firms that sign the charter commit to opening up the majority of their roles to flexible working, job sharing and part-time working.

Markerstudy has announced the expansion of its household product portfolio following the arrangement to partner with A-rated Accredited Insurance on the launch of new home insurance products.  Amanda Fox, Head of Broker Management and Product Governance at Marketstudy, said: “We’ve taken steps to venture into this market in a bid to bring new products to our Broker network.".

Zurich Resilience Solutions, part of Zurich Insurance Group has launched a new digital tool that allows UK corporations to educate, identify and manage the mental health risks associated with their workforce. The Zurich Risk Advisor (ZRA) app is a digital risk assessment tool that, the Insurer stated, had been designed to empower companies to understand their mental health exposures and then provide recommendations and insights linked to industry benchmarks.

Liberty Mutual Holding Company Inc. and its subsidiaries (collectively, LMHC) has become the latest insurance company to report its financial results for Q1 2021 and the group has posted a net income of $856 million (approx. £615.75 million), an increase of 64.9% or $337 million (approx. £242.42 million) over the same period in 2020.

Global health insurance provider William Russell has published what are described as “eye-watering” expatriate healthcare claims for the 2019-2020 period. According to the mandated Underwriter, the highest sums paid for medical treatment overseas were for cancer treatments. It was noted that in the abovementioned timeframe, 25 expatriate claims for cancer treatments exceeded US$100,000. Meanwhile, huge amounts were also seen in the area of maternity care. Other treatment types with racked up bills included dental and diabetes.

Sprout.ai – an Insurtech providing an advanced claims automation solution which processes claims within 24 hours – has managed to raise £8 million in Series A funding. Sprout.ai said that it will use the funding to support its hiring efforts – with plans to recruit top talent into its product, delivery, operations and technical teams. It will also look into growing its enterprise sales and partner networks, and will put money into R&D, focusing on natural language processing (NLP) and optical character recognition (OCR) technology.

Specialist insurance provider CFC has announced the launch of a new feature for its mobile app, Response. The app now allows users to activate cybersecurity tools such as deep scanning and dark web monitoring with a single click.

Results season continues with German reinsurer Munich Re outlining how it performed in the first quarter of 2021. In a release, Munich Re pointed to the company’s “solid start to the year,” with the group enjoying a profit of €589 million in the period. The net result signifies a leap from the €221 million profit posted in the same three-month span in 2020.

AXA has reported strong growth during the first quarter of 2021 – with total revenues up 2% to 31 billion euros. This performance was underpinned by sustained growth in AXA’s preferred segments, with P&C commercial lines up 4%, health up 5% and continued positive flows and a favourable mix in L&S.

Gallagher, in partnership with Doctors Indemnity, has launched a revolutionary new service for medical clinicians looking for Professional Indemnity insurance, tailored to the individual nature of their practice. Enabling quotes to be offered in a unique new way, the Doctors Indemnity product will enable clinicians to generate quote information via the Healthcode’s Private Practice Register platform (PPR), used by the majority of healthcare professionals in private practice to record client and practice information.

Covéa Insurance is delighted to announce it has entered an exclusive five-year Motor insurance partnership with John Lewis. Car insurance will be marketed by John Lewis, with policy administration, underwriting, pricing and claims service provided by Covéa Insurance.

It’s been 25 years since DOA commenced its journey of navigating the ups and the downs of the insurance ecosystem – riding out the storms of countless global incidents and utilising the lessons these provide to evolve its offering. Adaptability is the name of the game for the DOA team, according to company Director Matthew Oliver, as evidenced by its latest launch – the new SunWorld Travel Hub, directed at Brokers, which is hitting the market just as the prospect of widespread international travel starts to open up again.

Anti-money laundering rules should not be applied to general insurance, according to the Global Federation of Insurance Associations (GFIA). It believes that general insurance poses almost non-existent risk of money laundering or the financing of Terrorism.

The COVID-19 pandemic may have forced most into remote working conditions, but a recent social media survey conducted by the Chartered Insurance Institute (CII) found that many insurance professionals want to continue working from their homes. Half of the 3,902 CII members surveyed expect to work remotely two to three days a week once the government’s lockdown orders ease.

The Aviation insurance industry continues to seek rate rises after a difficult 2020, according to specialist reinsurance Broker McGill and Partners. “With more planes grounded than in the skies, 2020 was an unprecedented challenge for [the] Aviation industry,” McGill and Partners said. “As 2021 unfolds the near-term outlook still appears bleak for many airlines.”.

RSA Insurance Group Plc has announced what the group described as “excellent” operating results for the first quarter of 2021. In a trading update, which the Insurer clarified does not constitute an interim report, RSA said its gross written premium grew 2% from the same period in 2020 to £2.05 billion this time around. Group business operating profit, meanwhile, nearly doubled.

Aon has created an M&A and Transaction Solutions Advisory Board, as part of its thrust to grow its M&A practice across the UK and the Europe, Middle East and Africa markets amid a volatile economic landscape. The advisory board will provide counsel to Aon and its clients, as the brokerage seeks to expand its expertise in Warranty and Indemnity insurance (W&I), Tax insurance and Risk and insurance due diligence into areas such as Cyber and Intellectual Property (IP).

American International Group (AIG) has reported net income attributable to AIG common shareholders of US$3.9 billion (approx. £2.8 billion) in the first quarter (Q1) of 2021, up from US$1.7 billion in the prior year quarter. The Group attributes the significant increase (US$4.41 per diluted common share, compared to US$1.98) to higher net investment income, stronger equity market performance, and improved general insurance underwriting income.

Mergers & Acquisitions

European loss adjusting business Insurance Engineering Services (IES) has been acquired by London-headquartered Charles Taylor Plc for an undisclosed sum. Charles Taylor, which provides professional services to clients in the global insurance market, makes the swoop after snapping up Syndicate Claim Services in April, Cosulich Marine Consultants Group in March and Aegis Corporation in January.

Global Risk Partners (GRP) has confirmed that it has completed its acquisition of Marsh’s UK Networks business, following regulatory approval. David Hopwood, Head of the UK Networks business, joins the GRP executive and continues to head up the networks business under new ownership, with overall responsibility for building further growth and success for the network’s 256 members and around 400 trading Partners.

Aviva plc has announced it has completed the sale of its entire 40% shareholding in the Turkish life insurance and Pensions joint venture, AvivaSA Emeklilik ve Hayat AS, to Ageas Insurance International NV. Aviva received £122 million in cash consideration, which includes a £3 million dividend from AvivaSA received in March 20

Movers & Shakers

RSA has made a number of appointments this week, starting with Joanne Darkins as UK Profin Director. Joanne has worked for RSA for over 20 years in various roles. Nine new Trading Underwriters will also join RSA, based across the UK. Joining as Senior Trading Underwriter, Christopher Dunn will be based in Birmingham. Taking the title of Trading Underwriter, Joseph Carwardine joins RSA Birmingham, along with Michael Harvey. Laura Mallett joins in Horsham, Pamela Meikle will join in Glasgow, along with Taylor Montgomery. Andy Russell and Leanne Sanders will join in Manchester and Lewis Smith will join as Senior Trading Underwriter in London. 

The British Insurance Brokers’ Association’s (BIBA'S) International and Wholesale Advisory Board, one of the Broker-led advisory boards that are central to Biba’s governance, has appointed a new Chair. Ryan Bond, CEO of Marsh’s UK and Ireland International Wholesale Placement business, takes the position from 4 May 2021 and at the same time will also take a seat on Biba’s main Board.

In further news...Keith Frampton, who sadly passed away earlier this year, will be replaced by A-Plan Group Group Compliance Officer Jonathan Cumpstey as Chair of the Motor panel at the British Insurance Brokers’ Association (BIBA). Cumpstey has been with the panel since 2013 and was Deputy Chair from 2017. Succeeding him as Deputy Chair is One Call Chief Executive Nik Springthorpe.

Allianz has promoted Emily Mills to the newly created position of Operations Manager for claims. The provider said the role will bolster its ongoing investment in digitalisation and customer service delivery.

Dave Clapp, formerly CEO of County Group, has been appointed to lead Minority Venture Partners (MVP) and Ataraxia following the retirement of James McCaffery.

Zurich Insurance Group has hired three-decade industry veteran Timothy Powell, who will be based in Switzerland, as Global Head of Financial Lines and Cyber effective May 24.

 

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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