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General Insurance Newsletter - Thursday 29th March 2018

29 Mar 2018

Market News

The Chartered Insurance Institute (CII) has confirmed that it will be moving to offices at 21 Lombard Street in June this year. The new offices are close to Leadenhall Market and the Lloyd’s building and the CII has now stated that the move is part of its “commitment to modernising itself in line with its Strategic Manifesto”, adding that it will have a “technologically sound base from which to operate”.

Gable Insurance had 60,000 active policies in the UK and contracts with 12 UK Brokers at the time of its bankruptcy, according to its liquidator. The liquidator, Batliner Wanger Batliner, reported that England had been Gable’s largest market. In total, the unrated Liechtenstein-based provider had 130,000 policies in force at the time of its collapse across 11 countries and was working with around 30 Brokers who sold approximately 50 different products.

Bob Mackenzie, former Executive Chairman and Director at the AA, has spoken out following the unfortunate series of events that ultimately led to his filing of a wrongful dismissal claim against the Insurer and breakdown services provider. Mackenzie shared how he was “deeply hurt” when he was let go last year – at a time when he was undergoing treatment for depression at a psychiatric facility. It had been previously revealed that the 65-year-old – said to be overworked and under severe stress – was not well when he and Head of Insurance Michael Lloyd got into a fight.     

A list of global insurance firms, including IAG, Allianz and Ping An, are reported to be interested in Commonwealth Bank of Australia's insurance operations. All are said to have held preliminary discussions with CBA, according to a report, with sources suggesting that the general insurance business could be valued at $1bn.

Geo Underwriting, which rebranded barely two months ago, has a new Travel product for the High Net Worth (HNW) market. In partnership with Millstream Underwriting, Geo’s Private Clients division has developed an annual Travel product which the MGA says goes beyond the expected comprehensive cover. It is available either as a standalone policy or alongside Geo Private Clients’ Household offering.  

AXA Chief Executive Thomas Buberl has come to the defence of the Merger between the Insurer and XL Group, shedding light on the announcement made three weeks ago. Explaining the benefit of creating the top global Property and Casualty commercial lines Insurer with the acquisition, he said that the move aligned with AXA’s P&C strategy and was also not an expensive buy in comparison to rivals’ valuations.

A-Plan has bought personal lines and SME Broker Oliver & Sanders for an undisclosed sum. Oliver & Sanders has offices in Andover in Hampshire and Frome in Somerset. Both branches and all the staff are remaining with the firm.

South African tech specialist Genasys Technologies has opened an office in London, with the aim of shaking “up the provision of software solutions to the UK insurance industry”. The software house stated that it provides a cloud-based insurance management system that can be tailored to any insurance business, including Insurers, Brokers and Managing General Agents (MGA), across both personal and commercial lines.

Pool Re has welcomed the Government’s commitment to amend the 1993 Reinsurance (Acts of Terrorism) Act to enable it to extend its cover to include non-damage business interruption losses resulting from acts of terrorism. The reinsurer is currently restricted by the 1993 Act only to pay out if physical damage has occurred to commercial property. This means that businesses, inside a police cordon, that suffer financial loss through being unable to access their property or to trade, are only covered if there has been physical damage during a terrorist attack.

Allianz is celebrating a record year for fraud savings reaching a total saving of £62.8m. Allianz’s saving successes over 2017 included the Kartel ‘crash for cash’ case, which saw all four defendants involved handed prison sentences for six months each, after claiming over £30,000 for whiplash compensation.

Zurich UK has reached an agreement to acquire Oak Underwriting PLC from RSA Insurance. The agreement will transform Zurich’s scale in the high net-worth sector and reinforces the company’s focus on achieving a leadership position in its chosen markets. The transaction enhances Zurich’s existing high net-worth proposition, known as Zurich Private Clients and gives it a broader distribution platform and enhanced regional presence. Paul Glasper, Zurich’s Head of Specialist Retail, will lead both businesses.

LV, which announced a joint venture with insurance giant Allianz last year, wrote £1.6bn in premiums in 2017 and delivered profit before tax of £122m. The results are a significant improvement on the previous year when LV posted a loss of £12m.

The subrogation portal, which was launched by Aviva and Ageas in November 2015, has been described as a “fantastic” success. Currently used by 77% of the UK’s Motor insurance market, the portal is testament to how well Insurers can work together in order to help customers, according to Aviva claims director Andrew Morrish. By the end of the year, the portal is forecast to be utilised by over 80% of the market.

Tokio Marine Kiln (TMK) has launched Cyber Ctrl, an insurance and services policy designed to protect clients against the impact of cyber attacks. The Insurer detailed that the policy came with limits of up to $25m (£17.6m) or €25m. It also listed the perils covered as including Business Interruption; reputational harm – such as PR costs and loss of customers; and administrative errors as a standard trigger.

The top five most complained about Insurers in the UK in the second half of 2017 were Direct Line Group, under the name UK Insurance, followed byAviva, RSA, Ageas and Axa, according to figures published by the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS).

Acturis has partnered with InsurTech Gateway – which is backed by venture capitalist firm Hambro Perks – to provide “bespoke and exclusive technology solutions” to the incubator. The InsurTech Gateway was launched in November 2017 as a Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) authorised incubator for InsurTech. It provides the start-ups on its books with direct regulatory authorisation. The Gateway was set up to help start-ups access the market and shape products with real customers.  

With March 29 as effectivity date, TIB is the merger of Tasker Insurance Group’s (TIG) retail Brokers Maestro Insurance Services Ltd (MIS) and Tasker Southeast Ltd (TSE). It provides commercial lines insurance and specialises in Motor Fleet, Construction, Manufacturing and Warehousing. Through niche brands The Guest House Insurer and Pro Publican, TIB also covers the hospitality, pub and leisure market.

Flood Re has announced it will not pass the annual increase in premium thresholds on to Insurers for the first time. When the scheme was first established a statute outlined that it would increase premium thresholds to match the Consumer Price Index at the start of a financial year – but this year the premiums for Insurers will be frozen when they cede policies to the scheme. According to Chief Executive Andy Bord, the scheme is in a healthy position and that has helped with the move which should ultimately benefit customers too.



Market Movers and Shakers 

David Ledger, who has been with Aon UK Ltd for 21 years, is retiring before Easter. Aon has appointed Nathan Shanaghy as Chief Operating Officer to succeed Ledger from 1st April. 

Adrian Colosso has signed up to work with Brendan McManus at PIB in a Non-Executive Director (NED) role. He has also been appointed as a NED for PIB-owned Thistle Insurance Services and TFP Schemes.

Allianz Insurance has two new senior hires in Scotland as it continues to widen its presence in the region. Chris Hanson, has been appointed as Distribution Manager and Scott McLuskey has been appointed as Business Developer to grow Allianz’s general insurance business held across a panel of global, national, and independent Brokers across Scotland. 

RSA Mobility has appointed Catherine Frosy as its Managing Director with immediate effect.

The Employers’ Liability Tracing Office (ELTO) has appointed AXA Insurance UK's Head of Casualty, Fleet and Motor Trade insurance, Steve Browne as it's new Chair.

Thomas Miller P&I has announced that the present Chairman and Chief Executive, Hugo Wynn-Williams, will hand over the reins as Chief Executive to Andrew Taylor, the current Chief Finance Officer, effective 1st May 2018. Taylor and Wynn-Williams have worked closely together for over four years which will ensure a smooth handover of Chief Executive responsibilities in the coming months. Taylor’s role as Chief Financial Officer will be passed to Nigel de Silva. 

American International Group, Inc. has announced that Ed Dandridge will join the company as Head of Marketing and Communications, General Insurance, effective April 16, 2018.

PRS Underwriting has made a series of new hires: Alex Craig has been appointed as European Pricing Manager and Jo Nixon has taken the position of European Risk Consulting Manager, whilst James Ellis becomes the UK&I Underwriting Manager.

XL Catlin has promoted Melissa McDermott to Head of Pricing for Global Lines.

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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