Hailstorm losses swamp Insurance Australia profits

February 06, 2019

Source: Business Insurance

Insurance Australia Group Ltd.’s profit declined more than 9% year over year to $500 million Australia ($357 million) in the six months ended Dec. 31, 2018 driven by Sydney hailstorm-related losses, The Sydney Morning Herald reported. Gross written premiums totaled nearly AUD 6 billion while the insurer’s underlying margin grew more than 16%. Insurance profit fell 33% to AUD 496 million.

Forest fires force Chile to declare state of catastrophe

February 06, 2019

Source: Business Insurance

Sebastian Pinera, president of Chile, declared a state of catastrophe after forest fires burned more than 8,000 hectares of land across southern Chile, Prensa Latina. Mr. Pinera declared the state of catastrophe in the regions of La Araucania, Biobio and Los Rios.

Reinsurance prices to rise this year: Peel Hunt

February 06, 2019

Source: Business Insurnace

 U.K.-based consultancy firm Peel Hunt L.L.P. said that reinsurance prices would rise this year, driven by factors related to increasing claim volumes and waning profits, Artemis.bm reports. Analysts at Peel Hunt said that insurance-linked securities funds sought rate increases at the January renewals and are likely to continue to achieve higher prices this year.

Things to consider when choosing an insurance broker:-

Author: Arthur Bogle  

For most people, reading and understanding insurance contracts can be a daunting task. Understanding your coverage and how it compares to alternative options available is important as it can have a significant impact on your financial security. Having a representative to assist you can save you valuable time and money. Things to consider when choosing an insurance broker:- 1. Agents vs. Brokers There are two different ways to get insurance from an insurance company. Direct writers i.e agents of the company are hired by insurance companies as their own sales people to write exclusively for them; they work for the company that employs them. Independent brokers work for the insured, not the company. However, they have contracts with multiple insurance companies and can usually offer you more options. As Commercial entities require more specialized technical knowledge, brokers are better suited to handle such accounts, and this is why a significant majority of Commercial Policies are placed through brokers. 2. What type of insurance do you need? Some brokers will offer many types of insurance and some will be limited in their offerings. For example, some might only offer personal lines insurance whereas others will offer both personal and commercial lines. If you own a business and are looking for an agent to write your commercial insurance, you want to make sure they have some experience with your industry. 3. Technical Knowledge & Credentials: You should always ask the account executive about their experience before trusting them as your insurance advisor. One indication of their technical knowledge is if they have letters after their name. These letters stand for professional insurance designations that signify a higher level of experience and competence. Some of the more common designations are CIC, ACII, CIP, CPCU, ARM and CRM. Other things to look for are years of experience and education. 4. Questions to ask: When deciding on which brokerage you want to work with Some good questions to ask them are: o How many staff do you employ? o What is your reach? Can you access overseas markets? o What is your experience in my industry? How many years have you been writing this type of insurance? o How long have you been in business? o How many companies do you represent? Which ones? 5. Do your homework: Before selecting a brokerage, you should first do your homework on the company as well as the account executives. Your first step is to google the brokerage- Are there any news articles about them? Have they faced any lawsuits? Are there any reviews? Have a look at their website. Is it professional? Are there any testimonials? You may also want to look at their social media pages (Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, Twitter, Instagram) for reviews and educational content. 6. Service Expectations: A good way to gauge if the account executive can live up to your expectations is by asking them for a quote before you commit to doing business with them. This should give you a good idea of how efficient they are (how fast they can get you a quote), how thorough they are when explaining what coverage you’re afforded in the policy, why the price varies if more than one quote is provide. Just as it is important to understand and consider your coverage when placing your coverage, it is important to evaluate your service provider up-front. This is who you will be relying on to assist you when you have a claim, which is a stressful time under the best of circumstances.

France fines Google $57 million for European privacy rule breach

Thomson Reuters January 22, 2019 (Reuters) —

Source: Business Insurance  France’s data protection watchdog CNIL fined Alphabet Inc.’s Google €50 million ($57 million) on Monday for breaching European Union online privacy rules, the biggest such penalty levied against a U.S. tech giant. The French regulator said the world’s biggest search engine lacked transparency and clarity in the way it informs users about its handling of personal data and failed to properly obtain their consent for personalized ads. The EU’s General Data Protection Regulation, the biggest shake-up of data privacy laws in more than two decades, came into force in May. It allows users to better control their personal data and gives regulators the power to impose fines of up to 4% of global revenue for violations.

Insured cat losses reach $90B in 2018: Aon

Matthew Lerner

January 22, 2019

Source: Business Insurnace

Natural catastrophes caused $90 billion in insured losses in 2018, the fourth highest total on record, according to a report Monday from Aon PLC. The 394 natural catastrophe events generated economic losses of $225 billion, according to Aon’s Weather, Climate & Catastrophe Insight: 2018 Annual Report. Further, 2017 and 2018 now form the costliest back-to-back years on record for both insured losses across all perils at $237 billion and economic losses solely due to weather-related events at $653 billion, Aon said. The tropical cyclone peril was the largest single driver of loss as several significant storms made landfall, including hurricanes Michael and Florence in the U.S.; typhoons Jebi and Trami in Japan; Typhoon Mangkhut in the Philippines, Hong Kong and China; and Typhoon Rumbia in China, the report said. Major events during the year included a series of major wildfires in Northern and Southern California with the costliest the Camp Fire at $12 billion, California’s deadliest and most destructive fire on record. “Catastrophe risk continues to evolve,” Steve Bowen, director and meteorologist at Aon’s Impact Forecasting team, said in the statement. He added that the combination of socioeconomics, shifts in population and exposure into vulnerable locations, plus a changing climate are contributing to more volatile weather patterns. Other significant events included Windstorm Friederike, the fifth-costliest European windstorm of the 21st century with insured losses of $2.1 billion, the report said.

Sydney hailstorm causes nearly $500 million of damage

1/9/2019 4:57:00 AM

Source: Business Insurance

The Insurance Council of Australia said the hailstorm that hit Sydney and parts of New South Wales in December 2018 caused more than $670 million Australia ($478 million) worth of damage, News.com.au reported citing Australian Associated Press. Many homes and businesses suffered damage to roofs, awnings and solar panels, with more than 81,000 claims being lodged so far.

Two quakes strike Venezuela

1/9/2019 4:54:00 AM

Source: Business Insurance

Two earthquakes struck Venezuela’s north coast within hours on Jan. 7, Loop TT reported. According to an update from the University of the West Indies Seismic Research Centre, the first quake had an intensity of 4.5, while the second measured 4.6 on the Richter scale.

Italian companies lose $900 million to cyber attacks

1/9/2019 4:53:00 AM

Source: Business Insurance

Italian companies lose around $900 million per year to cyber attacks and data theft, Fresh Plaza reported. The problem has been affecting the fruit and vegetable sector as well.

Natural disasters cost insurers $80 billion in 2018: Munich Re

Matthew Lerner 1/8/2019 9:45:00 AM

Source: Business Insurance

 Insured losses from natural catastrophes totaled $80 billion in 2018, well above the inflation-adjusted average for the last 30 years of $41 billion but just over half of the record $140 billion shouldered by the industry in 2017, according to a report released Tuesday by Munich Reinsurance Co. Overall economic losses totaled $160 billion, again above the inflation-adjusted average for the last 30 years which was $140 billion but under half the $350 billion in total losses seen in 2017, the reinsurer said. The most costly events were the Camp Fire in Northern California, which caused insured losses of $12.5 billion, and Hurricane Michael with insured losses of $10 billion, the report said. California “saw the most damaging wildfires in U.S. history,” Munich Re said, including the November Camp Fire, which “more or less completely destroyed the small town of Paradise,” and the Woolsey Fire, which caused approximately $4 billion in insured losses near Los Angeles. In total, wildfires in California caused $18 billion in insured losses.“Our data shows that the losses from wildfires in California have risen dramatically in recent years,” Ernst Rauch, Munich-based head of climate and geosciences at Munich Re, said in a statement released with the report. Hurricanes in the U.S. cause one-fifth of overall losses worldwide, Munich Re said, adding that worldwide cyclones caused above-average overall losses of $56 billion in 2018, about half of which are insured. The typhoon season saw a total of seven storms hit or skirt the islands of Japan in 2018. Five of the storms made landfall or came very close to land with typhoon strength and brought with them torrential rainfall, Munich Re said. The most severe storm was Typhoon Jebi with insured losses of around $9 billion, making it one of the costliest typhoons in Japan’s history, Munich Re said. “2018 saw several major natural catastrophes with high insured losses,” Torsten Jeworrek, member of Munich Re’s board of management, said in the statement. “These included the unusual phenomenon of severe tropical cyclones occurring both in the U.S. and Japan while autumn wildfires devastated parts of California.”