Please note the following change in class schedule:-
2 January, 2018
8 January, 2018
15 January, 2018
23 January, 2018
29 January, 2018
5 February, 2018
Please note the following change in class schedule:-
2 January, 2018
8 January, 2018
15 January, 2018
23 January, 2018
29 January, 2018
5 February, 2018
|Storm Eleanor/Burglind insured losses could reach $1.9 billion: AIR Worldwide|
|AIR Worldwide estimates insured losses from winter storm Eleanor/Burglind will reach between €1 billion ($1.2 billion) and €1.6 billion ($1.9 billion).
The majority of losses are expected in Germany, France, the UK, Belgium, Switzerland, and the Netherlands.
Winter storm Eleanor, known as Burglind in Germany, had wind gusts reaching up to 100 mph and flooding was reported in impacted countries including Germany and France.
Structural damages are reported in Ireland, the UK, France, and Germany, where roofs were damaged or blown off, scaffolding was stripped from buildings, and signage was destroyed.
Included in AIR’s modeled insured loss estimate is insured physical damage from wind to property, both structures and their contents, and losses to insured forestry in Finland, Norway, and Sweden.
Not included in AIR’s modeled insured loss estimate is losses due to coastal or inland flooding, business interruption and additional living expenses (ALE) for residential claims for all modeled countries, except the UK, losses to uninsured properties, losses to infrastructure and demand surge.
|RGA and RenaissanceRe launch Langhorne Re|
|Reinsurance Group of America (RGA) has partnered with RenaissanceRe Holdings to launch Langhorne Re, a global reinsurer targeting large in-force life and annuity blocks.
It said the new reinsurer has secured $780 million of equity capital commitments, including from RGA and RenaissanceRe.
Langhorne Re will allow RGA and RenaissanceRe to purchase large in-force life and annuity blocks, enabling clients to de-risk and optimize their capital management.
Scott Cochran, Executive Vice President, Corporate Development and Acquisitions, RGA, said: “Powered by the complementary and industry-leading capabilities of RGA and RenaissanceRe, Langhorne Re is uniquely positioned to provide competitive and flexible solutions that expand RGA’s existing client offerings.”
Aditya K. Dutt, President, Renaissance Underwriting Managers, said: “RenaissanceRe’s experience with managing third party capital and sophisticated risk management combined with RGA’s experience in the life market make this a very attractive partnership.”
|Verisk launches personal lines flood insurance program|
|Verisk has launched a new personal lines flood insurance program designed to make flood coverage widely available to homeowners anywhere in the U.S., through its ISO business.
The new ISO personal lines flood program will enable insurers to enter the private flood insurance market, the company said.
It will offer broad and flexible coverage options in a template similar to the standard homeowners policy that is already familiar to most consumers.
Through the program, insurers will be able to offer coverages and deductibles with options to include additional living expenses, other structures on a property, and damage to personal property in a belowground area.
Marc Treacy, Managing Director of flood at ISO, said: “This program presents a new opportunity for insurers to grow their homeowners book by providing robust flood risk protection to an underserved segment.
“Innovative insurers can be at the forefront of market disruption with a comprehensive property risk solution that provides needed insurance to new customers and fresh coverage options for existing customers.”
“Innovative insurers can be at the forefront of market disruption with a comprehensive property risk solution that provides needed insurance to new customers and fresh coverage options for existing customers.”
|Zurich appoints Germany CEO|
|Zurich has appointed Carsten Schildknecht as Chief Executive Officer of the Zurich Group Germany, effective February 1, 2018, Reinsurance News has reported.
Dr. Schildknecht succeeds current CEO, Marcus Nagel, who has decided to leave the company to face new professional challenges.
Mr. Nagel joined the company in 2008 and has been responsible for the overall business as CEO of the Zurich Group in Germany since 2016.
Most recently Dr. Schildknecht served as Group Chief Operating Officer and member of the Group Management Committee of the Generali Insurance Group.
Gary Shaughnessy, Zurich CEO Europe, Middle East & Africa, said: “I’m delighted that Zurich continues to attract top talent, and Carsten Schildknecht will continue to drive profitable business growth in Germany and help us drive our strategy of innovation and simplification in the interests of our clients, with extensive expertise in FinTech.
|2018 will see a number of insurtech companies fail, says XL Innovate|
|Too many insurtech start-ups are focused on “low hanging fruit” and those that cannot find unique solutions or gain traction will fail in 2018, according to Martha Notaras, a partner at venture capital firm, XL Innovate.
Writing in Digital Insurance, she says that whilst the number of funded insurtech companies continues to accelerate, with a record $946 million invested across 64 companies in Q2 of 2017 according to data from Willis Towers Watson and CBInsights, companies that have been in the market and haven’t been able to articulate a unique solution or gain traction will fail.
She also predicts that as the market matures, investors will be able to more accurately judge which products and services can really influence the insurance value chain.
She said there will be more acquisitions as the insurance industry decides to buy in skills such as artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning and data sciences.
Ms Notaras said the big tech companies such as Facebook, Google, Apple, Amazon and Netflix do not want to become insurers but rather they aim to deliver insurance coverage to their customers.
She said there had been a dearth of insurtech start-ups that were focused on commercial insurance, but this will change in 2018.
Commercial insurance is a $300 billion market that is “ripe for new technology solutions and data sources”.
She said even a one percent increase in cost savings would be a multi-billion opportunity.
“Watch for things to heat up as insurers and tech star-ups get into the details and identify where they can work together to make an impact,” she wrote.
|Twelve Capital launches catastrophe bond Dodeka XIV|
|Insurance and reinsurance investment manager Twelve Capital has issued its latest series of private catastrophe bonds Dodeka XIV.
Dodeka XIV is a $35 million cat bond that features cover for second event risk across all natural perils in the United States.
The company said that all cat bonds issued from the Dodeka program are only available for funds and mandates managed by Twelve Capital, who have fully absorbed the entire issuance of this transaction.
Sandro Kriesch, Managing Partner and Head of ILS at Twelve Capital, said: “The Dodeka program allows our cat bond funds to invest into perils that are not readily available in securities format, resulting in improved portfolio diversification, or into transactions exhibiting more attractive economic terms.
“Especially in the aftermath of the recent hurricanes, the Dodeka program allows Twelve Capital’s investors to benefit from the current increases in premiums across collateralized reinsurance and retrocession markets.”
|Arch Capital revises 2017 Q4 catastrophe loss estimates|
|Arch Capital has revised its loss estimates for the fourth quarter of 2017 – primarily related to California wildfires – to pre-tax losses of $60 million to $75 million, net of reinsurance recoveries and reinstatement premiums.
The company said that this figure includes and updates the initial $30 million to $55 million range previously disclosed in its third quarter report.
The most recent estimate includes the second series of California wildfires as well as other catastrophic events from around the globe.
Due to the reduction in the U.S. corporate tax rate from 35% to 21%, Arch Capital anticipates that it will write down a portion of its deferred tax asset by approximately $15 million to $20 million in Q4.
The company also estimates that the effective tax rate on pre-tax operating income for the fourth quarter of 2017 will be in a range of 17% to 20%.
|XL Catlin appoints EMEA Head Of M&A Insurance|
|XL Catlin has appointed Simon Price as Head of Mergers and Acquisitions in its insurance operations for EMEA.
Based in London, Mr. Price will be responsible for all of XL Catlin’s EMEA business, including all international business placed through the London market.
He brings with him 17 years’ transactional experience and joins the company from Marsh’s Private Equity and M&A practice.
Richard Belsey has also joined XL’s insurance operations as an underwriter also based in London.
Brian Benjamin, Global Head of M&A, said: “Today, global M&A activity is on the increase and the demand for insurance coverage is also on the rise.
“We are excited to have this team in place in London and welcome the deep transactional experience that Simon and Richard bring to our expanding platform.”
|FEMA expands reinsurance program|
|The U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has increased its reinsurance placement for the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) for 2018, securing $1.46 billion of coverage.
The reinsurance agreement is with 28 private reinsurance companies, effective from January 1, 2018, to January 1, 2019.
The program is structured to cover 18.6% of losses between $4 billion and $6 billion, and 54.3% of losses between $6 billion and $8 billion.
FEMA paid a total premium of $235 million for the coverage, the release said.
Roy E. Wright, Director of FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program, said: “Recent flooding disasters make even clearer the need for FEMA to share more of the financial risk from flood insurance with the private markets. Congress provided us the authority, and FEMA is committed to expanding the use of these risk transfer tools.”
“As of January 1, 2018, more than 91 thousand survivors filed claims for Hurricane Harvey, and FEMA has paid over $7.6 billion in losses to those policyholders.
“With reinsurance, FEMA strengthened its ability to recover from these flood losses, recovering $1.042 billion from the private markets.”
|Beazley strengthens newly-launched U.S. marine platform|
|Beazley has appointed John Moy as U.S. Marine Underwriter within the company’s newly-launched U.S. marine platform.
In his new role, Mr. Moy will be responsible for underwriting and building the company’s U.S. hull, protection and indemnity and liability business for the marine and marine construction sectors.
Most recently he served as Chief Underwriting Officer at Water Quality Syndicate and brings with him a wealth of experience in the marine sector.
The appointment follows Beazley’s announcement that it was establishing a U.S. marine platform with the strategic aim of capturing opportunities that do not typically get placed outside of the U.S. domestic market.
Steve Vivian, Head of U.S. Marine, said: “John’s depth of experience and expertise makes him uniquely qualified to build out our hull and liability portfolio in the US.
“He has an extensive network across the marine broking, insurance and client communities in the US and is highly regarded for his knowledge of the market. I am delighted that he is joining us at this important stage of our growth.”
|PERILS places second loss estimate for extratropical cyclone Xavier at $389.8 million|
|PERILS has announced its second loss estimate for extratropical cyclone Xavier, which affected Germany on October 5, 2017, of €325 million ($389.8 million).
The second estimate is a revised estimate of the property insurance market loss, compared to the initial loss estimate of €291 million ($349 million) on November 16, 2017.
In line with the PERILS loss reporting schedule, the third loss estimate for Xavier will be released six months after the event on April 5, 2018.
PERILS is an independent Zurich-based organisation providing industry-wide natural catastrophe exposure and event loss data.
|Everest Re appoints President and CEO of the Everest Insurance Division|
|Everest Re has appointed Jonathan M. Zaffino as President and Chief Executive Officer of the Everest Insurance Division, effective immediately.
In his new role, Mr. Zaffino will be responsible for planning and executing on the division’s business strategies and assume oversight for the Everest Insurance Company of Ireland and the Everest Lloyd’s Syndicate operations.
Mr. Zaffino most recently served as President of the North America Insurance Division at Everest Re and first joined the company in 2015.
Dominic J. Addesso, President and Chief Executive Officer of Everest Re Group, said: “Jon has done a tremendous job in the build out of the North America Insurance Division and elevating the Everest name in this important marketplace.
“His strong leadership capability and strategic vision make him the ideal candidate for leading the continued build of Everest’s global insurance brand.”
|Natural catastrophes make 2017 the year of highest insured losses ever: Munich Re|
|According to Munich Re, total insured losses for 2017 from global natural catastrophe events are expected to come to $135 billion, the highest ever recorded.
Including uninsured losses, the overall loss from hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria and the earthquake in Mexico, including other natural catastrophes, amounted to $330 billion, the second highest figure ever recorded.
The loss figure of $330 billion was almost double the ten-year inflation-adjusted average of $170 billion, for all types of natural disaster.
Insured losses were almost three times higher than the average of $49 billion and Munich Re identified a total of 710 natural catastrophes, significantly more that the average 605 per year.
Torsten Jeworrek, Munich Re Board member responsible for global reinsurance business, said: “This year’s extreme natural catastrophes show how important insurance is in absorbing financial losses in the wake of such disasters.
“Munich Re is willing to develop this business further – we have the necessary capacity and expertise.”
|PartnerRe strengthens property and casualty and specialty lines|
|PartnerRe has named Charles Goldie as Head of Property & Casualty following the retirement of Tad Walker.
Mr. Goldie’s previous role as CEO of Specialty Lines will be covered by PartnerRe CEO Emmanuel Clarke, assisted by Greg Haft as Deputy CEO specialty lines.
Mr. Haft will lead within Specialty Lines, a newly formed unit of Specialty Property, Marine and Energy and previously served as Head of Global Catastrophe and Property, North America.
Mr. Clarke said: “In both cases, I am very pleased that we have been able to draw on the strength of our internal talent to fill these important positions and to provide meaningful opportunities for growth for our leaders.”
|SCOR completes acquisition of MutRé|
|Frensh reinsurer, SCOR, has announced it has successfully completed the increase of its stake in mutual reinsurer MutRé to 100%.
The company said that the transaction will have an accretive impact on SCOR’s return-on-equity (ROE) and earnings per share, adding it is in line with the strategic plan “Vision in Action” and its profitability and solvency targets.
The acquisition of MutRé will also provide SCOR with the ability to strengthen its life and health reinsurance offering to the French mutual insurance industry, SCOR has been a major technical and commercial partner of MutRé since the company was created in 1998.
The acquisition fully respects SCOR’s close historical relationships with its mutual insurance partners, the company said.
|XL Group appoints Chief Enterprise Risk Officer|
|XL Group has appointed Jacob Rosengarten, Group Chief Enterprise Risk Officer has retired and has appointed Fielding Norton as his successor.
Mr. Rosengarten first joined the company in 2008 and will continue with XL Group on a part-time basis, working as an advisor to Stephen Robb, XL’s Chief Financial Officer.
Mr. Norton most recently served as Deputy Chief Enterprise Risk Officer and prior to joining XL served as Chief Risk Officer for Ironshore.
Mike McGavick, Chief Executive Officer of XL, said: “On behalf of our Leadership Team and our Board of Directors, I’d like to thank Jacob for his many contributions to XL and for his role in establishing and growing our enterprise risk management processes and for establishing XL as a thought leader in this space.
“It is very gratifying that our deep bench strength allows us to fill this critical role from within.
Fielding is a widely respected ERM leader with broad and deep experience across the spectrum of existing and emerging risks facing a company such as ours, with its broad global reach.”
|A.M. Best revises U.S. health insurance market to stable|
|A.M. Best has revised its outlook for the U.S. health insurance segment from negative to stable based on the improvement in earnings and risk-adjusted capitalization.
While individual exchange business has reported losses, this segment still constitutes only a small portion of health insurers operations and other product lines, particularly the employer group, remain profitable.
A repeal or replacement of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) is still a possibility.
However, the ratings agency argues that after several failed attempts to pass a bill in 2017, the House and Senate may choose to focus on other issues over the next year.
A.M. Best also believes that insurers have been able to handle the challenges facing the industry so far, and does not expect any significant deterioration in market conditions over the next year.
The ratings agency also notes that the improvement in risk-adjusted capitalization due to slower premium growth, combined with an improvement in earnings, is a trend that is expected to continue.
|NCM Re enters into $72 million quota share|
|The NCM Re vehicle, from insurance and reinsurance company Neon Underwriting, has successfully completed the first UK Insurance-Linked Securities (ILS) transaction, entering into a $72 million quota-share with Neon’s Syndicate 2468.
The risk transfer blog Artemis first reported in December 2017 that Neon had gained approval from the Prudential Regulation Authority to establish the first ILS vehicle to transact business in the UK.
The reinsurance agreement with Syndicate 2468 provides Neon with the ability to bring third-party investor capital into its structure to support its London market underwriting.
The transaction was completed on January 1, and sees NCM Re assuming a portion of Neon Syndicate 2468’s property treaty reinsurance and direct and facultative portfolios.
Martin Reith, Neon Group Chief Executive, said, “I am both excited and proud to see Neon making history – not only is it a testament to Neon’s commitment to doing things differently but it also underpins our attitude as a business – unafraid to lead the way and embrace change.”
|Athene announces deconsolidation of AGER|
|Athene Holding has completed the deconsolidation of AGER Bermuda Holding, the former holding of Athene’s European operations.
Following the deconsolidation, AGER will be renamed to Athora Holding and will launch in mid-January.
In 2017, AGER successfully raised €2.2 billion ($2.6 billion) in capital, which the company said was an important step towards AGER’s goal of becoming a European run-off consolidator and life reinsurance partner.
AGER announced in August 2017 its intention to acquire Aegon Ireland, a Dublin-based insurer, and expects to draw down capital to close the acquisition.
As part of the deconsolidation, Athene will remain a minority shareholder in AGER along with other global investors.
Athene will also be a preferred reinsurer for AGER’s spread liabilities and have representation on its board of directors.
|Pioneer Underwriters launches Ocean Marine division|
|Pioneer Underwriters has launched a new Ocean Marine underwriting capability and appointed Zach McAbee as Head of Ocean Marine.
The new division will initially focus on the North-West region of the U.S and will write hull/P&I and primary and excess marine liability.
Based in Seattle, Mr. McAbee joins the company from Crum & Forster where he served as Head of Ocean Marine and brings with him 20 years’ experience in the sector.
Gene Hinman, Chief Executive Officer of Pioneer’s U.S. operation, said: “Zach has an impressive track record of developing profitable books of business in this niche market and Pioneer will provide him with an excellent platform from which to trade with his established network of close broker relationships.
“This recent appointment is in line with our strategy to establish a regional hub network to access local markets and enhance the scope of our business.”
|A.M. Best revises U.S. commercial lines insurance outlook to stable|
|A.M. Best has revised its outlook of U.S. commercial lines insurance from negative to stable due to embedded change in the sophistication of the segment’s pricing and underwriting infrastructure and the segment’s resilience.
The ratings agency, which has had a negative outlook on the commercials lines segment since 2011, expects the sector to post an underwriting loss for 2017, but still record net profits.
While the pricing environment remains challenging, most companies within the sector have adopted tools that allow for greater insight into business profitability.
A.M. Best does note that challenges remain that could drive longer-term deterioration for the segment but does not anticipate any substantial deterioration in the market in 2018.
The ratings agency said: “Changes in underwriting and pricing fundamentals have resulted in core underwriting results that coupled with overall strong risk-adjusted capitalization levels are allowing companies to absorb shock losses that previously would have strained capacity.”
|Sompo International to acquire Lexon Surety Group|
|Sompo International U.S. has entered into an agreement to purchase the operating subsidiaries of Lexon Surety Group, the second largest independent surety insurer in the U.S.
The subsidiaries are comprised of Lexon Insurance Company, Bond Safeguard Insurance Company, and Fortress National Group.
The company said that all of Lexon Surety Group’s staff and office locations will be retained and the transaction is expected to close in March 2018, subject to regulatory approvals.
David Campbell, President of Lexon, will continue his role and be appointed Vice Chairman of the Lexon Board. Meanwhile Brian Beggs of Sompo International will become the Chief Executive Officer of Lexon.
Mr. Christopher Sparro, CEO of U.S. Insurance at Sompo International, said: “Lexon has a strong reputation in the surety market, and this acquisition will position us to substantially accelerate the growth of our U.S. primary surety portfolio and our presence in this specialized market.”
|Armour announces $500 million investment|
|Armour has announced it has raised $500 million in equity commitments in partnership with an investor group, led by Aquiline Capital Partners, Reinsurance News has reported.
The investment is to fund a new reinsurer, Armour Group, which will co-invest in global property and casualty run-off transactions in parallel with the investor group’s affiliates.
Through the investment, Armour will receive expansion capital for the new reinsurance group, as well as a platform to execute on the growing run-off market opportunities.
Brad Huntington, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Armour, said: “We are excited to have Aquiline as a partner as we enter our next phase of growth.
“Given Aquiline’s deep insurance industry experience, we believe they are an ideal partner to help us grow the team and scale our operation.”
Jeff Greenberg, Chairman and CEO of Aquiline, said: “Aquiline’s investment in Armour reflects the growing demand for run-off as an option for insurance companies that are looking to solve deteriorating reserve positions and optimize their capital.”
|Qatar Re acquires Markerstudy Group|
|Qatar Reinsurance Company (Qatar Re) has signed an agreement to purchase Markerstudy’s Gibraltar-based insurance companies, Markerstudy Insurance Company, Zenith Insurance, St Julians Insurance Company and Ultimate Insurance Company.
Currently Markerstudy underwrites more than 5% of the UK motor insurance market and generates premiums of about £750 million ($1.01 billion), the company said.
The Qatar Insurance Company Group has an existing relationship with Markerstudy through Qatar Re and QIC Europe (QEL).
Gunther Saacke, Qatar Re’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “This transaction builds on the strong foundation of our existing relationship.
“It provides Qatar Re with a greater share of lower volatility business that has performed consistently well for us, balancing our specialty and catastrophe book.”
Kevin Spencer, CEO of Markerstudy Group, said: “For a long time we have had a tremendous relationship with Qatar Re.
“Their proactive approach has assisted our development and this is a natural evolution; to combine our strengths to establish a primary player in the UK insurance sector.”
|Global (re)insurance market weathers one of the worst loss years on record: Willis Re 1st View|
|According to the latest 1st View renewals report from Willis Re ,2017 has proved to be one of the worst loss years on record for the global insurance and reinsurance market following recent catastrophes, which have caused an estimated $136 billion in losses.
Unfortunately for reinsurers, the catastrophe losses of 2017 are happening at a time when profitability in non-catastrophe lines is constrained and prior-year reserve releases are slowing, the report said.
For buyers, the shape of the global reinsurance industry in 2017 was significantly different to those previous years, with traditional reinsurers remaining strongly regulated and capitalized supplemented by Insurance-Linked Securities (ILS) capacity, which has grown to $75 billion.
According to the report, the ILS market showed resilience during the catastrophe losses in the second half of the year, comfortably weathering the first major test for a number of funds with investors prepared to recapitalize funds and provide liquidity for trapped capital.
James Kent, Global CEO of Willis Re, said: “No commentary on the January 1 renewal season can overlook the scale of human suffering and economic loss that the catastrophes in the second half year of 2017 have caused.
“The global reinsurance industry is central to alleviating the impact of the 2017 hurricane losses.”
|Growing protectionism poses threat to reinsurers: Kading|
|The recent U.S. tax overhaul is symptomatic of growing protectionism and threatens the global business model of Bermudian reinsurers, according to the outgoing President of the Association of Bermuda Insurers and Reinsurers (ABIR), The Royal Gazette has reported.
Bradley Kading said the provisions in new tax laws that discriminate against foreign reinsurers could potentially start a trade war between the U.S. and the European Union.
The new reforms in the U.S. will reduce the U.S. corporate tax rate to 21% from 35%, The Royal Gazette reported, quoting Mr. Kading as saying that it will “levy a base erosion anti-abuse tax on affiliated reinsurance business, will have an “individualised” impact among Abir members.”
“The bigger picture is that this U.S. tax law is an example of growing protectionism around the world,” Mr Kading said.
“If you are a global reinsurer and your business model is to pool global risk on one balance sheet to get the benefits of diversification, then protectionism, in the form of regulation or tax provisions, is dangerous.”
|Enstar reinsures $100 million of Allianz legacy business|
|Enstar has announced that one of its wholly-owned subsidiaries has entered into an agreement to reinsure a $100 million portfolio of Allianz SE’s run-off business.
The subsidiary will reinsure 50% of certain U.S. workers’ compensation and asbestos, pollution and toxic tort business and provide consulting services with respect to the entire $200 million portfolio.
Dominic Silvester, Enstar Chief Executive Officer, said: “In 2016, we partnered with Allianz SE to provide reinsurance solutions for legacy portfolios.
“We are pleased to continue building our relationship with Allianz SE by entering into another transaction that aligns with our core competencies and growth strategy.”
The business taken on by Enstar’s subsidiary was originally assumed by San Francisco Reinsurance Company.
|Run-off activity to increase in 2018 for European insurers and reinsurers: Clyde & Co|
|According to Clyde & Co, run-off activity is expected to increase in 2018 as insurers and reinsurers in Europe adjust to Solvency II and seek to minimise capital requirements, Reinsurance News has reported.
Many anticipated that Solvency II would bring a greater focus on legacy business for European insurers and reinsurers, Reinsurance News said.
However, many companies have prioritised other regulatory and legislative demands such as the Insurance Distribution Directive, new anti-money laundering requirements and the impending General Data Protection Regulations.
“Many re/insurers in continental Europe have a sizeable number of contracts in run-off,” Clyde & Co said.
“Management of this business is quite demanding in terms of the specific expertise it requires, as well as the demands it places on capital, immobilising funds and resources that could be used elsewhere.”
“Overall, the size of the European run-off market is estimated to be around €247 billion ($294.6 billion) of which France and the Benelux countries account for €41 billion ($49.4 billion), according to PwC.
|Willis Towers Watson releases Q3 InsurTech briefing|
|Willis Towers Watson has released its Third Quarterly InsurTech Briefing which examines how technology has the potential to disrupt national insurance markets and alter the global balance of power between insurers and reinsurers in developed markets and emerging economies.
The latest research, produced by Willis Towers Watson Securities and Willis Re, in collaboration with CB Insights, focuses on China and emerging Asia to illustrate the potential impact of technology innovation on legacy-free insurance markets.
It found that InsurTech investment continues to increase in emerging Asia despite the volume of funding decreasing in Q3 by 68% to $312 million.
Rafal Walkiewicz, Chief Executive Officer of Willis Towers Watson Securities, said: “China is the world’s third largest domestic insurance market, having recently recorded the most significant growth of any region globally, and we expect that continued growth of insurance in China will be relatively less constrained by existing infrastructure compared to more developed insurance markets.
“As the Chinese insurance revolution facilitates new mainstream products, like pure protection and product return, the Chinese economy is simultaneously driving the creation of new distribution models.”
Mark Hvidsten, Deputy Chairman of Willis Re, said: “Despite the daily noise about InsurTech, barriers to entry in the insurance industry remain high for the vast majority of InsurTech start-ups.
“But, irrespective of the limited impact that InsurTechs have had on developed insurance markets, it is becoming increasingly clear that legacy-free markets are proving to be more forgiving for innovative start-ups.”
|AIG rebrands Hamilton USA as Blackboard|
|American International Group (AIG) has launched a new technology-focused subsidiary, Blackboard, formally known as Hamilton USA, following the finalizing of its acquisition on October 2.
The new platform is expected to be in operation by the second half of 2018 and will be able to provide an integrated, digital, end-to-end commercial insurance experience, the company said.
Seraina Macia, Chief Executive Officer of Blackboard U.S. Holdings, said: “Our name acknowledges that there will be many advances in data and technology, and Blackboard will be the place where our people, clients, and brokers collaborate continuously to find better ways of doing business and to transform the insurance experience.
“Blackboard is a key part of AIG’s strategy to grow our business with the greatest competitive advantage and ability to serve our clients, today and into the future.”
|Sompo International launches global agricultural initiative|
|Sompo International has announced the launch of a new global agricultural initiative, AgriSompo, to provide agriculture insurance and reinsurance solutions.
The new platform will deliver a common underwriting approach with shared expertise and technology across a range of products and a wide variety of other agri-businesses, the company said.
AgriSompo will continue to operate in the U.S. and will be co-led by Avery Cook, Senior Vice-President, Global Agriculture, and Kristopher Lynn, SVP, Global Agriculture.
John Charman, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Sompo International, said: “AgriSompo is one of many major initiatives that we are undertaking as we fulfill our vision to build the first truly global integrated insurance and reinsurance business.
“By leveraging our extensive specialty agriculture resources across our overseas operating subsidiaries, we will deliver the best-in-class underwriting, risk management and technical solutions.”
|Fidelis launches MGA Radius|
|Fidelis Insurance has launched its first managing general agent (MGA), Radius, to begin writing business effective November 1.
The MGA will focus on niche specialty treaty excess of loss business, such as Cyber, Nuclear and PA Retro.
Rob Ashton has been appointed to run Radius and joins from Hiscox Re, where he was Head of Specialty.
Radius is the first MGA to be launched through Fidelis subsidiary Pine Walk Capital, which will be led by Rinku Patel.
Mr. Patel joins from Hyperion Insurance Group and brings with him a wealth of experience in the MGA and intermediary industry.
Richard Brindle, Group Chief Executive Officer of Fidelis, said: “We are delighted to have joined forces with Rob and Rinku furthering our strategy to sponsor specialist underwriting products.
“Rinku’s proficiency in managing MGAs together with our underwriting expertise, make Pine Walk a highly attractive destination for new or existing MGAs.”
|Natural catastrophes will lead to losses worldwide: MS Amlin|
|The recent natural catastrophe losses will lead to rate increases globally, not just on the loss-affected accounts, according to Bob Mellor, Head of International Property at MS Amlin.
Mr. Mellor told Intelligent Insurer at the Baden-Baden reinsurance meeting that it is the global nature of the reinsurance industry that will ensure that this rise in rates will be the case.
“It happens that the losses are concentrated in the U.S. but it’s the same capacity that supports our clients wherever they are in the world, so with the losses against that capital we expect those prices to increase,” Mr. Mellor said.
He went on to state that he anticipates that alternative capital will also be delivering on claims, especially the ILS funds based in the retro market, and then reassessing their position based on pricing.
“There is certainly a lot of capacity available but the key point is getting a return against that capacity.
“Whether that capacity will come back into the market for reloading depends on the pricing environment. I don’t think they will be enthusiastic if the returns are single-digit,” he said.
|SCOR records loss of $310 million for Q3|
|SCOR has reported overall losses of €267 million ($310 million) for the third quarter and a net income of €25 million ($29 million) for the first nine months of 2017.
Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria, and the Mexico earthquakes, resulted in a combined loss of €598 million ($695.7 million) pre-tax and net of retrocession.
Denis Kessler, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, said: “SCOR once again demonstrates its capacity to absorb shocks.
“The natural catastrophe events that occurred in the third quarter of 2017 are a serious wake-up call for the reinsurance industry and the Group is in a very good position to benefit from the new market environment.”
|Nexus acquires Credit Risk Solutions|
|Managing general agent Nexus Group has acquired specialist trade credit broker Credit Risk Solutions (CRS).
The transaction allows CRS to accelerate its growth via the acquisition of strategic targets in the regional broking market, the company said.
CRS will remain an open market broker, independent of the underwriting operations of Nexus and continues to be led by its founding shareholders Mike Clark, Hayden Tennant and Lisa Humphries.
Sue Morley, who recently retired from her role as Client Services Director of Nexus CIFS, will join the CRS board as a Non-Executive Director, post-acquisition.
Colin Thompson, Founder and Executive Chairman of Nexus, said: “We are excited to work with Mike, Hayden, Lisa and the whole CRS team to continue this success story in a market where we have a lot of expertise, and accelerate this growth via a buy and build strategy of regional Trade Credit brokers as well as add a UK regional footprint to our existing UK and international infrastructure.”
Mike Clark, Co-Founder of CRS, said: “This is an exciting opportunity for the CRS team. Nexus has identified credit insurance as a product area with considerable potential.
“We share that vision and, with their support and investment, are absolutely committed to growing this market.”
|Brit strengthens cyber and technology team|
|Brit has appointed Courtney Mocio as Vice-President of the cyber and technology unit at Brit Global Specialty USA.
Based in New York, Ms Mocio will be responsible for developing Brit’s Cyber and Technology portfolio in the U.S. and will report to Michael Carr, Senior VP for Cyber.
She joins from Nationwide Insurance Company, where she spent the last five years writing a book of cyber, technology and professional business.
Nick Davies, President of Brit Americas, said: “We are delighted to welcome Courtney to Brit as we look to build and strengthen our Cyber & Technology offering in the U.S.
“Courtney brings with her both excellent technical knowledge and a number of strong relationships within the broking community, which will be invaluable as we grow our existing distribution network.”