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As the month of March has finally rolled around, we'd like to share with you some safety tips on our traditional Easter…
One of the most popular requests that we are getting lately at the Academy of Insurance is: Do you have any training for new insurance personnel? By the way, the simple answer to that question is (as you may have guessed) maybe. You should be able to predict that from me. It is my favorite insurance word, after all.
Not to focus on what the Academy can provide for new insurance professionals, but if you’re looking for training for your new team members, you should look at the Academy’s catalog, or reach out to me, and we’ll help you find out what your needs really look like and how we might be able to help you.
That does beg the question: What does your new team member need to know to hit the ground running in their insurance career? Again, this depends on their role. The needs of a new personal lines CSR are different from a new commercial lines underwriter. The educational needs of someone that needs a license varies based on what license they need, what state they’re in, and how much formal training they need before they start. Many careers in insurance don’t even require a license. These are all factors that go into the question, what does my new team member need to know.
You do know the reason that this question keeps coming up, don’t you? The insurance industry needs to replace a workforce that is marching toward the ends of their careers. Agencies, companies, risk management firms, and MGAs are all out looking for great new talent. That’s one of the reasons that the Insurance Careers Movement is so important. You should check them out. Back to the question at hand, what does a new insurance professional need to know (this is not specific to any role)?
Your team needs to know why people buy insurance. They are coming into your office knowing what the rest of the world “knows” about insurance. They “know” that they need homeowners’ insurance because their mortgage company wouldn’t give them the mortgage without it. They “know” that if they’re in a flood zone some law out there is making them buy insurance. They ” know” that they needed an insurance card to get the license plate for their new ride.
They need to know the real reason that they’re buying insurance. It’s not just because some bank or the state are making them buy it. They buy insurance because it’s there to protect their assets when the catastrophic happens. Insurance exists to help people return to normal as soon as possible when the worst things happen. Every one of us has had those days when the car we were driving was a little older than we wanted but it was paid for. If we had a good agent, we probably kept some collision coverage on the car because there would be some money to help replace that old faithful when it got t-boned with your sons in it when they were trying to drive to the grocery story. Spend some time helping your team understand the importance of your business in an age when some are trying to make insurance a commodity.
Your team needs to know what the policies say. They cannot just look at policy extracts for their information. They must learn to read the whole policy. Those policy extracts are great when you’re trying to sell or simplify, but let’s use them wisely. They don’t tell the whole story and insurance professionals need to understand what the whole policy says.
Whether you are hiring underwriters, agents, or claims professionals, they all need to understand that an insurance policy isn’t just a simple read from page 1 to page 100. When I was a kid (and when my sons were in school) I read choose your own adventure books. Do you remember those? You read a bit of the story and it makes you choose between 2-3 options. Each option sends you to a different part of the book. You read a little more and make another choice, until you get to the end of the story and there were usually 3-4 different endings. That really prepared me for reading insurance policies, especially commercial policies. An insurance policy is impossible to read from front to back and understand fully. Each page brings the opportunity to send you to another page. One endorsement can completely undo entire sections of the page that you just read.
Your team needs to know basic risk management. Our industry is a part of risk management. Not all risks can be managed using insurance, but the impact of many risks can be mitigated by insurance. Having an understanding of risk management makes insurance professionals better at what they do. As an agent, understanding risk management can help customers understand how their insurance purchases fit into their overall risk management. If your team is on the company side, an understanding of risk management makes better underwriters. They can understand what makes a risk acceptable or not. They understand why your company likes certain risks and not others.
An understanding of basic risk management helped me get approval for a risk once that included personnel that were authorized to carry sidearms on their jobs. The underwriter that I had to get approval through was not comfortable with the risk. It seemed that SWAT medics that were armed were outside his risk tolerance. Understanding how these organizations train their people and how they mitigated the risks associated with firearms helped me to make the case that this was indeed a risk that was worth our consideration.
That should be enough to get you started. You know that you need new people on your team. If you don’t today, you will soon enough. Get them started on some of these basics and then make sure you’re investing in quality continuing education, designation programs, and other educational opportunities.
www.insurancejournal.com/blogs/academy-journal/2018/02/07/479634.htm – By Patrick Wraight (Insurance Journal)
OLDWICK, N.J.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–A.M. Best believes insurance companies’ investments in technology upgrades would help to make them remain relevant and benefit financially over the long term. A recent A.M. Best survey shows insurance companies concur and increasingly are harnessing data to improve all aspects of their business.
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Renters and property owners alike may soon have to dig deeper in their pockets each month due to last year’s hurricanes.
Show us just how much you love that special someone and you can win 2 free movie tickets to share with that person for Valentine’s Day!
All you have to do is like our Facebook event page below and comment with the hashtag #LoveCIIA and tag the person you want to take with you to the movies! Winners will be drawn on Feb 13th.
|Munich Re partners with Betterview|
|Munich Re has partnered with Betterview, a California- based AI startup, to supply drone imagery, analysis and reporting to Munich Re’s clients, Intelligent Insurer has reported.
Through the agreement, Munich Re will refer insurance company clients that can benefit from the building and property data, analysis and insights that Betterview offers for a fee.
Betterview also offers cloud-based software to organize, store and analyze the drone images it captures to support an insurance company’s underwriting inspection, loss control and claims adjustment processes.
Tim Brockett, Senior Vice-President, Munich Re, said: “We are always looking to collaborate and drive innovation activities with our insurance company clients.”
David Lyman and Dave Tobias, Co-Founders of Betterview, said: “We are extremely proud that Munich Re selected Betterview as its referral partner.
“With the close of our series seed funding round in September, Betterview is uniquely positioned to meet the evolving needs of Munich Re’s clients.”
|RenaissanceRe acquires minority share in Catalina|
|RenaissanceRe Ventures, a subsidiary of RenaissanceRe, has signed a definitive agreement to acquire a minority shareholding in Catalina Holdings (Bermuda).
The transaction is expected to close alongside the majority acquisition of Catalina by affiliates of Apollo Global Management (Apollo).
As part of the agreement, Aditya Dutt, President of Renaissance Underwriting Managers, will join the Catalina Board of Directors.
Chris Fagan, Chairman and Chief Executive of Catalina, said: “We’re delighted to welcome RenaissanceRe as shareholders in Catalina.
“They join us at time of significant opportunity to help us capitalize on the continued growth of the non-life legacy sector.”
Kevin O’Donnell, President and CEO of RenaissanceRe, said: “We are pleased to partner with Catalina as they have demonstrated a strong, consistent track record in managing legacy businesses.
“This transaction is consistent with our strategy to expand the suite of capabilities at our disposal to bring to our clients, through partnership with a proven industry leader.”
|Neon strengthens Political and Credit Risk offering|
|Neon has expanded its Political and Credit Risk team, with new hires across underwriting and credit analysis, and entry into financial guarantee.
Paul Barrett is the third appointment to the Political and Credit Risk team, and joins the company from Arthur J. Gallagher.
Mr. Barrett joins Anthony Vaughan, Senior Credit Analyst, and Paul Carrington, Underwriter, who were both appointed to the team in late 2017.
In addition, Neon has broadened its Political and Credit Risk offering to include financial guarantee, and increased tenors for existing products.
Darren Lednor, Chief Underwriting Office, said: “Last year, we significantly strengthened our capabilities and this momentum has continued into 2018.
“Our expanded team now offers a greater breadth of coverage with the addition of Financial Guarantee and increased tenor length across a number of products.”
Martin Reith, Group Chief Executive, said: “The development of our Political & Credit Risk team and appetite aligns with Neon’s refreshed underwriting strategy of offering bespoke solutions that go beyond traditional parameters.”
|ClimateWise appoints new Chair|
|ClimateWise, the group of 28 insurance industry leadership groups that is facilitated by the University of Cambridge, has appointed Dominic Christian, Executive Chairman of Aon Benfield, as its new Chair.
He succeeds outgoing Chair Maurice Tulloch, Chief Executive Officer of International Insurance at Aviva, whose term ended on December 31, 2017.
In his new role, Mr. Christian will provide support for ClimateWise by identifying commercial opportunities to help promote physical resilience to climate risk.
Tom Herbstein, Director of ClimateWise, said: “Dominic’s long and deep knowledge of insurance, coupled with his immense personal passion, makes him exceptionally well positioned to help us deliver a more sustainable insurance model.”
Mr. Christian said: “We need a proactive and collaborative response to tackle one of our most profound challenges – the widening climate risk protection gap. I have always admired ClimateWise for playing a unique leadership role in this critical area.”
|U.S. life reinsurers increase aggregate amount ceded to reinsurers: A.M. Best|
|Life and annuity insurers in the United States have increased the amount of policies ceded to reinsurers by 83% since 2006, a survey by A.M. Best has found.
The amount ceded is now $28 trillion, with reinsurance increasingly being used as a risk management tool, with capital management benefits as a secondary factor.
The report found that many life/annuity companies consider reinsurers as business partners, with half who responded to the survey saying the terms and conditions of the reinsurance contract were more important than price and security.
Ongoing consolidation in the U.S. life reinsurance segment has meant a more concentrated market, with the majority of the business spread between five companies.
The ratings agency believes there are significant barriers to entry of the U.S. life reinsurance markets, which leads to stability.
Insurers are increasingly using captives to aggregate and manage risks, especially when reinsurance is not “reasonably available”.
The report found U.S. life/annuity reinsurers cede most business to domestic reinsurers, with 30% going elsewhere for capital and tax efficiencies. Barbados housed 9.5% of ceded business in 2016, followed by Ireland (7.0%), and Bermuda (4.7%).
|Ironshore announces executive appointments in Bermuda|
|Ironshore has announced the appointment of Steve Horton as Chief Executive Officer at Iron-Starr, and Susan Pateras as Chief Operating Officer at Ironshore Bermuda.
Both will continue in their new roles to report to Mitch Blaser, CEO of Ironshore Bermuda.
Mr. Horton will be responsible for all aspects of the company’s operations across its three core business lines, providing specialty excess insurance products, and will continue to serve as head of Iron-Excess, the company’s newly-announced initiative to expand into the London and U.S. markets.
Ms Pateras will be responsible for business development on behalf of all Bermuda profit centers and will remain head of Iron-Starr’s Healthcare practice.
“Steve and Susan bring a wealth of experience to their respective new roles and have a proven track record of contribution to the success of Ironshore,” said Mr. Blaser. “I am delighted to promote such talent internally.”
|Global Insurance run-off market exceeds $700 billion: PwC|
|PwC’s Global Insurance Run-off survey has found the value of the global non-life run-off market exceeds $700 billion.
The survey has estimated that the size of North American non-life run-off market is $350 billion, and the rest of the world is $380 billion.
PwC predicts disposal of legacy business will continue to increase, driven by “further impetus from Solvency II in Europe, international insurers and reinsurers focusing increasingly on core underwriting and fulfilling a desire to gain either full legal or economic finality for their legacy liabilities through insurance business transfers or reinsurance arrangements”.
The survey found that run-off and legacy management is a priority for companies’ executive boards and anticipates Continental Europe to be the most active territory in terms of the number of deals, followed by the UK and the U.S.
Dan Schwarzmann, Head of Market Initiatives and Industries at PwC UK, said: “It is clear from our survey that the global run-off market remains extremely buoyant and there is growing recognition among insurers and reinsurers of the benefits of proactively managing legacy books.”
|Canopius strengthens U.S. management and professional lines team|
|Canopius has appointed William P. Kelly (Bill) as Senior Vice-President in the U.S. Management & Professional Lines team.
The appointment of Mr. Kelly is part of the company’s plans to build a diverse profitable platform of U.S. management and professional lines, the release said.
Mr. Kelly brings with him 25 years’ experience in professional and management liability lines and has held various senior underwriting and management roles.
Most recently, he served as Senior VP at Argo Pro, managing the error and omissions underwriting team.
Laurie Banez, Head of U.S. Management & Professional Lines, said: “Bill is widely respected by brokers and clients and has a diverse background of management and professional lines experience.
“As we expand our offering in the U.S., we continue to focus on doing so in the right way and with the right people, so I am delighted to welcome Bill to the team and I look forward to adding more top talent and introducing new products and services throughout 2018.”
|IACP holding 2018 European Conference in Zurich|
|Insurance and reinsurance professionals will be gathering in Zurich on March 8-9 for the International Association of Claim Professionals (IACP) 2018 European Conference.
The conference will include topics such as artificial intelligence, robotics and terrorism. In addition, James Kent (CEO, Willis Re) will be a key note speak at the event alongside Albert Benchimol (CEO, AXIS Capital). Other speakers include Dean Witherington (UK Head of Claims Performance, Zurich), Raghu Ramachdran (Head of Insurance Asset Channel, S&P), Dr Stefan Wiemer, (Swiss Seismological Service, Chair of Seismology and Director), Saad Mered, (Global Chief Claims Officer, Zurich), and John Pyall (Senior Claims Manager, Great Lakes).
To register for the IACP 2018 European Conference please visit iaclpro.org/event/iacp-2018-european-conference/ or via email to moc.l1521863551iamg@152186355171tca1521863551tnocp1521863551cai1521863551
|Lloyd’s Brussels subsidiary to open in 2019: Beale|
|In an interview with Reuters , Lloyd’s Chief Executive Officer, Inga Beale, has confirmed that the Lloyd’s of London market is on track to begin operations at its Brussels unit in January 2019.
Lloyd’s announced its decision to establish a European subsidiary last year after Britain voted to leave the European Union, and chose Brussels “because of its strong regulatory framework,” the report said.
Currently Lloyd’s application is with the Belgium regulator, and the insurance market is seeking office space and putting technology systems in place.
Ms Beale said: “We are hiring people, we hope to make some appointments shortly. We will have the Brussels subsidiary up and running by January 1, 2019.
“That is ahead of the actual official exit, but we run a market and we want to be ready for all of our businesses and syndicates that operate within the market. That’s why we are really pushing ahead.”
In discussing Lloyd’s hiring plans for the subsidiary, Ms Beale said: “it will be in the tens, probably, up to 40 or something,” and that they would move roles from other offices to the new subsidiary.
|Business interruption and cyber biggest global risks: Allianz|
|According to the Allianz Risk Barometer 2018 , business interruption and cyber incidents are the top business risks globally for 2018.
The 2018 Allianz Risk Barometer report is based on the insight of a record 1,911 risk experts from 80 countries.
Business interruption (BI) ranks the most important risk for business for the sixth year in a row, and for the first time includes cyber incidents as the most feared BI trigger – with BI also considered the largest loss driver after a cyber incident.
The report said that cyber has continued its upward trend on the risk barometer rising to second place in 2018, compared to its fifteenth ranking five years ago.
It is considered to be the top risk in 11 surveyed countries, including the Americas region, second in Europe and Asia Pacific, and is ranked the most underestimated risk and the major long-term peril.
Chris Fischer Hirs, Chief Executive Officer, Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty, said: “For the first time, business interruption and cyber risk are neck-and-neck in the Allianz Risk Barometer and these risks are increasingly interlinked.”
|Oscar Heath enters multi-year reinsurance agreement with AXA: report|
|Oscar Health, a health insurance start-up, has entered into a multi-year quota-share reinsurance transaction agreement with AXA’s International Employee Benefits (IEB) Division, Insurance Business has reported.
The announcement follows Oscar’s move to double its individual market presence to six states: New York, New Jersey, Texas, California, Ohio, and Tennessee.
The report quoted the company as saying that the partnership will help Oscar “accelerate expansion efforts and enable long term, capital efficient growth”.
Joel Klein, Oscar Health Chief Strategy and Policy Officer, said: “As Oscar prepares for its next phase of growth and pursues its mission to use technology to deliver better care at a lower cost, we will benefit from this strategic partnership with AXA and its global scope, deep reinsurance expertise, and a shared vision for the future of healthcare.”
Mattieu Rouot, AXA Senior Vice-President of International Employee Benefits, said: “AXA is transforming its model from a payer of claims to a partner for its clients. Our focus is on building relationships and empowering our customers.”
|XL Group appoints Head of Compliance & Regulatory Affairs in Bermuda|
|XL Group has appointed Leila Madeiros as Head of Compliance & Regulatory Affairs in Bermuda, effective April 2018.
In her new role, Ms. Madeiros will be responsible for providing both strategic and operational compliance and regulatory affairs support to XL Group in Bermuda.
Most recently, she served as Senior Vice-President, Deputy Director and Corporate Secretary of the Association of Bermuda Insurers and Reinsurers (ABIR), where she has worked for the past 12 years.
Sean McGovern, XL Group’s Chief Compliance Officer & Head of Government & Regulatory Affairs, said: “I am thrilled that Leila will be joining us as we build out our global Compliance and Regulatory & Government Affairs capabilities.
“Leila is highly regarded for her experience and wealth of knowledge of the Bermuda market and international regulation and policy.”
|Argo Group renews collateralized sidecar|
|Argo Group has renewed Harambee Re, its collateralized reinsurance sidecar vehicle, for the 2018 underwriting year, the risk transfer blog Artemis has reported.
Harambee Re was first established in 2013 as Argo Group began to work with third-party investors to gain access to efficient reinsurance capacity, the report said.
According to the report the Harambee sidecar has been focused on providing capacity to back Argo’s reinsurance underwriting book since 2015.
The renewal of the Harambee vehicle in 2018 is to aid Argo in securing a source of alternative capital to back specific property portfolios underwritten by its reinsurance division Ariel Re.
Mark E. Watson III, Argo Group Chief Executive Officer, said: “Harambee Re enables us to materially increase underwriting capacity for key business units and provide a more valuable product offering to the market.
“This renewal ultimately positions us to more aggressively pursue our mission to help businesses stay in business by providing innovative insurance and reinsurance solutions that meet and exceed expectations.”
|European reinsures to see rate increases of 1.5%: Deutsche Bank|
|Analysts at Deutsche Bank are maintaining a positive outlook on the European reinsurance sector and expect a price increase of 1.5% over the next two years, Reinsurance News has reported.
The January renewals season is the most important for European reinsurers as roughly 50% of the entire portfolio is being renewed during the period, the report said.
While the sustainability of any price increases has yet to be seen in the market, Deutsche Bank believes there is some short-term visibility for reinsurers.
Deutsche Bank analysts said: “Simplistically, this suggests a c.10% price increase on 15% of the portfolio that was loss affected and merely stable pricing on the remainder of the portfolio – which we think is not aggressive.”
The analysts added: “If we see price increases as expected in 2018, then the spill-over effects should still lead to at least stable price levels in 2019. Within our reinsurance models we reflected a real price increase of 1.5% over 2018/19 which is split into 1.25% in 2018 and 0.25% in 2019.”
|Davies Group acquires R&Q Insurance Services and Captive Management operations|
|Randall & Quilter has sold its Insurance Services and Captive Management Operations to Davies Group, a leading operations management, consultancy and digital solutions provider.
The agreed valuation for the businesses being sold is £20 million ($27.5 million), the net cash consideration payable by Davies, after deducting net debt applicable to the businesses, is approximately £18.6 million ($25.6 million), the company said.
Included in the sale is the share capital of JMD Specialist Insurance Services group and its subsidiaries, as well as Randall & Quilter Bermuda Holdings and its Quest subsidiaries.
Ken Randall, R&Q Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, said: “The sale of our Insurance Services and Captive Management operations is a significant milestone in the Group’s decision to simplify its operations and focus on our core areas of legacy acquisitions and the writing of quality program business, which is mostly reinsured to highly rated reinsurers.”
|Brit strengthens professional lines offering with new hire|
|Brit has appointed Rich Hartman as Senior Vice-President, Construction Professional at Brit Global Specialty USA (BGSU).
Based in New York, Mr. Hartman will be responsible for building and developing a construction professional book and will report directly to Tom Bongi, Executive VP of Professional Lines.
Mr. Hartman brings more than 35 years’ industry experience, with extensive experience in the construction sector.
He joins Brit Global Specialty USA from Arch Insurance Group, where he led the design and environmental division.
Nick Davies, President, Brit Americas, said: “Rich’s hire by BGSU builds strongly on the progress we have been making in developing and growing our Professional Lines offering under Tom Bongi’s leadership.
“Rich brings both a long-track record in the industry and a high level of technical expertise and we look forward to delivering his skills to our clients in the construction space.”