ILC Breakfast news 6 October


Testing time for insurers

Testing Tech: getting hands-on with solutions and evaluating what works,’ was hosted by ILC chairman Chris Ashworth, with panellists Alex Dalyac, CEO and co-founder of Tractable; Ian Thompson, CCO, Zurich; Tony Emms, insurance business advisor; and Gordon Vater, director, loss adjusting and claims consultancy, Gallagher Bassett.

Read more here or register to watch on demand here

Ecclesiastical agrees new tech deal

Specialist insurer Ecclesiastical has agreed a long-term partnership with insurtech Cytora.

As part of the deal Ecclesiastical will integrate the Cytora platform into its new business workflow. It believes this will facilitate further growth in specialist risk segments through more efficient, data-driven quote and risk assessment processes.

Ecclesiastical and Cytora already have a 12-month working relationship, having spent the last year unifying data flows and focusing capacity on priority risk segments.

DLG names new data boss

Direct Line Group has appointed Ash Jokhoo as its new chief information officer. He will also join the group’s executive committee.

Ash brings a wealth of experience to the company, joining from Virgin Atlantic where in his role as chief data and information officer he was responsible for technology transformation for both Virgin Atlantic Airways and Virgin Holidays. He has also held senior roles at Centrica, Talk Talk and BT. 

New report reveals China’s digital development

A new report has provided detailed analysis of China’s emergence as one of the world’s largest digital economies, while also revealing the megatrends that are driving innovation in the country.

Published by McKinsey & Company, the report reveals national ecommerce sales in the country, which amounted to $1.7tn last year, were driven mainly by innovation and disruption in areas such as omnichannel retail, social media, on-demand services, mobility, fintech, and healthtech.

Looking ahead, it identified six digital megatrends affecting the country now. They are: retail integration; the virtualisation of services; the mobility revolution; digitization of social life; industrial IOT/supply chain digitisation; and digital urbanisation.

Aviva extends start-up support

Aviva has committed a further £10m to support new start-ups in the UK.

It has made the investment through a five-year extension to its innovation partnership with Founders Factory, a global venture studio established in 2015 to back new disrupters. To date, Founders Factory has raised more than £400m in funding.

As part of the partnership, Aviva and Founders Factory will support seven start-ups each year across a range of industries.

Cyber policy prices on the rise

A spike in cybercrime during the pandemic has led to widespread rises in the cost of cyber insurance policies.

The latest Marsh UK cyber report found that 98% of clients that bought cover through the London market saw prices increase during quarter two.

This comes after a surge in UK organisations seeking cyber insurance in the first half of the year, driven largely by a growing reliance on technology within companies.


New study examines weather impact

Innovation Group has released its latest Technical Bulletin, examining the variations in weather throughout the UK this year and its impact on claims.

It identified a clear divide between the north west and south east in terms of rainfall, with surge claims fluctuating in parallel. It also identified a rise in subsistence claims in the first half of the year, which it attributed to more home-workers noticing cracks, plus the relaxing of stamp duty resulting in more surveys.

The survey also considered surprise findings in insurance claims, claim resolution and commercial claims.

Heritage homes warned of smash-and-grab raids

Stately homes have been warned about a rise in smash and grab raids. Specialist heritage insurer Ecclesiastical has reported 10 attacks in the past two years, with millions of pounds worth of items stolen.

These raids are particularly difficult to take precautions against as thieves often use extreme force to gain access to the property, while ignoring intruder alarms as they expect to have left the site before police can respond.


Survey reveals service satisfaction

A new survey of e2e Total Loss Vehicle Management has revealed that 92% of respondents rated the service as ‘outstanding.’

More than 350 insurance policyholders were contacted about the service they received in relation to the management of their total loss vehicle.

It also found that 92% of customers who had personal belongings returned to them after their vehicle had been collected stated that they had received ‘outstanding’ service, and when asked whether they would have considered the use of reclaimed parts in the repair of their vehicle, 52% said a definite ‘yes’ with a further 18% saying that they would have been keen to explore that option.

New partnership Ticker’s boxes

Connected motor insurtech Ticker has announced a new partnership with Abacai Group that it believes will increase capacity while at the same time developing artificial intelligence-enabled products that are clear, fair and transparent.

Ticker’s proposal focuses on drivers facing high insurance costs, such as van drivers or new drivers.

S&G secures customer service gold

S&G Response has achieved the Investors in People Gold Award from the Institute of Customer Service for the third consecutive time.

Having previously earned the accolade in 2014 and 2017, S&G Response retained the award after the anonymous survey found that 100% of employees think the company has clear values, 99% say behaviour reflects these values, and the same number feels trusted to make decisions independently.

The ICS was established to measure and drive up customer services across the UK.

Thatcham Research doubles apprenticeships

Thatcham Research has announced that more than 150 new starters will join its apprenticeship programme this year. The first batch of 35 young people were enrolled at the end of September, with a second group due to start in late November.

The 36-month Thatcham Research programme, which addresses all aspects of vehicle repair, including electric vehicles, combines remote learning with practical teaching at its state-of-the-art academy, and employs learning tools such as ecadamy and eportfolio.

Copart sets the CCA standard

Copart has secured global recognition for customer services for a third year in a row.

The UK leader in salvage and remarketing achieved the CCA Global Standard, an internationally-respected framework that assess the reliability and efficiency of customer service operations.

Copart earned reaccreditation after days of rigorous assessments.

Market News

Pen signs on the dotted line

Pen Underwriting has acquired Manchester Underwriting Agencies and its wholly owned subsidiary Manchester Underwriting Management (MUM) for an undisclosed sum.

Based in five locations across the UK, MUM has grown into a full-service underwriting team of 50 through a series of bolt-on acquisitions. It now generates more than £60m gross written premium.

Meanwhile, Pen has announced further acquisitions will follow as it strives to reach gross written premiums of near £750m.

Japanese insurer walks with Planck

Japan’s second largest insurer Sompo Japan has signed a deal with Israeli insurtech Planck to automate its commercial insurance.

It says the underwriting insights delivered by Planck’s artificial intelligence platform will improve decision-making and result in substantial cost savings.

Planck’s technology assesses millions of data points from across the internet and public records in real-time and applies deep-learning algorithms to help it measure risk according to a range of predefined parameters.

Business booms with record deals

New analysis suggests 2021 will be a record year for mergers and acquisitions, with 748 deals completed so far this year.

According to the latest results from Willis Towers Watson’s Quarterly Deal Performance Monitor, global deals have outperformed the World Index by 2.3% in the first nine months of the year, driven mainly by activity in North America in the first two quarters.

Momentum has continued into the third quarter with deal volume in the last three months the second highest for that period; analysis found that 264 deals over $100m were signed and more than double the number of deals than the same quarter last year.

Industry stalwarts announce new MGA

A new underwriting platform will launch on the London Market on 1 December.

General agent Arrow Risk Management will be led by chief executive Jon Godfray; chief underwriting officer Mark Harrington; chief operating officer Mark Bridges; and chief financial officer Lloyd Howson.

Former Barbican executives Godfray and Harrigton say the tech-enabled MGA platform will offer underwriters a cost-effective trading environment and attractive reward-proposition.


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