ILC Breakfast News – Wednesday 15 December 2021


Robotic Research secures external funding

Robotic Research has announced a $228m funding round which will drive innovation and expansion within its commercial division, RR.AI. The funding is the first outside investment raised by the company, which is a global leader in autonomous mobility and robotics, delivering solutions for commercial truck, bus, drayage and logistics vehicles.

Investors included SoftBank Vision Fund 2, Enlightenment Capital, Crescent Cove Advisors, Henry Crown and Company, and Luminar Technologies, Inc.

AgentSync achieves unicorn status

AgentSync has become the only unicorn developing infrastructure specifically for the US insurance industry. This follows a $75m Series B funding round, at a valuation of $1.2bn.

The funding was led by Valor Equity Partners with participation from Craft Ventures, Tiger Global, Atreides Management, Anthemis, and existing investors, and brings the total investment raised by AgentSync to $111.1m in the last 17 months, since when the company’s valuation has grown by a factor of 55.

Aon enhances cyber security solutions

Aon has confirmed that it will implement Guidewire’s Cyence Risk Analytics risk selection and accumulation management products to enhance security and underwriting for clients. This is in response to the rising risk of cyberattacks and ransomware.

It believes that Guidewire’s extensive cyber data listening and modelling expertise will help it develop new solutions that directly address underwriting and reinsuring cyber risk, while at the same time helping clients mitigate exposures like cyber accumulation and ripple effects.


Gemini joins ILC partners

Gemini Accident Repair Centre has become ILC’s first repairer Corporate Partner as well as an ARC360 Repairer Associate. Gemini is the UK’s largest automotive repair business with more than 30 locations from the south coast to Scotland and has developed a burgeoning reputation for customer service and apprenticeship-development.

Mark Hadaway, Managing Director at ILC and Co-founder of ARC360, said, “Gemini has never lost sight of the need for the sector to work together in an open and cooperative manner to bring about lasting change. We couldn’t be prouder to announce Gemini as our first repairer Corporate Partner and ARC360 Repairer Associate.”

Green party for award winners

The Green Parts Specialists and Ageas Insurance have jointly won the commercial category at the prestigious MRW National Recycling Awards, which reward excellence in the recycling and resource management sector.

Judges recognised their collaboration in introducing green parts to the automotive repair sector, acknowledging that both organisations are early adopters in a market that is accelerating the transition to a circular economy.

Copart supports Ben appeal

Salvage experts Copart is getting behind the Ben Automotive Charity’s Christmas Appeal, which hopes to raise upwards of £500,000.

Copart has been supporting the industry charity since 2015 and recognises that while demand for its health and wellbeing services has escalated during the pandemic, the last few years have been challenging with so many fundraising events cancelled.

OIC portal ‘unfit’ for purpose

Matthew Maxwell Scott, executive director of ACSO, has described the new Official Injury Claim (OIC) portal as unfit for purpose despite an increase in claimants in the second quarter of operation.

There were 68,359 claims registered on the portal in the quarter, up from 45,718 in the previous three months, with the number of new cases increasing monthly. But fewer than 10% of these were brought by litigants in person, with Maxwell Scott saying the portal is too ‘complex, legalistic and difficult to use.’

Home & Property

Insurers critical to net zero future

The UK will not achieve its environmental targets without the support of the insurance sector.

COP26 established a number of commitments to tackle climate change, while the UK government has pledged to decrease 1990 emissions levels by 78% by 2035.

However, to have any chance of achieving this the entire economy will have to shift. What that might mean for insurers was set out recently by the Association of British Insurers in its Climate Change Roadmap which highlights the critical role the industry has.

Marsh names new COO

Leading insurance broker and risk advisor Marsh has appointed Catherine Read as Chief Operating Officer (COO), UK & Ireland. Subject to regulatory approval, she will join the UK & Ireland executive committee and the board of Marsh on 4 January.

Her role will include supporting the development of operational and technological capabilities that enhance the colleague and client experience across the region.

Davies acquires BVS

Davies has acquired Building Validation Solutions Group of companies (BVS), a leading provider of tech-enabled, end-to-end property claims services.

Based in Bolton, BVS provides coverage across the UK and specialises in end-to-end claims management, property and subsidence claims validation. The firm is known for its web-based claims administration system, Metrix, closing more than one third of its claims volumes through an automated process; which can also be integrated with insurers’ internal platforms to fully automate low-value property claims.

BVS will join Davies’ UK based Claims Solutions arm, headed up by CEO Kath Mainon.

No risk in Allianz appointment

José Morago has been appointed risk director for Allianz Holdings personal lines business. He will be responsible overseeing the risk activities for LV= general insurance, Petplan, L&G general insurance, Allianz Musical Insurance and Home & Legacy.

He joins with over 25 years’ experience in the market following roles as group risk director at Aviva and deputy chief risk officer at the Financial Conduct Authority.

Insurers urged to simplify claims or risk capacity

Home insurers have been encouraged to simplify the claims process or risk an exodus of small businesses that could create a growing capacity gap in the supply chain.

Steve Gelder, CEO of Lincolnshire-based construction company The Gelder Group described today’s trading conditions as the toughest he’s experienced in 34 years and urged insurers to recognise the challenges their supply partners are facing.

Market News

ILC Rising Star Interview: Steven Giliberti, Senior Business Analyst, Copart

“With Copart being a market leader, our biggest challenge is to continuously collaborate and innovate for our customers. Technology is becoming an increasingly important factor in that, and at Copart we are always thinking of new ways to keep improving and moving forward.”

LV= votes down acquisition

LV= has rejected the proposed acquisition by Bain Capital at a Members’ Meeting vote. At least 75% of members had to be in favour of the deal to meet the threshold, but only 69% voted to approve the acquisition. Just over 175,000 of LV=’s 1.16 million member voted, with 119,011 in support and 52,251 against.

The LV= board has since repeated that following a strategy of ‘business as usual’ is not in the best interests of members and, as a result of this vote, will explore alternative ways to provide the best long-term outcome for the business, its members, employees and customers.

WTW announces internal promotion

Willis Towers Watson has selected Tim Rourke as UK Head of P&C Pricing, Product, Claims and Underwriting in its Insurance Consulting and Technology business. He succeeds Graham Wright, who is leaving the business.

Rourke steps up from Head of Intermediated Insurance and Distribution within Willis Towers Watson’s Insurance Consulting and Technology business and has over 20 years’ insurance industry experience.

RSA names new UK CEO

RSA has appointed Ken Norgrove as CEO, UK & International. He has recently held positions as CEO of RSA Scandinavia and CEO of RSA Ireland. Norgrove, who will also sit on the Intact Financial Corporation board when he takes up his new role on 10 January, succeeds Scott Egan, who is leaving the business.

RSA’s Chief Financial Officer Charlotte Jones is serving as Interim CEO.

Allianz makes £100,000 net zero pledge

Allianz Insurance is putting its money where its mouth is with a £100,000 pledge to support its independent brokers on their journey toward net zero in 2022. The support is available through the Allianz Net Zero Accelerator (ANZA), which assists brokers reduce emissions and measure their carbon footprint.

As part of the pledge, Allianz will offer selected brokers one-to-one support through a specialist environmental consultancy to help them create a plan to lower their carbon footprint and set reduction targets.

Rainbow Trust receives national support

ILC’s chosen charity Rainbow Trust has been selected by The i as its sole Christmas Charity partner. The UK title will feature the Trust in its publication every day this month as part of a fundraising initiative expected to raise upwards of £75,000.

The news comes just weeks after ILC announced that it hopes to take its own total fundraising for Rainbow Trust beyond the magical £1m barrier at the much-anticipated 2022 ILC Motor Claims Networking Lunch, taking place on 21 January.


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