ILC Breakfast News – Wednesday 2 February 2022


Register now… webinARC February 2022: Operations

Wednesday 16 February – 13.30

In this webinARC we explore incident claims processes and repair operations by focusing on the five Ps – products, processes, plant, people and programmes – to try and piece together what the challenges and opportunities are from a variety of perspectives.


– Harry Abraham, Operations Director, Halo ARC Ltd 

– Jeff Mack, National Account Manager, NWVA 

– Jane Pocock, Managing Director, Copart UK 

– Robert McWilliams, Approved Repairer Vendor Manager, UKGI Claims, Zurich Insurance plc

WTW partners with Thatcham Research

WTW and Thatcham Research have announced a new partnership that combines their market-leading data and analytical capabilities to deliver a more comprehensive understanding of the impact of increasingly advanced vehicle technologies on claims risk. 

The tie-up will see Variant Code’s vehicle specificity combine with Claim Metrics’ data and analytics to give insurers far deeper, richer insights of emerging trends in claims risks at a granular level in terms of claims characteristics, geography and vehicle type.

NFU Mutual confirms multi-year agreement with GT Global

GT Motive has agreed a multi-year deal to provide estimating services to NFU Mutual and its supply chain. 

GT Global, created by GT Motive, is a cloud-based platform that provides accurate estimating solutions for insurers, repairers, and accident management businesses. 

“We’re really beginning to see some change within the market, and we’re so excited to be announcing this agreement with NFU Mutual,” said David Vella, UK & Irelands Executive Director of GT Motive. 

IAA announces UK expansion

A global digital marketplace which connects vehicle buyers and sellers has announced it will develop a new full-service facility in Bristol. IAA says the development underpins its commitment to investing in the UK and supporting growth in the country.

Steve Hankins, UK Managing Director for IAA, said, “The new facility will reduce the miles driven by our trucks and help to reduce our environmental impact. This state-of-the-art branch will be vital to meeting the needs of both our current and future customers.”

Partnership addresses peer-to-peer underwriting

Aioi Nissay Dowa Europe and its subsidiary Toyota Insurance Service has extended its partnership with ibott to create new tailored solutions for global peer-to-peer car sharing company TURO.

Car sharing includes commercial and personal use driving, making underwriting a challenge for traditional insurance products. The solution jointly developed by the partnership provides a new flexible pricing structure that addresses this grey area. 

Sherwin Williams begins new global HQ build

The Sherwin-Williams Company has held a virtual celebration to mark the official start of construction for the company’s new global headquarters. 

The one million square-foot facility will be located in downtown Cleveland, Ohio and will include a two-story pavilion acting as the front porch to Public Square, a 36-floor office tower and an attached multi-level parking garage. 

Steep rates rises predicted

A survey of more than 300 brokers found that over half expect motor insurance premiums to rise between 5% and 10% this year. About a quarter predicts rises of between 11% and 20%.

The survey was carried out by Ernst & Young, which is predicting that the motor market’s average Combined Operating Ratio in 2022 will reach the unsustainable level of 112%.

Home & Property

QBE launches Sustainable Energies unit

QBE has launched a Sustainable Energies unit to support customers as they transition to lower carbon energy.

The unit will align QBE underwriting capabilities across Construction, Operational, Casualty, D&O lines, focussing on underwriting the growing range of companies and energy systems that form part of a rapidly changing energy mix throughout the world. Projects include hydrogen, ammonia, hydro, solar, fixed and floating wind-power and carbon capture and sequestration.

Peter Burton, Executive Director, International Markets, said: “QBE is setting out a clear agenda to support its customers in the transition to a lower carbon global economy.”

Home building at ‘risk of stalling’ 

London Mayor, Sadiq Khan has warned that London housebuilding is ‘at risk of stalling’ as construction costs continue to rise due to Brexit and the pandemic.

Government figures highlight the costs of materials, including steel, timber and concrete rose by 23% last year. The sector is also faced with labour shortages with the UK vacancy rate in construction hitting its highest recorded level since 2001.

Sadiq Khan said, “Without bricks and mortar, and enough skilled workers, the excellent progress we have made in delivering the good quality and genuinely affordable homes that Londoners need is at risk of stalling.”

ABI welcomes probe into pricing

The ABI has welcomed an investigation into rising premiums within the buildings insurance market for multiple-occupancy residential buildings. The Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities Michael Gove has asked the FCA and CMA to look into rising prices, saying the market ‘lacks transparency and there is not currently useful data to explain the rationale behind the increasing premium.’

James Dalton, ABI Director General Insurance Policy, said, “The cost of buildings insurance reflects the significant fire risks, which go beyond cladding. We welcome this request to the FCA in the interest of helping resolve the issue.’

Barratt acquires Gladman for £250m

Barratt Developments plc, a leading national sustainable housebuilder, has acquired the land promoter Gladman Developments Ltd for £250m.

Steven Boyes, Chief Operating Officer and Deputy Chief Executive at Barratt Developments plc said: “Barratt has built a reputation for a disciplined and competitive approach to acquiring land and Gladman’s strong credentials in identifying attractive land and promoting sites through the planning process will be an important addition to the Group.”

ILC Rising Star Interview: Carla McDonald, Product Director, Claims, LexisNexis Risk Solutions

Feel the fear and do it anyway!  Sometimes there are tasks or challenges to face that may make you nervous or you want to shy away from. In most cases these are actually opportunities and should be embraced.  Often the things you find most daunting are the most rewarding, so I’d tell my 16-year-old self to be brave!”


Laka secures further funding

Peer-to-peer bicycle insurance platform Laka has raised about €10.6m in a Series A round of funding. The investment follows the €4.29m it has previously secured.

Laka says the capital will support expansion across Europe with new launches in Belgium, France, and Germany, as well as product development to incorporate e-scooters, e-mopeds and e-cars serving manufacturers, retailers, and leasing businesses.

Sibros set for expansion

Connected vehicle platform Sibros is planning further expansion after securing $70m through a Series B funding round.

Invesment was led by Energy Impact Partners, with further participation from Fontinalis Partners, Google, Iron Pillar, Qualcomm Ventures and existing investors Nexus Venture Partners and Moneta Ventures.

ClarionDoor announces digital partnership

ClarionDoor has announced a new partnership with Dark Matter Insurtech, which provides digital solutions for excess and surplus lines distribution.

ClarionDoor, which provides modern insurance product distribution solutions, says the new technology partnership will deliver an intelligent digital experience for managing general agents and insurance carriers.

DigitalOwl to strengthen skills

DigitalOwl will initiate a new recruitment drive after securing $20m in a Series A funding round. The company, which has developed the first and only Natural Language Processing (NLP) technology for analysing and summarising medical records, says it will target new skills in technology, sales, marketing and client service.

Funding was led by venture capitalist Insight Partners, with participation from existing investors Ibex and Fusion VC. 

Google turns focus on blockchain tech

Google has appointed Shivakumar Venkataraman to lead a new team dedicated to blockchain technologies. Venkataraman has been at Google for more than a decade and is an engineering vice president for Alphabet.

According to Bloomberg, the new team will be focused on ‘blockchain and other next-gen distributed computing and data storage technologies.’

Market News

FCA names new chair

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has appointed Direct Line Group CEO Penny James as chair of its Practitioner Panel. She has been a member or the panel since September 2020 and will succeed Paul Feeney, CEO of Quilter, on 1 March.

The FCA Practitioner Panel is in an independent statutory body that collects and collates input from the industry to help the FCA meet its objectives. 

Insolvencies on upwards trajectory

Business insolvencies in the final quarter of last year were up 18% from the third quarter and a worrying 51% higher than the same period in 2020. This is according to data released by the Insolvency Service. 

However, further rises in Creditors’ Voluntary Liquidations are expected.

Samantha Keen, UK Turnaround and Restructuring Strategy Partner at EY-Partheno said, “It’s looking likely that this rise in CVLs is just the first wave of insolvencies. We expect to see further waves of insolvencies amongst larger businesses as the significant stresses which built up at the end of 2021 continue into 2022, with more pressures on profit margins and consumer disposable incomes.”

Insurers say skills is number one worry

Insurance professionals say that acquiring skills to deal with emerging risks is the biggest challenge they face this year. The Chartered Insurance Institute surveyed 975 professionals and found that the ability to handle emerging risks such as cyber, more frequent weather catastrophes and business interruption claims is the number one concern.

Meanwhile, new regulations were cited as the most significant obstacle for one in five professionals while one in four said hybrid working would be their most challenging issue of 2022.


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