August 2020 insurance news
August 2020 insurance news underlines the prevalence of Covid-19 issues. In addition there is also a big focus on risk. However, the insurance market continues to show remarkable resilience. There are new entrants to the market and tales of the success of flexible motor insurance cover. There is also a proliferation of acquisition activity. August was far from the usual Summer Holiday slow news month this year.
- Insurance support for clients: The ABI announced that UK Insurers will extend COVID-19 support. The home and motor insurance pledges will be reviewed again on Oct 31st.
- Insurance market complaints: The Financial Ombudsman Service has reported a continued influx of COVID-19 related complaints. Travel Insurance complaints represented the highest percentage of the over 3,500 complaints received so far.
- Hiscox Action Group (HAG): HAG is pursuing Hiscox Insurance Group in the High Court, alongside the FCA business interruption test case. They recently revealed agreement for an expediated arbitration process.
Mergers & Acquisitions
- Mid-year M&A update: Clyde and Co recently released their Insurance Growth Report 2020 – mid year update. The report includes detailed analysis. Interestingly, “Technology continues to be a primary growth driver worldwide…” A useful synopsis of the report was published by the Insurance Business Magazine under the heading Global Insurance M & A increases in H1
- Aon and Willis Towers Watson (WTW): The mega-merger between Aon and WTW moved a step further as they passed the share=holder hurdle. The deal still awaits satisfaction of the customary regulatory and other closing conditions.
- Monument Re: A Charles Taylor Unit gets a new owner. Monument Re has acquired a unit that principally consists of LCL International Life Assurance Company Limited and Charles Taylor Holdings (IOM) Limited.
- Ardonagh Group: The Ardonagh Group announced their continued growth with news that they had acquired specialist MGA Thames Underwriting Not all their transactions have been smooth however. Their anticipated acquisition of Bennetts is still under investigation by the Competitions and Market Authority. The CMA will deliver their phase one decision later in September.
- Bollington Group: In their fourth acquisition of the year, Bollington completed the purchase of Watson Laurie Ltd.
- PIB Group (PIB): A month would not be complete without news of another PIB acquisition. This time PIB reveal the acquisition of Rigton Insurance Services.
Other August 2020 insurance news
- Flexible car insurance: The BGL Group reported significant growth for its short-term insurance brand, Jaunt. The Group attributes the success to changing consumer needs. COVID-19 then reinforced the demand for flexible alternative to traditional car insurance. In a similar vein, Zurich reveals By Miles partnership. By Miles CEO and co-founder James Blackham said “We’ve seen demand for our pay-by-mile policies continue to increase as UK drivers, understandably, look for more flexible insurance cover that better fits their needs post-lockdown…”
- New brand name announcement: Nexus has united their two trade credit brokers under one brand. Credit Risk Solutions and Credit & Business Finance will be known as Xenia.
- E-scooters: E-scooters were an illegal form of transport on open roads up until fairly recently. However in July, the government introduced a 12-month trial of e-scooters on the UK’s roads. Privately owned scooters are still illegal. Seeing a potentially huge opportunity, Zego became the first insurer to partner with an e-scooter company.
- Tesla and a new way of thinking: Tesla invites Insurance Actuaries as the first step to creating a ‘revolutionary’ insurance company
- New insurance player: One of the Alphabet Inc group, that includes Google, is getting into insurance. Verily Life Sciences is launching Coefficient Insurance Company. The company will be backed by the commercial insurance unit of Swiss Re.
Insurance Risk Indicators
- Climate Change: The Insurance Trade Body, Insurance Europe, is concerned that the current European climate change adaption plans do not go far enough. Some of their views are outlined in the article Insurers call for proactive climate change adaptation plans
- Global Losses: The Swiss Re Institute have published their Estimates of Global Insured Catastrophe Losses for H1.
- Motor Claims: The Association of British Insurers (ABI) released figures showing motor claims fell significantly in Quarter two. Despite numbers being lower, the value of claims did not fall by the predicted amount, as the average value of each claim rose by 27% on the previous quarter.
- UK Flood claims: An updated report puts the insured loss from the February floods in the UK at £375 million.
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