Insurance Post

Post magazine – issue date (17 March 2016)


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Insurers are broadly prepared for the new Senior Insurance Managers Regime, which is now in force. The new rules ensure top dogs are held to account for misconduct in their areas of responsibility. But, there remains a question mark over whether brokers have made as much progress, and in particular, should brokers be starting to prepare now or wait until there is more clarity?

Colm Holmes succeeds Maurice Tulloch as CEO of Aviva's general insurance business and the announcement has won plaudits all round. Specifically, it's viewed as good news for brokers, since Holmes has previously emphasised that having strong relationships with intermediaries is a priority.

Cyber attacks are worsening and experts predict a surge in ransomware incidents this year. Systems are held hostage while criminals try to extort money from their victim and Beazley says it can back up this worrying trend, with a growing number of incidences being reported.

‘Sneaky' administration fees charged by insurers have been slammed in the national press, with Esure bearing the brunt of this - the insurer was singled out for its "additional services revenues", which it listed separately unlike other insurers and which significantly bolstered its results. Our report says this is an issue across the market and transparency must come to the fore.

In the C-suite, Aviva's claims director Rob Townend says he is proud of the service being offered to claimants, and believes innovation is bringing notable differences. He points to the use of drones to help those affected by flooding and also more take-up of self-service technology for those with smaller claims.

‘Don't bring me down' says Lockton CEO, Mike Hammond - negativity appears entrenched in the media, he believes, and in our sector, spreading pervasive gloom detracts from much of the positive work being done by insurers and brokers. He argues insurance is not all about the worst case scenario, but also must be seen as a force for good and an enabler.

Talbir Bains, CEO and chief underwriting officer, of MGA Dual says his sector combines specialism, entrepreneurialism and innovation - and so continues to attract capital. But, he cautions it cannot lose sight of the need for underwriting discipline.

Benedict Burke, president of the Chartered Institute of Loss Adjusters has his say following International Women's Day. He is well aware that adjusting is predominantly white, male, middle class and middle age, but says a having diversity and inclusivity policy will help bring change and indeed, describes this as a business critical issue.

Onto our in-depth analyses and we look at the aftermath of the Insurance Fraud Taskforce, which produced its final report at the start of the year. The recommendations have both supporters and detractors, but what matters now is the follow-up. We ask who will take responsibility and what the outcomes will be - or as one pundit suggests, will it merely be "kicked into the long grass"?

We then look at employment - the past year has seen a swathe of redundancies within insurance and no one needs reminding that the job for life tag certainly no longer applies to insurance. We ask where the longer term demand is going to lie and what skillsets are needed, especially as digital continues to expand.

Although drones can be extremely useful (ie as referred to as a tool for gathering claims data) they are also be potentially lethal - for example, guns and explosives can be attached to them. James Straker-Nesbit of the Lloyd's Market Association, says drone technology is evolving rapidly and there is a lack of regulation. This makes it difficult for the insurance industry, but, the LMA is in talks with aviation regulators to see where cover can be provided.

In conclusion, law firm Triton, looks at the Budana v Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust case, which involved a conditional fee agreement being transferred from one personal injury solicitor to another. The end result was more favourable for the insurer and given that there is such volatility in the personal injury law firm sector, more of these cases could ensue.

You may download Post's latest issue as a PDF. Enjoy the read!



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