Enterprise fallout, fraud cases reopened, blockchain and Ghostbusters - the week in Post


Well the weather might have turned a touch greyer, but the summer holidays are truly here judging by the fact my commute to work is less busy but buying a sandwich in the West End at lunchtime has become a lengthy tourist obstacle course.

The old adage that things used to get quieter during the holidays no longer stacks up though. As this week proves, the insurance market does not sleep just because a larger percentage of its population than usual is on the beach.

One of the main stories of the week - a hangover from last - is the ongoing saga of Enterprise Insurance, the Gibraltar-based motor insurer that was once well-known for having its brand emblazoned on Leeds United shirts.

Well, given that football club's financial mismanagement, it would appear the two were perfect bed fellows given what has come out - especially that the firm was "hopelessly insolvent" and might not have enough assets to pay claims.

UK General and ERS are among the firms that have come out to help in light of the collapse, while Enterprise's parent is looking to expand its MGA Andeva to meet the gap in premium earned.

Over a month after the Brexit vote, and the topic is still having a significant grip on the news, especially in terms of results and how firms are preparing for the break with the European Union.

Unveiling a strong set of results, Hiscox admitted it might set up a new insurer depending on what happens with passporting; Elite confirmed it is setting up in Luxembourg; while AIG introduced a new product to cover legal challenges in the event of permanent residency applications being rejected pre-Brexit - and the challenges to repatriation orders afterwards.

In one of the biggest claims stories for some months, the Supreme Court ruled that cases can be re-opened if new evidence of fraud subsequently comes to light after the settlement. The decision came after the Hayward v Zurich case was re-opened and post-settlement evidence was used to recover payouts after Hayward was proven to have acted fraudulently. The full impact of the judgment was then much discussed, with the consensus being that it will not lead to an influx of old cases being reexamined.

On Tuesday I took in my first Aston Villa game of the Roberto Di Matteo era against Cambridge United. I mention this because I first met the new LV boss - and Manchester United fan - Steve Treloar at the 2010 League Cup final when he was at Direct Line Group. Having spent time at Aviva, he now has some big shoes to fill at LV, taking up the baton from John O'Roarke.

He is the subject of the Big Interview on Post this week, and the subjects he touches include the use of robotics, the rating environment and LV's efforts to be more agile in pricing. It is well worth a read.

Elsewhere this week I finally caught the reboot of Ghostbusters and found it very watchable. True, might not be as good overall as the original, but I laughed more, and found the four leads engaging all in their own way.

And while that film looked back to the past for laughs, the fire station gag being a particular highlight, I looked into the future for a blog which tackled the day of an insurance customer in 2030 and the interactions they might have through various mobile devices - as well as virtual reality glasses.

Another blog worth checking out is Tom Johansmeyer's piece on the use of blockchain, which makes sense of a difficult, but topical subject.

Talking of topical, the sharing economy is another buzz word that the insurance market is getting to grips with, and comes under the spotlight in two articles and a video this week as part of the Expertise from A to Z series in association with Allianz.

So that was the week in insurance, and a little insight into what I have been up to. August is upon us, and results season is gearing up into full swing, so remember to keep abreast of news at www.postonline.co.uk.


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