This week in Post: Mergers, Microbreweries and Millennials


This week, the cold has crept in and we are bringing back our winter coats while shoving on our summer clobber to one side.

Integrating warmer clothes into my wardrobe is a lax process. I have not thought of a solid strategy and mixing woolly tights with a flimsy dress might end up in fashion faux pas.

In more serious merging news, Post reporter Ryan Hewlett got the scoop this week that the Jelf-Bluefin integration is running ahead of schedule. And Markerstudy announced that it is combining its affinity division, which includes brands such as Purely Pets and Paws & Claws, with Markerstudy Retail in a bid to drive growth in both divisions.

In other news, Bollington has launched a new managing general agent, Anjuna Underwriting, backed by a £80m capacity from Danish insurer Gefion. Bollington’s new MGA will provide products for motor trade, taxi, self-drive hire, courier and goods in transit.

As ever, tech was a big talking point this week with QBE’s insurtech investment arm, QBE Ventures, giving backing to machine learning firm Risk Genius. QBE has entered a three-year partnership with Risk Genius and uploaded 125,000 policies onto the system in order to boost product development.

Also in tech chat, Alastair Swift, head of corporate risk and broking at Willis Towers Watson, gave his take on how blockchain and smart contracts can be used to aid insurers. But it isn’t just the mystifying blockchain that is having a moment, industry heads have also been discussing the ways Artificial Intelligence can aid motor claims handling.

In our C-suite, Bill Cooper, managing director and global head of insurance at Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, explains why illiquid assets are becoming attractive investments for insurers. And in our trade voice, Malcolm Hyde, executive director of the Chartered Institute of Loss Adjusters, takes us through the challenges in communicating with the millennial market.

In our long-form articles, read how European political instability and financial regulations are driving the demand for trade credit cover. Find out what brokers actually think of insurers. And reflect on whether the end has come for insurer-owned brokers

Thirty years after the Great Storm, news editor Martin Croucher talks to insurers and loss adjusters who handled the 1987 claims. Whether you were already working in insurance or not, the testimonies are must-read to see how much the industry has changed. 

To get you into the Friday spirit, check out reporter Will Kirkman’s piece on microbreweries - it could give you a few riveting facts to tell your mates down the pub. 

As for me, I’ll be discussing scary clothes combinations for Halloween.

Enjoy the read and your weekend!

Rosie Quigley, reporter

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Is insurer service really that bad?

News Editor View: After comments from Jensten’s Alistair Hardie earlier this week saying no insurer gets service right and that we should “rip up the service rule book and start again”, Scott McGee asks: Is it really that bad?

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