Biba’s budget demands; Tokio Marine’s deal with Lavaretus; NFU’s first commercial head

Friday Round Up

Friday Round-Up: Insurance Post wraps up the major insurance deals, launches, investments and strategic moves of the week.

From Insurance Post this week

Was the Amazon Insurance Store doomed from its launch?

Zurich accuses Greensill of fraud in £300m lawsuit defence

Lee Mooney to leave RSA after 26 years

UK bolsters ‘special relationship’ with Gibraltar

Zego co-founder Harry Franks departs insurtech

Marine insurers won’t pull cover over Red Sea attacks

‘Serious questions’ to be answered as MoJ launches whiplash tariff review

Insurance premiums for older pets surge by over a quarter

Howden increases global revenue by a third

From people this week

Lloyd’s DEI role model Rob Anarfi

Q&A: Colin Fitzgerald, Grid

Allianz’s Bryant on the cost of cutting back on cover

Diary of an Insurer: Altus Consulting’s Mark McDonald

Pick of the Week 

Biba makes demands for Spring Budget 

Date announced: 6 February  

Deal value: N/A

The British Insurance Brokers’ Association has called on the government to reduce insurance premium tax, invest in flood defences and reform the apprenticeship levy in the Spring Budget.

Biba called for a cut to the headline rate of IPT from 12% to 10%, for multi-occupancy residential buildings which require cladding remediation to be exempt from IPT, and for IPT on travel insurance to be aligned with the standard rate, ending the anomaly whereby 20% is applied. 

In addition, Biba also called for cyber insurance to be exempt from IPT as the current low take-up from businesses potentially causes a major exposure to UK firms. Cyber has been identified by Aon and Marsh as a major risk to the global economy and to the UK.

Graeme Trudgill, Bibas CEO, said: “We know individuals and businesses are struggling due to the cost of living, and this sits at the heart of our calls to action in our latest Manifesto and our budget submission.  

“Recently, there have been multiple stories about businesses and consumers cutting back on their insurance cover levels, or in extreme cases cancelling cover entirely, and we believe that these measures will make a difference.”

To help flood-affected properties, Biba has asked for the government to commit to long-term investment in flood defences at a higher level than 2020; exempt flood resilience materials from VAT, to reduce their cost and increase deployment; and to restate the commitment made in 2016 to ring-fence a proportion of IPT receipts to fund flood defences.

Trudgill added: “2024 marks the start of the election year, and at a time when political parties are trying to appeal to the country for support, they need to consider the realities people are experiencing – particularly when their key economic targets include growth and economic security.”

Biba’s final call was for reform of the apprenticeship levy to support talent and skills in the insurance sector. Biba wants the levy to be more flexible so that levy-funded training can include wider skills training outside of formal apprenticeships, and for the minimum duration requirement to be amended. 

Tokio Marine deal with Lavaretus Underwriting

Date announced: 7 February  

Deal value: N/A

Tokio Marine HCC International has reached an agreement with Marsh Specialty UK to onboard certain employees of Lavaretus Underwriting, a specialist MGA and Lloyd’s coverholder focused on the shipping, power and energy sectors.

The transition is expected to be completed shortly after the first quarter of 2024.

With a presence in Finland, Sweden, Denmark and the UK, Lavaretus underwrites a range of niche, specialist products for the construction, operational and business interruption risks associated with static floating industrial solutions. 

These products encompass power generation, battery storage, regasification, desalination, and data storage, whether ship- or barge-based.

TMHCCI has recently served as the lead insurance provider to Lavaretus.

Simon Shrimpton, head of marine at TMHCCI, said: “We have been lead capacity provider to Lavaretus for a number of years, so we know its profitable book, discerning risk appetite and – most importantly – its team very well. 

“There is a natural synergy between our business and theirs, so when the opportunity arose to bring them fully into the TMHCCI fold, it made perfect sense.”

Corvus expands tech E+O offering 

Date announced: 7 February  

Deal value: N/A 

Corvus Insurance has introduced a newly expanded tech errors and omissions product. 

“With an increased appetite, Corvus’s expert underwriting team can leverage the full extent of their skills and experience to reliably find solutions for not only the SME segment, but for larger and more complex clientele as well,” said Mike Karbassi, chief underwriting officer at Corvus. 

“Additionally, every Smart Tech E+O policyholder gets added value throughout the policy term thanks to Corvus Signal risk prevention services and the peace of mind of a fully in-house claims team with decades of collective experience handling cyber.”  

And finally…

  • Gallagher Bassett has appointed Manan Sagar as CEO of its UK operations.
  • Allianz Holdings CEO Colm Holmes is to take over as chair of the ABI’s General Insurance Committee. Jason Storah, Aviva’s UK and Ireland GI CEO, will become the committee’s first deputy chair.
  • NFU Mutual has appointed Zoe Knight as its first head of commercial to drive the insurer’s continued growth in the commercial insurance market.
  • Nichola Archibald has joined CFC as interim chief people officer. 
  • Howden has hired David Shalders as group chief operating officer.   
  • WTW has appointed Anthony Borgman, who will assume the newly created role of head of affinity, Great Britain. 
  • Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Company (Europe), the UK subsidiary of Japanese insurer Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance, has named Martyn Rodden as interim CEO, effective immediately.
  • Shannan Fort has joined Marsh as its new international cyber product leader of Marsh Specialty, effective 1 April.
  • Marsh has also hired Lorraine Stack as risk management leader, Europe, effective immediately. 
  • Accenture has appointed Matthew Madsen as a managing director in its insurance practice.

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Q&A: Roi Amir, Sprout AI

Frances Stebbing speaks to Roi Amir, CEO of Sprout AI about how insurers can rebuild policy holders trust in artificial intelligence and why insurers need to bring customers along for the digital transformation journey.

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