Subject: Editor’s Picks: Political plans, female CEO flack, plus football frolics


Emma Ann Hughes

Editor of Insurance Post

Editor’s Picks: Political plans, female CEO flack, plus football frolics

This month, Insurance Post ploughed through the Conservative, Labour and Liberal Democrat Manifestos and unpicked what the party’s plans mean for insurers.

Female insurance CEOs expressing their views caught your attention, while “Silly Season” seems to have started before the summer holidays this year, with Paddy Power taking the Michael out of Aviva.

Here are my Editor’s Picks for June: the stories, data deep-dives, analysis articles, comment pieces plus podcasts that you simply can’t miss if you want to stay ahead of the insurance pack in the months ahead.



Facing flack

As the UEFA European Football Championship kicked off, Penny James showed team managers that, when it comes to facing a bashing, she understands their pain. Direct Line’s former CEO challenged the ‘flack’ the press directs at female industry leaders in an interview for Apella Advisors’ The Little Questions podcast. When asked if she was frustrated with being highlighted as one of the few female CEOs, James said: “Some of the reporting around women CEOs is inconsistent with their male counterparts.” Her comments came after a management overhaul at Direct Line following her exit. Next month, her replacement Adam Winslow will unveil a plan to make sure each policy produced by the provider is more profitable by 2026. Will he face flack like Gareth Southgate after England’s draw against Denmark, or Sir Alf Ramsey-like praise after the 1966 World Cup Victory for his grand plan? Watch this space.

Who wins?

You couldn’t switch on your television or engage with Post this month without seeing MPs vying for your votes. Based on the traffic generated by our coverage of the various parties’ plans, plus what these pledges mean for insurance, Labour’s goal to make motor insurance prices plummet was deemed to be of greatest interest – as many would expect, given the fact most polls suggest the general election on 4 July will result in a landslide Labour victory. However the applause Aviva CEO Amanda Blanc’s criticism of Labour’s plans received on social media, plus the fact Post’s analysis of what the Conservative Party’s plans mean for the insurance industry received a similar number of clicks as our deep dive into Labour’s Manifesto, suggest you shouldn’t rule out the Tories just yet. 

Football pranks

Did I mention the fact that as well as a general election there is a football tournament going on? Paddy Power amended a "news" story that claimed footballer Luke Shaw was cut from the Euro 2024 squad because Aviva wouldn't offer him cover as he was deemed by the insurer to be “the most obvious risk since somebody handed a drunk Jack Grealish a microphone”. While the article had a footnote at the bottom stating: “Paddy Power’s football coverage is pure fantasy – don’t believe it for a second”, the URL labelled it as “football news”, causing it to appear as one of the top stories on Google’s insurance news feed. The article was later amended to state Shaw’s travel insurer is the fictional company Touring Lions.

What to listen to

I would urge everyone to listen to Post’s Sexism in the City Podcast to reflect on whether this is an industry where people can speak up, challenge, and be confident the issues they identify will be investigated and addressed. 

DWF’s Tracey Groves, the Chartered Insurance Institute’s Vivine Cameron, Specialist Risk Group’s Jo Wright, and the FCA's David Cross explain the regulator's non-financial misconduct work and outline what action is required to make this a more inclusive industry in this impactful podcast.

To help us monitor if this has become a more inclusive industry in recent years, please also take 10 minutes out of your day to complete Post’s Census.

The online survey will paint a picture of how the sector is shaping up when it comes to diversity, plus what extra effort is required to make the industry more inclusive. We will share the results as part of this year’s Dive In Festival.

Emma Ann Hughes

Editor of Insurance Post

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