Post magazine - 26 November 2015

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The latest issue of Post Magazine is now available for Post subscribers. Download the latest Post iOS app edition on the App Store or read the Post digital edition online.

The UK insurance industry is "woefully behind" in its take-up of blockchain technology, which commentators say will radically change the way insurance contracts and settlements are handled as well as potentially reducing insurance fraud. A blockchain, or a digital mutually distributed ledger, is a complete record of transactions shared between multiple parties. It is currently predominantly used for cryptocurrency transactions, such as Bitcoin.

AIG's UK managing director Jacqueline McNamee is believed to be among a number of high-profile executives set to leave the insurer as part of a $500m (£330m) cost-cutting programme, which will result in the departure of up to 400 senior executives globally. Market observers say it will be a "significant loss" for AIG and could result in rival firms pegging back last year's biggest UK insurer.

After the Financial Conduct Authority said there is no "fundamental reason" why cloud computing cannot be used by financial services companies, commentators predict more insurance industry players will be using the technology.

In the C-suite this week, John Blundell, Covéa Insurance deputy CEO, notes that trust comes in both rational and emotional forms and explains how insurers can win both from their customers. George Davies, Marsh UK & Ireland chief client officer, says the Insurance Act will have a massive effect on the way clients, brokers and insurers interact. He urges the industry to take a collaborative approach to the piece of legislation that will come into force next summer.

Rob Merkin QC, former president of the British Insurance Law Association, underlines the Act is "the first ever UK statute to effect widespread changes in insurance law". It will introduce a new regime for the presentation of the risk under business policies and it will abolish the rule that a breach of warranty precludes recovery even after the breach has been remedied.

In the North of the Border column, Louise Houliston, associate at Clyde & Co, details how a recent Scottish case confirms the definition of secondary victim. Had the ruling been different, "insurers would undoubtedly have been exposed to an increased volume of claims."

In this edition, you'll also find the results and pictures of the Underwriting Service Awards and the Data, Analytics and Technology Awards.

paul-geddes-nov2015For this week's interview, Post met Paul Geddes, the CEO of Direct Line Group. "We have done a good job of delivering what we said we would do," he's told us, three years after the company's IPO.

In our Expertise A-Z, our first feature looks at how increased competition among insurers of the London property market is driving prices down and services up. And John Dunn from Allianz points out that the diverse scope of overseas clients requires greater communication than ever between insurer, broker and investor. Our third feature gets dangerously close to tornadoes, which contrary to popular belief don't strike just in the US.

Finally, the Legal Column written by Nick Young, partner at DAC Beachcroft, urges insurers to prepare right now for the upcoming provisions on the late payment of claims included in the Enterprise Bill.

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

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