Post forward features list

Please find below full details of articles currently being written for Insurance Post. 

This information includes synopses, editorial deadlines, and details of the reporter writing the feature.
If anything below is of interest, you may contact the journalist directly to offer interviews and comments. Interviews will get priority over written submissions.
Please note that it is best to do so at the earliest opportunity so that they have all relevant material several days before their deadline.   

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Topic: Brokers access to European Market

Author: David Worsfold
Contact: [email protected]
Deadline: 31 March

Background: 2021 started with Leeds head-quartered W Denis Insurance Brokers announcing a new European based insurance broking business in Lithuania while Seventeen Group, owners of James Hallam and Touchstone Underwriting, created a joint German venture, London Re, with MRH Trowe,

Maximilian Trowe, joint managing director of London Re, commented: “Establishing direct access to Lloyd’s of London has long been a strategic goal for MRH Trowe and we are excited that this became feasible through the personal relationship with Seventeen Group. London Re enables us to counter the capacity bottlenecks of insurers existing in the EU market and to offer support to medium-sized brokers for complex risks.” 

Last year saw some of the larger brokers make European plans with many choosing Ireland as a base (Aston lark, GRP and PIB) – we look at what 2021 will bring for medium-sized and smaller brokers in accessing European markets.

Questions:

  • Is setting up new branches or partnering with existing European brokers the best way for UK brokers to regain passporting rights across Europe?
  • Are European brokers keen to partner with UK firms?
  • Are we likely to see more brokers follow suit?
  • Which countries are most attractive for brokers to set up in?
  • Which European brokers are most likely to partner with UK brokers?
  • How much business is being lost while brokers don’t have these European arms/partnerships?
  • What are the barriers to entry?

Topic: World of work – How have brokers adapted to the new normal?

Author: Sam Barrett
Contact: [email protected]
Deadline: 7 April 

Background: The longer the pandemic goes on the more profound and permanent the changes in the world of work are likely to be. The broking market has responded well, especially since it once prided itself on the importance of face-to-face deals. What does it mean for High Street brokers, especially as town centres threaten to become ghost towns and commercial brokers who rely on relationships to get deals done?

Questions:

  • Is the insurance industry ready for a big permanent switch to remote working – major insurers such as Aviva are changing their property holding to reflect this – how does that affect brokers?
  • How will brokers maintain relationships that are so important?
  • What are the implications for HR (will need to get out of their offices/ivory towers and visit people in their homes!)?
  • How is cyber/data security affected?
  • What impact will this have on training and mentoring?
  • Will this be positive or negative diversity – historically a problem area for brokers?
     

Topic: Broker M&A

Author: Edmund Tirbutt
Contact: [email protected]
Deadline:14 April 

Background: : Despite a difficult year for many markets according to Imas in 2021 there was a record of £10.5bn of UK insurance distribution mergers and acquisitions. The experts calculated that even if the impact of Aon’s takeover of Willis Towers Watson was taken out the deals would remain £5m higher than any previous years.

Questions:

  • What fuelled this growth?
  • Could this growth be repeated?
  • Where is funding coming from? Has this changed in recent years?
  • Why hasn’t Covid impacted this – is the impact delayed?
  • What type of firms are making up the numbers – are more smaller deals coming through? What is driving this?
  • Is this due to lack of firms available or lack of buyer appetite?
  • Which types of business/lines are most attractive?
  • Is the available pot drying up?
  • What of brokers buying branches/companies abroad?

Topic: Insurtech international expansion

Author: Martin Friel
Contact: [email protected]
Deadline: 1 May

Background: From Tractable signing up The Hartford in the US and MS&AD in Japan; Bought By Many launching a Swedish business; Laka opening an office in The Netherlands; to Zego operating in Ireland, France, Belgium and Spain, it would appear that UK head-quartered insurtechs are not content to just stick to their home market when it comes to seeking business and partners. Post will speak to UK-based insurtechs about their international appetite.

Questions:

  • What lessons have been learned from new markets/partners?
  • How easy has it been to open in new markets/join with partners?
  • Are other countries more advanced than the UK when it comes to insurtech?
  • What have the main benefits been?
  • What have the main challenges been?
  • Where is next and why?
  • What impact has Covid-19 had on expansion?
  • What does the future of insurtechs look like – will they be global soon?

Topic: Diversity in Insurtech

Author: Rachel Gordon
Contact: [email protected]ail.com
Deadline:  1 May

Background: There has been a lot of talk about the fact that for all its progressive attributes, when it comes to diversity, insurtech has the same issues as the mainstream insurance market. Indeed, some might argue here insurtechs are less progressive. In 2020 three of the of the most prominent female founders Phoebe Hugh (Brolly), Jodi Cartwright (Coverly) and Becky Downing (Buzzvault) saw their businesses acquired or placed into run off. And a cursory look at many of the leading insurtech players indicates many of the senior positions are held by men. This article will look at if there is an issue among insurtechs in attracting and retaining diverse talent?

  • Questions:
  • Do female founders have a harder job attracting investment?
  • Is this part of a broader issue with the overall digital/technology sector?
  • Is the issue being overstated?
  • How are insurtechs addressing diversity?
  • What are the issues in attractive and retaining talent?
  • Does being tech-based help here in terms of flexibility and accessibility?
  • What does the future holds?

Topic: What is happening to European insurance regulation?

Author: David Worsfold
Contact: [email protected]
Deadline:
  24 May

Background: Talk continues about whether, when and how the UK might do a deal with the EU over mutual recognition of regulations which might, in turn, lead to some progress on equivalence in key areas. This is a two-stage process and the talks that Andrew Bailey referred to in his Mansion House speech are only about the mutual recognition of regulations. Only when those are concluded will EU talk about granting equivalence.

The sudden, unexpected approval by EIOPA of the Packaged Retail and Insurance-based Investment Products Regulation shows how things can change suddenly but what does this mean for UK insurers?

Questions:

  • What are the key regulations for UK insurers?
  • How will political battles over power drive this?
  • Is the EU ready and able to agree regulations?
  • What are the challenges the UK faces?
  • What timeframes are realistic for changes?
  • What will happen in the mean time?

Topic: Review of Solvency II

Author: Harry Curtis
Contact: [email protected]
Deadline:
  2 June

Background: Earlier this year the European Commission published a summary report of its consultation on its review of the Solvency II Directive. The European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority has proposed amendments to the Solvency II capital regime for insurers and the UK government is reviewing the Solvency II regime and its impact on the UK’s insurance sector. The UK government last considered the Solvency II regime in 2017. This time, following Brexit, the review is much wider in scope.

Questions:

  • What has been good about Solvency II for the UK?
  • What has been bad?
  • What changes is Eiopa proposing and would those work for the UK?
  • How important is it that capital ratios are more economic – that is truly reflective of the risks insurers face?
  • What would UK insurers like to see happen to the regulation they face?
  • What would they like to see happen to their EU counterparts?
  • How important are equivalency considerations?

Topic: Political risk  - Brexit and the pandemic

Author: Tim Evershed
Contact: [email protected]
Deadline:
  9 June

Background
Covid-19 has already raised tensions between countries and a fragmented exit from the pandemic could test relations further, putting more pressure on businesses.

Coronavirus will remain a dominant factor shaping the global outlook in 2021. Vaccine rollouts are taking place at different speeds and vaccine nationalism has already reared its head, increasing tensions between different groups.

Countries with lingering Covid-19 outbreaks may be cut off from international events and travel for prolonged periods. Supply chains may be disrupted, and global businesses fragmented. What impact is Brexit having?

Questions:

  • Where are tensions rising and why?
  • How are they impacting on businesses?
  • Where are they disrupting supply chains?
  • How can tensions be eased?
  • How can businesses manage the associated risks?
  • What role can political risk insurance play?
  • How has Brexit changed this?

 

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