CCG announces new sales head

Claims Consortium Group has promoted Rob Stewart to the new position of Head of Sales.

Working across the whole group, including Synergy Cloud and WeatherNet, he will be responsible for developing relationships with new clients and actively supporting existing ones.

Having joined the company’s claim department in 2009 before specialising in underground services, he moved to the sales and account management team since 2018.

Heather Lambert, Group Sales Director said, “I am delighted to promote Rob to the new position of Head of Sales. Rob has been instrumental in growing our business to where we are today. He brings a unique level of technical and operational experience to the role and is essential to ensure we continue to deliver our planned growth over the next five years. I look forward to continuing to work with him to deliver the best service to our clients and their customers.”

ClaimsTech disruption a big hit

ClaimsTech 2021, ILC’s most disruptive event to date, proved a major success, with leading insurer representatives declaring it “great and very different” and “innovative and enjoyable.”

The occasion challenged the norm of events featuring a free flowing – Top Gear style – open plan floor with presentations and demonstrations in the latest in insurtech from some of the industry’s leading innovators.

Amongst the demonstrations were Unicorn business Tractable showing how AI technology can be applied to automate and streamline the claims process within motor insurance, and Digilog which explained how its voice recognition software is undergoing continuous development in the fight against fraud.

In addition, between demonstrations, ILC commercial officer, Nic Sproul offered further insight by interviewing leading figures from insurers who provided fascinating insights into the deployment of technology and how it was supporting stratagies.

Ian Hughes of Consumer Intelligence also provided a view from a consumer perspective throughout the course of the event.

ILC’s head of ClaimsTech, Stuart Ballantyne said, “ClaimsTech proved to be everything we had hoped for: disruptive, innovative and like nothing the industry had seen before. With the mix of live demonstrations, interviews, expert opinion and general networking opportunity, it provided some fascinating insights into what the future of claims technology might look like.”

ClaimsTech 2021 was supported by headline sponsors: SightCall; event partners: Google Cloud and Mastercard; gold sponsors: CoreLogic, Digilog UK, Entegral, IMS (Insurance & Mobility Solutions), Tractable and Verisk; as well as silver sponsors: asTech, Carpe Data, eviid, GT Motive, Service Certainty and Synergy.

Highlights of the event will be released in the coming weeks.

Plans are now underway for ClaimsTech 2022, which takes place Thursday 22 September 2022.

Breakfast news round up 25 August

Motor Claims

Verisk adopts Thatcham Research code

Verisk is incorporating Thatcham Research’s Variant Code to enhance it motor insurance solutions.

The Variant Code provides updated information on features included within models, including Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS), expensive headlights, and keyless and connectivity systems.

Dan Payne, Chief Digital Officer at Thatcham Research said: “This is about accurate risk assessment at a uniquely granular level. Variant Code offers a competitive advantage, empowering Verisk’s insurer customers to make more informed and intelligent decisions, and price according to the features present on a particular model variant. This is fundamental as vehicles evolve and technologies that were once the preserve of high-end models are increasingly made available at entry level.”

Copart goes live with two new sales sites

Copart UK has launched two new websites to help customers sell their cars instantly.

Customer-facing sites and have gone live to provide a free, online quote within 60 seconds, a free nationwide collection service, and fast payment upon receipt of the vehicle.

Any vehicle in any condition will be accepted, while customers also have the option of dropping off their vehicles to dedicated areas based at Copart UK’s 15 nationwide Operation Centres, and in Ireland at Copart’s Head Office or one of its sub-lot.

GT Motive announces new supply partner

Claims estimating and management solutions provider GT Motive has appointed Quantum Technical as sole supplier in the UK.

The announcement comes after months of development and research.

David Punter, founder and CEO of Quantum Technical, said, “It is great to support a forward-thinking company who address the market from a user perspective, and have demonstrated their flexibility with customers and partners, to offer a real alternative to the market.”

LV=BR introduces EV roadside assistance

LV=Britannia Rescue (LV= BR) has launched a new comprehensive electric car service to customers who break down in London.

Introduced in partnership with LAR Traffic Services, the service will see a fully qualified technician with the tools and diagnostic equipment necessary for repairing electric cars at the roadside attend to customers.

The service will be carried out in an electric van equipped with an electric car recharge unit, providing a fully end-to-end electric breakdown service.

Insurers respond to CCPC investigation

Six leading insurance companies have agreed to reform their internal competition law compliance programmes after an investigation by the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) in Ireland.

The investigation focused on anti-competitive practices in the provision of motor insurance, and although AIG Europe, Allianz, AXA Insurance, Aviva Insurance Ireland, FBD Insurance and AA Ireland all deny any breaches, each has made legal commitments to provide mechanisms for internal monitoring and whistleblowing, independent oversight and regular competition law training.

A seventh company, Brokers Ireland, has not agreed to the terms.

ADAS uncertainty putting drivers at risk

Faulty ADAS systems could be putting millions of drivers and other road users at risk.

Research from Autoglass found that 80% of drivers think ADAS systems that have been incorrectly repaired or recalibrated will warn them of the fault. However, ADAS technologies currently do not have the capability to alert the driver if they are not correctly aligned.

ADAS sensors need to be recalibrated correctly after most repairs, includes a windscreen replacement, but less than half (48%) of UK drivers realise this is the case.

Used car prices continue upward trajectory

Used car prices on the Auto Trader platform rose for the 66th week in a row this month.

It reported a 15% year-on-year rise in the week starting 9 August, with consumer demand and disruption in the supply of new vehicles contributing to the continues price increases.

It also found that used cars sell in 26 days on average, which is 10% quicker than when the forecourts opened after lockdown in April.

Meanwhile, its own research found that 46% of new car buyers would not be prepared to wait for more than a month for a new purchase while 74% would consider a used car instead if the time-lag on a new vehicle was too long.

Home claims

Flood losses to exceed €5bn

Catastrophic modelling company RMS has estimated the insured losses from the floods in Western and Central Europe in the middle of July at between €5bn and €6.5bn.

The US-based company reconstructed a flood hazard footprint that covers the worst affected areas to calculate these losses, finding that Germany is the dominant contributor of loss with about 70% of the total loss, followed by Belgium with about 25% of the loss.

The loss estimate includes insured property and business interruption loss to residential, commercial, industrial, automobile, and infrastructure lines.

Guidewire acquires risk insight specialist

Software specialist Guidewire has acquired HazardHub, a provider of API-driven property risk insights to the property and casualty insurance industry.

HazardHub collects and analyses data to provide a comprehensive catalogue of risks, while its API provides risk scores and supports the underlying information for any US property.

Mike Rosenbaum, CEO, Guideware Software, said, “Underwriters, agents, and claims adjusters will power smarter decisions with risk insights embedded directly into core workflows. Embedding HazardHub’s comprehensive property risk data service into Guidewire’s industry-leading platform will drive tremendous value for our customers and the P&C insurance industry.”

Claims tech

London insurers create new digital roles

AEGIS London has named its first chief technology officer as it accelerates its digital transformation.

Mark Degenaar has been appointed to support the development of the business’s digital and technology strategy. He joins from Insurance Business Applications, and has held a range of senior technology roles within the insurance sector and other markets.

Meanwhile, Ki, the fully digital and algorithmically-driven Lloyd’s syndicate launched by Brit and Google Cloud, has also created a new chief technology officer position, appointing Richard Hodgson to lead its technology strategy and execution.

Tysers launches Tconnect

London-based insurance broker Tysers has launched Tconnect – a cross-functional, cloud-based platform designed to consolidate processes and automate the end-to-end lifecycle of a policy.

The launch represents a notable milestone in the company’s digital transformation and modernisation of its existing IT infrastructure, which is intended to improve operational efficiencies and streamline claims workflows.

Steve Jolley, CIO, said, “Tconnect is the realisation of a year-long programme of process development and a major step forward in connecting systems, clients and markets to digital trading platforms. Using API technology to eliminate re-keying, RPA technology to automate processes and being fully cloud based, Tconnect is available anytime, anywhere, on any device.”

DXC introduces new insurance platform

UK-based tech company DXC Technology has partnered with next-generation global specialty insurer Mosaic Insurance to launch an insurance technology platform that it claims increases the speed at which specialty insurance is sold, underwritten and serviced.

The new platform automates interactions throughout the risk life cycle with: machine-learning algorithms and natural-language processing that enhance underwriting in Mosaic’s highly technical product lines; blockchain infrastructure that provides transparent and instantaneous sharing of data across the platform among brokers, syndicated capital partners, reinsurers and regulators; and data transparency, open interfaces, robotics and AI that cut costs and streamline processes.

New tech altering risk profiles

Technology is changing the way companies measure and manage risk, according to a new report published by Willis Tower Watson.

It found that Covid-19 has accelerated the shift towards digitalisation, and the companies which do well going forward will be those who ‘develop resilient workplace cultures, careful risk management and detailed business continuity plans.’

A key part of this will managing a hybrid workforce, with remote working introducing new risks to both the individual and the company.

Market news

Goldman Sachs expands European footprint

Goldman Sachs will buy Dutch insurer NN Group’s asset management arm for around €1.7bn.

The acquisition is the largest by the Wall Street firm since David Solomon became chief executive in 2018 and is part of a longer-term strategy to make the bank’s revenue stream less reliant on earnings from trading and advising on deals.

Goldman Sachs has said that all NNIP’s 900 employees will join the company as part of the deal, while the Netherlands will now become a significant location in its European business.

Courts green-light landmark class action case

A London court has approved a £10bn-plus class action against Mastercard that could entitle 46 million British adults £300 pounds each.

Former chief ombudsman of the Financial Ombudsman Service, Walter Merricks, claimed Mastercard charged unlawful fees to retailers and businesses processing transactions. Now the Competition Appeal Tribunal has certified the case as a collective action, which could see Mastercard ordered to pay compensation to more than 46 million shoppers.

Merricks said, “Mastercard has thrown everything at trying to prevent this claim going forward, but today its efforts have failed. The tribunal’s ruling heralds the start of an era of consumer-focused class actions which will help to hold big business to account in areas that really matter.”

BI claims top 21,000

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has revealed that business interruption claims are approaching £1bn, but 15,400 companies are still waiting for payouts.

FCA figures show that insurance companies have paid out more than £968m in BI claims – £636.7m in final settlements and £331.2m in initial payments.

However, the final figure is expected to rise substantially with 38% of the 41,666 policyholders who have been told they are entitled to insurance payouts still waiting to receive any money.

New starts

LV= General Insurance has appointed Matt Crabtree as Head of Financial Crime Strategy. He will be responsible for overseeing the company’s Intelligence Team, Special Investigations, and Linked and Organised Crime areas.

Meanwhile, SimCorp has announced that Christian Kromann will succeed Klaus Holse as Chief Executive Officer from 2 September, and Wills Towers Watson has selected Carl Hess as the company’s new President and next Chief Executive Officer.

Elsewhere, Catherine Cooper has been named director of business development, Asia, for global provider of tech-enabled risk, benefits and business solutions, Sedgewick, global reinsurance placement platform Supercede has hired Aydin Betez to lead the development of its cloud-based digital ecosystem, and Partners& has appointed Ross Dingwall as Managing Partner (Scotland), charged with expanding the company’s footprint in the North of England and Scotland.

UK commercial insurance market enters more disciplined phase

The commercial European insurance market is at the cusp of a more consistent shift towards firming market conditions that will have a strong impact on buyers, a new report by Aon has claimed.

The report, Navigating a Changing Insurance Market, released today (June 4) by Aon, has found that this shift is being driven by insurers’ responses to high-levels of manmade and catastrophe losses, increased operational costs and evolving buyer demands and risk exposures.

In 2017 and 2018 alone, global natural catastrophe losses reached record levels of $247 billion. This unprecedented rise in catastrophe claims has been coupled with increased uncertainty surrounding future losses, as buyers place greater importance on evolving exposures such as reputational risk, intellectual property, cyber and non-damage business interruption, where there is limited historical data and fewer mature risk models.

For commercial insurance buyers, in certain areas of the market, this shift in market conditions is likely to mean increases in rates, capacity constraints, tightening terms and conditions and a more critical attitude from insurers towards risk selection and risk management practices.

The extent to which buyers are experiencing these effects varies from country to country across Europe and by line of insurance. The report has found that there are more challenges where buyers are not providing enough underwriting information or allowing sufficient time for their renewal process.

Conversely, if a business has a good loss record, supporting data, proactive risk management programmes and a thought-through strategy, there are still deals to be done in the market. In the UK, the commercial insurance market is entering a more disciplined phase, and the report finds that buyers will need to focus on providing sufficient risk information and allowing enough time for the renewals process.

Directors & officers, marine cargo, and professional liability are the business lines most impacted by the changing market, while food and waste are challenging sectors for property and business interruption, with a focus on risk management quality.

The 2017 Grenfell Tower fire has triggered challenges for professional liability, leading to rate rises in design, construction and other similar professions.

Aon’s Hugo Wegbrans, chief broking officer EMEA, said: “Commercial insurance market conditions have been very favourable for buyers in the past decade, underpinned by a prolonged soft market period.

“This, along with continuing loss activity, has led to a consistent change in insurers’ attitudes with a renewed focus on profitability. How we respond to the changing market as an industry is critical.

“The market is firming, and buyers need to rethink their approach, ensuring there is an increased exchange of information between parties throughout the year to avoid surprises at the time of renewal.”

Airmic, Aon, Commercial European Insurance Market, Navigating a Changing Insurance Market, Report, Catastrophe, Insurance, Reinsurance, Risk, UK

Source: Intelligent Insurer

Almost half of home owners in the UK fail to insure outside possessions in their gardens

Nearly half of home owners in The UK do not consider garden contents when buying home insurance, new research suggests.

Three quarters of people value garden items at less than £5,000 and those in Northern Ireland are most likely to not include their garden possessions, according to the study by AA Insurance.

It points out official data published by the Office for National Statistics shows that there were 595,000 thefts from gardens in 2018, up 23% from 2017 and it says that just because possessions are outside, it does not mean they should not be insured.

Overall 48% of home owners do not consider the items in their garden when buying home insurance and 64% of gardens in Northern Ireland could be underinsured as they did not consider any aspect of their garden contents when buying their home insurance.

More than half of home owners in London, some 54%, and 53% in the North East of England also did not add their garden items to their insurance.

Three quarters of the 15,500 strong AA-Populus Panel who have both home insurance and a garden believed that their shrubs, pots, garden tools, chairs, tables and garden toys would cost no more than £5,000 to replace.

More expensive gardens could be found in Eastern England, the South West and Wales where more than one in 10 believed their garden contents costs between £5,000 and £10,000.

Separate AA research shows that 36% of households plan to spend more than £150 on garden tools and 9% spending £900 on a hot tub this summer.

‘As a nation we love our gardens, and we spend a lot of our hard earned cash improving them each year. Garden theft has seen such a sharp increase last year so it’s good to protect yourself,’ said Janet Connor, managing director for AA Insurance services.

‘A few minutes spent in the garden will give a good idea of how much you’d need to spend should the worst happen. When faced with filling out an insurance application, the term contents can be misinterpreted to just the things within the home. Even though it’s outside, you should still insure it,’ she added

Source:  Property Wire