ILC ARTICLE

Breakfast news 15 September


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Huge gap in contents insurance market

Almost a quarter of home-owners have never taken out contents insurance, and nearly a half don’t currently have any.

Research carried out by Trōv(www.trov.com) and The Tenants Voice (www.thetenantsvoice.co.uk) found that of those without insurance, nearly a third (31%) hope they will never need it while a fifth believe a housemate has it. Encouragingly, most of those without insurance (37%) do intend to take it out but ‘haven’t got around to it’.

Change at the top

Drainage and leak detection specialist DASA has announced a change in the structure of its leadership team, with managing director and founder, Darryl Gartley moving to chief executive officer with commercial director Chris Edwards stepping up as managing director.

Chris, who joined DASA 18 months ago, is also a director of the BDMA – the certifying body for damage management professionals, setting standards and providing training and accreditation for practitioners and others across the wider insurance industry.

Investment floods in for Fathom

Global risk assessment firm Moody’s Corporation is investing in flood risk modelling company Fathom. As part of the deal Moody’s will take one seat on Fathom’s board of directors.

Fathom launched flood risk models for both the UK and US last year.

Co-founder Christopher Samson said, “National and regional economies, insurers and financial services all need flood mapping data they can rely on, as the impact of flooding can have extremely serious physical, financial and environmental consequences today, that will further be exacerbated by climate change and urbanisation.”

Uninsured students targeted by thieves

Many students do not have contents insurance even though burglars target student households because of their relaxed attitude towards safety.

New research carried out by MoneySuperMarket combining its own insurance enquiry data with UK Police Force data has found that many university cities are burglary hotspots, yet claims from students are disproportionately low.

Of the student claims made, 58% included a high-value item such as a bicycle or laptop, while 20% of claims included an item valued at more than £1,000.

Motor

Young drivers benefit most from vehicle safety features

A new study by the Highway Loss Data Institute has found that crash avoidance features benefit younger drivers more than older motorists.

The HLDI carried out separate studies of insurance claims for Honda, Kia and Subaru drivers, comparing the claims rates of vehicles equipped with crash avoidance systems with identical vehicles that aren’t. Although each manufacturer included different crash avoidance systems, the research found that claims frequencies dropped more for drivers under 25 than for those between 25 and 64.

Carrot sticks to growth principles

Seoul-based insurance company Carrot General Insurance has passed more than 300,000 subscriptions to its pay-per-mile auto insurance programme.

The Korean company was only launched 18 months ago and its growth rate exceeds that of more traditional insurers. Carrot’s monthly premiums are based on miles driven, and it has recently introduced a safe-driving points scoring system, which enables drivers to exchange points for vouchers or gift cards.

Zenzic and Thatcham Research reveal plans

Zenzic, the organisation dedicated to accelerating the self-driving revolution in the UK, has announced funding for a proof-of-concept consumer safety rating for Automated Driving Systems, via Thatcham Research and CAM Testbed partners.

Initially, the independent rating will focus on Automated Lane Keeping Systems (ALKS). This technology could see motorists driving hands-free on UK motorways at limited speeds within a year. The goal is that this project will act as a basis for consumer safety rating of future Automated Driving Systems, and it is anticipated that it will later be adopted by consumer safety organisations such as Euro NCAP.

Nearly half of drivers to go electric

Nearly half of motorists say they will go electric with their next vehicle purchase.

According to research carried out by Aviva, 46% of UK drivers say their next vehicle will be at least partly powered by electricity, with a third saying the Covid-19 outbreak has had an impact on their decision.

The research found that 52% of UK adults became more environmentally aware during the pandemic, while the 2030 ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles is also influencing the decision to go electric.

ClaimsTech

No soft centre for Marshmallow

Insurance disrupter Marshmallow has raised $85m in its Series B funding round, taking total funding to more than $100m in the last year and raising the value of the company to more than $1.25bn.

Marshmallow, which uses technology, data and AI to develop products that it claims are cheaper, fairer and faster, will use the additional funding to accelerate product innovation and recruitment – it plans to hire 400 people in the next two years.

VSure achieves regulatory approval

Malaysia-based VSure has become the country’s first on-demand digital insurer to be approved by the country’s Financial Industry Regulator, the Central Bank of Malaysia.

It has achieved this landmark with the support of technology partner eBaoTech Corporation, which will help the company launch a series of pay-per-use on-demand protection solutions in the coming months.

SiriusPoint supports Vouch growth

Global insurer and reinsurer SiriusPoint has announced a strategic partnership with Vouch Insurance.

Vouch is a new type of insurance platform for startups, offering fully-digital solutions that can be activated in minutes.

The deal will see SiriusPoint invest in Vouch’s Series C Funding round while also providing multi-year underwriting capacity. 

AI-based insurtech goes live in Indonesia

Indonesia’s first integrated health, life and critical illness insurtech company has launched it’s AI-based product portfolio after receiving $1m in pre-seed funding from Trans-Pacific Technology Fund.

Rey Assurance is a digital provider of monthly subscription-based insurance which also offers policyholders access to a health and wellbeing ecosystem, comprising AI-based self-assessments, 24/7 consultations with medical experts and pharmacy deliveries.

It also uses big data analytics from consumer wearables to personalise wellness packages, including rewards to promote healthier lifestyles.

Market News

Innovation Group extends ILC partnership

“No other institution has done as much during these trying times as ILC to keep the industry connected, informed and networking. Congratulations to all the team for their efforts over the last 18 months, and we look forward to a fantastic next 12 as one of your corporate partners”

Read more here

Rising Star interview with Hina KhanCopart

“It’s a high-pressured and fast-paced environment, but I love how rewarding my role can be. It’s been great to be part of many different initiatives and projects that have improved our supplier and customer experience and it’s always nice seeing the buzz and excitement when a supercar or classic goes into the auction!”

Read more here

Lloyds back to profit

Lloyds has reported an aggregated before tax profit of £1.4bn for the first half of 2021. This compares to a loss of £0.4bn for the same period last year, when Covid-19 impacted results.

The company expects 2020 pay outs to reach £6.2bn on a gross basis, with Covid-19 adding 13.3% to the market’s combined ratio of 110.3%. It saw premium rate increases of 10.8% during the year, with this momentum continuing in the first quarter of 2021.

Davies confirms tech acquisition

Specialist professional services and tech business Davies has acquired Asta, a third party managing agent which provides solutions across the insurance life cycle.

The deal, which is subject to regulatory approval, will enhance Davies’ portfolio of end-to-end insurance management solutions to intermediaries, captives, syndicates, insurers, reinsurers and InsurTech businesses.

Asta CEO Julian Tighe and chief underwriting officer Simon Norton will remain in role.

Sustainability role created at WTW

Willis Towers Watson has named Monique Mathys-Graaff as senior director.

She will take up the newly-created role of senior sustainable investment strategist, charged with integrating sustainability into the company’s investment process and promoting sustainable thinking within client portfolios.

She joins the company from the Impact Management Project, where she was senior advisor.

Life insurance claims up by 75%

Claims on life, critical illness, and income protection policies have risen 75% in the first half of 2021 compared to the same period last year.

According to analysis published by Zurich, insurers paid out £222m to customers claiming on these policies.

The majority of this (£167.8m) was paid to life insurance customers, up 24% on 2020, with £18.1m of this figure Covid-related. Critical illness claims rose by nearly 20% to £50.7m while income protection claims dropped 12% to £2.9m.

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