Zurich is joining forces with the Global Resilience Partnership to launch the Global Resilience Challenge Water Window. The Water Window is a grant-based competition focused on building resilience to different water challenges, including floods. Zurich is the first private sector member of the Resilience Partnership and provides a US$10m investment to fund solutions to build flood resilience.
Businesses are putting themselves in danger by neglecting or avoiding formal risk management processes, according to a new study by the Enterprise Risk Management Initiative at North Carolina State University on behalf of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA).
New figures from the ABI show that trade credit insurers are providing more cover to UK businesses than ever before, insuring turnover worth £315 billion in 2014 – a 6.6% increase in turnover insured from the previous year.
ArgoGlobal has launched a new underwriting platform initially offering D&O products for the German SME market, with plans for later expansion across Europe. ArgoGlobal Business Connect (ABC) offers a platform from which brokers can rapidly provide D&O cover to companies with a turnover of up to €200m and allows brokers to quote, bind and issue policies in ten minutes.
Figures released by the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries’ UK Deafness Working Party have revealed that deafness notifications during 2015 have spiked after a short lived respite during 2014. On the basis of the latest data, the notifications over the first half of 2015 are three per cent higher than the peak levels of 50,000 claims in the first half of 2013.
The emerging trend of catastrophe bond issuance is expected to catch on in the Asia-Pacific region, particularly for the catastrophe prone markets such as Japan and China, as the region steps up efforts to strengthen resilience to disasters. Insurers are also continually looking for alternative sources of funding to reduce their heavy dependence on reinsurers.
The drones sector is a dynamic and important component of the global aviation industry, with global expenditure on acquisition expected to double to US$91bn in the 10 years to 2024. However, concerns around safety, security and surveillance need to be considered by manufacturers and users of this technology, says Lloyd’s.
A decade after Hurricane Katrina caused US$41bn in property and casualty insurance losses, the most expensive catastrophe ever experienced by the global insurance industry, rising sea levels are driving up expected economic and insurance losses from hurricane-driven storm surge in coastal cities across the United States, according to new analysis from risk management firm RMS.
The Alarm Insurance Special Interest Group has launched its Highways Claims Management Manual, the first and only document to feature all the relevant aspects on managing highways claims from the specific perspective of the risk / insurance manager.
The insured losses from a series of explosions at a chemical warehouse in Tianjin last week are likely to be material for Chinese insurance companies, potentially exceeding US$1bn-1.5bn, according to analysts at Fitch. The high insurance penetration rate in this area could make the blasts one of the most costly catastrophe claims for the Chinese insurance sector in the last few years. Meanwhile, restrictions have been placed on the handling of vessels carrying hazardous substances at Tianjin Port.
The professional indemnity and directors’ and officers’ insurance sector has grown consistently since 2012 and is expected to continue this upward trend while increasing consolidation is shifting market power to the larger players, according to a new Timetric report. It says the professional indemnity insurance category grew at a CAGR of 7.15% in the four years to 2014 and was worth £1.17bn in gross written premium at the end of 2014.
A bomb explosion in Thailand's capital of Bangkok yesterday left at least 21 people dead and over 120 wounded. The blast took place near Pathum Wan district's popular Erawan Shrine complex, located in close proximity to the Ratchaprasong intersection. PLUS TRAVEL ADVICE
A survey by the CII sees an unprecedented two-thirds of their members expecting the UK economy to improve in the next twelve months – a 15% increase on 2014's results.
60% of respondents anticipate an upswing in their own businesses’ financial performance over the coming year. This is the first time that members have felt more optimistic about the economy as a whole than for their own businesses – although there is a record upturn in both figures.
The Prudential Regulation Authority has written to insurance firms with details of a cyber security and resilience questionnaire, designed to assess the firm’s policies and capabilities in regards to cyber and resilience risks. Issued by the PRA's Andrew Bulley and Chris Moulder, the questionnaire seeks to understand the capabilities and extent to which firms are writing cyber insurance policies and help the watchdog understand the extent to which confidential customer information is received, processed and stored.
According to preliminary estimates from Swiss Re's sigma, total economic losses from natural catastrophes and man-made disasters reached US$37bn in the first half of 2015. The global insurance industry covered nearly 45% (US$16.5bn) of these losses, which is higher than the previous 10-year average cover of 27%. Disaster events claimed many lives in the first six months of 2015. In all, around 18 000 people lost their lives.
The Lloyd’s Market Association has completed an initial review of the Lloyd’s Wordings Repository (LWR) to flag up model wordings that may need amendment in light of the new Insurance Act. Of the 4,000 plus model wording recorded on the repository, several hundred have been flagged for review; 373 wordings are considered ‘high risk’, meaning they contain terms which will need to be reviewed, and many will require amendment. A number of the flagged wordings are older clauses, and any that have been superseded, or fallen out of use, can be withdrawn.
Poor professional advice from third parties or consultants has resulted in one in six small and micro businesses (the equivalent of around 320,000 enterprises in the UK) losing money, according to new research published by Direct Line for Business.
At least 44 people have been killed and as many as 400 injured in a series of explosions reported at a warehouse in Binhai New Area, in China's city of Tianjin. Rescue operations are underway in the affected area. The exact cause of the explosion remains unclear. Disruptions to travel are expected to persist during the ongoing rescue and clean-up operations.
Public sector organisations are struggling to balance demands for transparency with the need to protect data, according to a study from Iron Mountain. While an overwhelming 96% of public sector bodies claim to be prepared for all FOI requests, and 88% say their responses comply with data protection laws – a third (35%) admit that skills gaps are putting this at risk. The Information Commissioner’s Office has felt compelled to issue advice to organisations on how to reduce the number of FOI-related data leaks
The shortlist for the 2015 Risk Management Awards has been published. Winners will be announced at a black tie gala dinner and ceremony on 12 November 2015, at The Cumberland Hotel, London. Mark Evans, publishing director of CIR Magazine and chair of the judging panel said, “This annual celebration places the spotlight on the hard work and achievements of the sector. Universally recognised as the pinnacle of success, the Risk Management Awards really are the measure of professionalism combined with passion.”
ACE Group has announced the launch of ACE Commercial Partner, a comprehensive single property and liability package insurance policy for businesses operating in the UK and Ireland. Designed to meet the needs of domestic businesses with a turnover of between £2m-500m (€3-500m) – but with no overseas operations – ACE Commercial Partner includes cover across the six priority risk areas of property damage, business interruption, employers’ liability, public and products liability, terrorism including ACE’s ComputerGuard.
Typhoon Soudelor has weakened over eastern China after making landfalls in Saipan, Taiwan, and China. The storm made landfall in Taiwan on Saturday, August 8, approximately 32 km north-northeast of Hualien City, bringing strong winds and heavy rainfall to mainly the northern third of the island.
Many of the country’s 1.8 million small employers approaching their pensions auto-enrolment staging dates are in danger of missing deadlines by underestimating the amount of data needed to complete the process, according to financial advisors at Lighthouse Group. The Pensions Regulator recently stated that only 29% of those staging in 2016 were fully aware of their date and only 46% of those staging in 2017 were aware of their responsibilities.
Wildfires have resulted in mass evacuations and disruptions to road travel in Spain's western Extremadura region. The fires, which were first reported on 6 August, largely affected areas within Caceres province's Sierra de Gata municipality, including Acebo, Perales del Puerto and Hoyos towns.
Carphone Warehouse customers are being warned that their personal data may have been breached in an apparently sophisticated cyber attack. The high street and online communications giant discovered last Wednesday that the IT systems of one of its divisions were hacked into, yet only made the breach public three days later, on Saturday.
Arthur J. Gallagher has signed an agreement to acquire a controlling stake in Colombian retail insurance broker Guianza. Established in 1992 and based in Bogotá, Guianza is an independent, family-owned retail insurance broker offering both commercial and personal lines, specialising in property and vehicle insurance with significant personal accident and life and health accounts.
As the political and humanitarian situation in Calais continues to unfold, operators are being urged to consider the steps they can take to avoid heavy penalties from being caught carrying illegal immigrants. The problem of illegal immigrants entering Western European countries has been a geopolitical issue for several years, which – despite the recent rise in profile and the introduction of certain legislation – has never quite been overcome. Events in the last months have brought the issues very much to the fore.
As a follow up to its more detailed analysis of the Insurance Act 2015, the LMA and IUA have released a quick reference guide for underwriters and wording specialists in the London insurance market. It pulls together the headline provisions of the new Act and points for practitioners to consider in the underwriting process.
The results of a survey by the British Insurance Brokers’ Association (BIBA) reveal the buying habits of UK brokers when it comes to their own professional indemnity insurance. The PI market is hardening for brokers’ PI with underwriters having little appetite, and the association was keen to understand how this affected brokers when seeking their own cover.
Following weeks of failed talks over pay and conditions for London Underground’s night tube service, underground train drivers and staff walked out last night for a second time in a month. As a result, some four million Londoners will face major transport disruption from until Friday morning.
Regulatory action and reputational damage arising from third party actions could cost organisations’ shareholders an average of 10 times the size of the fine itself as the market value of the company is impacted, according to Deloitte, whose research, Third party governance and risk management: Turning risk into opportunity, highlights the average combined direct fine and remedial costs of failing to appropriately identify and manage third parties. This has ranged from £1.3m to £35m before the cost of indirect losses, such as reduced sales and reputational damage. Where legislation is applicable on a global cross-industry basis for internationally-operating businesses, the range is far higher reaching £650m. The negative impact on share price itself is an average of 2.55%
The Federation of Small Businesses is growing ever more concerned about the growing economic impact being caused by cross-channel transport disruption and Operation Stack. Recent FSB research shows the true extent of the impact, with increasing frustration and concern being felt among its membership, it says, showing it as a national issue with almost half of the federation’s membership claiming to suffer from delays to the import of goods or supplies.
Results from an interim analysis of the Guinea Phase III efficacy vaccine trial show that VSV-EBOV (Merck, Sharp & Dohme) is highly effective against Ebola, leading the independent review body, the Data and Safety Monitoring Board, to conclude that the trial should continue. While the vaccine up to now shows 100% efficacy in individuals, more conclusive evidence is needed on its capacity to protect populations through what is called 'herd immunity'.
Asta Capital has announced the launch of a new platform to support the MGA market, Asta Underwriting Management. Pelican is Asta’s first MGA, which launched on 27th July 2015, and is a joint venture between the two partners. Pelican has launched its first product, targeting the UK solicitor’s PI market, with backing from Great Lakes Reinsurance, a wholly owned subsidiary of Munich Re.
Research carried out by data security firm Bromium Labs reveals fresh insight into the ongoing security risk of popular websites and software. The report's authors reckon that some 58% of malvertisments (online advertisements with hidden malware) were delivered through news websites (32%) and entertainment websites (26%).
The number of risk jobs advertised in the second quarter increased by five per cent from 2014 to 2015, according to research from specialist recruiter Robert Walters, with the largest growth seen in London and the South East at seven per cent. Meanwhile, the number of insurance jobs advertised y-o-y in the London area has increased by 13%. Insurance vacancies grew 29% in the North West and 22% in the Midlands y-o-y.
Firms still have to do further work to identify the full range of their benchmark activities and improve their management of the associated risks according to the Financial Conduct Authority’s thematic review of oversight and controls of financial benchmarks, published today.
The risk of organisations breaching international human rights regulations has risen significantly over the last quarter as key Asian economies adapt to tougher economic conditions. Rising labour costs in China have led companies to diversify their supply chains into other high-risk countries such as Vietnam, especially for electronics, apparel and footwear.
Insurers should be working more closely with government and regulatory bodies to set standards in the emerging field of drones if they are to fully exploit this rapidly growing market, City law firm Elborne Mitchell warned today.
Insurance is essential to “safeguard economic success”, UK Prime Minister David Cameron said today, as a statement of intent between the British government, the Monetary Authority of Singapore and Lloyd’s was signed. The signatories have committed to a series of initiatives to aid the understanding of risk exposures in Asia and support and nurture insurance markets across the region.
Ascent Underwriting has added social engineering fraud coverage to the comprehensive crime module of its CyberPro insurance product. First launched in 2013 to offer financial protection against professional and ecommerce risks, the product will now include coverage for losses arising from phishing and other scams which result in an insured being misled into transferring monies or assets to criminals.
Cat risk modelling firm AIR Worldwide has updated its earthquake models for South America based on new data and research on seismic risk in the region. The models now enable the analysis of high-value industrial facilities, builders’ risk, and public infrastructure. Modelled perils have been expanded to include liquefaction and tsunami, in addition to the most current understanding of ground shaking in South America.
The Association of British Insurers (ABI) has welcomed a move by the Ministry of Justice to tackle the growing number and cost of claims for noise induced hearing loss (NIHL). The MoJ has asked the Civil Justice Council to consider the issue and make recommendations.
The US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has fined Fiat Chrysler a record US$105m over lapses in safety recalls involving millions of vehicles.
News of the fine breaks after the firm announced another recall over software faults in one particular model.
Leaders of some of Britain's biggest firms will sit on a new panel advising government, Downing Street has announced. John Nelson, chairman of Lloyd's of London, is among them. The Business Advisory Group will allow ministers to hear industry's concerns about economic policy and issues including David Cameron's renegotiation of the UK's links with Europe ahead of the in/out referendum.
Evidence presented in a London Assembly Economy Committee report suggests that London’s businesses are ill-prepared for climate change risks, with 54% of FTSE 100 firms having no business adaptation strategy in place for climate change; and 60% of SMEs having no plan to deal with extreme weather conditions.
The Generali Group has acquired full control of UK data analytics company, MyDrive Solutions. MyDrive uses data gathered from a series of technological instruments, such as blackboxes or smartphones, to formulate predictive algorithms and to define behavioural scores or assessments of user behaviours.
Sungard Availability Services has announced the expansion of its workplace recovery portfolio. These investments reflect an increasing demand from organisations for both physical recovery space and virtual and cloud-based solutions.
The rise of autonomous and semi-autonomous cars will change the nature of car ownership and challenge the motor insurance market to develop new business models, the Lloyd’s Market Association has warned. It says advances in vehicle technology will result in reduced private car ownership, major changes to the motor insurance market and a shift in the nature of vehicle accidents.
A coordinated international approach to the regulation of aviation drones is essential for the technology to thrive, the International Underwriting Association (IUA) has stated. The call comes as a near miss between a passenger jet and a drone was reported at Heathrow. The Civil Aviation Authority has said drone pilots would face prosecution if they ignore the safety of other aircraft.
In an episode of Star Trek, Captain Kirk once told the crew of the USS Enterprise: ‘risk is our business’, explaining that humankind would never have reached the stars without taking significant risks. Of course he and his crew were on a five year mission to ‘boldly go where no man has gone before’. So you might well expect Kirk to be something of a risk taker. However the writers of the show were making a serious point – we cannot progress without taking risk.
The UK Prime Minister warned last year that due to antibiotic resistance the world could be “cast back into the dark ages of medicine”. The broader risk of antimicrobial resistance (AMR), which also incorporates resistance to drugs combating viruses, fungi and parasites is a significant global threat.
Tokio Marine Kiln has launched a corporate aircraft consortium at Lloyd’s to write 100% lines on risks. The corporate aircraft consortium, which is led by Tokio Marine Kiln, comprises Allied World, Amlin, Antares, ANV, Apollo, Argo, Ark, Chaucer and Hiscox. It will target a range of corporate fixed-wing and rotor-wing aircraft.
Catastrophe bond issuance reached US$2.96bn in Q2, according to a report from Aon Securities, the investment banking division of global reinsurance intermediary and capital advisor Aon Benfield. When added to the record first quarter 2015 catastrophe bond issuance total of US$1.69bn, total catastrophe bond issuance for the first half of the year stood at US$4.66bn.
DWF has launched 15squared, a new venture focusing solely on developing technology-driven solutions aimed at driving efficiency and mitigating risk. The new venture has been developed from Claimbase, a company acquired through the firm’s merger with Fishburns and which was named after its sole product offering, a cloud-based software platform for large insurers with volume claims.
The government has today launched a consultation on plans to increase the maximum sentence for commercial-scale online copyright infringement from two to 10 years imprisonment. Proposals set out in the consultation will bring penalties for online offences into line with equivalent offences relating to the copyright infringement of physical goods.
The Financial Conduct Authority has announced that chief executive, Martin Wheatley, will step down this September. He will continue to act as an adviser to the FCA board until the end of January 2016, with a particular focus on the implementation of the Fair and Effective Markets Review, which he co-chaired.
Insured losses in China from Typhoon Chan-hom are unlikely to exceed CNY 2.2 billion. This is according to estimates from catastrophe modelling firm AIR Worldwide, figures that include insured physical damage to onshore property (residential, commercial, and CAR/EAR), for both structures and their contents due to wind and precipitation-induced flooding in China.
The European Commission’s Joint Research Centre has published the third and final report into the definition of the term “nanomaterial”. This report has been long awaited and the Commission response, which is expected form a final recommendation, is should happen before the end of 2015. The report discusses various options which could be taken into account in agreeing a final definition of a nanomaterial.
Asset managers and project owners must carefully consider contingency plans in order to mitigate the risk of transformer downtime, an infrequent yet severe incident that can lead to significant financial impairment of a renewable energy project.
As renewable energy developers look to reduce capital expenditure by designing larger projects with only one transformer in mind, it is not sufficient to simply offload the associated electrical infrastructure risk to a third party under contract.
The number of food recalls and their costs to business and society are rising, according to a new Swiss Re publication that suggests the number of recalls per year in the US may even have doubled since 2002. Food contamination costs US health authorities US$15bn per year; and nearly nine million Americans became sick from contaminated food in 2013 alone.
Half of all food recalls cost the affected companies more than US$10m, highlighting the value of risk transfer through insurance.
The growing use of 3D printing in the manufacture of aviation parts has the potential to create a new breed of liability risks for the industry insurers have been told.
Martin Cox, underwriting executive, global aerospace was speaking at the AGM of the International Union of Aerospace Insurers (IUAI) held in Bengaluru, India at a session on the potential impact of 3D printing in aerospace manufacturing in the future.
Willis Group has announced its agreement to acquire PMI Health Group, significantly raising its presence in the UK employee benefits and healthcare market. PMIHG was established in 1986 and is the UK’s largest independent provider of employee healthcare and risk management services. It offers a range of health and protection insurance, including services targeting absence management and occupational health. One in five of its 128 staff is medically trained.
An international group of experts today released a new, independent assessment of the risks of climate change, designed to support political leaders in their decisions on how much priority to give to the issue. The report, which was commissioned by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, applies the principles of risk assessment used in finance and national security to better understand and communicate the risks of climate change. It recommends that climate change risk assessments should be updated regularly and communicated to political leaders at the highest level.
Airmic has expressed its disappointment with the increase in Insurance Premium Tax (IPT) announced by the Chancellor in the 2015 Summer Budget. George Osborne announced a rise in IPT from 6% to 9.5%, effective from November this year.
The benefits to honest insurance customers and society from the insurance industry’s ongoing crackdown against insurance fraud are highlighted by ABI figures published today on insurance frauds uncovered in 2014. The £3.6 million a day saved by exposing insurance cheats is one of the factors helping to keep the cost of insurance down for honest customers, with the price paid for the average comprehensive motor premium down five per cent in 2014, and the average price paid for home contents down three per cent.
The demand for higher-level skills in British industry is set to grow in the years ahead, with sectors central to future growth, including manufacturing and construction, particularly hard-pressed. That’s according to this year’s CBI/Pearson Education and Skills survey published today, Monday.
ACE Group is to offer increased insurance capacity of up to US$100m for terrorism, political violence and war risks. The announcement follows new research by ACE which shows that 68% of risk managers across Europe, the Middle East and Africa believe that terrorism is a growing concern for business, and 75% agree that recent global events are causing them to review their security and travel policies.
World Bank Group member IFC has announced a programme designed to make Bangladesh’s garment industry safer for workers, providing US$50m to local banks and forming partnerships with leading international buyers. This is IFC’s first deployment of long term financing to Bangladeshi banks. Bangladesh’s ready-made garment industry employs more than four million people -- mostly women – in about 4,500 factories. The sector accounts for about 80% of the country’s exports.
Lloyd’s and the University of Cambridge’s Centre for Risk Studies are today launching a new report, Business Blackout - the first to examine the insurance implications of a major cyber attack, using the US power grid as an example. The report depicts a scenario where hackers shut down parts of the US power grid, plunging 15 US states and Washington DC into darkness and leaves 93 million people without power. Experts predict it would result in a rise in mortality rates as health and safety systems fail.
The heightened reputational and non-compliance risks associated with how companies manage their tax affairs means that boards are taking a much closer and more active interest in tax policies and how the tax landscape is set to evolve. Executives increasingly expect tax teams to keep them up-to-date with tax policy developments, strategic options and potential risks. These are the findings of a PwC report published this week focused on tax compliance management.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) have today published the final rules confirming the approach to improving individual accountability in the banking sector. The final rules cover the Senior Managers Regime; the Certification Regime; and new Conduct Rules. Martin Wheatley, Financial Conduct Authority chief executive, commented: “Today we have given clarity on rules that will embed personal accountability into the culture of the City. New conduct rules will add further momentum to improving standards across the industry.”
CBI director-general John Cridland has called on the chancellor to use his first budget of the new government to provide stability for companies of all sectors and sizes.
Cridland is urging the Treasury to lock in the gains made in the previous parliament by continuing to pursue policies promoting jobs and growth.
The energy sector can now access the world’s largest collection of global renewable energy standards and patents on a new online platform launched today by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). The International Standards and Patents in Renewable Energy platform, also known as INSPIRE helps users search through, locate and analyse 400 international standards and more than two million patents for renewable energy technology.
Protests in response to the results of the 5 July referendum are anticipated in Greece in the near-term. The referendum asked Greek nationals whether or not to accept proposals made by the country's creditors, including raising taxes and cutting welfare spending. Preliminary results suggest that a 'no' vote has been secured.
GreenRoad Technologies has introduced a new in-vehicle video system that records dangerous or noteworthy events, on the road and in the vehicle, as they happen.
The GreenRoad video solution captures footage with detailed driving behaviour data for individual GreenRoad safety events, providing objective information about how external and behavioural factors each contributed to the outcome
The Lloyd’s Market Association (LMA) has issued new guidance to Lloyd’s managing agents on the proposed Senior Insurance Managers Regime (SIMR) developed by the UK’s two financial services regulators. The LMA’s paper provides a summary of the new regulations and their implications for the Lloyd’s market.
After a relentless period of rate reductions, early signs of reinsurance price stabilisation are beginning to emerge in peak property catastrophe zones. But while property catastrophe pricing competition may be cooling, the reinsurer M&A frenzy continues. Despite the unappealing short-term outlook for nearly all companies across the sector, such activity is helping to maintain current high valuations, and despite diminishing underwriting and investment returns being delivered, investor capital continues to be attracted to the sector.
Phoenix has today launched its active Archive as a Service (AaaS) offering, the UK’s first interactive cloud-based archive service to also be fully integrated into Phoenix’s IT Disaster Recovery as a Service offering. The active Archive as a Service will provide organisations of all sizes, with a resilient and economic data storage solution that also remains fully accessible and available for users to search, access and retrieve their archived data.
The Bank of England has said in its latest twice-yearly financial stability report that the UK outlook has worsened in recent days as the crisis in Greece intensifies. As the political dialogue with Greece continues to be in a high state of flux, the impact of a potential Greek Exit from the Euro on (re)insurance companies and their policyholders has been largely overlooked, according to experts from law firm CMS.
Like any other large-scale threat to a company, cyber security must be dealt with at board level, the CBI said at its inaugural Cyber Security Conference in London this morning. Mitigating the sheer scale of the impact is vital as nearly all businesses suffer cyber attacks – 81% of large businesses suffered a security breach last year alone, with the figure for small businesses at 60%. The average cost for large businesses is between £600,000 and £1.15m and for small businesses between £65,000 and £115,000.
The Institute of Risk Management (IRM) has today launched its new certification for risk professionals, which it says will help bring the sector into line with such professions as accounting and law. Risk practitioners can now become a certified member and use the new professional designation CMIRM. This is achieved through a combination of qualifications, experience, ongoing professional development and commitment to IRM’s code of conduct.
Flood modelling specialist JBA Risk Management has been commissioned by Flood Re broker Guy Carpenter to develop a probabilistic loss model for flooding in the UK. The model, likely to be completed later this year, will be used to draw a more complete and sophisticated picture of the risk being underwritten by Flood Re, the flood reinsurance fund being created to provide affordable domestic flood cover in high-risk areas.
A lone gunman initiated an assault in the vicinity of the Hotel Riu Imperial Marhaba in Port El Kantaoui, northern Tunisia. The attack left 39 people dead, including British, German and French nationals, and 40 others wounded. The threat of terrorism is considered high in Tunisia and further low-level and mass-casualty attacks should be anticipated.
As uncertainty rises over the potential for Greece to exit from the euro currency, the Lloyd’s Market Association (LMA) has reissued its guidance and a model clause relating to the withdrawal of a country from the eurozone. The association’s aim is to minimise risks in the event of an exit by encouraging policyholders and carriers to include appropriate clauses in order to safeguard their intentions.
Organisations are drowning in data, unable to effectively mine their data archives for key insights that could ultimately improve business outcomes. These are the findings of a study carried out by IDC, which suggests that successful management of data archiving can garner as much as US$10m (£6.4m) in additional revenue. Mining for Insight: Rediscovering the Data Archive, the IDC white paper, produced in association with Iron Mountain, reveals that organisations with a well-defined data archive process stand to realise value from two potential avenues: cost savings and added revenue from monetising archives.
27 people have been killed in an attack on a hotel in Tunisia, according to reports from Reuters. The casualties were reported at a tourist hotel in the Tunisian resort of Sousse.
French President Francois Hollande said today that an attack this morning in southeast France was of "a terrorist nature" and that a suspect had been arrested after two assailants rammed a car into the premises of a US gas company in Saint-Quentin-Fallavier, in southeast France, according to reports from Reuters.
The Financial Conduct Authority is asking firms to put forward alternative options for increasing transparency and product quality in the general insurance market. The FCA is asking for feedback on the discussion paper by 24 September 2015.
The recent FCA thematic review into delegated authority has found the sector wanting in a number of areas with several commentators suggesting the regulator will take action if firms don’t do more to improve their oversight. This development has seen a spike in interest from the market for CII’s Delegated Authority examination.
Aon Risk Solutions has joined a new initiative to tackle cyber risk funded under the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 programme. Horizon 2020 is the biggest EU Research and Innovation programme, with nearly €80 billion of funding available over seven years.
UK companies need twice as long as German counterparts to identify new software installed on systems. This is according to a survey of 200 UK and 200 German organisations, conducted by Vanson Bourne on behalf of Tenable Network Security, which suggests that UK organisations are not as quick to react to potential cyber vulnerabilities as their German counterparts.
The vulnerability of the overstretched global food system to sudden shocks, and the wide repercussions for communities, businesses and governments has been highlighted by a report published by Lloyd’s of London. The scenario, produced in conjunction with UK and US academics, shows the far-reaching economic and humanitarian consequences that disruptions such as weather catastrophes or plant pandemics – many of which are exacerbated by climate change – could have on the global economy.
Demands facing boards have never been tougher, a pressure that in turn is opening up opportunities for the risk profession. Risk and insurance association Airmic says it is time for risk managers to rise to the challenge. To help them do just that, the association has unveiled a ‘roadmap to success’ in the form of its paper, The Changing World of Risk, which argues that “there is a clear and developing need for in-house risk management expertise” to help C-suites fulfil their obligations and align their approach to risk with their overall strategy. It urges risk managers to become a vital part of decision-making and to “become executive partners, or risk counsel to the board”.
xMatters has introduced new functionality in its system for responding to IT incidents and reducing business downtime. The new solution addresses the complexity of frequent changes to schedules and vastly improves collaboration capabilities, including consolidated views and reporting across monitoring applications. The technology facilitates effective two-way communications to the internal teams and external service providers responsible for a rapid resolution to incidents.
Airmic has released a step-by-step guide to managing reputational risk and laid the foundations for increased insurance cover for losses incurred as a result of reputational damage, produced in partnership with Reputation Institute. The report, Defining and Managing Reputational Risk, sets out a structured approach to understanding and mitigating the risk. It argues that reputation is an intangible risk grounded in emotion, but that by breaking down your reputation into measurable components, you can make the intangible tangible.
The deadline for entries for the 2015 Risk Management Awards has been extended to 1st July 2015. Now in their 6th year, these awards recognise those individuals, organisations and teams that have significantly added to the understanding and practice of risk management.
UK firms are failing to adequately assess their customers and trading partners for cyber risk, and are more vulnerable to cyber attacks themselves as a result.
These are the findings of a study published this week by Marsh, which found that nearly 70% of respondents from large and medium-sized corporations across the UK do not assess the suppliers and/or customers they trade with for cyber risk.
Public sector organisations are the number one target for malware attacks in the UK. This is according to analysis of over six billion security attacks in 2014. While financial services continues to represent the number one targeted sector globally with 18% of all detected attacks, in the UK market nearly 40% of malware attacks were against public sector organisations. This was three times more than the next sector, insurance (13%) and nearly five times more than the media and finance sectors (both nine per cent).
Kicking off proceedings at Airmic's annual gathering of risk and insurance professionals in Liverpool this week, CEO of the association, John Hurrell praised risk managers and the wider market on the strides made in gaining recognition for their professions.
ACE European Group has announced two further enhancements to its UK property and casualty policy wordings, as it embraces the UK Insurance Act 2015 ahead of the August 2016 deadline.
Businesses should be willing to pay higher insurance premiums for contract certainty, according to Airmic in a report on the importance of business-critical insurance launched today at its annual conference in Liverpool. Produced in conjunction with PwC, it urges policyholders and insurers to raise awareness of the strategic value of certain types of insurance.
Following the FIFA scandal, corruption is now at the forefront of public consciousness, leaving the business practices of large organisations and companies under ever increasing scrutiny around the world. But where is the risk of corruption highest? Risk analysis and forecasting company Verisk Maplecroft has scored and ranked 198 economies on the prevalence of bribery and the effectiveness of official efforts to combat it to reveal the best and worst performing countries.
FM Global has compiled a comprehensive index of many of the world’s building codes, providing companies with valuable new insight into the world’s regulatory landscape. Buildings codes vary dramatically around the world.
The 2015 FM Global Country Building Codes, produced in cooperation with the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), serves as a companion to the newly updated FM Global Resilience Index, compiled to rank the supply chain resilience of 130 countries and territories.
The winners of the 2015 Business Continuity Awards were announced last night at a Gala Dinner hosted by comedian Josh Widdicombe at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London's Park Lane. A full review of the most celebrated event in the industry calendar will be published in the July issue of CIR Magazine. In the meantime, our worthy winners are as follows. Congratulations to everyone shortlisted, and particularly to...
The Internet of Things is set to transform the world in the next five years, with some companies already tapping into the promise offered by IoT, as it makes them more efficient, safer, and closer to customers. These are the messages of a study carried out by AIG and the Consumer Electronics Association, in association with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
A study released this week shows the degree to which standards contribute to the UK economy. The CEBR study highlights how the most productive UK sectors are the most intensive users of standards, with aerospace and defence showing a productivity increase of 20.1% between 2005 and 2014 compared to 4.9% for the economy as a whole.
University of Leicester researchers are examining how communities can use social media to improve their resilience to both man-made and natural disasters – such as the recent Nepal earthquake or the sinking of ships that left thousands of Rohingya and Bangladeshi migrants stranded at sea. They hope to identify examples of good practice for information dissemination to the public during crises. These will be used to develop a communication strategy for emergency services and incident managers that will raise public awareness about the risks associated with these events.
Tokio Marine is to acquire HCC in a deal worth US$7.5bn.The acquisition price of $78.00 a share represents a 35.8% premium to HCC’s average share price over the past month and a 37.6% premium to the share price as of close of business on 9th June 2015. The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2015.
Liberty Mutual Insurance has launched a new customer portal for commercial policyholders. From this month, Liberty Risk Reduce will be made available to all LMI’s commercial combined, property and liability customers and offers a range of risk management tools and resources, including materials from RoSPA, the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents.
The insurance industry is the least popular financial services employer with young women due to a perceived lack of career progression causing many females to leave their jobs or putting them off joining the sector in the first place, according to global research by PwC. The report, which draws on interviews with over 8,000 female millennials globally, reveals that the financial services industry faces a number of hurdles in attracting and retaining this generation of women. Female millennials are entering the workplace in larger numbers than ever before and come with their own set of expectations and ambitions for their careers.
Workers aged over 50 are routinely being overlooked for promotion despite possessing the essential knowledge and experience needed to fill the UK’s leadership skills gap, according to a new report released today by the Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM). Untapped talent: Can over 50s bridge the leadership skills gap, which has drawn from a survey of over 1,400 UK managers, reveals that many organisations wrongly assume that staff over 50 lack the desire to develop and progress into more senior leadership roles.
An Internet of Things business supported by Innovate UK is set to expand its service to millions of homes after being bought by British Gas. AlertMe was founded in 2006 and has developed an Internet of Things platform that connects devices in UK and US homes and allows corporate partners to offer remote monitoring and control. Its products and services are now found in more than 200,000 homes, and the company has grown over the last nine years to employ more than 100 people.
Organisations appear to be placing a growing emphasis on developing risk management strategies to proactively address cyber risk exposures, US-based risk management society, RIMS reveals in its first survey into cyber exposures. The RIMS Cyber Survey set out to explore strategies implemented by risk professionals including insurance investments, exposures, cyber security ownership, government involvement, as well as identification methods and response procedures.
A new study from ESET UK has revealed that 80% of IT professionals believe social media is an easy way for hackers to gain access to corporate networks because it is often neglected in terms of security, and furthermore 36% even admit that their company could be breached by a hacker through one of their employees’ social media access at work.
A Shropshire-based company has developed an alert system that gives a real-time picture of river levels and the potential for flooding at more than 2,400 locations across England and Wales. After having received a £97,000 award from Innovate UK, Shoothill’s GaugeMap can now visualise river levels at 2,481 Environment Agency river gauges.
According to report from Fitch Ratings, Japanese non-life insurers are likely to continue to look for M&A opportunities overseas to improve returns from the capital that will be released by continued reduction of their equity crossholdings. The overseas businesses of the three major Japanese non-life groups demonstrated strong growth in the financial year ending March 2015 contributing to the overall earnings for the respective groups. Overseas businesses are a key growth driver for the Japanese non-life groups, while appropriate risk management remains important, according to Fitch.
Small firms are struggling to protect intellectual property, potentially putting growth and innovation at risk. Protecting intellectual property is critical for the UK's increasingly knowledge-based economy. Yet a quarter of the businesses surveyed by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) with intellectual property rights (25%) suffered some sort of violation or wrongdoing within the last five years.
The Internet of Things (IoT) continues to gain momentum as vendors and enterprises begin to embrace the opportunities presented by this growing market. According to new research from International Data Corporation (IDC), the worldwide Internet of Things market will grow from US$655.8bn in 2014 to US$1.7trn in 2020 with a CAGR of 16.9%.
The CII's Claims Faculty New Generation Group is calling for the insurance sector to drive further enhancement of the response to flooding, in a report analysing the interactions between stakeholders following a flood and focused on how these interactions could be enhanced to improve the experience of home insurance customers when affected by flooding. The report contains a range of practical recommendations designed to improve the on the ground experience for policyholders. From better pre-event communication and planning to how, when responding to flood events, insurers can help to reduce the likelihood and impact of future incidents.
Law firm DLA Piper has teamed with CipherCloud to help expand its Global Compliance Resource Centre, designed to help organisations navigate the changing data privacy landscape.
The latest figures from the ICO name Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds Banking Group and HBOS amongst the firms responsible for 183% increase in investigations into reported breaches of the Data Protection Act in the last two years. This includes 585 reported incidents during 2014 alone – more than three times the amount of incidents reported by the legal sector for the same period, which reported 187. In total, 791 incidents have been investigated since the start of 2013.
According to a report published today by Marsh, the rapid development of the Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS/drone) industry is underpinned by the insurance market’s willingness to provide cover for the deployment of the fledging technology.
UAS usage has potentially vast economic benefits – estimated at US$82 billion and 100,000 jobs in the US by 2025 (Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International). Marsh’s report, Dawning of the Drones: The Evolving Risk of Unmanned Aerial Systems, indicates that insurance capacity for UAS operations is plentiful.
Breaches of the Data Protection Act reported to the Information Commissioner’s Office are only a tiny fraction of the true number of such incidents happening across the UK, according to a series of Freedom of Information requests from security and communications provider ViaSat UK. The vast majority of breaches reported to the ICO came from the healthcare sector, which was responsible for 431 in total; the next highest was local government, with 129.
City law firm RPC has taken a lead role acting for international Lloyd's insurance and reinsurance broker RFIB on its sale to US-based private investment firm Calera Capital. The deal, which is subject to shareholder, court and regulatory approval, will see RFIB management and employees retain a significant equity stake in the business.
The British Insurance Law Association tackled the thorny issues of fair presentation of risk and warranties under the new Insurance Act 2015 at a recent mock trial presided over by Lord Mance. The trial concerned a hypothetical case in which an insured claimed for loss caused by hacking of its client database. The insurer contended that material circumstances had not been disclosed and that a material representation had not been substantially correct at the time the policy was written. There was also a dispute as to potential remedy. The insured’s IT system was infected with a virus and the insurer alleged that the insured should have been aware of this and should have informed the insurer. The insurer also denied cover as monthly checks of the IT system, required by a warranty, had never been conducted.
Marsh is to acquire Leeds-based SME Insurance Services (SMEi), an independent broker that provides specialist commercial insurance to small and medium-sized enterprises across the UK. SMEi has developed an online and telephone-based business model through which it bespoke insurance solutions. It also operates Broker2Broker, an online trading platform that offers independent insurance brokers access to a range of products through a panel of commercial insurers.
A study released today has uncovered a notable gap in incident response preparedness among EU companies. The majority of respondents – 86% according to this particular piece of research – say they’re prepared to deal with a cyber attack, yet nearly 40% have no plan in place to do so. Additionally, only 30% of those with incident response plans test and update them regularly (more than once a month).
DNV GL Group has appointed Remi Eriksen as group president and CEO. “We now see challenging market developments in both the maritime and oil and gas industries,” Erisken said. “DNV GL will not remain unaffected, but I have strong confidence in our ability to constantly improve and develop our services. Even in tough markets, there will be a need for expert advice and services that can help improve efficiency, qualify new cost-effective technologies, and that can help drive standardization of specifications and work processes – just to mention a few examples. In the energy sector and the business assurance market, I expect positive development in the next few years.”
The first motion picture insurer in Hollywood in the 1890s, Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty (AGCS) has announced plans to expand its entertainment insurance team globally. The move covers projects for movie productions, television, concert tours and live events. The film industry is internationally dispersed, with only 12% of film production taking place in the US. Asia dominates the sector with India, China and Japan producing 35% of films made for theatrical release. The European film sector is also active with five European countries (UK, France, Germany, Spain and Italy) being responsible for 17% of global film production.
A new catastrophe modelling platform has been launched today by hazard modelling company JBA Risk Management. JCalf 15, unveiled at a launch event hosted at Lloyd’s, is a cat modelling platform with multi-peril probabilistic risk models that allows users to analyse complex insurance terms and conditions.
AIG has increased capacity through its London Market platform by US$10m (£7m) – a sum that is dedicated across all products in financial lines and casualty and will be for the exclusive use of the international wholesale market. The insurer has also created a London Market trading lounge at its Fenchurch Street office to give brokers on-the-spot decision making for international trades and excess opportunities such as financial lines, casualty, marine and Lex London’s US surplus lines.
Setting out the UK’s legislative plan for the new parliamentary session, the Queen today announced almost 30 proposed laws in the first all-Conservative Queen's Speech since 1996. A new Investigatory Powers Bill, which will modernise the law on communications data, will give new surveillance powers to the police and intelligence agencies and will address ongoing capability gaps that are “severely degrading the ability of law enforcement and intelligence agencies to combat terrorism and other serious crime”.
A new London company market committee is being established to discuss delegated underwriting authorities. The group will be operated by the International Underwriting Association and is being set up in response to a growing number of queries about the subject from its member firms. Delegated agreements allow insurers to delegate their underwriting authority to coverholders who may issue policies and handle claims on the insurer’s behalf. Such arrangements are a popular business model for many IUA companies.
Risk levels are rising in Western economies due to the increased terror threat presented by Islamic extremists according to the Aon Terrorism and Political Violence Map. Nine developed economies are all rated at increased risk. Many of these rises are largely due to increased terrorism threats, most of which stem from the rising influence of ISIL as well as the ongoing threat from al-Qaeda affiliates and supporters.
A Financial Conduct Authority review of insurance claims handling for SMEs has highlighted inconsistencies in service levels. The FCA assessed 25 firms’ involved in the settlement and management of claims, including five insurers, 10 insurance intermediaries (of which five were managing general agents) and 10 loss adjusters. The watchdog's review looked at the claims experiences of 100 SMEs, and focused on larger claims of over £5,000.
AXA has entered into an agreement with SulAmérica to acquire 100% of its large industrial and commercial risks insurance subsidiary, SulAmérica Companhia de Seguros Gerais, for a total consideration of BRL135m (Euro 40m). The scope of the transaction includes marine hull, marine cargo and property. AXA expects to include the acquired operations within AXA Corporate Solutions Brazil and Latin America.
Canopius has appointed Stuart Davies as group CEO. Assuming executive responsibility for all of Canopius’s business operations worldwide, Davies was most recently managing director of AEGIS London. Michael Watson commented: “I am delighted to welcome Stuart as my successor as CEO and am confident that, under his leadership, Canopius will attain new heights. It has been my privilege to lead Canopius for the past 14 years and I am honoured to remain as chairman, however now is the right time for a new generation of executive leadership to drive the business forwards.”
Telematics organisation the Floow has been appointed by the University of Sheffield in coordination with the European Space Agency to provide insight into air pollution. Prompted by the Sheffield City Council’s Action Plan 2015 interpreted DEFRA evidence – which highlighted up to 500 deaths a year in Sheffield, Yorkshire alone are caused by contaminated air -- project ‘Crowd4sat’ is now underway, investigating traffic pollution in the region.
The Information Commissioner has called for a more practical approach to data protection regulation, insisting regulators must not get left behind as technology changes how personal information is used. Graham stressed the role of international co-operation and the importance of properly funding regulation.
ISO has announced that the process of updating the ISO 31000 risk management standard has started. ISO standards are revised every five years, and the time has come for ISO 31000, and its accompanying Guide 73 on risk management terminology, to go through the revision process.
Gresham’s Clareti Transaction Control (CTC) has won a contract to provide Willis with its solution for real-time matching and reconciliation of transaction data across its global business.
The Financial Conduct Authority has imposed a financial penalty of £284,432,000 on Barclays Bank for failing to control business practices in its foreign exchange business in London. This is the largest financial penalty ever imposed by the FCA, or its predecessor the Financial Services Authority.
Terrorist attacks pose an extreme risk to populations and business in the capital cities of 12 countries, including in the strategic markets of Egypt, Israel, Kenya, Nigeria and Pakistan, according to new research released by global risk analytics company Verisk Maplecroft, which assesses 1,300 of the world’s most important commercial hubs and urban centres.
UK CIOs and IT decision-makers have seen an average increase in IT outsourcing of 24% compared to six months ago, contradicting the common perception that IT outsourcing is reducing as organisations look to consolidate more of their IT in-house. The survey also found that 42% of respondents place greater importance on IT service desks being able to provide problem resolution, than they did six months ago.
Public service organisations are totally reliant on the effective handling of information from which to design, implement and deliver effective policies and services. Data security breaches represent a significant risk for all organisations and those in the public sector are no exception. There has rightly been an emphasis on potential for risk to public sector organisations’ IT infrastructure from cyber criminals and terrorists.
MSIG at Lloyd’s, the international specialty arm of Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Group, has launched a web-based full-cycle e-trading platform for brokers and coverholders. The online underwriting system, MS-Sign, which caters for commercial risks internationally, can cut intermediaries’ work and process costs dramatically, and in so doing can open up access to a tier of standard and niche business traditionally dominated by local markets.
More than 7.7 million people worldwide are now employed by the renewable energy industry, according to a new report released today by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). This is an 18 per cent increase from last year’s figure of 6.5 million. The report, Renewable Energy and Jobs – Annual Review 2015, also provides a first ever global estimate of the number of jobs supported by large hydropower, with a conservative estimate of an additional 1.5 million direct jobs worldwide.
What is the purpose of effective risk management? You might assume that the main objective is to reduce exposure to damaging downside risks, thus preventing bankruptcy or reputation loss, for instance. You would probably also agree that effective risk management should be used to support risk taking, where the rewards are sufficient to justify this...
Nine out of ten SME directors would support the creation of an SME hub, stating that it would be ‘beneficial’ to the UK economy, with seven in ten saying the concentration of businesses in London represents “a risk to the economy”, according to a new report by AXA. In terms of the location of the hub, Birmingham and Manchester were, by some distance, the most popular choices – a reflection of their relatively central location compared to other options as well as their existing status as strong business centres with good transport links. Birmingham ranked as the top choice with, with Manchester marginally behind.
Deloitte and IBM have announced plans to collaborate on a suite of risk management and regulatory compliance solutions. The two firms’ latest alliance will see them develop a series of solutions for financial services firms designed to more efficiently address their immediate compliance and conduct requirements. One of these is a regulatory compliance and control solution, which is being demonstrated at the IBM Vision conference in Florida, US this week.
BIBA has announced the launch of an insurance ratings facility available as a free benefit to all BIBA members with fewer than 200 employees. Created in partnership with S&P Capital IQ, the facility allows qualifying members access to Standard & Poor's Ratings Services’ (S&P) insurance credit ratings and research on UK-based insurance companies through BIBA’s website.
A new online and interactive guide to help credit insurance brokers work with their clients to access government-backed export insurance has been published by the UK’s export credit agency, UKEF.How to access export credit insurance: a guide to UK Export Finance’s export insurance policy is UKEF’s first online toolkit for brokers and sets out clearly how they can help firms insure their export contracts against non-payment.
The British Insurance Brokers' Association (BIBA) has launched its voluntary code of conduct for members. The association also announced that discussions have opened with the Insurance Brokers' Standards Council (IBSC) to explore how the two bodies can join forces to create a single voluntary code of conduct and guidance for insurance brokers.
Businesses can apply for a share of £3 million for feasibility studies into technology projects across four key areas identified as driving future economic growth in the UK. Advanced materials, biosciences, electronics, sensors and photonics and information and communication technology have been identified as the four areas set to underpin the development of high-value products and services across the industrial sectors.
AIG in the UK has entered into a new partnership with specialist wholesale broker Markham Special Risks (MSR) to grow its K&R offering for SMEs. Julien Monegier Du Sorbier, UK underwriting head, special risks, said: “In today’s inter-connected world, SMEs are establishing international operations much earlier in the life-cycle of the business. With access to new markets comes the threat of new risks, and companies need a partners who can help them to identify and manage those exposures – whether that is extortion, kidnap or cyber threat."
Further to research carried out earlier this year, ACE Group has developed a list of tips for brokers on the intricacies of placing effective, compliant multinational insurance programmes. Among the top ten tips are early consideration of claims handling, and taking a team approach.
Small businesses have seen their commercial vehicle insurance premiums reduce by a record 10% in the first quarter of 2015 compared to the same time last year. The reduction is the biggest drop for commercial vehicles in the last five years and leads to a six per cent reduction in the combined cost of general insurance for an SME comprising their commercial package and commercial vehicle policies.
The British Insurance Brokers’ Association (BIBA) and Mactavish are set to launch an introductory guide to the Insurance Act 2015. The Insurance Act received Royal Assent on 12 February 2015 and will come into force on 12 August 2016. Its introduction will mean important changes to the way every commercial broker practices throughout the UK bringing both opportunity and new considerations around contracting out, the new duty of fair presentation, and the associated reasonable search requirements.
Captive insurance vehicles are increasingly being used by businesses to provide cover for non-traditional risks, according to a new benchmarking report published by Marsh.
Marsh’s report suggests that the number of captives writing non-traditional coverage lines rose overall by 11% in 2014. The biggest increase came from political risk, where the number of captives that include political risk rose 83% in 2014. Additionally, the number of captives writing cyber liability grew 18%.
Super Typhoon Noul made a brief landfall along the mountainous northeastern tip of the main Philippine island of Luzon, near the small city of Santa Ana, late Sunday afternoon. Because of Noul’s brief time spent over land and because the region of landfall is relatively sparsely populated, catastrophe modelling firm AIR Worldwide says it does not expect significant insured losses from the storm’s passage over the Philippines.
One in four social media users in the UK used platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Google+ to make a complaint over the past three months, according to a report published by The Institute of Customer Service. The report goes on to reveal what businesses think of social media and identifies the key priorities organisations need to address to deliver high quality customer experience through online channels.
Capgemini and Guidewire Software have announced the successful deployment of a new claims handling platform for Zurich’s UK general insurance business. The implementation is the first phase of a multi-year project, aimed at transforming claims processing within the business, reducing costs, and improving Zurich’s customer experience across the UK. Zurich has also launched phase two of the programme to roll Guidewire ClaimCenter out to its commercial lines customers.
The M7.8 earthquake that struck Nepal, killing as many as 10,000 people and causing catastrophic damage throughout Nepal, India, China, and Bangladesh, may result in losses equal to as much as 25pc of Nepal’s GDP, according to analysis from Aon Benfield. Preliminary economic losses were expected to reach and possibly exceed US$5.0bn – which would equal to at least 25% of Nepal’s GDP – with very low insurance penetration in the region. Government figures revealed that more than 700,000 homes and other structures were damaged or destroyed by the earthquake, as well as dozens of historical sites.
Around 60% of BYOD workers do not involve their company IT support in setting up their devices. These are the findings of research carried out by IT managed services provider, Phoenix, whose national survey of UK employees on their use of and attitudes towards workplace IT highlights a potentially major threat to business security.
AGCS has appointed two new experts to develop and expand its insurance products. Björn Reußwig, executive underwriter terrorism, is responsible for underwriting European terror risks and coordinates activities in this field globally. Srdjan Todorovic is head of terrorism regional unit in London, responsible for UK, Ireland, the Middle East, Australia and New Zealand. AGCS plans to increase underwriting capacity for terrorism insurance in the USA and Singapore over the course of the year.
It is hard not be impressed by the latest innovations in medicine. The potential for nanoscience and augmentation technologies to cure previously incurable conditions appears unbounded. However, while we should welcome advances that could improve quality of life, we should be mindful of the social and political consequences of rapid increases in longevity for which we are not prepared.
The biggest cause of stress among the senior managers was financial worries, with one in three listing financial worries as the biggest stress factor, followed by workload. However, when it came to the employees, almost half identified workload as their main cause of stress. Financial worries were the second most cited factor. Worryingly, despite the seemingly buoyant jobs market, one in five of both groups cited stress caused by worries about their job security.
Businesses should consider appointing an executive risk leader to navigate today’s increasingly complex world, or risk leaving their company exposed to the next big crisis, according to Airmic and other leading business organisations. According to the new report Tomorrow’s Risk Leadership: delivering risk resilience and business performance, boards are failing to navigate today’s increasingly complex risks, potentially resulting in loss of value and eroding resilience in times of crisis. As a result, it challenges businesses and business leaders to consider whether the risk leadership in their organisations is sufficient to meet the demands of today’s fast-paced and interconnected world.
UK tech companies report that new business volumes rose at the slowest rate since mid-2013 due to uncertainty and delays with clients’ decision making ahead of the general election, according to the latest KPMG/Markit Tech Monitor UK survey. The report, which tracks the performance, confidence and employment outlook of UK technology businesses, illustrated a rosier picture for tech sector hiring plans with over two-fifths of the survey panel anticipating an increase in hiring over the year. It also found that tech sector employment has expanded by almost one-quarter since 2010, which is around three times the pace of the overall UK jobs market. KPMG estimates that the UK tech sector now directly accounts for at least one million jobs.
Although all London councils have disaster recovery procedures in place, nearly half of them (40%) have not tested them in the last 12 months, according to an FOI request from Databarracks. The FOI requests were sent to all London boroughs, the majority of which obliged with details on their business continuity practices, specifically in relation to electoral data. Managing director of Databarracks, Peter Groucutt, says that 40% is an alarmingly high number to have forgone testing, especially considering the election later this week:
New insurance products launched to protect businesses from suffering the losses of cyber attacks have been met with great scepticism, according to data from KPMG, whose survey of senior information security professionals found that the most common reason for not purchasing a cyber insurance policy was the belief that insurers would not actually pay out on a claim.
XL Group has completed the acquisition of Catlin Group following the two parties’ previously announced entry into an agreement in January to acquire all of the capital stock of Catlin. The combined company will be marketed as XL Catlin; the name of the parent company will remain XL Group.
C-level technology executives would and should be held responsible for data breaches, according to a poll held among information security professionals. When asked who would be held responsible in the wake of a data breach on critical infrastructure in their organisation, 41% of survey’s respondents said CIO, CISO or CSO. When asked should be held responsible in the wake of a data breach on critical infrastructure in your organisation, 35% said CIO, CISO or CSO.
This morning saw the launch of the Islamic Insurance Association of London (IIAL), formed to create a representative body to support the work of those in the UK re/insurance markets transacting Islamic finance.
Global reinsurers' profitable underwriting results weakened slightly in 2014 due to increased non-catastrophe property losses and a higher underlying run-rate loss ratio. Catastrophe-related losses remained manageable and favourable loss reserve development persisted.
The CII Claims Faculty New Generation group is calling for organisations to adopt a new Best Practice Guide relating to requests made under Section 29(3) of the Data Protection Act. The guidance has been launched after two years of work behind the scenes with support from the Insurance Fraud Bureau (IFB).
Isolated clashes between police and protesters have been reported in central areas of Baltimore, in the northeast US, as police enforced a 22:00 to 05:00 local time curfew on 28 April. Police reportedly used teargas in response to unruly crowds at the intersections of Pennsylvania and North avenues, as well as Patapsco and 9th streets. Large groups of protesters gathered peacefully in western and central parts of Baltimore on the day.
KPMG Enterprise has launched a cyber security service tailored to the needs and resources of smaller and mid-tier businesses. The package is also designed to enable organisations to achieve such certifications as the government’s Cyber Essentials scheme.
Aon Risk Solutions today unveiled the key risks as identified by its clients across the globe. For the first time, cyber risk entered the top 10 at number 9, reinforcing its emergence as a key risk factor. Damage to brand and reputation was cited as the top overall concern facing global organisations, further underscoring the increasing importance of cyber risk as it has been regularly linked to brand and reputation issues in the wake of data breaches.
A new report on cyber governance calls for the establishment of guiding principles to build resilience and the establishment of a supranational governance body, such as the Cyber Stability Board. Commissioned by Zurich Insurance Group, the report, Global Cyber Governance: Preparing for New Business Risks, proposes new measures to strengthen the global governance framework for managing evolving cyber risks.
According to a new industry report, the insurance market is growing at a fast pace, but challenges posed by new regulations still lay ahead. Despite recent economic instability, key insurance markets are recovering. The US insurance industry had a premium growth of 1.8% in 2014 compared to 0.4% in 2013, and the reversal in the UK market was even more dramatic; growing from -4.2% in 2013 to 4% in 2014.
The strongest earthquake in Nepal in more than 80 years struck just north west of the capital city of Kathmandu on Saturday morning, causing massive devastation and major loss of life in many parts of the region. Initially estimated at magnitude 7.5, the USGS later revised their estimate to M7.9 and later to M7.8. The earthquake occurred at an estimated depth of just 10 km, making it a shallow and therefore extremely destructive event.
Willis has made a firm offer to acquire the remaining 70% that it does not currently own of French insurance broker Gras Savoye. The purchase price of the 70% stake, including the repayment of outstanding third party debt (estimated to be €40 million), is approximately €550 million.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has handed Deutsche Bank a £227m (US$340m) fine, its largest ever for LIBOR and EURIBOR-related (collectively known as IBOR) misconduct. The fine is so large because the FCA said Deutsche Bank also misled them, which could have hampered its investigation. Georgina Philippou, acting director of enforcement and market oversight, said: “This case stands out for the seriousness and duration of the breaches by Deutsche Bank – something reflected in the size of today’s fine. One division at Deutsche Bank had a culture of generating profits without proper regard to the integrity of the market. This wasn’t limited to a few individuals but, on certain desks, it appeared deeply ingrained.”
Willis has launched a new Forensic Accounting and Complex Claims (FACC) practice, dedicated to resolving the highly complex claims that result from an increasing number of large scale disasters. The team of public accountants and other forensic experts works with organisations to maximise recovery and minimise losses while reducing the complexity and length of settlement time. They also provide pre-disaster planning and advice, enabling risk managers to make more informed decisions, based on quantitative analysis, in managing their property and casualty risks.
Swiss Re Corporate Solutions has joined forces with IBM Security to provide cyber risk protection products and services to companies worldwide. Under the agreement, IBM will assess clients' external and internal vulnerabilities to cyber attacks, giving them options for implementing risk mitigation proposals.
Companies are taking a firmer stance on responding to unethical conduct with more than three quarters reporting instances of bribery when they become aware of it, according to Dow Jones’s 2015 State of Anti-Corruption Compliance Survey.
In a nod to the growing acknowledgement of anti-corruption measures, the number of companies who monitor their business partners at least quarterly has nearly doubled in the past year, while more than 10% of all survey respondents now monitor partners daily; an annual increase of nearly 60%.
New research from the British Insurance Brokers’ Association (BIBA), has found that the largest barrier to growth for SMEs in the UK is a lack of talent in the workforce. Almost half (46%) of the SME owners, directors and managers polled cited a lack of skilled workers as the biggest obstacle to growing their businesses. This is something that BIBA has called on Government to address in their 2015 manifesto, where they have asked for more support on apprenticeships and are encouraging schools and careers advisers to highlight the value of insurance apprenticeships to students.
Social media risk assessment company, Social Intelligence, has launched its Social Media Risk Scoring solution for property and casualty (P&C) insurers. The new technology provides real-time predictive risk scores based on the online presence of participating insurance customers.
Collinson Group has joined forces with security and crisis management specialist Security Exchange, in a strategic partnership to deliver travel risk management services to the corporate market. The alliance gives clients access to specialist end-to-end expertise for both medical and security risks, comprising risk consultancy, 24/7 medical and security assistance and emergency response, including evacuation and repatriation.
Rapid economic growth in emerging economies, labour disruptions, political instability and a disease outbreak in West Africa led to a rise in business losses in 2014 according to the latest Global Supply Chain Intelligence report from BSI Supply Chain Solutions. Globally over US$23 billion was lost to cargo theft in 2014 from a variety of supply chain threats, while the four most economically damaging natural disasters caused a collective US$32.8 billion of damage. Within Europe, trade interruption due to an array of strikes throughout Europe caused US$1.5 billion of direct losses to business.
RMS estimates that insured property losses from Windstorm Niklas will fall between E750 million and E1.5 bn. Losses in Germany will account for around three quarters of the total loss.
Palisade has won a contract to provide Alesco Risk Management Services with risk analysis software designed to optimise insurance spend and identify alternative future strategies for key risks transfer.
Business standards company, BSI has announced its results for the year ended 31 December 2014. Growth of six per cent maintains BSI’s unbroken 15-year record of annual increases in underlying revenue.
There was an average of three major cargo crimes a day targeting high value, theft-attractive products in the supply chain in Europe in 2014 with an average loss of €205,624, according to the Transported Asset Protection Association’s 2014 Incident Information Service (IIS) Annual Report for the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region. For the year as a whole, TAPA EMEA recorded 1,102 incidents of cargo crime in the region. For the 33% of crimes reporting a value, total losses for the year were €74,847,422.
The number of risk jobs advertised in the first quarter y-o-y has risen by 9%, according to research from specialist recruiter Robert Walters, whose UK Jobs Index, which charts vacancy numbers posted to online platforms, have revealed that the greatest increase in demand was seen in the north-west, at 24% y-o-y. London saw a rise of 11% while the number risk jobs advertised in the Midlands grew by only 1.1% over the same period.
The nature of the skills drought in cyber security is so severe that most organisations must face up to the reality that they will not be able to properly staff their security offices. These are the findings of a report published today by ISC², whose Global Information Security Workforce Study provides detailed insight into key trends and opportunities in the information security profession. It includes details of pay scales, skills gaps, training requirements, corporate hiring practices, security budgets, career progression and corporate attitude toward information security that is of use to companies, hiring managers and information security professionals.
Saïd Business School, University of Oxford has launched the first executive education programme that sets out to address cyber security issues from the perspective of company leaders. The Cyber Risk for Leaders Programme is designed to arm senior executives with the knowledge and strategies to deal with the increasing cyber security threat.
The Scottish bill to recover medical costs for asbestos diseases will lead to over-burdening costs on compensators as well as delay to the claims process and will do little or nothing to improve the overall care services for asbestos victims, according to law firm DWF.
BT has announced the launch of BT Assure Cyber, its new security platform targeted at private sector and government organisations, and designed to offer monitoring, detection and protection against cyber threats. At the core of its architecture is what BT calls a 'super correlation' engine that uses advanced mathematics to pick out anomalies from within human and machine orientated traffic.
A proposal for the Scottish government to recover medical costs for treating asbestos diseases is inequitable and could even prove unlawful. These are among the concerns voiced by the UK’s International Underwriting Association, which also warns of potentially steeper liability insurance costs should the plans be allowed to proceed. In its response to a consultation paper issued by Scottish Parliament member Stuart McMillan, the association stated the plan to retroactively extend the terms of insurance policies would breach the rights of insurance companies.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has fined Clydesdale Bank £20,678,300 for serious failings in its Payment Protection Insurance (PPI) complaint handling processes between May 2011 and July 2013. This is the largest ever fine imposed by the FCA for failings relating to PPI.
Cyber risk, the prolonging of the Ebola pandemic, and more regulatory and legislative changes are this year’s top three priority risks for UK insurers, according to an ORIC International and Institute of Risk Management (IRM) joint survey. The top ten emerging risks also include acts of terrorism, the impact of climate change, global political instability and technological advances.
Willis has commenced proceedings in the High Court in London against rival Jardine Lloyd Thompson Group, JLT Specialty and Willis employee David Gordon for damages for conspiracy and for breach of duty and wrongful interference in the proposed sale of the fine art, jewellery and specie division to Miller Insurance Services. Willis applied for an injunction to prevent JLT and David Gordon from recruiting further Willis staff from its FAJS team.
In 2015 M&A in the transport and logistics sector will supersede the levels seen in 2014. This is according to KPMG's latest Transport Tracker, which shows the first quarter of 2015 as having already seen completed global transactions of £6.7bn, with further acquisitions of £6.7bn announced on top. In 2014, the increase in the volume of transactions resulted in £39.6 billion worth of deals.
Following an extended period of policy development, businesses across the UK will soon feel the impact of the Electricity Market Reform (EMR), which is intended to move the UK to a lower carbon economy. In light of this, new research from npower shows that 75% of UK food and drink manufacturers said that rising energy costs are a factor in decisions to expand the business.
Holborn tube station was temporarily closed on 1 April following a fire in the Kingsway area of London. The fire, which led to the evacuation of an estimated 2,000 people in the immediate area, was caused by faulty electricity cables underground. The fire has since been extinguished, and services at the Holborn Tube Station have been fully restored.
Resilience will be particularly important for countries most exposed to the impacts of climate change, which will result in more frequent and severe weather events. This is according to the latest research from Verisk Maplecroft, which flags climate change as the most important cross-border risk affecting the long-term outlook for global investment. More than 50% of countries are categorised as ‘extreme’ or ‘high risk’ in the GRRA’s Climate Change Exposure Index, with the key Asian economies of Bangladesh, Hong Kong, Japan, Philippines, Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam and India among the highest risk.
Forty-five percent of IT professionals report that their business is impacted if IT is down just 15 minutes or less, and 17% said disruption occurs the instant an IT outage develops, according to new research commissioned by xMatters. The Business Impact of IT Incident Communications: A Global Survey of IT Professionals report found that 60% of respondents said it takes that same 15 minutes or more just to identify the right individual to respond to an issue. Nearly half of the IT professionals surveyed said it takes as long as or longer to identify the person as it does to resolve the problem.
Currently battering northern Europe with gale-force winds, extratropical cyclone Niklas is reportedly one of the worst storms to affect Germany in recent years. High winds and heavy rains from Niklas have caused serious building damage in Germany, and triggered flood warnings across central and southern Germany. In the UK, wind gusts of nearly 128 km/h on the Norfolk coast were reported on the evening of Monday, March 30, as Niklas moved eastward from the North Sea into the Baltic. As of March 31, 08:00 UTC, ETC Niklas was anticipated to continue its slow northeastward motion.
Ukraine, roiled by conflict with neighbouring Russia, poses significant challenges for companies considering expanding their supply chains there. So does Thailand, despite the years that have passed since the popular manufacturing destination’s devastating floods. This is according to the latest index ranking of supply chain resilience around the world in FM Global’s 2015 Resilience Index, designed to enable users to drill into individual resilience factors and drivers as they plan supply chain expansions, select suppliers and evaluate existing facilities.
Phoenix has opened a new, state-of-the-art configuration and distribution centre in Farnborough, Hampshire. The centre, which represents an investment by Phoenix of approximately a half of a million pounds, will create 20 new jobs in the area. This facility adds to Phoenix’s existing capabilities, including a similar facility based in in Northampton. The 15,000 sq. ft. warehouse unit combines both storage and staging areas and will enhance Phoenix’s Professional Services division’s logistics support capabilities around its clients’ IT installations.
Confidence in the retail market and spending power of the individual is a consistent theme across the insurance industry and reflects overall optimism in the UK economy as individuals are expected to spend more money on insurance products, according to the latest CBI/PwC Financial Services Survey, published today. This confidence, however, continues to be plagued by concerns over competition and how best to stand out from the crowd in such a competitive market.
Research from Sungard Availability Services suggests that unexpected costs, integration challenges and increased IT complexity together amount to a cost of over £1bn a year. Long considered a more flexible and simpler approach to managing IT, cloud computing has ushered in a new era of IT. However, the research reveals that organisations are now facing a large number of challenges in managing and operating these cloud environments.
ACE Group has announced the launch of ACE Multinational Partner, a package of property and casualty insurance cover spanning traditionally separate lines of business, for UK and Ireland based companies with one or more overseas subsidiaries. The cover has been designed by a specially-created project team, selected from across the region and from multiple disciplines.
Lloyd’s has announced a pre-tax profit of £3.2bn, with a return on capital of 14.7%. Results were driven by a relatively benign year for major natural catastrophes, favourable prior year development, and an improved investment return – reflecting a conservative asset mix and low interest rate environment.
According to figures released by Marsh, demand for transactional risk insurance surged to record levels among the global deal community during 2014. Research conducted by the firm’s Private Equity and Mergers & Acquisitions (M&A) Services Practice reports continued use of the solution for deals in mature markets such as the US and the Nordics. According to the risk advisory, awareness of transactional risk insurance products in emerging markets is continuing to grow; in 2014, the first ever policies were placed in Malaysia, Mexico, the Philippines, and Saudi Arabia, as investors and sellers in these emerging markets look to reduce cross-border deal risk.
In Asia, many industrial sites are located on floodplains or near the coast, creating major concentrations of risk. The EEDs for Hong Kong, Indonesia and Malaysia help insurers and reinsurers to better understand and plan for risks, particularly from natural disasters. In addition, robust risk assessment tools and detailed exposure data are essential in Japan and New Zealand, which have recently faced significant natural disasters. Japan has been hit with some of the worst natural disasters in recent memory, including the 2011 Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami.
Cyber insurance represents a key growth opportunity for the global (re)insurance industry. However, Fitch Ratings believes cyber risk has the potential to cause significant losses due to substantial aggregation risk and the increasing sophistication of cyber attacks, insurability of certain risks is questionable.
Research by business insurance specialist, QBE, found that companies across the UK were not monitoring the age demographic of their workforce and were potentially putting the well-being of older employees at risk. In a survey among senior HR decision makers, more than half admitted that they did not know the number of their employees over the state pension age or indeed how many of their older employees planned to continue working beyond the pension age.
Shipping losses continued their long-term downward trend with 75 reported worldwide in 2014, making it the safest year in shipping for 10 years, according to Allianz. The British Isles, North Sea, English Channel and Bay of Biscay has been the location of the most shipping casualties since 2005 (4,381). Nearly one in five of all incidents (18%) have occurred in this region. It was also the scene of the second highest number of casualties during 2014 (465), up 29% year-on-year. The East Mediterranean & Black Sea region was the top hotspot (490), up 5% year-on-year. Total losses in the British Isles and surrounding waters doubled year-on-year during 2014.
UK employer insurance specialist Concordia has just opened its doors for business. Facilitated by Ambant Underwriting and underwritten by capacity partners in the London insurance market, Concordia is distributing its insurance products through brokers as well as directly to employers.
GCHQ has today launched a new pilot sponsorship scheme aimed at identifying individuals with exceptional aptitude to become the next generation of cyber security experts for the UK.
French air traffic controllers' union, SNCTA, has suspended its earlier call for a three-day strike, which was scheduled to disrupt commercial air travel across France from 25 to 27 March. The suspension of the strike, which was initially called in response to an ongoing wage dispute between the union and the air navigation service provider, DSNA, was prompted by a fatal air crash in Alpes-de-Haute-Provence on 24 March, when a Germanwings Airbus A320 (a budget carrier of Germany's Lufthansa), which was en route from Dusseldorf, Germany, to Barcelona, Spain, crashed.
A new report has been published on the joint initiatives between government and the insurance sector to tackle cyber risk. Last year 81% of large UK businesses and 60% of small companies suffered a cyber security breach. Today’s report announces new joint initiatives between government and the insurance sector to help firms get to grips with cyber risk; to establish cyber insurance as part of firms’ cyber toolkits and cement London as the global centre for cyber risk management.
Risk and insurance law business BLM and loss adjuster and claims management company Cunningham Lindsey have come together to launch Profecta – a unique offering that the two organisations say that Profecta will “reinvent” claims handling by combining loss adjusting, claims handling and litigation. A mutual client of both organisations has described the offering as a "game changer".
The percentage of product recalls of Chinese-made goods has fallen sharply from 78% of all UK recalls of consumer products in 2011-12 to just 59% of all recalls last year (2013-14), according to City law firm, RPC. The overall number of recalls of potentially dangerous Chinese goods in the UK fell to 66 this year down from 72 last year. RPC says that the tightening of quality control checks in China, especially for goods destined for export markets, may be bearing fruit.
Flood Re has welcomed the news that the secondary legislation that defines how Flood Re will operate was yesterday laid before Parliament by the Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Elizabeth Truss.
As part of an information security initiative across the London Borough of Ealing, Stanhope Primary School has deployed Egress Switch Secure Email and Egress Switch Secure File Transfer to communicate sensitive pupil data securely with a range of external third parties, including local authorities, Ofsted and parents.
Security industry expert Don Randall MBE has confirmed his appointment to two major new roles in addition to his ongoing position as cyber ambassador for the Bank of England. Randall, formerly head of security and CISO at the Bank of England, is joining global security consultant Pilgrims Group as a senior adviser, helping to build the company’s in-house capabilities and bolstering its expertise in security training, anti-terrorism, cyber security and private security risks.
Crown Hosting Data Centres Limited joint venture to deliver cost savings to government through energy efficiency, agile ‘utility' usage model and flexible contracts. The Cabinet Office and Ark Data Centres have launched a data centre joint venture company designed to deliver increased efficiency, improved value and transparency of service utilisation across all of the public sector.
Congratulations to all our finalists in this year's Business Continuity Awards, celebrating the very best in your sector. Winners will be announced at a gala dinner and awards presentation, during an evening of networking with hundreds of the business continuity and resilience professionals. Hosted by a celebrated comedian – to be announced shortly – the 2015 Awards will be a night to remember. This year’s finalists are…
City employers are waging an uphill struggle to increase risk headcount, according to fresh data highlighting the extent to which vacancy levels are outstripping candidate supply. The findings of the February 2015 City Jobs Index from recruitment company Robert Walters also illuminate the squeeze on candidate availability in other regulatory roles. In compliance, there are 2.5 jobs for every candidate.
Impact Forecasting is applying a new blast engineering approach to provide a more realistic understanding of the potential range of losses from a terrorist attack. The company's terrorism risk experts use computational fluid dynamics (CFD) software developed over many years in conjunction with the US military and government to define an explosion and how it moves within a 3D urban environment. This approach is used by the New York Police Department and federal security agencies to plan preparedness, resilience and surveillance strategies with regards to terrorist attacks.
ACE Group has added ACE Travel Smart, a new mobile app, to its business travel insurance proposition for Europe-based businesses with international exposures. The new app has been developed to help employers to fulfil their duty of care and mitigate the risks faced by employees while travelling.
The British Insurance Brokers’ Association (BIBA) has welcomed the government’s review of the national business rates system. Commenting on the announcement, Steve White, BIBA’s chief executive, said: “This is a key point within BIBA’s 2015 Manifesto. We raised this issue in our Autumn Statement submission and wrote to George Osborne ahead of the Budget highlighting the importance of a review. The current system and the way this tax is applied restricts growth and job creation and does not recognise business’s ability to pay. It needs to be simpler, modernised, more transparent, more competitive and move away from being based on property. Our advisory boards will now be engaging in the process and we are keen for the incoming government to complete the review as swiftly as possible after the election.”
Analysis from business continuity and disaster recovery provider, Phoenix, finds that customers using Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) are far more likely to undertake regular tests and plan rehearsals. This suggests that customers find it easier to test with DRaaS in place than customers who have traditional business continuity services, where Phoenix has seen only 40% of its customers testing.
Zurich has launched its new cyber security policy. Designed to protect and help organisations get back to business following a breach, Zurich Security and Privacy Protection and DigitalResolve have been specifically developed to cover these first party exposures as well as cover for third party liabilities and includes a new cover to provide loss of income following a data breach or damage to reputation. Following a breach, Zurich clients will be provided with a single dedicated Incident Manager, with 24/7/365 availability to manage the resources needed to recover from a damaging cyber event.
A third of businesses in the manufacturing industry are extremely concerned about potential supply chain disruption according to research released by BSI, the business standards company and the Business Continuity Institute (BCI). More than three quarters of manufacturing firms report increasing supply chain complexity as the fastest growing risk in business continuity, with malicious attacks via the internet and increased regulatory scrutiny taking second and third place.
Business standards company, BSI has produced a list of top tips for business continuity planning. 1). Identify critical business functions – Once critical business functions have been identified, it is possible to apply a methodical approach to the threats that are posed to them and implement the most effective plans. 2). Remember the seven ‘P’s needed to keep your business operational – Providers, performance, processes, people, premises, profile (your brand) and preparation.
Specialist lines underwriting agency, CFC, has announced the launch of two new products from its recently established contingency team. The launch of its prize indemnity and over-redemption policies follow on from the appointment of Matt Helm as contingency practice leader in October last year, who comments: “Prize competitions and coupons or free product offers have become an increasingly valuable marketing tool for a huge range of companies, both on and offline.
Newly published research from Iron Mountain shows that records and information management in the public sector is contributing significantly to government cost-saving and efficiency targets. However, the pace and scope of change across the sector presents a serious challenge. While a reassuring 72% of the public sector information leaders surveyed in the study say their approach to information management is fit-for-purpose, 61% admit their organisation has lost or misplaced important documents and 40% say they have suffered a data breach.
The UK government announced in December its latest plans for the country’s roads and highways in the form of the National Infrastructure Plan. With continued funding cuts affecting public services, it is welcome news that further funding of £15 billion will be committed to the Road Investment Strategy between 2015/16 and 2020/21.
Insurers and businesses will be relieved that the Home Office has reinforced the right to claim compensation from the police authorities for damage caused by rioting. But the new compensation cap and the proposed exclusion of consequential loss claims in the draft Bill could still leave some claimants out of pocket, according to City law firm RPC. This applies to both insurers and policyholders looking to recover their losses, but also uninsured individuals and businesses.
Figures from Sungard Availability Services show that UK invocations have hit their highest levels since 2009. Overall incidents of downtime, in which staff are unable to work from their usual office or access business critical systems, also rose by over a third since 2013, leading to concerns that organisations are failing to sufficiently invest in the strategies and solutions required to maintain availability.
Nation-state sponsored cyber espionage attacks are becoming more sophisticated, targeting carefully defined users with complex, modular tools, and keeping well under the radar of increasingly effective detection systems, according to security experts at Kaspersky Lab.
Aon has unveiled a new government-backed framework for insurance apprenticeships in collaboration with industry partners. This news comes the day after the deputy prime minister Nick Clegg hosted a reception to showcase and celebrate the work of current apprentices in the financial and professional services sector.
Airmic, the association for UK insurance and risk managers, has announced that Julia Graham will be joining the association as technical director from 1 May. Graham will replace Paul Hopkin who announced his decision to step down in January. Graham, a former chair of Airmic and current president of FERMA, the Federation of European Risk Management Associations, will also chair Airmic's Advisory Board to be established later this year. The advisory board will be made up of some of Airmic's most senior risk managers.
The British Insurance Brokers’ Association (BIBA) says it is dismayed by the Home Office’s decision, in the Riot (Damages) Act and draft Riot Compensation Bill, for Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) to retain the power to decide whether an incident is a riot. BIBA believes this is a fundamental conflict of interest.
QA Apprenticeships has launched a cyber security apprenticeship scheme designed to thwart cyber crime, decrypt data and untangle malware. QA Apprenticeships’ pilot began in November with employers from banking, technology, and the public sector including the Home Office and Ministry of Defence.
What is your company's most important asset? What makes the difference between success and failure; is magnified as events travel ever faster round the world via 24/7 news and social media; yet is extremely hard to manage and mitigate because of its complexity?
Sir Robert Frances recently published his independent review into creating an open and honest reporting culture within the NHS to help prevent future scandals like the poor patient care provided by the North Staffordshire Trust. This report is essential reading for all directors, senior managers and risk managers. It highlights the necessity of effective reporting, and in particular the valuable role that whistleblowing can play, when unsafe or excessively risky organisational practices go unchecked.
EVN, the largest multi-energy provider in Austria, is joining the European Network for Cyber Security (ENCS). ENCS and its member DSOs specialise in the development of security requirements for smart metering which are aligned with European Commission positioning and other European smart grid projects. These security requirements address specific security threats and risks identified during EVN’s risk assessment phase, meeting the company’s smart grid architecture, technology choices and security goals.
The company operating a lift in Tower Bridge which fell and injured four people – one of which seriously – has been ordered to pay £100,000 as a result of the "catastrophic” failure in which the lift fell several metres into a service pit because a vital mechanism failed on 11 May 2009.
Adam Continuity has selected Datum Datacentres for high security high availability co-location. Datum's facility, located on the government-grade secure Cody Technology Park, offers an SLA based on 100% uptime. Being carrier and cloud neutral the facility provides choice and flexibility of connectivity, while the Datum Cloud Hub ecosystem enables co-located organisations to directly connect to providers and cloud platforms for hybrid IT.
LDeX Group is to launch a second UK datacentre in Manchester in Q2 of this year. The new datacentre, LDeX2, will feature best in class colocation facilities with a capacity of 4MVA, network carriers and global Internet Exchange Points (IXPs). Confirmed on-net carriers offering ultra-fast low latency connections for clients will also be revealed in Q2.
Dates for a series of seminars on the impact of the new Insurance Act have been announced by the Lloyd’s Market Association (LMA) and the International Underwriting Association (IUA). The three seminars are being run for underwriters, claims staff and wordings staff in Lloyd’s and the London insurance market and will address fair presentation of a risk and record keeping; contract wordings and contracting out; impact of the Act on reinsurance; fraudulent claims; remedies and law and jurisdiction.
Early estimates suggest aggregated economic losses from the recent winter weather events in the US will be in the low-digit billions of dollars, with insured losses likely to exceed US$1bn. This is according to Aon Benfield’s Impact Forecasting Global Catastrophe Recap report, which evaluates the impact of the natural disaster events that occurred worldwide during February 2015.
The second annual Commercial Insurance Awards winners were announced last night at a gala dinner and presentation ceremony held at the Millennium Hotel in Mayfair, London. Hosted by comedian Simon Evans, trophies were awarded to AIG, AXA and XL, among others. Read more...
A flurry of special dividends from London Market insurers shows they are not chasing potentially unprofitable business and therefore not increasing the risk of big losses that could damage their capitalisation and weaken their credit profiles, according to Fitch Ratings. It expects more firms, including the major European reinsurers, to announce special dividends or share buybacks, given weak pricing and the abundance of capital available after another benign year for catastrophe losses.
ITC Secure Networking has announced the launch of NetSure360° Orama, a new mobile app designed to help CIOs and CISOs prioritise, communicate and manage potentially serious incidents. Built on the ITC NetSure360° IT infrastructure and security management as-as-service platform, Orama is designed to deliver real-time visibility of critical network incidents and security incidents from across the network and security, direct to mobile devices.
A study assessing the natural hazard exposure of the world’s cities has exposed those most at risk, and highlights the potential risks to foreign business, supply chains and economic output in one particular continent. It highlights the manufacturing and logistics hubs in these cities as most at risk…
For the first time ever, Pool Re has purchased reinsurance in the commercial market. The three year programme provides £1.8bn of cover, protecting scheme assets and increasing the sustainability of the pool. The single layer programme, led by Munich Re and brokered by Guy Carpenter, mirrors the cover currently provided to Pool Re members, including CBRN risks.
Efforts to boost the development of innovative insurance products in the London Market have received the support of UK risk managers. The board of the International Underwriting Association discussed the challenges of providing cover for emerging risks at a recent meeting with the Association of Risk and Insurance Managers (Airmic). Both organisations agreed a collaborative approach would encourage innovation and allow London to build on its reputation as a global centre for the development of new policies.
Charter Savings Bank, a new branchless retail bank specialising in savings, loans and deposit services for UK customers, launched this week, and has selected Sungard’s integrated treasury and risk platform to help it meet regulatory system requirements in obtaining its banking licence.
A recent survey by the High Pay Centre has highlighted the dangers in paying senior executives large salaries, indicating that it will have a negative impact on the public perception of remuneration systems, and the reputation of the organisation as a whole.
New research for the British Insurance Brokers’ Association (BIBA), found that leaders of British small and medium-sized enterprises do not always read their insurance documents, with over one quarter (29%) admitting that they never read the entire policy. This is slightly higher for SMEs based outside of London and the South East, where 32% never read their entire insurance policy.
A global study of almost 2,100 contracts covering deals worth £7.8bn suggests that cloud-based services are failing to capture the popular imagination of UK businesses. It also suggests that organisations are increasing the level of IT services they outsource to improve service delivery, with many investing budgets saved over the past few years on HR, sales and finance support.
Traditional property damage/business interruption policies were never designed to meet the risks faced by organisations today, and the business interruption insurance market has not kept pace with these rapid changes, according to risk experts at Marsh.
The TT Club is alerting the supply chain industry globally to a persistence of claims in a handful of loss types. The leading international transport, freight and logistics insurance provider found that 66% of its claims by number and 62% by value over a five year period can be categorised into just five causes...
Covéa has received approval from the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) for the change of control of Sterling Insurance Group. The group’s total gross written premium in the UK market post acquisition will be close to £600m. Covéa Group is already active in the UK market through its subsidiaries, Swinton, an insurance broker, and Covéa Insurance, a non-life insurer formed through the 2012 merger of MMA Insurance and Provident Insurance (which was itself acquired by Covéa in 2011).
A new code for financial institutions will place greater accountability on non-executive directors when regulations are breached. Responding to the proposals, Lee Clarke, PwC financial services risk and regulation partner, called for clarity on how the Senior Insurance Managers Regime will apply to NEDs and that it is proposed to include only those NEDs performing specific roles.
Public Health England (PHE) has confirmed that an Australian healthcare worker who had potential contact with the Ebola virus while working in Sierra Leone, has been transported to the UK for assessment and monitoring. This individual has not been diagnosed with Ebola, does not have any symptoms of it and their risk of developing it remains low. Professor Paul Cosford, PHE’s director for health protection and medical director, said the overall risk to the general public from Ebola remains "very low".
Half of UK businesses in the professional services industry don’t adequately protect lone workers, according to new research. Among the findings, one in four lone workers expect it to take up to seven hours for an alarm to be raised in event of a problem.
Risk committees have proven to be an effective tool for risk professionals to bridge the operational gap, understand more deeply the risks taken and educate key stakeholders throughout the organisation about the entities’ risk strategy, tolerance and appetite. These are the findings of RIMS’ new executive report, Exploring the Risk Committee Advantage.
New research from the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has found that despite three fifths (60%) of small firms questioned using cloud computing services, the remaining two fifths (38%) remain sceptical about the benefits of the technology in the face of perceived risks.
The Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Bill is currently making its way through Parliament. The Bill contains a number of measures which together represent significant change for companies and Companies House customers. All companies will be affected by at least some changes, as the measures will change legal requirements on companies, including what they file with Companies House – which will impact companies’ systems and processes.
The deadline for entries for the Business Continuity Awards has been extended, giving business continuity, security, resilience and risk professionals more time to ensure their efforts are recognised, by entering one of our 25 categories.
Global insurance company CEOs believe there are more threats than there are opportunities compared to three years ago. This is according to PwC’s 18th Annual Global CEO Survey, which includes responses from 80 CEOs in the insurance sector across 37 countries, and which reflects the heightened environment of change within insurance compared to other industries. It says 59% of insurance company CEOs believe there are more business opportunities than there were three years ago, but, 61% see more threats. In contrast to data from other industries, over-regulation is seen as a key disruptor with 91% of insurance CEOs considering it to be a threat to their growth prospects.
ACE Group has announced the launch of a new luxury goods practice across Continental Europe. The launch follows research by ACE in which six in ten European luxury goods companies said that globalisation had increased the interdependency of risks they face. Respondents also believe the luxury goods industry faces greater reputational risk than those in other industries.
Severe winter storms are continuing to affect businesses and the public in Boston and the Eastern US, with some hospital workers even asked to spend the night rather than be snowbound at home. School closures have been so numerous that Massachusetts public schools are currently scheduled to remain in session until June 30. Airlines have been heavily impacted with hundreds of flight cancellations and delays although operations are resuming.
New research from Unisys Corporation finds alarming gaps in the security of the world’s critical infrastructure. Nearly 70% of companies surveyed that are responsible for the world’s power, water and other critical functions have reported at least one security breach that led to the loss of confidential information or disruption of operations in the past 12 months, according to a survey released recently in partnership with the Ponemon Institute.
Brit Insurance is being sold to Canadian rivals Fairfax for the sum of £1.2bn. This latest exit follows a number of other high profile private equity exits including Bregal Capital’s sale in 2014 of Canopius to Sompo Japan Insurance and wider non-private equity transactions such as the recent XL/Catlin deal.
Severe travel disruptions due to adverse weather conditions, including cancellations to air, bus, rail and maritime services, were reported in the US Northeast in recent days, causing at least 1,800 flights to be cancelled or delayed, with New York City and Boston the worst affected.
A man was fatally shot after firing at security forces in Copenhagen, Denmark's capital, on 15 February. The incident occurred near a train station in the Norrebro area of the city at around 05:00 local time.
A video released on 15 February reportedly showed the beheading of approximately 21 Egyptian nationals held by Islamist extremists in Libya. The murders of the victims, identified as Coptic Christians, have been confirmed by the Egyptian government, which has also threatened to retaliate. The victims are thought to be the same persons abducted by extremists linked to the Syria- and Iraq-based Isis in the Sirte vicinity in December and January.
An unprecedented cyber robbery has netted an organised crime gang up to US$1bn over two years, fresh analysis suggests. Analysts from Interpol, Europol and Kaspersky Lab believe that responsibility for the robbery rests with a multinational gang of cybercriminals from Russia, Ukraine and other parts of Europe, as well as from China.
The decision this week to increase the Diffuse Mesothelioma Payment Scheme tariffs from 80% on average civil claims to 100% should be welcomed by the asbestos-related victim support groups, says national business law firm DWF.
JLT Re has today launched a new Healthcare division. Healthcare Risk Partners brings together JLT Re’s medical malpractice reinsurance team with Lloyd & Partners Healthcare insurance team, in London. Paul Voller will lead the division and with Charlie Pearch, Richard Jameson and David Fairbank will set the direction of the team going forward. This team will bring together the largest US treaty medical malpractice portfolio and the largest US healthcare insurance book in the London Market.
An executive order is set to be signed today by Barack Obama aimed at encouraging companies to share more information relating to cyber security threats with the government and each other.
Today the Insurance Bill received Royal Assent, implementing reforms recommended by the Law Commissions of England and Wales and of Scotland to modernise and simplify insurance contract law across the UK.
The Counter-Terrorism and Security Bill has received Royal Assent. The measure will bolster existing passport removal powers and allow police to temporarily disrupt individuals of concern who are attempting to leave the UK while further investigations are carried out. From today, the Home Secretary will also have the power to relocate those subject to Terrorism Prevention and Investigation Measures and require them to attend meetings with probation staff and others as part of their ongoing case management.
Innovate UK is to invest up to £4m in collaborative R&D projects that tackle the growing risks of disruption to internet-enabled businesses and their digital supply chains. The agency is seeking to identify and fund industrial research that will strengthen the protection and resilience of such data, so businesses and the public can have confidence in the delivery of digitally enabled business products and services.
Aon Benfield Securities has launched PathWise Solutions Group, a specialist unit that provides integrated high performance computing (HPC) business solutions. Originally developed as an annuities modelling tool, PathWise now covers a range of assets, liabilities, and scenario generators that use PathWise to manage and report on complex financial and biometric risks.
Security and data management present the biggest revenue opportunities for IoT platform service providers over the next five years. So says a study published today by Beecham Research focusing on the changing requirements for IoT enabling services and in particular, at how intelligence can be brought to the edge of the network, beyond cellular connectivity.
A government report due to be published tomorrow is expected to announce driverless cars as the future for Britain’s road transport system with the first test on public roads to take place this summer. With the potential to reduce accident rates by up to 90% (the estimated extent to which human error causes road traffic incidents) the step could usher in a new age of road safety.
Retailers are the most likely sector of industry to have cyber insurance cover, and are also most likely to be US-based. These are the findings of report published by information security organisation, the Corporate Executive Programme (CEP), which set out in a recent study to examine current attitudes towards cyber insurance among large and medium-sized enterprises in the US and the UK.
A new industry body is aiming to help British businesses reduce risk across their vehicle fleets by establishing best practice in the use of data. Fleet Data Insight has been founded by insurers Zurich, TomTom Telematics, the FTA and the Energy Saving Trust, bringing together thought leaders from across the fleet industry to share practical advice about using data to achieve operational excellence.
Lloyd’s Register has published new guidance for calculating explosion loads help improve safety in the oil and gas industry. Lloyd’s Register’s Guidance Notes for the Calculation of Probabilistic Explosion Loads provide recommended practices to help engineers, operators and designers to define blast and explosion loads to control and mitigate risk measures in offshore operations.
Small and medium sized enterprises are benefiting from falling insurance premiums. Analysis from the British Insurance Brokers Association (BIBA) says SMEs enjoyed a reduction of around 2% in 2014 compared to 2013 – largely driven by the reduction in commercial vehicle premiums which saw reductions in Q4 2014 of 6.3% compared to Q4 in 2013.
A sharp increase in demand for risk professionals is leading to elevated salary expectations, with 83% looking to secure a pay rise this year. Most are hoping for a significant increase: 41% expect a minimum rise of up to 10%, with more than one in ten seeking a salary boost of over 10%.
Pioneer Underwriters has launched a new EU regulatory compliant product for alternative investment fund managers (AIFMs). This specialist product is aimed at AIFMs domiciled outside of the EU, which in addition to providing traditional financial lines cover, also ensures policyholders are compliant with the insurance provision requirement of the EU Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive (“AIFMD”) which came into force in July 2013.
Aon Risk Solutions is working with the World Economic Forum to determine a new way for organisations to identify the impact of cyber threats. Following their participation on a Cyber Resilience Initiative panel at the World Economic Forum’s Davos meetings, Aon has developed a framework called Cyber Value-at-Risk, designed comes at a time when cyber attacks are increasing in velocity and intensity, and when 90% of companies worldwide recognise they are insufficiently prepared to protect themselves against them.
The extended warranty market in the UK is expected to grow on the back of positive trends in the consumer electronics and car markets; however, UK insurers risk standing on the sidelines, a new report by Timetric finds. According to the report, increasing sales of durable goods helped the extended warranty insurance industry to stop a negative trend in 2013 and is likely to bolster growth in the next five years
Protests have been reported in a number of locations in Jordan following the release of a video showing the execution of a Jordanian air force pilot, Muatah al-Kasabeh, by members of the Syria- and Iraq-based ISIS. In Karak, the pilot’s hometown, protesters launched disruptive protests and burnt down a government building. Protesters also gathered in the capital, Amman, and called for the execution of prisoners held on terrorism charges in Jordanian prisons. Further disruptive protests are anticipated in Jordan over the issue.
The UK government’s austerity measures have led to a reduced commitment on the part of public sector workers towards their organisation, new research has found. Increased disappointment and frustration over broken promises negatively affected public service employees’ loyalty and commitment towards their organisations.
The International Underwriting Association has urged UK insurance regulators to state clearly the crime authority of company boards over individual responsibilities for complying with industry rules. Responding to a consultation exercise on a new Senior Insurance Managers Regime, the association called for a strong overarching statement that individual duties remain subordinate to those exercised by a firm’s board.
Airmic has welcomed the UK parliament’s approval of fundamental reform of the law governing commercial insurance. The association’s CEO has urged the insurance market to move quickly in implementing the changes. The Insurance Bill was passed unanimously in the House of Commons today and is now only waiting for Royal Assent to become law.
Winter storm and blizzard warnings are in place in several states in the US Midwest and Northeast, due to severe winter weather which began yesterday. Winter Storm Linus has brought heavy snowfall and has led to road closures and travel delays.
Today, the first Monday in February is when employees are most likely to pull a sickie. The so-called 'National Sickie Day' may not appear to have much impact at first glance, but just one day of absences can be an early warning for more complicated issues, leading to longer term absence, according to Group Risk Development (GRiD).
In this roundtable debate, our panel of experts (among them practitioners from Crossrail, Transport for London, Johnson Matthey, Worley Parsons and Rolls-Royce) take a look at what characterises successful thinking in well risk-managed organisations.
Under new rules announced today, the Bank of England’s Financial Policy Committee (FPC) will have new powers of direction over the housing market and a leverage ratio framework for Britain’s banks, to guard against any future risks to financial stability.
A low severity case of avian flu has been confirmed in chickens at a farm in Hampshire. Defra says “robust action” is being taken to prevent any spread of the disease, which poses a very low risk to human health. The advice from Public Health England (PHE) is that the risk to public health is very low, and the Food Standards Agency has said there is no food safety risk for consumers.
Employed consumers working from home have an average of 11 IoT devices on their home networks, and nearly one in four employed consumers have already connected at least one of these devices to their enterprise networks. These are the findings of a study focused on the impact that emerging security threats connected with the IoT have on enterprise security.
International transport, freight and logistics insurer the TT Club says that organisations underestimate the costs and liabilities associated with the increase in cyber crime. As invasive cyber technology becomes more widely available and cost-effective, a greater risk to legitimate trade is emerging, exposing operators to economic and commercial damage. The effectiveness of business operations is dependent on continuous and secure communication channels to receive and fulfil orders, as well as instruct on-site and remote/mobile personnel. Both interruption to service and infiltration are obvious critical risks.
Give01Day has joined forces with the government’s Cyber Streetwise campaign and the IASME Consortium to bring the new Cyber Essentials certification to all UK charities and help them operate safely online. Designed to educate, inform and spread the word on Cyber Essentials and best practice on data security, the collaboration will help charities meet the standards for the UK Government’s Cyber Essentials certification.
xMatters has reported 250pc y-o-y business growth for the third quarter of fiscal year 2015, ending 31st December 2014. These results represent eight consecutive quarters of record growth and revenue growth of 60%.
ACE Group has announced the launch of a new, independent cyber risk business unit in a bid to strengthen its underwriting and risk management capabilities across Continental Europe. The announcement follows research by ACE which indicates that cyber is among the top three emerging risk issues for European risk managers.
Insurers across the world say regulatory changes and sustained low interest rates will continue to be their primary environmental challenges over the next one to three years, according to a new insurer outlook survey conducted by Towers Watson. While these near-term environmental challenges stand as insurers’ top concern, they also express worries about more fundamental issues such as whether their business models will hold up to new and emerging risks.
Investors in Ukraine can expect to lose US$34 in every US$100 invested over a 10 year time frame as a result of political risks, stemming from the increased threat of escalating conflict and the country’s challenging economic situation, according to new analysis from Oxford Analytica and Willis.
US-based message notification provider, One Call Now has acquired UK-based Safeguard Communications. The combined company delivers a powerful solution set designed to address organisations’ business continuity, emergency notification as well as customer notification messaging needs.
The Met Office has issued a Level 2 cold weather alert across Yorkshire and Humber, the North East, the North West, West Midlands, the East Midlands and the East of England: this means that there is at least a 60% chance of severe weather, with average temperatures to drop to 2°C or below within the next 48 hours and a chance of snow or ice.
In 2014, major changes were observed in the top cyber threats, including an increased complexity of attacks, successful attacks on vital security functions of the internet, but also successful internationally coordinated operations of law enforcement and security vendors. These are the findings of ENISA’s Threat Landscape 2014, published this week.
AXIS and PartnerRe have signed a definitive agreement to form a specialty insurance and reinsurance company with gross premiums written in excess of US$10bn, total capital of more than US$14bn, and cash and invested assets of more than US$33bn. The merger has been unanimously approved by the boards of directors of both companies.
ENISA has published a good practice guide, Actionable Information for Security Incident Response, which aims to provide a picture of the challenges national CERTs and other security organisations encounter as they try to generate actionable output from large amounts of data.
Tesco has launched a new interactive platform to boost collaboration, innovation and sustainability across its suppliers. The Tesco Supplier Network brings together over 5,000 members from across the world. Members will be able to connect directly with Tesco teams, and learn from each other on issues such as energy, food waste or innovation.
The British Insurance Brokers' Association’s 2015 Manifesto includes 20 calls to action to government and the regulator and 11 BIBA commitments on the issues that are impacting general insurance brokers and their customers. Following a commitment from John Griffith-Jones, FCA chairman, to work constructively with BIBA on smarter, clearer and more proportionate regulation, the Manifesto includes a new ten point regulation plan.
With research revealing workers in the insurance industry rate job satisfaction and work-life balance as more important than salary, recruiters at Reed are urging employers to give consideration to their recruitment and retention strategies. The poll of over 1,600 workers by YouGov questioned workers on their attitudes to work, career aspirations and regrets. It found 41% of insurance workers claimed that good job satisfaction is the single most important aspect of working life, followed by the need for good work-life balance (31%), showing it’s no longer just about the salary package which had just 12% of the vote.
Willis and Miller have entered into exclusive talks to create a London wholesale specialist broking firm. The proposed transaction will combine their wholesale businesses to trade under the Miller brand, governed and regulated as a standalone legal entity and separate Lloyd’s broker.
Measures to help UK businesses face the cyber security challenge and help UK cyber security firms “tap into the US market” have been announced following the Prime Minister’s visit to the US. In a bid to win more British business for the growing sector, a group of 12 UK cyber security firms have also travelled to Washington to meet a host of US businesses.
Significant changes to international regulation coming into force over the next few years are not likely to affect insurers’ ratings, according to ratings agency, Fitch. The agency expects that some insurers will face higher capital requirements, but that, in their view, these insurers are already well capitalised. That said, any further capital requirements could negatively affect cost of capital and competitiveness.
General insurers saw business volumes growing for the first time in two quarters and are expected to expand again in the three months to March, according to the annual CBI/PwC Financial Services Survey, launched today. Profitability improved but little growth is expected next quarter. Investment in IT is due to rise, but other areas of capital spending are likely to see a fall. Overall, the CBI's report says optimism among general insurers is down.
Baroness Pauline Neville-Jones, who has served at the highest levels of the British national security and diplomatic services, has joined Ridge-Schmidt Cyber as senior advisor. Founded by Tom Ridge, first US Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, and Howard A. Schmidt, former cyber advisor to Presidents Barack Obama and George Bush, Ridge-Schmidt Cyber advises corporate and government leaders on developing cyber resilience.
Research conducted by QBE reveals growing concern among UK businesses about the impact of bank base rate movement, with over one in five (22%) citing interest rates as the aspect of the UK economic environment that is of most concern.
Belgian police conducted a counter-terrorism raid on a residence in the city of Verviers yesterday, 15 January, during which two suspects were shot and killed, while a third was shot and wounded before being taken into custody. Following the operation, Belgium's security forces have been placed at their second-highest security alert status; however, the alert level is at its highest in Brussels and Antwerp, due to their statuses as major cities.
Xtralis is working with the City of London Police in exploring technology solutions that will allow live transmission of video and audio from central monitoring locations of police vehicles and officer-worn vests so that tactical decisions can be made more quickly and efficiently to respond to threats. Traditionally, police officers have used radios to verbally relay situational intelligence. This new solution will allow police central stations to view live video and audio at the incident to better assess situations and more efficiently deploy assistance.
The biggest threat to the stability of the world in the next 10 years comes from the risk of international conflict, according to the tenth edition of the Global Risks report, published today. Other top risks alongside that and interstate conflict in terms of impact are: rapid and massive spread of infectious diseases, weapons of mass destruction and failure of climate change adaptation.
ACE Group has announced the launch of ACE Middle Market Solutions, an enhanced proposition for brokers and clients, as it continues to build its position in the middle market segment in key Continental Europe insurance markets.
Businesses face new challenges from a rise of disruptive scenarios in an increasingly interconnected corporate environment, according to the fourth Allianz Risk Barometer 2015. In addition, globally traditional industrial risks such as business interruption and supply chain risk (46% of responses), natural catastrophes (30%), and fire and explosion (27%) continue to concern risk experts, heading this year’s rankings. Cyber (17%) and political risks (11%) are the most significant movers. The survey was conducted among more than 500 risk managers and corporate insurance experts from both Allianz and global businesses in 47 countries.
Sungard Availability Services UK has announced the launch of its new Desktop as a Service (DaaS) offering, which it says is the first of its kind to be developed alongside Cisco, Citrix and NetApp, providing the optimal IT infrastructure to deliver desktops wherever they are needed.
Severe weather warnings have been issued this afternoon for a number of regions in the UK. “Storm Rachel” is expected to cause disruption as it delivers snow, ice, rain, floods and huge gusts of wind. Stressing the importance of protecting property from extreme weather events, Thomas Roche, FM Global’s Northern Europe operations vice-president, details a number of steps that can be implemented by businesses to prevent loss from extreme flood and wind.
Politicians must face up to and prepare for less obvious risks such as the disruptive force of technological advances. So says Cicero and The Chartered Insurance Institute in a new report scanning the global political risks horizon. The study, published today, highlights that whilst we live amongst terrorist attacks, pandemics and global economic turmoil some less obvious risks often get overlooked, despite the fact that they could potentially have the biggest impact.
The tragic events in Paris are a continuation of a pattern that has been proliferating ideologically and spreading geographically for the last decade, and which is not expected to diminish in the near future, according to terrorism, security and political risk experts at Willis. Whilst attacks may be impossible to predict, recent trends suggest a movement towards ‘tactical low-tech’ but high impact assaults using guns, knives and vehicles, although a terrorist spectacular is still feasible,” commented Tim Holt, head of intelligence at Alert:24, part of Willis’s Special Contingency Risks division.
US risk management society RIMS has commended the decision of Congress and President Barack Obama to authorise a six-year extension of the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (TRIA).
The Prime Minister held a security meeting to review the Paris attacks and the risks to the UK of a similar attack. A Downing Street spokesperson said: “The Prime Minister held a security meeting in Downing Street this morning to review the Paris attacks and the risks to the UK of a similar attack. Meanwhile, the Joint Committee on Human Rights has said that further safeguards are required in the Counter Terrorism and Security Bill for some of the new measures proposed to plug gaps in the Government’s counter terrorism powers.
The CII's president, Ashwin Mistry, calls for the insurance profession to unify to resolve the challenges to come in the new year. In his New Year's message to CII members, Mistry highlighted that attracting new talent into the sector will continue to be an important issue for 2015. Following the results of the latest CII survey, employers in the insurance sector are becoming increasingly more aware of apprenticeships, and more than four times more likely to take one on. Yet top graduates are still not turning to insurance as their career of choice.
Sungard Availability Services Ireland has achieved the ISO 27001:2013 standard for its enterprise-grade shared private cloud environment and managed services offering. The ISO 27001:2013 certification provides organisations with an internationally recognised, independent verification that the company is able to securely manage information security, retaining confidentiality, integrity and availability of all data.
Suspected Boko Haram militants are believed to have killed hundreds of people in the Kukawa local government area of Nigeria's north eastern Borno State. According to reports released on 8 January, militants attacked and razed as many as 16 towns and villages in the region since 3 January.
XL has confirmed its acquisition of Catli . Under the terms of the transaction, XL will acquire all of Catlin’s common shares for consideration of 388 pence in cash and 0.130 share of XL for each Catlin common share. On the basis of the closing price of an XL share on 8 January of US$35.42 the offer values Catlin at 693 pence per share. This represents a transaction equity value of approximately US$4.1 billion dollars. In addition, Catlin shareholders will receive a 22p final dividend to be paid in Q1 2015.
The Lloyd’s Market Association (LMA) has welcomed the news that the US Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (TRIA) is to be renewed, putting an end to the period of uncertainty that has prevailed over the holiday period. TRIA was initially allowed to lapse at midnight on 31 December 2014 after the US Senate failed to authorise the Bill in December prior to its holiday recess.
A focus on digital transformation, the advance of the Internet of Things and the adoption of cloud services are among the key trends highlighted in a Capgemini report as top developments in technology for insurers over the coming year. "The advance of the Internet of Things (IoT) will create new opportunities across insurance segments – As the trend for connected devices continues to accelerate, the IoT is being seen as a transformational driver within the insurance industry," say analysts at Capgemini.
Following last month’s expiration, the US House of Representatives voted to reauthorise the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act – the government backstop for insurers’ losses from acts of terrorism. Welcoming the news, Dave Matcham, chief executive of the International Underwriting Association, said: “The IUA is pleased to see the US House of Representatives has acted to renew the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (TRIA) and therefore reduce economic uncertainty.
Many UK organisations are not enabling staff to take their legally required minimum break, according to new research by Bupa. As the nation settles back into work following the holiday period, the research highlights the benefits to business of encouraging employees to take a break.
As many as twelve people are reported to have been killed this morning after gunmen attacked the Paris office of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo. A further ten are injured, five of which critically, according to French officials. A major operation has been launched in the Paris area as police hunt for the attackers.
Congratulations to all of this year's Commercial Insurance Awards finalists! Now in its second year, these Awards are unique in rewarding commercial insurance services.
View the shortlist here: http://www.commercialinsuranceawards.com/awards/
Retail bank IT investment in 2015 will be focused squarely on driving revenue growth, according to new research from global analysts at Ovum. Digital channels will be at the heart of this activity, particularly as the improving economy has meant reducing costs and headcount is no longer a priority, according to the research. The large majority of investment made in 2015 will be focused on progressing with an omnichannel experience for customers.
Relentless rate reductions, low investment returns and the continued influx of alternative capital have offered no respite for reinsurers at the 1 January 2015 renewal season with a reshaping of the global reinsurance industry now starting in earnest, according to the latest renewals report from Willis Re. As expected, downward pressure on reinsurance rates continued across nearly all lines and geographies along with improved terms and conditions, with abundant oversupply of capital continuing to outstrip demand following yet another year of benign loss activity. Tiering of reinsurers is also gaining wider traction, putting real pressure on smaller reinsurers and mono line catastrophe writers who have the additional burden of competing with the capital efficient and highly competitive capital market-backed funds and sidecars.
The public sector insurance market has recently been somewhat restricted, though relatively competitive and stable for a number of years. Until recently, three key insurers; Zurich Municipal, RMP and Travelers, all of whom are strong supporters of Alarm, have dominated the scene but there has been little appetite for underwriting public sector risks elsewhere.
The long awaited updated Insurance Bill, which is aimed at modernising the legal underpinning for commercial insurance, was originally received with some concern. Some in the industry felt it might impede on the competitiveness of the UK insurance market. However, it is now seen as vital in order to ensure the law keeps up with the modernisation of the insurance sector.
The Insurance Bill has been passed unanimously in the House of Commons and is expected to become law shortly after receiving Royal Assent. It replaces significant parts of the Marine Insurance Act 1906, which has formed the market’s legal framework for over a hundred years. The reforms will impact firms’ day to day operations in business insurance, consumer policy wordings and the consequences of fraud.
In our previous column, we expressed our strong support for new Financial Reporting Council guidance which states that ultimate responsibility for risk management must lie with the board. In the most resilient companies, we argued, control of risk starts at the top. It was interesting, then, that a recent survey of Airmic members showed that only 44% of boards sign off their enterprise risk management programmes. Numerous boards still rely solely on audit committees to authorise their programme.
Biometrics, contactless payments and wearable tech are among the technologies that will transform the way we pay in 2015, according to Ron Kalifa, Worldpay deputy chairman.
News that Instagram has overtaken Twitter, with 300 million monthly active users now on the photography-based social network, has highlighted the risks presented by image-based communications, and a rapidly growing channel of content to consider in terms of security, compliance and reputation risk.
Fragmentation of cyber criminal activities, hyper-regulation and crunch time for Big Data. These are among the challenges waiting for businesses in 2015. "Crime as a service is a reality, lowering the barrier to entry for budding criminals and fuelling the growing threat, year after year," warns Scott McVicar, managing director, Cyber Security, BAE Systems Applied Intelligence.
Efforts to reauthorise the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (TRIA) fell apart late on December 16, 2014, after the Senate failed to extend the program prior to adjourning for the year. Without a renewal, TRIA is set to expire on December 31. If TRIA expires, commercial insurers will no longer be required to offer terrorism coverage beginning January 1. Without a federal backstop, insurers may seek to limit underwriting for high concentrations of risks in major cities—causing terrorism insurance coverage to become unavailable or unaffordable. Insurers that do continue to offer commercial terrorism insurance would likely be required to maintain higher capital standards in order to avoid negative rating implications. Where coverage for terrorism-related events is still available, prices for this coverage will increase.
FIFA executives today voted to release the findings of World Cup corruption report in full. The handling of the report has already been met with widespread criticism with only a summary being released, angering the report’s author, Michael Garcia. Stepping down from his role as independent ethics investigator this week, Garcia has labelled the summary of his two year investigation as "incomplete and erroneous". The decision to release the full report was made by made by Fifa’s executive committee, although, Fifa President, Sepp Blatter, was able to limit who could vote.
After ongoing negotiations with the Association of British Insurers and Flood Re, an agreement has been reached on a number of matters regarding how Flood Re will operate. This will enable legislation to be laid in Parliament next year and – once approved by the financial regulators – enable Flood Re to operate as a reinsurer.
Rising geopolitical tensions, political violence, and separatist movements combined with falling commodity prices are exacerbating political risks and further highlighting challenges for direct foreign investors, according to the 2015 Political Risk Map and report, released today by Marsh.
According to preliminary Swiss Re sigma estimates, total economic losses from natural catastrophes and man-made disasters were US$113bn in 2014, down from US$135bn in 2013. Out of the total economic losses, insurers covered US$34bn in 2014, down 24% from US$45bn in 2013. This year disaster events have claimed around 11,000 lives.
Risk management society RIMS has expressed its concern for Congresses’ inability to extend the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (TRIA) before its deadline on December 31, 2014. “We are extremely disappointed that Congress failed to pass an extension of TRIA, despite strong bipartisan support," said RIMS President Carolyn Snow. "The programme’s expiration will have many negative repercussions for commercial insurance consumers, the countless organizations they represent and the U.S. economy as a whole.
Today’s young risk professionals will require a much broader skillset than their predecessors in order to become tomorrow’s risk leaders, chair of Airmic’s fastTrack initiative, Kate Wallin, has said. Her comments come as fastTrack announces details of its first conference.
Security remains heightened in Sydney's Martin Place amid an ongoing hostage situation at a shop in the area. An unconfirmed number of people were taken hostage in the shop by at least one unidentified gunman early this morning. According to reports, at least five of the hostages have subsequently escaped or been released, and there have been no reports of casualties and police officials have been quoted by media sources as having contacted the gunman.
The UK Civil Aviation Authority and NATS have agreed to the establishment of an independent inquiry following the disruption caused by the failure in air traffic management systems on Friday afternoon, 12th December. A handful of flights were impacted up and down the country after an unprecedented failure in the system which led to the controllers being unable to access all of the data regarding individual flight plans.
Australian police stormed a Sydney cafe in the early hours of Tuesday morning (local time) to free several hostages who had been held there at gunpoint for more than 16 hours. According to Reuters, medics tried to resuscitate at least one person after the raid and several injured people were taken away on stretchers, according to a Reuters witness at the scene.
xMatters has released the latest version of its On-Demand cloud platform. Available globally, the technology enables efficient two-way enterprise-wide intelligent communications and alerting. The new release boasts significantly enhanced collaboration features, a cloud-to-enterprise hybrid integration agent, enhancements to executive and employee messaging.
Japanese non-life insurers are likely to further tighten their management of catastrophe risks in 2015, according to a new report from Fitch Ratings. Catastrophe risk and non-life insurers' exposure to Japanese equities are the two main sources of volatility in operating performance for the industry.
Aegis London has launched a cyber insurance product offering property damage, bodily injury, environmental pollution and cyber terrorism wrapped around existing policies. Cyber attacks will be the 'new normal’ in 2015 with an increase in destructive attacks linked to on-going global conflicts.
Following a year characterised by widespread conflict and civil unrest, escalating geopolitical tensions and spiralling terrorism fatalities, global stability is unlikely to improve over 2015, according to the seventh annual Political Risk Atlas released by global risk analytics company Verisk Maplecroft.
Ecuador's largest private bank, Banco Pichincha, is deploying MetricStream’s cloud-based solution for business continuity management to help minimise the impact of business disruptions as well as aid in crisis and incident management planning by streamlining and automating the BCM lifecycle. It will also provide an integrated framework to collaboratively manage all BCM processes, including BIA, business continuity planning, testing of plans, and issue management and remediation. The solution will be rolled out in Spanish to support local users.
As attention shifts from sophisticated external attacks to the role that internal vulnerability and negligence often play, a new survey conducted by the Ponemon Institute suggests that most organisations are having difficulty balancing the need for improved security with employee productivity demands. Employees with needlessly excessive data access privileges represent a growing risk for organisations due to both accidental and conscious exposure of sensitive or critical data.
Airmic has urged insurance buyers to insist that written contracts are in place as soon as policies go live – instead of the 30 days currently recommended. The call comes as the association launches an on-line toolkit for members to support the insurance-buying process. The risk and insurance association believes that achieving day-one policy issuance will only be possible if insurers, brokers and risk managers work together to change market practice and, in particular, to start the renewal process earlier.
DVLA and the Motor Insurers Bureau (MIB) have launched the new MyLicence service. The first of its kind, the initiative was developed in partnership with the Association of British Insurers in response to the government’s Insurance Industry Access to Driver Data programme and DVLA’s ongoing aims to digitise the driver data it holds.
JLT has agreed to purchase Hayward Aviation from Towergate Insurance for a cash consideration of £27m. Hayward Aviation is an international specialist aviation insurance broker that arranges insurance for regional airlines, small commercial fleets of fixed wing aircraft and helicopters, individual jets, light aircraft and helicopters owned by private clients. For the year ended 31 December 2013, the business generated revenues of £10 million and profit before tax of £3 million.
Underwriting confidence within the London insurance market leading in to 2015 has reduced compared to this time last year, according to PwC. As insurers approach the 1 January 2015 renewal season, PwC's market outlook shows London Market participants assuming an average combined ratio of 97% for 2015 with one in five materially reliant on investment returns to make a profit. The continued abundance of capacity has dampened possible rate increases and has led to substantial declines over the past year.
Fitch Ratings says in a new report that its rating outlook for the German non-life insurance sector remains stable. The sector outlook, an indicator of fundamental trends, is also stable. The agency considers German non-life companies to be well prepared to meet the sector's current challenges, and does not expect a significant number of rating changes over the next 12-24 months.
Typhoon Hagupit hit Eastern Samar late Saturday local time, flattening homes, toppling trees, and cutting power and communications. Ahead of the storm, more than 1.2 million people were evacuated into more than 1,500 schools, civic centres, town halls, gyms, and churches across the region, according to the Red Cross. Financial markets, schools, and government offices were closed on Monday. A total of 183 flights had been cancelled and five airports closed, and there were power outages reported in 16 provinces.
Direct losses in real estate and infrastructure as a result of natural disasters has tripled, reaching US$150 billion per year. This is according to a study carried out by the Urban Land Institute. Based on data from Lloyd’s of London, the white paper finds that while the insurance industry is a leader in developing risk standards for natural disasters, the real estate sector and governments must also play an active role in climate change adaptation.
The House of Lords Special Public Bill Committee on the Insurance Bill will take evidence next week from Supreme Court Judge Lord Mance, as well as industry professionals from the risk and insurance industry.
Insurer RSA has been selected as the insurance partner for a government backed project to pilot driverless cars in London’s Greenwich Borough. The project contract, awarded to a consortium led by transport innovation consultant TRL, of which RSA is a member, is part of the government's recent announcement to test the suitability of driverless cars in locations across the UK.
This year’s aviation disasters contradict the industry’s long-term improvement in safety with currently fewer than two passenger deaths for every 100 million passengers on commercial flights, according to a new report by aviation insurer Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty. By comparison during an early decade of the jet age (1962-1971) there were 133 passenger deaths out of every 100 million passengers.
Over 2014, the human rights situation has deteriorated most in Ukraine, Thailand and Turkey due to heavy-handed government responses to civil unrest and failures in rule of law. This is according to Maplecroft’s annual Human Rights Risk Atlas (HRRA), which also reveals increasing polarisation between the world’s best and worst performing countries.
Losses above US$5m in the US healthcare insurance sector are accounting for a rising proportion of total dollars spent in claims, according to specialist healthcare insurer Hiscox. In the early 2000s the percentage of the total spent in claims for losses of US$5m and over was in the 7.5%-10% range per year; that figure has moved up in to the 15%-25% range, and is expected to go higher still.
Covéa has reached agreement to acquire Sterling Insurance Group. The transaction, which is subject to regulatory approval, will broaden Covéa’s product offering in the UK market. Total gross written premium post acquisition will be close to £600 million.
The WHO has commended Spain for the measures put in place to identify potential cases and prevent further transmission of the Ebola virus. These measures included exhaustive contact tracing of both high- and low-risk contacts, daily active monitoring of all contacts, training in and monitoring of correct use of personal protective equipment for all healthcare workers caring for the patient infected with Ebola virus.
AXA Assistance has launched its new Total Loss Protection insurance for brokers and insurers, designed to address delays and financial losses associated with motor write-off claims. The new product also responds to calls for transparency and improved customer experience from add-on products.
Businesses need to be aware how much damage the ‘fear multiplier’ from deadly diseases such as Ebola and emerging infectious diseases could cause them, the Cambridge Centre for Risk Studies warns.
UK businesses are risking a reputational time bomb due a lack of awareness on how to protect their data assets, according to research released today by BSI, the business standards company. As cyber hackers become more complex and sophisticated in their methods, UK organisations are being urged to strengthen their security systems to protect both themselves and consumers.
This coming weekend is sandwiched between two of the busiest shopping days of the year. Black Friday and Cyber Monday will see hundreds of UK retailers slash their prices to compete for the contents of consumers’ Christmas wallets. Originally created by US firms to get Americans spending after Thanksgiving, the craze has become a UK phenomenon with Adobe Digital predicting that expenditure this year will reach £285 million.
The British Insurance Brokers’ Association (BIBA) and Beachcroft DAC have launched an insurance guide to the sharing economy which aims to help overcome the insurance barriers that sharing businesses and individuals have faced when sharing items or skills such as car journeys, renting properties or lending tools. In the UK alone the sharing economy is estimated to be worth £500million, and is growing at 25% per year.
There is a worrying disconnect between what the headquarters of large multinational organisations believe about their anti-corruption programmes and the reality of what is actually going on at the front line in the higher risk markets. This is according to Control Risks, which this week published its annual survey of business attitudes to corruption.
The UK government has unveiled a new counter-terrorism and security bill, designed to give the UK some of the toughest powers in the world to tackle the increasing threat from international terrorism. The Counter-Terrorism and Security Bill is designed to bolster an already considerable armoury of powers to disrupt the ability of people to travel abroad to fight, reduce the risks they pose on their return and combat the underlying ideology that feeds, supports and sanctions terrorism.
Business standards organisation, BSI has published BS 65000 Guidance for Organisational Resilience, designed to provide an overview of resilience, describing the foundations required and explaining how to build resilience. BS 65000 provides guidance on achieving enhanced organisational resilience and articulates the benefits of doing so. Currently, standards exist within the crisis management and business continuity management arenas which impact on the overall governance of an organisation. This standard can help to enhance these practices by integration of the disciplines that are essential for resilience. BS 65000 references other activities including risk management, horizon scanning and change management.
PwC has joined Beazley’s network of partners to support the insurer’s cyber incident response offering. The partnership will see Beazley Breach Response (BBR) policyholders offered access to one of the world’s largest forensic services providers to investigate suspected data breaches and network intrusions.
Due to the rising number of catastrophic events in Australia, more and more Australians become aware of the benefits of non-life insurance, leading to a substantial increase in the market, according to a new report by Timetric. According to the report, the gross written premium of Australian non-life insurance increased from US$22.8bn in 2009 to US$34.7bn in 2013, at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.2%. The number of non-life policies also grew at a CAGR of 4.4% between 2009 and 2013, reaching 53 million last year.
Airmic has welcomed the decision by Pool Re to implement far-reaching changes in the way the scheme operates. The association believes the reforms, agreed last Friday, will make Pool Re more attractive to business as well as diversifying its risk base. At Friday's EGM, members of the terrorism reinsurer voted to support a more flexible approach to setting premiums and terms. The move has the support of HM Treasury, which underwrites the scheme as reinsurer of last resort.
The World Bank this week approved a US$285 million grant to finance efforts to contain Ebola in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, as well as to help communities in those countries cope with the socio-economic impact of the crisis and rebuild and strengthen essential health services. The grant is part of the nearly US$1 billion previously announced by the organisation for the countries hardest hit by the Ebola crisis.
The House of Lords has appointed a new Special Public Bill Committee on the Insurance Bill. The Committee has published a Call for Evidence asking for views on the Bill to be submitted by 27 November. The Committee has been established as the Bill is a Law Commission Bill. For Law Commission Bills which are not considered controversial, Committee Stage in the House of Lords can be undertaken by a Special Public Bill Committee. The Committee has 28 days to take oral and written evidence on the issues raised, before amending the Bill if it wishes. Report Stage and Third Reading then follow as usual in the Chamber of the House of Lords.
Aon Benfield has completed an innovative insurance placement as part of a UK government energy initiative to install smart meter systems nationwide by 2020. The placement, with insurer AIG on behalf of global smart meter solution provider EDMI, provides extended warranty cover for around 10 million communications hubs to be installed in small businesses and homes in Scotland and northern England over the next five years.
Insurer Beazley has incorporated CSID’s CyberAgent Internet surveillance technology to the breach response services provided under its Beazley Breach Response offering. CSID provides global identity protection and fraud detection technologies for businesses and their employees. Their identity monitoring solution, CyberAgent, is a proprietary Internet surveillance technology that detects stolen personally identifiable information and compromised confidential data online.
The emerging market for civil aviation drones represents a tremendous opportunity, both for the insurance community and the wider business world, the International Underwriting Association has stated. Further growth of such technology could be stimulated if the EU amended safety legislation and provided information on the current use and losses of drones.
The Houses of Parliament have implemented and gained certification to ISO 22301, the international BCM system standard from the British Standards Institution. Being a UN World Heritage site and icon of national identity was among the unique challenges for the design of its business continuity management system, as well as the importance of the political dynamic; the traditions and rules of procedure that provide the basis for ‘business as usual’ activities and the dual nature of Parliament and its decision making processes.
Andrew France OBE, former deputy director of Cyber Defence Operations at British intelligence agency GCHQ, has been appointed strategic advisor of Wynyard's intelligence division. A technology and intelligence leader with a distinguished career, France spent the last years of his GCHQ career developing and delivering a national cyber defence strategy as part of a mission to protect the UK from cyber threats.
Maritime tracking, monitoring and security software supplier Pole Star has developed a new service, PurpleTRAC, to address the maritime trading challenges faced by financial institutions. PurpleTRAC enables banks, commodity trading companies, marine financers and insurers to manage their exposure and mitigate the possibility of involvement with a vessel at risk of sanctions non-compliance, money laundering or terrorist financing.
Phoenix IT has been confirmed as a Lot 2 supplier on the GP Systems of Choice (GPSoC) framework, joining the list of approved suppliers of IT services to more than 75% of GP practices across England. The GPSoc Framework is administered by the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC), the national provider of information, data and IT systems for health and social care providers in England.
G4S Technology has release its new Virtual Command Center, a geographic information system designed to help organisations understand how security-related events affect employees, business facilities and assets. Fully integrated with OneFacility, the G4S Technology security and facility management software platform, Virtual Command Center enables businesses to make more informed decisions when monitoring assets and responding to events of all types including weather, health and security related incidents.
According to figures released today by Marsh, growth in the global transactional risk insurance market is currently underpinned by a sharp rise in demand in emerging territories, amid continued development in mature markets such as the United States and Europe. Research conducted by Marsh’s Private Equity and M&A Services Practice, Transactional Risk Solutions: Global Review, reveals that the limits of transactional risk insurance placed by Marsh globally in the first half of 2014 have increased by 59% on the same period in 2013, rising to US$3.5 billion.
Software provider RDT’s insurance administration platform Landscape has been upgraded to support MyLicence, the collective initiative by the DVLA, the Department for Transport, the Association of British Insurers and the Motor Insurers' Bureau. MyLicence is an industry hub developed by the DVLA and operated by the MIB that provides insurers with the ability to learn key risk data about a customer, such as convictions, disqualifications and penalty points, at the moment they apply for cover, by sending their driving licence number to the DVLA.
Miller is now arranging insurance for membership and affinity schemes following the launch of a dedicated offering driven by three hires, all recruited from International SOS.
The fifth annual Risk Management Awards Gala Dinner was held last night at the Millennium Hotel in London's Mayfair district. As host of the Gala Dinner, Chris Barrie announced the deserved winners across this year's 21 categories.
Willis has appointed Nicolas Aubert as chief executive officer of Willis UK Insurance, which includes its combined UK retail and global specialty businesses. Aubert is currently COO of AIG in Europe, Middle East and Africa, and formerly MD of AIG in the UK. As MD, he led one of the largest companies specialising in the UK business insurance market and the London market, with offices located throughout the country.
Regulators are increasingly recognising that climate change poses real risks to companies and industries. The Bank of England has recently written to insurers to assess the risk that climate change poses to their solvency and earnings. In response, the LMA Academy, the Lloyd’s Market Association’s educational arm, has launched a leadership programme with the University of Cambridge to explore the strategic implications of climate change for the insurance industry.
Senior executives say that critical data is not being protected, a new report from information security and risk management company, NTT Com Security, shows. The report, designed to assess the level of risk within large organisations and the value that senior people place on data security, reveals that the majority (56%) of respondents in the UK agree they are likely to suffer a security breach at some point – which rises to 63% on average globally.
Risk and insurance law business BLM has announced a new team specialising in marine insurance claims. The team handles all aspects of marine casualty work with particular emphasis on protection and indemnity and freight, demurrage and defence matters; assisting owners, charterers, operators, brokers and insurers in a wide range of jurisdictions with respect to shipping related personal injury and fatal accident claims which can include both cargo and passenger ships and port/terminal operations.
One in four employees admit breaking security policies to work remotely and the vast majority aren’t concerned about losing confidential business data. According to the survey of 1,000 office workers from the UK and Germany, nearly two in five of respondents, or someone they know personally, have lost or had a device stolen in a public place
Towers Watson has released the STAR Risk Neutral (RN) addition to its STAR Economic Scenario Generation (ESG) software suite, designed to generate market-consistent scenarios and support any application requiring market-consistent valuations of options and guarantees.
Law firm DWF has successfully challenged an industrial noise induced hearing loss (NIHL) claim on behalf of the Department for Transport against a former railway employee who claimed to have impaired hearing after working at the British Rail Engineering works.
Following comments by Robert Hannigan, the new head of the UK’s GCHQ, on terrorist groups and their use of social media, cyber specialists at Aegis say it is interception, not prevention, that is key in deterring terrorist use of social media. “The use of technology by terrorists is not a new issue, as all technologies are inherently dual use,” said Daniel Carr, cyber security specialist with Aegis London. “A smartphone being used by a criminal is still a smartphone; however the conversations it enables may not be those desired or imagined when it was designed. The argument today focuses on the ‘ease of interception’ rather than its actual feasibility.
Two thirds of the world’s largest companies are reporting exposure to water risks, some of which have potential to limit growth. The news comes amid mounting shareholder concern around the business impacts from water scarcity, accessibility and poor water quality.
BSI has launched PAS 7000, a universally applicable supply chain information standard for suppliers and buyers. PAS 7000 Supply Chain Risk Management: Supplier prequalification helps answer three key questions relating to any organisation’s supply chain partners: Who are they? Where are they? Can they be relied upon?
A dozen of the UK’s leading insurers met with the Minister and Cabinet Office, UK Trade & Investment, Department for Business, Innovation & Skills and GCHQ officials to discuss the issue and agree a joint statement on how to grow the cyber insurance market to improve cyber security for UK businesses.
The 17th annual Business Continuity Awards are now open for entries. This year, there are new criteria across all categories, and four new categories. Whether it is an entry for your people, your products or your projects you want to submit, getting started on your entries before Christmas will help you put your best foot forward, according to CIR Magazine editor and chair of the judging panel, Deborah Ritchie.
Aon Benfield’s catastrophe model development team has developed new realistic disaster scenario models to estimate the cost of floods in China and Vietnam. The 2011 Thailand flood was the costliest global flood event causing US$16bn of insured losses, while last month’s seasonal rains produced flooding across parts of Thailand, China, India and Pakistan resulting in more than 800 fatalities, damage to 600,000 structures and combined economic losses in excess of US$20 billion.
UK organisation, the Business Continuity Institute (BCI), says nearly a quarter of companies responding to its recent supply chain survey had suffered losses of at least €1 million during the previous twelve months as a result of supply chain disruptions. Of these, 13.2% suffered a one-off disruption that cost in excess of €1 million. Further, some 40% of organisations polled were not insured against any of these losses.
A newly published report from the Business Continuity Institute (BCI) highlights a number of trends in the implementation of emergency communications plans in the UK.
In order to be effective, emergency communications plans must be continuously updated to reflect the risks that a business faces, and must be thoroughly embedded throughout the organisation.
Phoenix IT Group has joined the Microsoft Cloud Solution Provider Programme, enabling the UK-based IT services company to provide direct billing, sell combined offers and services, as well as provision, manage and support Microsoft Cloud offerings directly.
Danish climate scientist and TV weatherman Jesper Theilgaard says risk managers should not treat climate change as a doomsday scenario. Instead, he said, they should look for the business opportunities in helping to mitigate the possible impacts and make local adaptions to the changing environment.
In a response submitted to the European Commission today, the Federation of European Risk Management Associations (FERMA) has called for renewal of the Insurance Block Exemption Regulation (IBER) for (re)insurance pools. Coverage of the largest and exceptional risks still needs an exemption from EU competition rules says FERMA
Some 50% of national energy and carbon reduction targets will need to be achieved by energy efficiency, according to Munich Re's specialist engineering and construction division, HSB. Speaking at a United Nations Environment Programme last week, HSB's Paul Cullum explained that by 2050, 80% of today’s buildings will still be in existence, and will all need to benefit from improved energy efficiency.
UK companies are facing significant cost increases in their employee insurance premiums as the average age of their employees continues to rise. Research from Towers Watson shows that when a company’s average employee age rises by five years its Group Income Protection insurance premium could increase by as much as 50%.
The IUA-ABI Rehabilitation Working Party has reported an unprecedented response to its request for views on modifying the Rehabilitation Code and has drawn up a timetable for publishing a revised Code, with a view to completing by mid-2015.
Sungard Availability Services has announced plans to open a new workplace recovery Centre for central London. The facility, which offers capacity for over 700 customer staff, will be equipped with the latest conferencing equipment and IT infrastructure.
Databarracks has launched a free online Disaster Recovery Toolkit comprising a Cost of Downtime Calculator allowing users to calculate precisely how much a given disaster would cost their business per department, per IT function or overall and a DR Responsibilities Chart outlining who is responsible for what in a disaster recovery scenario, from IT admins up to the IT Director and CEO. The downloadable tool also features a DR Runbook detailing exact tailored procedures and processes to follow in the event of an incident.
The merits of such a strong blend between strategy and risk seem obvious. So why do many modern organisations persist in keeping their strategic and risk management activities separate? Why don’t boards/senior managers pay more attention to risk management, given how essential it can be to strategic success and why don’t risk managers get more involved in strategic decision making?
For the insurance sector, cyber security and related risks represent both exponential opportunity and threat. It is clear to all that cyber risk is one of the fastest growing risks on the corporate risk radar. The requirement for a wide range of cover for cyber risk has never been more apparent.
A basic understanding of cyber security among all company employees is critical, an expert has told a House of Lords committee. The Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) cyber security expert Hugh Boyes said relying on a few cyber security professionals cannot provide the level of reassurance and safety that modern businesses require.
Ultimate responsibility for risk management should lie with the board of directors. That was the key message from guidance released by the Financial Reporting Council – and we at Airmic wholeheartedly support that message. While risk managers should take care of day-to-day risk responsibilities, the FRC said, it is up to the board to ensure that the appropriate policies are in place, that board understanding of risk is high, that risks are maintained within tolerable levels, and that risk mitigation is appropriate. This is critical because taking a complete view of a company’s risk profile goes beyond the scope of insurance and traditional risk management techniques.
With the central government funding cuts still continuing to compound reductions in past years, local authority organisations are embracing a significant change in the way that not just local services but back office support is delivered. Outsourcing, partnerships, collaborative working and shared services are alternative service delivery models that are already familiar to many Alarm members, but the recent development of trading companies to deliver those support services and to sell the undoubted expertise that there is in local government out to others is now gaining ground.
The motive of yesterday's Ottowa shootings remains unclear at this stage and investigations are ongoing; however, authorities have not ruled out a terrorist motive for the attack. There is a marginal terrorism threat in the country due to Canada's involvement in foreign-based counter-terrorism operations, the most recent of which is targeting the Islamic State (IS). The country's contributions to international counter-terrorism operations have made it a potential target for sympathisers of such organisations.
Deborah Ritchie, Editor of CIR Magazine, talks to Thomas Coles and Philip Nunn.
Deborah Ritchie provides a summary of some of the latest stories in business risk, insurance and resilience
Zurich invests US$10m in flood resilience drive
Deafness insurance claims at all-time high
Threat report identifies security risks of popular websites
AIG to grow K&R offering for SMEs
Typhoon Soudelor leaves widespread damage in Taiwan and China
Lloyd’s lays out concerns over risks to growth of drone industry
Aerospace underwriters examine 3D printing risks
ArgoGlobal launches D&O underwriting platform