Despite the majority of small firms in the FS sector saying they think about their company’s reputation frequently, or in some cases “all the time”, they are not considering how a cyber breach could affect it. Only a small portion of the firms surveyed by a KPMG/Cyber Streetwise study say the potential damage following a cyber breach is an “important” consideration.
Aon Risk Solutions is seeking to expand its SME broker distribution channel through an expanded partner network in its Affinity division. Aon’s proposition includes broad-based coverage as well as specialist sector coverage such as education, care, HNW, pensions and health and benefits.
A significant proportion of re/insurance classes are expected to experience further price falls in 2016, according to analysis by Fitch. The recent low level of major claims activity in the London Market has intensified competitive pressures, particularly in short-tail lines, and the weakening trading environment is expected to continue.
Cunningham Lindsey has launched a range of services for managing general agencies that provide a support structure to ensure regulatory compliance, in particular with the new conduct risk and Lloyd’s reporting requirements. MGA Guardian, supported by Ambant Underwriting Services, provides a range of back office functions, including underwriting and claims reporting systems that today’s professionally run and compliant MGAs require.
The BCI released its fifth Horizon Scan report today – the association’s annual analysis of the top threats as perceived by business continuity managers. Conducted with the British Standards Institution, this year’s findings reveal the business preparedness of about 600 organisations globally, and shows cyber attack as the greatest concern for the majority (85%) of business continuity managers. Shifting up the list from third last year, data breach was next, worrying about 80% of respondents. These are not surprising conclusions, given the amount of damage a cyber attack or data breach can do. Neither is it a shock to see that supply chain disruption remains in the top ten (even if it fell two places from fifth last year to seventh this year).
Dong Energy is planning to build the world’s largest offshore windfarm, the Hornsea Project One. Capable of powering over 1 million UK homes, the site, off the Yorkshire coast, will have a capacity of 1.2 gigawatt – the first windfarm anywhere to exceed 1 gigawatt.
There is just one week until the deadline for entries for this year’s Business Continuity Awards. Stand out against the competition and submit an entry in one of our 20 categories – showcasing your best people, products and projects.
The National Weather Service (NWS) maintains adverse winter weather warnings for states in the vicinity of the Great Lakes region, in the US, on 3 February. Meanwhile, blizzard warning and winter storm warnings are in place for Nebraska, South Dakota, Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan.
Business interruption is one of the most sought after yet elusive types of insurance for UK corporates, with buyers reporting uncertainty over what is covered and difficulties in getting claims paid, according to a report from Airmic. The paper, written jointly with Marsh, identifies data as the key area where the expectations of underwriters and risk managers too often diverge.
Eight new projects have been awarded £20m in funding to research and develop enhanced communication between vehicles and roadside infrastructure or urban information systems, including new talking car technologies. It is hoped that today’s funding will help strengthen the UK as a global centre for the fast-growing intelligent mobility market, estimated to be worth £900bn a year globally by 2025.
Willis Re has announced a partnership with drone services company Measure. Drone data can be used to better understand the factors leading to property damage and make recommendations for mitigating losses. Drones also provide access to real time data, allowing insurers to collect more timely and accurate data to support the claims process.
The World Health Organisation has declared an international public health warning in response to the ongoing Zika virus outbreak in Latin America and the Caribbean. The WHO warning focuses on increased coordination on detecting and eliminating the disease and increased funding and research, but does not impose any travel or trade restriction.
Chubb has announced the launch of a new partnership with Crawford & Company that will see the latter provide a single point of contact and a 24/7 incident response platform to report cyber incidents. The platform will be available to current and future policyholders that purchase cyber cover through Chubb in Europe and is designed for international and domestic organisations across Europe, including both larger and middle-market companies in Continental Europe and the UK and Ireland.
ENISA has highlighted in a new report the need for greater security in the smart grid
A fundamental component of the European critical infrastructure, smart are increasingly at risk of cyber attack. 'Communication network interdependencies in smart grids' focuses on the evaluation of interdependencies to determine their importance, risks, mitigation factors and possible security measures to implement.
Cybersecurity, bribery, oil price and financial market fluctuations are among the chief risks facing businesses, according to a UK study carried out by risk management association, the IRM. Further areas of risk concern identified were the effects of continued austerity measures in the UK and the impact of technology enabled disruptive business models.
Looking after your employees is good for business with new research finding that it brings in 35% more investment from socially responsible funds. The study looked at 1,585 US corporations and 47 socially responsible investment (SRI) funds and found that those companies who treated their employees best had the most money poured into them by SRI funds.
The CII has released a new research report setting out the post-COP21 challenges for the insurance sector. The report has been released in the wake of the WEF's annual ‘Global Risk Report’, in which the failure of climate change mitigation and adaptation was found at the top of its main risks.
Zurich has appointed Mario Greco to the role of CEO. Effective 1st May 2016, Greco will succeed Tom de Swaan, who has held the role on an ad interim basis since Martin Senn stepped down in December 2015.
Marsh has launched a new global excess cyber risk facility, designed to provide the excess market with up to US$50 million in follow form coverage. While overall capacity in the cyber market remains abundant, the excess market is highly volatile.
A new website, aimed specifically at women who are looking to return to work after a career break, has been launched by CII to highlight the merits of a career in insurance. Information on the website will include details of potential opportunities, salary expectations, advice and tips.
Back in 2009 Alarm launched its National Performance Model to help answer that question. Based on earlier work devised by HM Treasury, it breaks down risk management activities into seven distinct strands and provides examples to illustrate different levels of maturity. Since 2010 Alarm has used the model as the basis for an annual benchmarking exercise across public service organisations. This has provided Alarm with a unique set of data that depicts how risk management has developed during the last five years and we have recently published the results of our analysis of this data.
Storm Jonas, the snow storm that shut down New York and Washington last Saturday, and caused 11 states to enter a state of emergency, is said to be heading for the UK. Severe weather warnings have now been issued by the Met Office for much of Wales, north-west England and the west of Scotland. According to research from FM Global, flooding is the most common form of disruption for UK businesses, accounting for 33% of all losses to business property.
The Rockefeller Foundation, Veolia, and Swiss Re Corporate Solutions have joined forces to unveil an innovative infrastructure recovery initiative to speed up economic recovery in the aftermath of catastrophic events for cities across the globe. The partnership, announced today, is designed to support cities worldwide in the areas of climate change adaptation, disaster risk reduction, infrastructure enhancement and recovery.
The Enterprise Bill, a piece of legislation currently going through the House of Lords, has received relatively little attention. Anyone who buys insurance for their organisation should take note, however, because it will put insurers under an obligation to pay valid claims within a reasonable time otherwise policyholders may sue for damages. This may seem a common sense measure, but it has profound and beneficial implications for business. It is no exaggeration to say that the time taken to receive compensation for a major incident can make or break an enterprise. Yet, under the present law, policyholders have no means of obtaining compensation for the impact of unjustified delays in being paid.
From 1st April, businesses with a turnover of more than £36m will be required to report annually on the steps they have taken to ensure modern slavery is not taking place in their business or supply chains. With just over two months to go, however, the supply chain managers responsible appear unprepared for compliance with the Act’s requirements.
As re/insurer interest and investor confidence continues to grow, non-life insurance-linked securities (ILS) capital hit new heights in 2015, broadening their horizons to include new products and perils, according to the latest ILS market update from Willis Capital Markets & Advisory.
The most used passwords of 2015 have been revealed, with '123456' and 'password' remaining at the top of the charts for the second year running. Sports-related passwords continue to rank highly with both football and baseball ranking in the top 10, whilst new entries to the list include 'starwar's and 'solo' following the release of the latest Star Wars movie.
Lloyd’s of London today announced that a set of common core data requirements for cyber risks has been agreed through a collaboration with modelling firms AIR Worldwide and RMS and the Cambridge Centre of Risk Studies. Both AIR and the RMS/Cambridge teams have agreed to highlight common elements when they publish their data schemas later this month, with agreed terminology and definitions.
While a quarter of UK employers have seen their absence rates improve over the last 12 months, new research from Group Risk Development (GRiD), the trade body for the group risk industry, shows that one in 10 have seen their rates worsen over the same time period. On so-called 'Blue Monday' employers will be bracing themselves for the possibility of increased absences as staff struggle with low morale and motivation following the Christmas break.
With the growing risk of data protection loss, specialist data protection and cyber security lawyers have warned that SMEs are disproportionately vulnerable to compensation claims from customers.
A report published today warns that a combination of factors has sharply increased political risk for the UK’s financial sector. The analysis, 'Disruptive Influences: Technology, politics and change in the financial sector', carried out by Cicero Group and commissioned by the Chartered Insurance Institute (CII), provides an overview of disruptive technological changes and their effects on politics and the financial sector.
ACE has completed its acquisition of Chubb, creating the world’s largest publicly traded property casualty insurance company. ACE paid approximately US$29.5bn in the aggregate in cash and stock. The new company begin trading on the NYSE today under the symbol “CB” tomorrow as ACE adopts the Chubb name globally.
Marsh has launched a new tool designed to model the financial impact of explosions in the energy sector. Marsh Blast, powered by MaxLoss, was developed by Baker Engineering and Risk Consultants, will be the first time in the insurance industry has used the Baker-Stehlow-Tang (BST) explosion model. The technology is targeted at energy companies looking to calculate the maximum damage to property across their global assets.
For the first time in a decade, an environmental risk has topped the ranking of global risks with the greatest potential impact. This is according to a report from the World Economic Forum, which cites the risk with the greatest potential impact to be a failure of climate change mitigation and adaptation – considered to have greater potential damage than weapons of mass destruction, water crises, large-scale involuntary migration and severe energy price shock. Meanwhile, the biggest risk single risk in terms of likelihood is considered to be the migrant crisis.
XL Catlin has announced a partnership with Oxbotica, a spin-out from Oxford University’s Mobile Robotics Group, to support the adoption of mobile robotic solutions and explore their impact on risk management and insurance.
The risk landscape for businesses is changing substantially, according to the annual Allianz Risk Barometer, released today. While businesses are less concerned about the impact of traditional industrial risks such as natural catastrophes or fire, Allianz’s study shows they are increasingly worried about the impact of other disruptive events, fierce competition in their markets and cyber incidents.
Global economic losses from natural catastrophes in 2015 stood at US$123bn – 30% below the 15-year average of US$175 billion. There were 14 multi-billion dollar economic loss events around the world, with the costliest being forest fires that burned out of control in Indonesia. At US$16.1bn, The World Bank noted that the economic loss from the fires represented 1.9% of the country’s GDP.
Commercial insurance premiums will generally be lower in 2016 compared to 2015, according to analysts at PwC. Commenting on the 2016 outlook Mohammad Khan, UK general insurance leader at PwC, said: “Commercial insurance premiums will generally be lower in 2016 compared to 2015. Competition for commercial lines insurance has intensified and is likely to continue in 2016."
Insurers have released new figures today that demonstrate the scale of the sector’s response to the recent devastating floods caused by storms Desmond, Eva and Frank during December and over the New Year.
Sian Fisher has been appointed as CEO of the Chartered Insurance Institute (CII). She succeeds Dr Sandy Scott, who announced his retirement in March last year. With a breadth of experience in business insurance, Ms Fisher has held senior roles in a Lloyd’s Syndicate, a UK and European insurance company, a start-up intermediary, an MGA, a major international broker and US corporate. She was a founder and original board director of the Managing General Agents’ Association and has held senior positions with both the CII and the Insurance Institute of London. She is a graduate of Oxford University with an Exec MBA from Harvard and is ACII qualified.
The turbulence experienced across the world during 2015 is set to continue throughout the coming year, according to forecasts from Verisk Maplecroft, which predicts little respite from the political instability, civil unrest, economic volatility, security crises and geopolitical rivalries that defined the last 12 months.
A guidance document exploring advanced uses for insurer internal models in the context of reinsurance decisions has been released by the Institute of Risk Management (IRM) via its Internal Model Industry Forum (IMIF), as part of a wider programme from the IMIF to help insurance businesses create sustainable value.
The recent series of storms and floods in the UK will significantly weaken 2015 earnings from household insurance for some firms, but are unlikely to affect insurers' capital levels or ratings, according to Fitch. If there has been significant business interruption, insured losses could rise above these estimates. A long-term increase in the number of properties at significant risk of flooding could result in Flood Re's funds and reinsurance cover being inadequate to meet outgoings.
The NHS could pay an additional 3.5% in Insurance Premium Tax (IPT) if the NHSLA continues to stall payment of outstanding ATE premiums for cases that were concluded before November 2015. This is according to estimates from ARAG, which says there are thousands of concluded clinical negligence cases in which payment of the ATE premium is still outstanding -- the majority of which will involve the NHSLA.
A new industry research paper suggests that the vast majority of UK organisations lack the skills needed to manage hybrid IT environments. The research, conducted for Sungard Availability Services, found that matters of IT security were the biggest concern, with 38% of organisations reporting they lack the necessary skills to deal with security issues. Integration and interoperability were also cited as critical concerns: 27% of organisations felt they struggled to integrate private cloud environments into their IT estate, falling to 22% for public clouds. 22% of respondents also admitted to difficulties in managing different IT systems across separate business departments. Most significantly, though, 83% of UK organisations feel that they lack the skills to manage complex IT.
Octo Telematics has announced its partnership with The Ohio State University’s Center for Automotive Research (CAR) whereby the telematics provider will use the university’s CAR to test its new products and services. CAR's research will also be used to develop new services and intelligence for Octo, including crash detection, analytics, new data collection for fuel consumption and emission regulations for insurance carriers.
The current flooding in the north of England underlines the need for businesses to buy insurance that is fit for purpose, and to support it with effective crisis planning. Meanwhile, PwC says losses from Storms Eva and Desmond could reach £2.3bn, with insured losses of up to £1.2bn.
Prime Minister David Cameron has announced a package of more than £40m to rebuild and improve flood defences in the aftermath of Storm Eva. And he pledged the government would support charities helping those caught up in the Boxing Day deluge by matching every pound of the first £2m raised.
After many years of political and legislative negotiations between the European Parliament, Commission and Council, the new risk-based European supervisory framework for insurance has finally gone live. Solvency II is expected to result in a paradigm shift in companies’ risk cultures, with well capitalised insurers enabling the sector to withstand unforeseen shocks.
JBA Risk Management has released a multi-peril flood model of the UK to assist the insurance industry in placing risks with Flood Re. Developed in collaboration with Guy Carpenter, the JBA UK Flood Model is unique in that it includes river, rain and surface water and coastal flooding for the whole of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Guy Carp is the reinsurance broker to Flood Re, which is scheduled to go live in the first half of 2016.
Despite P&I Clubs announcing that they are trying to achieve on average 2% increases in premium, ship owners with good records can look forward to reductions in premiums for protection and indemnity (P&I) insurance at the 2016 renewals, according to a report from Willis.
ACE has announced the launch of a directors & officers (D&O) insurance cover for charities and not-for-profit organisations based in the UK & Ireland. With proposed amendments to the Charities Bill aimed at tackling serious abuse of charities and increased scrutiny over charities’ fundraising and management, charity trustees and directors are becoming increasingly vulnerable to claims.
Pardus has launched an accident and health division, focused predominantly on the UK and Europe. Heading up the MGA's fifth product launch since it began trading last year, the team will be led by Peter Coles, who joins as head of A&H.
Fierce competition means London Market insurers will continue to face pressure on their underwriting margins, according to a report from Fitch. It says the London Market's fundamental sector outlook for 2016 remains negative, but stable as a result of robust financial fundamentals. The ratings agency believes that a substantial proportion of London Market business will continue to experience significant pricing pressures. The agency does not believe that a price floor has been reached in reinsurance and expects further declines in underwriting margins. It also says other major non-catastrophe lines, such as casualty, may experience further price declines as more re/insurers diversify into this line of business.
ACE Group has launched a dedicated environmental policy for companies in the renewable energy industry in the UK and Ireland. ACE Renewable Energy Environmental Protection covers the full spectrum of environmental risks faced by renewable energy companies, providing coverage from the start of construction of renewable energy plants through to their operation. It is available to energy producers in every renewable sector, namely solar, onshore...
DWF is to acquire German international commercial law firm BridgehouseLaw, building the firm’s international offering, and strengthening its capability in insurance, energy, real estate, retail, food and hospitality and tech.
The widespread and increasing adoption of cloud computing may be the answer to managing costs and supporting scalability, but it raises major concerns over the privacy and security of data. In response to this trend, business standards company BSI has today launched a training and certification scheme for the protection of personal data in the cloud.
A new document published by the Lloyd’s Market Association (LMA) has set out the new standard terms of engagement for surveyors and loss adjusters who are currently employed by Lloyd’s market aviation insurers.
Lloyd’s of London has announced plans to launch its own insurance based index in mid-2016. This would be the first index for diversified risk, showing loss ratios and focused on insurance performance. It is intended that the detailed insight into the performance of the market will provide managing agents, brokers and other insurers with new options for managing risk and form the basis of index-related products of interest to the wider capital markets.
An academic study claims to have identified three common factors that ensure corporate social responsibility adds to a company’s bottom line. CSR is used by companies to advance some social good and also allows them to enhance their organisational performance. A number of organisations are integrating social and environmental issues into their core strategies. But can organisations do well while doing good?
Equifax and BAE Systems have announced a collaboration that will see the two entities developing solutions to help businesses mitigate financial crime. The new relationship will enable businesses large and small, to access enterprise grade solutions to help combat fraud, money laundering and terrorist financing.
We are delighted to announce that the Business Continuity Awards 2016 are open for entries. Now in its 18th year, the awards recognise those business continuity, security, resilience and risk professionals whose innovative strategies and industry savvy make them stand out above the rest.
The security and political risk outlook looks worse than at any point in the past decade, according to analysis from Control Risks. Its annual RiskMap, which highlights the most significant underlying trends in global risk and security and provides a detailed view from the markets that will matter most over the coming year, suggests 2016 will be a challenging year for businesses as they are forced to navigate escalating security and political risks.
The Institute of Risk Management (IRM) has today published two guidance documents to help insurers implement the rules, get the board engaged and find a sustainable way to build trust in capital models. Produced by its Internal Model Industry Forum (IMIF), the release of these documents comes at the same time as regulators across Europe, including the UK Prudential Regulatory Authority, start to notify insurers of their internal model approval status.
Arc Legal Assistance has announced a distribution partnership with Lorega, which will offer policyholders access to an independent Chartered Loss Adjuster on SME as well as homeowner claims.
Business interruption now typically accounts for a much higher proportion of the overall loss than was the case 10 years ago, according to data from Allianz. The average large BI property insurance claim is now in excess of €2m (€2.2m: US $2.4m), which is 36% higher than the corresponding average property damage claim of just over €1.6m.
Negotiators of the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission have agreed on the first EU-wide legislation on cyber security. The Directive on Network and Information Security will require operators of essential services in the energy, transport, banking and healthcare sectors, and providers of key digital services like search engines and cloud computing, to take appropriate security measures and report incidents to the national authorities.
UK regulatory approval of insurers' internal models is a major step towards clarity on their capital position under Solvency II (SII), and a precursor to announcements of strong solvency ratios, according to a report Fitch Ratings. On Saturday, the Prudential Regulation Authority announced its approval of 19 UK insurers' models, meaning that they will be able to determine their SII capital position based on their own risk calibration when the regime takes effect in January.
The London company market has backed plans for a new electronic placement service. The board of the International Underwriting Association (IUA) unanimously supports the concept and ten Board members have signed a statement of support for the project which aims to improve client service through a quicker process with less risk of error.
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.
Deutsche Börse has signed a 5-year agreement with Stockholm-based surveillance technology provider Scila to continue its use of Scila Surveillance. For the last four years, Scila has provided state of the art surveillance technology for Deutsche Börse Group’s two largest exchanges – the Frankfurt Stock Exchange and the derivatives market Eurex – and the bond trading venue Eurex Bonds.
Localised flooding continues in the north west of England after the Environment Agency issued 46 severe flood warnings in the wake of Storm Desmond.
Prime Minister David Cameron chaired a COBR meeting this morning, and flood minister Rory Stewart has been in Cumbria since Saturday, meeting those affected and assessing the situation on the ground.
SMEs are leaving themselves open to serious crime risks according to new research from Aon Risk Solutions. The new study suggests the danger of cyber risks are being overlooked by many SMEs. Just 4% said they had insurance cover in place to help protect them from the implications of cyber attacks, very little change from one year ago (3%).
New analysis by Collinson Group reveals a 52% (842,264) increase in the number of visits by UK business travellers to high-risk destinations overseas in the first half of 2015 compared to the same period a year earlier. In the first half of 2015, business travellers made 2,477,105 visits to destinations that experienced level three security incidents, as identified by Collinson Group, compared to 1,634,840 a year earlier. Category three security incidents include attempted coups and terrorist attacks.
Despite multiple warnings about the consequences of failing to have a robust disaster recovery plan in place, a new study suggests that only about a third of companies test their disaster recovery plans on a regular basis. Of the sample surveyed by Kroll Ontrack across the UK and Germany, only 9% of companies said they test their plans every one to five months and another 29% every six to 12 months.
Given the burgeoning number of social media platforms and users on the internet today, it is surprising that more books have not yet been published to tackle the risks.
I suspect there are more marketing books focusing on the opportunities, however. This convergence of professions gives the topic an interesting dynamic – and presents a set of challenges of its own for risk professionals.
After ten years with Zurich, six of which as CEO, Martin Senn has decided to step down, and is due to leave the company at the end of the year. Tom de Swaan, who has named chairman in 2013, has been appointed interim CEO and the process to appoint Martin Senn’s successor is underway.
xMatters has received accreditation from the Crown Commercial Service to trade on G-Cloud 7.
The Institute of Risk Management (IRM) has published a guidance document exploring advanced uses for insurer internal models in the context of insurance and reinsurance of flood risk. The document, created by the Internal Model Industry Forum (IMIF) at the IRM, was produced by a team led by IRM risk consultant Raphael Borrel and NN-Group’s principal insurance risk officer Dr Sebastian Rath.
A new study released today by The Economist Intelligence Unit and the British Standards Institution (BSI), found that resilience is a clear priority for businesses and is considered “indispensable” for long-term growth. 'Organisational resilience: Building an enduring enterprise', shows that executives are confident about their companies’ ability to embed key specific resilience-promoting practices in their daily operations and understand the benefits of becoming resilient.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is seeking views on whether the level of protection provided to small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) in its handbook of rules and guidance is broadly right. Additionally, the FCA is asking whether more SMEs should be given access to the Financial Ombudsman Service.
The Financial Conduct Authority has fined Barclays £72m for failing to minimise the risk that it may be used to facilitate financial crime. This is the largest fine that has been imposed by the FCA and its predecessor the FSA for financial crime failings relating to a £1.88bn pound transaction that the bank arranged and executed in 2011 and 2012 for a number of ultra-high-net-worth clients.
Acknowledging the threat of climate change ahead of next week’s UN Climate Change Conference (COP21), the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries has published a report calling for a risk management approach as a central component of climate policy.
Compliance is becoming so complex that today’s compliance professionals are concerned about how the function will protect businesses in future. That is according to new research from The Risk Advisory Group which surveyed more than 200 compliance professionals across a range of global businesses.
Who owns cyber risk and security in your organisation? It may depend on the industry you're in. It will almost certainly depend on whether or not your organisation has suffered a security breach of any significance. A growing issue and not just for the financial sector and retailers, but now also industrial organisations, this book attempts to traverse the language barrier to provide senior managers with the tools they need to understand the risk that is no longer just the domain of the IT department.
The social housing sector is currently undergoing significant change – change so profound that this year will be remembered as a point in history, in the same way as such transformations as Thatcher's Right to Buy in 1979. The Summer Budget announced a number of seismic changes to the risk profile across the sector. A wide range of impacts include Welfare Reform Part 2, funding issues and the most significant being the 1% rent reduction policy imposed on housing associations.
The UK Defence Club, provider of FD&D (legal costs) insurance to the maritime industry, has announced that there will be no change to its premiums for the 2016 policy year, the second consecutive zero premium increase. The organisation, managed by Thomas Miller, has cited its financial strength as enabling it to freeze premiums, and the Club will also continue its Continuity Credits loyalty scheme, rewarding Members with premium reductions.
While the principles of risk management are well established, there are numerous hurdles to be overcome in creating and maintaining a long term, effective and valued programme that truly supports the business. Focusing on this challenge, this book sets about tackling the lofty goal of achieving world class risk management – something that author Norman Marks, having spent his entire career leading audit, risk and compliance programmes for a variety of firms, is well positioned to advise on.
Pool Re has today announced changes to its reinsurance arrangements with its members (insurers and Lloyd’s Syndicates) now taking a greater retention in the event of a terrorism loss. Since 2006, the industry retention for any one event has remained at £100 million. From 1 January 2016, the retention will increase to £135 million any one event but capped at an annual aggregate of £270m any year.
With a prediction of greater attacks – and there is no surprise there – Gartner sees a rise to 60 per cent in the next five years of enterprises’ information security budgets being allocated for rapid detection and response approaches, up from less than 10 per cent in 2012. Companies now understand sophisticated cyber-criminals have rendered traditional perimeter defences, like proxies, firewalls, VPNs, and antivirus and malware tools ineffective. A priority for 2016 will be to detect threats inside the firewall as they develop to defend and ultimately prevent significant damage from occurring.
In the wake of the Paris attacks, Cobalt is supporting Paris-based businesses by providing companies with free access to its smartphone product, enabling business to provide employees and their families with advice on what to do and how to respond to a range of emergency situations.
DAS has broken ranks by upping the standard Limit of Indemnity available for their standalone commercial legal protection policies. The amount has risen from the previous two decade long standard of £100,000 to £250,000 and does not incur any additional increase in premium.
Marsh’s latest report, the slightly wordy 'Benchmarking trends: Environmental Liability Directive (ELD) drives shift in purchasing of Environmental Impairment Liability (EIL) Insurance' reveals steady growth in the uptake of operational EIL insurance policies across the EU.
A Cyber Governance Health Check has been launched by Digital Economy Minister Ed Vaizey to help the UK’s biggest companies defend themselves against cyber attack.
The UK’s 350 largest businesses – FTSE 350 firms – are being urged to take part in the free Cyber Health Check to help them understand and improve their level of cyber security.
Willis has announced the rollout of Willis Accounting, a new global electronic accounting platform designed to speed up cash flow and settle claims more quickly.
Willis Accounting replaces traditional paper and email delivery of statements with automatic electronic messaging through an online portal. The new platform will speed up premium transactions and claim settlements with carriers and clients.
The 2015 Insurance Act has been years in the making and the end product is a fantastic result for policyholders. But with fewer than 12 months until it comes into place, the whole market – policyholders, insurers and brokers – needs to be working together to ensure it is ready.
The deadline for entries for the Commercial Insurance Awards is tomorrow, midnight, Wednesday 18 November. It's FREE to enter and there are 20 categories to choose from, including the sought after 'Pioneer Award'. View the categories here
The winners will be awarded at a glittering ceremony in Mayfair, among last year’s victors were RSA, AXA, NIG and
For more info on the awards, visit http://www.commercialinsuranceawards.com/
A minute’s silence is to be held across Europe today, Monday 16 November at 11am GMT in remembrance of those who lost their lives in a series of terrorist attacks in Paris, France overnight on 13/14 November. The incidents claimed at least 129 lives and wounded a further 352. Prompting region-wide elevated security...
Insurers could be forgiven for missing the Chancellor’s announcement of an apprenticeship levy amongst changes to IPT rates and the review of claims management company regulation – yet firms do need to know what is coming in 2017. The levy proposal will see large firms having to make a mandatory contribution to a central apprenticeship fund – whether they employ apprentices or not. The size of the levy and what constitutes a large firm has not yet been announced, but it is to be a central part of the policy which aims to achieve three million starts by 2020. As they currently stand, the proposals could have profound consequences for the sector.
Former rogue trader Nick Leeson is teaming up with operational risk management professional Mike Finlay to launch a risk management consultancy. It was twenty years ago this year that Leeson’s actions at Barings Bank led to the collapse of the financial institution. Two decades on, and Leeson believes parallels can be drawn between the collapse of Barings and the ongoing scandal at Volkswagen. This, he says, is where his new Risk Team comes in...
The winners of the 2015 Risk Management Awards were announced last night at a Gala Dinner hosted by comedian Jo Caulfield at the Cumberland Hotel in London's Mayfair. Congratulations to everyone shortlisted, and particularly to... Risk Manager of the Year - Kathy Slowther; Newcomer of the Year - Alexander Deas, OneSubsea...
A new committee of chief risk officers has been set up by the Lloyd’s Market Association (LMA) to promote efficient operations and the technical standards in risk management for Lloyd’s managing agents. As part of its programme, the committee will examine the evolving regulatory requirements for CROs, consider emerging and long-terms risks and champion best practice. The committee will also determine and define the skills and knowledge required to fulfil the CRO role within a Lloyd’s insurance business.
With Storm Abigail set to hit the north-east of Scotland this evening and the Met Office predicting a string of similar storms over the coming weeks that are expected to cause vast disruption, rain and strong gusts of wind, FM Global has issued advice on property protection during extreme weather events.
Ineffective management of supply chains is leaving organisations open to severe disruptions and the high financial costs incurred as a result. Nearly one in ten organisations are not aware of who their key suppliers are, leaving them open to severe disruption as they are unable to manage their supply chain effectively. This is according to a report published this week by the Business Continuity Institute.
Business standards company, BSI has published a revised specification for mail screening and security, which was sponsored by the Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure (CPNI). PAS 97:2015 replaces PAS 97:2012. Mail streams that go into and around an organisation can provide a vehicle for malicious attacks and become a catalyst for other security incidents. This can adversely affect the day-to-day business of the organisation.
According to the inaugural RIMS Marsh Risk Management in Latin America report, Latin American companies have made significant progress in developing and implementing sustainable risk management capabilities, but more work still needs to be done.
GCHQ and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport have launched CyberInvest, a new £6.5m industry and government scheme to support cyber security research and protect the UK in cyber space. CyberInvest aims to build a community of industry, government and academia who are committed to sustained investment in cyber security research.
Several trade unions, including Trade Union Co-ordinating Group (TUCG) are set to hold a demonstration in London, UK today. The demonstration has been called in protest against the proposed trade union bill, which introduces a number of restrictions to workers' rights to protest.
Control Risks has published its annual survey of business attitudes to corruption, comprising interviews with 824 companies worldwide. The risk consultancy’s survey reveals companies are now more willing to challenge when faced with suspected corruption. 27% of companies said they would complain to a contract awarder if they felt they had lost out due to corruption, compared to just 8% of respondents in 2006.
Research conducted by data storage and information security company Imation has suggests that as much as 44% of organisations believe a member of their senior management has lost a phone, laptop or USB device in the last year. The research, conducted by Vanson Bourne, also reveals 39% of companies say senior management have had a device stolen.
Forty-two days – that is two Ebola virus incubation cycles – have now passed since the last person confirmed to have Ebola virus disease had a second negative blood test, and thus the World Health Organisation has declared that Ebola virus transmission has been stopped in Sierra Leone.
Aon Benfield’s latest catastrophe report places the economic cost of the South Carolina and eastern US floods as one of the top 10 costliest non-tropical cyclone flood events in the country since 1980. Public and private insurers have already reported more than US$400m in payouts. It says global catastrophe losses for October are expected to top US$10bn.
Three weeks ahead of the landmark UN climate change conference, COP21, 113 companies have been selected as leaders for their work against climate change and placed on the 2015 Climate “A” List. Produced by international non-profit organisation CDP, formerly Carbon Disclosure Project, the list was compiled in the annual Climate Change Report on behalf of 822 investors representing US$95 trillion. The report highlights the extent to which climate change has shifted in the last five years and how corporations have reshaped their strategies to become part of the climate challenge solution.
A rally in support of the right to collective protest action, organised by Anonymous is set to take place in London tomorrow, 5th November. Participants are expected to gather in Trafalgar Square from 18:00 local time. Precedent suggests that a number of participants will attempt to march towards the Houses of Parliament, in the Westminster area. The rally is expected to be well attended and to take place amid a significant police presence. This event has in the past been marked by significant levels of anti-social behaviour, criminal damage to monuments and buildings, attempts to take over buildings, harassment of motorists and attacks on police officers.
Chief executives, managing directors and other senior business leaders are failing to take crisis preparedness seriously and risk undermining their organisation’s ability to manage crises, according to crisis management experts. These are the findings of a survey carried out by Regester Larkin and Steelhenge, which also identified partners and suppliers as major potential vulnerabilities in a crisis.
Tradeshift, has launched Tradeshift Risk, a new product designed to minimise supply chain risks. As global supply chains become increasingly complex, such fresh and accurate supplier information is a key contributor for effectively mitigating risk.
The government has introduced landmark legislation to provide law enforcement and the security and intelligence agencies with new investigatory powers. The legislation responds to huge changes in the way we communicate. The draft Bill will now go through full pre-legislative scrutiny before a revised Investigatory Powers Bill is laid before Parliament in spring 2016.
Organisations are experiencing increased operating costs as a result of hybrid IT, adding an average £251,868 every year, and many are concerned that they lack the expertise required to manage these complex environments. These are the findings of research carried out by Sungard Availability Services which highlights the innovation risk of operating in this hindered environment.
UK companies are being warned to prepare for upcoming regulation that will introduce mandatory gender pay gap reporting by both private and voluntary sector employers. In an effort to accelerate the closing of the UK pay gap – which currently stands at 19.1% – the UK government intends to extend the UK Equality Act 2010, which will require companies with 250 or more employees to carry out an equal pay review and publish their gender pay gap information.
Business leaders must stop seeing insurance as a grudge purchase and start using it to enable them to take risks as they grow their business, the IoD and Airmic have said today. In conjunction with Airmic, the IoD has produced a new guide for company directors, urging boards to view insurance not just as a necessary precaution, but as a way to help them launch into new markets and expand their business.
ACE Group has launched an insurance product designed to help cover day to day living expenses of individuals that are diagnosed with cancer. ACE Cancer Care can give policyholders the certainty of having help towards being able to cover their financial commitments in case they are diagnosed with cancer.
Aon Benfield’s catastrophe model development team has developed catastrophe models for Malaysia and Jakarta flood to help insurers and reinsurers better underwrite and manage their exposures in Asia. The average frequency of a major flood in Malaysia is once every three years though major insurance losses have been less frequent. However, due to increased exposure concentrations and evolving urban environments, these historical events are poor indicators of future loss potential. Impact Forecasting conducted field studies that indicated large accumulations from high value commercial and industrial properties in the flood plains. This data was used as the basis for the new model.
Specialist trade credit insurer, Equinox Global has launched a new whole-turnover credit insurance policy which includes non-cancellable limits for up to 12 months. Equinox Complete is targeted at medium sized to large companies with a good loss history and who are looking for a credit limit service. It is simple to operate with no specific IT requirements and no need for special credit procedures documentation.
Overall premium total for the London company market in 2014 was £22.943bn, a new report by the International Underwriting Association has revealed. Gross premium written in London totalled £15.855bn while a further £7.079bn was identified as written in other locations but overseen by London operations.
The Chartered Insurance Institute (CII) has announced the newest members of its New Generation Group. The New Generation Programme, established in 2011, is designed to support and develop new insurance talent and provide members with learning opportunities.
The latest Insurance Price Index from the British Insurance Brokers’ Association (BIBA) and Acturis that tracks £5billion of actual premiums paid annually via insurance brokers showed a significant rise in the level of premiums charged for very small enterprise policies.
ACE Group has expanded its political risk and credit division to Japan. Japan was the world’s fourth largest exporting country in 2014; and with Japanese businesses relying heavily on overseas trade and growth, their needs for comprehensive political risk and credit insurance cover are increasing.
The Risk Advisory Group and Forensic Risk Alliance have joined forces to offer an international investigations and compliance due diligence service. The global risk consultancy and the forensic accounting e-discovery, data management and analytics firm have global experience in pre and post M&A reviews and through regulatory action and criminal investigations.
A new riverine flood model, created by Aon Benfield, is being launched to support catastrophe insurance underwriting. Flooding costs the US an average of US$6.9bn a year since 1976 – with a high of US$34bn in 1993. In 2015 alone, floods affecting just Texas, Oklahoma and South Carolina have amounted to over US$4bn in damages, and cost insurers an estimate of US$1bn, highlighting the necessity for an enhanced system.
Changes in the way that companies and authorities interact mean that traditional directors and officers (D&O) insurance products may not provide executives with the protection they now require. As regulators and prosecutors increasingly seek to hold individuals in senior management personally accountable for corporate wrongdoing, there is increased pressure for companies to investigate internal conduct and report any findings to authorities.
Global manufacturing hubs in South-East Asia are likely to experience significant falls in productivity over the next 30 years due to rising temperatures and extreme heat stress impacting labour forces, according to new data from global risk analytics company Verisk Maplecroft.
Over 300 people have been killed and hundreds more injured following a M7.5 earthquake in Afghanistan's north eastern Badakhshan province. The worst impacted major urban centre is Khyber Pakhtunkhwa's administrative capital of Peshawar, where several buildings collapsed. Risk specialists Red24 say communications across parts of the impacted area have been cut, making information difficult to verify.
Six hours before Hurricane Patricia made landfall in Mexico this weekend, it was the most intense tropical cyclone ever recorded by the National Hurricane Centre (NHC) in the Atlantic and East Pacific ocean basins. Fortunately for the state of Jalisco, hurricanes cannot sustain such extreme intensity for long and by the time it had reached the coast, Patricia's maximum sustained winds had fallen from 200 mph to 165 mph. AIR Worldwide estimates that insured losses to onshore properties in Mexico from Hurricane Patricia will not exceed US$200m.
Specialist insurer Markel has launched a new product designed to look after the business critical insurance needs of small and start-up research and development businesses and organisations in the medical devices industry. Policies offer a range of covers including public and products liability, EL and D&O, among others.
Police are investigating a significant and sustained cyber attack on the TalkTalk website. The phone and broadband provider, which has over 4 million customers in the UK, said credit card and bank details could have been accessed. The Metropolitan Police Cyber Crime Unit is investigating the attack, which happened on Wednesday. The site has been hacked twice already this year, and in this latest incident, the company had apparently left its customers’ data exposed by leaving it unencrypted.
CDP, the non-profit formerly known as the Carbon Disclosure Project, has released details of corporate water stewardship, with Asahi Group Holdings, Colgate Palmolive, Ford Motor Company and Toyota Motor Corporation included in the list of global corporations achieving an A rating for their efforts to improve water security.
Novae has announced the appointment of Jacqueline Spencer-Sim as class underwriter within Novae’s cyber unit. Spencer-Sim will report to Dan Trueman, unit head, and brings a combination of both cyber broking and underwriting experience to the role.
Swiss Re and IBM are developing a range of underwriting solutions using IBM Watson's cognitive computing technologies. One of the first applications will be in Swiss Re's Life & Health reinsurance business unit. Cognitive technologies, coupled with human experience and insights, can enhance and help inform timely decision making. By applying Watson’s capabilities, the new platform could allow are more accurate pricing of risk.
New research has found the UK's most costly weather events are very likely linked rather than independent as previously thought. Dr John Hillier, from Loughborough University’s Geography Department, analysed time-series of weather and insurance data, and identified intra-annual links between windstorms, shrink-swell damage (associated with drought), and flooding. Dr Neil Macdonald University of Liverpool) and Dr Gregor Leckebusch (University of Birmingham) also contributed to the study.
What causes some businesses to survive change where others do not? Why do some countries and cities thrive under change while others struggle? How do some engineered structures and systems withstand adverse conditions while others collapse catastrophically? In its review of resilience engineering, launched today, the Lloyd’s Register Foundation has explores how resilience engineering could enhance the safety of life and property through the improved resilience of engineered structures, systems, organisations and communities around the world.
Liberty Specialty Markets, part of Liberty Mutual Insurance Group, is to exit from its niche UK motor insurance business. LSM’s motor book will close to new business from 1 November 2015 and will close to renewals from 1 January 2016.
ACE Group has announced the launch of ACE Political Violence and Terrorism Plus, a multinational political violence and terrorism insurance solution available for businesses in Continental Europe, the Middle East and Africa and Asia-Pacific.
Argo has appointed David Lang as COO of ArgoGlobal. Lang brings nearly three decades of industry experience to his new role, joining from Lloyd’s where he served most recently as chief data officer.
Xchanging has announced that Write-Back, the message-based technology that allows the IT systems of London Market insurers to interact fully with the market’s central claims systems, ECF2, has gone live. Write-Back was the result of market collaboration over a period of eighteen months between Xchanging, four software providers and eight Lloyd’s and London market carriers.
Willis Re has unveiled an enhanced approach to catastrophe risk modelling that enables insurers to more accurately measure, mitigate and articulate their catastrophe risk exposure for all major perils and territories globally.
In just four weeks' time, the winners of the 2015 Risk Management Awards will be presented with their well-deserved trophies at a black tie dinner and ceremony hosted by comedian Jo Caulfield.
Accumulations of liability risk are one of the most complex exposure management challenges faced by insurers. A new report, commissioned by Lloyd’s, presents an innovative approach to managing this type of risk, and uses big data analytics to improve understanding and reduce the potential for unexpected market shocks.
Markel International has appointed Steve Loader to help launch its new marine trades product which will provide liability, property, equipment, business interruption, builders risk, vessel hull and employers liability cover on a worldwide package basis. It will be offered for marine trades operations including marinas, yacht clubs, boat dealers, vessel repairers/builders, fishing harbours and marine contractors.
As we have argued before in this column, the risks facing today’s businesses are more complex than ever, driven by the extraordinary pace of globalisation and technological change. As a result, and compounded by the speed of 24/7 news and social media, firms and their boards are exposed to intense scrutiny like never before. Despite this, survey data from McKinsey show that almost a third of UK companies say their boards have ‘limited or no understanding’ of the risks their companies face
Syria, Venezuela and Zimbabwe top a list of 40 politically risky territories and destinations for foreign investment, according to data released today by Willis. In recent months the beneficial conditions that have driven emerging market growth for the past decade are threatening to reverse, according to the Index. The number of countries with a rising risk temperature again exceeds those whose risk temperature is falling. Nineteen countries saw their overall risk score rise, ten countries saw their score fall, and eleven were unchanged.
Research released by the Met Office suggests that almost half of retailers and suppliers rank the weather among the top three risk factors driving consumer demand. Despite this, a third do not use any weather data within their supply chain and almost a fifth rely on free weather data services.
The government’s proposals to penalise insurers that do not pay claims promptly and have no good reason for delay could result in the transformation of the claims landscape, according to solicitors at Rosling King. If the Enterprise Bill becomes law and this provision remains in it, it is expected that the Insurance Act 2015 will have to be amended.
Internet users are being asked to protect themselves against a significant strain of malicious software (malware) which has enabled criminals to steal millions of pounds from UK bank accounts. Dridex malware, also known as Bugat and Cridex, was developed in Eastern Europe to harvest online banking details, which are then exploited to steal money from individuals and businesses around the world. Global financial institutions and a variety of different payment systems have been particularly targeted, with UK losses estimated at £20m.
Insurance systems specialist RDT has deployed NaviCloud Director to underpin its testing and development systems. The new platform allows RDT to provision on-demand and scalable infrastructure services.
Legal expenses insurer DAS has partnered with the Bluefin Network to provide their partner brokers with access to their motor breakdown service, DAS Motor Assistance Gold. The product is available via Acturis system and the Bluefin Network Hub and provides cover for private vehicles, fleets of cars or other commercial vehicles.
Thousands of people protested across Turkey on 10 and 11 October against the recent bombing at a rally in the capital, Ankara, on 10 October. Major demonstrations were reported in Ankara, Istanbul and various other cities including Izmir, Batman and Diyarbakir. The protests were held to denounce the 10 October bombing which targeted a rally organised by leftist groups, including the opposition Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) and left at least 95 people dead.
New research from small business insurer Direct Line for Business reveals that only a third of SMEs currently have professional indemnity insurance. Not all SMEs will require PII cover but those that do out of the remaining 3.3 million of the UK’s 5.2 million SMEs could find themselves uninsured should their clients suffer a financial loss as a result of negligent or poor advice.
Just four per cent of businesses are able to extract the full value from the information they hold, with over a third (36%) lacking the tools and skills they need to do so according to a PwC/Iron Mountain benchmarking report. The study also reveals that many UK organisations are failing to effectively manage their information as it travels through the business.
The gap between insured and total losses from nat cats is widening, while many disaster prone countries lack financial preparedness, as floods, earthquakes, hurricanes and droughts continue to ravage communities and economies worldwide. In a new report from Swiss Re, 'Disaster risk financing: Smart solutions for the public sector', Swiss Re shows that the economic cost of natural catastrophes has grown markedly in the last 40 years. The protection gap – the difference between economic and insured losses – remains large despite the availability of insurance solutions. Narrowing this gap helps strengthening a country's financial resilience.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has launched a public consultation on a proposed survey to explore the impact on UK businesses of extreme weather conditions. The survey covers the impacts from weather-related events; risks and opportunities relating to current and future changes in climate; and income from adaptation goods and services related to changes in climate.
Retail boards across the UK are not giving cyber security the attention it deserves, according to new analysis of annual reports by risk and insurance law firm BLM. BLM looked for mentions of a range of words associated with digital risk – such as ‘cyber’, ‘information security’ and ‘data breach’ – in the annual reports of the 32 FTSE-listed retailers. In 40% of reports there was no mention of any of the identified terms, suggesting that cyber security is not yet classed as a top risk by the industry as a whole.
NTT Communications has announced the launch of its disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS) solution across Europe, in partnership with DRaaS platform provider Geminare. Designed to help organisations adapt and evolve their disaster recovery programmes to a secure NTT Com Enterprise Cloud platform, NTT Com offers its DRaaS solution from four secure Enterprise Cloud locations in Europe and 14 worldwide. Clients can also choose from over 130 secure datacentres worldwide.
The Federation of European Risk Management Associations (FERMA) has today published a guide for risk managers across Europe on the implications of new legislation that will change the legal framework for commercial insurance in the UK. Produced jointly with Mactavish, Changes in UK Insurance Law - An Introduction for European Businesses warns that the UK's Insurance Act 2015 will affect buyers across Europe, because of the large amount of international insurance and reinsurance business placed in the London insurance market.
The FCA has published new rules in relation to whistleblowing. The changes follow recommendations made in 2013 by the Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards that banks put in place mechanisms to allow their employees to raise concerns internally and that they appoint a senior person to take responsibility for the effectiveness of these arrangements.
Managing health, safety and security risks to workers on international travel and assignment is the subject of a new paper from the Federation of European Risk Management Associations (FERMA) and International SOS.
A pan-European report has been launched today offering guidance and insight into the changing environment shaping European directors’ duties and liabilities. Regulatory and political scrutiny of boards has led to an increase in the risks and potential liabilities faced by individual directors. The impact of this new environment is also felt in the rising number of D&O insurance claims
Businesses are complacent about brand and reputation, according to a significant majority of executive directors, despite the risk being identified as significant. Some 70% of executive directors taking part in an Aon Risk Solutions study feel that brand and reputation are not given due consideration, with some believing it to be ‘out of sight and mind’ before a crisis occurs.
The risk of a serious cyber attack on civil nuclear infrastructure is growing, as facilities become ever more reliant on digital systems and make increasing use of commercial ‘off-the-shelf’ software, according to a major new report from Chatham House.
ACE Group has further enhanced its Travel Smart duty of care offering. Designed for European business travel insurance buyers, the first of the new services is an online dashboard for HR and risk managers, which enables them to locate and send messages to travelling employees anywhere in the world via 3G or a Wi-Fi connection.
Hurricane Joaquin is battering parts of the Caribbean with Cat 4 strength winds and is likely to drive coastal flooding and heavy rainfall along the eastern US coastline, before weakening to tropical storm strength.
Insurance company executives and ClimateWise members have welcomed the Prudential Regulation Authority’s initiative to be one of the first insurance regulators globally to examine the likely impact that climate change will have on the insurance industry and its customers.
Small and medium-sized enterprises are increasingly concerned about the impact of competition on margins and lack of consumer demand, according to Zurich Insurance Group’s third annual global SME survey.
More than seven out of ten (71%) of risk managers say their overall level of influence is greater now than it was three years ago according to a survey of 500 companies in Europe, the Middle East and Africa conducted for ACE European Group. The new report, The Changing Role of the Risk Manager, highlights that influence is increasing most significantly in the areas of strategic decision-making (78%), digital technology and social media (76%), and supplier and business partner selection (73%).
Gross written premiums in the cyber insurance market are estimated to have grown from US$850m in 2012 to around US$2.5bn this year. Interest in cyber insurance has grown in particular among businesses that hold sensitive consumer information including telecommunication companies, financial organisations and retailers.
IMIA, the international association for engineering insurance underwriters, has published a best practice protocol to enable claims to be paid promptly and efficiently. The document identifies the factors that can impede the claims process and draws up a set of guidelines to ensure that everything goes smoothly in the event of a loss.
The IUA-ABI Rehabilitation Working Party has published a new, updated version of the Rehabilitation Code. It has also published, for the first time, a guide for rehabilitation case managers and people who commission them, which is separate from the Code but intended to complement it. The decision to produce the guide followed concern expressed by insurers and claimant lawyers about the outcome of some rehabilitation cases.
City Lifeline has launched a new datacentre in London's Tech City. The new hall, named the Shoreditch Data Hall will see City Lifeline take a further step in its planned expansion throughout London. The current part of this multi-phase development includes a new 11,000 volt sub-station and a 2 megawatt increase in power to the datacentre. The Shoreditch Data Hall will have 88 new racks available immediately, with more planned to follow.
The number of riots globally since 2010 is already more than double the number that occurred between 2000 and 2010. Large engineering projects have a greater vulnerability to the risk given their potential to expose or become a focal point for contentious social, economic and environmental issues.
Life and general insurers, as well as insurance brokers, continue to be optimistic about their overall business situation, although this has dampened across the board compared to three months ago according to today’s CBI/PwC Financial Services survey. Life insurers see a significant increase in M&A as a driver of growth over the next 12 months. This contrasts starkly with the general insurers, and to a lesser extent brokers, which expect M&A to be at a significantly lower level than previously.
New research has revealed that human error is still the leading cause of data loss for organisations in the UK. The findings come as part of Databarracks’ Data Health Check report, a survey of over 400 IT decision makers. The report reveals that 24% of organisations admitted to a data loss caused by employee accidents in the last 12 months. Other high-scoring causes of data loss included hardware failure (21%) and data corruption (19%).
Today sees the launch of a new industry body created to vet smart devices for vulnerabilities and flaws. The Internet of Things Security Foundation (IoTSF) consists of more than 30 companies, including BT, Intel and Vodafone, and will look to encourage smart device manufacturers to think about security as hardware is being developed.
UK businesses were today warned about the growing risk of cyber attacks as minister for the digital economy, Ed Vaizey, urged businesses across the country to protect themselves by taking up the government’s Cyber Essentials scheme. The latest figures reveal that 74% of small businesses, and 90% of major businesses, has had a cyber breach of security in the last year.
AIG has announced the launch of its new Expatriate Care product. Aimed at organisations headquartered in the UK with expatriate employees across the globe, the new offering is designed to provide scalable, cost effective solutions for businesses of any size, from SMEs through to large corporates, Expatriate Care programmes can be set up with as few as five employees, and disregards previous medical history.
Following its earlier announcement in July that it was evaluating a potential offer for RSA Insurance Group, Zurich has stated that it does not intend to make an offer to acquire the entire issued and to be issued ordinary share capital of RSA.
Renewable energy underwriter, GCube has launched a new weather risk transfer mechanism for the wind and hydroelectric energy sectors. Designed to help offset the financial impact of resource volatility, which affects not only renewable energy producers, but also an increasing number of parties throughout the value chain – from developers, installers and independent power producers to utilities, pension funds and governments.
Volkswagen's CEO has personally apologised after US regulators found deliberate distortion of emission levels in its cars. In a clear link to the news, VW’s share price dropped by 19%, including the largest one day drop in six years.
Businesses can suffer serious losses in the event that insurance companies delay paying claims. But under new Law Commission reforms introduced into Parliament this week, insurers may be obliged to make prompt payment or face a claim themselves for damages.
Insurers may soon struggle to recruit non-executive directors as increasingly prescriptive regulation puts pressure on those performing such roles. The International Underwriting Association has warned that rising responsibilities may shrink the ‘talent pool’ of available candidates and drive up the cost of recruiting non-executive directors. The trend also presents challenges for improving the representative diversity of boards.
New research suggests highlights some worrying trends in business continuity among SMEs. The study shows that just 27% of small businesses have a business continuity plan in place, compared to 68% of medium organisations and 75% of large organisations. Worse still, 73% of SMEs questioned admitted they had not tested their plan in the last 12 months, with nearly half not planning to within the next year.
A large wildfire in Lake County and Napa County in the US state of California led the authorities to declare a state of emergency in the area on 13 September. Having started in the early morning hours on Saturday, 12th September on Cobb Mountain in California, a valley fire has consumed 61,000 acres, or 95 square miles, destroying 400 homes and hundreds of structures in Lake County. In addition, more than 5,000 people are without power. The National Guard has been mobilised, and the cause of the fire is still under investigation.
Torus has announced the details of its major rebranding to StarStone. The company’s holding company name has changed to StarStone Insurance Holdings Limited. Its six insurance platforms in the Lloyd’s and London markets, Continental Europe and the United States, as well as its other group companies, are in the process of being renamed to incorporate the StarStone brand. This process is expected to be completed in January 2016.
Headline-grabbing M&A in the reinsurance sector may do little in itself to help firms cope with the harsh reality of falling prices and low investment returns, according to Fitch Ratings. It says it expect market conditions to remain weak in 2016, while company valuations have remained "stubbornly high". This, it says, increases the risk that future acquisitions will not generate long-term value - a risk that will only grow as the pool of potential targets shrinks.
Torrential rainfall in Japan during the last three days – exacerbated by Typhoon Etau – has resulted in significant flooding in areas north and east of Tokyo, with tremendous levels of damage to property and infrastructure, and widespread evacuations.
Faced with significant over-capacity and widespread pricing pressure, the growth in global capital dedicated to reinsurance has stabilised during the first half of 2015, according to a report published by Willis Re. Based on the Willis Reinsurance Index, the report states that dedicated global reinsurance capital from both traditional and non-traditional sources remains at US$425bn, unchanged from the record level reached at year-end 2014.
Lloyd’s has announced a profit of £1.19bn for H1 2015. The combined ratio shows Lloyd’s outperforming its competitors for the fourth consecutive year and reflects the results of the market’s 96 syndicates. Lloyd’s profit and rating has been achieved within the context of difficult trading conditions, which have seen low interest rates reduce investment returns and increase competition on insurance premiums around the world.
Flash flooding and landslides have been reported as a result of Tropical Storm Etau after the storm made landfall on the Chita Peninsula, located in Japan's Aichi Prefecture, at 10:00 local time on 9th September. Inclement weather, including flash flooding and landslides, were reported in the capital, Tokyo, located in the eponymous prefecture, as well as the surrounding Kanagawa, Saitama and Tochigi prefectures.
Control Risks and Oxford Economics have announced a JV designed to provide customisable political and economic risk forecasting services. The political actions of countries clearly affect international trade and monetary flows, which in turn disrupt the global economy and business environment. The evolving situation in China, for example, demonstrates the inseparability of politics and economics as Beijing seeks to strike a delicate balance between market forces and political priorities. Aimed at bridging the worlds of geopolitics and macroeconomics, the collaboration addresses the increasingly interconnected risk landscape facing international organisations.
I write as Greece is yet again in the headlines as their debt crisis deepens. Closer to home, public sector organisations continue to work through the austerity measures to bring public spending down. Those working in the public sector may have viewed the Chancellor’s July budget a little more positively as public spending cuts were not the headline on this occasion. One thing mentioned was devolution; the regions of Sheffield, Liverpool and West Yorkshire will no doubt welcome this step towards decision making being placed at a local level, focusing on the priorities and local plans that are important to their regions. I am sure we will also be keeping a close eye on the developments in the Manchester region as their plans move forward.
Businesses must prepare for a new generation fast evolving cyber risks -- risks that go beyond the established threats of data breaches, privacy issues and reputational damage to operational damage, business interruption and even potentially catastrophic losses. The scope of cyber insurance is expected to evolve to provide broader and deeper coverage, addressing business interruption and closing gaps between traditional coverage and cyber policies. While cyber exclusions in property and casualty policies are likely to become commonplace, standalone cyber insurance will continue to evolve as the main source of comprehensive cover. There is growing interest among the telecommunications, retail, energy, utilities and transport sectors, as well as from financial institutions.
Aon Benfield’s latest catastrophe report reveals that in the United States, severe drought conditions persisted in western regions with total economic losses expected to reach at least US3bn – mostly attributable to agricultural damage in California. Several Caribbean and Central American nations issued alerts as droughts worsened.
Barnett Waddingham, the UK’s largest independent firm of actuaries and consultants has today announced the launch of a new business risk practice providing risk management services to corporate clients. The new practice is to be led by newly appointed associate, Danny Wong, who has joined Barnett Waddingham from InterContinental Hotels Group where he was director of corporate risk.
Now in their third year, the Commercial Insurance Awards, hosted by CIR Magazine, are the showcase for excellence within commercial insurance. The Commercial Insurance Awards are unique in rewarding the particular issues around the insurance of commercial enterprises , and were created to allow the commercial insurance sector to shine.
Cunningham Lindsey has announced the creation of a new hub, based in Miami, from which it plans to expand the support it can offer clients across Central and South America and the Caribbean. Led by Peter Ravey, a major and complex loss adjuster and Miami Hub director for Latin America and Caribbean at Cunningham Lindsey, the hub will offer loss adjusting, audit and review and training services to insurers and reinsurers across all classes of casualty, property and special risks business in the region.
ESI and Ambiental have incorporated the ESI National Groundwater Flood Risk Map into Ambiental’s UKFloodMap4. Covering the entire UK, with a full range of return periods, and integrating up to date river flow and rainfall data, UKFloodMap4 is designed to improve the way insurers assess flood risk at the individual address/building level.
A new study has found that there would be significant economy-wide business and consumer advantages with the advent of automated or driverless haulage and logistics vehicles, including delivering nearly £34bn in savings to the haulage industry. The report, The Future of Driverless Haulage, undertaken by AXA UK, found that when considering the anticipated cost savings across four cost categories (labour, fuel, insurance and vehicle utilisation), there would be an estimated £33.6bn of savings – and potentially as high as £47.5bn – after 10 years.
Fitch Ratings says in a new report that major tier 1 reinsurers stand to benefit most from a changing reinsurance market and mounting competitive pressures while small mono-line companies will be the hardest-hit. Fitch says recent reported financial results confirm that major Tier 1 reinsurers with their strong franchises and market positions are well placed to adapt to and profit from the changing reinsurance landscape. The current macro operating environment is likely to extend beyond a normal soft market cycle, with the continued growth of alternative capital, changes in the purchase and distribution of reinsurance and increased regulatory costs creating significant challenges.
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.
The UK’s economic recovery is being undermined by a lack of training and skills in supply chain management, according to the Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply (CIPS), which has revealed that almost half of UK supply chain managers lack the skills necessary to do their jobs.
Investors are being poorly served by a haphazard approach from fund managers to the growing threat of cyber crime damaging the companies in which they invest, with a lack of clarity from the businesses themselves compounding the problem.
The explosions that occurred at the Port of Tianjin, China are likely to become one of the largest insured man-made losses in Asia. A report carried out by Guy Carpenter. provides initial loss estimates and outlines the many variables involved in assessing the losses emanating from the two massive initial explosions that occurred in August of this year.
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.
Deborah Ritchie speaks to Benedict McKenna, at FM Global about its unique approach to mitigating businesses losses.
Deborah Ritchie provides a summary of some of the latest stories in business risk, insurance and resilience
Global warning issued over Zika virus
Business interruption cover not meeting needs of industry
BC Awards 2016: One week to go!
Willis Re forms alliance with drone tech firm
BCI’s annual horizon scan reveals some risky trends
Storm Jonas: Avoiding business disruption
IRM makes its risk predictions for 2016