Efforts to reauthorise the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (TRIA) fell apart late on December 16, 2014, after the Senate failed to extend the program prior to adjourning for the year. Without a renewal, TRIA is set to expire on December 31. If TRIA expires, commercial insurers will no longer be required to offer terrorism coverage beginning January 1. Without a federal backstop, insurers may seek to limit underwriting for high concentrations of risks in major cities—causing terrorism insurance coverage to become unavailable or unaffordable. Insurers that do continue to offer commercial terrorism insurance would likely be required to maintain higher capital standards in order to avoid negative rating implications. Where coverage for terrorism-related events is still available, prices for this coverage will increase.
FIFA executives today voted to release the findings of World Cup corruption report in full. The handling of the report has already been met with widespread criticism with only a summary being released, angering the report’s author, Michael Garcia. Stepping down from his role as independent ethics investigator this week, Garcia has labelled the summary of his two year investigation as "incomplete and erroneous". The decision to release the full report was made by made by Fifa’s executive committee, although, Fifa President, Sepp Blatter, was able to limit who could vote.
After ongoing negotiations with the Association of British Insurers and Flood Re, an agreement has been reached on a number of matters regarding how Flood Re will operate. This will enable legislation to be laid in Parliament next year and – once approved by the financial regulators – enable Flood Re to operate as a reinsurer.
Rising geopolitical tensions, political violence, and separatist movements combined with falling commodity prices are exacerbating political risks and further highlighting challenges for direct foreign investors, according to the 2015 Political Risk Map and report, released today by Marsh.
According to preliminary Swiss Re sigma estimates, total economic losses from natural catastrophes and man-made disasters were US$113bn in 2014, down from US$135bn in 2013. Out of the total economic losses, insurers covered US$34bn in 2014, down 24% from US$45bn in 2013. This year disaster events have claimed around 11,000 lives.
Risk management society RIMS has expressed its concern for Congresses’ inability to extend the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (TRIA) before its deadline on December 31, 2014. “We are extremely disappointed that Congress failed to pass an extension of TRIA, despite strong bipartisan support," said RIMS President Carolyn Snow. "The programme’s expiration will have many negative repercussions for commercial insurance consumers, the countless organizations they represent and the U.S. economy as a whole.
Today’s young risk professionals will require a much broader skillset than their predecessors in order to become tomorrow’s risk leaders, chair of Airmic’s fastTrack initiative, Kate Wallin, has said. Her comments come as fastTrack announces details of its first conference.
Security remains heightened in Sydney's Martin Place amid an ongoing hostage situation at a shop in the area. An unconfirmed number of people were taken hostage in the shop by at least one unidentified gunman early this morning. According to reports, at least five of the hostages have subsequently escaped or been released, and there have been no reports of casualties and police officials have been quoted by media sources as having contacted the gunman.
The UK Civil Aviation Authority and NATS have agreed to the establishment of an independent inquiry following the disruption caused by the failure in air traffic management systems on Friday afternoon, 12th December. A handful of flights were impacted up and down the country after an unprecedented failure in the system which led to the controllers being unable to access all of the data regarding individual flight plans.
Australian police stormed a Sydney cafe in the early hours of Tuesday morning (local time) to free several hostages who had been held there at gunpoint for more than 16 hours. According to Reuters, medics tried to resuscitate at least one person after the raid and several injured people were taken away on stretchers, according to a Reuters witness at the scene.
xMatters has released the latest version of its On-Demand cloud platform. Available globally, the technology enables efficient two-way enterprise-wide intelligent communications and alerting. The new release boasts significantly enhanced collaboration features, a cloud-to-enterprise hybrid integration agent, enhancements to executive and employee messaging.
Japanese non-life insurers are likely to further tighten their management of catastrophe risks in 2015, according to a new report from Fitch Ratings. Catastrophe risk and non-life insurers' exposure to Japanese equities are the two main sources of volatility in operating performance for the industry.
Aegis London has launched a cyber insurance product offering property damage, bodily injury, environmental pollution and cyber terrorism wrapped around existing policies. Cyber attacks will be the 'new normal’ in 2015 with an increase in destructive attacks linked to on-going global conflicts.
Following a year characterised by widespread conflict and civil unrest, escalating geopolitical tensions and spiralling terrorism fatalities, global stability is unlikely to improve over 2015, according to the seventh annual Political Risk Atlas released by global risk analytics company Verisk Maplecroft.
Ecuador's largest private bank, Banco Pichincha, is deploying MetricStream’s cloud-based solution for business continuity management to help minimise the impact of business disruptions as well as aid in crisis and incident management planning by streamlining and automating the BCM lifecycle. It will also provide an integrated framework to collaboratively manage all BCM processes, including BIA, business continuity planning, testing of plans, and issue management and remediation. The solution will be rolled out in Spanish to support local users.
As attention shifts from sophisticated external attacks to the role that internal vulnerability and negligence often play, a new survey conducted by the Ponemon Institute suggests that most organisations are having difficulty balancing the need for improved security with employee productivity demands. Employees with needlessly excessive data access privileges represent a growing risk for organisations due to both accidental and conscious exposure of sensitive or critical data.
Airmic has urged insurance buyers to insist that written contracts are in place as soon as policies go live – instead of the 30 days currently recommended. The call comes as the association launches an on-line toolkit for members to support the insurance-buying process. The risk and insurance association believes that achieving day-one policy issuance will only be possible if insurers, brokers and risk managers work together to change market practice and, in particular, to start the renewal process earlier.
DVLA and the Motor Insurers Bureau (MIB) have launched the new MyLicence service. The first of its kind, the initiative was developed in partnership with the Association of British Insurers in response to the government’s Insurance Industry Access to Driver Data programme and DVLA’s ongoing aims to digitise the driver data it holds.
JLT has agreed to purchase Hayward Aviation from Towergate Insurance for a cash consideration of £27m. Hayward Aviation is an international specialist aviation insurance broker that arranges insurance for regional airlines, small commercial fleets of fixed wing aircraft and helicopters, individual jets, light aircraft and helicopters owned by private clients. For the year ended 31 December 2013, the business generated revenues of £10 million and profit before tax of £3 million.
Underwriting confidence within the London insurance market leading in to 2015 has reduced compared to this time last year, according to PwC. As insurers approach the 1 January 2015 renewal season, PwC's market outlook shows London Market participants assuming an average combined ratio of 97% for 2015 with one in five materially reliant on investment returns to make a profit. The continued abundance of capacity has dampened possible rate increases and has led to substantial declines over the past year.
Fitch Ratings says in a new report that its rating outlook for the German non-life insurance sector remains stable. The sector outlook, an indicator of fundamental trends, is also stable. The agency considers German non-life companies to be well prepared to meet the sector's current challenges, and does not expect a significant number of rating changes over the next 12-24 months.
Typhoon Hagupit hit Eastern Samar late Saturday local time, flattening homes, toppling trees, and cutting power and communications. Ahead of the storm, more than 1.2 million people were evacuated into more than 1,500 schools, civic centres, town halls, gyms, and churches across the region, according to the Red Cross. Financial markets, schools, and government offices were closed on Monday. A total of 183 flights had been cancelled and five airports closed, and there were power outages reported in 16 provinces.
Direct losses in real estate and infrastructure as a result of natural disasters has tripled, reaching US$150 billion per year. This is according to a study carried out by the Urban Land Institute. Based on data from Lloyd’s of London, the white paper finds that while the insurance industry is a leader in developing risk standards for natural disasters, the real estate sector and governments must also play an active role in climate change adaptation.
The House of Lords Special Public Bill Committee on the Insurance Bill will take evidence next week from Supreme Court Judge Lord Mance, as well as industry professionals from the risk and insurance industry.
Insurer RSA has been selected as the insurance partner for a government backed project to pilot driverless cars in London’s Greenwich Borough. The project contract, awarded to a consortium led by transport innovation consultant TRL, of which RSA is a member, is part of the government's recent announcement to test the suitability of driverless cars in locations across the UK.
This year’s aviation disasters contradict the industry’s long-term improvement in safety with currently fewer than two passenger deaths for every 100 million passengers on commercial flights, according to a new report by aviation insurer Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty. By comparison during an early decade of the jet age (1962-1971) there were 133 passenger deaths out of every 100 million passengers.
Over 2014, the human rights situation has deteriorated most in Ukraine, Thailand and Turkey due to heavy-handed government responses to civil unrest and failures in rule of law. This is according to Maplecroft’s annual Human Rights Risk Atlas (HRRA), which also reveals increasing polarisation between the world’s best and worst performing countries.
Losses above US$5m in the US healthcare insurance sector are accounting for a rising proportion of total dollars spent in claims, according to specialist healthcare insurer Hiscox. In the early 2000s the percentage of the total spent in claims for losses of US$5m and over was in the 7.5%-10% range per year; that figure has moved up in to the 15%-25% range, and is expected to go higher still.
Covéa has reached agreement to acquire Sterling Insurance Group. The transaction, which is subject to regulatory approval, will broaden Covéa’s product offering in the UK market. Total gross written premium post acquisition will be close to £600 million.
The WHO has commended Spain for the measures put in place to identify potential cases and prevent further transmission of the Ebola virus. These measures included exhaustive contact tracing of both high- and low-risk contacts, daily active monitoring of all contacts, training in and monitoring of correct use of personal protective equipment for all healthcare workers caring for the patient infected with Ebola virus.
AXA Assistance has launched its new Total Loss Protection insurance for brokers and insurers, designed to address delays and financial losses associated with motor write-off claims. The new product also responds to calls for transparency and improved customer experience from add-on products.
Businesses need to be aware how much damage the ‘fear multiplier’ from deadly diseases such as Ebola and emerging infectious diseases could cause them, the Cambridge Centre for Risk Studies warns.
UK businesses are risking a reputational time bomb due a lack of awareness on how to protect their data assets, according to research released today by BSI, the business standards company. As cyber hackers become more complex and sophisticated in their methods, UK organisations are being urged to strengthen their security systems to protect both themselves and consumers.
This coming weekend is sandwiched between two of the busiest shopping days of the year. Black Friday and Cyber Monday will see hundreds of UK retailers slash their prices to compete for the contents of consumers’ Christmas wallets. Originally created by US firms to get Americans spending after Thanksgiving, the craze has become a UK phenomenon with Adobe Digital predicting that expenditure this year will reach £285 million.
The British Insurance Brokers’ Association (BIBA) and Beachcroft DAC have launched an insurance guide to the sharing economy which aims to help overcome the insurance barriers that sharing businesses and individuals have faced when sharing items or skills such as car journeys, renting properties or lending tools. In the UK alone the sharing economy is estimated to be worth £500million, and is growing at 25% per year.
There is a worrying disconnect between what the headquarters of large multinational organisations believe about their anti-corruption programmes and the reality of what is actually going on at the front line in the higher risk markets. This is according to Control Risks, which this week published its annual survey of business attitudes to corruption.
The UK government has unveiled a new counter-terrorism and security bill, designed to give the UK some of the toughest powers in the world to tackle the increasing threat from international terrorism. The Counter-Terrorism and Security Bill is designed to bolster an already considerable armoury of powers to disrupt the ability of people to travel abroad to fight, reduce the risks they pose on their return and combat the underlying ideology that feeds, supports and sanctions terrorism.
Business standards organisation, BSI has published BS 65000 Guidance for Organisational Resilience, designed to provide an overview of resilience, describing the foundations required and explaining how to build resilience. BS 65000 provides guidance on achieving enhanced organisational resilience and articulates the benefits of doing so. Currently, standards exist within the crisis management and business continuity management arenas which impact on the overall governance of an organisation. This standard can help to enhance these practices by integration of the disciplines that are essential for resilience. BS 65000 references other activities including risk management, horizon scanning and change management.
PwC has joined Beazley’s network of partners to support the insurer’s cyber incident response offering. The partnership will see Beazley Breach Response (BBR) policyholders offered access to one of the world’s largest forensic services providers to investigate suspected data breaches and network intrusions.
Due to the rising number of catastrophic events in Australia, more and more Australians become aware of the benefits of non-life insurance, leading to a substantial increase in the market, according to a new report by Timetric. According to the report, the gross written premium of Australian non-life insurance increased from US$22.8bn in 2009 to US$34.7bn in 2013, at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.2%. The number of non-life policies also grew at a CAGR of 4.4% between 2009 and 2013, reaching 53 million last year.
Airmic has welcomed the decision by Pool Re to implement far-reaching changes in the way the scheme operates. The association believes the reforms, agreed last Friday, will make Pool Re more attractive to business as well as diversifying its risk base. At Friday's EGM, members of the terrorism reinsurer voted to support a more flexible approach to setting premiums and terms. The move has the support of HM Treasury, which underwrites the scheme as reinsurer of last resort.
The World Bank this week approved a US$285 million grant to finance efforts to contain Ebola in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, as well as to help communities in those countries cope with the socio-economic impact of the crisis and rebuild and strengthen essential health services. The grant is part of the nearly US$1 billion previously announced by the organisation for the countries hardest hit by the Ebola crisis.
The House of Lords has appointed a new Special Public Bill Committee on the Insurance Bill. The Committee has published a Call for Evidence asking for views on the Bill to be submitted by 27 November. The Committee has been established as the Bill is a Law Commission Bill. For Law Commission Bills which are not considered controversial, Committee Stage in the House of Lords can be undertaken by a Special Public Bill Committee. The Committee has 28 days to take oral and written evidence on the issues raised, before amending the Bill if it wishes. Report Stage and Third Reading then follow as usual in the Chamber of the House of Lords.
Aon Benfield has completed an innovative insurance placement as part of a UK government energy initiative to install smart meter systems nationwide by 2020. The placement, with insurer AIG on behalf of global smart meter solution provider EDMI, provides extended warranty cover for around 10 million communications hubs to be installed in small businesses and homes in Scotland and northern England over the next five years.
Insurer Beazley has incorporated CSID’s CyberAgent Internet surveillance technology to the breach response services provided under its Beazley Breach Response offering. CSID provides global identity protection and fraud detection technologies for businesses and their employees. Their identity monitoring solution, CyberAgent, is a proprietary Internet surveillance technology that detects stolen personally identifiable information and compromised confidential data online.
The emerging market for civil aviation drones represents a tremendous opportunity, both for the insurance community and the wider business world, the International Underwriting Association has stated. Further growth of such technology could be stimulated if the EU amended safety legislation and provided information on the current use and losses of drones.
The Houses of Parliament have implemented and gained certification to ISO 22301, the international BCM system standard from the British Standards Institution. Being a UN World Heritage site and icon of national identity was among the unique challenges for the design of its business continuity management system, as well as the importance of the political dynamic; the traditions and rules of procedure that provide the basis for ‘business as usual’ activities and the dual nature of Parliament and its decision making processes.
Andrew France OBE, former deputy director of Cyber Defence Operations at British intelligence agency GCHQ, has been appointed strategic advisor of Wynyard's intelligence division. A technology and intelligence leader with a distinguished career, France spent the last years of his GCHQ career developing and delivering a national cyber defence strategy as part of a mission to protect the UK from cyber threats.
Maritime tracking, monitoring and security software supplier Pole Star has developed a new service, PurpleTRAC, to address the maritime trading challenges faced by financial institutions. PurpleTRAC enables banks, commodity trading companies, marine financers and insurers to manage their exposure and mitigate the possibility of involvement with a vessel at risk of sanctions non-compliance, money laundering or terrorist financing.
Phoenix IT has been confirmed as a Lot 2 supplier on the GP Systems of Choice (GPSoC) framework, joining the list of approved suppliers of IT services to more than 75% of GP practices across England. The GPSoc Framework is administered by the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC), the national provider of information, data and IT systems for health and social care providers in England.
G4S Technology has release its new Virtual Command Center, a geographic information system designed to help organisations understand how security-related events affect employees, business facilities and assets. Fully integrated with OneFacility, the G4S Technology security and facility management software platform, Virtual Command Center enables businesses to make more informed decisions when monitoring assets and responding to events of all types including weather, health and security related incidents.
According to figures released today by Marsh, growth in the global transactional risk insurance market is currently underpinned by a sharp rise in demand in emerging territories, amid continued development in mature markets such as the United States and Europe. Research conducted by Marsh’s Private Equity and M&A Services Practice, Transactional Risk Solutions: Global Review, reveals that the limits of transactional risk insurance placed by Marsh globally in the first half of 2014 have increased by 59% on the same period in 2013, rising to US$3.5 billion.
Software provider RDT’s insurance administration platform Landscape has been upgraded to support MyLicence, the collective initiative by the DVLA, the Department for Transport, the Association of British Insurers and the Motor Insurers' Bureau. MyLicence is an industry hub developed by the DVLA and operated by the MIB that provides insurers with the ability to learn key risk data about a customer, such as convictions, disqualifications and penalty points, at the moment they apply for cover, by sending their driving licence number to the DVLA.
Miller is now arranging insurance for membership and affinity schemes following the launch of a dedicated offering driven by three hires, all recruited from International SOS.
The fifth annual Risk Management Awards Gala Dinner was held last night at the Millennium Hotel in London's Mayfair district. As host of the Gala Dinner, Chris Barrie announced the deserved winners across this year's 21 categories.
Willis has appointed Nicolas Aubert as chief executive officer of Willis UK Insurance, which includes its combined UK retail and global specialty businesses. Aubert is currently COO of AIG in Europe, Middle East and Africa, and formerly MD of AIG in the UK. As MD, he led one of the largest companies specialising in the UK business insurance market and the London market, with offices located throughout the country.
Regulators are increasingly recognising that climate change poses real risks to companies and industries. The Bank of England has recently written to insurers to assess the risk that climate change poses to their solvency and earnings. In response, the LMA Academy, the Lloyd’s Market Association’s educational arm, has launched a leadership programme with the University of Cambridge to explore the strategic implications of climate change for the insurance industry.
Senior executives say that critical data is not being protected, a new report from information security and risk management company, NTT Com Security, shows. The report, designed to assess the level of risk within large organisations and the value that senior people place on data security, reveals that the majority (56%) of respondents in the UK agree they are likely to suffer a security breach at some point – which rises to 63% on average globally.
Risk and insurance law business BLM has announced a new team specialising in marine insurance claims. The team handles all aspects of marine casualty work with particular emphasis on protection and indemnity and freight, demurrage and defence matters; assisting owners, charterers, operators, brokers and insurers in a wide range of jurisdictions with respect to shipping related personal injury and fatal accident claims which can include both cargo and passenger ships and port/terminal operations.
One in four employees admit breaking security policies to work remotely and the vast majority aren’t concerned about losing confidential business data. According to the survey of 1,000 office workers from the UK and Germany, nearly two in five of respondents, or someone they know personally, have lost or had a device stolen in a public place
Towers Watson has released the STAR Risk Neutral (RN) addition to its STAR Economic Scenario Generation (ESG) software suite, designed to generate market-consistent scenarios and support any application requiring market-consistent valuations of options and guarantees.
Law firm DWF has successfully challenged an industrial noise induced hearing loss (NIHL) claim on behalf of the Department for Transport against a former railway employee who claimed to have impaired hearing after working at the British Rail Engineering works.
Following comments by Robert Hannigan, the new head of the UK’s GCHQ, on terrorist groups and their use of social media, cyber specialists at Aegis say it is interception, not prevention, that is key in deterring terrorist use of social media. “The use of technology by terrorists is not a new issue, as all technologies are inherently dual use,” said Daniel Carr, cyber security specialist with Aegis London. “A smartphone being used by a criminal is still a smartphone; however the conversations it enables may not be those desired or imagined when it was designed. The argument today focuses on the ‘ease of interception’ rather than its actual feasibility.
Two thirds of the world’s largest companies are reporting exposure to water risks, some of which have potential to limit growth. The news comes amid mounting shareholder concern around the business impacts from water scarcity, accessibility and poor water quality.
BSI has launched PAS 7000, a universally applicable supply chain information standard for suppliers and buyers. PAS 7000 Supply Chain Risk Management: Supplier prequalification helps answer three key questions relating to any organisation’s supply chain partners: Who are they? Where are they? Can they be relied upon?
A dozen of the UK’s leading insurers met with the Minister and Cabinet Office, UK Trade & Investment, Department for Business, Innovation & Skills and GCHQ officials to discuss the issue and agree a joint statement on how to grow the cyber insurance market to improve cyber security for UK businesses.
The 17th annual Business Continuity Awards are now open for entries. This year, there are new criteria across all categories, and four new categories. Whether it is an entry for your people, your products or your projects you want to submit, getting started on your entries before Christmas will help you put your best foot forward, according to CIR Magazine editor and chair of the judging panel, Deborah Ritchie.
Aon Benfield’s catastrophe model development team has developed new realistic disaster scenario models to estimate the cost of floods in China and Vietnam. The 2011 Thailand flood was the costliest global flood event causing US$16bn of insured losses, while last month’s seasonal rains produced flooding across parts of Thailand, China, India and Pakistan resulting in more than 800 fatalities, damage to 600,000 structures and combined economic losses in excess of US$20 billion.
UK organisation, the Business Continuity Institute (BCI), says nearly a quarter of companies responding to its recent supply chain survey had suffered losses of at least €1 million during the previous twelve months as a result of supply chain disruptions. Of these, 13.2% suffered a one-off disruption that cost in excess of €1 million. Further, some 40% of organisations polled were not insured against any of these losses.
A newly published report from the Business Continuity Institute (BCI) highlights a number of trends in the implementation of emergency communications plans in the UK.
In order to be effective, emergency communications plans must be continuously updated to reflect the risks that a business faces, and must be thoroughly embedded throughout the organisation.
Phoenix IT Group has joined the Microsoft Cloud Solution Provider Programme, enabling the UK-based IT services company to provide direct billing, sell combined offers and services, as well as provision, manage and support Microsoft Cloud offerings directly.
Danish climate scientist and TV weatherman Jesper Theilgaard says risk managers should not treat climate change as a doomsday scenario. Instead, he said, they should look for the business opportunities in helping to mitigate the possible impacts and make local adaptions to the changing environment.
In a response submitted to the European Commission today, the Federation of European Risk Management Associations (FERMA) has called for renewal of the Insurance Block Exemption Regulation (IBER) for (re)insurance pools. Coverage of the largest and exceptional risks still needs an exemption from EU competition rules says FERMA
Some 50% of national energy and carbon reduction targets will need to be achieved by energy efficiency, according to Munich Re's specialist engineering and construction division, HSB. Speaking at a United Nations Environment Programme last week, HSB's Paul Cullum explained that by 2050, 80% of today’s buildings will still be in existence, and will all need to benefit from improved energy efficiency.
UK companies are facing significant cost increases in their employee insurance premiums as the average age of their employees continues to rise. Research from Towers Watson shows that when a company’s average employee age rises by five years its Group Income Protection insurance premium could increase by as much as 50%.
The IUA-ABI Rehabilitation Working Party has reported an unprecedented response to its request for views on modifying the Rehabilitation Code and has drawn up a timetable for publishing a revised Code, with a view to completing by mid-2015.
Sungard Availability Services has announced plans to open a new workplace recovery Centre for central London. The facility, which offers capacity for over 700 customer staff, will be equipped with the latest conferencing equipment and IT infrastructure.
Databarracks has launched a free online Disaster Recovery Toolkit comprising a Cost of Downtime Calculator allowing users to calculate precisely how much a given disaster would cost their business per department, per IT function or overall and a DR Responsibilities Chart outlining who is responsible for what in a disaster recovery scenario, from IT admins up to the IT Director and CEO. The downloadable tool also features a DR Runbook detailing exact tailored procedures and processes to follow in the event of an incident.
The merits of such a strong blend between strategy and risk seem obvious. So why do many modern organisations persist in keeping their strategic and risk management activities separate? Why don’t boards/senior managers pay more attention to risk management, given how essential it can be to strategic success and why don’t risk managers get more involved in strategic decision making?
For the insurance sector, cyber security and related risks represent both exponential opportunity and threat. It is clear to all that cyber risk is one of the fastest growing risks on the corporate risk radar. The requirement for a wide range of cover for cyber risk has never been more apparent.
A basic understanding of cyber security among all company employees is critical, an expert has told a House of Lords committee. The Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) cyber security expert Hugh Boyes said relying on a few cyber security professionals cannot provide the level of reassurance and safety that modern businesses require.
Ultimate responsibility for risk management should lie with the board of directors. That was the key message from guidance released by the Financial Reporting Council – and we at Airmic wholeheartedly support that message. While risk managers should take care of day-to-day risk responsibilities, the FRC said, it is up to the board to ensure that the appropriate policies are in place, that board understanding of risk is high, that risks are maintained within tolerable levels, and that risk mitigation is appropriate. This is critical because taking a complete view of a company’s risk profile goes beyond the scope of insurance and traditional risk management techniques.
With the central government funding cuts still continuing to compound reductions in past years, local authority organisations are embracing a significant change in the way that not just local services but back office support is delivered. Outsourcing, partnerships, collaborative working and shared services are alternative service delivery models that are already familiar to many Alarm members, but the recent development of trading companies to deliver those support services and to sell the undoubted expertise that there is in local government out to others is now gaining ground.
The motive of yesterday's Ottowa shootings remains unclear at this stage and investigations are ongoing; however, authorities have not ruled out a terrorist motive for the attack. There is a marginal terrorism threat in the country due to Canada's involvement in foreign-based counter-terrorism operations, the most recent of which is targeting the Islamic State (IS). The country's contributions to international counter-terrorism operations have made it a potential target for sympathisers of such organisations.
Catastrophe modelling firm AIR Worldwide estimates that insured losses from Very Severe Cyclone Hudhud will range between US$100m and US$400m. The range in the modelled insured losses reflects uncertainty in the meteorological parameters associated with this event. For the insured loss estimation, there is additional uncertainty in the take up rates/insurance penetration for India. AIR's insured loss estimates assume insurance penetration of 3% for residential lines, 20% for commercial, and 30% for industrial. These take-up rates are somewhat higher than state-wide insurance penetration rates and reflect the fact that the majority of losses are coming from Visakhapatnam (Vizag), which has higher insurance penetration compared to the average across Andhra Pradesh.
Didcot B power station in Oxfordshire remains closed following a major blaze that broke out Sunday night. Operator, RWE Generation says the blaze started after a fire broke out in one of the two cooling tower modules of Didcot B power station, a 1.4GW gas fired power station (adjacent to the Didcot A coal-fired power station which closed in 2012).
Insured losses in Bermuda from Hurricane Gonzalo will range between US$200 million and US$400 million. To produce loss estimates for Hurricane Gonzalo using the AIR Tropical Cyclone Model for the Caribbean, AIR used track and intensity information from NHC advisories, vortex reports from hurricane hunter aircraft, and actual wind observations from stations in Bermuda.
Targeted action to revitalise domestic supply chains could inject £30 billion into the economy by 2025, creating more than half a million jobs across the United Kingdom, according to the CBI, which has issued a report recommending ways to kick start the UK's supply chains, and solutions to reinvigorate Britain's industrial strategy. Based on new research carried out by A.T. Kearney, the global management consultancy firm, the report reveals underinvestment in research and development, a growing skills crisis and weakened foundation industries that are key to advanced manufacturing - such as plastics, metals and chemicals.
BAE Systems has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Perimeter Internetworking Corp, which trades as SilverSky, a commercial cyber service provider, for US$232.5 million on a cash free and debt free basis.
As concerns about the outbreak of Ebola and the potential for a wider spread of the disease increase, Marsh has put together guidance to help businesses understand and manage the UK insurance position and the risk management implications.
New research has identified a $2 trillion social innovation market opportunity in 2020 for business, industry, investors and governments looking to address the key issues driving human development in the 21st century. The research defines 'social innovation' as the deployment of technology and new business models to bring about positive change to the lives of individuals and societies, creating shared value and improved social infrastructure to address global megatrends. The objective is to achieve a sustainable society in which environmental and economic needs are addressed in a balanced way.
More insurance companies across the EMEA region see themselves as sellers of business units rather than buyers over the next three years, according to a survey of senior insurance executives conducted by Towers Watson and Mergermarket.
Argo International has announced the launch of a new initiative to provide complimentary legal advice to its D&O policyholders. The new service offers D&O policyholders a free consultation with specified lawyers at CMS Cameron McKenna , Kennedys Law, Pinsent Masons or Sedgwick, Detert, Moran & Arnold.
Estimates from various sources have indicated that without effective intervention, the Ebola global case count could reach 20,000 by early November (WHO), 200,000 by the year’s end (Virginia Tech), and as many as 500,000 by the end of January 2015 (CDC), with the vast majority of cases limited to West Africa. (Note that models used by these different sources may have material differences in assumptions and methods.)
The BBA and the Chartered Insurance Institute (CII) have announced the launch of a new working partnership to promote and develop standards and skills in retail banking. The collaboration will see the CII and BBA deliver a series of initiatives aimed at individuals working in customer facing roles within banks throughout the UK.
Polling by Aon indicates young people are not fully aware that apprenticeships are available across a breadth of high-skilled sectors including insurance. Almost half (45%) of the respondents surveyed by Aon would consider a career in financial services, but awareness of opportunities for apprenticeships within the sector ranked among the lowest identified, with young people revealing that they did not know opportunities were available in actuarial science (85%), insurance (60%) or accountancy (55%).
After passing through the eastern Caribbean two days ago and achieving hurricane-speed winds near St. Martin, Gonzalo continues to strengthen and could even bring stormy weather to the UK and Newfoundland, Canada. In the meantime, Aon Benfield reports that hurricane conditions are possible over Bermuda on Friday, with tropical storm conditions possible by late Thursday night. Large swells generated by Gonzalo are also affecting portions of the Virgin Islands, the northern coasts of Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic, and portions of the Bahamas. Swells will reach much of the east coast of the United States and Bermuda on Thursday. These swells are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions.
Online payments company, Worldpay has a new risk management tool designed to combat fraud and help online businesses operate more efficiently. RiskGuardian, which was developed in partnership with a consortium of global ecommerce merchants, is designed to offer more accurate risk checks to increase the acceptance of good transactions and minimise fraudulent ones. It runs more than 200 checks per second on each transaction and identifies emerging fraud patterns, meaning it can potentially cut fraud losses by more than 50%.
Proactive claims reporting and management can contribute positively to the ongoing sustainability of an organisation in a number of financial and non-financial ways – according to RIMS' new report, Claims Reporting and Management Practices. The reference guide, authored by members of the RIMS Standards and Practices Council, explores the characteristics of a successful claims reporting and management programme.
Miller Insurance Services and William Gallagher Associates have announced the availability of Pandemic Disease Business Interruption Insurance, provided by the Ark Syndicate at Lloyd’s. Coverage responds to loss of income arising directly out of shutdowns of healthcare facilities as well as diminished revenues in the aftermath of a quarantine. The coverage is available through insurers in London that are licensed in the US and in other markets.
Major credit and debit card providers are among the main ‘payment systems’ used by British businesses and consumers each day that the government is proposing to bring under the scope of the powerful new Payment Systems Regulator (PSR) from April next year.
Very severe cyclone Hudhud made landfall at 5:00 UTC on Sunday near Visakhapatnam with sustained wind speeds of 117 knots. Hudhud quickly weakened to a depression after landfall, according to the India Meteorological Department. Although the storm is continuing to weaken, many regions are still being warned to watch for strong winds and flooding.
Digital technology is creating new, more interesting job opportunities, according to an Accenture study, which surveyed 5,000+ UK residents from the age of 12+. However, the research found that student age respondents worry they may not be equipped with the relevant skills to make the most of those opportunities.
Swiss Re Corporate Solutions has launched contaminated products insurance cover for the food and drink industries in the UK, Ireland and Italy. The cover offers protection in both the primary and excess layers for manufacturers, retailers and distributors.
Arthur J. Gallagher’s Reinsurance broking team (AJG Re) has transferred to become a partnership within the Capsicum Re Group, effective immediately. All current and future treaty reinsurance business handled by Arthur J. Gallagher will now be conducted by Capsicum Re, via the new partnership between these two entities.
"The most resilient cities endure because people will defend their homes to the death if they are truly homes, and not just houses." This was the message from former Labour security minister Admiral Lord West, who addressed delegates attending the World Cities Conference in London this week.
Sweeping reforms within the African insurance industry are clearing the way for higher quality cover for multi-national businesses, according to the leader of one of the continent’s largest insurers.
Flood Re has published a tender for the services of a retrocession broker. The tender invites bidders to apply for an initial four year contract, extendable by Flood Re for further periods so that the term may be up to seven years in total, with award scheduled for early December 2014. The broker will provide Flood Re’s advice on retrocession and/or other protection together with catastrophe modelling services. In addition the broker will procure and place outwards reinsurance and/or other protection on behalf of Flood Re.
Risk professionals from across the globe gathered at the British Library in London today to take an holistic look at how cities can be made safer, more secure, smarter and more resilient by better predictive, protective and responsive measures. Organised by CIR Magazine and London First, this two-day event was designed to address the tremendous challenges in making cities safe, secure and resilient for their inhabitants and businesses - future-proofing our world's cities.
Hundreds of pro-democracy protesters remain encamped in northern parts of Hong Kong Island, in Hong Kong, on 8 October. While the intensity of the protest activity has diminished considerably since its peak on 1 and 2 October, considerable business and travel disruptions continue to be reported in the Central, Admiralty and Causeway Bay areas of the city.
A new financial crime alert system, which will see 12 government and law enforcement agencies work together to warn banks of the latest cyber threats, aims to safeguard the accounts of customers. The British Bankers’ Association, working with preferred technology partner BAE Systems Applied Intelligence, will launch the Financial Crime Alerts Service (FCAS) as part of a new approach to combat a wide range of financial crime threats.
Typhoon Phanfone made landfall last night near the Japanese city of Hamamatsu, with a central pressure of 965 mb. Phanfone had weakened considerably by the time it made landfall with winds equal to those of a Category 1 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Scale; just five days earlier Phanfone had intensified to the equivalent of a Category 4 storm.
The number of risk professionals working at least 50 hours a week has climbed significantly, according to the latest Robert Walters Career Lifestyle Survey. Some 41% of risk professionals are reported to be working 50 or more hours a week in 2014, a year-on-year rise of 11%.
QBE has launched a free rehabilitation service designed to support injured employees and their employers in the period immediately post-incident. QBE Return is available to all businesses currently covered by a QBE employers’ liability policy. Employees injured at work can receive an immediate assessment of the extent of their injury and advice on how to manage it from medically qualified case managers. The injured party can then continue to receive telephone support up to 30 days post incident.
KPMG and MetricStream are to collaborate on a suite of GRC consulting and technology services. MetricStream’s technology solutions align closely with KPMG’s holistic approach to GRC implementation and transformation by streamlining, automating, and integrating GRC programmes for optimal effectiveness and efficiency.
Analysts modelling Ebola disease spread patterns and airline traffic data have predicted a 75% chance the virus could reach France by the end of October, and a 50% it could hit Britain. According to Reuters reports, these figures are based upon air traffic remaining at full capacity. Were travel reduction to see an 80% reduction to affected areas, those likelihood figures would drop to 25% for France, and 15% for Britain.
According to catastrophe modelling firm AIR Worldwide Typhoon Phanfone is now on track to impact large areas of Japan with damaging winds and substantial rainfall, from Osumi and the southeastern coast of Kyushu to Shikoku and Honsho. Although no longer a super typhoon, Phanfone is expected to cause widespread disruption as it proceeds northeastward toward Tokyo.
"Our cities are growing fast. In 1980, the world’s population was about 4.5 billion. By 2030, that same number will be living in cities, or megacities. That it equivalent to two in three of the world’s population living in these massive urban clusters/sprawls and so it’s vital that we address the problems that will inevitably arise out of this considerable urbanisation."
New measures to modernise the UK's intellectual property framework came into force this week, modernising copyright law and helping designers and patent holders protect valuable IP. The government says its package of reforms to copyright exceptions is expected to contribute and estimated £500 million to the UK economy over the next 10 years.
Only 27% of people trust insurance providers and only 6% trust them more than a year ago. Greater transparency has the single most impact on rebuilding consumer trust, but will require new levels of openness. Insurers have opportunity to build reputation based on higher data security consumer trust levels than new entrants
BSI has launched an independent assessment scheme to assist companies achieve and demonstrate competence in their supply chain security. ISO 28000, the international standard for supply chain security management, has been developed to help organisations to better assess security risks in their supply chain, manage new threats as they emerge and implement appropriate controls.
BSI has launched an independent assessment scheme to assist companies achieve and demonstrate competence in their supply chain security. To help organisations implement the new standards, the BSI has offered the following top tips:
Now in its second year, the Commercial Insurance Awards are unique in rewarding commercial insurance services. Winning a Commercial Insurance Award is the pinnacle of best practice in your sector, and represents an opportunity to showcase the people, programmes and products that set you apart from the competition.
Charles Taylor has announced the launch of Charles Taylor Safety Management, a new business to help businesses improve safety, reduce accidents and related insurance claims. CTSM will provide safety services to the manufacturing, offshore energy, construction, mining and other industries.
Sedgwick has completed its acquisition of T&H's global business and subsidiaries, which includes VeriClaim in the US and the UK, Unified Investigations & Sciences, Inc., Cramer, Johnson, Wiggins & Associates and Ellis May Chartered Loss Adjusters. Through these subsidiaries, T&H provides specialised claims services—such as property loss adjusting, field investigation, third-party claims management and fire and forensics investigation services.
The Financial Reporting Council has issued an updated version of the UK Corporate Governance Code. The updated code seeks to significantly enhance the quality of information investors receive about the long-term health and strategy of listed companies, while at the same time raising the bar for risk management. The FRC has confirmed proposals for boards to include a ‘viability statement’ in the strategic report to investors. This will provide an improved and broader assessment of long-term solvency and liquidity. It is expected that this statement will look forward significantly longer than 12 months. The code has also been changed in relation to remuneration. Boards of listed companies will now need to ensure that executive remuneration is designed to promote the long-term success of the company and demonstrate how this is being achieved more clearly to shareholders.
International SOS has partnered with mobile communications provider Vismo to create a solution for monitoring, tracking, and assisting travellers to high risk and remote locations. The partnership incorporates Vismo's location based tracking service with International SOS's itinerary and manual check-in based TravelTracker. This solution offers companies expanded visibility into their high profile travellers' location by using real time background tracking and geofencing capabilities that are appropriate to the risk and enhance a company's ability to prevent potential situations and respond effectively to an incident.
Lloyd’s has reported a profit of £1.67bn for the first six months of 2014, marking a 21% increase on the corresponding period last year. Lloyd’s chairman, John Nelson said the half year results are particularly positive in the current competitive environment: “The Lloyd’s market continues to remain in a strong financial position, and this solid foundation means Lloyd’s is in a great position to continue to expand in both established and high-growth economies around the world.”
Flood Re has published its response to the Department for Environment Food & Rural Affairs consultation on the Flood Reinsurance Scheme Regulations. It is envisaged that Flood Re Limited will be the body designated in legislation as the Flood Re Scheme Administrator. The consultation discusses the proposed statutory framework within which directors of Flood Re would need to operate the company as a reinsurance facility for homes in high flood risk areas.
Tripwire has created a free tool designed to help IT teams solve the difficult problem of finding and patching Bash quickly. According to Lamar Bailey, director of security research for Tripwire, Bash is particularly difficult to detect because it is used on such a wide variety of devices and applications and because the vulnerability has been around for many years so all potentially vulnerable systems need to be checked.
Legal & General has become the first insurer to adopt a new solution that provides GPs with software that improves the process of producing and underwriting insurance reports.
Aon Global Risk Consulting is to develop a new modelling tool for the oil, gas and petrochemical sectors, in partnership with TNO. The Aon Loss Estimating Risk Tool (ALERT), will be designed to evaluate loss potentials for a full range of scenarios including vapour cloud explosion (VCEs), jet fires, spill fires and vessel ruptures.
Aviva has announced that their rehabilitation service for musculoskeletal conditions, BacktoBetter, will now be available as standard on Solutions private medical insurance plans for small and medium sized corporate clients. Launched last year to large corporate private medical insurance clients, BacktoBetter treats employees with musculoskeletal (MSK) conditions quickly and effectively without the need to see a GP, while also reducing claims spend.
MSIG chief information officer Richard Williams has called on the industry to urgently address the profound effects the digital economy is starting to have on insurance.
In an address at the Insurance Technology Congress this week he explained that insurance, which at its core is an information business, faced tremendous challenges posed by the rise in internet technology in everything from household objects to infrastructure, ships and aircraft.
Marine insurers face myriad local compliance regulations when providing cover for international cargo operations, Dave Matcham, chief executive of the International Underwriting Association has warned. Speaking at the International Union of Marine Insurance (IUMI) annual conference in Hong Kong, he highlighted the importance recognising relevant rules in each port at which a vessel calls. A non-compliant programme could potentially result in claims disputes, fines and reputational damage.
A new vulnerability found in the software used in hundreds of thousands of broadband routers found in small business and homes could lead to a new wave of cyber attacks. A critical software component, which forms part of many Linux-based items such as broadband routers and business servers, has been discovered to have a flaw, which makes it easy for a cyber criminal or hacker to attack such devices. The code used to exploit the vulnerability is now freely available online.
Companies across Europe expect to increase their use of multinational insurance programmes over the next three years as they become increasingly concerned about the risk management implications of their rising exposure to emerging markets, according to new research published today by ACE Group. Risk managers also worry about the changing liabilities their multinational operations face. Four of the top six risks that they expect to create the greatest risk exposure for their multinational operation in three years’ time relate directly to liability issues. Cyber risk, which has a significant liability dimension ranks second. Environmental liability ranks third, underlining a growing awareness of new and emerging liabilities. Professional indemnity and directors’ and officers’ liability are also in the top six, highlighting the increased challenges for decision-makers in a globalised world.
The rapid rise in telematics usage-based insurance (UBI) offered by auto insurers is an opportunity to break out of an otherwise commoditised market, according to new research by Ovum
Those of us who work in the public sector are facing unprecedented change, driven by the application of continuing austerity measures and the ongoing pressure to do more with less resource. We know that change is a constant. However unless we recognise the impact of those changes on the delivery of front line services and adjust our risk profiles accordingly, further areas of risk will materialise that might not have been envisaged some three to five years ago.
The Insurance Bill, which sets out reforms to the legal framework for commercial insurance, is extremely welcome – and long-overdue – news for insurance buyers in the UK. It will not only provide greater security for buyers, but will also help to maintain confidence in the London and UK insurance market. We commend insurers such as Aviva that plan to amend their underwriting policy to reflect these changes with immediate effect, rather than waiting for the law to come into force.
Every year, here in the South West of England, hundreds of thousands of tourists flock to our beautiful beaches and every year some have to be rescued from a variety of tide related mishaps. Whether this be unfortunate surfers swamped by a sudden increase in wave height, walkers/beach goers getting caught on the rocks as the tide comes in or windsurfers being carried out to sea by the fast tides.
Research conducted by Databarracks has revealed a significant disparity between organisations’ attitudes and approaches to business continuity and disaster recovery. The findings indicate that while medium and large organisations are confidently implementing business continuity plans, small organisations are putting themselves at risk by failing to follow suit.
Growing populations and ageing infrastructure are straining the capacity of many nations to deliver essential public services and grow their economies. Overcoming this infrastructure deficit will require public and private sectors working together, and well-structured public-private partnerships (PPPs) are one solution for helping governments raise the large sums of capital needed to meet infrastructure demands and spur development.
Kent Fire and Rescue Service has signed a 6 year contract with Steria for the SteriaSTORM command and control system. The £900,000 contract is underpinned by Geographic Information System (GIS) technology that overlays real-time information about the location of emergency services resources onto detailed electronic area maps.
A World Bank Group analysis of the ebola epidemic finds that if the virus continues to surge in the three worst-affected countries – Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone – its economic impact could grow eight-fold, dealing a potentially catastrophic blow to the already fragile states. However, the analysis finds that economic costs can be limited if swift national and international responses succeed in containing the epidemic and mitigating “aversion behaviour” – a fear factor resulting from peoples’ concerns about contagion, which is fuelling the economic impact.
There are many characteristics that make an individual a professional person, one of which is upholding ethical standards of behaviour. That means not only ‘doing the right thing’ but also being prepared to challenge behaviour in others that falls short of the mark. Whistleblowing should not be mistaken as disloyalty; it is just the opposite. Those who blow the whistle can be the most loyal and public spirited of employees and can help their firm avoid serious consequences that regulators and the law can apply to companies found to be involved in wrongdoing or malpractice.
Willis Employee Benefits has partnered with Now Health International and Healix International to offer clients with fewer than 99 expatriates medical plans designed to fulfil employees’ healthcare needs outside their home country. A special feature of the medical plan is access to online pre-assignment medical screening for employees and their dependents.
With the results of Scotland's referendum just hours away, Get Safe Online has warned computer users to be aware of fake early result messages. In a notice on its website, Get Safe Online warned of the risk of clicking on links in messages that claim to reveal the actual or anticipated results, which could send to users to a hoax website where they will be asked for personal or financial details or be exposed to inappropriate material.
The Internet of Things represents a tremendous opportunity for innovative companies looking to unlock new revenue sources by packaging their products with new digital services, according to Accenture. In its new report, Driving Unconventional Growth through the Industrial Internet of Things, Accenture says that combining sensor-driven computing, industrial analytics and intelligent machine applications into a single universe of connected intelligent industrial products, processes and services, the industrial Internet of Things generates data essential for developing corporate operational efficiency strategies.
Managed IT services provider Netshield has expanded its portfolio to include hosted VoIP, targeted at SMEs. The service will include features such as secure instant messaging, presence functionality, video calling, collaboration tools, simple administration and integration of office and mobile services.
The British Insurance Brokers’ Association (BIBA) has taken the first step towards developing a voluntary code of conduct by re-establishing its working group. A proposal is to be developed to allow BIBA to lead the way in interpreting the Financial Conduct Authority’s Principles for Businesses, the CII’s Code of Ethics and lead the standards debate for the benefit of members and their customers.
Regulatory compliance has been cited as one of the biggest risks facing the independent school sector. This is according to research carried out by insurnace broker Lucas Fettes, in association with chartered accountants Baker Tilly. The report explores how independent schools develop and implement risk management strategies.
A report just published by Aon Benfield shows that the pace of rating agency and regulatory developments is not expected to slow in the near future. Strong ERM seems to be the anchor for companies to address regulatory developments and manage rating agency expectations.
The growing trend for including previously excluded areas of cover such as terrorism and cyber risk in poorly worded reinsurance contracts and at no extra premium, is not only disguising the true cost of risk, warns Hiscox Re, but could also trigger a torrent of future litigation.
AIG has launched a new cyber risk product for SMEs associated with the government’s new Cyber Essentials scheme. Through the scheme, government is encouraging all businesses to build cyber security into their companies by focusing on five critical security controls. The IASME Consortium offers a self assessed route to Cyber Essentials which will help small businesses demonstrate that they are operating to those requirements.
In an address this morning at the annual Monte Carlo Reinsurance Rendezvous, Dan Glaser, president and CEO of Marsh & McLennan, said that the reinsurance industry has the technological and intellectual capabilities that can bring real solutions to some of the world’s challenges, of which there is no shortage today.
Brokers need to take on a wider risk advisor role in the market or face losing profitable business to special risk advisers, according to PwC’s new report Broking 2020: Leading from the front in a new era of risk.
The government has introduced the Insurance Bill to Parliament, which will support the growth of Britain's insurance industry and help customers by updating the 100 year-old rules governing contracts between businesses and insurers.
xMatters has partnered with advanced monitoring providers AppDynamics and ScienceLogic. These two partnerships are designed to address the challenges faced in monitoring and resolving issues and distributed IT environments.
The increasingly high values at risk in industrial insurance claims are highlighted in a new report from business insurer, Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty (AGCS). In its Global Claims Review 2014, AGCS identifies the top causes of loss and emerging trends from over 11,000 major business claims in 148 countries, each of above €100,000 (US$136,455), with which it has been involved between 2009 and 2013.
The year-end expiration of the federal Terrorism Risk Insurance Program Reauthorisation Act (TRIPRA), and its uncertain future, is creating capacity and pricing issues for terrorism insurance buyers, according to the Insurance Information Institute, which stresses that, in the absence of TRIPRA, terrorism risk insurance would be less available to businesses of all sizes who want, and need, these policies. “Without the federal government’s insistence that insurers make terrorism coverage available to all who want it, terrorism risk insurance policies will be more costly and/or limited in scope,”
Reactec is launching a new automated tracking and reporting system which protects employers and employees against HAVS risk. The Reactec Analytics Platform combines Havmeter with a new cloud-based reporting platform and automated data collation to optimise productivity and reduce HAVS related costs. HSE data estimates that over 50% of all industrial diseases last year were HAVS related.
Companies lose an average of US$7,900 per minute when their datacentres go down. With fire being one of the most feared causes of outage, commercial and industrial property insurer FM Global, in partnership with the National Fire Protection Association’s (NFPA) Fire Protection Research Foundation (FPRF) recently conducted more than 100 experiments to understand and develop solutions to prevent this costly hazard.
Global reinsurer capital has reached a new peak of US$570bn, according to the latest Aon Benfield Aggregate study. Launching the latest edition of its ABA report, which analyses the financial results of the world’s largest reinsurers in the first half of 2014, Aon Benfield Analytics estimates that global reinsurer capital reached this record level at June 30, 2014, an increase of six per cent (US$30bn) relative to December 31, 2013. This calculation is a broad measure of capital available for insurers to trade risk with and includes both traditional and non-traditional forms of reinsurance capital.
Aon Risk Solutions has launched a new professional indemnity facility. Designed to cater to ‘traditional’ professions’ including accountants, architects, engineers, surveyors and solicitors, as well as cover for miscellaneous errors and omissions business. The new approach sees Aon use a single MGA structure with the support of a number of Lloyd’s syndicates including Novae and Argo. The revised structure is intended to provide stability to professions in the SME space where capacity has varied over the years.
As wind power continues a high-profile migration from traditional growth markets to newer, often highly remote locations in Asia-Pacific, Africa and Latin America and turbine manufacturers find themselves under increasing pressure to deliver cost competitive electricity generation through larger turbines with minimum unscheduled downtime and longer, lighter rotor blades, the overall integrity of wind turbines and, specifically, the performance and reliability of their blades, appears to have suffered.
The European Commission has found and sanctioned a cartel set up by companies producing smart card chips. The Commission has subsequently imposed fines totalling E138 million. The companies involved were Infineon, Philips, Samsung and Renesas, a joint venture of Hitachi and Mitsubishi, which, instead of competing, colluded in order to coordinate their market behaviour throughout Europe.
Despite years of bold monetary policy, the health of the global economy is at risk, as countries struggle to implement structural reforms necessary to help economies grow, according to the Global Competitiveness Report 2014-2015 released by the World Economic Forum. In its annual assessment of the factors driving countries' productivity and prosperity, the report identifies uneven implementation of structural reforms across different regions and levels of development as the biggest challenge to sustaining global growth. It also highlights talent and innovation as two areas where leaders in the public and private sectors need to collaborate more effectively in order to achieve sustainable and inclusive economic development.
Aon Risk Solutions has sold its eSolutions unit to Palo Alto-based Symphony Technology Group for an undisclosed amount. eSolutions has approximately 300 employees globally. As part of the transaction, Aon Risk Solutions will resell exclusively eSolutions' iVOS and RiskConsole RMIS solutions to its clients pursuant to a multi-year distribution agreement.
Reacting to news that a number of online businesses have recently been breached, opening access to customer data, Yiannis Chrysanthou of KPMG's cyber security team, suggests that instead of businesses blaming consumers for using weak passwords, they need to introduce multi-factor authentication.
According to statistics published today by the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (Acas), the vast majority of UK employees are keen to settle workplace disputes through early conciliation rather than through the courts. The statistics, which are the first to demonstrate the impact of new laws designed to reduce the number of employment tribunals, show that in the first three months since their launch, 17,145 early conciliation notices were received by Acas.
Congratulations to all of this year's Risk Management Awards finalists! The winners will be announced at a gala dinner and ceremony on 13th November 2014 at the Millennium Hotel, Mayfair, London.
Alarm has produced a good practice guide on the use of surveillance for the purpose of investigating insurance claims. Acknowledging the challenges for risk managers presented with conflicting advice in this field, the public risk management association hopes this guide will serve to clarify exactly how RIPA applies.
IT managed services provider, Advanced 365 is partnering with specialist IT disaster recovery provider, Plan B to offer SMEs disaster recovery of their IT servers in less than one hour. Tim Dunger, CEO, Plan B, says: “The cost of IT downtime can make or break a business with downtime for the average business costing as much as £1.5 million per annum. This is one of the reasons we are seeing such a demand for our unique pre-recovery service.
Airmic, the UK association for risk managers and insurance buyers, has announced that it will be working together with the Reputation Institute on how to tackle the complex subject of reputational risk. The two organisations will explore ways in which risk managers and the insurance industry can improve their handling of reputation. They aim to develop a framework setting out an agreed definition of reputational risk and an understanding of its drivers and what can be done to mitigate and insure against it.
More than three-quarters of UK staff cannot afford to maintain a living on statutory sick pay, research has revealed. Seventy-seven per cent of those surveyed in a study conducted by employee healthcare and risk specialist PMI Health Group claimed they wouldn't be able to live on just statutory sick pay if their income stopped tomorrow.
At the same time, 46% said their employers do not continue to pay their salary in full if they are off work for three months or more through sickness or injury.
A report published today by international law firm DAC Beachcroft highlights 50 key changes the UK insurance industry can expect to see in the coming months, based on a series of predictions by its insurance experts. The 50 predictions relate to 13 different areas of insurance business, including property, construction, energy, professional liability, marine, technology, product liability, D&O, reinsurance, motor and insurance advisory.
Announcing measures to wrestle the threat of radicalised Britons fighting alongside Islamic State (IS) militants, Prime Minister David Cameron said today that he would bring in new laws to give police the power to seize the passports of suspected Islamist fighters.
According to preliminary estimates, total economic losses from natural catastrophes and man-made disasters reached US£44 billion in the first half of 2014. The global insurance industry covered US$ 21bn of these losses, down from US$ 25 billion in the first half of 2013 and lower than the average first-half year loss of the previous 10 years (US$27bn). In all, more than 4,700 people lost their lives in disaster events in the first six months of this year.
The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) is warning businesses that they must be prepared for a targeted attack. The warning comes as the Racing Post signs a commitment to improve its IT security practices after 677,335 accounts were compromised during a data breach in October 2013. ICO head of enforcement, Stephen Eckersley, said:“There is barely a day that goes by without a company being the target of an online attack. This is the modern world and businesses and other organisations must have adequate security measures in place to keep people’s information secure.
The government has raised the terrorist threat level in the UK from substantial to severe – just second to the highest level.The current threat level is set separately for Great Britain and Northern Ireland. In mainland Britain, the threat level is severe from international terrorism and moderate from Northern Ireland-related terrorism. In Northern Ireland, the threat level is substantial from international terrorism and severe from Northern Ireland-related terrorism.
The World Health Organisations is stepping up its international response to the outbreak of Ebola virus disease in west Africa, with the aim of stopping ongoing Ebola transmission worldwide within six to nine months, while rapidly managing the consequences of any further international spread. The WHO said in a statement that it also recognises the need to address, in parallel, the outbreak’s broader socio-economic impact.
The Financial Conduct Authority has fined RBS and NatWest £14,474,600 for serious failings in their advised mortgage sales business. The firms failed to ensure that advice given to customers was suitable. Two reviews of sales from 2012 found that in over half the cases the suitability of the advice was not clear from the file or call recording. The issues with the sales process included affordability assessments failing to consider the full extent of a customer’s budget when making a recommendation, failing to advise customers who were looking to consolidate debt properly and not advising customers what mortgage term was appropriate for them.
A new global initiative launched by DNV GL and Monday Morning Global Institute aims to identify opportunities for sustainable responses to a range of global risks. A series of eight workshops around the globe marks the start of the identification process. The results will be published in the first Global Opportunity Report in January 2015.
A report published by UK think-tank the Institute for Public Policy Research shows how tackling the issue of climate change can concurrently also help address some of the greatest economic and social challenges facing Britain today. It has been known for years that climate change is happening and is man-made, and there is growing concern that the world is heading for a catastrophic temperature rise of 4°C. Since 2010, increased instances of severe weather events, rising import dependency and oil prices, and the falling costs of renewable energy have all added to the case for urgent action. Nearly 70% of the British public are concerned by climate change.
The earthquake that shook Napa, California in the early morning on Sunday caused significant non-structural and contents damage throughout the region according to RMS. Repercussions for local businesses, particularly wineries, hit by the earthquake will become clearer over the coming days.
Cyber criminals are continuing to improve their odds of success by exploiting human psychology as well as technology. This is according to security software provider, Proofpoint, whose research team recently observed an example of these ‘human factor’ exploit tactics in a campaign nominally targeted at stealing Bitcoin access credentials.
A staggering number of unreinforced masonry or non-ductile concrete buildings globally remain vulnerable to damage from earthquakes. Public buildings and schools make up a large majority of these concrete and brick buildings. Schools, in particular, have performed worse than other buildings in earthquakes, resulting in major injuries and fatalities, according to experts in the field of seismic risk reduction.
ACE Group has launched a suite of professional indemnity wordings for media companies domiciled outside the US and Canada. The suite of new wordings tailored for media professionals faced with the challenges of operating in the digital age are aimed at broadcasters; media companies; producers and publishers.
Cat modelling firm RMS has updated its Probabilistic Terrorism Model to incorporate new views of terrorism risk for the UK as well as for Denmark, Ireland, Italy and Canada. The updated RMS model shows a 15-35% reduction in the overall attack frequency of large-scale events for Copenhagen, Dublin, London, Milan, Montreal and Toronto, Rome, and Vatican City.
Telstra has launched a new cloud-based unified communications service. The solution is now available across four continents in 25 countries, consistently delivered over Telstra’s worldwide network extending to more than 2,000 points of presence.
The insurance sector has developed a new apprenticeship standard for insurance practitioners, which was published today by the UK government. Led by Aon, it is hoped that this new apprenticeship standard will offer an alternative to university for those seeking to build a career in risk management and insurance.
The Financial Conduct Authority has said firms must do more to ensure financial promotions do not mislead consumers. The UK watchdog says some promotions for financial products are still falling short of its rules and firms need to do more to ensure that advertisements do not mislead. Since 1 April, the FCA has reviewed over 1,500 financial promotions for consumer credit products. The rules state that all promotions must be clear, fair and not misleading for consumers.
The rapid development of fledgling Arctic shipping routes is dependent upon improvements in the capabilities of vessels navigating them and the upgrade and expansion of the support facilities in the region, according to a new report. Arctic shipping routes, including the Northwest Passage, present the global maritime community with financially attractive alternatives on Europe to Asia trades through the Panama and Suez canals. The routes are also increasingly relevant to the oil and gas sector, as energy exploration and production expands into the waters off the Russian Federation, northern Alaska, Canada and Greenland. However, shipping firms need to ensure they have a full understanding of the risks involved in order to gain the confidence of insurers.
The aviation industry has today been warned about potential flight disruptions due to powerful seismic activity recorded at Iceland's Bardarbunga volcano in the past three days. The Met Office recorded the earthquake as the strongest in the region since 1996 and upgraded the status to orange – the fourth level out of five.
Standard and Poor's has published a detailed perspective on the reinsurance market, focusing on the competitive pressures that will impede reinsurers' ability to generate strong returns, and challenges for the sector to reinforce its relevance to existing and future clients as the global economy continues to evolve.
The new Airmic-Axco database of international insurance regulations, Insight Risk Manager, is proving popular with the risk management industry, having already attracted over 100 Airmic members actively using the tool since its launch a few weeks ago.
As major emergencies around the globe increase in scale, complexity and frequency, the World Health Organisation is calling for an end to the targeting of health workers in conflicts and other humanitarian crises, which represent a breach of the fundamental right to health.
The number of Ebola cases in West Africa has risen to 1,975 according to the World Health Organisation, and the outbreak is expected to continue for some time. A report yesterday (published on 14 August) states that its staff continue to see evidence that the numbers of reported cases and deaths vastly underestimate the magnitude of the outbreak.
Edward Snowden has revealed that comments made to Congress by the US intelligence chief James Clapper caused him to distribute classified information. During an interview with Wired magazine (released yesterday, 13 August) he noted that he had been troubled by the activities of the NSA, but it was the words that it does "not wittingly" collect data on American citizens that drove him to act.
Tensions have risen again as a Russian aid convoy has been stopped in central Russia, with officials in Ukraine saying it will not be allowed access to the country. The BBC reports that nearly 300 trucks are standing 185 miles away from the border, having left a military base near Moscow.
Product liability claims in the medical industry are becoming a bigger and more costly issue for both manufacturers and insurers, creating a reluctance to innovate and higher, difficult to achieve, break-even points for new products.
The remains of hurricane Bertha, over the western side of the Atlantic will come steadily towards the UK over the next few days, according to the latest Met Office models. Southern parts of the UK appear most at risk from the effects of the hurricane and there is also the possibility that the storm could move across northern France as a weak feature and also a risk of a more intense system affecting the UK more widely.
Aviation and aircraft insurers are enduring the most difficult claims experience in years, which will likely reverse declining pricing trends at policy renewals, according to Fitch Ratings. However, competitive factors and abundant underwriting capacity may blunt the magnitude and scope of rate increases across the broader market. Policyholders with attractive safety profiles are likely to continue to see
competition for their business.
Hurricane Iselle, which has been tracking toward Hawaii since last week, is projected to make landfall on the Island of Hawaii Thursday night local time. At one time a Category 4 storm, Iselle has weakened to a Category 1 hurricane and is expected to further weaken to a tropical storm by landfall. Hurricane Julio, tracking behind Iselle and slightly to the north, is forecast to pass near Hawaii on Sunday, also as a tropical storm.
A major study into how technology is changing the way we communicate shows that the average UK adult now spends more time using media or communications than they do sleeping. Six in 10 workers do some form of work-related communications activity outside of working hours. Emailing is the most common work-based communication activity out of hours, with nearly half of all workers emailing from time to time, and a fifth doing so on a regular basis.
The UK government announced plans today for the development of a new strategy for Britain’s digital communications infrastructure. The consultation seeks views on the likely demand for digital communications and technology from business, consumers and public bodies, and what infrastructure will be needed to meet this demand.
The deadline for entries for the Risk Management Awards has now been extended until the 13th August 2014, giving you an additional two weeks to enter. The awards are FREE to enter to all organisations worldwide, and are an opportunity for companies and organisations to gain recognition for their achievements, to network with fellow professionals and to celebrate your achievements in risk management.
The recent outbreak of a particularly lethal strain (Zaire) of the Ebola virus has raised concerns about a wider spread of the disease. The largest outbreak of the Ebola virus to date — with more than a suspected 1,323 cases of infection and 729 deaths — is disrupting communities and economies in Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Nigeria. Authorities are further concerned about West Africa’s ability to contain the virus, given local health infrastructures, stretched resources and personnel, as well as cultural concerns that can impede virus-control measures.
Airmic’s most recent conference brought together some 900 delegates in a record-breaking year for our annual gathering of risk and insurance professionals, and there was a palpable sense of change and opportunity among a new generation of risk managers.
Last year public sector workers were just 18.8% of the working population in the UK: the lowest percentage since 1999 when the Office for National Statistics began gathering the data. On the face of it, this indicates a shrinking public sector and, as demand for services has never been greater, the gap looks alarming.
The Director-General of the World Health Organisation and presidents of west African nations impacted by the Ebola virus disease outbreak will meet Friday in Guinea to launch a new joint US$100m response plan as part of an intensified international, regional and national campaign to bring the outbreak under control. The scale of the ongoing outbreak is unprecedented, with approximately 1,323 confirmed and suspected cases reported, and 729 deaths in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone since March 2014.
Marking a significant step in the development of the UK’s knowledge, skills and capability in cyber security, the certification of six Master’s degrees in Cyber Security was announced by Francis Maude, minister for the Cabinet Office. The development of GCHQ-certified Master’s degrees will help the successful universities to promote the quality of their courses and assist prospective students to make better informed choices when looking for a highly valued qualification
Explosion and fire modelling software, GexCon has released an updated fire modelling tool for the oil and gas, processing and industrial segments. FLACS, first released in 1986, offers 3D CFD (computational fluid dynamics) gas dispersion and explosion modelling software. This latest release, FLACS-Fire, completes its hazard modelling capability.
A survey into cyber security in the retail sector suggest that a number of organisations don’t realise the goal of PCI compliance is the protection of cardholder data alone – not for the business as a whole.
Entertech Systems and G4S Technology have announced a technology partnership that combines Entertech’s identity management and Suprema biometrics with G4S security solutions. “This new partner relationship fits perfectly with our own focus on excellence in technology and customer service,” says David Ella, VP of technology and marketing at G4S Technology.
Some commentators have argued that existing data protection law can’t keep up with the rise of big data and its new and innovative approaches to personal data. That is not the view of the ICO, which stresses the basic data protection principles already established in UK and EU law are flexible enough to cover big data. “Applying those principles involves asking all the questions that anyone undertaking big data ought to be asking,” the report reads. “Big data is not a game that is played by different rules.”
With recent payment card industry data security standard) compliance incidents costing companies millions of pounds in fines and losses and inflicting damage to valuable brand reputations, organisations processing payment cards are being urged to follow best practice to safeguard against security incident.
Thales has been awarded a 10-year contract worth £30m to support computerised control system services at all but two of EDF Energy’s nuclear power stations in the UK. The power stations’ data processing and control systems are high capital value assets that are technologically complex and critical to operations, with a high degree of risk, increasingly including cyber security.
Managed services provider Phoenix has been selected by Huawei Enterprise as a Gold Partner. Phoenix will be working with Huawei on the development of its MPLS Service for long distance network routing. The UK-based provider is also working on a long term investment and training plan with many of their technical teams already receiving training.
Businesses are so focused on cyber attacks by organised crime, that they ignore the possibility of being targeted by groups wanting to make a political point. This is the view of KPMG's Malcolm Marshall, who suggests that, whilst attention is focused on the search for resolutions in the 'corridors of power', businesses need to be ready to defend themselves, as cyberspace becomes the new battleground.
Major energy plants and iconic buildings in Oslo and further afield in Norway are being temporarily closed as a result of the heightened terrorist threat level announced in the country this week. Commenting on the news, Torbjorn Soltvedt, principal analyst for the MENA region at Maplecroft and an expert on Syrian political risk, said the threat was quite time-specific. Despite that, current intel is still quite vague. Soltvedt believes that by issuing this warning, the government is hoping for a deterrent effect.
The property industry has urged government to rethink the scope of Flood Re after ministers confirmed that millions of homeowners could be left out of the new scheme designed to provide households with affordable flood insurance for their home. The BPF spoke out after Defra this week launched a consultation on how it intends to implement the programme.
In the last few months, the combination of a Court of Appeal judgement and a new sentencing guideline issued for environmental offences has meant that the level of fines for health and safety and environmental offences, particularly for large companies, is expected to rise very significantly.
Over the last 12 months, global fatalities from acts of terrorism have risen 30% compared to the previous five year average, according to a new security monitoring service from global risk analytics company Maplecroft, whose Terrorism and Security Dashboard recorded 18,668 fatalities in the 12 months prior to July, up 29.3% from an annual average of 14,433 for the previous five years.
CIOs are expanding their IT budgets to drive a new set of IT priorities as insurance market conditions improve, according to new research by Ovum. In mature markets, there is a focus on improving operational efficiency and organisational flexibility, while in developing markets, close attention is being paid to expanding core platforms and infrastructure to support growth.
Super typhoon Rammasun was one of the strongest to hit southeast China in recent years and made three landfalls in the provinces of Hainan, Guangdong, and Guangxi. Rammasun has significantly impacted the Philippines, southeast China and Vietnam. Rammasun brought strong winds, heavy rain, and storm surge to some coastal areas with close to 300,000 buildings damaged in the affected countries.
National furniture retailer DFS has enlisted the help of Yorkshire-based Onyx Group for its IT and workplace continuity. DFS employ 250 people in Doncaster to manage the company’s accounts, HR, IT, payroll and marketing departments. The support will enable the retailer to maintain office operations in the event of an emergency at its existing facilities.
Catastrophe risk modelling firm AIR Worldwide has updated its earthquake model for Canada. The comprehensive update will provide insurers and other industry stakeholders with an advanced tool for assessing potential losses from ground shaking, fire following earthquake, tsunami, liquefaction, and landslide for the Canadian market.
BT has launched its OnePhone offering, following the JV announced earlier this year between OnePhone Holding and BT to develop new mobile services for UK SMEs. The new service brings together all of a company’s fixed lines, mobile phones and internal office phone systems into one service that is hosted in the cloud and delivered via mobile.
The government has today introduced the long-awaited Insurance Bill, designed to reform Britain’s insurance industry. The new Bill introduces a more modern legal regime designed to benefit both insurers and their business customers by increasing transparency and certainty over the rules that govern contracts between them and reducing the number of legal disputes over time.
Last week’s emergency security legislation on access to telecommunications data has caused quite a stir. The passing of the emergency Data Retention and Investigation Powers Bill has attracted criticism from campaign group Liberty, which believes the ‘snooping law’ to be disproportionate and deserved more thorough investigation before being pushed through parliament.
According to catastrophe modelling firm AIR Worldwide, with sustained winds of 157 km/h (~98 mph), Typhoon Rammasun made landfall in the Philippine province of Sorsogon July 15, late afternoon local time, and headed toward Manila. Widespread damage is not expected, but some areas could experience storm surge flooding, flash flooding, and/or mud slides, as well as wind damage.
Specialist lines underwriting agency CFC has today announced the launch of its new intellectual property product. With a focus on small and medium sized companies this product can cover the costs associated with a number of intellectual property exposures, not least, infringement.
Overcapacity in the international construction, property /casualty markets in the first half of 2014 has resulted in rate reductions of up to 30% for commercial insurance buyers. This is primarily driven by benign loss activity and softening conditions in the global reinsurance market, which is having a trickledown effect to the primary insurance market.
The Church Commissioners for England announced yesterday that they have successfully terminated all financial involvement with Wonga, ending the long-running saga of the Church of England’s indirect investment in the controversial payday loan company.
The resilience of transport networks, homes, hospitals and water supplies in England needs to be enhanced to counter the more frequent and severe flooding and heat waves that can be expected in future. This is the key finding of a new report by the government’s official adviser on preparing for climate change.
A new report released earlier this month by EEF, the manufacturers’ organisation, is warning the Government to act over escalating risks to the UK’s supply of essential materials. While other manufacturing nations have strategies in place to shield their economies from resource risks, the UK is lagging behind.
Cyber security has been ranked third in a list of boardroom investment priorities, according to a survey released earlier this month by KPMG.
The General Assembly of the Federation of European Risk Management Associations (FERMA) has agreed a framework and funding to create European certification for risk managers. It will include certification of the professional competences and experience of individual risk managers as well as accreditation for the risk management programmes of education bodies. Certification will be supported by a requirement for continuous professional development and a code of ethics.
The role of local authorities is crucial in the steps towards building resilience against natural disasters due to their ability to manage risk and ensure prevention on the front line, the Committee of the Regions has argued.
The insurance industry needs to work together with governments and critical infrastructure businesses to further develop cyber risk management and risk models in order to better prepare for cyber-attacks, AEGIS London’s active underwriter David Croom-Johnson told an audience at the Houses of Parliament in London on 30 June.
Specialist global insurer Hiscox has launched a new cyber and data insurance product, designed to provide simpler, more comprehensive cover. The Hiscox Cyber and Data policy covers online and offline data risks including data breach, cyber business interruption, privacy protection, hacker damage, cyber liability and cyber extortion. It also includes practical support in the event of a data breach
Severe thunderstorms caused an economic loss of more than £1.6bn across Europe in June, according to Aon Benfield’s monthly Impact Forecasting catastrophe report.
We all know that a key objective for risk management is to help us anticipate and hopefully avoid potentially damaging downside risk events. Achieving this objective, however, is becoming more and more difficult in our increasingly complex world. There are literally thousands of potential risk, control and performance indicators that can be monitored.
Cooper Gay Swett & Crawford (CGSC), the independent global wholesale and reinsurance broker, is to expand its Swett & Crawford wholesale broking business into the Latin American market. While CGSC’s reinsurance broker, Cooper Gay, has an established presence in Latin America with businesses in Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico and Peru, to date the group has not focused on growing its wholesale business market share in the region.
Xchanging has announced the acquisition of Total Objects, the insurance software provider, for a potential consideration of up to £21m. Xchanging’s existing Binder 360 Services for Bordereaux transformation will integrate with Total Objects’ BinderCloud to provide an end-to-end binder management solution. Total Objects will continue to be marketed under the same name.
Continued benign loss activity throughout the first half of 2014 has compounded the softening market. Inflows from capital markets have continued to add to the excess supply of capital, although much of the competition has also been driven by the traditional reinsurance markets.
AXA chief Paul Evans has been nominated as next chairman of the Association of British Insurers. Taking over from Tidjane Thiam of Prudential, who will have completed his two-year term, Evans’ chairmanship will be formally confirmed at the AGM on 1 October. Mr Evans has been group chief executive of AXA UK since October 2010, having previously been chief executive of AXA Life.
The majority of companies see supply chain risk management as important to their business, but only seven per cent are generating returns of over 100% on their supply chain risk management investments, according to a new study by Accenture that revealed the distinct approaches followed by leaders in risk management.
Europol has today signed a strategic cooperation agreement with EU cyber security agency ENISA to facilitate closer cooperation and exchange of expertise in the fight against cybercrime. Cooperation will include the exchange of specific knowledge and expertise; elaboration of general situational reports; reports resulting from strategic analyses and best practice; and strengthening capacity building through training and awareness raising, to safeguard network and information security at EU level.
With the latest generation of high-rise buildings reaching new heights of over 600 meters, the supertall construction boom is bringing new challenges as new projects are built higher, faster and with increasing complexity. By 2020, the average total height of the tallest 20 buildings in the world is expected to be close to 600 metres, comparable to almost two Eiffel Towers.
Although cyber attack now ranks among the top risks facing the global business community, many European boards face the challenge of adequately analysing and assessing how the threats associated with technology and the internet may affect their organisations.
Business continuity solutions provider Vocal has been accepted as an accredited supplier on the G-Cloud Government Procurement portal. G-Cloud is an initiative targeted at easing the procurement of cloud based IT by public sector bodies with the aim of promoting cloud computing and making savings on technology government-wide.
Vodafone has won a three contracts with medical and travel security risk services company, International SOS. Under the first agreement, Vodafone will manage mobility services for around 1,300 employees in a number of key markets. The group has also signed a contract for Vodafone Telecoms Management, as well as for cloud and hosting services in the UK.
A rebalancing of growth is underway around the globe, improving risks in Western Europe and particularly in new emerging economies. The first quarter of 2014 confirmed the acceleration in global growth, according to forecasts from Coface, after 2.6% in 2013, growth will be close to 3% in 2014 and 3.3% in 2015.
Although the global energy sector is being disproportionately targeted by increasingly sophisticated hacker networks, existing cyber insurance policies are failing to provide adequate protection that energy firms require against losses associated with bodily injury, property damage and loss of use.
A fire broke out Friday night in one of retailer Asos’s distribution centres. A full and swift evacuation meant there were no injuries. As the Barnsley centre is the retailer’s main distribution facility, the incident led to a temporary suspension of orders.
Global supply chain sustainability specialist Ecodesk has launched a free online tool to help businesses and organisations understand their current levels of sustainability performance in the face of increased reporting regulation and supply chain standards, including the forthcoming ISO 14001 revision.
US risk management society RIMS has commended the House Committee on Financial Services for approving a bill to reauthorise the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (TRIA) now, providing policymakers with time to negotiate the terms of the final TRIA extension prior to its December 2014 expiration. Under current law, three federal agencies must jointly certify a terrorist event.
Trade credit insurance claims are expected to rise in Europe, the Middle East and Africa throughout the remainder of 2014, as more firms across the region experience cashflow restrictions as a result of over-stretching themselves as they seek to capitalise on economic growth.
AIG has launched a new line of multinational commercial property products and services, including expanded coverage, loss prevention engineering, and risk management solutions for mid-sized businesses confronting global risk exposures.
Motor insurance underwriting in 2014 will return to being a loss-making product after just one year in the black, according to EY. The forecast for 2014 suggests that in order to reach a net combined ratio of 100%, reserve releases would need to hit unprecedented levels of 14%, and as a result, in the long term premiums will inevitably be forced to rise.
Luxury goods companies believe that they face greater reputational risk than those in other industries, according to a report published by ACE Group in Europe. Following a survey with a concentrated sample of 45 European luxury goods firms and a series of in-depth interviews, the report also concludes that environmental, business travel and directors’ and officers’ liability (D&O) are three emerging risks for the industry to watch.
At a gathering of the UK’s risk managers today, Mike McGavick, CEO of XL Group, told risk managers “it’s a great time to be in your jobs, there is great opportunity for you to lead your organisations’ thinking about risk.
The biggest threat to public sector data comes from employees, a new report suggest. Some 83% of the 141 senior public sector managers and other staff polled said they were most concerned about internal loss or misuse, with just 10% worried about the external threat posed by hackers.
GCHQ is launching a pilot scheme to share classified cyber threat information with key security-cleared partners in industry to help combat the threat of cyber attacks, starting with suppliers to government networks and then moving on the other sectors of critical national infrastructure. This initiative will use GCHQ's capabilities and insights gleaned from its intelligence and security work to illuminate the critical threats in cyberspace.
According to new research by AIG, senior business leaders seem unduly relaxed about the increasing level of personal risks faced in today’s dynamic business environment – with 63% of respondents saying that they do not feel that their personal assets are very exposed to management liability actions.
Marsh has announced the appointment of John Hirst CBE, chief executive of the Met Office, as a non-executive independent member of its board of directors.
The NCA has issued a reminder to UK computer users that there is still time to protect themselves from the GoZeuS and CryptoLocker malware threats.
Fitch Ratings has said in a new report that it expects the German non-life sector to report a strong increase in its net underwriting result for 2014, on the back of further premium rate increases in the wake of natural catastrophes and related claim experience a year ago.
Severe thunderstorms have pummeled western and central Europe, bringing extremely strong and damaging winds, large hail, rampant lightning strikes, and heavy downpours. The storms have affected a large area as far south as northern Italy and east into Poland, although the worst hit are Germany, France, and Belgium.
With the Solvency II deadline of 2016 edging ever closer, ORSA requirements are increasingly being seen as an opportunity to bring together existing risk management processes and create an ongoing environment of good risk management, a study by consultants LCP has shown.
Wynyard Group has launched a new tool aimed at helping law enforcement and border control agencies process and analyse complex digital evidence from mobile phones, laptops and other storage devices lawfully seized from persons of interest in a criminal investigation.
The nations most resilient to supply chain disruption, one of the leading causes of business volatility, have been revealed by an index developed by FM Global. More than a year in development, the data-driven tool and repository ranks the business resilience of 130 countries via an online, interactive tool that displays data on country-by-country susceptibility to supply chain disruption.
The 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Summer Olympic Games have not and will not have a major positive impact on Brazil’s economy, according to analysis from Euler Hermes. The sluggish performance of the World Cup favourites is in stark contrast to current holders Spain, who topped the table of participating tournament countries surveyed.
BAE Systems Applied Intelligence has become an associate member of the British Bankers’ Association (BBA), as part of a broader working partnership in which the two organisations will work together to counter the growing threat to the UK banking and financial services industry from cyber-enabled financial crime.
A new bill aimed at improving how the UK funds and maintains national infrastructure has been proposed. The Department for Transport says the Infrastructure Bill would provide a £2.6 billion boost to the economy over the next 10 years by improving the funding and management of major roads, streamlining the planning process for major projects, among other elements.
The Bank of England has launched a new framework aimed at helping to identify areas where the financial sector could be vulnerable to sophisticated cyber attack. This is part of the Bank of England’s response to the Financial Policy Committee’s recommendation to test and improve cyber resilience.
Everbridge has extended its partnership with EMC's security division, RSA, to deliver a unified crisis management and communications system.
A major initiative designed to increase awareness of security and counter terrorism policing in London is being launched today by the Metropolitan Police Service, the City of London Police and the British Transport Police. This year will mark the 10th anniversary of Project Griffin, developed by the CoLP and MPS in April 2004.
Crisis management consultants red24 group has launched a new gap analysis tool designed to improve the standards of food safety. Designed by the company’s product recall division, red24assist, the service offers both a proactive and reactive service for food and drink crises, with a number of services in place to work with companies before, during and after a product recall incident.
ISACA, a global professional association serving 115,000 information systems assurance, security, governance and risk professionals, has selected Matthew S. Loeb, CAE, as its new chief executive officer. Loeb’s background in the industry spans enterprise strategy, corporate development, global business operations and governance.
The International Underwriting Association has backed a new government project to promote better management of cyber risk. The Cyber Essentials scheme defines basic cyber security standards and offers a certification process which business can use to show they are taking the threat seriously.
With the start of the World Cup less than a week away, employers are being urged to update business continuity plans ahead of football fever – particularly where they relate to staff absences. Staff absences are more prone to rise during large sporting events, which has are more significant impact on employers whose staff are working shifts.
Projected tropical storm activity for the 2014 Atlantic Hurricane Season is about 25% below the 1950-2013 norm and 40% below the more recent 2004-2013 norm. These are the predictions of Aon Benfield’s nat cat research group TSR, whose Professor Mark Saunders and Dr. Adam Lea forecast 12 named storms, five hurricanes and two major (Category 3+) hurricanes between the months of June and November.
A new paper, Digital Dynamics in the C-Suite: Accelerating Digitisation with the Right Conversations, published today by the European School of Management and Technology in Berlin and Sungard Availability Services, reveals the unique opportunity that digitisation has provided for chief information officers to elevate their position and to drive the wider business agenda within their organisations.
Global supply chain sustainability specialist Ecodesk has teamed up with carbon footprinting and lifecycle analysts at Carbon River to deliver a total sustainability solution to businesses seeking to reduce supply chain risk and improve business continuity. Using carbon, energy, water and waste as key metrics, E-Chain can quickly build a comprehensive picture of supply chain sustainability through supplier profiling and benchmarking, identifying hotspots and risks.
Ian Walton has been appointed chief executive officer of Lockton Insurance Brokers, UAE. Prior to his appointment, Walton held senior international positions in both insurance broking and underwriting, with over 25 years’ working experience in the UAE and the Middle East.
The government is to reform the Riot (Damages) Act. Although the Act has rarely been used, the unprecedented scale of the damage following events of August 2011 prompted a review of this piece of legislation, in recognition of the varying perspectives and complex issues involved in riot compensation payments.
Commenting on news this week that computer users are being urged to protect their machines from malware which could allow hackers to steal financial data, Stephen Bonner, a partner in KPMG's cyber security practice, says this "fantastic effort...has cut the head of the hydra of the control networks that steal banking access and encrypt data for ransom".
Hiscox has built a new London Market management liability team and its four latest hires will be tasked with building its US and international D&O liability business.
The Social Action, Responsibilities and Heroism Bill, announced in the Queen’s Speech, will have little impact on insurance premiums according to insurance law firm Browne Jacobson.
Aon has announced the completion of the acquisition of Lorica Employee Benefits, a specialist provider of consultancy, support and technology in corporate pensions, health, wellbeing and group risk. Lorica Employee Benefits has been operating in the UK since 1990, and the combined business will consist of over 400 employees across 11 UK sites.
A new safety assessment for mobile drilling vessels known as floating units has been launched by the London insurance market. Produced by the Joint Rig Committee, FUMA is designed to assist underwriters in their risk selection by providing them with more information on the quality of mooring systems and the management processes employed to ensure their integrity.
Airmic and insurance information specialists, Axco, have launched a database of regulatory requirements designed to address one of the most pressing problems facing risk managers – confirming that their insurance programmes are compliant globally. Insight Risk Manager provides crucial intelligence on local compliance and regulatory insurance requirements, policy conditions and premium payment terms.
EIOPA has invited market participants and (re)insurance stakeholders to provide their feedback on the first set of the draft Guidelines for Solvency II. With this EIOPA enters the final regulatory phase of Solvency II, during which it will present its draft Implementing Technical Standards and Guidelines to the public until the regulation becomes applicable on 1 January 2016.
Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina have suffered their worst flooding since records began, with some 60 people killed in the disaster and well over a million affected by damage to housing, schools or hospitals, arable land or public infrastructure. And the EBRD posits that the economic damage is likely to be substantial.
PwC has just released their 2014 US State of Cybercrime report. Key findings reveal that while the number of cybercrime incidents and the monetary losses associated with them continue to rise, most US organisations’ cybersecurity capabilities do not rival the persistence and technological skills of their cyber adversaries.
The NCA is urging members of the public to protect themselves against powerful malware, which may be costing UK computer users millions of pounds. Action taken by the NCA to combat the threat will give the UK public a two-week opportunity to rid and safeguard themselves from two distinct but associated forms of malware known as GOZeuS and CryptoLocker.
This year’s Business Continuity Awards winners were announced last night at a glittering gala dinner held at the Hilton on Park Lane in London. Hosted by comedian Jo Caulfield, the annual awards are the definitive mark of achievement in business continuity and resilience.
Hiscox Re has appointed Mike Krefta as chief underwriting officer, leading its underwriting teams in London, Bermuda and Paris. In his new role, Krefta will be responsible for the formation of the Hiscox Re underwriting strategy. Based in Hiscox’s London office, he will report to Jeremy Pinchin, CEO of Hiscox Re.
Xuber, Xchanging’s insurance software business, has announced the launch of its new tool, Xuber Rating, the result of a new partnership with Moore Stephens Consulting. Xuber Rating represents the integration of the pricing and quoting engine component of Moore Stephens’ RuleBook application, with Xuber’s software platform to create a rating capability for commercial underwriting.
In its latest review, the Financial Conduct Authority has made it quite clear that disclosing a conflict of interest to a customer is not enough; commercial insurance brokers will also now have to show that they are actively managing conflicts.
The benefits of the development of shale oil in the UK need to be balanced with broader environmental objectives as well as the increasing pressing need to address climate change. This is among the responses to the government’s report released Friday on the prospects of significant shale oil reserves in the south of England. PwC’s analysis of shale oil scenarios shows that successful exploitation of this resource across territories could push global oil prices down by around 25%-40% by 2020.
Bank of England governor Mark Carney's plans to introduce accountability rules for senior insurance industry executives demonstrate how at risk the insurance sector is of further potentially disruptive reform, according to Fitch. While it is too early to assess the likely impact of accountability rules, Fitch believes they will probably pave the way for greater regulatory burden overall. There could also be a negative impact if they deter people from accepting senior insurance roles, or benefits if they result in closer scrutiny of risk by senior managers.
ACE has launched an enhanced D&O insurance policy, targeted at medium-sized, large and multinational listed and private companies. The Elite V policy provides several distinctive coverage enhancements, including preservation of the Side A limit, a cyber privacy and confidentiality extension, an environmental violation extension, and securities claims cover.
The winners of the 16th annual Business Continuity Awards will be exclusively announced next week at a glittering Awards Ceremony and Gala Dinner at the Hilton on Park Lane. As always, this black tie event promises an evening of networking with hundreds of the biggest names in the business continuity field, combined with a night of celebration and entertainment.
Southeast Europe is experiencing record levels of flooding after three months’ worth of rain fell in just three days. Numerous landslides have also occurred, covering roads, homes, and villages. With bridges down and roads and railways blocked or submerged, many communities are cut off. In areas where the flood risk is abating, it will be some time before flood waters have receded and much longer still before economic activity recovers.
eBay has become the latest high profile victim to a cyber attack that compromised one of its databases. Although the compromise happened a few months ago, it is thought that eBay did not identify the activity and determine what data had been compromised until much later. Security experts warn this data could be used to access the corresponding eBay accounts and generate fraudulent purchases or other activity.
A majority of UK businesses expect to increase their dependency on exports, despite being unaware of the associated risks. More than two-thirds (69%) of UK businesses expect to increase their dependency on exports over the next five years but many are ill-prepared to protect themselves against the risks they will encounter, according to a report by AIG, Trade & Export Finance and the Institute of Export.
Sir Brian Bender has joined terrorism reinsurer Pool Re as a non-executive director. Since his retirement from the Civil Service in 2009, Sir Brian has been appointed to a number of board and advisory roles, including the Chairmanship of the London Metal Exchange. There, he led the process which, in 2012, resulted in the sale of the Exchange to Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing for nearly £1.4 billion.
ACE Group is offering enhanced insurance cover for the life sciences industries in Continental Europe by partnering with red24assist to provide its clients with crisis preparation and planning services, as well as response support.
Technology is changing the way insurers and buyers of insurance interact. This is according to a Swiss Re whose analysis into digital distribution in insurance shows how the internet and mobile devices are empowering consumers everywhere. Despite this development, digital transformation does not spell the end of intermediaries. "The statistics on e-commerce insurance mask the profound impact new technologies are having on the distribution process," said Kurt Karl, Swiss Re's chief economist.
Insurance prices for the aerospace sector have continued their almost decade long decline, with the annual lead premium value of the market declining from nearly US$970m in 2005 to a little over US$650m in 2013, according to a report published by Aon Risk Solutions.
Stuart Reid, Bluefin’s executive chairman, has been appointed as the deputy chairman of the British Insurance Brokers' Association. The announcement, made at BIBA's conference in Manchester by chief executive of the association, Steve White, follows confirmation that the current deputy chairman, Brendan McManus, outgoing CEO of UK Retail at Arthur J Gallagher, has stepped down from the position.
The new Water Act has been given Royal Assent, paving the way for competition in the water market. DEFRA says the new law will ensure affordable flood insurance for hundreds of thousands of households from 2015. It also says it will enable users to switch water supplier from 2017. Together with the other water market reforms set out in the Act, it is hoped these reforms will grow the economy by £2 billion over the next 30 years.
Many countries are becoming increasingly sensitive to the financial conduct of multinational companies within their borders. At the same time, they need the revenue that insurance taxes generate. The result is growing pressure on international businesses for compliance with national insurance regulations, despite the complexity and frequently changing nature of these rules. For their part, companies are becoming ever more global, often moving into new territories which are unfamiliar to them...
Companies across Europe, the Middle East and Africa are becoming more worried about civil unrest and political violence according to new research from ACE Group. Recent civil unrest incidents in several countries across the region are shifting the balance of attention to political violence. Collapse of government and key institutions ranks as the biggest concern in this risk category.
It was nearly 30 years ago when the first IRM students started to study for the newly conceived Diploma in Risk Management. Since that time many thousands of students have studied with IRM as the profession has matured. In an increasingly complex world, the demands being placed on risk professionals are still changing and expanding. As globalisation continues and the world shrinks, demand for a broadly recognised form of international risk management certification is growing...
Air quality in the majority of cities worldwide that monitor outdoor (ambient) air pollution fails to meet WHO guidelines for safe levels, putting people at risk of respiratory disease and other health problems. Only 12% of the people living in cities reporting on air quality reside in cities where this complies with WHO air quality guideline levels. About half of the urban population being monitored is exposed to air pollution that is at least 2.5 times higher than the levels WHO recommends.
A groundbreaking report on antimicrobial and antibiotic resistance reveals the severity of this -- now very much established -- public health risk. The World Health Organisation's report provides the most comprehensive picture of drug resistance to date, incorporating data from 114 countries. The results are cause for high concern, documenting resistance to antibiotics, especially “last resort” antibiotics, in all regions of the world.
Asia is more at risk from disruption of Middle East oil supplies than is either Europe or the US, yet as a whole it is less prepared to deal with such an upheaval, according to UK think-tank Chatham House. The Middle East now supplies nearly 50% of Asian oil consumption, compared with 12% and 16% of the US and Europe respectively. To mitigate the effects on Asian economies and global oil markets from disruptions in oil supply, Chatham House advocates a “pragmatic programme” of preparations.
Levels of conflict and political violence have risen significantly in 48 countries over the last six months. Maplecroft's latest index, which highlights the destabilising effects of popular revolutions and regime change as a key factor in the surge in risk, confirms that Ukraine represents the greatest surge in political risk. Syria retains its status as the country with the highest levels of conflict and political violence.
PwC has appointed Will Brown as a director of its Enterprise Resilience practice. With extensive experience in the sector, Brown takes responsibility for building on and developing PwC's overseas resilience business.
Target CEO Gregg Steinhafel has resigned following the massive data breach that resulted in the loss of personal information of 70 million customers. The changes at Target are a bellwether for any C-level executive, says one industry commentator, who says attackers are "setting up camp" inside traditional defences, leaving behind "remote controlled invisible recon and data-stealing weapons" capable of mass data extraction.
Torrential rains from the same storm system that has spawned multiple tornadoes and severe thunderstorms across the Midwest and Southeastern United States since Sunday have caused flash flooding across the Florida Panhandle and Southern Alabama. Parts of the region were inundated with 26 inches of rain.
QBE has appointed Malc Simpkin as chief information officer. Scheduled to join on 1st May, Simpkin will report to Joe Gordon, chief operations officer. Simpkin has over 30 years’ experience in IT and change, 26 of which were within insurance with Aviva and Virgin Direct.
The number of information security breaches affecting UK businesses has decreased over the last year but the scale and cost of individual breaches has almost doubled. This is according to a PwC survey, which shows that 81% of large organisations suffered a security breach, down from 86% a year ago.
ACE has created a united global property risk engineering unit, established to provide engineering risk management services to global clients worldwide. The new unit will be led by Raimund Navakas, senior vice-president, Global Property Risk Engineering, who will also be responsible for the integration of ACE’s regional risk engineering units
Catastrophe management firm RMS has conducted the risk analysis for a new catastrophe bond issued by Lion I Re. The bond is the first to be sponsored by Generali and is the first indemnity Europe windstorm catastrophe bond to be issued using an independent modelling agent, and was modelled using the 2011 Europe Windstorm Model.
David Martin has taken over from Steve Hearn as CEO of Willis Ltd. In this role, Martin will assume responsibility for all governance, financial, operational, human resources and regulatory matters for Willis Limited. Hearn, who remains deputy CEO of Willis Group and chairman and CEO of Willis Global, will continue as a member of the Willis Ltd board.
Days after a series of tornadoes caused destruction in parts of North Carolina, a massive storm system on April 27 spawned dozens of tornadoes across at least seven states in the south-central United States. On Sunday, an outbreak of intense thunderstorms accompanied by high winds, hail, and tornadoes flattened hundreds of homes and caused more than 100 injuries and at least 16 fatalities, a number which may be revised over the coming days.
Piracy incidents are at their lowest first-quarter level since 2007, according the IMB, whose figures show 49 incidents in the first quarter of 2014 – the lowest first quarter figure since 2007. In the first three months, two vessels were hijacked, 37 vessels boarded, five vessels fired upon and five attempted attacks were reported.
The Turkish insurance market is growing strongly, according to figures released by Fitch. Driven by economic growth, favourable demographics, urbanisation and an expanding middle class, the Turkish non-life market made a strong profit of TRY768m in 2013 (EUR260m) after four years of poor results.
Legal costs could continue to rise for mesothelioma claims outside new support scheme, according to law firm, DWF. “The passing of the Mesothelioma Act has been welcomed by sufferers’ support groups and those who have campaigned for a fairer system to seek compensation for this type of long-term industrial disease claim,” said DWF partner and head of occupational health claims Derek Adamson.
An investment in safety and a proactive risk management strategy can provide real returns in terms of fewer accidents, lower costs, higher quality and a stronger reputation. These are among the findings of a new paper released by ACE Group that explores strategies for managing risk in the construction industry. The report reviews the importance of building a strong safety culture, and outlines the components of an effective construction risk management programme.
Fresh analysis from Verizon has found that 92% of all security incidents over a ten-year period can be traced to nine basic attack patterns that vary from industry to industry. This finding, the highlight of Verizon’s 2014 Data Breach Investigations Report, will enable a more focused and effective approach to fighting cyber threats.
A new maritime risk rating system has been launched. The International Maritime Risk Rating Agency (IMRRA) was founded with the support of a number of major oil companies in their attempts to unify areas of marine risk assessment and management, making them more transparent and comprehensive.
The Federation of European Risk Management Associations (FERMA) has launched its 2014 Benchmarking Survey of European risk and insurance management, in association with its national association members in 20 European countries.
AOC Group has submitted a planning application for a 75,000 square foot datacentre facility at Queensway Business Park in Glenrothes Fife. The development could create up to 250 construction jobs and around 50 full-time skilled technology and engineering jobs in just over a year of construction and development.
Investment banking consultancy CMC Europe has launched a global consultancy which aims to rival the big four in insurance and reinsurance. CMC Insurance will provide the re/insurance market with regulatory risk consultancy, and will offer differentiated solutions via partnerships with a number of technology firms.
Phoenix is to open a new Technology Innovation Centre, at its site in Birmingham. The centre is designed to provide a flexible environment to explore new technologies and solutions, helping customers to understand the impact of change to their IT infrastructure.
Willis has launched a new product contamination insurance proposition, in partnership with XL Group, Willis’ food and drink division and Faber Global teams, and in association with BRC Global Standards – a safety and quality standards programme provider for the food and beverages sector.
A man has been killed after a building partially collapsed on a construction site in central London. The construction worker died at the site after the collapse at 15:45 today. At least one other person was injured in the collapse of the former US Naval building in the capital’s Grosvenor Square.
Today’s European Parliament decision to increase corporate transparency has the potential to identify previously hidden environmental risks, impact international climate change negotiations and harmonise increasing regulation on reporting of non-financial information. The decision will affect some 6,000 companies who will shortly be required to include a statement in their mainstream financial reports detailing their current and foreseeable impacts on the environment, focusing on renewable and non-renewable energy, greenhouse gas emissions, water use and pollution.
The Environment Agency has checked thousands of flood defences across the South East coastline following the wettest winter in the UK on record. The South East was among some of the worst hit flood assets over the course of the winter.
In recent years cargo losses worth more than one hundred million dollars have not been recovered under traditional cargo insurance policies due to critical exposures being excluded, according to analysis from Willis. Heightened levels of political unrest and uncertainty have highlighted a significant gap in coverage for cargo risks.
The vast majority European insurers expect to meet Solvency II requirements before January 2016, according to EY’s European Solvency II Survey 2014. Overall, Dutch, UK and Nordic insurers are the best prepared, while French, German, Greek and East European insurers are less confident. The findings reveal a consistently high state of readiness to implement the Pillar 1 balance sheet and fulfil most of Pillar 2, systems of governance, but Pillar 3 still presents a major challenge.
Aon Risk Solutions has unveiled its 2014 Political Risk Map which identifies an increased risk rating for all five emerging market BRICS countries. As a result, countries representing a large share of global output experienced a broad-based increase in political risk including political violence, government interference and sovereign non-payment risk.
Information security professionals consider the Heartbleed bug to be a very serious issue, and one that will require action by most Internet users – not just for businesses – bringing the topic of information security home for web users everywhere. We canvass the opinion of three industry experts.
A new breed of cyber insurance product has been launched by Lloyd’s of London insurer Aegis. The launch follows a major study of the evolution of cyber risk in the energy sector and its impact on critical infrastructure businesses. The Aegis study and new product offering are a direct response to the growing number of attempted attacks on the energy and utility sector.
Crisis, issues and reputation management consultancy, Regester Larkin is to acquire crisis management and business continuity specialist Steelhenge Consulting. The two firms, which have have already collaborated on a number of client projects are both long established industry consultants.
Companies in the food and drink industry could face more consumer claims as a result of new European food labelling regulations coming into force later this year, which are designed to make food labelling easier for consumers to understand by streamlining and simplifying the current legislation on food and nutrition labelling into a single EU regulation.
Theoretical insurance capacities in the up- and downstream oil and gas insurance markets have increased to the highest levels seen this century, according to Willis. Heavily over-capitalised global (re)insurance markets combined with a glut of new capacity from non-traditional providers has increased competitive pressures in the energy insurance market to unprecedented levels.
A new report from application specialists Camwood reveals that, in the wake of recent migrations following the conclusion of support for the Windows XP operating system, and with the accelerating pace of change in the IT department, IT directors and managers now see near constant change and migration projects as the new norm. Coping with this change has now become a primary concern for IT departments.
Congratulations to all the finalists in this year's Business Continuity Awards. The awards provide an evening networking with hundreds of the biggest names in the business continuity field, combined with a night of entertainment. This year the Awards Gala Dinner and Ceremony will be held on 29 May 2014 at the Hilton on Park Lane, London. This year’s host is stand-up comedian Jo Caulfield. Read on for this year's shortlist.
Energy insurance buyers are to benefit from renewed competition and a downward pricing trend at their mid-year policy renewals, following an influx of capacity from new capital providers such as private equity firms, pension funds and hedge funds, reduced reinsurance costs and few losses in 2013.
A new UK government security classification policy comes into force today, describing how the government classifies information assets to ensure they are appropriately protected. The policy applies to all information that government collects, stores, processes, generates or shares. It is hoped that the introduction of this latest policy will encourage others to follow suit with a layered approach to information security.
Global reinsurers will report solid underwriting profitability for the first quarter of 2014 as catastrophe loss events were limited, according to Fitch Ratings. As such, reinsurers' results are expected to be in line with those reported in 2013, as the industry has not suffered a significant catastrophe loss event since Hurricane Sandy in the fourth quarter of 2012.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has issued a report today explaining that the effects of climate change are already occurring on all continents and across the oceans. The world, in many cases, is ill-prepared for risks from a changing climate. The report also concludes that there are opportunities to respond to such risks, though the risks will be difficult to manage with high levels of warming.
The Financial Conduct Authority has announced plans to look into how firms can reduce the risk of traders manipulating key benchmarks. The forward-looking thematic review will assess whether firms have learnt lessons from LIBOR and other recent controversies and ask if adequate controls on traders behaviour and activity are now in place to prevent future manipulation of benchmarks.
Lloyd’s has announced a profit of £3.2bn with a combined ratio of 86.8%, in its most profitable year since 2009. Chairman John Nelson says, however, that he expects increased competitive pressure on the market to remain throughout 2014.
While the traditional image of IT departments was one of a cost sink-hole, living a separate existence to the rest of the company, they are now more important than ever to the strategic direction of UK businesses. That’s according to a new report published today by Vodafone UK. The rapid pace of technological change is one of the main reasons for the shift in fortunes of the IT department. IT is now seen as a key part of organisational innovation and transformation, rather than just being viewed as a tool for reducing costs and remaining competitive.
BMS Group had launched a new weather risk management module, designed to allow carriers to better understand their risk and manage portfolio accumulations in areas prone to tornadoes, hail, straight-line winds and hurricanes. These new weather analytics features facilitate the understanding of the loss potential in a portfolio by allowing for custom damage ratios to be applied against storm attributes.
Sustainable development is still high on the business agenda in the UK, according to research from business standards company, BSI and energy, environment and sustainability analysts Verdantix, whose survey highlights the differing approach, maturity and resources available among businesses for sustainability.
Disaster recovery and migration software provider Vision Solutions has announced the release of version 4.1 of its Double-Take for AIX product family for IBM Power Systems running AIX in physical, virtual and cloud environments.
A survey published by the Confederation of British Industry shows that while there is a small but growing trend for firms to bring back parts of their business to Europe, from manufacturing to customer services, many more would consider doing so if the European Union reformed to become more competitive, and supply chains more resilient.
As the Energy and Climate Minister unveils his new Strategic Framework for Low Carbon Technology to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, independent experts raise concern that government reliance on shale gas as a bridging technology could damage future investment and transition to low-carbon technologies.
Everbridge Software has acquired UK-based Business Continuity and Communication solutions provider Vocal. The combined entity will serve more than 2,500 clients globally with over 50 million unique end users a year, delivered through 12 distributed datacentres, and supported by employees in seven offices in North America, Europe, and Asia.
AIG UK has launched an enhanced group personal accident and business travel offering, which includes extended policy wording and an advice and assistance mobile app. AIG research shows that 40% of UK business travellers require assistance during an overseas trip, despite which only 41% of travellers carry their insurance details with them.
The recent storms and flooding to impact the UK demonstrate that business continuity and disaster recovery are essential practices for all businesses – large and small. Research from the FSB has revealed that economic costs to SMEs as a result of the floods are set to exceed £830m, highlighting the need for business continuity.
Small and medium sized businesses in the UK are missing out on insurance deals available to them if they have a business continuity plan in place. This is the finding of a survey of over 500 business and IT decision-makers carried out by cloud services broker Cloud Direct, which shows over half were unaware there were insurance benefits in having a business continuity plan.
The Business Continuity Institute has published a report into the cost of common threats to organisations, including IT and telecommunications outage, data breach, cyber attacks and adverse weather conditions. One of the aims of the report is drive home the message that business continuity is not the sole domain of an organisation’s business continuity professional.
As the UK emerges from winter into spring, the hopes of better weather will be front of mind for many people. Despite the recent extreme weather, temperatures have been relatively mild for the time of year. Remember 2013, when we saw snow fall and temperatures plummet in the middle of May? A repeat of this will be unwelcome by most I’m sure. At the time of writing this column, it is estimated that insurers face a bill of at least £800m due to the recent storms and floods, with the figure set to rise as flood water subsides and the full extent of damage is revealed
Uncertainty about UK government spending on flood defences means the Flood Re scheme to pool flood risk may face higher than expected claims in the future, according to Fitch Ratings. In the long term this could push up buildings and contents insurance premiums for all UK households and in the short term could expose insurers to additional risk.
The failure of multiple process and safety systems is the most common cause of the largest property damage losses in the global energy industry over the past four decades, according to a report published by Marsh. The 23rd edition of Marsh’s report says seven of the 100 largest property damage losses have occurred since 2012.
Today’s budget offers some help to all levels of business, with a focus on the mid-size energy-intensive and manufacturing businesses, according to the Forum of Private Business. "The headlines for business today are on energy policies and export,” said Phil Orford, chief executive of the FPB. “There are sizeable gains for UK manufacturers here in particular over the next few years. On export the chancellor has thrown his weight behind getting more businesses exporting.
The Budget will put wind in the sails of business investment, especially for manufacturers. Responding to the Chancellor’s Budget speech, John Cridland, the CBI director-general, said: "This was a make or break budget coming at a critical time in the recovery and the Chancellor has focussed his firepower on areas that have the potential to lock in growth.
A majority of organisations consider external IT security risks to have increased, according to a recent study undertaken by SAP and Turnkey Consulting. The survey, A Risk Perspective on 2014 also found that 38.2% of respondents had experienced a fraud incident in 2013, up from 31.3% in 2012. In addition, in the past year, 30% had experienced a data loss that affected business operations, up from 17.1% in 2012.
Insurer concern over the political unrest and country credit ratings in Ukraine and potential sanctions in Russia have caused some to effectively stop underwriting political risk insurance in those two countries, according to a briefing from Marsh. However, the turmoil is not expected to cause a large-scale impact to the political risk, structured credit, and trade credit market.
Storms and flooding across the UK in February suppressed shopping in February, reflected in the latest footfall figures from Ipsos Retail Performance. Ipsos’ Retail Traffic Index (RTI), which draws from a sample of over 4,000 non-food stores across the UK, reported a decline in footfall of 5.3% against February 2013 and a month-on-month fall of 12.2%. Hardest hit was South West England and Wales where numbers for the month fell 8.1% on 2013.
Today’s approval of the Solvency II amendments directive, Omnibus 2, at the European Parliament plenary session draws to an end the elongated process to establish a new prudential regime for European insurers. After many delays in reaching political agreement work can now continue building on the framework established. The Commission is expected to formally publish its delegated act proposals in the summer.
The British Insurance Brokers’ Association (BIBA) has welcomed the Law Commissions’ latest joint consultation on Business Insurance Contract Law. In its response to the consultation on the draft clauses of the Insurance Contract Law Bill, BIBA has sought clarification around the broker’s role in the duty of fair presentation of the risk.
As businesses continue to recover from the recent floods, new data released by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) reveals small firms in affected areas lost more than three quarters of a billion pounds. The FSB is publishing new research today showing an average cost of £1,531 per business in flood hit areas amounting to a total of £831 million.
Many of you will have seen the reports in March of the Co-operative Group’s significantly increased salary and bonus payments to its senior staff – with Euan Sutherland, the group’s new chief executive, set to receive a remuneration package of around £3m. Part of the justification provided was that the group must pay higher salaries to attract and retain the best staff – to help the group recover from its current woes. But do desperate times call for desperate pay measures?
The inaugural Commercial Insurance Awards winners were announced last night at a glittering awards show at the Millennium Hotel in Mayfair London. Attended by hundreds of industry professionals, the evening was hosted by comedian Alun Cochrane. Amongst the winners on the night were AIG, Euler Hermes, First Insurance Solutions Ltd, GAB Robins (UK) Limited, InterContinental Hotels Group, Miller Insurance Services LLP, Morrison Insurance Solutions, Morton Michel, NIG, Purple Partnership, Simply Business, Sterling Insurance Group Limited and Xchanging also took home trophies.
The pace of data strategy decision making is slowing down, with potentially significant business consequences, according to independent research commissioned by Colt. Whilst technology deployment is getting easier, the results show that European CIOs find it harder to devise datacentre strategy than they did 12 months ago. The findings show longer planning cycles for strategic and tactical information delivery and data capacity uncertainty amongst European IT directors.
A new report published by the Business Continuity Institute (BCI), in association with BSI, has revealed that IT-related threats are continuing to provide the greatest concern for organisations, ranking above other threats such as natural disasters, security incidents and industrial disputes. The annual BCI Horizon Scan shows that three quarters of business leaders fear the possibility of an unplanned IT and telecoms outage.
Fleet operators are at risk of severe financial losses by adopting inadequate forward facing camera solutions that are failing to capture correct data of an accident or driving incident according to Nick Plowman, CTO of Intelligent Telematics. As a result, the road transport, fleet and insurance sectors potentially face millions of pounds of costs each year because they will not have the accurate and admissible evidence needed to defend or mitigate insurance claims.
ACE European Group has announced the launch of a new travel insurance and medical assistance offering. The new proposition also offers client companies cover and security services for kidnap and ransom events, a risk of increasing concern for business travellers, particularly when visiting regions with higher security or political risks.
Fitch Ratings believes that the losses relating to the 2013/2014 winter floods and storms will be manageable for UK non-life insurers. The overall cost to the industry is likely to fall within previously published loss estimates of around £1.2bn, if the insurer-reported loss figures to date are in line with the market share for those companies. The ratings agency says it anticipates the negative effect of weather related losses on the sector's earnings to be limited.
Best practice guidelines for dealing with energy claims have been published by the IUA. The principles have been drawn up with the aim of ensuring clients receive better service through a more streamlined and cohesive approach by companies. They are designed to improve communication and cooperation between the leader and other companies subscribing to a common policy following notification of a claim.
Global demand for transactional risk insurance has grown substantially over the last three years, fuelled by an increase in corporate, private equity and infrastructure funds using insurance to protect their deals and gain a strategic advantage in negotiations, particularly in cross-border transactions, according to figures released by Marsh.
CII and Oliver Wyman have announced the findings from their joint report asking the insurance industry’s CEOs and senior executives for their views and response to the Financial Conduct Authority’s agenda. The interviews revealed that some firms welcome a shift to a more transparent and competitive market. However, there was found to be a mismatch in expectations between insurers and the FCA.
Analysis of the major acquisitions completed by stock market-listed insurance companies around the world between January 2008 and December 2013, extracted from the on-going Quarterly Deal Performance Monitor (QDPM) compiled by Towers Watson in partnership with Cass Business School, has revealed that the acquirer’s share price has typically out-performed the insurance industry average by an excess 4.2 pp in the months before and after deal completion.
InTechnology has signed a seven-figure deal with NHS partner, the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC), on a project to deliver enhanced IT infrastructure. The company won the contract through the government’s G-Cloud framework, which framework provides an open platform for technology firms to tender for cloud infrastructure, platforms and software contracts.
While this winter's wind and rain has been good news for umbrella and anorak manufacturers, it has not been such good news for hosts of the UK's sporting and leisure events, according to sports insurer Sportscover Europe. If the UK flooding continues into March it becomes increasingly possible that events such as the Cheltenham Festival next month could be cancelled.
The British Property Federation has called on government and the insurance industry to address the uncertainty and lack of fairness in its Flood Re proposals following this week's meeting of ministers and insurance industry representatives at Downing Street. Leasehold and private rented sector properties will be excluded from affordable buildings insurance as they are classed as commercial properties by the insurance industry.
Allianz Engineering has been awarded the status of preferred partner with Jelf to provide a new three-year facility for the majority of its Engineering Insurance and Inspection business. Allianz has already worked with Jelf for five years and the new arrangement, following a tender process, was secured after Allianz rebuilt the scheme with refreshed wordings, pricing and support services.
River levels are expected to remain high for several more days, especially along the Thames and Severn, but levels are starting to gradually fall this week. Meanwhile, Marsh publishes new flood claims advice with general guidance as to what to expect with business insurance claims for flood damage. Download the guide here.
As a direct response to the regional flooding, Phoenix has brought forward the launch of Re:Cover, a new service aimed at SMEs. Under its umbrella, businesses benefit from cover for both catastrophic IT failure and loss of office facilities following a disaster such as a fire, flood, local police incident or gas leak. As part of the launch, the provider is also offering one year’s free Re:Cover service for those businesses taking out a disaster recovery service contract.
With huge areas of the country affected by floods, and more storms predicted to hit, the UK is bracing itself for yet more disruption.There are several things businesses and employees should be looking at to ensure the availability of resources and services, including accessibility to both data and the office and how suppliers and partners can be in a position to meet expectations.
Ministers are to hold a meeting today with insurance industry leaders to discuss how the insurance industry is dealing with victims of winter floods across southern England. Cabinet Office Ministers Oliver Letwin and Jo Johnson, flooding minister Dan Rogerson and communities minister Brandon Lewis will host the chief executive officers of Aviva, Direct Line Group, Axa, Lloyds Banking Group and Ageas along with the claims director of RSA and underwriting director of Axa.
The Ministry of Justice has announced the reappointment of Christopher Graham as the Information Commissioner for another two years. "It’s a big responsibility and the next phase certainly won’t be dull,” Graham said. The news of Graham’s reappointment comes just a week after a government department was fined after a filing cabinet that contained personal information relating to victims of a terrorist incident was sold at an auction.
Comedian Jo Caulfield has been announced as host of this year's Business Continuity Awards gala dinner. Jo follows a long line of world-class stand up comedians to host the industry's main event, including Marcus Brigstocke, Kevin Bridges, Dara O’Briain, Jimmy Carr, Ruby Wax, Rob Brydon and Adam Hills.
Parts of southern, south west and central England remain at risk of flooding as river levels remain high. While the overall picture is starting to improve as river levels stabilise, risks to people and property remain. Severe flood warnings remain in place along the Thames and in Somerset where water levels continue to rise in response to recent rainfall. Ground water flooding also continues to pose a risk in some places.
ACE has launched a new casualty insurance practice in South Africa. Lee Stacey has been appointed head of casualty for the practice. ACE will enter the casualty market providing insurance solutions for companies across a wide variety of industry sectors. Stacey will increase ACE’s presence in the local insurance market focusing on public liability, products liability and pollution coverages..
Over 370 mm rain has fallen across Scotland, Wales, and western and southern England during December and January, making it the wettest for those months since detailed data was first published, in 1910. The January rainfall total is the highest since 1766, according to the Met Office. The most recent January rainfall totals comparable to this year was in 1948.
An overwhelming majority of insurance CEOs are confident of an increase in revenues over the next three years. This is according to PwC, whose annual survey of also found that the number of insurance CEOs who believe that the global economy will improve over the next 12 months has tripled since last year – 45% now compared with 15% last year. This buoyant outlook is reflected in the fact that 59% of insurance CEOs plan to take on more staff over the coming year.
UK IT and workarea recovery provider, Phoenix has achieved certification to the new international business continuity standard ISO 22301. Lloyd’s Register Quality Assurance certified that Phoenix meets all the requirements of the standard, which applies to all of the Phoenix recovery centres across the UK, including the main administration office in Aston in the West Midlands
Amlin has commissioned the Future of Humanity Institute at Oxford University’s Oxford Martin School to carry out research into the systemic risk of modelling. As the use of models becomes ever more prevalent, there is greater scope for systemic risk within individual companies and across the re/insurance market.
ACE Global Markets is to offer increased capacity of US$50 million for global clients seeking environmental liability insurance coverage. The announcement follows recent research by ACE which highlights environmental risk as the second highest ranking emerging risk concern for businesses across the EMEA region.
Communities along the River Thames, particularly in Berkshire and Surrey, are being warned to expect further severe property flooding from the River Thames today (Monday) and into Tuesday. The Environment Agency has issued 14 severe flood warnings along the River Thames from Datchet to Shepperton Green, including Ham Court and Chertsey, as river levels in the area are extremely high and are forecast to continue to rise.
A number of ‘black widow’ suicide bombers – the wives of militants killed by Russian security forces – may already be within the ‘ring of steel’ at the upcoming winter Olympics in Sochi according to Tim Holt, head of intelligence at Alert:24, part of Willis’s Special Contingency Risks. The greatest threat comes from the Caucasian Emirate a Jihadist Group linked to Chechen extremists responsible for several high profile terrorist attacks including the 2004 Beslan school massacre.
Aston Martin is recalling over 17,000 sports cars. The car maker said the recall accounted for most of its sports cars built since late 2007 and follows the discovery that a Chinese sub-supplier was allegedly using counterfeit plastic material in part of the accelerator pedal.
The upcoming XXII Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia, are at the highest risk for a terrorist attack of any sporting event that has taken place since the September 11 attacks, say risk analysts at RMS. They said public transportation is particularly at risk and that terrorists are likely to act alone or in very small groups, making them hard to intercept.
The Bank of England has today published the findings of the Waking Shark II exercise, which was organised by the Securities Industry Business Continuity Management Group and drew on extensive cyber expertise to design a scenario in which a cyber attack caused disruption to wholesale markets and the financial infrastructure supporting those markets
As prolonged flooding continues to be a major problem for the Somerset Levels and surrounding areas, the potential impact on the region’s livestock is becoming apparent. In addition to any stress caused by transportation, cattle and sheep may be grazing on land that is polluted or stripped of its natural vegetation.
ACE Group has developed a new catastrophe liability policy for the construction industry. Provided through its Excess Casualty Division, ACE Catastrophe Liability PlusSM Policy (Construction) is designed for construction wrap-ups, consolidates multiple catastrophe liability specific endorsements into one single policy.
The insured bill for the damage caused by the storms and flooding over the Christmas 2013 and New Year period looks set to cost £426 million, according to the Association of British Insurers. Between 23 December 2013 and 8 January 2014 insurers dealt with 174,000 claims for damage to homes, businesses and cars.
With the prospect of rising costs, falling commodity prices and decreased productivity levels, mining companies are embracing cost cutting measures to lay the foundation for long-term business growth, according to Willis. In its annual Mining Risk Review, the broker and risk advisor warned companies not to be tempted to cut back on risk management outlays in order achieve cost reductions.
Companies that create a culture of resilience can avoid potential crisis and are likely to be more successful in the long term, according to research by Cranfield School of Management and Airmic. In the Roads to Resilience report published this week, the Cranfield authors urge boards and business leaders to challenge prevailing attitudes towards risk management.
The European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA) has set up the timeline for the delivery of the Solvency II Implementing Technical Standards (ITS) and Guidelines.
While the economy appears to be showing signs of tentative improvement, research conducted by QBE suggests that over a quarter of businesses in the UK consider their trading environment to be riskier now than six months ago. The research, conducted among 400 businesses, found that the majority of companies in the UK are taking risks now that they would not have taken two years ago in order to win new business.
The retail and transportation sectors were significantly affected by terrorist attacks throughout 2013, with over a third of attacks affecting the retail sector, and a fifth taking place on the transportation sector. This is among the findings of analysis published today by Aon Risk Solutions.
XL Group has set up an operational risks team to provide operational risk insurance solutions to its financial institutions clients. The insurer has appointed Angelos Deftereos as senior underwriter. Deftereos joins from Morgan Stanley Wealth Management where he was an executive director responsible for the implementation of the operational risk programme.
Lloyd’s of London insurers Beazley and Hiscox have formed a D&O consortium. By jointly participating on individual policies the consortium participants can offer alternative structures to brokers and clients. The capacity can be deployed in one tranche of up to US$50 million or, more likely, as two individual layers within an insurance programme.
A World Economic Forum report has found that supply chain inefficiency contributes significantly to the 1.3 billion tonnes of food lost each year. Attacking these barriers would help improve the livelihoods of billions of the world’s poorest people, and cut emissions, energy and water use, according to the organisation.
Willis Group is creating a new global human capital and benefits Practice led by CEO of Willis International Tim Wright. The practice will unite all the existing employee benefits and related consulting businesses across the group, comprising pensions and retirement planning, healthcare, group risk and life cover; as well as compliance, data analytics, communications, wellness and human resource consulting.
The World Economic Forum has launched a new set of principles designed to address intellectual property issues in the digital context. Norms and Values in Digital Media: Rethinking Intellectual Property in the Digital Age represents values and goals shared across industries and geographies.
Research from the British Insurance Brokers’ Association shows that behaviour based motor insurance sales have increased by 116,000, some 61% since June 2012. BIBA reckons that the behaviour based policies can offer savings on motor insurance of around 25% and some young drivers can save up to £1,000.
A magnitude 6.2 earthquake has rattled New Zealand’s North Island. The epicentre was located 111 km northeast of Wellington, New Zealand’s capital city and second most populous area, and 34 km south-southeast of Palmerston and 37 km north-northeast of Masterson.
ACE Group has launched an enhanced D&O offering designed both for large private and listed companies in its UK and Ireland region. These enhancements follow research by ACE which highlights that D&O liability and cyber risk are two of the top four emerging risks for UK businesses. In the study, over 40% of those responsible for risk management believe these risks could have a significant financial impact on their company over the next two years.
The number of UK recalls of dangerous or faulty goods has increased this year as the horse meat scandal and other food recalls boost the number of recorded cases, according to City law firm RPC. Some 272 product recalls were made in 2013 in the UK, up from 260 in 2012.
Acturis Group has acquired Nordic Insurance Software (NIS), insurance software in the travel and assistance, expatriate and health insurance markets.
The chronic gap between the incomes of the richest and poorest citizens is seen as the risk that is most likely to cause serious damage globally in the coming decade, according to over 700 global experts that contributed to the World Economic Forum’s Global Risks 2014 report, released today. After income disparity, experts see extreme weather events as the global risk next most likely to cause systemic shock on a global scale.
Business interruption and supply chain risks caused by flooding and extreme weather patterns top the list of concerns among corporate insurance experts for 2014, according to Allianz. The third annual Allianz Risk Barometer, which surveyed over 400 corporate insurance experts from 33 countries, highlights the impact of natural catastrophe the subsequent complexity of business risks, particularly for large corporates with international exposures.
The International SOS Foundation, together with over 13 leading international health, safety and security experts, has launched a global framework aimed at protecting workers travelling or on overseas assignments. The document provides strategic guidance for organisations to identify hazards and threats and manage risks to ensure the safety, health and security of its workers.
The International Underwriting Association has identified four important challenges facing the London company market in 2014, each of which must be successfully tackled for London to maintain its position as a pre-eminent centre for internationally traded insurance risks, the association warns. Malcolm Newman, chairman of the IUA, said: “London has no automatic right to expect insurance business from around the world. The company market must continue to attract clients by offering reliable, efficient, innovative and cost-effective services.
The Town and Country Planning Association has responded to Cameron's comments on the capability of the UK's flood defences, flood response agencies and investment plans, but warns that the connection between climate change and extreme weather must be centre stage along with a recognition of the role of planning and good design in creating resilient communities.
Essex County Fire and Rescue Service (FRS) has selected PageOne Communications' Responder 2-way pager and dual-frequency alerters as part of a wider initiative to reduce the extent or exposure to risk and increasing business resilience.
NatWest and RBS have launched a £250m UK Storm Business Fund to provide short term, interest free financing to speed recovery for businesses affected by recent floods and gales.
Plans to reverse the effects of global warming by mimicking big volcanic eruptions would have a catastrophic impact on some of the most fragile ecosystems on earth, according to new research from the University of Reading.
As storms and subsequent flooding continues across the country, indications are emerging that this could leave the industry up to £400m out of pocket. And this estimate could develop further, particularly given the further flood warnings in place in the UK this week.
A significant majority of UK HR managers have given a vote of no confidence to the government's proposed health and work assessment and advisory service (HWAAS). The scheme, due to be introduced next year, aims to provide advice and support to employers dealing with employees suffering from long-term sickness absence.
Europe faces US$2.25bn in economic losses from December's windstorms, according to an Impact Forecasting catastrophe report. Europe was impacted by a series of windstorms during that month.
JPMorgan Chase & Co has agreed to pay US$2.6bn to settle allegations that it failed to tell authorities about its suspicions of fraud at Madoff's fund, Reuters reports. This last settlement follows the bank’s agreement in November to pay US$13bn in settlements with the US government over the bank's mortgage bonds, the news agency reports, adding that the bank faces at least another eight government probes.
Communities in the south of England should prepare for further flooding this week, the Environment Agency has warned. Rivers including the Hampshire Avon through Wiltshire, Hampshire, Dorset and the Midlands continue to rise.
Deborah Ritchie, Editor of CIR Magazine, talks to Thomas Coles and Philip Nunn.
Deborah Ritchie provides a summary of some of the latest stories in business risk, insurance and resilience