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 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
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.
Underwriters at the Lloyd's of London insurance market would not be surprised to see proposals for cruise ships transiting Arctic routes to travel in pairs, the Lloyd's Market Association (LMA) said this week.
A cocktail of converging factors has fuelled a soft buyers’ market in nearly all lines of business at the 1 January 2014 renewals, according to Willis Re. Challenges faced by reinsurers include rate reductions, new capacity and market entrants, low interest rates, greater retention of reinsurance premiums by large buyers, diminishing reserve releases, expansion in terms and conditions, and increasing regulatory oversight.
The board of the British Insurance Brokers' Association has voted Lord David Hunt of Wirral, its first independent non-executive director, as its new chairman. The appointment marks a landmark decision for BIBA to appoint an INED or a person outside of a broking organisation as its chairman.
IT and cybersecurity professionals should resolve now to gear up for accelerated change and complexity in 2014, especially in cybersecurity, data privacy and big data, says ISACA. The association has put together five resolutions to help IT professionals get ready for 2014.
Although the commercial liability market is quite soft and claims experience is not benign, PwC anticipates that flat rates will continue into 2014. Meanwhile, 2013 has been a very benign year – particularly for personal household and property insurance.
Confidence in the London market about the coming year is broadly in line with 12 months ago, according to PwC. A barometer for confidence is comparing how plans this time last year for 2013 compare to those now set for 2014, and it seems market participants are holding aggregate planned combined ratios broadly flat.
UK non-life insurers will continue to face pressure on their underwriting margins due to fierce competition, making sustaining underwriting profitability one of the main challenges for 2014, according to Fitch Ratings.
The Financial Conduct Authority has fined JLT Specialty Limited over £1.8 million for failing to have in place appropriate checks and controls to guard against the risk of bribery or corruption when making payments to overseas third parties. JLTSL was found to have failed to conduct proper due diligence before entering into a relationship with partners in other countries who helped JLTSL secure new business, known as overseas introducers. JLTSL also did not adequately assess the potential risk of new insurance business secured through its existing overseas introducers.
Global business risk consultancy Control Risks, has published its annual RiskMap report, plotting global trends over the coming year. Now in its 31st year, RiskMap highlights the most significant underlying trends in global risk and security, and provides a detailed view from the markets that will matter most in 2014. Comparing the data from today with ten years ago, the proportion of global output coming from countries rated medium or high political risk has more than doubled, to 35%.
US retail giant Target has today said that data from about 40 million credit and debit cards may have been stolen from shoppers who made purchases from their US. stores from 27th November to 15th December 2013. They said in a statement that the information involved in this incident included customer name, credit or debit card number, and the card’s expiration date and CVV (the three-digit security code).
Upon receiving Royal Assent today, the government's Banking Reform Bill has become an Act of Parliament. The Banking Reform Act is a key part of the government’s plan to create a banking system that supports the economy, consumers and small businesses. It implements the recommendations of the Independent Commission on Banking, set up by the government in 2010 to consider structural reform of the banking sector.
A significant increase in conflict, terrorism and regime instability in MENA (Middle East and North Africa), along with intensifying political violence and resource nationalism in East Africa, are among the key factors driving a global rise in political risks for investors, according to the sixth annual Political Risk Atlas by global risk analytics company Maplecroft.
First Actuarial and Lockton have announced an agreement whereby First Actuarial will use Lockton's UK Benefits team to deliver employee health and group risk insurance solutions.
The Home Office has accidentally leaked data relating to 1,598 immigration cases. On being uploaded to a public web page, the data was reported to have been left there for two weeks. The incident comes just weeks after the Ministry of Justice was fined £140,000 by the Information Commissioner's Office for releasing details of prisoners via email.
The merger of DNV and GL in September this year has led to the creation of DNV GL, a global ship and offshore classification society, a leading independent service provider in the oil and gas, energy and renewables, and a global certification body.
Research outfit Finaccord forecasts that the market for professional indemnity insurance across ten European countries – namely, Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Switzerland and the UK - will be worth around EUR7.5 billion by 2017. Finaccord also calculates that gross written premiums for this form of insurance amounted to around EUR 6.78 billion across the then countries in 2013, having grown from approximately EUR 6.15 billion in 2009
Catastrophe modelling firm AIR Worldwide estimates that insured wind losses from Extratropical Cyclone Xaver will range between EUR 700 million and EUR1.4bn, with the majority of the losses in Denmark, Germany, and the UK. Losses also occurred in the Netherlands, Belgium, Sweden, and Norway.
Argent Risk Management Consulting in collaboration with Cranfield University's Transport and Safety Engineering Division have developed a joint risk management solution for the aviation industry which aims to address the current industry trend towards the criminalisation of aviation accidents.
The Lloyd’s Market Association (LMA) is to open up membership of its newly-formed power generation panel to the companies insurance market to ensure London’s power underwriters have the strongest possible voice. The decision means that at least five places on the panel will be filled by representatives of the companies market following an election being run by the LMA and the International Underwriting Association during December.
As profitability is more difficult to find than prior to the financial crisis, 2014 will be a year of foundational investment for the financial markets, with the primary focus on investment in IT infrastructure, according to new research from Ovum. This investment is required for finding new opportunities to drive profit, by moving into new markets, trading venues, geographies and asset classes.
Steps to promote good engineering design to help cut the death, injury and disease toll in Britain’s workplaces, and enhance public safety, are outlined in a new policy paper launched today by a group of safety and industry bodies. In 2012-13, nearly 150 people were killed at work in Great Britain, and an estimated 175,000 were seriously injured.
Aon Benfield’s Impact Forecasting arm has launched the first probabilistic catastrophe model to understand the financial impact of flood damage in the Netherlands for property and motor. Flood, along with wind, is one of the most prevalent natural perils in the Netherlands, having experienced notable floods in 1953, 1993 and 1995.
US Risk (UK) has launched a new Lloyd’s MGA. With capacity from Lloyd’s syndicates and non-Lloyd’s insurers, Lime Underwriting will initially concentrate on the UK and international financial lines sector, including professional indemnity, D&O, management liability, pension trustees liability and commercial crime – all in both the regional and London markets.
Beazley has launched three new expanded policy wordings offering broad protection to individuals, including cover for the growing threat posed by regulatory investigations and inquiries. The risks confronting directors and officers have evolved significantly in recent years with exposures now extending well beyond traditional claims.
Legal expenses insurer, DAS has appointed Dr Thomas Jannakos as their CFO and board director. He takes over from the recently retired CFO Paul Gibson. Dr Jannakos joins DAS from parent company, Munich Re in Munich, where he was head of department corporate performance management. He has worked for Munich Re since 2005.
A PwC poll of insurance industry executives reveals that the vast majority (91%) agree that big data/analytics will be a main source of competitive differentiation for insurers in the future. The poll also showed that over 90% of respondents think big data will be the main driver in the transformation of insurance companies’ business model.
HM Treasury has announced plans for its insurance growth scheme, which includes the intention to launch a gateway project for people seeking to find apprenticeships and graduate training places within insurance. Dr Sandy Scott, CII chief executive hailed the announcement a vote of confidence for the work of the CII to promote apprenticeships, in particular its Discover Risk initiative.
Less than six weeks after Winter Storm Christian, a fresh Winter Storm Xaver hit north of Scotland during the overnight hours. Wind gusts of more than 140 mph (225 km/h) were recorded in the Scottish Highlands, and across the northern UK there have been gusts of between 60 and 80 mph (96 and 128 km/h), with 100 mph (160 km/h) gusts recorded in mountain areas.
The European Commission has fined eight international financial institutions a total of €1,712,468 for participating in illegal cartels in markets for financial derivatives covering the European Economic Area. Four of these institutions participated in a cartel relating to interest rate derivatives denominated in the euro currency. Six of them participated in one or more bilateral cartels relating to interest rate derivatives denominated in Japanese yen. The EIRD cartel operated between September 2005 and May 2008. The settling parties are Barclays, Deutsche Bank, RBS and Société Générale.
The British Insurance Brokers' Association has urged the Water Bill Scrutiny Committee to consider helping those that the bill in its current form specifically excludes. The key concerns raised by BIBA members are around the exclusions in Flood Re.
Lack of management attention, compounded by lack of skilled resources, management tools and processes, is hampering companies’ ability to manage a range of new and emerging risks, according to a survey of 650 companies in Europe, the Middle East and Africa conducted for global insurer ACE’s EMEA Emerging Risks Barometer 2013.
Insurance executives from around the world have cast more than 30,000 votes to rate a global pandemic, natural catastrophes and a food/water/energy crisis as the three categories of extreme risk that are of most significance to the insurance industry. Other extreme risks featuring in the top 10 included cyber warfare, an economic depression, a banking crisis, and a default by a major sovereign borrower.
With the world’s technology sector now worth almost US$6 trillion, technology and telecommunication companies are growing at a rapid pace, leading to new exposures and the need to cover specific liabilities. Hardware and software engineers, designers and IT consultants can be exposed to huge claims if the systems they build or host should fail or are hacked.
Inmarsat has extended its appointment of Willis’s Inspace team as its space risk management adviser and placing broker. This encompasses Inmarsat's entire in orbit satellite fleet as well as its future launches.
JLT has acquired South African employee benefits and healthcare broker and consultant. Eluleka Consulting PYT. Eluleka is based in Johannesburg and employs nearly 40 people with a focus on providing healthcare advice and employee benefit services to corporates
GAB Robins has reported a 76% retention rate for employers liability and public liability injury claims within the Ministry of Justice claims portal – up to 15% higher than the industry average.
Agencyport Software has won a contract to provide WhiteOak Underwriting Agency with Open Core Platform: MGA, its MGA policy administration solution.
Open Core Platform: MGA will be the administration platform for the entire WhiteOak business, starting with capture and standardisation of bordereaux through underwriting, accounting, claims processing and reporting functions, and linking the whole process.
Independent scientific environmental consultancy ESI Ltd has launched a new service providing environmental risk reports to the UK market. Envirep provides desk study environmental risk reports covering contaminated land, flood risk and drainage, and ground stability.Each report is individually produced and clearly identifies likely site specific risks, and solutions to limit such risks.
Following the publication of the Environment Agency’s figures revealing that flooding in England in 2012 could have cost the UK economy close to £600million, ABI director-general Otto Thoresen has emphasised the crucial role of insurers in minimising the impact of flood risk.
ACE Group has announced the launch of ACE Global Export Protection, a new risk management proposition for companies in Continental Europe. According to the EU, China is now the EU’s third largest export destination while Asian markets collectively account for a third of EU exports. At the same time, the litigious US market remains the EU’s number one export destination and is shortly expected to introduce a suite of new export regulations.
Volatile weather activity is increasing around the world as evidenced by recent major events. Yet, while extreme events may capture the headlines, minor fluctuations in expected weather can have big impacts on business performance across a wide range of industries. A new report from Allianz focuses on the growing importance of weather risks for businesses highlights the economic impact of fluctuating weather conditions.
Aon Global Risk Consulting has teamed up with Optial UK to create an integrated governance, risk and compliance (GRC) system for the commercial insurance and reinsurance sector. The new GRC platform facilitates the connection of board level vision and strategy with real day-to-day operational controls and processes, thereby defining and realising a clear operating model that remains proportionate to specific requirements.
AIG has gone live with a single, cross border trading solution that will allow participating brokers to process quotes; bind new business; and make mid-term changes, and renewals in real-time. The platform, which will cover five countries and languages, and three product lines, will offer participating brokers a secure log-in and the ability to trade across select key product lines in real-time.
One year on from some of the worst flooding in 2012, latest research by the Environment Agency reveals that last year’s record-breaking wet year in England could have cost the UK economy close to £600 million. The overall financial cost to businesses of the extreme weather was up to £200m as total commercial property and contents damage totalled up to £84m, and further indirect impacts – such as staff working days lost – hit companies and local economies for up to £33m.
This year’s winners were announced and awarded last night at a gala dinner held at the Grosvenor House Hotel on London’s Park Lane. Barclays walked away with two awards – for GRC Initiative of the Year and Best use of Technology. This year’s overall winner was Aberdeen City Council. Sponsored by Marsh Risk Consulting, Misys and Simudyne, the annual Risk Management Awards are the definitive mark of achievement in the sector.
The CII’s 2013 New Generation programme has published a detailed report into flooding in the UK, outlining their views on the proposals set to replace the Statement of Principles agreed in 2002 between the government and the insurance industry. The report, UK flooding: the implications for the insurance market, provides well researched analysis following the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the ABI and the government on how to develop Flood Re.
xMatters has partnered with New Relic to allow clients to create their own custom messaging applications. With the new integration, joint customers can instantly notify, escalate and collaborate on New Relic alerts using custom built messaging capabilities through a variety of mediums including voice, email, pager and SMS.
FireEye has announced the introduction of FireEye Email Threat Prevention, a new cloud-based email security platform. With no hardware or software to install, FireEye now offers a flexible deployment option to protect enterprise infrastructure from email-based attacks. FireEye Email Threat Prevention will be generally available in early December 2013.
Willis Re, KatRisk LLC and SpatialKey have announced a strategic partnership to offer Willis Re clients new analytical capabilities for proactively managing flood accumulations.
An outbreak of intense late-season thunderstorms accompanied by high winds, hail, and dozens of tornadoes swept across the Midwest, flattening hundreds of homes. While tornadoes were sighted in several states, the most damaging twisters occurred in central Illinois. According to preliminary reports from the NOAA Storm Prediction Center (SPC), 80 tornadoes were produced by this severe thunderstorm outbreak, making it the second most active severe weather day of 2013 for the US.
The number of catastrophe bonds outstanding could more than double from the current level of US$19bn to US$50bn by the end of 2018, according to a report from BNY Mellon. Globally, natural catastrophes cost the insurance industry approximately US$13bn in the first half of 2013, and the overall economic losses were estimated at around US$45bn. The industry therefore covered less than one third of natural catastrophes, leaving a global disaster gap of US$32bn.
The TT Club is to provide liability cover for London Gateway, the UK’s largest deep-sea container port, which is designed with an operational capacity of 3.5 million TEU. The port is Europe's largest logistics park with 2,700 metres of quayside, offering the latest technology and infrastructure for shipping lines, including the ultra large container ships which can carry up to 18,000 containers.
David Hertzell, law commissioner for commercial and common law, is to become the new independent chair of the Chartered Insurance Institute’s professional standards board, succeeding David McIntosh QC, who will complete his tenure at the end of this year. Hertzell was appointed a law commissioner in 2007. Before joining the Law Commission he was managing partner at Davies Arnold Cooper Solicitors, where he began his legal career in 1981.
After months of wrangling, European politicians have finally struck a deal on Solvency II that will pave the way to completing one of the most challenging pieces of legislation to hit the insurance sector in Europe. “The EU’s failure to implement Solvency II in accordance with its original timetable had left many insurers all dressed up at huge expense, with nowhere to go in attempting to comply with the rules," said Jeremy Irving, partner and insurance expert at global law firm Eversheds.
That's what the analysts are saying. Global research firm Ovum says that although cutting expenditure and complying with regulations will continue to be vital, retail banks will be focused on revenue enhancement. The prioritisation of revenue growth they say will mean a refocus on customer experience management and further investment in customer-facing business processes. The endgame "an improvement both in the efficiency of client interaction and in customer satisfaction".
A major cyber security exercise kicks off today among the UK's major financial services providers. Monitored by the Bank of England, the Treasury and the Financial Conduct Authority, each of the major banks are expected to test their ability to withstand a cyber attack. Cyber attack has become one of the key threats to the banking system, with daily reports of such incidents, and many more going undetected or unreported.
Commenting ahead of the cyber exercise carried out by financial firms today, KPMG is warning that companies need to defend against increasingly sophisticated cyber warfare. “The world’s largest companies have been targeted over recent months by increasingly sophisticated hackers,” explains Stephen Bonner, a partner in KPMG’s Information Protection & Business Resilience team. “It is now not just a lone hacker sitting in their bedroom but, in many cases, serious organisations backed by the resources of nation states who are leading the charge.”
In the three days since Super Typhoon Haiyan roared through the central Philippines, the scale of the devastation revealed in its wake continues to escalate. According to catastrophe modelling firm AIR Worldwide, preliminary analyses suggest that Haiyan (or Yolanda in the Philippines) may have been the strongest storm to make landfall anywhere in the world in recorded history. China has issued a typhoon alert for Hainan Island and the provinces of Guangdong and Guangxi.
C-level execs need to clearly define accountability and ownership of business continuity services within an organisation or risk placing their business in a very exposed position, states Paul Gant, head of business continuity managed solutions, at Phoenix. Historically the attitude from organisations towards business continuity has been met with a fail and fix mentality, however, events have forced C-level execs to demand action to ensure their business remains safe and operational.
With Internet governance and surveillance the hot topic of the moment, questions should be asked about the rationale behind how and why authoritarian – and democratic – governments control the information their citizens can access online. This is the view of Stephen Bonner, a partner in KPMG’s Information Protection & Business Resilience team. Commenting on the lack of adequate governance surrounding cyber activities and control of the Internet moving into the hands of national governments.
Losses arising from Windstorm Christian (known as St. Jude in the UK) will range between E1.5bn and E2.3bn, with the majority of insured losses occurring in Denmark and Germany. Significant insured losses also occurred in the Netherlands, France, UK, and Sweden. Windstorm Christian smashed into southern Britain on 28th October, knocking down trees, flooding lowlands, and disrupting travel over land, sea, and air. Gusts of 160 km/h (100 mph) were reported on the Isle of Wight in southern England.
Preliminary details coming out of the Philippines indicate that substantial damage has occurred in multiple provinces throughout the Visayas region. The system is expected to maintain super typhoon strength for the next 12 hours, despite the slow weakening trend. After 24 hours, a faster decrease in intensity is expected due to further degrading environmental factors including the arrival of cooler sea surface temperatures in the western South China Sea and increased land interaction as the system approaches the central coast of Vietnam.
xMatters has appointed Laura Meadows as head of business continuity solutions, EMEA. In this newly created role, Meadows will be responsible for delivery of xMatters’ business continuity planning, sales, solutions development and marketing strategies in the region.
Legal expenses insurer DAS has launched its Loss Assistant Business product and Commercial Legal Protection products on Acturis.
Less than 40% of organisations are testing and updating their plans annually. This is according to research by IT and work area recovery provider, Phoenix, which believes there may be a perception that business continuity management is a complex, costly and time-consuming process to maintain. To address these inhibitors, the provider has developed an end-to-end managed service designed to meet the entire business continuity process from BIA and plan creation to annual rehearsals and plan maintenance.
AIG has enhanced its cyber insurance offering. Impending EU legislation has increased potential fines to five per cent of annual global turnover if companies are found to be in breach of rules set out under a new framework put forward in 2012 by Viviane Reding, vice-president of the European Commission.
The winners of the fourth annual Risk Management Awards will be announced in less three weeks' time at the glittering Awards Gala Dinner and Ceremony. Last year's awards were attended by hundreds of industry professionals and we look forward to welcoming the biggest names in the industry again this year. View the 2013 finalists here.
Skills shortages in general insurance businesses have dropped significantly over the past 12 months, according to the Chartered Insurance Institute’s latest Skills Survey. Despite this improvement, over half of employers continue to suffer from a dearth in technical skills and this issue will be exacerbated if there is a squeeze on available talent as the global economy improves.
Specialist insurer Markel International has launched a new liability product designed to meet the specific needs of the rapidly growing UK biomedical and life sciences sector. The sector, which is well established in the UK, is expected to see strong growth, with £5bn being invested annually in pharmaceutical research and development alone.
Lockton has announced the appointment of Tony Saada, as chief executive officer of its MENA division. Saada will be responsible for developing and serving Lockton's client base in the Middle East and North Africa region. Prior to his appointment, Saada spent 27 years at Marsh, most recently as senior executive officer of Bowring Marsh in Dubai.
New research from Maplecroft has revealed that 31% of global economic output will be based in countries facing ‘high’ or ‘extreme risks’ from the impacts of climate change by the year 2025 – a 50% increase on current levels and more than double since the company began researching the issue in 2008.
The world's urban population is forecast to grow by about 1.4 billion to 5 billion between 2011 and 2030, with 90% of the increase coming in the emerging markets. Swiss Re's latest sigma study Urbanisation in emerging markets: boon and bane for insurers reviews the rapid growth of towns and cities in emerging markets.
Impact Forecasting has launched its first tool to understand the financial impact of riots by developing an analysis of the threat within Indonesia. The need to fully understand the political dynamics of Indonesia has become significantly more important in recent years as Indonesia continues to develop into one of the world’s leading economic powers.
Windstorm Christian smashed into southern Britain Monday knocking over trees, flooding lowlands, and disrupting land, sea, and air travel. Also known as St. Jude, Carmen, and Simone by local weather agencies in other countries, the storm was one of the strongest extratropical cyclones to hit the UK in a decade. Gusts of 160 km/h (100 mph) were reported on the Isle of Wight in southern England, and waves greater than 7.5 meters (25 feet) were reported elsewhere along the coast.
The expiration of TRIA would result in a decrease of affordable terrorism coverage or, even its elimination. This is according to RIMS, whose report August report Terrorism Risk Insurance Act: The Commercial Consumer’s Perspective has been followed up by a survey of its global membership of risk professionals.
Aon Risk Solutions has launched its new product, Weather Protect, designed to provide cover against the impact of adverse weather conditions. With the increasing unpredictability of the UK weather in recent years, businesses are seeking a viable means of managing their exposure to weather risks from crop growers to retailers; airlines to construction companies. The global weather climate continues to be a volatile external factor which influences both consumer behavior and market dynamics.
As severe weather warnings continue across the UK, organisational productivity is likely to suffer as employees struggle to gain access to key business applications beyond email. This is according to global industry analysts at Ovum, who believe that CIOs that embrace the need for mobile enterprise apps and cloud productivity apps will maintain productivity in the face of disaster, such as the arrival in the UK today of a severe storm, dubbed 'St Jude'.
Airmic has published a guide to warranties to help increase the level of certainty around insurance efficacy. The document, produced with the assistance of law firm Herbert Smith Freehills, provides an explanation of how warranties work and includes two sample clauses that may modify the effect of a breach of warranty.
Specialist lines underwriting agency, CFC today announced the launch of Biosurance PH. This new addition to its suite of insurance solutions for the life science industry tackles the unique set of risks faced by pharmaceutical companies, from drug designers and licence holders to manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers.
David Cloake has been appointed chief executive officer. Currently COO, Cloake has been with CR since November 2012, after leaving Kent County Council as head of emergency planning. He is also a former head of emergency planning at the London Borough of Southwark, and he sits on the board of the Emergency Planning Society as finance director.
A new questionnaire for the submission of professional lines business has been published by the International Underwriting Association. The document has been drawn up in response to concerns among underwriters that the level of data received for pricing reinsurance treaties has deteriorated in recent years. It aims to encourage better transmission of information between insurers and reinsurers.
SunGard Availability Services has announced two key management changes. Keith Tilley will assume the role of executive vice-president, EMEA & APAC and John Stevenson has been appointed to the newly created role of chief operating officer for Europe. Tilley will now be responsible for overseeing more than 3,000 customers across the regions.
Most property owners and developers do not have a current fire insurance valuation of their property assets. This means many are under-insured and risk substantial losses should they need to make an insurance claim. This was the key finding of a survey held by Lockton’s Real Estate and Construction team at seminar attended by around 100 property professionals on 16 October.
Two thirds (65%) of professional services businesses were affected by fraud in the last 12 months, according to new figures from the 2013 Kroll Global Fraud Report released today. Professional services companies are significantly less likely on average to invest in any of the 10 anti-fraud strategies covered in the survey. Yet in terms of financial damage from fraud, professional services firms face losing 1.4% of their revenue on average, suggesting that the types of fraud that do occur tend to be more expensive.
European insurers that slow their enterprise risk management improvement efforts because of the delay in the start date of the Solvency II Directive could adversely affect our assessment of their ERM, according to Standard & Poor's. "Solvency II remains a major driver of ERM improvements in Europe," said Standard & Poor's credit analyst Miroslav Petkov. "In our view, the directive has firmed up insurers' approaches to risk appetite, risk governance, and risk reporting, along with their application of internal models..."
Following the release of the preparatory guidelines by the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA) last month, the PRA has today issued a consultation paper setting out its expectations of firms. Janine Hawes, insurance director at KPMG, commented: “One of the key concerns has been how the PRA will effect these guidelines. The proposals today include no suggestion that the PRA will apply additional requirements above the guidelines or make any rulebook changes, both of which will be welcomed by industry.
The majority of risk managers say poor communications are to blame when claims go wrong. Many of them put this down to the numerous links in the chain between the insured and the underwriter so that, when the different parties fail to talk to one another, the contact with the customer is lost.
As British businesses increasingly seek growth opportunities in politically volatile regions of the world, Beazley has moved to make its market leading political violence cover, developed at Lloyd’s, available across the UK. The cover provides businesses with a tool to mitigate and manage the risks arising from political upheaval that can adversely affect a company’s assets – whether overseas investments or trading operations.
American International Group has launched a web-based service to help companies estimate the cost of recall incidents, and expanded its available accidental contamination coverage limits to US$35m. This free, confidential service is available in six languages to qualified food and beverage manufacturers in the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Italy, Netherlands, Spain and Switzerland.
October 2013 has been remarkably active for typhoon activity in the West Pacific. In this month alone the region has so far seen the formation of six tropical storms, four of which have reached typhoon status (Typhoons Fitow, Danas, Nari and Wipha). Typically in the West Pacific, October will produce an average of just four named storms. For far, 2013 has produced 25 named storms to date, with more than two months still to go.
Despite the widespread mayhem caused by the recent horsemeat scandal, nearly three quarters (74%) of food processing firms say that it has had no direct impact on their businesses, cashflow or sales. But while business confidence remains comparatively high, the seemingly benign conditions are not expected to last: 58% believe that trading conditions will get tougher over the next 12 months, more businesses will fail, and cash will become even harder to collect.
Ninety nine per cent of risk management and insurance professionals believe that diversity is important to future business success, according to research carried out by ACE at the FERMA Forum. Some 87% believe that diversity within the sector has improved over the last five years, with more young people, more flexible corporate cultures that encourage diversity and role models from different cultures as the most visible examples of change.
The increasing ease of raising intelligent capital could lead to the end of the established insurance cycle according to Toby Esser, Group CEO of Cooper Gay Swett & Crawford. Speaking at today’s BrokersLink Global Conference in Singapore, Esser told delegates that in the future the market should only expect to see country specific short-term rate hardening following catastrophes, as previously experienced in Chile, Japan and Thailand, rather than cyclical changes to the overall market.
Enterprises that rely on most traditional approaches to cybersecurity are unlikely to succeed against the next generation of advanced persistent threat (APT) attacks, according to global IT association ISACA. Traditional defenses such as firewalls and anti-malware are not up to the challenge of today’s APTs, the association says, and to counter the threat, organisations must add new skills, processes and technology to their cybersecurity arsenal.
QBE has collaborated with the Association of British Insurers to establish the Rehabilitation Panel for Insurers, a group where general, life and health insurers can unite to focus on rehabilitation issues that are a priority for the industry and across product lines. The panel, chaired by QBE's Rosie Hewitt, includes representatives from Allianz, Aviva, Axa, Covea, Direct Line, HSBC, Lloyds Banking, LV, MIB, NFU, Saga, Swiss Re, Unum, and Zurich.
Strong competition and low consumer demand are the two most significant risks facing SMEs today, a survey by Zurich has found. Still, despite these challenges, SMEs are striving for growth by targeting new customer segments via traditional and new sales channels, even expanding to foreign markets. Attracting new customers is considered vital with most of the SMEs targeting them in domestic and international markets in the last 12 months. They also see attracting new customers as the biggest growth opportunity.
ACE Group has announced the appointment of Nicolas Givelet as risk engineer in its Continental Europe environmental insurance team. In this newly-created role, Givelet will lead a new environmental risk engineering taskforce for ACE in the region, assisting the pan-European underwriting and claims teams on technical matters.
FM Global has appointed Peter Solloway to its management team, following the retirement of Martin Fessey. Solloway will be based at FM Global’s Windsor office will be responsible for managing a team of business development executives in Northern and Central Europe, as well as in EMEA.
The 2013 Underwriting Performance and Reputation report, in its tenth year, sets out to determine which are the best-known underwriting businesses by a number of different criteria. Following several years of relatively stable awareness in which Lloyd’s players dominated, the 2013 study shows a major change with companies market players’ awareness collectively increasing by over 40%.
Research from PwC has found a significant year on year increase in UK insurance M&A deals value during the first six months of 2013, despite a fall in deals volume. M&A deals value increased by over 350% to €1.5bn in the first half of 2013 from €344.6m in the first half of 2012, while number of deals fell by 34% from 32 in the first of half of 2012 to 21 in the first half of 2013.
AIG Europe has launched a new service aimed at helping companies resume normal operations quickly following a pollution or environmental incident, whilst minimising remediation and liability costs. The AIG PIER network is available in 32 countries across Europe and can mobilise local specialised consultants and contractors to support businesses develop remediation plans, mitigate damage, manage public impact of the incident and begin the clean-up.
Legal and contractual issues are the most pressing areas of concern to merchant shipowners, the latest member survey conducted by the UK P&I Club has revealed. After contractual issues, the next greatest areas of concern were piracy, crime and international sanctions, reflecting the issues shipowners are facing, particularly in the waters around Africa.
European Commissioner Michel Barnier has put forward a draft Directive which postpones the Solvency II start date to 1 January 2016. Commenting on the delay, Paul Clarke, partner and global insurance regulatory leader, said: "The current directive had a start date of January 2014, which became unrealistic given the slow progress on Omnibus 2. "It was widely known that a 'Quick Fix 2' was required to move the date from 2014, and there was concern in the market that a safe date that avoids the need for a 'Quick Fix 3' would have been in the distant future.
Richard Baldwin has joined PwC‘s enterprise resilience team, whose responsibilities include helping clients to prepare for, respond to and deal with company crises. Baldwin is well known in the industry as the founder of one of the UK's most successful crisis management consultancies, Link Associates. He has been involved in the development of crisis and emergency response structures for large international companies across a variety of high risk industries for the last 27 years.
The speed at which political instability spreads is now inextricably linked to social media, as disaffected populations globally are increasingly turning to this powerful outlet to drive political demonstrations. This, according to Marsh, means that the ‘rear view mirror’ approach to risk management, which is frequently used by multinationals to forecast risk by examining past events, is no longer sufficient when operating in at-risk countries.
The revised BS ISO/IEC 27001:2013 and BS ISO/IEC 27002:2013 standards have been published. The standards which help businesses manage information security were first conceived at BSI, the business standards company, in the shape of BS 7799. The 2013 revision of the international standard will enable businesses of all sizes and sectors to accommodate the swift evolution and increased complexity of managing information and the continual challenge that cyber security poses.
A majority of drivers in the six largest motor insurance markets in Europe have indicated they are willing to embrace telematics-based products in consumer research carried out by Towers Watson. Interest is highest in Italy and Spain, where around 70% of drivers in each country said they were definitely or probably interested in taking out a telematics policy. Across all six participating European countries, 55% of drivers indicated some interest in telematics insurance.
EIOPA) has recently published its final guidelines for the preparation of Solvency II, in response to the public consultation earlier in the year. “The release of these guidelines represents a significant step in the journey towards Solvency II implementation," commented PwC's Charles Garnsworthy. "EIOPA expects of them but, in the UK, will be looking for further clarity from the PRA about how they intend to adopt these guidelines.
Human influence on the climate system is clear, and is evident in most regions of the globe, according to a new report from the IPPC, which maintains that human influence has been the dominant cause of observed warming since the mid-20th century. The evidence for this has grown, thanks to more and better observations, an improved understanding of the climate system response and improved climate models.
Premium income written in the London company market reached nearly £18bn in 2012, according to the IUA. In addition, business worth a further £6.23bn has been identified as written in other locations, but controlled and managed by London company operations. The IUA's report also examines business by placement type and, for the first time, provides a breakdown of how income is divided between direct and facultative business, as well as treaty contracts.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has fined Clydesdale Bank for failing to inform its customers clearly of their rights after the bank miscalculated the repayments on over 42,500 mortgages. Clydesdale, which is owned by National Australia Bank, has agreed to compensate all those who underpaid on their mortgages as a result and write to other affected customers. This process has been agreed with the FCA.
Financial services institutions must gain a better understanding of the mobile payments market, according to Ovum. The research highlights that without a clear understanding of the relationship between mobile payments and the existing payments infrastructure, industry players will significantly miss out on the long-term potential of the market.
A high number of casualties and widespread damage are expected following an M7.7 earthquake in southern Pakistan. AIR Worldwide reports put the epicentre of the quake at 43 miles (69km) north-northeast of Awaran in the province of Balochistan. The quake struck at a depth of 20km and was followed minutes later by a M5.9 aftershock.
A changed economic environment, a restructuring of traditional insurance roles and changing technologies are creating a “perfect storm”, resulting in a significant shift in culture in the complex insurance market. Such are the findings of a report carried out by Celent and commissioned by Agencyport Software, an annual study of the attitudes and aspirations of insurance industry executives.
Disaster recovery and building repairs group, Prism Network, has secured a £2m investment package, after its first three years of trading. The investment, from Venture Capitalist Midven and ABN AMRO Commercial Finance, will allow Prism to recruit, including a further team of broker account managers and expand its Midlands headquarters, as well as increase its network of contractors around the country.
At least 68 people have been killed and scores more injured during a protracted and ongoing assault by militants at a shopping centre in Kenya's capital, Nairobi. Between 10 and 15 militants are said to have entered Westgate, an upmarket shopping complex in the city's Westlands area on Saturday morning. The assailants, armed with automatic rifles and explosives, opened fire on security guards and civilians. The assailants are believed to have taken numerous hostages, and efforts to end the assault are ongoing.
A new report from Swiss Re provides a risk index comparing the human and economic exposure of 616 cities around the globe, aimed at promoting dialogue on urban resilience among decision-makers, the insurance industry and the broader public.
A new report has identified some of the key and emerging threats on the cyber risk landscape. The study, carried out by European Commission information security agency, ENISA, identifies an increase in threats to infrastructure through targeted attacks, mobile devices and social media identity thefts carried out in the cloud.
Leaving terrorism insurance to be written without a US government backstop is a gamble that would create economic uncertainty, the International Underwriting Association (IUA) has warned. Without a renewal of the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (TRIA), private provision of terrorism insurance may disappear entirely in some areas and would almost certainly be much more expensive than it is today.
Eight men have been arrested by the Metropolitan Police's Central e-Crime Unit (PCeU) in connection with a £1.3 million theft by a gang who stole the money by taking control of a Barclays Bank branch computer system. The arrests are the result of a long term intelligence led operation by the Metropolitan Police's PeCU, in partnership with Barclays Bank, who have been investigating the theft of £1.3m from the Swiss Cottage branch of Barclays in April 2013.
A new report from PwC looking at the future of insurance M&A has found that the strategic importance of M&A to insurers across the globe is set to increase. Experts believe that European insurers could slice two to three per cent off their combined ratios by emulating pricing best practice from markets such as the US or Australia. PwC reckons that transaction volumes won’t recover along the same lines as during the last decade and instead, the next few years will see a ‘quiet revolution’ in global insurance M&A.
Arthur J. Gallagher has announced the acquisition of passenger transport specialist Belmont International, an independent insurance broker in the South East, for an undisclosed sum. Established in 1988 by managing director Barrie Etchells to service the newly privatised UK bus industry, Belmont has since grown to be one of the top commercial insurance brokers in the South East, with more than 80 employees generating more than £55m gross written premium.
Travelers has appointed David Watts as head of general aviation for Travelers Syndicate Management Limited (Syndicate 5000 at Lloyd’s). Watts most recently worked at Catlin Canada, where he held the role of director, underwriting.
New research from specialist recruiter, Robert Walters, indicates that the number of adverts for jobs in the UK insurance sector increased between the first and second quarters. According to research, changes in overall vacancy levels show a national rise of 16% in available roles across this period. Demand for insurance professionals was most notable in the North West and North East of the country, with employers across the region contributing to a huge quarterly rise of 46% in advertised vacancies.
Mobile alert tests are being carried out in Glasgow, Suffolk and Yorkshire to make sure the public can receive information in an emergency. A series of tests will take place in selected locations throughout the country this autumn, Minister for the Cabinet Office Francis Maude announced today. Three tests in specific parts of Yorkshire, Suffolk and Glasgow are intended to test how various alerting technologies work and the public’s reaction to them.
Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty has launched a new cyber risk product aimed at SMEs and corporates. Allianz Cyber Protect aims to offer a comprehensive suite of three insurance products to address various first and third party liability issues that can arise from a serious cyber attack or data breach. Key elements of Allianz Cyber Protect include cover up to a limit of €50m and covering a broad range of cyber exposures; three levels of business interruption cover and immediate access to a crisis response team.
Deloitte has announced the appointment of John Tesh CBE as senior advisor to its audit advisory group. Tesh is a former deputy director and head of the capabilities team in the Civil Contingencies Secretariat (CCS) in the UK Cabinet Office. From 2006 to 2012, he was programme director for the Government’s National Resilience Capabilities Programme. Tesh was responsible for developing the UK’s National Risk Assessment and pioneered work on risk communication in the first National Risk Register.
Almost three quarters of brokers place business in specialist niches, such as charity, heritage or education, according to a new report by Ecclesiastical, whose Specialist Broker Barometer indicates that 72% of brokers in the UK place business in specialist areas. The barometer, undertaken by 250 brokers across the UK however also indicated that just under a third of brokers (29%) actually class themselves as specialist brokers.
BAE Systems Detica has launched a military-grade solution designed to protect the industrial control systems of organisations such as power plants, oil refineries or automated manufacturing plants from cyber attack. The major applications for the IndustrialProtect solution will be organisations within the defence, energy, utilities and natural resources sectors, where industrial control systems are integral to their efficiency, growth and productivity.
As global insurance markets recover, insurers are moving from a cost-cutting stance to investment in strategic IT projects. According to recent research by Ovum, overall global insurance IT budgets will grow at a 6.5% compound annual growth rate, with total IT spend reaching US$109bn by 2017. Insurers are prioritising investment that will drive customer acquisition and retention and improve operational effectiveness.
While weather-related losses remain comparatively rare in the global power generation sector, research published today by Marsh highlights that their financial impact is considerably higher than other operational loss events. According to Marsh, the majority of operational power generation losses are attributed to either one or a combination of issues relating to location, technology and maintenance. These losses total more than US$1.8bn, which includes both settled losses and reserves for losses that remain ongoing.
Two ethical guides to help employers articulate, incentivise and demonstrate ethical culture in the workplace have been launched today by the Chartered Insurance Institute (CII). The CII’s Ethical culture: building a culture of integrity and Ethical culture: a practical guide for small firms, are intended to provide a helping hand to all firms, but especially SMEs, who typically have less resource to deal with these issues.
Continuing uncertainty surrounding the application of cyber exclusion clauses in policy wordings by insurers is eroding the value of insurance and causing mounting concern among global energy firms, according to Marsh. The inclusion of so-called “CL380 clauses”, which are currently imposed across a broad range of energy insurance policies, mean that insurers may deny energy firms’ claims for physical loss or damage stemming from cyber-related incidents.
Solvency II’s second pillar requires the captive board to demonstrate robust governance and risk management. Around a quarter of single-owner captives are domiciled in either the European Union or in Bermuda, which has recently opted for a modified version of Solvency II. These captives are directly affected by the implications of Solvency II and will have to take notice of their requirements sooner or later.
Impact Forecasting’s August nat cat report reveals billion-dollar flood losses recorded in China, Russia, Philippines, and Pakistan during August, caused an initial combined estimate of US$10bn in economic losses. Persistent rainfall caused flooding across much of China during the month of August, with Heilongjiang Province sustaining much of the damage. According to available data from the Ministry of Civil Affairs (MCA), nationwide totals during August showed that more than 260 people died, at least 306,000 homes and structures were damaged, and the aggregate economic loss was at least CNY32bn(US$5.3bn).
After a two month wait, the next indicative date for the key European Parliament plenary meeting to consider, and hopefully approve, Omnibus 2 was released this morning. As KPMG had anticipated, this has been pushed back beyond the end of the year, and is now scheduled for 11 March 2014. KPMG has urged politicians to move forward quickly with a second directive.
Toshiba Medical Systems has selected PageOne's Responder smartphone-based messaging service to locate and manage the call-out and lone-worker safety of its field-based engineers. The solution is assisting Toshiba Medical System in day-to-day operations as well as helping demonstrate compliance with the ISO 18001 accreditation for Occupational Health and Safety Management, and the Working Time Directive.
The Unite union has today confirmed that there has been no contravention of the blacklisting regulations on the Crossrail contracts being undertaken by BFK JV (Bam, Ferrovial, Kier) with Unite agreeing that no blacklisting has taken place. Andrew Wolstenholme, Crossrail chief executive said: “By their own admission, Unite advised the Scottish Affairs Committee that their evidence was circumstantial and was not sufficient to prove blacklisting...."
BIBA has strongly rejected comments made by The Law Society about solicitors professional indemnity cover, describing them as ‘ill-informed’ and ‘self-promoting’. BIBA chief executive, Steve White, said: “The Law Society has complained about lack of capacity and price for small law firms’ PI cover; however, the cause of this has been a consistently high number of errors and omissions claims made by small firms."
Aon Global Risk Consulting has appointed Robert Robinson to lead its global energy risk engineering team. Based in London, he will lead a team of consultants across the Americas, EMEA and Asia-Pacific. Replacing Gordon Martin who is retiring from Aon, Robinson was formerly a managing director at Marsh Energy.
AIG has announced the availability of its new Launch plus 10 coverage, designed to protect satellite owners and operators for the launch plus the first 10 years of satellite in-orbit operation. The UK underwriting team at AIG Europe will be offering Launch plus 10 to complement the existing space products and services which AIG already offers. AIG Europe Limited has appointed Sciemus Space as a consultant.
Organisations that fail to embrace disaster recovery solutions and business continuity planning are wasting money and run the risk of jeopardising their future says Phoenix's Mike Osborne, further to a recent report putting economic losses from disasters at US$56bn for the first six months 2013. And while the report says global insurers covered up to US$20bn, this still leaves a US$36bn hole.
Lockton has launched a dedicated website for solicitors, providing a single platform where solicitors can explore the services and products relevant to their business needs. Following this year’s professional indemnity renewal on 1st October, clients will be able to log in to a secure portal to access and manage their insurances online. Users will be able to gain CPD points on the site, which offers a set of online video seminars and online training modules.
More than 400 international insurance-related patents were filed last year, in a sign that the insurance sector is focusing on innovation in a bid to add value to its offerings, according to RPC. Their research says there were 435 such patents filed during 2012 for innovations as diverse as healthcare insurance which allows for the use of stem cells in future treatments and methods for valuing insurance cover for hydrocarbon reserves.
Impact Forecasting has launched a new flood scenario-based model for Mexico to quantify financial losses caused by river flooding. Flooding in Mexico over the last two decades has caused human and financial losses across the entire country, with severe events in 1993, 1998, 1999, 2005, 2007 or 2010. As such, flood in Mexico is considered to be one of the most significant natural perils, alongside earthquake and hurricane.
As part of a number of new coverage initiatives planned by Ascent to develop during 2013 to enhance its niche product portfolio, the underwriter has launched a general liability coverage extension for small and mid-market business clients.
A computer glitch at Goldman Sachs could cost the investment bank US$100m or more after it inadvertently made a large number of erroneous options trades on Tuesday that disrupted trading across multiple US exchanges.
Political tensions are expected to escalate following the arrest of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Mohammad Badie in Cairo yesterday, as the development serves to further polarise the country's major political blocs. Badie joins a number of other senior Islamist personalities in detention, including former Islamist president, Mohammed Mursi, and MB deputy leader, Khairat el-Shater.
According to preliminary sigma estimates, total economic losses from natural catastrophes and man-made disasters were US$56bn in the first half of 2013. The global insurance industry covered US$20bn of the total losses, of which US$17bn were caused by natural catastrophes, in large part due to widespread flood events. In the first half of 2013, disasters claimed 7,000 lives.
Congratulations to all of this year's Risk Management Awards finalists. The winners will be announced at a gala dinner and ceremony on 20 November 2013 at the Grosvenor House Hotel, Park Lane, London. Last year's awards were attended by hundreds of industry professionals and we look forward to welcoming the biggest names in the industry again this year.
Phoenix has announced that it has been selected by Hewlett-Packard to be one of its Converged Infrastructure Partners in the UK. HP Converged Systems is a portfolio of system-based products from HP that combine IT components: servers, storage, networking, software and services for specific workloads.
A new equality strategy has been approved by the Board of the Chartered Insurance Institute as part of CII’s commitment to strive towards creating a diversity-aware and inclusive professional body for those working in insurance and financial services. The CII Board decided to introduce a Single Equality Scheme which aligns with the public sector equality duty, following its introduction in 2011 as part of the Equality Act 2010.
Markel International has launched a privacy, data breach and electronic risks module for professional services firms in the UK. The cover protects businesses against a wide range of cyber risks and includes third party liability and first party costs arising from a data breach, unauthorised IT systems access, and electronic media injury.
The recent delivery of a suspicious package to an address in London has prompted the Met to issue current guidance on the safe handling of mail and the initial response when recipients have concerns regarding potential contamination. This is particularly relevant for organisations connected with the DWP's mandatory work activity placement scheme who may be the recipients of unsolicited packages sent as part of a campaign of protest against the scheme.
The Syrian Electronic Army (SEA) has claimed yet another victim, this time the Washington Post, CNN and Time websites. But, in this case the group went one step further and manipulated the links that appeared on the media groups’ own webpages.
Over recent months, the SEA has also hacked into the BBC, Al-Jazeera, The Guardian and the Financial Times’ social media platforms. Each hack brings into question the security of passwords.
Management system certifier and training body, LRQA will be holding a series of one-day briefings on the forthcoming changes to the information security management system standard, ISO 27001. The standard has undergone a major revision to ensure that it remains relevant to today’s information security needs. The final draft of the new standard was finalised in May and it is expected to be published in October 2013.
Aon Risk Solutions has extended its arrangement with QBE Europe for solicitors professional indemnity to include one to three partner firms. This follows the recent announcement by XL that it intends to “significantly reduce” its market share in the solicitors professional indemnity market.
Two scemes that provide access to industry expertise to respond effectively to the consequences of cyber security attacks have been formally launched by CESG, the Information Security arm of GCHQ, and the Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure (CPNI), in collaboration with the Council of Registered Ethical Security Testers (CREST), the professional body representing the technical security industry.
ISACA has issued new guidance outlining critical governance and assurance considerations for big data. Managed properly, big data can improve decision making, reduce time to market and increase profits. But it can also raise significant risk, ranging from disastrous data breaches to privacy and compliance concerns. According to Privacy and Big Data, enterprises must ask and answer a series of important questions, which if ignored expose the enterprise to greater risk and damage.
Xchanging’s global accounting and net settlement product, Netsett, has been awarded ACORD certification. Trevor Maddison, director at ACORD commented “ACORD’s vision is for an insurance industry that embraces a global view of information, and allows all trading partners to be able to easily exchange information to agreed standards.
Almost a third of UK firms have reported a spike in absence rates during the recent hot weather. This is according to a PMI Health Group, whose research suggests that 30 per cent of firms have seen more staff call in sick since the start of summer. The study also found 71% of firms find it easier to engage employees in well-being schemes during the summer months.
According to catastrophe modelling firm AIR Worldwide, Typhoon Utor slammed into the northern Philippine island of Luzon on 12th August, at around 15:00 local time with 10-minute sustained winds of 175 km/h (109 mph, gusts of up to 210 km/h (130 mph), and waves up to 2.5 metres. Currently off the northwestern coast of Luzon, the typhoon is moving west-northwest at about 22 km/h across the central part of the South China Sea, in the general direction of China's Guangdong province.
Hand arm vibration syndrome (HAVS) could be costing Britain almost £5bn.
The economic cost of HAVS is based on the HSE's costs to Britain of workplace injuries and work-related ill health for 2010/11, which which report, the total cost to society per case of ill health (of which HAVS is one) is £16,400. Given that there are around 300,000 employees who are estimated to have advanced symptoms of HAVS, health and safety consultants at Reactec estimate the total cost to society of HAVS at around £4.9bn.
Xchanging has won a contract to provide Standard Bank with financial processing services. Xchanging will provide the African financial services group with reconciliation, payment processing, origination, and data and document management, initially for one year.
The Serious Fraud Office has admitted to the loss of over 30,000 documents and other media relating to its now closed investigation into BAE Systems.The agency said in a statement that it has a duty to return any requested material following the close of an investigation, and that in this instance the party requesting the return was “sent additional material which had in fact been obtained from other sources”. An embarrassment to the UK's white collar crime agency, this instance of data loss currently looks to affect some 59 sources.
The Lloyd’s Market Association (LMA) has been asked to join a new government committee monitoring the security of UK ports and harbours. Neil Smith, the LMA’s head of underwriting, attended the inaugural meeting of the Department for Transport’s National Maritime Security Committee, which overseas security arrangements for UK flag vessels as well as the country’s ports and harbours.
Cross-industry fraud investigations are being hindered by companies misusing the Data Protection Act to share data, according to the findings of the Chartered Insurance Institute’s New Generation Claims Group. Intercompany data requests in the insurance industry made under section 29(3) of the act – designed for the sharing of data to prevent and detect crime – are happening in unmanageably high volumes, are often “non-compliant” and are “adding little to counter fraud investigations”, the group says.
IT consultancy Northdoor has announced an exclusive partnership with 24 Lockdown, a security and technology consultancy service in the cyber risk arena. The partnership will focus on providing risk avoidance and security protection to the London insurance market, where insurance fraud alone is estimated to cost £2bn a year. Simon Teague, director of 24 Lockdown’s UK operations said ‘We are delighted to announce this enhanced partnership, where we are selling our services exclusively through Northdoor.
International SOS and Control Risks have unveiled the latest version of their travel security tool, TravelTracker. The technology has been designed to enable clients to quickly identify the location of their employees and communicate with them as needed, wherever they are in the world. The solution also offers a gateway to the services of International SOS and Control Risks. With organisations sending people to more risky destinations, the need to know employees’ locations and itineraries is vital.
A new London Market Political Risk Committee has been established by the IUA. The group is made up of underwriting and claims representatives from across the association’s member companies and will meet regularly to discuss issues affecting political risk business. The association has already hosted its first meeting and drawn up a list of future work items that includes considering financial guarantees, redenomination of currencies, international sanctions, licensing requirements and taxation.
Lloyd’s managing agents could see their legal costs reduced by Lord Jackson’s proposals to reform civil litigation and streamline the small claims process, according to the Lloyd’s Market Association. LMA underwriting manager David Powell said: “The Jackson reforms, and in particular the government’s decision to ban referral fees, are having a positive effect on tackling inflated legal costs. Restricting the money recovered from insurers by claimant lawyers is leading to fewer claims farmers."
Following a terrorist threat against US interests abroad, the US State Department has announced that several US embassies, which were closed in several countries on 4 August, will remain closed until 10 August. US authorities have also indicated that other corporate, strategic and/or symbolic infrastructure representing US interests in these countries may be at a heightened risk. The decision to close multiple diplomatic offices represents a significant development and indicates that there is credible and serious threat against US interests.
Impact Forecasting has launched the first catastrophe model for the East Africa region. The model quantifies the financial impact of earthquakes and in turn allows insurers and reinsurers to gain a better understanding of their exposures in this growing market. The region is prone to earthquakes as the rift system has two tectonic plates which are separating and diverging.
Cat modeller AIR Worldwide said today that the remnants of Tropical Storm Flossie are currently north-west of the most northern island in the Hawaiian chain of island, Kauai, and that the maximum sustained winds have dropped to below 30 MPH. Flossie had wind speeds of up to 50 MPH as it came within 20 miles of the most southern Big Island and then past Maui to become the first tropical storm to hit Hawaii since hurricane Iniki struck Kauai in 1992 causing considerable damage.
Cars are now a genuine target for cyber criminals and it is possible for attackers to gain control of a vehicle while it is in motion, with risky consequences. For instance, as Alex Fidgen, director at IT security company MWR InfoSecurity, explains, this could have serious consequences if the brakes were applied at high speed. This comment was made after Volkswagen allegedly sued the University of Birmingham to stop it from publishing how it had hacked anti-theft systems on luxury cars including Lamborghinis and Porsches.
AlienVault has announced the launch of its Open Threat Exchange (OTX) Reputation Monitor, a free service that AlienVault hopes will help enable security professionals to monitor and track their organisations reputation. After registering the IP address and domains they wish to monitor, users will receive notifications when a threat is detected, or anytime one of their IP addresses or domains is listed in a blacklist, hacker forum, or matches one of the IPs in AlienVault’s IP reputation database.
Beazley’s political risks team has extended its political violence policy to offer unambiguous cover for physical damage during terrorist or insurgency actions caused by the police or security forces. Chris Parker, head of terrorism and political violence underwriting, said: "There is a considerable lack of clarity at the moment about this issue. For example, during the hostage crisis committed by a recognised terrorist organisation in Algeria earlier in 2013, considerable damage was sustained by the plant which was caused by the Algerian Special Forces as they sought to resolve the situation.
MPs have said that the UK is losing the fight against cyber crime and that it must do more to keep up with the pace of cyber criminals to stop online fraud and deter state-sponsored cyber-espionage.
The country is "complacent" when it comes to cyber crime according to the group of MPs on the Home Affairs Select Committee. Further, low-level internet based financial crime has been falling into a black hole as so many incidents go unreported.
Specialist Lloyd's insurer Jubilee has announced that Eamon Brown will join the company as chief underwriting officer. Brown will be responsible for overall underwriting strategy within Jubilee's Lloyd's Syndicates 5820 and 779, and the delivery of targeted growth across the firm's five underwriting franchises including consumer products, life, property, casualty and political risk and terrorism.
Floods affect more people globally than any other type of disaster. The floods of May and June 2013 in Central and Eastern Europe turned out to be the worst in the region in more than a decade. A recent survey presented by Zurich has shown that while businesses are aware of the challenges they face, most have not yet developed a holistic approach to protect themselves from these risks. To help fill this gap, Zurich has launched a multi-year flood resilience programme to help strengthen the resilience of communities against floods.
Deborah Ritchie, Editor of CIR Magazine, talks to Thomas Coles and Philip Nunn.
Deborah Ritchie provides a summary of some of the latest stories from the business risk, insurance and continuity arenas.