AXA has entered into an agreement with SulAmérica to acquire 100% of its large industrial and commercial risks insurance subsidiary, SulAmérica Companhia de Seguros Gerais, for a total consideration of BRL135m (Euro 40m). The scope of the transaction includes marine hull, marine cargo and property. AXA expects to include the acquired operations within AXA Corporate Solutions Brazil and Latin America.
Canopius has appointed Stuart Davies as group CEO. Assuming executive responsibility for all of Canopius’s business operations worldwide, Davies was most recently managing director of AEGIS London. Michael Watson commented: “I am delighted to welcome Stuart as my successor as CEO and am confident that, under his leadership, Canopius will attain new heights. It has been my privilege to lead Canopius for the past 14 years and I am honoured to remain as chairman, however now is the right time for a new generation of executive leadership to drive the business forwards.”
Telematics organisation the Floow has been appointed by the University of Sheffield in coordination with the European Space Agency to provide insight into air pollution. Prompted by the Sheffield City Council’s Action Plan 2015 interpreted DEFRA evidence – which highlighted up to 500 deaths a year in Sheffield, Yorkshire alone are caused by contaminated air -- project ‘Crowd4sat’ is now underway, investigating traffic pollution in the region.
The Information Commissioner has called for a more practical approach to data protection regulation, insisting regulators must not get left behind as technology changes how personal information is used. Graham stressed the role of international co-operation and the importance of properly funding regulation.
ISO has announced that the process of updating the ISO 31000 risk management standard has started. ISO standards are revised every five years, and the time has come for ISO 31000, and its accompanying Guide 73 on risk management terminology, to go through the revision process.
Gresham’s Clareti Transaction Control (CTC) has won a contract to provide Willis with its solution for real-time matching and reconciliation of transaction data across its global business.
The Financial Conduct Authority has imposed a financial penalty of £284,432,000 on Barclays Bank for failing to control business practices in its foreign exchange business in London. This is the largest financial penalty ever imposed by the FCA, or its predecessor the Financial Services Authority.
Terrorist attacks pose an extreme risk to populations and business in the capital cities of 12 countries, including in the strategic markets of Egypt, Israel, Kenya, Nigeria and Pakistan, according to new research released by global risk analytics company Verisk Maplecroft, which assesses 1,300 of the world’s most important commercial hubs and urban centres.
UK CIOs and IT decision-makers have seen an average increase in IT outsourcing of 24% compared to six months ago, contradicting the common perception that IT outsourcing is reducing as organisations look to consolidate more of their IT in-house. The survey also found that 42% of respondents place greater importance on IT service desks being able to provide problem resolution, than they did six months ago.
Public service organisations are totally reliant on the effective handling of information from which to design, implement and deliver effective policies and services. Data security breaches represent a significant risk for all organisations and those in the public sector are no exception. There has rightly been an emphasis on potential for risk to public sector organisations’ IT infrastructure from cyber criminals and terrorists.
MSIG at Lloyd’s, the international specialty arm of Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Group, has launched a web-based full-cycle e-trading platform for brokers and coverholders. The online underwriting system, MS-Sign, which caters for commercial risks internationally, can cut intermediaries’ work and process costs dramatically, and in so doing can open up access to a tier of standard and niche business traditionally dominated by local markets.
More than 7.7 million people worldwide are now employed by the renewable energy industry, according to a new report released today by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). This is an 18 per cent increase from last year’s figure of 6.5 million. The report, Renewable Energy and Jobs – Annual Review 2015, also provides a first ever global estimate of the number of jobs supported by large hydropower, with a conservative estimate of an additional 1.5 million direct jobs worldwide.
What is the purpose of effective risk management? You might assume that the main objective is to reduce exposure to damaging downside risks, thus preventing bankruptcy or reputation loss, for instance. You would probably also agree that effective risk management should be used to support risk taking, where the rewards are sufficient to justify this...
Nine out of ten SME directors would support the creation of an SME hub, stating that it would be ‘beneficial’ to the UK economy, with seven in ten saying the concentration of businesses in London represents “a risk to the economy”, according to a new report by AXA. In terms of the location of the hub, Birmingham and Manchester were, by some distance, the most popular choices – a reflection of their relatively central location compared to other options as well as their existing status as strong business centres with good transport links. Birmingham ranked as the top choice with, with Manchester marginally behind.
Deloitte and IBM have announced plans to collaborate on a suite of risk management and regulatory compliance solutions. The two firms’ latest alliance will see them develop a series of solutions for financial services firms designed to more efficiently address their immediate compliance and conduct requirements. One of these is a regulatory compliance and control solution, which is being demonstrated at the IBM Vision conference in Florida, US this week.
BIBA has announced the launch of an insurance ratings facility available as a free benefit to all BIBA members with fewer than 200 employees. Created in partnership with S&P Capital IQ, the facility allows qualifying members access to Standard & Poor's Ratings Services’ (S&P) insurance credit ratings and research on UK-based insurance companies through BIBA’s website.
A new online and interactive guide to help credit insurance brokers work with their clients to access government-backed export insurance has been published by the UK’s export credit agency, UKEF.How to access export credit insurance: a guide to UK Export Finance’s export insurance policy is UKEF’s first online toolkit for brokers and sets out clearly how they can help firms insure their export contracts against non-payment.
The British Insurance Brokers' Association (BIBA) has launched its voluntary code of conduct for members. The association also announced that discussions have opened with the Insurance Brokers' Standards Council (IBSC) to explore how the two bodies can join forces to create a single voluntary code of conduct and guidance for insurance brokers.
Businesses can apply for a share of £3 million for feasibility studies into technology projects across four key areas identified as driving future economic growth in the UK. Advanced materials, biosciences, electronics, sensors and photonics and information and communication technology have been identified as the four areas set to underpin the development of high-value products and services across the industrial sectors.
AIG in the UK has entered into a new partnership with specialist wholesale broker Markham Special Risks (MSR) to grow its K&R offering for SMEs. Julien Monegier Du Sorbier, UK underwriting head, special risks, said: “In today’s inter-connected world, SMEs are establishing international operations much earlier in the life-cycle of the business. With access to new markets comes the threat of new risks, and companies need a partners who can help them to identify and manage those exposures – whether that is extortion, kidnap or cyber threat."
Further to research carried out earlier this year, ACE Group has developed a list of tips for brokers on the intricacies of placing effective, compliant multinational insurance programmes. Among the top ten tips are early consideration of claims handling, and taking a team approach.
Small businesses have seen their commercial vehicle insurance premiums reduce by a record 10% in the first quarter of 2015 compared to the same time last year. The reduction is the biggest drop for commercial vehicles in the last five years and leads to a six per cent reduction in the combined cost of general insurance for an SME comprising their commercial package and commercial vehicle policies.
The British Insurance Brokers’ Association (BIBA) and Mactavish are set to launch an introductory guide to the Insurance Act 2015. The Insurance Act received Royal Assent on 12 February 2015 and will come into force on 12 August 2016. Its introduction will mean important changes to the way every commercial broker practices throughout the UK bringing both opportunity and new considerations around contracting out, the new duty of fair presentation, and the associated reasonable search requirements.
Captive insurance vehicles are increasingly being used by businesses to provide cover for non-traditional risks, according to a new benchmarking report published by Marsh.
Marsh’s report suggests that the number of captives writing non-traditional coverage lines rose overall by 11% in 2014. The biggest increase came from political risk, where the number of captives that include political risk rose 83% in 2014. Additionally, the number of captives writing cyber liability grew 18%.
Super Typhoon Noul made a brief landfall along the mountainous northeastern tip of the main Philippine island of Luzon, near the small city of Santa Ana, late Sunday afternoon. Because of Noul’s brief time spent over land and because the region of landfall is relatively sparsely populated, catastrophe modelling firm AIR Worldwide says it does not expect significant insured losses from the storm’s passage over the Philippines.
Capgemini and Guidewire Software have announced the successful deployment of a new claims handling platform for Zurich’s UK general insurance business. The implementation is the first phase of a multi-year project, aimed at transforming claims processing within the business, reducing costs, and improving Zurich’s customer experience across the UK. Zurich has also launched phase two of the programme to roll Guidewire ClaimCenter out to its commercial lines customers.
The M7.8 earthquake that struck Nepal, killing as many as 10,000 people and causing catastrophic damage throughout Nepal, India, China, and Bangladesh, may result in losses equal to as much as 25pc of Nepal’s GDP, according to analysis from Aon Benfield. Preliminary economic losses were expected to reach and possibly exceed US$5.0bn – which would equal to at least 25% of Nepal’s GDP – with very low insurance penetration in the region. Government figures revealed that more than 700,000 homes and other structures were damaged or destroyed by the earthquake, as well as dozens of historical sites.
Around 60% of BYOD workers do not involve their company IT support in setting up their devices. These are the findings of research carried out by IT managed services provider, Phoenix, whose national survey of UK employees on their use of and attitudes towards workplace IT highlights a potentially major threat to business security.
AGCS has appointed two new experts to develop and expand its insurance products. Björn Reußwig, executive underwriter terrorism, is responsible for underwriting European terror risks and coordinates activities in this field globally. Srdjan Todorovic is head of terrorism regional unit in London, responsible for UK, Ireland, the Middle East, Australia and New Zealand. AGCS plans to increase underwriting capacity for terrorism insurance in the USA and Singapore over the course of the year.
It is hard not be impressed by the latest innovations in medicine. The potential for nanoscience and augmentation technologies to cure previously incurable conditions appears unbounded. However, while we should welcome advances that could improve quality of life, we should be mindful of the social and political consequences of rapid increases in longevity for which we are not prepared.
The biggest cause of stress among the senior managers was financial worries, with one in three listing financial worries as the biggest stress factor, followed by workload. However, when it came to the employees, almost half identified workload as their main cause of stress. Financial worries were the second most cited factor. Worryingly, despite the seemingly buoyant jobs market, one in five of both groups cited stress caused by worries about their job security.
Businesses should consider appointing an executive risk leader to navigate today’s increasingly complex world, or risk leaving their company exposed to the next big crisis, according to Airmic and other leading business organisations. According to the new report Tomorrow’s Risk Leadership: delivering risk resilience and business performance, boards are failing to navigate today’s increasingly complex risks, potentially resulting in loss of value and eroding resilience in times of crisis. As a result, it challenges businesses and business leaders to consider whether the risk leadership in their organisations is sufficient to meet the demands of today’s fast-paced and interconnected world.
UK tech companies report that new business volumes rose at the slowest rate since mid-2013 due to uncertainty and delays with clients’ decision making ahead of the general election, according to the latest KPMG/Markit Tech Monitor UK survey. The report, which tracks the performance, confidence and employment outlook of UK technology businesses, illustrated a rosier picture for tech sector hiring plans with over two-fifths of the survey panel anticipating an increase in hiring over the year. It also found that tech sector employment has expanded by almost one-quarter since 2010, which is around three times the pace of the overall UK jobs market. KPMG estimates that the UK tech sector now directly accounts for at least one million jobs.
Although all London councils have disaster recovery procedures in place, nearly half of them (40%) have not tested them in the last 12 months, according to an FOI request from Databarracks. The FOI requests were sent to all London boroughs, the majority of which obliged with details on their business continuity practices, specifically in relation to electoral data. Managing director of Databarracks, Peter Groucutt, says that 40% is an alarmingly high number to have forgone testing, especially considering the election later this week:
New insurance products launched to protect businesses from suffering the losses of cyber attacks have been met with great scepticism, according to data from KPMG, whose survey of senior information security professionals found that the most common reason for not purchasing a cyber insurance policy was the belief that insurers would not actually pay out on a claim.
XL Group has completed the acquisition of Catlin Group following the two parties’ previously announced entry into an agreement in January to acquire all of the capital stock of Catlin. The combined company will be marketed as XL Catlin; the name of the parent company will remain XL Group.
C-level technology executives would and should be held responsible for data breaches, according to a poll held among information security professionals. When asked who would be held responsible in the wake of a data breach on critical infrastructure in their organisation, 41% of survey’s respondents said CIO, CISO or CSO. When asked should be held responsible in the wake of a data breach on critical infrastructure in your organisation, 35% said CIO, CISO or CSO.
This morning saw the launch of the Islamic Insurance Association of London (IIAL), formed to create a representative body to support the work of those in the UK re/insurance markets transacting Islamic finance.
Global reinsurers' profitable underwriting results weakened slightly in 2014 due to increased non-catastrophe property losses and a higher underlying run-rate loss ratio. Catastrophe-related losses remained manageable and favourable loss reserve development persisted.
The CII Claims Faculty New Generation group is calling for organisations to adopt a new Best Practice Guide relating to requests made under Section 29(3) of the Data Protection Act. The guidance has been launched after two years of work behind the scenes with support from the Insurance Fraud Bureau (IFB).
Isolated clashes between police and protesters have been reported in central areas of Baltimore, in the northeast US, as police enforced a 22:00 to 05:00 local time curfew on 28 April. Police reportedly used teargas in response to unruly crowds at the intersections of Pennsylvania and North avenues, as well as Patapsco and 9th streets. Large groups of protesters gathered peacefully in western and central parts of Baltimore on the day.
KPMG Enterprise has launched a cyber security service tailored to the needs and resources of smaller and mid-tier businesses. The package is also designed to enable organisations to achieve such certifications as the government’s Cyber Essentials scheme.
Aon Risk Solutions today unveiled the key risks as identified by its clients across the globe. For the first time, cyber risk entered the top 10 at number 9, reinforcing its emergence as a key risk factor. Damage to brand and reputation was cited as the top overall concern facing global organisations, further underscoring the increasing importance of cyber risk as it has been regularly linked to brand and reputation issues in the wake of data breaches.
A new report on cyber governance calls for the establishment of guiding principles to build resilience and the establishment of a supranational governance body, such as the Cyber Stability Board. Commissioned by Zurich Insurance Group, the report, Global Cyber Governance: Preparing for New Business Risks, proposes new measures to strengthen the global governance framework for managing evolving cyber risks.
According to a new industry report, the insurance market is growing at a fast pace, but challenges posed by new regulations still lay ahead. Despite recent economic instability, key insurance markets are recovering. The US insurance industry had a premium growth of 1.8% in 2014 compared to 0.4% in 2013, and the reversal in the UK market was even more dramatic; growing from -4.2% in 2013 to 4% in 2014.
The strongest earthquake in Nepal in more than 80 years struck just north west of the capital city of Kathmandu on Saturday morning, causing massive devastation and major loss of life in many parts of the region. Initially estimated at magnitude 7.5, the USGS later revised their estimate to M7.9 and later to M7.8. The earthquake occurred at an estimated depth of just 10 km, making it a shallow and therefore extremely destructive event.
Willis has made a firm offer to acquire the remaining 70% that it does not currently own of French insurance broker Gras Savoye. The purchase price of the 70% stake, including the repayment of outstanding third party debt (estimated to be €40 million), is approximately €550 million.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has handed Deutsche Bank a £227m (US$340m) fine, its largest ever for LIBOR and EURIBOR-related (collectively known as IBOR) misconduct. The fine is so large because the FCA said Deutsche Bank also misled them, which could have hampered its investigation. Georgina Philippou, acting director of enforcement and market oversight, said: “This case stands out for the seriousness and duration of the breaches by Deutsche Bank – something reflected in the size of today’s fine. One division at Deutsche Bank had a culture of generating profits without proper regard to the integrity of the market. This wasn’t limited to a few individuals but, on certain desks, it appeared deeply ingrained.”
Willis has launched a new Forensic Accounting and Complex Claims (FACC) practice, dedicated to resolving the highly complex claims that result from an increasing number of large scale disasters. The team of public accountants and other forensic experts works with organisations to maximise recovery and minimise losses while reducing the complexity and length of settlement time. They also provide pre-disaster planning and advice, enabling risk managers to make more informed decisions, based on quantitative analysis, in managing their property and casualty risks.
Swiss Re Corporate Solutions has joined forces with IBM Security to provide cyber risk protection products and services to companies worldwide. Under the agreement, IBM will assess clients' external and internal vulnerabilities to cyber attacks, giving them options for implementing risk mitigation proposals.
Companies are taking a firmer stance on responding to unethical conduct with more than three quarters reporting instances of bribery when they become aware of it, according to Dow Jones’s 2015 State of Anti-Corruption Compliance Survey.
In a nod to the growing acknowledgement of anti-corruption measures, the number of companies who monitor their business partners at least quarterly has nearly doubled in the past year, while more than 10% of all survey respondents now monitor partners daily; an annual increase of nearly 60%.
New research from the British Insurance Brokers’ Association (BIBA), has found that the largest barrier to growth for SMEs in the UK is a lack of talent in the workforce. Almost half (46%) of the SME owners, directors and managers polled cited a lack of skilled workers as the biggest obstacle to growing their businesses. This is something that BIBA has called on Government to address in their 2015 manifesto, where they have asked for more support on apprenticeships and are encouraging schools and careers advisers to highlight the value of insurance apprenticeships to students.
Social media risk assessment company, Social Intelligence, has launched its Social Media Risk Scoring solution for property and casualty (P&C) insurers. The new technology provides real-time predictive risk scores based on the online presence of participating insurance customers.
Collinson Group has joined forces with security and crisis management specialist Security Exchange, in a strategic partnership to deliver travel risk management services to the corporate market. The alliance gives clients access to specialist end-to-end expertise for both medical and security risks, comprising risk consultancy, 24/7 medical and security assistance and emergency response, including evacuation and repatriation.
Rapid economic growth in emerging economies, labour disruptions, political instability and a disease outbreak in West Africa led to a rise in business losses in 2014 according to the latest Global Supply Chain Intelligence report from BSI Supply Chain Solutions. Globally over US$23 billion was lost to cargo theft in 2014 from a variety of supply chain threats, while the four most economically damaging natural disasters caused a collective US$32.8 billion of damage. Within Europe, trade interruption due to an array of strikes throughout Europe caused US$1.5 billion of direct losses to business.
RMS estimates that insured property losses from Windstorm Niklas will fall between E750 million and E1.5 bn. Losses in Germany will account for around three quarters of the total loss.
Palisade has won a contract to provide Alesco Risk Management Services with risk analysis software designed to optimise insurance spend and identify alternative future strategies for key risks transfer.
Business standards company, BSI has announced its results for the year ended 31 December 2014. Growth of six per cent maintains BSI’s unbroken 15-year record of annual increases in underlying revenue.
There was an average of three major cargo crimes a day targeting high value, theft-attractive products in the supply chain in Europe in 2014 with an average loss of €205,624, according to the Transported Asset Protection Association’s 2014 Incident Information Service (IIS) Annual Report for the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region. For the year as a whole, TAPA EMEA recorded 1,102 incidents of cargo crime in the region. For the 33% of crimes reporting a value, total losses for the year were €74,847,422.
The number of risk jobs advertised in the first quarter y-o-y has risen by 9%, according to research from specialist recruiter Robert Walters, whose UK Jobs Index, which charts vacancy numbers posted to online platforms, have revealed that the greatest increase in demand was seen in the north-west, at 24% y-o-y. London saw a rise of 11% while the number risk jobs advertised in the Midlands grew by only 1.1% over the same period.
The nature of the skills drought in cyber security is so severe that most organisations must face up to the reality that they will not be able to properly staff their security offices. These are the findings of a report published today by ISC², whose Global Information Security Workforce Study provides detailed insight into key trends and opportunities in the information security profession. It includes details of pay scales, skills gaps, training requirements, corporate hiring practices, security budgets, career progression and corporate attitude toward information security that is of use to companies, hiring managers and information security professionals.
Saïd Business School, University of Oxford has launched the first executive education programme that sets out to address cyber security issues from the perspective of company leaders. The Cyber Risk for Leaders Programme is designed to arm senior executives with the knowledge and strategies to deal with the increasing cyber security threat.
The Scottish bill to recover medical costs for asbestos diseases will lead to over-burdening costs on compensators as well as delay to the claims process and will do little or nothing to improve the overall care services for asbestos victims, according to law firm DWF.
BT has announced the launch of BT Assure Cyber, its new security platform targeted at private sector and government organisations, and designed to offer monitoring, detection and protection against cyber threats. At the core of its architecture is what BT calls a 'super correlation' engine that uses advanced mathematics to pick out anomalies from within human and machine orientated traffic.
A proposal for the Scottish government to recover medical costs for treating asbestos diseases is inequitable and could even prove unlawful. These are among the concerns voiced by the UK’s International Underwriting Association, which also warns of potentially steeper liability insurance costs should the plans be allowed to proceed. In its response to a consultation paper issued by Scottish Parliament member Stuart McMillan, the association stated the plan to retroactively extend the terms of insurance policies would breach the rights of insurance companies.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has fined Clydesdale Bank £20,678,300 for serious failings in its Payment Protection Insurance (PPI) complaint handling processes between May 2011 and July 2013. This is the largest ever fine imposed by the FCA for failings relating to PPI.
Cyber risk, the prolonging of the Ebola pandemic, and more regulatory and legislative changes are this year’s top three priority risks for UK insurers, according to an ORIC International and Institute of Risk Management (IRM) joint survey. The top ten emerging risks also include acts of terrorism, the impact of climate change, global political instability and technological advances.
Willis has commenced proceedings in the High Court in London against rival Jardine Lloyd Thompson Group, JLT Specialty and Willis employee David Gordon for damages for conspiracy and for breach of duty and wrongful interference in the proposed sale of the fine art, jewellery and specie division to Miller Insurance Services. Willis applied for an injunction to prevent JLT and David Gordon from recruiting further Willis staff from its FAJS team.
In 2015 M&A in the transport and logistics sector will supersede the levels seen in 2014. This is according to KPMG's latest Transport Tracker, which shows the first quarter of 2015 as having already seen completed global transactions of £6.7bn, with further acquisitions of £6.7bn announced on top. In 2014, the increase in the volume of transactions resulted in £39.6 billion worth of deals.
Following an extended period of policy development, businesses across the UK will soon feel the impact of the Electricity Market Reform (EMR), which is intended to move the UK to a lower carbon economy. In light of this, new research from npower shows that 75% of UK food and drink manufacturers said that rising energy costs are a factor in decisions to expand the business.
Holborn tube station was temporarily closed on 1 April following a fire in the Kingsway area of London. The fire, which led to the evacuation of an estimated 2,000 people in the immediate area, was caused by faulty electricity cables underground. The fire has since been extinguished, and services at the Holborn Tube Station have been fully restored.
Resilience will be particularly important for countries most exposed to the impacts of climate change, which will result in more frequent and severe weather events. This is according to the latest research from Verisk Maplecroft, which flags climate change as the most important cross-border risk affecting the long-term outlook for global investment. More than 50% of countries are categorised as ‘extreme’ or ‘high risk’ in the GRRA’s Climate Change Exposure Index, with the key Asian economies of Bangladesh, Hong Kong, Japan, Philippines, Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam and India among the highest risk.
Forty-five percent of IT professionals report that their business is impacted if IT is down just 15 minutes or less, and 17% said disruption occurs the instant an IT outage develops, according to new research commissioned by xMatters. The Business Impact of IT Incident Communications: A Global Survey of IT Professionals report found that 60% of respondents said it takes that same 15 minutes or more just to identify the right individual to respond to an issue. Nearly half of the IT professionals surveyed said it takes as long as or longer to identify the person as it does to resolve the problem.
Currently battering northern Europe with gale-force winds, extratropical cyclone Niklas is reportedly one of the worst storms to affect Germany in recent years. High winds and heavy rains from Niklas have caused serious building damage in Germany, and triggered flood warnings across central and southern Germany. In the UK, wind gusts of nearly 128 km/h on the Norfolk coast were reported on the evening of Monday, March 30, as Niklas moved eastward from the North Sea into the Baltic. As of March 31, 08:00 UTC, ETC Niklas was anticipated to continue its slow northeastward motion.
Ukraine, roiled by conflict with neighbouring Russia, poses significant challenges for companies considering expanding their supply chains there. So does Thailand, despite the years that have passed since the popular manufacturing destination’s devastating floods. This is according to the latest index ranking of supply chain resilience around the world in FM Global’s 2015 Resilience Index, designed to enable users to drill into individual resilience factors and drivers as they plan supply chain expansions, select suppliers and evaluate existing facilities.
Phoenix has opened a new, state-of-the-art configuration and distribution centre in Farnborough, Hampshire. The centre, which represents an investment by Phoenix of approximately a half of a million pounds, will create 20 new jobs in the area. This facility adds to Phoenix’s existing capabilities, including a similar facility based in in Northampton. The 15,000 sq. ft. warehouse unit combines both storage and staging areas and will enhance Phoenix’s Professional Services division’s logistics support capabilities around its clients’ IT installations.
Confidence in the retail market and spending power of the individual is a consistent theme across the insurance industry and reflects overall optimism in the UK economy as individuals are expected to spend more money on insurance products, according to the latest CBI/PwC Financial Services Survey, published today. This confidence, however, continues to be plagued by concerns over competition and how best to stand out from the crowd in such a competitive market.
Research from Sungard Availability Services suggests that unexpected costs, integration challenges and increased IT complexity together amount to a cost of over £1bn a year. Long considered a more flexible and simpler approach to managing IT, cloud computing has ushered in a new era of IT. However, the research reveals that organisations are now facing a large number of challenges in managing and operating these cloud environments.
ACE Group has announced the launch of ACE Multinational Partner, a package of property and casualty insurance cover spanning traditionally separate lines of business, for UK and Ireland based companies with one or more overseas subsidiaries. The cover has been designed by a specially-created project team, selected from across the region and from multiple disciplines.
Lloyd’s has announced a pre-tax profit of £3.2bn, with a return on capital of 14.7%. Results were driven by a relatively benign year for major natural catastrophes, favourable prior year development, and an improved investment return – reflecting a conservative asset mix and low interest rate environment.
According to figures released by Marsh, demand for transactional risk insurance surged to record levels among the global deal community during 2014. Research conducted by the firm’s Private Equity and Mergers & Acquisitions (M&A) Services Practice reports continued use of the solution for deals in mature markets such as the US and the Nordics. According to the risk advisory, awareness of transactional risk insurance products in emerging markets is continuing to grow; in 2014, the first ever policies were placed in Malaysia, Mexico, the Philippines, and Saudi Arabia, as investors and sellers in these emerging markets look to reduce cross-border deal risk.
In Asia, many industrial sites are located on floodplains or near the coast, creating major concentrations of risk. The EEDs for Hong Kong, Indonesia and Malaysia help insurers and reinsurers to better understand and plan for risks, particularly from natural disasters. In addition, robust risk assessment tools and detailed exposure data are essential in Japan and New Zealand, which have recently faced significant natural disasters. Japan has been hit with some of the worst natural disasters in recent memory, including the 2011 Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami.
Cyber insurance represents a key growth opportunity for the global (re)insurance industry. However, Fitch Ratings believes cyber risk has the potential to cause significant losses due to substantial aggregation risk and the increasing sophistication of cyber attacks, insurability of certain risks is questionable.
Research by business insurance specialist, QBE, found that companies across the UK were not monitoring the age demographic of their workforce and were potentially putting the well-being of older employees at risk. In a survey among senior HR decision makers, more than half admitted that they did not know the number of their employees over the state pension age or indeed how many of their older employees planned to continue working beyond the pension age.
Shipping losses continued their long-term downward trend with 75 reported worldwide in 2014, making it the safest year in shipping for 10 years, according to Allianz. The British Isles, North Sea, English Channel and Bay of Biscay has been the location of the most shipping casualties since 2005 (4,381). Nearly one in five of all incidents (18%) have occurred in this region. It was also the scene of the second highest number of casualties during 2014 (465), up 29% year-on-year. The East Mediterranean & Black Sea region was the top hotspot (490), up 5% year-on-year. Total losses in the British Isles and surrounding waters doubled year-on-year during 2014.
UK employer insurance specialist Concordia has just opened its doors for business. Facilitated by Ambant Underwriting and underwritten by capacity partners in the London insurance market, Concordia is distributing its insurance products through brokers as well as directly to employers.
GCHQ has today launched a new pilot sponsorship scheme aimed at identifying individuals with exceptional aptitude to become the next generation of cyber security experts for the UK.
French air traffic controllers' union, SNCTA, has suspended its earlier call for a three-day strike, which was scheduled to disrupt commercial air travel across France from 25 to 27 March. The suspension of the strike, which was initially called in response to an ongoing wage dispute between the union and the air navigation service provider, DSNA, was prompted by a fatal air crash in Alpes-de-Haute-Provence on 24 March, when a Germanwings Airbus A320 (a budget carrier of Germany's Lufthansa), which was en route from Dusseldorf, Germany, to Barcelona, Spain, crashed.
A new report has been published on the joint initiatives between government and the insurance sector to tackle cyber risk. Last year 81% of large UK businesses and 60% of small companies suffered a cyber security breach. Today’s report announces new joint initiatives between government and the insurance sector to help firms get to grips with cyber risk; to establish cyber insurance as part of firms’ cyber toolkits and cement London as the global centre for cyber risk management.
Risk and insurance law business BLM and loss adjuster and claims management company Cunningham Lindsey have come together to launch Profecta – a unique offering that the two organisations say that Profecta will “reinvent” claims handling by combining loss adjusting, claims handling and litigation. A mutual client of both organisations has described the offering as a "game changer".
The percentage of product recalls of Chinese-made goods has fallen sharply from 78% of all UK recalls of consumer products in 2011-12 to just 59% of all recalls last year (2013-14), according to City law firm, RPC. The overall number of recalls of potentially dangerous Chinese goods in the UK fell to 66 this year down from 72 last year. RPC says that the tightening of quality control checks in China, especially for goods destined for export markets, may be bearing fruit.
Flood Re has welcomed the news that the secondary legislation that defines how Flood Re will operate was yesterday laid before Parliament by the Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Elizabeth Truss.
As part of an information security initiative across the London Borough of Ealing, Stanhope Primary School has deployed Egress Switch Secure Email and Egress Switch Secure File Transfer to communicate sensitive pupil data securely with a range of external third parties, including local authorities, Ofsted and parents.
Security industry expert Don Randall MBE has confirmed his appointment to two major new roles in addition to his ongoing position as cyber ambassador for the Bank of England. Randall, formerly head of security and CISO at the Bank of England, is joining global security consultant Pilgrims Group as a senior adviser, helping to build the company’s in-house capabilities and bolstering its expertise in security training, anti-terrorism, cyber security and private security risks.
Crown Hosting Data Centres Limited joint venture to deliver cost savings to government through energy efficiency, agile ‘utility' usage model and flexible contracts. The Cabinet Office and Ark Data Centres have launched a data centre joint venture company designed to deliver increased efficiency, improved value and transparency of service utilisation across all of the public sector.
Congratulations to all our finalists in this year's Business Continuity Awards, celebrating the very best in your sector. Winners will be announced at a gala dinner and awards presentation, during an evening of networking with hundreds of the business continuity and resilience professionals. Hosted by a celebrated comedian – to be announced shortly – the 2015 Awards will be a night to remember. This year’s finalists are…
City employers are waging an uphill struggle to increase risk headcount, according to fresh data highlighting the extent to which vacancy levels are outstripping candidate supply. The findings of the February 2015 City Jobs Index from recruitment company Robert Walters also illuminate the squeeze on candidate availability in other regulatory roles. In compliance, there are 2.5 jobs for every candidate.
Impact Forecasting is applying a new blast engineering approach to provide a more realistic understanding of the potential range of losses from a terrorist attack. The company's terrorism risk experts use computational fluid dynamics (CFD) software developed over many years in conjunction with the US military and government to define an explosion and how it moves within a 3D urban environment. This approach is used by the New York Police Department and federal security agencies to plan preparedness, resilience and surveillance strategies with regards to terrorist attacks.
ACE Group has added ACE Travel Smart, a new mobile app, to its business travel insurance proposition for Europe-based businesses with international exposures. The new app has been developed to help employers to fulfil their duty of care and mitigate the risks faced by employees while travelling.
The British Insurance Brokers’ Association (BIBA) has welcomed the government’s review of the national business rates system. Commenting on the announcement, Steve White, BIBA’s chief executive, said: “This is a key point within BIBA’s 2015 Manifesto. We raised this issue in our Autumn Statement submission and wrote to George Osborne ahead of the Budget highlighting the importance of a review. The current system and the way this tax is applied restricts growth and job creation and does not recognise business’s ability to pay. It needs to be simpler, modernised, more transparent, more competitive and move away from being based on property. Our advisory boards will now be engaging in the process and we are keen for the incoming government to complete the review as swiftly as possible after the election.”
Analysis from business continuity and disaster recovery provider, Phoenix, finds that customers using Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) are far more likely to undertake regular tests and plan rehearsals. This suggests that customers find it easier to test with DRaaS in place than customers who have traditional business continuity services, where Phoenix has seen only 40% of its customers testing.
Zurich has launched its new cyber security policy. Designed to protect and help organisations get back to business following a breach, Zurich Security and Privacy Protection and DigitalResolve have been specifically developed to cover these first party exposures as well as cover for third party liabilities and includes a new cover to provide loss of income following a data breach or damage to reputation. Following a breach, Zurich clients will be provided with a single dedicated Incident Manager, with 24/7/365 availability to manage the resources needed to recover from a damaging cyber event.
A third of businesses in the manufacturing industry are extremely concerned about potential supply chain disruption according to research released by BSI, the business standards company and the Business Continuity Institute (BCI). More than three quarters of manufacturing firms report increasing supply chain complexity as the fastest growing risk in business continuity, with malicious attacks via the internet and increased regulatory scrutiny taking second and third place.
Business standards company, BSI has produced a list of top tips for business continuity planning. 1). Identify critical business functions – Once critical business functions have been identified, it is possible to apply a methodical approach to the threats that are posed to them and implement the most effective plans. 2). Remember the seven ‘P’s needed to keep your business operational – Providers, performance, processes, people, premises, profile (your brand) and preparation.
Specialist lines underwriting agency, CFC, has announced the launch of two new products from its recently established contingency team. The launch of its prize indemnity and over-redemption policies follow on from the appointment of Matt Helm as contingency practice leader in October last year, who comments: “Prize competitions and coupons or free product offers have become an increasingly valuable marketing tool for a huge range of companies, both on and offline.
Newly published research from Iron Mountain shows that records and information management in the public sector is contributing significantly to government cost-saving and efficiency targets. However, the pace and scope of change across the sector presents a serious challenge. While a reassuring 72% of the public sector information leaders surveyed in the study say their approach to information management is fit-for-purpose, 61% admit their organisation has lost or misplaced important documents and 40% say they have suffered a data breach.
The UK government announced in December its latest plans for the country’s roads and highways in the form of the National Infrastructure Plan. With continued funding cuts affecting public services, it is welcome news that further funding of £15 billion will be committed to the Road Investment Strategy between 2015/16 and 2020/21.
Insurers and businesses will be relieved that the Home Office has reinforced the right to claim compensation from the police authorities for damage caused by rioting. But the new compensation cap and the proposed exclusion of consequential loss claims in the draft Bill could still leave some claimants out of pocket, according to City law firm RPC. This applies to both insurers and policyholders looking to recover their losses, but also uninsured individuals and businesses.
Figures from Sungard Availability Services show that UK invocations have hit their highest levels since 2009. Overall incidents of downtime, in which staff are unable to work from their usual office or access business critical systems, also rose by over a third since 2013, leading to concerns that organisations are failing to sufficiently invest in the strategies and solutions required to maintain availability.
Nation-state sponsored cyber espionage attacks are becoming more sophisticated, targeting carefully defined users with complex, modular tools, and keeping well under the radar of increasingly effective detection systems, according to security experts at Kaspersky Lab.
Aon has unveiled a new government-backed framework for insurance apprenticeships in collaboration with industry partners. This news comes the day after the deputy prime minister Nick Clegg hosted a reception to showcase and celebrate the work of current apprentices in the financial and professional services sector.
Airmic, the association for UK insurance and risk managers, has announced that Julia Graham will be joining the association as technical director from 1 May. Graham will replace Paul Hopkin who announced his decision to step down in January. Graham, a former chair of Airmic and current president of FERMA, the Federation of European Risk Management Associations, will also chair Airmic's Advisory Board to be established later this year. The advisory board will be made up of some of Airmic's most senior risk managers.
The British Insurance Brokers’ Association (BIBA) says it is dismayed by the Home Office’s decision, in the Riot (Damages) Act and draft Riot Compensation Bill, for Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) to retain the power to decide whether an incident is a riot. BIBA believes this is a fundamental conflict of interest.
QA Apprenticeships has launched a cyber security apprenticeship scheme designed to thwart cyber crime, decrypt data and untangle malware. QA Apprenticeships’ pilot began in November with employers from banking, technology, and the public sector including the Home Office and Ministry of Defence.
What is your company's most important asset? What makes the difference between success and failure; is magnified as events travel ever faster round the world via 24/7 news and social media; yet is extremely hard to manage and mitigate because of its complexity?
Sir Robert Frances recently published his independent review into creating an open and honest reporting culture within the NHS to help prevent future scandals like the poor patient care provided by the North Staffordshire Trust. This report is essential reading for all directors, senior managers and risk managers. It highlights the necessity of effective reporting, and in particular the valuable role that whistleblowing can play, when unsafe or excessively risky organisational practices go unchecked.
EVN, the largest multi-energy provider in Austria, is joining the European Network for Cyber Security (ENCS). ENCS and its member DSOs specialise in the development of security requirements for smart metering which are aligned with European Commission positioning and other European smart grid projects. These security requirements address specific security threats and risks identified during EVN’s risk assessment phase, meeting the company’s smart grid architecture, technology choices and security goals.
The company operating a lift in Tower Bridge which fell and injured four people – one of which seriously – has been ordered to pay £100,000 as a result of the "catastrophic” failure in which the lift fell several metres into a service pit because a vital mechanism failed on 11 May 2009.
Adam Continuity has selected Datum Datacentres for high security high availability co-location. Datum's facility, located on the government-grade secure Cody Technology Park, offers an SLA based on 100% uptime. Being carrier and cloud neutral the facility provides choice and flexibility of connectivity, while the Datum Cloud Hub ecosystem enables co-located organisations to directly connect to providers and cloud platforms for hybrid IT.
LDeX Group is to launch a second UK datacentre in Manchester in Q2 of this year. The new datacentre, LDeX2, will feature best in class colocation facilities with a capacity of 4MVA, network carriers and global Internet Exchange Points (IXPs). Confirmed on-net carriers offering ultra-fast low latency connections for clients will also be revealed in Q2.
Dates for a series of seminars on the impact of the new Insurance Act have been announced by the Lloyd’s Market Association (LMA) and the International Underwriting Association (IUA). The three seminars are being run for underwriters, claims staff and wordings staff in Lloyd’s and the London insurance market and will address fair presentation of a risk and record keeping; contract wordings and contracting out; impact of the Act on reinsurance; fraudulent claims; remedies and law and jurisdiction.
Early estimates suggest aggregated economic losses from the recent winter weather events in the US will be in the low-digit billions of dollars, with insured losses likely to exceed US$1bn. This is according to Aon Benfield’s Impact Forecasting Global Catastrophe Recap report, which evaluates the impact of the natural disaster events that occurred worldwide during February 2015.
The second annual Commercial Insurance Awards winners were announced last night at a gala dinner and presentation ceremony held at the Millennium Hotel in Mayfair, London. Hosted by comedian Simon Evans, trophies were awarded to AIG, AXA and XL, among others. Read more...
A flurry of special dividends from London Market insurers shows they are not chasing potentially unprofitable business and therefore not increasing the risk of big losses that could damage their capitalisation and weaken their credit profiles, according to Fitch Ratings. It expects more firms, including the major European reinsurers, to announce special dividends or share buybacks, given weak pricing and the abundance of capital available after another benign year for catastrophe losses.
ITC Secure Networking has announced the launch of NetSure360° Orama, a new mobile app designed to help CIOs and CISOs prioritise, communicate and manage potentially serious incidents. Built on the ITC NetSure360° IT infrastructure and security management as-as-service platform, Orama is designed to deliver real-time visibility of critical network incidents and security incidents from across the network and security, direct to mobile devices.
A study assessing the natural hazard exposure of the world’s cities has exposed those most at risk, and highlights the potential risks to foreign business, supply chains and economic output in one particular continent. It highlights the manufacturing and logistics hubs in these cities as most at risk…
For the first time ever, Pool Re has purchased reinsurance in the commercial market. The three year programme provides £1.8bn of cover, protecting scheme assets and increasing the sustainability of the pool. The single layer programme, led by Munich Re and brokered by Guy Carpenter, mirrors the cover currently provided to Pool Re members, including CBRN risks.
Efforts to boost the development of innovative insurance products in the London Market have received the support of UK risk managers. The board of the International Underwriting Association discussed the challenges of providing cover for emerging risks at a recent meeting with the Association of Risk and Insurance Managers (Airmic). Both organisations agreed a collaborative approach would encourage innovation and allow London to build on its reputation as a global centre for the development of new policies.
Charter Savings Bank, a new branchless retail bank specialising in savings, loans and deposit services for UK customers, launched this week, and has selected Sungard’s integrated treasury and risk platform to help it meet regulatory system requirements in obtaining its banking licence.
A recent survey by the High Pay Centre has highlighted the dangers in paying senior executives large salaries, indicating that it will have a negative impact on the public perception of remuneration systems, and the reputation of the organisation as a whole.
New research for the British Insurance Brokers’ Association (BIBA), found that leaders of British small and medium-sized enterprises do not always read their insurance documents, with over one quarter (29%) admitting that they never read the entire policy. This is slightly higher for SMEs based outside of London and the South East, where 32% never read their entire insurance policy.
A global study of almost 2,100 contracts covering deals worth £7.8bn suggests that cloud-based services are failing to capture the popular imagination of UK businesses. It also suggests that organisations are increasing the level of IT services they outsource to improve service delivery, with many investing budgets saved over the past few years on HR, sales and finance support.
Traditional property damage/business interruption policies were never designed to meet the risks faced by organisations today, and the business interruption insurance market has not kept pace with these rapid changes, according to risk experts at Marsh.
The TT Club is alerting the supply chain industry globally to a persistence of claims in a handful of loss types. The leading international transport, freight and logistics insurance provider found that 66% of its claims by number and 62% by value over a five year period can be categorised into just five causes...
Covéa has received approval from the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) for the change of control of Sterling Insurance Group. The group’s total gross written premium in the UK market post acquisition will be close to £600m. Covéa Group is already active in the UK market through its subsidiaries, Swinton, an insurance broker, and Covéa Insurance, a non-life insurer formed through the 2012 merger of MMA Insurance and Provident Insurance (which was itself acquired by Covéa in 2011).
A new code for financial institutions will place greater accountability on non-executive directors when regulations are breached. Responding to the proposals, Lee Clarke, PwC financial services risk and regulation partner, called for clarity on how the Senior Insurance Managers Regime will apply to NEDs and that it is proposed to include only those NEDs performing specific roles.
Public Health England (PHE) has confirmed that an Australian healthcare worker who had potential contact with the Ebola virus while working in Sierra Leone, has been transported to the UK for assessment and monitoring. This individual has not been diagnosed with Ebola, does not have any symptoms of it and their risk of developing it remains low. Professor Paul Cosford, PHE’s director for health protection and medical director, said the overall risk to the general public from Ebola remains "very low".
Half of UK businesses in the professional services industry don’t adequately protect lone workers, according to new research. Among the findings, one in four lone workers expect it to take up to seven hours for an alarm to be raised in event of a problem.
Risk committees have proven to be an effective tool for risk professionals to bridge the operational gap, understand more deeply the risks taken and educate key stakeholders throughout the organisation about the entities’ risk strategy, tolerance and appetite. These are the findings of RIMS’ new executive report, Exploring the Risk Committee Advantage.
New research from the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has found that despite three fifths (60%) of small firms questioned using cloud computing services, the remaining two fifths (38%) remain sceptical about the benefits of the technology in the face of perceived risks.
The Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Bill is currently making its way through Parliament. The Bill contains a number of measures which together represent significant change for companies and Companies House customers. All companies will be affected by at least some changes, as the measures will change legal requirements on companies, including what they file with Companies House – which will impact companies’ systems and processes.
The deadline for entries for the Business Continuity Awards has been extended, giving business continuity, security, resilience and risk professionals more time to ensure their efforts are recognised, by entering one of our 25 categories.
Global insurance company CEOs believe there are more threats than there are opportunities compared to three years ago. This is according to PwC’s 18th Annual Global CEO Survey, which includes responses from 80 CEOs in the insurance sector across 37 countries, and which reflects the heightened environment of change within insurance compared to other industries. It says 59% of insurance company CEOs believe there are more business opportunities than there were three years ago, but, 61% see more threats. In contrast to data from other industries, over-regulation is seen as a key disruptor with 91% of insurance CEOs considering it to be a threat to their growth prospects.
ACE Group has announced the launch of a new luxury goods practice across Continental Europe. The launch follows research by ACE in which six in ten European luxury goods companies said that globalisation had increased the interdependency of risks they face. Respondents also believe the luxury goods industry faces greater reputational risk than those in other industries.
Severe winter storms are continuing to affect businesses and the public in Boston and the Eastern US, with some hospital workers even asked to spend the night rather than be snowbound at home. School closures have been so numerous that Massachusetts public schools are currently scheduled to remain in session until June 30. Airlines have been heavily impacted with hundreds of flight cancellations and delays although operations are resuming.
New research from Unisys Corporation finds alarming gaps in the security of the world’s critical infrastructure. Nearly 70% of companies surveyed that are responsible for the world’s power, water and other critical functions have reported at least one security breach that led to the loss of confidential information or disruption of operations in the past 12 months, according to a survey released recently in partnership with the Ponemon Institute.
Brit Insurance is being sold to Canadian rivals Fairfax for the sum of £1.2bn. This latest exit follows a number of other high profile private equity exits including Bregal Capital’s sale in 2014 of Canopius to Sompo Japan Insurance and wider non-private equity transactions such as the recent XL/Catlin deal.
Severe travel disruptions due to adverse weather conditions, including cancellations to air, bus, rail and maritime services, were reported in the US Northeast in recent days, causing at least 1,800 flights to be cancelled or delayed, with New York City and Boston the worst affected.
A man was fatally shot after firing at security forces in Copenhagen, Denmark's capital, on 15 February. The incident occurred near a train station in the Norrebro area of the city at around 05:00 local time.
A video released on 15 February reportedly showed the beheading of approximately 21 Egyptian nationals held by Islamist extremists in Libya. The murders of the victims, identified as Coptic Christians, have been confirmed by the Egyptian government, which has also threatened to retaliate. The victims are thought to be the same persons abducted by extremists linked to the Syria- and Iraq-based Isis in the Sirte vicinity in December and January.
An unprecedented cyber robbery has netted an organised crime gang up to US$1bn over two years, fresh analysis suggests. Analysts from Interpol, Europol and Kaspersky Lab believe that responsibility for the robbery rests with a multinational gang of cybercriminals from Russia, Ukraine and other parts of Europe, as well as from China.
The decision this week to increase the Diffuse Mesothelioma Payment Scheme tariffs from 80% on average civil claims to 100% should be welcomed by the asbestos-related victim support groups, says national business law firm DWF.
JLT Re has today launched a new Healthcare division. Healthcare Risk Partners brings together JLT Re’s medical malpractice reinsurance team with Lloyd & Partners Healthcare insurance team, in London. Paul Voller will lead the division and with Charlie Pearch, Richard Jameson and David Fairbank will set the direction of the team going forward. This team will bring together the largest US treaty medical malpractice portfolio and the largest US healthcare insurance book in the London Market.
An executive order is set to be signed today by Barack Obama aimed at encouraging companies to share more information relating to cyber security threats with the government and each other.
Today the Insurance Bill received Royal Assent, implementing reforms recommended by the Law Commissions of England and Wales and of Scotland to modernise and simplify insurance contract law across the UK.
The Counter-Terrorism and Security Bill has received Royal Assent. The measure will bolster existing passport removal powers and allow police to temporarily disrupt individuals of concern who are attempting to leave the UK while further investigations are carried out. From today, the Home Secretary will also have the power to relocate those subject to Terrorism Prevention and Investigation Measures and require them to attend meetings with probation staff and others as part of their ongoing case management.
Innovate UK is to invest up to £4m in collaborative R&D projects that tackle the growing risks of disruption to internet-enabled businesses and their digital supply chains. The agency is seeking to identify and fund industrial research that will strengthen the protection and resilience of such data, so businesses and the public can have confidence in the delivery of digitally enabled business products and services.
Aon Benfield Securities has launched PathWise Solutions Group, a specialist unit that provides integrated high performance computing (HPC) business solutions. Originally developed as an annuities modelling tool, PathWise now covers a range of assets, liabilities, and scenario generators that use PathWise to manage and report on complex financial and biometric risks.
Security and data management present the biggest revenue opportunities for IoT platform service providers over the next five years. So says a study published today by Beecham Research focusing on the changing requirements for IoT enabling services and in particular, at how intelligence can be brought to the edge of the network, beyond cellular connectivity.
A government report due to be published tomorrow is expected to announce driverless cars as the future for Britain’s road transport system with the first test on public roads to take place this summer. With the potential to reduce accident rates by up to 90% (the estimated extent to which human error causes road traffic incidents) the step could usher in a new age of road safety.
Retailers are the most likely sector of industry to have cyber insurance cover, and are also most likely to be US-based. These are the findings of report published by information security organisation, the Corporate Executive Programme (CEP), which set out in a recent study to examine current attitudes towards cyber insurance among large and medium-sized enterprises in the US and the UK.
A new industry body is aiming to help British businesses reduce risk across their vehicle fleets by establishing best practice in the use of data. Fleet Data Insight has been founded by insurers Zurich, TomTom Telematics, the FTA and the Energy Saving Trust, bringing together thought leaders from across the fleet industry to share practical advice about using data to achieve operational excellence.
Lloyd’s Register has published new guidance for calculating explosion loads help improve safety in the oil and gas industry. Lloyd’s Register’s Guidance Notes for the Calculation of Probabilistic Explosion Loads provide recommended practices to help engineers, operators and designers to define blast and explosion loads to control and mitigate risk measures in offshore operations.
Small and medium sized enterprises are benefiting from falling insurance premiums. Analysis from the British Insurance Brokers Association (BIBA) says SMEs enjoyed a reduction of around 2% in 2014 compared to 2013 – largely driven by the reduction in commercial vehicle premiums which saw reductions in Q4 2014 of 6.3% compared to Q4 in 2013.
A sharp increase in demand for risk professionals is leading to elevated salary expectations, with 83% looking to secure a pay rise this year. Most are hoping for a significant increase: 41% expect a minimum rise of up to 10%, with more than one in ten seeking a salary boost of over 10%.
Pioneer Underwriters has launched a new EU regulatory compliant product for alternative investment fund managers (AIFMs). This specialist product is aimed at AIFMs domiciled outside of the EU, which in addition to providing traditional financial lines cover, also ensures policyholders are compliant with the insurance provision requirement of the EU Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive (“AIFMD”) which came into force in July 2013.
Aon Risk Solutions is working with the World Economic Forum to determine a new way for organisations to identify the impact of cyber threats. Following their participation on a Cyber Resilience Initiative panel at the World Economic Forum’s Davos meetings, Aon has developed a framework called Cyber Value-at-Risk, designed comes at a time when cyber attacks are increasing in velocity and intensity, and when 90% of companies worldwide recognise they are insufficiently prepared to protect themselves against them.
The extended warranty market in the UK is expected to grow on the back of positive trends in the consumer electronics and car markets; however, UK insurers risk standing on the sidelines, a new report by Timetric finds. According to the report, increasing sales of durable goods helped the extended warranty insurance industry to stop a negative trend in 2013 and is likely to bolster growth in the next five years
Protests have been reported in a number of locations in Jordan following the release of a video showing the execution of a Jordanian air force pilot, Muatah al-Kasabeh, by members of the Syria- and Iraq-based Islamic State (ISIL). In Karak, the pilot’s hometown, protesters launched disruptive protests and burnt down a government building. Protesters also gathered in the capital, Amman, and called for the execution of prisoners held on terrorism charges in Jordanian prisons. Further disruptive protests are anticipated in Jordan over the issue.
The UK government’s austerity measures have led to a reduced commitment on the part of public sector workers towards their organisation, new research has found. Increased disappointment and frustration over broken promises negatively affected public service employees’ loyalty and commitment towards their organisations.
The International Underwriting Association has urged UK insurance regulators to state clearly the crime authority of company boards over individual responsibilities for complying with industry rules. Responding to a consultation exercise on a new Senior Insurance Managers Regime, the association called for a strong overarching statement that individual duties remain subordinate to those exercised by a firm’s board.
Airmic has welcomed the UK parliament’s approval of fundamental reform of the law governing commercial insurance. The association’s CEO has urged the insurance market to move quickly in implementing the changes. The Insurance Bill was passed unanimously in the House of Commons today and is now only waiting for Royal Assent to become law.
Winter storm and blizzard warnings are in place in several states in the US Midwest and Northeast, due to severe winter weather which began yesterday. Winter Storm Linus has brought heavy snowfall and has led to road closures and travel delays.
Today, the first Monday in February is when employees are most likely to pull a sickie. The so-called 'National Sickie Day' may not appear to have much impact at first glance, but just one day of absences can be an early warning for more complicated issues, leading to longer term absence, according to Group Risk Development (GRiD).
In this roundtable debate, our panel of experts (among them practitioners from Crossrail, Transport for London, Johnson Matthey, Worley Parsons and Rolls-Royce) take a look at what characterises successful thinking in well risk-managed organisations.
Under new rules announced today, the Bank of England’s Financial Policy Committee (FPC) will have new powers of direction over the housing market and a leverage ratio framework for Britain’s banks, to guard against any future risks to financial stability.
A low severity case of avian flu has been confirmed in chickens at a farm in Hampshire. Defra says “robust action” is being taken to prevent any spread of the disease, which poses a very low risk to human health. The advice from Public Health England (PHE) is that the risk to public health is very low, and the Food Standards Agency has said there is no food safety risk for consumers.
Employed consumers working from home have an average of 11 IoT devices on their home networks, and nearly one in four employed consumers have already connected at least one of these devices to their enterprise networks. These are the findings of a study focused on the impact that emerging security threats connected with the IoT have on enterprise security.
International transport, freight and logistics insurer the TT Club says that organisations underestimate the costs and liabilities associated with the increase in cyber crime. As invasive cyber technology becomes more widely available and cost-effective, a greater risk to legitimate trade is emerging, exposing operators to economic and commercial damage. The effectiveness of business operations is dependent on continuous and secure communication channels to receive and fulfil orders, as well as instruct on-site and remote/mobile personnel. Both interruption to service and infiltration are obvious critical risks.
Give01Day has joined forces with the government’s Cyber Streetwise campaign and the IASME Consortium to bring the new Cyber Essentials certification to all UK charities and help them operate safely online. Designed to educate, inform and spread the word on Cyber Essentials and best practice on data security, the collaboration will help charities meet the standards for the UK Government’s Cyber Essentials certification.
xMatters has reported 250pc y-o-y business growth for the third quarter of fiscal year 2015, ending 31st December 2014. These results represent eight consecutive quarters of record growth and revenue growth of 60%.
ACE Group has announced the launch of a new, independent cyber risk business unit in a bid to strengthen its underwriting and risk management capabilities across Continental Europe. The announcement follows research by ACE which indicates that cyber is among the top three emerging risk issues for European risk managers.
Insurers across the world say regulatory changes and sustained low interest rates will continue to be their primary environmental challenges over the next one to three years, according to a new insurer outlook survey conducted by Towers Watson. While these near-term environmental challenges stand as insurers’ top concern, they also express worries about more fundamental issues such as whether their business models will hold up to new and emerging risks.
Investors in Ukraine can expect to lose US$34 in every US$100 invested over a 10 year time frame as a result of political risks, stemming from the increased threat of escalating conflict and the country’s challenging economic situation, according to new analysis from Oxford Analytica and Willis.
US-based message notification provider, One Call Now has acquired UK-based Safeguard Communications. The combined company delivers a powerful solution set designed to address organisations’ business continuity, emergency notification as well as customer notification messaging needs.
The Met Office has issued a Level 2 cold weather alert across Yorkshire and Humber, the North East, the North West, West Midlands, the East Midlands and the East of England: this means that there is at least a 60% chance of severe weather, with average temperatures to drop to 2°C or below within the next 48 hours and a chance of snow or ice.
In 2014, major changes were observed in the top cyber threats, including an increased complexity of attacks, successful attacks on vital security functions of the internet, but also successful internationally coordinated operations of law enforcement and security vendors. These are the findings of ENISA’s Threat Landscape 2014, published this week.
AXIS and PartnerRe have signed a definitive agreement to form a specialty insurance and reinsurance company with gross premiums written in excess of US$10bn, total capital of more than US$14bn, and cash and invested assets of more than US$33bn. The merger has been unanimously approved by the boards of directors of both companies.
ENISA has published a good practice guide, Actionable Information for Security Incident Response, which aims to provide a picture of the challenges national CERTs and other security organisations encounter as they try to generate actionable output from large amounts of data.
Tesco has launched a new interactive platform to boost collaboration, innovation and sustainability across its suppliers. The Tesco Supplier Network brings together over 5,000 members from across the world. Members will be able to connect directly with Tesco teams, and learn from each other on issues such as energy, food waste or innovation.
The British Insurance Brokers' Association’s 2015 Manifesto includes 20 calls to action to government and the regulator and 11 BIBA commitments on the issues that are impacting general insurance brokers and their customers. Following a commitment from John Griffith-Jones, FCA chairman, to work constructively with BIBA on smarter, clearer and more proportionate regulation, the Manifesto includes a new ten point regulation plan.
With research revealing workers in the insurance industry rate job satisfaction and work-life balance as more important than salary, recruiters at Reed are urging employers to give consideration to their recruitment and retention strategies. The poll of over 1,600 workers by YouGov questioned workers on their attitudes to work, career aspirations and regrets. It found 41% of insurance workers claimed that good job satisfaction is the single most important aspect of working life, followed by the need for good work-life balance (31%), showing it’s no longer just about the salary package which had just 12% of the vote.
Willis and Miller have entered into exclusive talks to create a London wholesale specialist broking firm. The proposed transaction will combine their wholesale businesses to trade under the Miller brand, governed and regulated as a standalone legal entity and separate Lloyd’s broker.
Measures to help UK businesses face the cyber security challenge and help UK cyber security firms “tap into the US market” have been announced following the Prime Minister’s visit to the US. In a bid to win more British business for the growing sector, a group of 12 UK cyber security firms have also travelled to Washington to meet a host of US businesses.
Significant changes to international regulation coming into force over the next few years are not likely to affect insurers’ ratings, according to ratings agency, Fitch. The agency expects that some insurers will face higher capital requirements, but that, in their view, these insurers are already well capitalised. That said, any further capital requirements could negatively affect cost of capital and competitiveness.
General insurers saw business volumes growing for the first time in two quarters and are expected to expand again in the three months to March, according to the annual CBI/PwC Financial Services Survey, launched today. Profitability improved but little growth is expected next quarter. Investment in IT is due to rise, but other areas of capital spending are likely to see a fall. Overall, the CBI's report says optimism among general insurers is down.
Baroness Pauline Neville-Jones, who has served at the highest levels of the British national security and diplomatic services, has joined Ridge-Schmidt Cyber as senior advisor. Founded by Tom Ridge, first US Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, and Howard A. Schmidt, former cyber advisor to Presidents Barack Obama and George Bush, Ridge-Schmidt Cyber advises corporate and government leaders on developing cyber resilience.
Research conducted by QBE reveals growing concern among UK businesses about the impact of bank base rate movement, with over one in five (22%) citing interest rates as the aspect of the UK economic environment that is of most concern.
Belgian police conducted a counter-terrorism raid on a residence in the city of Verviers yesterday, 15 January, during which two suspects were shot and killed, while a third was shot and wounded before being taken into custody. Following the operation, Belgium's security forces have been placed at their second-highest security alert status; however, the alert level is at its highest in Brussels and Antwerp, due to their statuses as major cities.
Xtralis is working with the City of London Police in exploring technology solutions that will allow live transmission of video and audio from central monitoring locations of police vehicles and officer-worn vests so that tactical decisions can be made more quickly and efficiently to respond to threats. Traditionally, police officers have used radios to verbally relay situational intelligence. This new solution will allow police central stations to view live video and audio at the incident to better assess situations and more efficiently deploy assistance.
The biggest threat to the stability of the world in the next 10 years comes from the risk of international conflict, according to the tenth edition of the Global Risks report, published today. Other top risks alongside that and interstate conflict in terms of impact are: rapid and massive spread of infectious diseases, weapons of mass destruction and failure of climate change adaptation.
ACE Group has announced the launch of ACE Middle Market Solutions, an enhanced proposition for brokers and clients, as it continues to build its position in the middle market segment in key Continental Europe insurance markets.
Businesses face new challenges from a rise of disruptive scenarios in an increasingly interconnected corporate environment, according to the fourth Allianz Risk Barometer 2015. In addition, globally traditional industrial risks such as business interruption and supply chain risk (46% of responses), natural catastrophes (30%), and fire and explosion (27%) continue to concern risk experts, heading this year’s rankings. Cyber (17%) and political risks (11%) are the most significant movers. The survey was conducted among more than 500 risk managers and corporate insurance experts from both Allianz and global businesses in 47 countries.
Sungard Availability Services UK has announced the launch of its new Desktop as a Service (DaaS) offering, which it says is the first of its kind to be developed alongside Cisco, Citrix and NetApp, providing the optimal IT infrastructure to deliver desktops wherever they are needed.
Severe weather warnings have been issued this afternoon for a number of regions in the UK. “Storm Rachel” is expected to cause disruption as it delivers snow, ice, rain, floods and huge gusts of wind. Stressing the importance of protecting property from extreme weather events, Thomas Roche, FM Global’s Northern Europe operations vice-president, details a number of steps that can be implemented by businesses to prevent loss from extreme flood and wind.
Politicians must face up to and prepare for less obvious risks such as the disruptive force of technological advances. So says Cicero and The Chartered Insurance Institute in a new report scanning the global political risks horizon. The study, published today, highlights that whilst we live amongst terrorist attacks, pandemics and global economic turmoil some less obvious risks often get overlooked, despite the fact that they could potentially have the biggest impact.
The tragic events in Paris are a continuation of a pattern that has been proliferating ideologically and spreading geographically for the last decade, and which is not expected to diminish in the near future, according to terrorism, security and political risk experts at Willis. Whilst attacks may be impossible to predict, recent trends suggest a movement towards ‘tactical low-tech’ but high impact assaults using guns, knives and vehicles, although a terrorist spectacular is still feasible,” commented Tim Holt, head of intelligence at Alert:24, part of Willis’s Special Contingency Risks division.
US risk management society RIMS has commended the decision of Congress and President Barack Obama to authorise a six-year extension of the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (TRIA).
The Prime Minister held a security meeting to review the Paris attacks and the risks to the UK of a similar attack. A Downing Street spokesperson said: “The Prime Minister held a security meeting in Downing Street this morning to review the Paris attacks and the risks to the UK of a similar attack. Meanwhile, the Joint Committee on Human Rights has said that further safeguards are required in the Counter Terrorism and Security Bill for some of the new measures proposed to plug gaps in the Government’s counter terrorism powers.
The CII's president, Ashwin Mistry, calls for the insurance profession to unify to resolve the challenges to come in the new year. In his New Year's message to CII members, Mistry highlighted that attracting new talent into the sector will continue to be an important issue for 2015. Following the results of the latest CII survey, employers in the insurance sector are becoming increasingly more aware of apprenticeships, and more than four times more likely to take one on. Yet top graduates are still not turning to insurance as their career of choice.
Sungard Availability Services Ireland has achieved the ISO 27001:2013 standard for its enterprise-grade shared private cloud environment and managed services offering. The ISO 27001:2013 certification provides organisations with an internationally recognised, independent verification that the company is able to securely manage information security, retaining confidentiality, integrity and availability of all data.
Suspected Boko Haram militants are believed to have killed hundreds of people in the Kukawa local government area of Nigeria's north eastern Borno State. According to reports released on 8 January, militants attacked and razed as many as 16 towns and villages in the region since 3 January.
XL has confirmed its acquisition of Catli . Under the terms of the transaction, XL will acquire all of Catlin’s common shares for consideration of 388 pence in cash and 0.130 share of XL for each Catlin common share. On the basis of the closing price of an XL share on 8 January of US$35.42 the offer values Catlin at 693 pence per share. This represents a transaction equity value of approximately US$4.1 billion dollars. In addition, Catlin shareholders will receive a 22p final dividend to be paid in Q1 2015.
The Lloyd’s Market Association (LMA) has welcomed the news that the US Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (TRIA) is to be renewed, putting an end to the period of uncertainty that has prevailed over the holiday period. TRIA was initially allowed to lapse at midnight on 31 December 2014 after the US Senate failed to authorise the Bill in December prior to its holiday recess.
A focus on digital transformation, the advance of the Internet of Things and the adoption of cloud services are among the key trends highlighted in a Capgemini report as top developments in technology for insurers over the coming year. "The advance of the Internet of Things (IoT) will create new opportunities across insurance segments – As the trend for connected devices continues to accelerate, the IoT is being seen as a transformational driver within the insurance industry," say analysts at Capgemini.
Following last month’s expiration, the US House of Representatives voted to reauthorise the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act – the government backstop for insurers’ losses from acts of terrorism. Welcoming the news, Dave Matcham, chief executive of the International Underwriting Association, said: “The IUA is pleased to see the US House of Representatives has acted to renew the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (TRIA) and therefore reduce economic uncertainty.
Many UK organisations are not enabling staff to take their legally required minimum break, according to new research by Bupa. As the nation settles back into work following the holiday period, the research highlights the benefits to business of encouraging employees to take a break.
As many as twelve people are reported to have been killed this morning after gunmen attacked the Paris office of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo. A further ten are injured, five of which critically, according to French officials. A major operation has been launched in the Paris area as police hunt for the attackers.
Congratulations to all of this year's Commercial Insurance Awards finalists! Now in its second year, these Awards are unique in rewarding commercial insurance services.
View the shortlist here: http://www.commercialinsuranceawards.com/awards/
Retail bank IT investment in 2015 will be focused squarely on driving revenue growth, according to new research from global analysts at Ovum. Digital channels will be at the heart of this activity, particularly as the improving economy has meant reducing costs and headcount is no longer a priority, according to the research. The large majority of investment made in 2015 will be focused on progressing with an omnichannel experience for customers.
Relentless rate reductions, low investment returns and the continued influx of alternative capital have offered no respite for reinsurers at the 1 January 2015 renewal season with a reshaping of the global reinsurance industry now starting in earnest, according to the latest renewals report from Willis Re. As expected, downward pressure on reinsurance rates continued across nearly all lines and geographies along with improved terms and conditions, with abundant oversupply of capital continuing to outstrip demand following yet another year of benign loss activity. Tiering of reinsurers is also gaining wider traction, putting real pressure on smaller reinsurers and mono line catastrophe writers who have the additional burden of competing with the capital efficient and highly competitive capital market-backed funds and sidecars.
The public sector insurance market has recently been somewhat restricted, though relatively competitive and stable for a number of years. Until recently, three key insurers; Zurich Municipal, RMP and Travelers, all of whom are strong supporters of Alarm, have dominated the scene but there has been little appetite for underwriting public sector risks elsewhere.
The long awaited updated Insurance Bill, which is aimed at modernising the legal underpinning for commercial insurance, was originally received with some concern. Some in the industry felt it might impede on the competitiveness of the UK insurance market. However, it is now seen as vital in order to ensure the law keeps up with the modernisation of the insurance sector.
The Insurance Bill has been passed unanimously in the House of Commons and is expected to become law shortly after receiving Royal Assent. It replaces significant parts of the Marine Insurance Act 1906, which has formed the market’s legal framework for over a hundred years. The reforms will impact firms’ day to day operations in business insurance, consumer policy wordings and the consequences of fraud.
In our previous column, we expressed our strong support for new Financial Reporting Council guidance which states that ultimate responsibility for risk management must lie with the board. In the most resilient companies, we argued, control of risk starts at the top. It was interesting, then, that a recent survey of Airmic members showed that only 44% of boards sign off their enterprise risk management programmes. Numerous boards still rely solely on audit committees to authorise their programme.
Biometrics, contactless payments and wearable tech are among the technologies that will transform the way we pay in 2015, according to Ron Kalifa, Worldpay deputy chairman.
News that Instagram has overtaken Twitter, with 300 million monthly active users now on the photography-based social network, has highlighted the risks presented by image-based communications, and a rapidly growing channel of content to consider in terms of security, compliance and reputation risk.
Fragmentation of cyber criminal activities, hyper-regulation and crunch time for Big Data. These are among the challenges waiting for businesses in 2015. "Crime as a service is a reality, lowering the barrier to entry for budding criminals and fuelling the growing threat, year after year," warns Scott McVicar, managing director, Cyber Security, BAE Systems Applied Intelligence.
Efforts to reauthorise the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (TRIA) fell apart late on December 16, 2014, after the Senate failed to extend the program prior to adjourning for the year. Without a renewal, TRIA is set to expire on December 31. If TRIA expires, commercial insurers will no longer be required to offer terrorism coverage beginning January 1. Without a federal backstop, insurers may seek to limit underwriting for high concentrations of risks in major cities—causing terrorism insurance coverage to become unavailable or unaffordable. Insurers that do continue to offer commercial terrorism insurance would likely be required to maintain higher capital standards in order to avoid negative rating implications. Where coverage for terrorism-related events is still available, prices for this coverage will increase.
FIFA executives today voted to release the findings of World Cup corruption report in full. The handling of the report has already been met with widespread criticism with only a summary being released, angering the report’s author, Michael Garcia. Stepping down from his role as independent ethics investigator this week, Garcia has labelled the summary of his two year investigation as "incomplete and erroneous". The decision to release the full report was made by made by Fifa’s executive committee, although, Fifa President, Sepp Blatter, was able to limit who could vote.
After ongoing negotiations with the Association of British Insurers and Flood Re, an agreement has been reached on a number of matters regarding how Flood Re will operate. This will enable legislation to be laid in Parliament next year and – once approved by the financial regulators – enable Flood Re to operate as a reinsurer.
Rising geopolitical tensions, political violence, and separatist movements combined with falling commodity prices are exacerbating political risks and further highlighting challenges for direct foreign investors, according to the 2015 Political Risk Map and report, released today by Marsh.
According to preliminary Swiss Re sigma estimates, total economic losses from natural catastrophes and man-made disasters were US$113bn in 2014, down from US$135bn in 2013. Out of the total economic losses, insurers covered US$34bn in 2014, down 24% from US$45bn in 2013. This year disaster events have claimed around 11,000 lives.
Risk management society RIMS has expressed its concern for Congresses’ inability to extend the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (TRIA) before its deadline on December 31, 2014. “We are extremely disappointed that Congress failed to pass an extension of TRIA, despite strong bipartisan support," said RIMS President Carolyn Snow. "The programme’s expiration will have many negative repercussions for commercial insurance consumers, the countless organizations they represent and the U.S. economy as a whole.
Today’s young risk professionals will require a much broader skillset than their predecessors in order to become tomorrow’s risk leaders, chair of Airmic’s fastTrack initiative, Kate Wallin, has said. Her comments come as fastTrack announces details of its first conference.
Security remains heightened in Sydney's Martin Place amid an ongoing hostage situation at a shop in the area. An unconfirmed number of people were taken hostage in the shop by at least one unidentified gunman early this morning. According to reports, at least five of the hostages have subsequently escaped or been released, and there have been no reports of casualties and police officials have been quoted by media sources as having contacted the gunman.
The UK Civil Aviation Authority and NATS have agreed to the establishment of an independent inquiry following the disruption caused by the failure in air traffic management systems on Friday afternoon, 12th December. A handful of flights were impacted up and down the country after an unprecedented failure in the system which led to the controllers being unable to access all of the data regarding individual flight plans.
Australian police stormed a Sydney cafe in the early hours of Tuesday morning (local time) to free several hostages who had been held there at gunpoint for more than 16 hours. According to Reuters, medics tried to resuscitate at least one person after the raid and several injured people were taken away on stretchers, according to a Reuters witness at the scene.
xMatters has released the latest version of its On-Demand cloud platform. Available globally, the technology enables efficient two-way enterprise-wide intelligent communications and alerting. The new release boasts significantly enhanced collaboration features, a cloud-to-enterprise hybrid integration agent, enhancements to executive and employee messaging.
Japanese non-life insurers are likely to further tighten their management of catastrophe risks in 2015, according to a new report from Fitch Ratings. Catastrophe risk and non-life insurers' exposure to Japanese equities are the two main sources of volatility in operating performance for the industry.
Aegis London has launched a cyber insurance product offering property damage, bodily injury, environmental pollution and cyber terrorism wrapped around existing policies. Cyber attacks will be the 'new normal’ in 2015 with an increase in destructive attacks linked to on-going global conflicts.
Following a year characterised by widespread conflict and civil unrest, escalating geopolitical tensions and spiralling terrorism fatalities, global stability is unlikely to improve over 2015, according to the seventh annual Political Risk Atlas released by global risk analytics company Verisk Maplecroft.
Ecuador's largest private bank, Banco Pichincha, is deploying MetricStream’s cloud-based solution for business continuity management to help minimise the impact of business disruptions as well as aid in crisis and incident management planning by streamlining and automating the BCM lifecycle. It will also provide an integrated framework to collaboratively manage all BCM processes, including BIA, business continuity planning, testing of plans, and issue management and remediation. The solution will be rolled out in Spanish to support local users.
As attention shifts from sophisticated external attacks to the role that internal vulnerability and negligence often play, a new survey conducted by the Ponemon Institute suggests that most organisations are having difficulty balancing the need for improved security with employee productivity demands. Employees with needlessly excessive data access privileges represent a growing risk for organisations due to both accidental and conscious exposure of sensitive or critical data.
Airmic has urged insurance buyers to insist that written contracts are in place as soon as policies go live – instead of the 30 days currently recommended. The call comes as the association launches an on-line toolkit for members to support the insurance-buying process. The risk and insurance association believes that achieving day-one policy issuance will only be possible if insurers, brokers and risk managers work together to change market practice and, in particular, to start the renewal process earlier.
DVLA and the Motor Insurers Bureau (MIB) have launched the new MyLicence service. The first of its kind, the initiative was developed in partnership with the Association of British Insurers in response to the government’s Insurance Industry Access to Driver Data programme and DVLA’s ongoing aims to digitise the driver data it holds.
JLT has agreed to purchase Hayward Aviation from Towergate Insurance for a cash consideration of £27m. Hayward Aviation is an international specialist aviation insurance broker that arranges insurance for regional airlines, small commercial fleets of fixed wing aircraft and helicopters, individual jets, light aircraft and helicopters owned by private clients. For the year ended 31 December 2013, the business generated revenues of £10 million and profit before tax of £3 million.
Underwriting confidence within the London insurance market leading in to 2015 has reduced compared to this time last year, according to PwC. As insurers approach the 1 January 2015 renewal season, PwC's market outlook shows London Market participants assuming an average combined ratio of 97% for 2015 with one in five materially reliant on investment returns to make a profit. The continued abundance of capacity has dampened possible rate increases and has led to substantial declines over the past year.
Fitch Ratings says in a new report that its rating outlook for the German non-life insurance sector remains stable. The sector outlook, an indicator of fundamental trends, is also stable. The agency considers German non-life companies to be well prepared to meet the sector's current challenges, and does not expect a significant number of rating changes over the next 12-24 months.
Typhoon Hagupit hit Eastern Samar late Saturday local time, flattening homes, toppling trees, and cutting power and communications. Ahead of the storm, more than 1.2 million people were evacuated into more than 1,500 schools, civic centres, town halls, gyms, and churches across the region, according to the Red Cross. Financial markets, schools, and government offices were closed on Monday. A total of 183 flights had been cancelled and five airports closed, and there were power outages reported in 16 provinces.
Direct losses in real estate and infrastructure as a result of natural disasters has tripled, reaching US$150 billion per year. This is according to a study carried out by the Urban Land Institute. Based on data from Lloyd’s of London, the white paper finds that while the insurance industry is a leader in developing risk standards for natural disasters, the real estate sector and governments must also play an active role in climate change adaptation.
The House of Lords Special Public Bill Committee on the Insurance Bill will take evidence next week from Supreme Court Judge Lord Mance, as well as industry professionals from the risk and insurance industry.
Insurer RSA has been selected as the insurance partner for a government backed project to pilot driverless cars in London’s Greenwich Borough. The project contract, awarded to a consortium led by transport innovation consultant TRL, of which RSA is a member, is part of the government's recent announcement to test the suitability of driverless cars in locations across the UK.
This year’s aviation disasters contradict the industry’s long-term improvement in safety with currently fewer than two passenger deaths for every 100 million passengers on commercial flights, according to a new report by aviation insurer Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty. By comparison during an early decade of the jet age (1962-1971) there were 133 passenger deaths out of every 100 million passengers.
Over 2014, the human rights situation has deteriorated most in Ukraine, Thailand and Turkey due to heavy-handed government responses to civil unrest and failures in rule of law. This is according to Maplecroft’s annual Human Rights Risk Atlas (HRRA), which also reveals increasing polarisation between the world’s best and worst performing countries.
Losses above US$5m in the US healthcare insurance sector are accounting for a rising proportion of total dollars spent in claims, according to specialist healthcare insurer Hiscox. In the early 2000s the percentage of the total spent in claims for losses of US$5m and over was in the 7.5%-10% range per year; that figure has moved up in to the 15%-25% range, and is expected to go higher still.
Covéa has reached agreement to acquire Sterling Insurance Group. The transaction, which is subject to regulatory approval, will broaden Covéa’s product offering in the UK market. Total gross written premium post acquisition will be close to £600 million.
The WHO has commended Spain for the measures put in place to identify potential cases and prevent further transmission of the Ebola virus. These measures included exhaustive contact tracing of both high- and low-risk contacts, daily active monitoring of all contacts, training in and monitoring of correct use of personal protective equipment for all healthcare workers caring for the patient infected with Ebola virus.
AXA Assistance has launched its new Total Loss Protection insurance for brokers and insurers, designed to address delays and financial losses associated with motor write-off claims. The new product also responds to calls for transparency and improved customer experience from add-on products.
Businesses need to be aware how much damage the ‘fear multiplier’ from deadly diseases such as Ebola and emerging infectious diseases could cause them, the Cambridge Centre for Risk Studies warns.
UK businesses are risking a reputational time bomb due a lack of awareness on how to protect their data assets, according to research released today by BSI, the business standards company. As cyber hackers become more complex and sophisticated in their methods, UK organisations are being urged to strengthen their security systems to protect both themselves and consumers.
This coming weekend is sandwiched between two of the busiest shopping days of the year. Black Friday and Cyber Monday will see hundreds of UK retailers slash their prices to compete for the contents of consumers’ Christmas wallets. Originally created by US firms to get Americans spending after Thanksgiving, the craze has become a UK phenomenon with Adobe Digital predicting that expenditure this year will reach £285 million.
The British Insurance Brokers’ Association (BIBA) and Beachcroft DAC have launched an insurance guide to the sharing economy which aims to help overcome the insurance barriers that sharing businesses and individuals have faced when sharing items or skills such as car journeys, renting properties or lending tools. In the UK alone the sharing economy is estimated to be worth £500million, and is growing at 25% per year.
There is a worrying disconnect between what the headquarters of large multinational organisations believe about their anti-corruption programmes and the reality of what is actually going on at the front line in the higher risk markets. This is according to Control Risks, which this week published its annual survey of business attitudes to corruption.
The UK government has unveiled a new counter-terrorism and security bill, designed to give the UK some of the toughest powers in the world to tackle the increasing threat from international terrorism. The Counter-Terrorism and Security Bill is designed to bolster an already considerable armoury of powers to disrupt the ability of people to travel abroad to fight, reduce the risks they pose on their return and combat the underlying ideology that feeds, supports and sanctions terrorism.
Business standards organisation, BSI has published BS 65000 Guidance for Organisational Resilience, designed to provide an overview of resilience, describing the foundations required and explaining how to build resilience. BS 65000 provides guidance on achieving enhanced organisational resilience and articulates the benefits of doing so. Currently, standards exist within the crisis management and business continuity management arenas which impact on the overall governance of an organisation. This standard can help to enhance these practices by integration of the disciplines that are essential for resilience. BS 65000 references other activities including risk management, horizon scanning and change management.
PwC has joined Beazley’s network of partners to support the insurer’s cyber incident response offering. The partnership will see Beazley Breach Response (BBR) policyholders offered access to one of the world’s largest forensic services providers to investigate suspected data breaches and network intrusions.
Due to the rising number of catastrophic events in Australia, more and more Australians become aware of the benefits of non-life insurance, leading to a substantial increase in the market, according to a new report by Timetric. According to the report, the gross written premium of Australian non-life insurance increased from US$22.8bn in 2009 to US$34.7bn in 2013, at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.2%. The number of non-life policies also grew at a CAGR of 4.4% between 2009 and 2013, reaching 53 million last year.
Airmic has welcomed the decision by Pool Re to implement far-reaching changes in the way the scheme operates. The association believes the reforms, agreed last Friday, will make Pool Re more attractive to business as well as diversifying its risk base. At Friday's EGM, members of the terrorism reinsurer voted to support a more flexible approach to setting premiums and terms. The move has the support of HM Treasury, which underwrites the scheme as reinsurer of last resort.
The World Bank this week approved a US$285 million grant to finance efforts to contain Ebola in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, as well as to help communities in those countries cope with the socio-economic impact of the crisis and rebuild and strengthen essential health services. The grant is part of the nearly US$1 billion previously announced by the organisation for the countries hardest hit by the Ebola crisis.
The House of Lords has appointed a new Special Public Bill Committee on the Insurance Bill. The Committee has published a Call for Evidence asking for views on the Bill to be submitted by 27 November. The Committee has been established as the Bill is a Law Commission Bill. For Law Commission Bills which are not considered controversial, Committee Stage in the House of Lords can be undertaken by a Special Public Bill Committee. The Committee has 28 days to take oral and written evidence on the issues raised, before amending the Bill if it wishes. Report Stage and Third Reading then follow as usual in the Chamber of the House of Lords.
Aon Benfield has completed an innovative insurance placement as part of a UK government energy initiative to install smart meter systems nationwide by 2020. The placement, with insurer AIG on behalf of global smart meter solution provider EDMI, provides extended warranty cover for around 10 million communications hubs to be installed in small businesses and homes in Scotland and northern England over the next five years.
Insurer Beazley has incorporated CSID’s CyberAgent Internet surveillance technology to the breach response services provided under its Beazley Breach Response offering. CSID provides global identity protection and fraud detection technologies for businesses and their employees. Their identity monitoring solution, CyberAgent, is a proprietary Internet surveillance technology that detects stolen personally identifiable information and compromised confidential data online.
The emerging market for civil aviation drones represents a tremendous opportunity, both for the insurance community and the wider business world, the International Underwriting Association has stated. Further growth of such technology could be stimulated if the EU amended safety legislation and provided information on the current use and losses of drones.
The Houses of Parliament have implemented and gained certification to ISO 22301, the international BCM system standard from the British Standards Institution. Being a UN World Heritage site and icon of national identity was among the unique challenges for the design of its business continuity management system, as well as the importance of the political dynamic; the traditions and rules of procedure that provide the basis for ‘business as usual’ activities and the dual nature of Parliament and its decision making processes.
Andrew France OBE, former deputy director of Cyber Defence Operations at British intelligence agency GCHQ, has been appointed strategic advisor of Wynyard's intelligence division. A technology and intelligence leader with a distinguished career, France spent the last years of his GCHQ career developing and delivering a national cyber defence strategy as part of a mission to protect the UK from cyber threats.
Maritime tracking, monitoring and security software supplier Pole Star has developed a new service, PurpleTRAC, to address the maritime trading challenges faced by financial institutions. PurpleTRAC enables banks, commodity trading companies, marine financers and insurers to manage their exposure and mitigate the possibility of involvement with a vessel at risk of sanctions non-compliance, money laundering or terrorist financing.
Phoenix IT has been confirmed as a Lot 2 supplier on the GP Systems of Choice (GPSoC) framework, joining the list of approved suppliers of IT services to more than 75% of GP practices across England. The GPSoc Framework is administered by the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC), the national provider of information, data and IT systems for health and social care providers in England.
G4S Technology has release its new Virtual Command Center, a geographic information system designed to help organisations understand how security-related events affect employees, business facilities and assets. Fully integrated with OneFacility, the G4S Technology security and facility management software platform, Virtual Command Center enables businesses to make more informed decisions when monitoring assets and responding to events of all types including weather, health and security related incidents.
According to figures released today by Marsh, growth in the global transactional risk insurance market is currently underpinned by a sharp rise in demand in emerging territories, amid continued development in mature markets such as the United States and Europe. Research conducted by Marsh’s Private Equity and M&A Services Practice, Transactional Risk Solutions: Global Review, reveals that the limits of transactional risk insurance placed by Marsh globally in the first half of 2014 have increased by 59% on the same period in 2013, rising to US$3.5 billion.
Software provider RDT’s insurance administration platform Landscape has been upgraded to support MyLicence, the collective initiative by the DVLA, the Department for Transport, the Association of British Insurers and the Motor Insurers' Bureau. MyLicence is an industry hub developed by the DVLA and operated by the MIB that provides insurers with the ability to learn key risk data about a customer, such as convictions, disqualifications and penalty points, at the moment they apply for cover, by sending their driving licence number to the DVLA.
Miller is now arranging insurance for membership and affinity schemes following the launch of a dedicated offering driven by three hires, all recruited from International SOS.
The fifth annual Risk Management Awards Gala Dinner was held last night at the Millennium Hotel in London's Mayfair district. As host of the Gala Dinner, Chris Barrie announced the deserved winners across this year's 21 categories.
Willis has appointed Nicolas Aubert as chief executive officer of Willis UK Insurance, which includes its combined UK retail and global specialty businesses. Aubert is currently COO of AIG in Europe, Middle East and Africa, and formerly MD of AIG in the UK. As MD, he led one of the largest companies specialising in the UK business insurance market and the London market, with offices located throughout the country.
Regulators are increasingly recognising that climate change poses real risks to companies and industries. The Bank of England has recently written to insurers to assess the risk that climate change poses to their solvency and earnings. In response, the LMA Academy, the Lloyd’s Market Association’s educational arm, has launched a leadership programme with the University of Cambridge to explore the strategic implications of climate change for the insurance industry.
Senior executives say that critical data is not being protected, a new report from information security and risk management company, NTT Com Security, shows. The report, designed to assess the level of risk within large organisations and the value that senior people place on data security, reveals that the majority (56%) of respondents in the UK agree they are likely to suffer a security breach at some point – which rises to 63% on average globally.
Risk and insurance law business BLM has announced a new team specialising in marine insurance claims. The team handles all aspects of marine casualty work with particular emphasis on protection and indemnity and freight, demurrage and defence matters; assisting owners, charterers, operators, brokers and insurers in a wide range of jurisdictions with respect to shipping related personal injury and fatal accident claims which can include both cargo and passenger ships and port/terminal operations.
One in four employees admit breaking security policies to work remotely and the vast majority aren’t concerned about losing confidential business data. According to the survey of 1,000 office workers from the UK and Germany, nearly two in five of respondents, or someone they know personally, have lost or had a device stolen in a public place
Towers Watson has released the STAR Risk Neutral (RN) addition to its STAR Economic Scenario Generation (ESG) software suite, designed to generate market-consistent scenarios and support any application requiring market-consistent valuations of options and guarantees.
Law firm DWF has successfully challenged an industrial noise induced hearing loss (NIHL) claim on behalf of the Department for Transport against a former railway employee who claimed to have impaired hearing after working at the British Rail Engineering works.
Following comments by Robert Hannigan, the new head of the UK’s GCHQ, on terrorist groups and their use of social media, cyber specialists at Aegis say it is interception, not prevention, that is key in deterring terrorist use of social media. “The use of technology by terrorists is not a new issue, as all technologies are inherently dual use,” said Daniel Carr, cyber security specialist with Aegis London. “A smartphone being used by a criminal is still a smartphone; however the conversations it enables may not be those desired or imagined when it was designed. The argument today focuses on the ‘ease of interception’ rather than its actual feasibility.
Two thirds of the world’s largest companies are reporting exposure to water risks, some of which have potential to limit growth. The news comes amid mounting shareholder concern around the business impacts from water scarcity, accessibility and poor water quality.
BSI has launched PAS 7000, a universally applicable supply chain information standard for suppliers and buyers. PAS 7000 Supply Chain Risk Management: Supplier prequalification helps answer three key questions relating to any organisation’s supply chain partners: Who are they? Where are they? Can they be relied upon?
A dozen of the UK’s leading insurers met with the Minister and Cabinet Office, UK Trade & Investment, Department for Business, Innovation & Skills and GCHQ officials to discuss the issue and agree a joint statement on how to grow the cyber insurance market to improve cyber security for UK businesses.
The 17th annual Business Continuity Awards are now open for entries. This year, there are new criteria across all categories, and four new categories. Whether it is an entry for your people, your products or your projects you want to submit, getting started on your entries before Christmas will help you put your best foot forward, according to CIR Magazine editor and chair of the judging panel, Deborah Ritchie.
Aon Benfield’s catastrophe model development team has developed new realistic disaster scenario models to estimate the cost of floods in China and Vietnam. The 2011 Thailand flood was the costliest global flood event causing US$16bn of insured losses, while last month’s seasonal rains produced flooding across parts of Thailand, China, India and Pakistan resulting in more than 800 fatalities, damage to 600,000 structures and combined economic losses in excess of US$20 billion.
UK organisation, the Business Continuity Institute (BCI), says nearly a quarter of companies responding to its recent supply chain survey had suffered losses of at least €1 million during the previous twelve months as a result of supply chain disruptions. Of these, 13.2% suffered a one-off disruption that cost in excess of €1 million. Further, some 40% of organisations polled were not insured against any of these losses.
A newly published report from the Business Continuity Institute (BCI) highlights a number of trends in the implementation of emergency communications plans in the UK.
In order to be effective, emergency communications plans must be continuously updated to reflect the risks that a business faces, and must be thoroughly embedded throughout the organisation.
Phoenix IT Group has joined the Microsoft Cloud Solution Provider Programme, enabling the UK-based IT services company to provide direct billing, sell combined offers and services, as well as provision, manage and support Microsoft Cloud offerings directly.
Danish climate scientist and TV weatherman Jesper Theilgaard says risk managers should not treat climate change as a doomsday scenario. Instead, he said, they should look for the business opportunities in helping to mitigate the possible impacts and make local adaptions to the changing environment.
In a response submitted to the European Commission today, the Federation of European Risk Management Associations (FERMA) has called for renewal of the Insurance Block Exemption Regulation (IBER) for (re)insurance pools. Coverage of the largest and exceptional risks still needs an exemption from EU competition rules says FERMA
Some 50% of national energy and carbon reduction targets will need to be achieved by energy efficiency, according to Munich Re's specialist engineering and construction division, HSB. Speaking at a United Nations Environment Programme last week, HSB's Paul Cullum explained that by 2050, 80% of today’s buildings will still be in existence, and will all need to benefit from improved energy efficiency.
UK companies are facing significant cost increases in their employee insurance premiums as the average age of their employees continues to rise. Research from Towers Watson shows that when a company’s average employee age rises by five years its Group Income Protection insurance premium could increase by as much as 50%.
The IUA-ABI Rehabilitation Working Party has reported an unprecedented response to its request for views on modifying the Rehabilitation Code and has drawn up a timetable for publishing a revised Code, with a view to completing by mid-2015.
Sungard Availability Services has announced plans to open a new workplace recovery Centre for central London. The facility, which offers capacity for over 700 customer staff, will be equipped with the latest conferencing equipment and IT infrastructure.
Databarracks has launched a free online Disaster Recovery Toolkit comprising a Cost of Downtime Calculator allowing users to calculate precisely how much a given disaster would cost their business per department, per IT function or overall and a DR Responsibilities Chart outlining who is responsible for what in a disaster recovery scenario, from IT admins up to the IT Director and CEO. The downloadable tool also features a DR Runbook detailing exact tailored procedures and processes to follow in the event of an incident.
The merits of such a strong blend between strategy and risk seem obvious. So why do many modern organisations persist in keeping their strategic and risk management activities separate? Why don’t boards/senior managers pay more attention to risk management, given how essential it can be to strategic success and why don’t risk managers get more involved in strategic decision making?
For the insurance sector, cyber security and related risks represent both exponential opportunity and threat. It is clear to all that cyber risk is one of the fastest growing risks on the corporate risk radar. The requirement for a wide range of cover for cyber risk has never been more apparent.
A basic understanding of cyber security among all company employees is critical, an expert has told a House of Lords committee. The Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) cyber security expert Hugh Boyes said relying on a few cyber security professionals cannot provide the level of reassurance and safety that modern businesses require.
Ultimate responsibility for risk management should lie with the board of directors. That was the key message from guidance released by the Financial Reporting Council – and we at Airmic wholeheartedly support that message. While risk managers should take care of day-to-day risk responsibilities, the FRC said, it is up to the board to ensure that the appropriate policies are in place, that board understanding of risk is high, that risks are maintained within tolerable levels, and that risk mitigation is appropriate. This is critical because taking a complete view of a company’s risk profile goes beyond the scope of insurance and traditional risk management techniques.
With the central government funding cuts still continuing to compound reductions in past years, local authority organisations are embracing a significant change in the way that not just local services but back office support is delivered. Outsourcing, partnerships, collaborative working and shared services are alternative service delivery models that are already familiar to many Alarm members, but the recent development of trading companies to deliver those support services and to sell the undoubted expertise that there is in local government out to others is now gaining ground.
The motive of yesterday's Ottowa shootings remains unclear at this stage and investigations are ongoing; however, authorities have not ruled out a terrorist motive for the attack. There is a marginal terrorism threat in the country due to Canada's involvement in foreign-based counter-terrorism operations, the most recent of which is targeting the Islamic State (IS). The country's contributions to international counter-terrorism operations have made it a potential target for sympathisers of such organisations.
Catastrophe modelling firm AIR Worldwide estimates that insured losses from Very Severe Cyclone Hudhud will range between US$100m and US$400m. The range in the modelled insured losses reflects uncertainty in the meteorological parameters associated with this event. For the insured loss estimation, there is additional uncertainty in the take up rates/insurance penetration for India. AIR's insured loss estimates assume insurance penetration of 3% for residential lines, 20% for commercial, and 30% for industrial. These take-up rates are somewhat higher than state-wide insurance penetration rates and reflect the fact that the majority of losses are coming from Visakhapatnam (Vizag), which has higher insurance penetration compared to the average across Andhra Pradesh.
Didcot B power station in Oxfordshire remains closed following a major blaze that broke out Sunday night. Operator, RWE Generation says the blaze started after a fire broke out in one of the two cooling tower modules of Didcot B power station, a 1.4GW gas fired power station (adjacent to the Didcot A coal-fired power station which closed in 2012).
Insured losses in Bermuda from Hurricane Gonzalo will range between US$200 million and US$400 million. To produce loss estimates for Hurricane Gonzalo using the AIR Tropical Cyclone Model for the Caribbean, AIR used track and intensity information from NHC advisories, vortex reports from hurricane hunter aircraft, and actual wind observations from stations in Bermuda.
Targeted action to revitalise domestic supply chains could inject £30 billion into the economy by 2025, creating more than half a million jobs across the United Kingdom, according to the CBI, which has issued a report recommending ways to kick start the UK's supply chains, and solutions to reinvigorate Britain's industrial strategy. Based on new research carried out by A.T. Kearney, the global management consultancy firm, the report reveals underinvestment in research and development, a growing skills crisis and weakened foundation industries that are key to advanced manufacturing - such as plastics, metals and chemicals.
BAE Systems has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Perimeter Internetworking Corp, which trades as SilverSky, a commercial cyber service provider, for US$232.5 million on a cash free and debt free basis.
As concerns about the outbreak of Ebola and the potential for a wider spread of the disease increase, Marsh has put together guidance to help businesses understand and manage the UK insurance position and the risk management implications.
New research has identified a $2 trillion social innovation market opportunity in 2020 for business, industry, investors and governments looking to address the key issues driving human development in the 21st century. The research defines 'social innovation' as the deployment of technology and new business models to bring about positive change to the lives of individuals and societies, creating shared value and improved social infrastructure to address global megatrends. The objective is to achieve a sustainable society in which environmental and economic needs are addressed in a balanced way.
More insurance companies across the EMEA region see themselves as sellers of business units rather than buyers over the next three years, according to a survey of senior insurance executives conducted by Towers Watson and Mergermarket.
Argo International has announced the launch of a new initiative to provide complimentary legal advice to its D&O policyholders. The new service offers D&O policyholders a free consultation with specified lawyers at CMS Cameron McKenna , Kennedys Law, Pinsent Masons or Sedgwick, Detert, Moran & Arnold.
Estimates from various sources have indicated that without effective intervention, the Ebola global case count could reach 20,000 by early November (WHO), 200,000 by the year’s end (Virginia Tech), and as many as 500,000 by the end of January 2015 (CDC), with the vast majority of cases limited to West Africa. (Note that models used by these different sources may have material differences in assumptions and methods.)
The BBA and the Chartered Insurance Institute (CII) have announced the launch of a new working partnership to promote and develop standards and skills in retail banking. The collaboration will see the CII and BBA deliver a series of initiatives aimed at individuals working in customer facing roles within banks throughout the UK.
Polling by Aon indicates young people are not fully aware that apprenticeships are available across a breadth of high-skilled sectors including insurance. Almost half (45%) of the respondents surveyed by Aon would consider a career in financial services, but awareness of opportunities for apprenticeships within the sector ranked among the lowest identified, with young people revealing that they did not know opportunities were available in actuarial science (85%), insurance (60%) or accountancy (55%).
After passing through the eastern Caribbean two days ago and achieving hurricane-speed winds near St. Martin, Gonzalo continues to strengthen and could even bring stormy weather to the UK and Newfoundland, Canada. In the meantime, Aon Benfield reports that hurricane conditions are possible over Bermuda on Friday, with tropical storm conditions possible by late Thursday night. Large swells generated by Gonzalo are also affecting portions of the Virgin Islands, the northern coasts of Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic, and portions of the Bahamas. Swells will reach much of the east coast of the United States and Bermuda on Thursday. These swells are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions.
Online payments company, Worldpay has a new risk management tool designed to combat fraud and help online businesses operate more efficiently. RiskGuardian, which was developed in partnership with a consortium of global ecommerce merchants, is designed to offer more accurate risk checks to increase the acceptance of good transactions and minimise fraudulent ones. It runs more than 200 checks per second on each transaction and identifies emerging fraud patterns, meaning it can potentially cut fraud losses by more than 50%.
Proactive claims reporting and management can contribute positively to the ongoing sustainability of an organisation in a number of financial and non-financial ways – according to RIMS' new report, Claims Reporting and Management Practices. The reference guide, authored by members of the RIMS Standards and Practices Council, explores the characteristics of a successful claims reporting and management programme.
Miller Insurance Services and William Gallagher Associates have announced the availability of Pandemic Disease Business Interruption Insurance, provided by the Ark Syndicate at Lloyd’s. Coverage responds to loss of income arising directly out of shutdowns of healthcare facilities as well as diminished revenues in the aftermath of a quarantine. The coverage is available through insurers in London that are licensed in the US and in other markets.
Major credit and debit card providers are among the main ‘payment systems’ used by British businesses and consumers each day that the government is proposing to bring under the scope of the powerful new Payment Systems Regulator (PSR) from April next year.
Very severe cyclone Hudhud made landfall at 5:00 UTC on Sunday near Visakhapatnam with sustained wind speeds of 117 knots. Hudhud quickly weakened to a depression after landfall, according to the India Meteorological Department. Although the storm is continuing to weaken, many regions are still being warned to watch for strong winds and flooding.
Digital technology is creating new, more interesting job opportunities, according to an Accenture study, which surveyed 5,000+ UK residents from the age of 12+. However, the research found that student age respondents worry they may not be equipped with the relevant skills to make the most of those opportunities.
Swiss Re Corporate Solutions has launched contaminated products insurance cover for the food and drink industries in the UK, Ireland and Italy. The cover offers protection in both the primary and excess layers for manufacturers, retailers and distributors.
Arthur J. Gallagher’s Reinsurance broking team (AJG Re) has transferred to become a partnership within the Capsicum Re Group, effective immediately. All current and future treaty reinsurance business handled by Arthur J. Gallagher will now be conducted by Capsicum Re, via the new partnership between these two entities.
"The most resilient cities endure because people will defend their homes to the death if they are truly homes, and not just houses." This was the message from former Labour security minister Admiral Lord West, who addressed delegates attending the World Cities Conference in London this week.
Sweeping reforms within the African insurance industry are clearing the way for higher quality cover for multi-national businesses, according to the leader of one of the continent’s largest insurers.
Flood Re has published a tender for the services of a retrocession broker. The tender invites bidders to apply for an initial four year contract, extendable by Flood Re for further periods so that the term may be up to seven years in total, with award scheduled for early December 2014. The broker will provide Flood Re’s advice on retrocession and/or other protection together with catastrophe modelling services. In addition the broker will procure and place outwards reinsurance and/or other protection on behalf of Flood Re.
Risk professionals from across the globe gathered at the British Library in London today to take an holistic look at how cities can be made safer, more secure, smarter and more resilient by better predictive, protective and responsive measures. Organised by CIR Magazine and London First, this two-day event was designed to address the tremendous challenges in making cities safe, secure and resilient for their inhabitants and businesses - future-proofing our world's cities.
Hundreds of pro-democracy protesters remain encamped in northern parts of Hong Kong Island, in Hong Kong, on 8 October. While the intensity of the protest activity has diminished considerably since its peak on 1 and 2 October, considerable business and travel disruptions continue to be reported in the Central, Admiralty and Causeway Bay areas of the city.
A new financial crime alert system, which will see 12 government and law enforcement agencies work together to warn banks of the latest cyber threats, aims to safeguard the accounts of customers. The British Bankers’ Association, working with preferred technology partner BAE Systems Applied Intelligence, will launch the Financial Crime Alerts Service (FCAS) as part of a new approach to combat a wide range of financial crime threats.
Typhoon Phanfone made landfall last night near the Japanese city of Hamamatsu, with a central pressure of 965 mb. Phanfone had weakened considerably by the time it made landfall with winds equal to those of a Category 1 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Scale; just five days earlier Phanfone had intensified to the equivalent of a Category 4 storm.
The number of risk professionals working at least 50 hours a week has climbed significantly, according to the latest Robert Walters Career Lifestyle Survey. Some 41% of risk professionals are reported to be working 50 or more hours a week in 2014, a year-on-year rise of 11%.
QBE has launched a free rehabilitation service designed to support injured employees and their employers in the period immediately post-incident. QBE Return is available to all businesses currently covered by a QBE employers’ liability policy. Employees injured at work can receive an immediate assessment of the extent of their injury and advice on how to manage it from medically qualified case managers. The injured party can then continue to receive telephone support up to 30 days post incident.
KPMG and MetricStream are to collaborate on a suite of GRC consulting and technology services. MetricStream’s technology solutions align closely with KPMG’s holistic approach to GRC implementation and transformation by streamlining, automating, and integrating GRC programmes for optimal effectiveness and efficiency.
Analysts modelling Ebola disease spread patterns and airline traffic data have predicted a 75% chance the virus could reach France by the end of October, and a 50% it could hit Britain. According to Reuters reports, these figures are based upon air traffic remaining at full capacity. Were travel reduction to see an 80% reduction to affected areas, those likelihood figures would drop to 25% for France, and 15% for Britain.
According to catastrophe modelling firm AIR Worldwide Typhoon Phanfone is now on track to impact large areas of Japan with damaging winds and substantial rainfall, from Osumi and the southeastern coast of Kyushu to Shikoku and Honsho. Although no longer a super typhoon, Phanfone is expected to cause widespread disruption as it proceeds northeastward toward Tokyo.
"Our cities are growing fast. In 1980, the world’s population was about 4.5 billion. By 2030, that same number will be living in cities, or megacities. That it equivalent to two in three of the world’s population living in these massive urban clusters/sprawls and so it’s vital that we address the problems that will inevitably arise out of this considerable urbanisation."
New measures to modernise the UK's intellectual property framework came into force this week, modernising copyright law and helping designers and patent holders protect valuable IP. The government says its package of reforms to copyright exceptions is expected to contribute and estimated £500 million to the UK economy over the next 10 years.
Only 27% of people trust insurance providers and only 6% trust them more than a year ago. Greater transparency has the single most impact on rebuilding consumer trust, but will require new levels of openness. Insurers have opportunity to build reputation based on higher data security consumer trust levels than new entrants
BSI has launched an independent assessment scheme to assist companies achieve and demonstrate competence in their supply chain security. ISO 28000, the international standard for supply chain security management, has been developed to help organisations to better assess security risks in their supply chain, manage new threats as they emerge and implement appropriate controls.
BSI has launched an independent assessment scheme to assist companies achieve and demonstrate competence in their supply chain security. To help organisations implement the new standards, the BSI has offered the following top tips:
Now in its second year, the Commercial Insurance Awards are unique in rewarding commercial insurance services. Winning a Commercial Insurance Award is the pinnacle of best practice in your sector, and represents an opportunity to showcase the people, programmes and products that set you apart from the competition.
Charles Taylor has announced the launch of Charles Taylor Safety Management, a new business to help businesses improve safety, reduce accidents and related insurance claims. CTSM will provide safety services to the manufacturing, offshore energy, construction, mining and other industries.
Sedgwick has completed its acquisition of T&H's global business and subsidiaries, which includes VeriClaim in the US and the UK, Unified Investigations & Sciences, Inc., Cramer, Johnson, Wiggins & Associates and Ellis May Chartered Loss Adjusters. Through these subsidiaries, T&H provides specialised claims services—such as property loss adjusting, field investigation, third-party claims management and fire and forensics investigation services.
The Financial Reporting Council has issued an updated version of the UK Corporate Governance Code. The updated code seeks to significantly enhance the quality of information investors receive about the long-term health and strategy of listed companies, while at the same time raising the bar for risk management. The FRC has confirmed proposals for boards to include a ‘viability statement’ in the strategic report to investors. This will provide an improved and broader assessment of long-term solvency and liquidity. It is expected that this statement will look forward significantly longer than 12 months. The code has also been changed in relation to remuneration. Boards of listed companies will now need to ensure that executive remuneration is designed to promote the long-term success of the company and demonstrate how this is being achieved more clearly to shareholders.
International SOS has partnered with mobile communications provider Vismo to create a solution for monitoring, tracking, and assisting travellers to high risk and remote locations. The partnership incorporates Vismo's location based tracking service with International SOS's itinerary and manual check-in based TravelTracker. This solution offers companies expanded visibility into their high profile travellers' location by using real time background tracking and geofencing capabilities that are appropriate to the risk and enhance a company's ability to prevent potential situations and respond effectively to an incident.
Lloyd’s has reported a profit of £1.67bn for the first six months of 2014, marking a 21% increase on the corresponding period last year. Lloyd’s chairman, John Nelson said the half year results are particularly positive in the current competitive environment: “The Lloyd’s market continues to remain in a strong financial position, and this solid foundation means Lloyd’s is in a great position to continue to expand in both established and high-growth economies around the world.”
Flood Re has published its response to the Department for Environment Food & Rural Affairs consultation on the Flood Reinsurance Scheme Regulations. It is envisaged that Flood Re Limited will be the body designated in legislation as the Flood Re Scheme Administrator. The consultation discusses the proposed statutory framework within which directors of Flood Re would need to operate the company as a reinsurance facility for homes in high flood risk areas.
Tripwire has created a free tool designed to help IT teams solve the difficult problem of finding and patching Bash quickly. According to Lamar Bailey, director of security research for Tripwire, Bash is particularly difficult to detect because it is used on such a wide variety of devices and applications and because the vulnerability has been around for many years so all potentially vulnerable systems need to be checked.
Legal & General has become the first insurer to adopt a new solution that provides GPs with software that improves the process of producing and underwriting insurance reports.
Aon Global Risk Consulting is to develop a new modelling tool for the oil, gas and petrochemical sectors, in partnership with TNO. The Aon Loss Estimating Risk Tool (ALERT), will be designed to evaluate loss potentials for a full range of scenarios including vapour cloud explosion (VCEs), jet fires, spill fires and vessel ruptures.
Aviva has announced that their rehabilitation service for musculoskeletal conditions, BacktoBetter, will now be available as standard on Solutions private medical insurance plans for small and medium sized corporate clients. Launched last year to large corporate private medical insurance clients, BacktoBetter treats employees with musculoskeletal (MSK) conditions quickly and effectively without the need to see a GP, while also reducing claims spend.
MSIG chief information officer Richard Williams has called on the industry to urgently address the profound effects the digital economy is starting to have on insurance.
In an address at the Insurance Technology Congress this week he explained that insurance, which at its core is an information business, faced tremendous challenges posed by the rise in internet technology in everything from household objects to infrastructure, ships and aircraft.
Marine insurers face myriad local compliance regulations when providing cover for international cargo operations, Dave Matcham, chief executive of the International Underwriting Association has warned. Speaking at the International Union of Marine Insurance (IUMI) annual conference in Hong Kong, he highlighted the importance recognising relevant rules in each port at which a vessel calls. A non-compliant programme could potentially result in claims disputes, fines and reputational damage.
A new vulnerability found in the software used in hundreds of thousands of broadband routers found in small business and homes could lead to a new wave of cyber attacks. A critical software component, which forms part of many Linux-based items such as broadband routers and business servers, has been discovered to have a flaw, which makes it easy for a cyber criminal or hacker to attack such devices. The code used to exploit the vulnerability is now freely available online.
Companies across Europe expect to increase their use of multinational insurance programmes over the next three years as they become increasingly concerned about the risk management implications of their rising exposure to emerging markets, according to new research published today by ACE Group. Risk managers also worry about the changing liabilities their multinational operations face. Four of the top six risks that they expect to create the greatest risk exposure for their multinational operation in three years’ time relate directly to liability issues. Cyber risk, which has a significant liability dimension ranks second. Environmental liability ranks third, underlining a growing awareness of new and emerging liabilities. Professional indemnity and directors’ and officers’ liability are also in the top six, highlighting the increased challenges for decision-makers in a globalised world.
The rapid rise in telematics usage-based insurance (UBI) offered by auto insurers is an opportunity to break out of an otherwise commoditised market, according to new research by Ovum
Those of us who work in the public sector are facing unprecedented change, driven by the application of continuing austerity measures and the ongoing pressure to do more with less resource. We know that change is a constant. However unless we recognise the impact of those changes on the delivery of front line services and adjust our risk profiles accordingly, further areas of risk will materialise that might not have been envisaged some three to five years ago.
The Insurance Bill, which sets out reforms to the legal framework for commercial insurance, is extremely welcome – and long-overdue – news for insurance buyers in the UK. It will not only provide greater security for buyers, but will also help to maintain confidence in the London and UK insurance market. We commend insurers such as Aviva that plan to amend their underwriting policy to reflect these changes with immediate effect, rather than waiting for the law to come into force.
Every year, here in the South West of England, hundreds of thousands of tourists flock to our beautiful beaches and every year some have to be rescued from a variety of tide related mishaps. Whether this be unfortunate surfers swamped by a sudden increase in wave height, walkers/beach goers getting caught on the rocks as the tide comes in or windsurfers being carried out to sea by the fast tides.
Research conducted by Databarracks has revealed a significant disparity between organisations’ attitudes and approaches to business continuity and disaster recovery. The findings indicate that while medium and large organisations are confidently implementing business continuity plans, small organisations are putting themselves at risk by failing to follow suit.
Growing populations and ageing infrastructure are straining the capacity of many nations to deliver essential public services and grow their economies. Overcoming this infrastructure deficit will require public and private sectors working together, and well-structured public-private partnerships (PPPs) are one solution for helping governments raise the large sums of capital needed to meet infrastructure demands and spur development.
Kent Fire and Rescue Service has signed a 6 year contract with Steria for the SteriaSTORM command and control system. The £900,000 contract is underpinned by Geographic Information System (GIS) technology that overlays real-time information about the location of emergency services resources onto detailed electronic area maps.
A World Bank Group analysis of the ebola epidemic finds that if the virus continues to surge in the three worst-affected countries – Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone – its economic impact could grow eight-fold, dealing a potentially catastrophic blow to the already fragile states. However, the analysis finds that economic costs can be limited if swift national and international responses succeed in containing the epidemic and mitigating “aversion behaviour” – a fear factor resulting from peoples’ concerns about contagion, which is fuelling the economic impact.
There are many characteristics that make an individual a professional person, one of which is upholding ethical standards of behaviour. That means not only ‘doing the right thing’ but also being prepared to challenge behaviour in others that falls short of the mark. Whistleblowing should not be mistaken as disloyalty; it is just the opposite. Those who blow the whistle can be the most loyal and public spirited of employees and can help their firm avoid serious consequences that regulators and the law can apply to companies found to be involved in wrongdoing or malpractice.
Willis Employee Benefits has partnered with Now Health International and Healix International to offer clients with fewer than 99 expatriates medical plans designed to fulfil employees’ healthcare needs outside their home country. A special feature of the medical plan is access to online pre-assignment medical screening for employees and their dependents.
With the results of Scotland's referendum just hours away, Get Safe Online has warned computer users to be aware of fake early result messages. In a notice on its website, Get Safe Online warned of the risk of clicking on links in messages that claim to reveal the actual or anticipated results, which could send to users to a hoax website where they will be asked for personal or financial details or be exposed to inappropriate material.
The Internet of Things represents a tremendous opportunity for innovative companies looking to unlock new revenue sources by packaging their products with new digital services, according to Accenture. In its new report, Driving Unconventional Growth through the Industrial Internet of Things, Accenture says that combining sensor-driven computing, industrial analytics and intelligent machine applications into a single universe of connected intelligent industrial products, processes and services, the industrial Internet of Things generates data essential for developing corporate operational efficiency strategies.
Managed IT services provider Netshield has expanded its portfolio to include hosted VoIP, targeted at SMEs. The service will include features such as secure instant messaging, presence functionality, video calling, collaboration tools, simple administration and integration of office and mobile services.
The British Insurance Brokers’ Association (BIBA) has taken the first step towards developing a voluntary code of conduct by re-establishing its working group. A proposal is to be developed to allow BIBA to lead the way in interpreting the Financial Conduct Authority’s Principles for Businesses, the CII’s Code of Ethics and lead the standards debate for the benefit of members and their customers.
Regulatory compliance has been cited as one of the biggest risks facing the independent school sector. This is according to research carried out by insurnace broker Lucas Fettes, in association with chartered accountants Baker Tilly. The report explores how independent schools develop and implement risk management strategies.
A report just published by Aon Benfield shows that the pace of rating agency and regulatory developments is not expected to slow in the near future. Strong ERM seems to be the anchor for companies to address regulatory developments and manage rating agency expectations.
The growing trend for including previously excluded areas of cover such as terrorism and cyber risk in poorly worded reinsurance contracts and at no extra premium, is not only disguising the true cost of risk, warns Hiscox Re, but could also trigger a torrent of future litigation.
AIG has launched a new cyber risk product for SMEs associated with the government’s new Cyber Essentials scheme. Through the scheme, government is encouraging all businesses to build cyber security into their companies by focusing on five critical security controls. The IASME Consortium offers a self assessed route to Cyber Essentials which will help small businesses demonstrate that they are operating to those requirements.
In an address this morning at the annual Monte Carlo Reinsurance Rendezvous, Dan Glaser, president and CEO of Marsh & McLennan, said that the reinsurance industry has the technological and intellectual capabilities that can bring real solutions to some of the world’s challenges, of which there is no shortage today.
Brokers need to take on a wider risk advisor role in the market or face losing profitable business to special risk advisers, according to PwC’s new report Broking 2020: Leading from the front in a new era of risk.
The government has introduced the Insurance Bill to Parliament, which will support the growth of Britain's insurance industry and help customers by updating the 100 year-old rules governing contracts between businesses and insurers.
xMatters has partnered with advanced monitoring providers AppDynamics and ScienceLogic. These two partnerships are designed to address the challenges faced in monitoring and resolving issues and distributed IT environments.
The increasingly high values at risk in industrial insurance claims are highlighted in a new report from business insurer, Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty (AGCS). In its Global Claims Review 2014, AGCS identifies the top causes of loss and emerging trends from over 11,000 major business claims in 148 countries, each of above €100,000 (US$136,455), with which it has been involved between 2009 and 2013.
The year-end expiration of the federal Terrorism Risk Insurance Program Reauthorisation Act (TRIPRA), and its uncertain future, is creating capacity and pricing issues for terrorism insurance buyers, according to the Insurance Information Institute, which stresses that, in the absence of TRIPRA, terrorism risk insurance would be less available to businesses of all sizes who want, and need, these policies. “Without the federal government’s insistence that insurers make terrorism coverage available to all who want it, terrorism risk insurance policies will be more costly and/or limited in scope,”
Reactec is launching a new automated tracking and reporting system which protects employers and employees against HAVS risk. The Reactec Analytics Platform combines Havmeter with a new cloud-based reporting platform and automated data collation to optimise productivity and reduce HAVS related costs. HSE data estimates that over 50% of all industrial diseases last year were HAVS related.
Companies lose an average of US$7,900 per minute when their datacentres go down. With fire being one of the most feared causes of outage, commercial and industrial property insurer FM Global, in partnership with the National Fire Protection Association’s (NFPA) Fire Protection Research Foundation (FPRF) recently conducted more than 100 experiments to understand and develop solutions to prevent this costly hazard.
Global reinsurer capital has reached a new peak of US$570bn, according to the latest Aon Benfield Aggregate study. Launching the latest edition of its ABA report, which analyses the financial results of the world’s largest reinsurers in the first half of 2014, Aon Benfield Analytics estimates that global reinsurer capital reached this record level at June 30, 2014, an increase of six per cent (US$30bn) relative to December 31, 2013. This calculation is a broad measure of capital available for insurers to trade risk with and includes both traditional and non-traditional forms of reinsurance capital.
Aon Risk Solutions has launched a new professional indemnity facility. Designed to cater to ‘traditional’ professions’ including accountants, architects, engineers, surveyors and solicitors, as well as cover for miscellaneous errors and omissions business. The new approach sees Aon use a single MGA structure with the support of a number of Lloyd’s syndicates including Novae and Argo. The revised structure is intended to provide stability to professions in the SME space where capacity has varied over the years.
As wind power continues a high-profile migration from traditional growth markets to newer, often highly remote locations in Asia-Pacific, Africa and Latin America and turbine manufacturers find themselves under increasing pressure to deliver cost competitive electricity generation through larger turbines with minimum unscheduled downtime and longer, lighter rotor blades, the overall integrity of wind turbines and, specifically, the performance and reliability of their blades, appears to have suffered.
The European Commission has found and sanctioned a cartel set up by companies producing smart card chips. The Commission has subsequently imposed fines totalling E138 million. The companies involved were Infineon, Philips, Samsung and Renesas, a joint venture of Hitachi and Mitsubishi, which, instead of competing, colluded in order to coordinate their market behaviour throughout Europe.
Despite years of bold monetary policy, the health of the global economy is at risk, as countries struggle to implement structural reforms necessary to help economies grow, according to the Global Competitiveness Report 2014-2015 released by the World Economic Forum. In its annual assessment of the factors driving countries' productivity and prosperity, the report identifies uneven implementation of structural reforms across different regions and levels of development as the biggest challenge to sustaining global growth. It also highlights talent and innovation as two areas where leaders in the public and private sectors need to collaborate more effectively in order to achieve sustainable and inclusive economic development.
Aon Risk Solutions has sold its eSolutions unit to Palo Alto-based Symphony Technology Group for an undisclosed amount. eSolutions has approximately 300 employees globally. As part of the transaction, Aon Risk Solutions will resell exclusively eSolutions' iVOS and RiskConsole RMIS solutions to its clients pursuant to a multi-year distribution agreement.
Reacting to news that a number of online businesses have recently been breached, opening access to customer data, Yiannis Chrysanthou of KPMG's cyber security team, suggests that instead of businesses blaming consumers for using weak passwords, they need to introduce multi-factor authentication.
According to statistics published today by the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (Acas), the vast majority of UK employees are keen to settle workplace disputes through early conciliation rather than through the courts. The statistics, which are the first to demonstrate the impact of new laws designed to reduce the number of employment tribunals, show that in the first three months since their launch, 17,145 early conciliation notices were received by Acas.
Congratulations to all of this year's Risk Management Awards finalists! The winners will be announced at a gala dinner and ceremony on 13th November 2014 at the Millennium Hotel, Mayfair, London.
Alarm has produced a good practice guide on the use of surveillance for the purpose of investigating insurance claims. Acknowledging the challenges for risk managers presented with conflicting advice in this field, the public risk management association hopes this guide will serve to clarify exactly how RIPA applies.
IT managed services provider, Advanced 365 is partnering with specialist IT disaster recovery provider, Plan B to offer SMEs disaster recovery of their IT servers in less than one hour. Tim Dunger, CEO, Plan B, says: “The cost of IT downtime can make or break a business with downtime for the average business costing as much as £1.5 million per annum. This is one of the reasons we are seeing such a demand for our unique pre-recovery service.
Airmic, the UK association for risk managers and insurance buyers, has announced that it will be working together with the Reputation Institute on how to tackle the complex subject of reputational risk. The two organisations will explore ways in which risk managers and the insurance industry can improve their handling of reputation. They aim to develop a framework setting out an agreed definition of reputational risk and an understanding of its drivers and what can be done to mitigate and insure against it.
More than three-quarters of UK staff cannot afford to maintain a living on statutory sick pay, research has revealed. Seventy-seven per cent of those surveyed in a study conducted by employee healthcare and risk specialist PMI Health Group claimed they wouldn't be able to live on just statutory sick pay if their income stopped tomorrow.
At the same time, 46% said their employers do not continue to pay their salary in full if they are off work for three months or more through sickness or injury.
A report published today by international law firm DAC Beachcroft highlights 50 key changes the UK insurance industry can expect to see in the coming months, based on a series of predictions by its insurance experts. The 50 predictions relate to 13 different areas of insurance business, including property, construction, energy, professional liability, marine, technology, product liability, D&O, reinsurance, motor and insurance advisory.
Announcing measures to wrestle the threat of radicalised Britons fighting alongside Islamic State (IS) militants, Prime Minister David Cameron said today that he would bring in new laws to give police the power to seize the passports of suspected Islamist fighters.
According to preliminary estimates, total economic losses from natural catastrophes and man-made disasters reached US£44 billion in the first half of 2014. The global insurance industry covered US$ 21bn of these losses, down from US$ 25 billion in the first half of 2013 and lower than the average first-half year loss of the previous 10 years (US$27bn). In all, more than 4,700 people lost their lives in disaster events in the first six months of this year.
The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) is warning businesses that they must be prepared for a targeted attack. The warning comes as the Racing Post signs a commitment to improve its IT security practices after 677,335 accounts were compromised during a data breach in October 2013. ICO head of enforcement, Stephen Eckersley, said:“There is barely a day that goes by without a company being the target of an online attack. This is the modern world and businesses and other organisations must have adequate security measures in place to keep people’s information secure.
The government has raised the terrorist threat level in the UK from substantial to severe – just second to the highest level.The current threat level is set separately for Great Britain and Northern Ireland. In mainland Britain, the threat level is severe from international terrorism and moderate from Northern Ireland-related terrorism. In Northern Ireland, the threat level is substantial from international terrorism and severe from Northern Ireland-related terrorism.
The World Health Organisations is stepping up its international response to the outbreak of Ebola virus disease in west Africa, with the aim of stopping ongoing Ebola transmission worldwide within six to nine months, while rapidly managing the consequences of any further international spread. The WHO said in a statement that it also recognises the need to address, in parallel, the outbreak’s broader socio-economic impact.
The Financial Conduct Authority has fined RBS and NatWest £14,474,600 for serious failings in their advised mortgage sales business. The firms failed to ensure that advice given to customers was suitable. Two reviews of sales from 2012 found that in over half the cases the suitability of the advice was not clear from the file or call recording. The issues with the sales process included affordability assessments failing to consider the full extent of a customer’s budget when making a recommendation, failing to advise customers who were looking to consolidate debt properly and not advising customers what mortgage term was appropriate for them.
A new global initiative launched by DNV GL and Monday Morning Global Institute aims to identify opportunities for sustainable responses to a range of global risks. A series of eight workshops around the globe marks the start of the identification process. The results will be published in the first Global Opportunity Report in January 2015.
A report published by UK think-tank the Institute for Public Policy Research shows how tackling the issue of climate change can concurrently also help address some of the greatest economic and social challenges facing Britain today. It has been known for years that climate change is happening and is man-made, and there is growing concern that the world is heading for a catastrophic temperature rise of 4°C. Since 2010, increased instances of severe weather events, rising import dependency and oil prices, and the falling costs of renewable energy have all added to the case for urgent action. Nearly 70% of the British public are concerned by climate change.
The earthquake that shook Napa, California in the early morning on Sunday caused significant non-structural and contents damage throughout the region according to RMS. Repercussions for local businesses, particularly wineries, hit by the earthquake will become clearer over the coming days.
Cyber criminals are continuing to improve their odds of success by exploiting human psychology as well as technology. This is according to security software provider, Proofpoint, whose research team recently observed an example of these ‘human factor’ exploit tactics in a campaign nominally targeted at stealing Bitcoin access credentials.
A staggering number of unreinforced masonry or non-ductile concrete buildings globally remain vulnerable to damage from earthquakes. Public buildings and schools make up a large majority of these concrete and brick buildings. Schools, in particular, have performed worse than other buildings in earthquakes, resulting in major injuries and fatalities, according to experts in the field of seismic risk reduction.
ACE Group has launched a suite of professional indemnity wordings for media companies domiciled outside the US and Canada. The suite of new wordings tailored for media professionals faced with the challenges of operating in the digital age are aimed at broadcasters; media companies; producers and publishers.
Cat modelling firm RMS has updated its Probabilistic Terrorism Model to incorporate new views of terrorism risk for the UK as well as for Denmark, Ireland, Italy and Canada. The updated RMS model shows a 15-35% reduction in the overall attack frequency of large-scale events for Copenhagen, Dublin, London, Milan, Montreal and Toronto, Rome, and Vatican City.
Telstra has launched a new cloud-based unified communications service. The solution is now available across four continents in 25 countries, consistently delivered over Telstra’s worldwide network extending to more than 2,000 points of presence.
The insurance sector has developed a new apprenticeship standard for insurance practitioners, which was published today by the UK government. Led by Aon, it is hoped that this new apprenticeship standard will offer an alternative to university for those seeking to build a career in risk management and insurance.
The Financial Conduct Authority has said firms must do more to ensure financial promotions do not mislead consumers. The UK watchdog says some promotions for financial products are still falling short of its rules and firms need to do more to ensure that advertisements do not mislead. Since 1 April, the FCA has reviewed over 1,500 financial promotions for consumer credit products. The rules state that all promotions must be clear, fair and not misleading for consumers.
The rapid development of fledgling Arctic shipping routes is dependent upon improvements in the capabilities of vessels navigating them and the upgrade and expansion of the support facilities in the region, according to a new report. Arctic shipping routes, including the Northwest Passage, present the global maritime community with financially attractive alternatives on Europe to Asia trades through the Panama and Suez canals. The routes are also increasingly relevant to the oil and gas sector, as energy exploration and production expands into the waters off the Russian Federation, northern Alaska, Canada and Greenland. However, shipping firms need to ensure they have a full understanding of the risks involved in order to gain the confidence of insurers.
The aviation industry has today been warned about potential flight disruptions due to powerful seismic activity recorded at Iceland's Bardarbunga volcano in the past three days. The Met Office recorded the earthquake as the strongest in the region since 1996 and upgraded the status to orange – the fourth level out of five.
Standard and Poor's has published a detailed perspective on the reinsurance market, focusing on the competitive pressures that will impede reinsurers' ability to generate strong returns, and challenges for the sector to reinforce its relevance to existing and future clients as the global economy continues to evolve.
The new Airmic-Axco database of international insurance regulations, Insight Risk Manager, is proving popular with the risk management industry, having already attracted over 100 Airmic members actively using the tool since its launch a few weeks ago.
As major emergencies around the globe increase in scale, complexity and frequency, the World Health Organisation is calling for an end to the targeting of health workers in conflicts and other humanitarian crises, which represent a breach of the fundamental right to health.
The number of Ebola cases in West Africa has risen to 1,975 according to the World Health Organisation, and the outbreak is expected to continue for some time. A report yesterday (published on 14 August) states that its staff continue to see evidence that the numbers of reported cases and deaths vastly underestimate the magnitude of the outbreak.
Edward Snowden has revealed that comments made to Congress by the US intelligence chief James Clapper caused him to distribute classified information. During an interview with Wired magazine (released yesterday, 13 August) he noted that he had been troubled by the activities of the NSA, but it was the words that it does "not wittingly" collect data on American citizens that drove him to act.
Tensions have risen again as a Russian aid convoy has been stopped in central Russia, with officials in Ukraine saying it will not be allowed access to the country. The BBC reports that nearly 300 trucks are standing 185 miles away from the border, having left a military base near Moscow.
Product liability claims in the medical industry are becoming a bigger and more costly issue for both manufacturers and insurers, creating a reluctance to innovate and higher, difficult to achieve, break-even points for new products.
The remains of hurricane Bertha, over the western side of the Atlantic will come steadily towards the UK over the next few days, according to the latest Met Office models. Southern parts of the UK appear most at risk from the effects of the hurricane and there is also the possibility that the storm could move across northern France as a weak feature and also a risk of a more intense system affecting the UK more widely.
Aviation and aircraft insurers are enduring the most difficult claims experience in years, which will likely reverse declining pricing trends at policy renewals, according to Fitch Ratings. However, competitive factors and abundant underwriting capacity may blunt the magnitude and scope of rate increases across the broader market. Policyholders with attractive safety profiles are likely to continue to see
competition for their business.
Hurricane Iselle, which has been tracking toward Hawaii since last week, is projected to make landfall on the Island of Hawaii Thursday night local time. At one time a Category 4 storm, Iselle has weakened to a Category 1 hurricane and is expected to further weaken to a tropical storm by landfall. Hurricane Julio, tracking behind Iselle and slightly to the north, is forecast to pass near Hawaii on Sunday, also as a tropical storm.
A major study into how technology is changing the way we communicate shows that the average UK adult now spends more time using media or communications than they do sleeping. Six in 10 workers do some form of work-related communications activity outside of working hours. Emailing is the most common work-based communication activity out of hours, with nearly half of all workers emailing from time to time, and a fifth doing so on a regular basis.
The UK government announced plans today for the development of a new strategy for Britain’s digital communications infrastructure. The consultation seeks views on the likely demand for digital communications and technology from business, consumers and public bodies, and what infrastructure will be needed to meet this demand.
The deadline for entries for the Risk Management Awards has now been extended until the 13th August 2014, giving you an additional two weeks to enter. The awards are FREE to enter to all organisations worldwide, and are an opportunity for companies and organisations to gain recognition for their achievements, to network with fellow professionals and to celebrate your achievements in risk management.
The recent outbreak of a particularly lethal strain (Zaire) of the Ebola virus has raised concerns about a wider spread of the disease. The largest outbreak of the Ebola virus to date — with more than a suspected 1,323 cases of infection and 729 deaths — is disrupting communities and economies in Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Nigeria. Authorities are further concerned about West Africa’s ability to contain the virus, given local health infrastructures, stretched resources and personnel, as well as cultural concerns that can impede virus-control measures.
Airmic’s most recent conference brought together some 900 delegates in a record-breaking year for our annual gathering of risk and insurance professionals, and there was a palpable sense of change and opportunity among a new generation of risk managers.
Last year public sector workers were just 18.8% of the working population in the UK: the lowest percentage since 1999 when the Office for National Statistics began gathering the data. On the face of it, this indicates a shrinking public sector and, as demand for services has never been greater, the gap looks alarming.
The Director-General of the World Health Organisation and presidents of west African nations impacted by the Ebola virus disease outbreak will meet Friday in Guinea to launch a new joint US$100m response plan as part of an intensified international, regional and national campaign to bring the outbreak under control. The scale of the ongoing outbreak is unprecedented, with approximately 1,323 confirmed and suspected cases reported, and 729 deaths in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone since March 2014.
Marking a significant step in the development of the UK’s knowledge, skills and capability in cyber security, the certification of six Master’s degrees in Cyber Security was announced by Francis Maude, minister for the Cabinet Office. The development of GCHQ-certified Master’s degrees will help the successful universities to promote the quality of their courses and assist prospective students to make better informed choices when looking for a highly valued qualification
Explosion and fire modelling software, GexCon has released an updated fire modelling tool for the oil and gas, processing and industrial segments. FLACS, first released in 1986, offers 3D CFD (computational fluid dynamics) gas dispersion and explosion modelling software. This latest release, FLACS-Fire, completes its hazard modelling capability.
A survey into cyber security in the retail sector suggest that a number of organisations don’t realise the goal of PCI compliance is the protection of cardholder data alone – not for the business as a whole.
Entertech Systems and G4S Technology have announced a technology partnership that combines Entertech’s identity management and Suprema biometrics with G4S security solutions. “This new partner relationship fits perfectly with our own focus on excellence in technology and customer service,” says David Ella, VP of technology and marketing at G4S Technology.
Some commentators have argued that existing data protection law can’t keep up with the rise of big data and its new and innovative approaches to personal data. That is not the view of the ICO, which stresses the basic data protection principles already established in UK and EU law are flexible enough to cover big data. “Applying those principles involves asking all the questions that anyone undertaking big data ought to be asking,” the report reads. “Big data is not a game that is played by different rules.”
With recent payment card industry data security standard) compliance incidents costing companies millions of pounds in fines and losses and inflicting damage to valuable brand reputations, organisations processing payment cards are being urged to follow best practice to safeguard against security incident.
Thales has been awarded a 10-year contract worth £30m to support computerised control system services at all but two of EDF Energy’s nuclear power stations in the UK. The power stations’ data processing and control systems are high capital value assets that are technologically complex and critical to operations, with a high degree of risk, increasingly including cyber security.
Managed services provider Phoenix has been selected by Huawei Enterprise as a Gold Partner. Phoenix will be working with Huawei on the development of its MPLS Service for long distance network routing. The UK-based provider is also working on a long term investment and training plan with many of their technical teams already receiving training.
Businesses are so focused on cyber attacks by organised crime, that they ignore the possibility of being targeted by groups wanting to make a political point. This is the view of KPMG's Malcolm Marshall, who suggests that, whilst attention is focused on the search for resolutions in the 'corridors of power', businesses need to be ready to defend themselves, as cyberspace becomes the new battleground.
Deborah Ritchie, Editor of CIR Magazine, talks to Thomas Coles and Philip Nunn.
Deborah Ritchie provides a summary of some of the latest stories in business risk, insurance and resilience
Report identifies cities facing most extreme terrorism risk
IT outsourcing up 24pc in last six months, Phoenix study finds
Deloitte, IBM in regulatory risk suite collaboration
Information Commissioner tells EU regulators to step up
AIG to grow K&R offering for SMEs
CISOs take the rap for data breaches
Renewable energy industry employment up 20pc
VIEW: On the sensitive nature of data handling in the public sector