An investment in safety and a proactive risk management strategy can provide real returns in terms of fewer accidents, lower costs, higher quality and a stronger reputation. These are among the findings of a new paper released by ACE Group that explores strategies for managing risk in the construction industry. The report reviews the importance of building a strong safety culture, and outlines the components of an effective construction risk management programme.
Fresh analysis from Verizon has found that 92% of all security incidents over a ten-year period can be traced to nine basic attack patterns that vary from industry to industry. This finding, the highlight of Verizon’s 2014 Data Breach Investigations Report, will enable a more focused and effective approach to fighting cyber threats.
A new maritime risk rating system has been launched. The International Maritime Risk Rating Agency (IMRRA) was founded with the support of a number of major oil companies in their attempts to unify areas of marine risk assessment and management, making them more transparent and comprehensive.
The Federation of European Risk Management Associations (FERMA) has launched its 2014 Benchmarking Survey of European risk and insurance management, in association with its national association members in 20 European countries.
AOC Group has submitted a planning application for a 75,000 square foot datacentre facility at Queensway Business Park in Glenrothes Fife. The development could create up to 250 construction jobs and around 50 full-time skilled technology and engineering jobs in just over a year of construction and development.
Investment banking consultancy CMC Europe has launched a global consultancy which aims to rival the big four in insurance and reinsurance. CMC Insurance will provide the re/insurance market with regulatory risk consultancy, and will offer differentiated solutions via partnerships with a number of technology firms.
Phoenix is to open a new Technology Innovation Centre, at its site in Birmingham. The centre is designed to provide a flexible environment to explore new technologies and solutions, helping customers to understand the impact of change to their IT infrastructure.
Willis has launched a new product contamination insurance proposition, in partnership with XL Group, Willis’ food and drink division and Faber Global teams, and in association with BRC Global Standards – a safety and quality standards programme provider for the food and beverages sector.
A man has been killed after a building partially collapsed on a construction site in central London. The construction worker died at the site after the collapse at 15:45 today. At least one other person was injured in the collapse of the former US Naval building in the capital’s Grosvenor Square.
Today’s European Parliament decision to increase corporate transparency has the potential to identify previously hidden environmental risks, impact international climate change negotiations and harmonise increasing regulation on reporting of non-financial information. The decision will affect some 6,000 companies who will shortly be required to include a statement in their mainstream financial reports detailing their current and foreseeable impacts on the environment, focusing on renewable and non-renewable energy, greenhouse gas emissions, water use and pollution.
The Environment Agency has checked thousands of flood defences across the South East coastline following the wettest winter in the UK on record. The South East was among some of the worst hit flood assets over the course of the winter.
In recent years cargo losses worth more than one hundred million dollars have not been recovered under traditional cargo insurance policies due to critical exposures being excluded, according to analysis from Willis. Heightened levels of political unrest and uncertainty have highlighted a significant gap in coverage for cargo risks.
The vast majority European insurers expect to meet Solvency II requirements before January 2016, according to EY’s European Solvency II Survey 2014. Overall, Dutch, UK and Nordic insurers are the best prepared, while French, German, Greek and East European insurers are less confident. The findings reveal a consistently high state of readiness to implement the Pillar 1 balance sheet and fulfil most of Pillar 2, systems of governance, but Pillar 3 still presents a major challenge.
Aon Risk Solutions has unveiled its 2014 Political Risk Map which identifies an increased risk rating for all five emerging market BRICS countries. As a result, countries representing a large share of global output experienced a broad-based increase in political risk including political violence, government interference and sovereign non-payment risk.
Information security professionals consider the Heartbleed bug to be a very serious issue, and one that will require action by most Internet users – not just for businesses – bringing the topic of information security home for web users everywhere. We canvass the opinion of three industry experts.
A new breed of cyber insurance product has been launched by Lloyd’s of London insurer Aegis. The launch follows a major study of the evolution of cyber risk in the energy sector and its impact on critical infrastructure businesses. The Aegis study and new product offering are a direct response to the growing number of attempted attacks on the energy and utility sector.
Crisis, issues and reputation management consultancy, Regester Larkin is to acquire crisis management and business continuity specialist Steelhenge Consulting. The two firms, which have have already collaborated on a number of client projects are both long established industry consultants.
Companies in the food and drink industry could face more consumer claims as a result of new European food labelling regulations coming into force later this year, which are designed to make food labelling easier for consumers to understand by streamlining and simplifying the current legislation on food and nutrition labelling into a single EU regulation.
Theoretical insurance capacities in the up- and downstream oil and gas insurance markets have increased to the highest levels seen this century, according to Willis. Heavily over-capitalised global (re)insurance markets combined with a glut of new capacity from non-traditional providers has increased competitive pressures in the energy insurance market to unprecedented levels.
A new report from application specialists Camwood reveals that, in the wake of recent migrations following the conclusion of support for the Windows XP operating system, and with the accelerating pace of change in the IT department, IT directors and managers now see near constant change and migration projects as the new norm. Coping with this change has now become a primary concern for IT departments.
Congratulations to all the finalists in this year's Business Continuity Awards. The awards provide an evening networking with hundreds of the biggest names in the business continuity field, combined with a night of entertainment. This year the Awards Gala Dinner and Ceremony will be held on 29 May 2014 at the Hilton on Park Lane, London. This year’s host is stand-up comedian Jo Caulfield. Read on for this year's shortlist.
Energy insurance buyers are to benefit from renewed competition and a downward pricing trend at their mid-year policy renewals, following an influx of capacity from new capital providers such as private equity firms, pension funds and hedge funds, reduced reinsurance costs and few losses in 2013.
A new UK government security classification policy comes into force today, describing how the government classifies information assets to ensure they are appropriately protected. The policy applies to all information that government collects, stores, processes, generates or shares. It is hoped that the introduction of this latest policy will encourage others to follow suit with a layered approach to information security.
Global reinsurers will report solid underwriting profitability for the first quarter of 2014 as catastrophe loss events were limited, according to Fitch Ratings. As such, reinsurers' results are expected to be in line with those reported in 2013, as the industry has not suffered a significant catastrophe loss event since Hurricane Sandy in the fourth quarter of 2012.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has issued a report today explaining that the effects of climate change are already occurring on all continents and across the oceans. The world, in many cases, is ill-prepared for risks from a changing climate. The report also concludes that there are opportunities to respond to such risks, though the risks will be difficult to manage with high levels of warming.
The Financial Conduct Authority has announced plans to look into how firms can reduce the risk of traders manipulating key benchmarks. The forward-looking thematic review will assess whether firms have learnt lessons from LIBOR and other recent controversies and ask if adequate controls on traders behaviour and activity are now in place to prevent future manipulation of benchmarks.
Lloyd’s has announced a profit of £3.2bn with a combined ratio of 86.8%, in its most profitable year since 2009. Chairman John Nelson says, however, that he expects increased competitive pressure on the market to remain throughout 2014.
While the traditional image of IT departments was one of a cost sink-hole, living a separate existence to the rest of the company, they are now more important than ever to the strategic direction of UK businesses. That’s according to a new report published today by Vodafone UK. The rapid pace of technological change is one of the main reasons for the shift in fortunes of the IT department. IT is now seen as a key part of organisational innovation and transformation, rather than just being viewed as a tool for reducing costs and remaining competitive.
BMS Group had launched a new weather risk management module, designed to allow carriers to better understand their risk and manage portfolio accumulations in areas prone to tornadoes, hail, straight-line winds and hurricanes. These new weather analytics features facilitate the understanding of the loss potential in a portfolio by allowing for custom damage ratios to be applied against storm attributes.
Sustainable development is still high on the business agenda in the UK, according to research from business standards company, BSI and energy, environment and sustainability analysts Verdantix, whose survey highlights the differing approach, maturity and resources available among businesses for sustainability.
Disaster recovery and migration software provider Vision Solutions has announced the release of version 4.1 of its Double-Take for AIX product family for IBM Power Systems running AIX in physical, virtual and cloud environments.
A survey published by the Confederation of British Industry shows that while there is a small but growing trend for firms to bring back parts of their business to Europe, from manufacturing to customer services, many more would consider doing so if the European Union reformed to become more competitive, and supply chains more resilient.
As the Energy and Climate Minister unveils his new Strategic Framework for Low Carbon Technology to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, independent experts raise concern that government reliance on shale gas as a bridging technology could damage future investment and transition to low-carbon technologies.
AIG UK has launched an enhanced group personal accident and business travel offering, which includes extended policy wording and an advice and assistance mobile app. AIG research shows that 40% of UK business travellers require assistance during an overseas trip, despite which only 41% of travellers carry their insurance details with them.
The recent storms and flooding to impact the UK demonstrate that business continuity and disaster recovery are essential practices for all businesses – large and small. Research from the FSB has revealed that economic costs to SMEs as a result of the floods are set to exceed £830m, highlighting the need for business continuity.
Small and medium sized businesses in the UK are missing out on insurance deals available to them if they have a business continuity plan in place. This is the finding of a survey of over 500 business and IT decision-makers carried out by cloud services broker Cloud Direct, which shows over half were unaware there were insurance benefits in having a business continuity plan.
The Business Continuity Institute has published a report into the cost of common threats to organisations, including IT and telecommunications outage, data breach, cyber attacks and adverse weather conditions. One of the aims of the report is drive home the message that business continuity is not the sole domain of an organisation’s business continuity professional.
Uncertainty about UK government spending on flood defences means the Flood Re scheme to pool flood risk may face higher than expected claims in the future, according to Fitch Ratings. In the long term this could push up buildings and contents insurance premiums for all UK households and in the short term could expose insurers to additional risk.
The failure of multiple process and safety systems is the most common cause of the largest property damage losses in the global energy industry over the past four decades, according to a report published by Marsh. The 23rd edition of Marsh’s report says seven of the 100 largest property damage losses have occurred since 2012.
Today’s budget offers some help to all levels of business, with a focus on the mid-size energy-intensive and manufacturing businesses, according to the Forum of Private Business. "The headlines for business today are on energy policies and export,” said Phil Orford, chief executive of the FPB. “There are sizeable gains for UK manufacturers here in particular over the next few years. On export the chancellor has thrown his weight behind getting more businesses exporting.
The Budget will put wind in the sails of business investment, especially for manufacturers. Responding to the Chancellor’s Budget speech, John Cridland, the CBI director-general, said: "This was a make or break budget coming at a critical time in the recovery and the Chancellor has focussed his firepower on areas that have the potential to lock in growth.
A majority of organisations consider external IT security risks to have increased, according to a recent study undertaken by SAP and Turnkey Consulting. The survey, A Risk Perspective on 2014 also found that 38.2% of respondents had experienced a fraud incident in 2013, up from 31.3% in 2012. In addition, in the past year, 30% had experienced a data loss that affected business operations, up from 17.1% in 2012.
Insurer concern over the political unrest and country credit ratings in Ukraine and potential sanctions in Russia have caused some to effectively stop underwriting political risk insurance in those two countries, according to a briefing from Marsh. However, the turmoil is not expected to cause a large-scale impact to the political risk, structured credit, and trade credit market.
Storms and flooding across the UK in February suppressed shopping in February, reflected in the latest footfall figures from Ipsos Retail Performance. Ipsos’ Retail Traffic Index (RTI), which draws from a sample of over 4,000 non-food stores across the UK, reported a decline in footfall of 5.3% against February 2013 and a month-on-month fall of 12.2%. Hardest hit was South West England and Wales where numbers for the month fell 8.1% on 2013.
Today’s approval of the Solvency II amendments directive, Omnibus 2, at the European Parliament plenary session draws to an end the elongated process to establish a new prudential regime for European insurers. After many delays in reaching political agreement work can now continue building on the framework established. The Commission is expected to formally publish its delegated act proposals in the summer.
The British Insurance Brokers’ Association (BIBA) has welcomed the Law Commissions’ latest joint consultation on Business Insurance Contract Law. In its response to the consultation on the draft clauses of the Insurance Contract Law Bill, BIBA has sought clarification around the broker’s role in the duty of fair presentation of the risk.
As businesses continue to recover from the recent floods, new data released by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) reveals small firms in affected areas lost more than three quarters of a billion pounds. The FSB is publishing new research today showing an average cost of £1,531 per business in flood hit areas amounting to a total of £831 million.
The inaugural Commercial Insurance Awards winners were announced last night at a glittering awards show at the Millennium Hotel in Mayfair London. Attended by hundreds of industry professionals, the evening was hosted by comedian Alun Cochrane. Amongst the winners on the night were AIG, Euler Hermes, First Insurance Solutions Ltd, GAB Robins (UK) Limited, InterContinental Hotels Group, Miller Insurance Services LLP, Morrison Insurance Solutions, Morton Michel, NIG, Purple Partnership, Simply Business, Sterling Insurance Group Limited and Xchanging also took home trophies.
The pace of data strategy decision making is slowing down, with potentially significant business consequences, according to independent research commissioned by Colt. Whilst technology deployment is getting easier, the results show that European CIOs find it harder to devise datacentre strategy than they did 12 months ago. The findings show longer planning cycles for strategic and tactical information delivery and data capacity uncertainty amongst European IT directors.
A new report published by the Business Continuity Institute (BCI), in association with BSI, has revealed that IT-related threats are continuing to provide the greatest concern for organisations, ranking above other threats such as natural disasters, security incidents and industrial disputes. The annual BCI Horizon Scan shows that three quarters of business leaders fear the possibility of an unplanned IT and telecoms outage.
Fleet operators are at risk of severe financial losses by adopting inadequate forward facing camera solutions that are failing to capture correct data of an accident or driving incident according to Nick Plowman, CTO of Intelligent Telematics. As a result, the road transport, fleet and insurance sectors potentially face millions of pounds of costs each year because they will not have the accurate and admissible evidence needed to defend or mitigate insurance claims.
ACE European Group has announced the launch of a new travel insurance and medical assistance offering. The new proposition also offers client companies cover and security services for kidnap and ransom events, a risk of increasing concern for business travellers, particularly when visiting regions with higher security or political risks.
Fitch Ratings believes that the losses relating to the 2013/2014 winter floods and storms will be manageable for UK non-life insurers. The overall cost to the industry is likely to fall within previously published loss estimates of around £1.2bn, if the insurer-reported loss figures to date are in line with the market share for those companies. The ratings agency says it anticipates the negative effect of weather related losses on the sector's earnings to be limited.
Best practice guidelines for dealing with energy claims have been published by the IUA. The principles have been drawn up with the aim of ensuring clients receive better service through a more streamlined and cohesive approach by companies. They are designed to improve communication and cooperation between the leader and other companies subscribing to a common policy following notification of a claim.
Global demand for transactional risk insurance has grown substantially over the last three years, fuelled by an increase in corporate, private equity and infrastructure funds using insurance to protect their deals and gain a strategic advantage in negotiations, particularly in cross-border transactions, according to figures released by Marsh.
CII and Oliver Wyman have announced the findings from their joint report asking the insurance industry’s CEOs and senior executives for their views and response to the Financial Conduct Authority’s agenda. The interviews revealed that some firms welcome a shift to a more transparent and competitive market. However, there was found to be a mismatch in expectations between insurers and the FCA.
Analysis of the major acquisitions completed by stock market-listed insurance companies around the world between January 2008 and December 2013, extracted from the on-going Quarterly Deal Performance Monitor (QDPM) compiled by Towers Watson in partnership with Cass Business School, has revealed that the acquirer’s share price has typically out-performed the insurance industry average by an excess 4.2 pp in the months before and after deal completion.
InTechnology has signed a seven-figure deal with NHS partner, the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC), on a project to deliver enhanced IT infrastructure. The company won the contract through the government’s G-Cloud framework, which framework provides an open platform for technology firms to tender for cloud infrastructure, platforms and software contracts.
While this winter's wind and rain has been good news for umbrella and anorak manufacturers, it has not been such good news for hosts of the UK's sporting and leisure events, according to sports insurer Sportscover Europe. If the UK flooding continues into March it becomes increasingly possible that events such as the Cheltenham Festival next month could be cancelled.
The British Property Federation has called on government and the insurance industry to address the uncertainty and lack of fairness in its Flood Re proposals following this week's meeting of ministers and insurance industry representatives at Downing Street. Leasehold and private rented sector properties will be excluded from affordable buildings insurance as they are classed as commercial properties by the insurance industry.
Allianz Engineering has been awarded the status of preferred partner with Jelf to provide a new three-year facility for the majority of its Engineering Insurance and Inspection business. Allianz has already worked with Jelf for five years and the new arrangement, following a tender process, was secured after Allianz rebuilt the scheme with refreshed wordings, pricing and support services.
River levels are expected to remain high for several more days, especially along the Thames and Severn, but levels are starting to gradually fall this week. Meanwhile, Marsh publishes new flood claims advice with general guidance as to what to expect with business insurance claims for flood damage. Download the guide here.
As a direct response to the regional flooding, Phoenix has brought forward the launch of Re:Cover, a new service aimed at SMEs. Under its umbrella, businesses benefit from cover for both catastrophic IT failure and loss of office facilities following a disaster such as a fire, flood, local police incident or gas leak. As part of the launch, the provider is also offering one year’s free Re:Cover service for those businesses taking out a disaster recovery service contract.
With huge areas of the country affected by floods, and more storms predicted to hit, the UK is bracing itself for yet more disruption.There are several things businesses and employees should be looking at to ensure the availability of resources and services, including accessibility to both data and the office and how suppliers and partners can be in a position to meet expectations.
Ministers are to hold a meeting today with insurance industry leaders to discuss how the insurance industry is dealing with victims of winter floods across southern England. Cabinet Office Ministers Oliver Letwin and Jo Johnson, flooding minister Dan Rogerson and communities minister Brandon Lewis will host the chief executive officers of Aviva, Direct Line Group, Axa, Lloyds Banking Group and Ageas along with the claims director of RSA and underwriting director of Axa.
The Ministry of Justice has announced the reappointment of Christopher Graham as the Information Commissioner for another two years. "It’s a big responsibility and the next phase certainly won’t be dull,” Graham said. The news of Graham’s reappointment comes just a week after a government department was fined after a filing cabinet that contained personal information relating to victims of a terrorist incident was sold at an auction.
Comedian Jo Caulfield has been announced as host of this year's Business Continuity Awards gala dinner. Jo follows a long line of world-class stand up comedians to host the industry's main event, including Marcus Brigstocke, Kevin Bridges, Dara O’Briain, Jimmy Carr, Ruby Wax, Rob Brydon and Adam Hills.
Parts of southern, south west and central England remain at risk of flooding as river levels remain high. While the overall picture is starting to improve as river levels stabilise, risks to people and property remain. Severe flood warnings remain in place along the Thames and in Somerset where water levels continue to rise in response to recent rainfall. Ground water flooding also continues to pose a risk in some places.
ACE has launched a new casualty insurance practice in South Africa. Lee Stacey has been appointed head of casualty for the practice. ACE will enter the casualty market providing insurance solutions for companies across a wide variety of industry sectors. Stacey will increase ACE’s presence in the local insurance market focusing on public liability, products liability and pollution coverages..
Over 370 mm rain has fallen across Scotland, Wales, and western and southern England during December and January, making it the wettest for those months since detailed data was first published, in 1910. The January rainfall total is the highest since 1766, according to the Met Office. The most recent January rainfall totals comparable to this year was in 1948.
An overwhelming majority of insurance CEOs are confident of an increase in revenues over the next three years. This is according to PwC, whose annual survey of also found that the number of insurance CEOs who believe that the global economy will improve over the next 12 months has tripled since last year – 45% now compared with 15% last year. This buoyant outlook is reflected in the fact that 59% of insurance CEOs plan to take on more staff over the coming year.
UK IT and workarea recovery provider, Phoenix has achieved certification to the new international business continuity standard ISO 22301. Lloyd’s Register Quality Assurance certified that Phoenix meets all the requirements of the standard, which applies to all of the Phoenix recovery centres across the UK, including the main administration office in Aston in the West Midlands
Amlin has commissioned the Future of Humanity Institute at Oxford University’s Oxford Martin School to carry out research into the systemic risk of modelling. As the use of models becomes ever more prevalent, there is greater scope for systemic risk within individual companies and across the re/insurance market.
ACE Global Markets is to offer increased capacity of US$50 million for global clients seeking environmental liability insurance coverage. The announcement follows recent research by ACE which highlights environmental risk as the second highest ranking emerging risk concern for businesses across the EMEA region.
Communities along the River Thames, particularly in Berkshire and Surrey, are being warned to expect further severe property flooding from the River Thames today (Monday) and into Tuesday. The Environment Agency has issued 14 severe flood warnings along the River Thames from Datchet to Shepperton Green, including Ham Court and Chertsey, as river levels in the area are extremely high and are forecast to continue to rise.
A number of ‘black widow’ suicide bombers – the wives of militants killed by Russian security forces – may already be within the ‘ring of steel’ at the upcoming winter Olympics in Sochi according to Tim Holt, head of intelligence at Alert:24, part of Willis’s Special Contingency Risks. The greatest threat comes from the Caucasian Emirate a Jihadist Group linked to Chechen extremists responsible for several high profile terrorist attacks including the 2004 Beslan school massacre.
Aston Martin is recalling over 17,000 sports cars. The car maker said the recall accounted for most of its sports cars built since late 2007 and follows the discovery that a Chinese sub-supplier was allegedly using counterfeit plastic material in part of the accelerator pedal.
The upcoming XXII Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia, are at the highest risk for a terrorist attack of any sporting event that has taken place since the September 11 attacks, say risk analysts at RMS. They said public transportation is particularly at risk and that terrorists are likely to act alone or in very small groups, making them hard to intercept.
The Bank of England has today published the findings of the Waking Shark II exercise, which was organised by the Securities Industry Business Continuity Management Group and drew on extensive cyber expertise to design a scenario in which a cyber attack caused disruption to wholesale markets and the financial infrastructure supporting those markets
As prolonged flooding continues to be a major problem for the Somerset Levels and surrounding areas, the potential impact on the region’s livestock is becoming apparent. In addition to any stress caused by transportation, cattle and sheep may be grazing on land that is polluted or stripped of its natural vegetation.
ACE Group has developed a new catastrophe liability policy for the construction industry. Provided through its Excess Casualty Division, ACE Catastrophe Liability PlusSM Policy (Construction) is designed for construction wrap-ups, consolidates multiple catastrophe liability specific endorsements into one single policy.
The insured bill for the damage caused by the storms and flooding over the Christmas 2013 and New Year period looks set to cost £426 million, according to the Association of British Insurers. Between 23 December 2013 and 8 January 2014 insurers dealt with 174,000 claims for damage to homes, businesses and cars.
With the prospect of rising costs, falling commodity prices and decreased productivity levels, mining companies are embracing cost cutting measures to lay the foundation for long-term business growth, according to Willis. In its annual Mining Risk Review, the broker and risk advisor warned companies not to be tempted to cut back on risk management outlays in order achieve cost reductions.
Companies that create a culture of resilience can avoid potential crisis and are likely to be more successful in the long term, according to research by Cranfield School of Management and Airmic. In the Roads to Resilience report published this week, the Cranfield authors urge boards and business leaders to challenge prevailing attitudes towards risk management.
The European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA) has set up the timeline for the delivery of the Solvency II Implementing Technical Standards (ITS) and Guidelines.
While the economy appears to be showing signs of tentative improvement, research conducted by QBE suggests that over a quarter of businesses in the UK consider their trading environment to be riskier now than six months ago. The research, conducted among 400 businesses, found that the majority of companies in the UK are taking risks now that they would not have taken two years ago in order to win new business.
The retail and transportation sectors were significantly affected by terrorist attacks throughout 2013, with over a third of attacks affecting the retail sector, and a fifth taking place on the transportation sector. This is among the findings of analysis published today by Aon Risk Solutions.
XL Group has set up an operational risks team to provide operational risk insurance solutions to its financial institutions clients. The insurer has appointed Angelos Deftereos as senior underwriter. Deftereos joins from Morgan Stanley Wealth Management where he was an executive director responsible for the implementation of the operational risk programme.
Lloyd’s of London insurers Beazley and Hiscox have formed a D&O consortium. By jointly participating on individual policies the consortium participants can offer alternative structures to brokers and clients. The capacity can be deployed in one tranche of up to US$50 million or, more likely, as two individual layers within an insurance programme.
A World Economic Forum report has found that supply chain inefficiency contributes significantly to the 1.3 billion tonnes of food lost each year. Attacking these barriers would help improve the livelihoods of billions of the world’s poorest people, and cut emissions, energy and water use, according to the organisation.
Willis Group is creating a new global human capital and benefits Practice led by CEO of Willis International Tim Wright. The practice will unite all the existing employee benefits and related consulting businesses across the group, comprising pensions and retirement planning, healthcare, group risk and life cover; as well as compliance, data analytics, communications, wellness and human resource consulting.
The World Economic Forum has launched a new set of principles designed to address intellectual property issues in the digital context. Norms and Values in Digital Media: Rethinking Intellectual Property in the Digital Age represents values and goals shared across industries and geographies.
Research from the British Insurance Brokers’ Association shows that behaviour based motor insurance sales have increased by 116,000, some 61% since June 2012. BIBA reckons that the behaviour based policies can offer savings on motor insurance of around 25% and some young drivers can save up to £1,000.
A magnitude 6.2 earthquake has rattled New Zealand’s North Island. The epicentre was located 111 km northeast of Wellington, New Zealand’s capital city and second most populous area, and 34 km south-southeast of Palmerston and 37 km north-northeast of Masterson.
ACE Group has launched an enhanced D&O offering designed both for large private and listed companies in its UK and Ireland region. These enhancements follow research by ACE which highlights that D&O liability and cyber risk are two of the top four emerging risks for UK businesses. In the study, over 40% of those responsible for risk management believe these risks could have a significant financial impact on their company over the next two years.
The number of UK recalls of dangerous or faulty goods has increased this year as the horse meat scandal and other food recalls boost the number of recorded cases, according to City law firm RPC. Some 272 product recalls were made in 2013 in the UK, up from 260 in 2012.
Acturis Group has acquired Nordic Insurance Software (NIS), insurance software in the travel and assistance, expatriate and health insurance markets.
The chronic gap between the incomes of the richest and poorest citizens is seen as the risk that is most likely to cause serious damage globally in the coming decade, according to over 700 global experts that contributed to the World Economic Forum’s Global Risks 2014 report, released today. After income disparity, experts see extreme weather events as the global risk next most likely to cause systemic shock on a global scale.
Business interruption and supply chain risks caused by flooding and extreme weather patterns top the list of concerns among corporate insurance experts for 2014, according to Allianz. The third annual Allianz Risk Barometer, which surveyed over 400 corporate insurance experts from 33 countries, highlights the impact of natural catastrophe the subsequent complexity of business risks, particularly for large corporates with international exposures.
The International SOS Foundation, together with over 13 leading international health, safety and security experts, has launched a global framework aimed at protecting workers travelling or on overseas assignments. The document provides strategic guidance for organisations to identify hazards and threats and manage risks to ensure the safety, health and security of its workers.
The International Underwriting Association has identified four important challenges facing the London company market in 2014, each of which must be successfully tackled for London to maintain its position as a pre-eminent centre for internationally traded insurance risks, the association warns. Malcolm Newman, chairman of the IUA, said: “London has no automatic right to expect insurance business from around the world. The company market must continue to attract clients by offering reliable, efficient, innovative and cost-effective services.
The Town and Country Planning Association has responded to Cameron's comments on the capability of the UK's flood defences, flood response agencies and investment plans, but warns that the connection between climate change and extreme weather must be centre stage along with a recognition of the role of planning and good design in creating resilient communities.
Essex County Fire and Rescue Service (FRS) has selected PageOne Communications' Responder 2-way pager and dual-frequency alerters as part of a wider initiative to reduce the extent or exposure to risk and increasing business resilience.
NatWest and RBS have launched a £250m UK Storm Business Fund to provide short term, interest free financing to speed recovery for businesses affected by recent floods and gales.
Plans to reverse the effects of global warming by mimicking big volcanic eruptions would have a catastrophic impact on some of the most fragile ecosystems on earth, according to new research from the University of Reading.
As storms and subsequent flooding continues across the country, indications are emerging that this could leave the industry up to £400m out of pocket. And this estimate could develop further, particularly given the further flood warnings in place in the UK this week.
A significant majority of UK HR managers have given a vote of no confidence to the government's proposed health and work assessment and advisory service (HWAAS). The scheme, due to be introduced next year, aims to provide advice and support to employers dealing with employees suffering from long-term sickness absence.
Europe faces US$2.25bn in economic losses from December's windstorms, according to an Impact Forecasting catastrophe report. Europe was impacted by a series of windstorms during that month.
JPMorgan Chase & Co has agreed to pay US$2.6bn to settle allegations that it failed to tell authorities about its suspicions of fraud at Madoff's fund, Reuters reports. This last settlement follows the bank’s agreement in November to pay US$13bn in settlements with the US government over the bank's mortgage bonds, the news agency reports, adding that the bank faces at least another eight government probes.
Communities in the south of England should prepare for further flooding this week, the Environment Agency has warned. Rivers including the Hampshire Avon through Wiltshire, Hampshire, Dorset and the Midlands continue to rise.
Underwriters at the Lloyd's of London insurance market would not be surprised to see proposals for cruise ships transiting Arctic routes to travel in pairs, the Lloyd's Market Association (LMA) said this week.
A cocktail of converging factors has fuelled a soft buyers’ market in nearly all lines of business at the 1 January 2014 renewals, according to Willis Re. Challenges faced by reinsurers include rate reductions, new capacity and market entrants, low interest rates, greater retention of reinsurance premiums by large buyers, diminishing reserve releases, expansion in terms and conditions, and increasing regulatory oversight.
The board of the British Insurance Brokers' Association has voted Lord David Hunt of Wirral, its first independent non-executive director, as its new chairman. The appointment marks a landmark decision for BIBA to appoint an INED or a person outside of a broking organisation as its chairman.
IT and cybersecurity professionals should resolve now to gear up for accelerated change and complexity in 2014, especially in cybersecurity, data privacy and big data, says ISACA. The association has put together five resolutions to help IT professionals get ready for 2014.
Although the commercial liability market is quite soft and claims experience is not benign, PwC anticipates that flat rates will continue into 2014. Meanwhile, 2013 has been a very benign year – particularly for personal household and property insurance.
Confidence in the London market about the coming year is broadly in line with 12 months ago, according to PwC. A barometer for confidence is comparing how plans this time last year for 2013 compare to those now set for 2014, and it seems market participants are holding aggregate planned combined ratios broadly flat.
UK non-life insurers will continue to face pressure on their underwriting margins due to fierce competition, making sustaining underwriting profitability one of the main challenges for 2014, according to Fitch Ratings.
The Financial Conduct Authority has fined JLT Specialty Limited over £1.8 million for failing to have in place appropriate checks and controls to guard against the risk of bribery or corruption when making payments to overseas third parties. JLTSL was found to have failed to conduct proper due diligence before entering into a relationship with partners in other countries who helped JLTSL secure new business, known as overseas introducers. JLTSL also did not adequately assess the potential risk of new insurance business secured through its existing overseas introducers.
Global business risk consultancy Control Risks, has published its annual RiskMap report, plotting global trends over the coming year. Now in its 31st year, RiskMap highlights the most significant underlying trends in global risk and security, and provides a detailed view from the markets that will matter most in 2014. Comparing the data from today with ten years ago, the proportion of global output coming from countries rated medium or high political risk has more than doubled, to 35%.
US retail giant Target has today said that data from about 40 million credit and debit cards may have been stolen from shoppers who made purchases from their US. stores from 27th November to 15th December 2013. They said in a statement that the information involved in this incident included customer name, credit or debit card number, and the card’s expiration date and CVV (the three-digit security code).
Upon receiving Royal Assent today, the government's Banking Reform Bill has become an Act of Parliament. The Banking Reform Act is a key part of the government’s plan to create a banking system that supports the economy, consumers and small businesses. It implements the recommendations of the Independent Commission on Banking, set up by the government in 2010 to consider structural reform of the banking sector.
A significant increase in conflict, terrorism and regime instability in MENA (Middle East and North Africa), along with intensifying political violence and resource nationalism in East Africa, are among the key factors driving a global rise in political risks for investors, according to the sixth annual Political Risk Atlas by global risk analytics company Maplecroft.
First Actuarial and Lockton have announced an agreement whereby First Actuarial will use Lockton's UK Benefits team to deliver employee health and group risk insurance solutions.
The Home Office has accidentally leaked data relating to 1,598 immigration cases. On being uploaded to a public web page, the data was reported to have been left there for two weeks. The incident comes just weeks after the Ministry of Justice was fined £140,000 by the Information Commissioner's Office for releasing details of prisoners via email.
The merger of DNV and GL in September this year has led to the creation of DNV GL, a global ship and offshore classification society, a leading independent service provider in the oil and gas, energy and renewables, and a global certification body.
Research outfit Finaccord forecasts that the market for professional indemnity insurance across ten European countries – namely, Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Switzerland and the UK - will be worth around EUR7.5 billion by 2017. Finaccord also calculates that gross written premiums for this form of insurance amounted to around EUR 6.78 billion across the then countries in 2013, having grown from approximately EUR 6.15 billion in 2009
Catastrophe modelling firm AIR Worldwide estimates that insured wind losses from Extratropical Cyclone Xaver will range between EUR 700 million and EUR1.4bn, with the majority of the losses in Denmark, Germany, and the UK. Losses also occurred in the Netherlands, Belgium, Sweden, and Norway.
Argent Risk Management Consulting in collaboration with Cranfield University's Transport and Safety Engineering Division have developed a joint risk management solution for the aviation industry which aims to address the current industry trend towards the criminalisation of aviation accidents.
The Lloyd’s Market Association (LMA) is to open up membership of its newly-formed power generation panel to the companies insurance market to ensure London’s power underwriters have the strongest possible voice. The decision means that at least five places on the panel will be filled by representatives of the companies market following an election being run by the LMA and the International Underwriting Association during December.
As profitability is more difficult to find than prior to the financial crisis, 2014 will be a year of foundational investment for the financial markets, with the primary focus on investment in IT infrastructure, according to new research from Ovum. This investment is required for finding new opportunities to drive profit, by moving into new markets, trading venues, geographies and asset classes.
Steps to promote good engineering design to help cut the death, injury and disease toll in Britain’s workplaces, and enhance public safety, are outlined in a new policy paper launched today by a group of safety and industry bodies. In 2012-13, nearly 150 people were killed at work in Great Britain, and an estimated 175,000 were seriously injured.
Aon Benfield’s Impact Forecasting arm has launched the first probabilistic catastrophe model to understand the financial impact of flood damage in the Netherlands for property and motor. Flood, along with wind, is one of the most prevalent natural perils in the Netherlands, having experienced notable floods in 1953, 1993 and 1995.
US Risk (UK) has launched a new Lloyd’s MGA. With capacity from Lloyd’s syndicates and non-Lloyd’s insurers, Lime Underwriting will initially concentrate on the UK and international financial lines sector, including professional indemnity, D&O, management liability, pension trustees liability and commercial crime – all in both the regional and London markets.
Beazley has launched three new expanded policy wordings offering broad protection to individuals, including cover for the growing threat posed by regulatory investigations and inquiries. The risks confronting directors and officers have evolved significantly in recent years with exposures now extending well beyond traditional claims.
Legal expenses insurer, DAS has appointed Dr Thomas Jannakos as their CFO and board director. He takes over from the recently retired CFO Paul Gibson. Dr Jannakos joins DAS from parent company, Munich Re in Munich, where he was head of department corporate performance management. He has worked for Munich Re since 2005.
A PwC poll of insurance industry executives reveals that the vast majority (91%) agree that big data/analytics will be a main source of competitive differentiation for insurers in the future. The poll also showed that over 90% of respondents think big data will be the main driver in the transformation of insurance companies’ business model.
HM Treasury has announced plans for its insurance growth scheme, which includes the intention to launch a gateway project for people seeking to find apprenticeships and graduate training places within insurance. Dr Sandy Scott, CII chief executive hailed the announcement a vote of confidence for the work of the CII to promote apprenticeships, in particular its Discover Risk initiative.
Less than six weeks after Winter Storm Christian, a fresh Winter Storm Xaver hit north of Scotland during the overnight hours. Wind gusts of more than 140 mph (225 km/h) were recorded in the Scottish Highlands, and across the northern UK there have been gusts of between 60 and 80 mph (96 and 128 km/h), with 100 mph (160 km/h) gusts recorded in mountain areas.
The European Commission has fined eight international financial institutions a total of €1,712,468 for participating in illegal cartels in markets for financial derivatives covering the European Economic Area. Four of these institutions participated in a cartel relating to interest rate derivatives denominated in the euro currency. Six of them participated in one or more bilateral cartels relating to interest rate derivatives denominated in Japanese yen. The EIRD cartel operated between September 2005 and May 2008. The settling parties are Barclays, Deutsche Bank, RBS and Société Générale.
The British Insurance Brokers' Association has urged the Water Bill Scrutiny Committee to consider helping those that the bill in its current form specifically excludes. The key concerns raised by BIBA members are around the exclusions in Flood Re.
Lack of management attention, compounded by lack of skilled resources, management tools and processes, is hampering companies’ ability to manage a range of new and emerging risks, according to a survey of 650 companies in Europe, the Middle East and Africa conducted for global insurer ACE’s EMEA Emerging Risks Barometer 2013.
Insurance executives from around the world have cast more than 30,000 votes to rate a global pandemic, natural catastrophes and a food/water/energy crisis as the three categories of extreme risk that are of most significance to the insurance industry. Other extreme risks featuring in the top 10 included cyber warfare, an economic depression, a banking crisis, and a default by a major sovereign borrower.
With the world’s technology sector now worth almost US$6 trillion, technology and telecommunication companies are growing at a rapid pace, leading to new exposures and the need to cover specific liabilities. Hardware and software engineers, designers and IT consultants can be exposed to huge claims if the systems they build or host should fail or are hacked.
Inmarsat has extended its appointment of Willis’s Inspace team as its space risk management adviser and placing broker. This encompasses Inmarsat's entire in orbit satellite fleet as well as its future launches.
JLT has acquired South African employee benefits and healthcare broker and consultant. Eluleka Consulting PYT. Eluleka is based in Johannesburg and employs nearly 40 people with a focus on providing healthcare advice and employee benefit services to corporates
GAB Robins has reported a 76% retention rate for employers liability and public liability injury claims within the Ministry of Justice claims portal – up to 15% higher than the industry average.
Agencyport Software has won a contract to provide WhiteOak Underwriting Agency with Open Core Platform: MGA, its MGA policy administration solution.
Open Core Platform: MGA will be the administration platform for the entire WhiteOak business, starting with capture and standardisation of bordereaux through underwriting, accounting, claims processing and reporting functions, and linking the whole process.
Independent scientific environmental consultancy ESI Ltd has launched a new service providing environmental risk reports to the UK market. Envirep provides desk study environmental risk reports covering contaminated land, flood risk and drainage, and ground stability.Each report is individually produced and clearly identifies likely site specific risks, and solutions to limit such risks.
Following the publication of the Environment Agency’s figures revealing that flooding in England in 2012 could have cost the UK economy close to £600million, ABI director-general Otto Thoresen has emphasised the crucial role of insurers in minimising the impact of flood risk.
ACE Group has announced the launch of ACE Global Export Protection, a new risk management proposition for companies in Continental Europe. According to the EU, China is now the EU’s third largest export destination while Asian markets collectively account for a third of EU exports. At the same time, the litigious US market remains the EU’s number one export destination and is shortly expected to introduce a suite of new export regulations.
Volatile weather activity is increasing around the world as evidenced by recent major events. Yet, while extreme events may capture the headlines, minor fluctuations in expected weather can have big impacts on business performance across a wide range of industries. A new report from Allianz focuses on the growing importance of weather risks for businesses highlights the economic impact of fluctuating weather conditions.
Aon Global Risk Consulting has teamed up with Optial UK to create an integrated governance, risk and compliance (GRC) system for the commercial insurance and reinsurance sector. The new GRC platform facilitates the connection of board level vision and strategy with real day-to-day operational controls and processes, thereby defining and realising a clear operating model that remains proportionate to specific requirements.
AIG has gone live with a single, cross border trading solution that will allow participating brokers to process quotes; bind new business; and make mid-term changes, and renewals in real-time. The platform, which will cover five countries and languages, and three product lines, will offer participating brokers a secure log-in and the ability to trade across select key product lines in real-time.
One year on from some of the worst flooding in 2012, latest research by the Environment Agency reveals that last year’s record-breaking wet year in England could have cost the UK economy close to £600 million. The overall financial cost to businesses of the extreme weather was up to £200m as total commercial property and contents damage totalled up to £84m, and further indirect impacts – such as staff working days lost – hit companies and local economies for up to £33m.
This year’s winners were announced and awarded last night at a gala dinner held at the Grosvenor House Hotel on London’s Park Lane. Barclays walked away with two awards – for GRC Initiative of the Year and Best use of Technology. This year’s overall winner was Aberdeen City Council. Sponsored by Marsh Risk Consulting, Misys and Simudyne, the annual Risk Management Awards are the definitive mark of achievement in the sector.
The CII’s 2013 New Generation programme has published a detailed report into flooding in the UK, outlining their views on the proposals set to replace the Statement of Principles agreed in 2002 between the government and the insurance industry. The report, UK flooding: the implications for the insurance market, provides well researched analysis following the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the ABI and the government on how to develop Flood Re.
xMatters has partnered with New Relic to allow clients to create their own custom messaging applications. With the new integration, joint customers can instantly notify, escalate and collaborate on New Relic alerts using custom built messaging capabilities through a variety of mediums including voice, email, pager and SMS.
FireEye has announced the introduction of FireEye Email Threat Prevention, a new cloud-based email security platform. With no hardware or software to install, FireEye now offers a flexible deployment option to protect enterprise infrastructure from email-based attacks. FireEye Email Threat Prevention will be generally available in early December 2013.
Willis Re, KatRisk LLC and SpatialKey have announced a strategic partnership to offer Willis Re clients new analytical capabilities for proactively managing flood accumulations.
An outbreak of intense late-season thunderstorms accompanied by high winds, hail, and dozens of tornadoes swept across the Midwest, flattening hundreds of homes. While tornadoes were sighted in several states, the most damaging twisters occurred in central Illinois. According to preliminary reports from the NOAA Storm Prediction Center (SPC), 80 tornadoes were produced by this severe thunderstorm outbreak, making it the second most active severe weather day of 2013 for the US.
The number of catastrophe bonds outstanding could more than double from the current level of US$19bn to US$50bn by the end of 2018, according to a report from BNY Mellon. Globally, natural catastrophes cost the insurance industry approximately US$13bn in the first half of 2013, and the overall economic losses were estimated at around US$45bn. The industry therefore covered less than one third of natural catastrophes, leaving a global disaster gap of US$32bn.
The TT Club is to provide liability cover for London Gateway, the UK’s largest deep-sea container port, which is designed with an operational capacity of 3.5 million TEU. The port is Europe's largest logistics park with 2,700 metres of quayside, offering the latest technology and infrastructure for shipping lines, including the ultra large container ships which can carry up to 18,000 containers.
David Hertzell, law commissioner for commercial and common law, is to become the new independent chair of the Chartered Insurance Institute’s professional standards board, succeeding David McIntosh QC, who will complete his tenure at the end of this year. Hertzell was appointed a law commissioner in 2007. Before joining the Law Commission he was managing partner at Davies Arnold Cooper Solicitors, where he began his legal career in 1981.
After months of wrangling, European politicians have finally struck a deal on Solvency II that will pave the way to completing one of the most challenging pieces of legislation to hit the insurance sector in Europe. “The EU’s failure to implement Solvency II in accordance with its original timetable had left many insurers all dressed up at huge expense, with nowhere to go in attempting to comply with the rules," said Jeremy Irving, partner and insurance expert at global law firm Eversheds.
That's what the analysts are saying. Global research firm Ovum says that although cutting expenditure and complying with regulations will continue to be vital, retail banks will be focused on revenue enhancement. The prioritisation of revenue growth they say will mean a refocus on customer experience management and further investment in customer-facing business processes. The endgame "an improvement both in the efficiency of client interaction and in customer satisfaction".
A major cyber security exercise kicks off today among the UK's major financial services providers. Monitored by the Bank of England, the Treasury and the Financial Conduct Authority, each of the major banks are expected to test their ability to withstand a cyber attack. Cyber attack has become one of the key threats to the banking system, with daily reports of such incidents, and many more going undetected or unreported.
Commenting ahead of the cyber exercise carried out by financial firms today, KPMG is warning that companies need to defend against increasingly sophisticated cyber warfare. “The world’s largest companies have been targeted over recent months by increasingly sophisticated hackers,” explains Stephen Bonner, a partner in KPMG’s Information Protection & Business Resilience team. “It is now not just a lone hacker sitting in their bedroom but, in many cases, serious organisations backed by the resources of nation states who are leading the charge.”
In the three days since Super Typhoon Haiyan roared through the central Philippines, the scale of the devastation revealed in its wake continues to escalate. According to catastrophe modelling firm AIR Worldwide, preliminary analyses suggest that Haiyan (or Yolanda in the Philippines) may have been the strongest storm to make landfall anywhere in the world in recorded history. China has issued a typhoon alert for Hainan Island and the provinces of Guangdong and Guangxi.
C-level execs need to clearly define accountability and ownership of business continuity services within an organisation or risk placing their business in a very exposed position, states Paul Gant, head of business continuity managed solutions, at Phoenix. Historically the attitude from organisations towards business continuity has been met with a fail and fix mentality, however, events have forced C-level execs to demand action to ensure their business remains safe and operational.
With Internet governance and surveillance the hot topic of the moment, questions should be asked about the rationale behind how and why authoritarian – and democratic – governments control the information their citizens can access online. This is the view of Stephen Bonner, a partner in KPMG’s Information Protection & Business Resilience team. Commenting on the lack of adequate governance surrounding cyber activities and control of the Internet moving into the hands of national governments.
Losses arising from Windstorm Christian (known as St. Jude in the UK) will range between E1.5bn and E2.3bn, with the majority of insured losses occurring in Denmark and Germany. Significant insured losses also occurred in the Netherlands, France, UK, and Sweden. Windstorm Christian smashed into southern Britain on 28th October, knocking down trees, flooding lowlands, and disrupting travel over land, sea, and air. Gusts of 160 km/h (100 mph) were reported on the Isle of Wight in southern England.
Preliminary details coming out of the Philippines indicate that substantial damage has occurred in multiple provinces throughout the Visayas region. The system is expected to maintain super typhoon strength for the next 12 hours, despite the slow weakening trend. After 24 hours, a faster decrease in intensity is expected due to further degrading environmental factors including the arrival of cooler sea surface temperatures in the western South China Sea and increased land interaction as the system approaches the central coast of Vietnam.
xMatters has appointed Laura Meadows as head of business continuity solutions, EMEA. In this newly created role, Meadows will be responsible for delivery of xMatters’ business continuity planning, sales, solutions development and marketing strategies in the region.
Legal expenses insurer DAS has launched its Loss Assistant Business product and Commercial Legal Protection products on Acturis.
Less than 40% of organisations are testing and updating their plans annually. This is according to research by IT and work area recovery provider, Phoenix, which believes there may be a perception that business continuity management is a complex, costly and time-consuming process to maintain. To address these inhibitors, the provider has developed an end-to-end managed service designed to meet the entire business continuity process from BIA and plan creation to annual rehearsals and plan maintenance.
AIG has enhanced its cyber insurance offering. Impending EU legislation has increased potential fines to five per cent of annual global turnover if companies are found to be in breach of rules set out under a new framework put forward in 2012 by Viviane Reding, vice-president of the European Commission.
The winners of the fourth annual Risk Management Awards will be announced in less three weeks' time at the glittering Awards Gala Dinner and Ceremony. Last year's awards were attended by hundreds of industry professionals and we look forward to welcoming the biggest names in the industry again this year. View the 2013 finalists here.
Skills shortages in general insurance businesses have dropped significantly over the past 12 months, according to the Chartered Insurance Institute’s latest Skills Survey. Despite this improvement, over half of employers continue to suffer from a dearth in technical skills and this issue will be exacerbated if there is a squeeze on available talent as the global economy improves.
Specialist insurer Markel International has launched a new liability product designed to meet the specific needs of the rapidly growing UK biomedical and life sciences sector. The sector, which is well established in the UK, is expected to see strong growth, with £5bn being invested annually in pharmaceutical research and development alone.
Lockton has announced the appointment of Tony Saada, as chief executive officer of its MENA division. Saada will be responsible for developing and serving Lockton's client base in the Middle East and North Africa region. Prior to his appointment, Saada spent 27 years at Marsh, most recently as senior executive officer of Bowring Marsh in Dubai.
New research from Maplecroft has revealed that 31% of global economic output will be based in countries facing ‘high’ or ‘extreme risks’ from the impacts of climate change by the year 2025 – a 50% increase on current levels and more than double since the company began researching the issue in 2008.
The world's urban population is forecast to grow by about 1.4 billion to 5 billion between 2011 and 2030, with 90% of the increase coming in the emerging markets. Swiss Re's latest sigma study Urbanisation in emerging markets: boon and bane for insurers reviews the rapid growth of towns and cities in emerging markets.
Impact Forecasting has launched its first tool to understand the financial impact of riots by developing an analysis of the threat within Indonesia. The need to fully understand the political dynamics of Indonesia has become significantly more important in recent years as Indonesia continues to develop into one of the world’s leading economic powers.
Windstorm Christian smashed into southern Britain Monday knocking over trees, flooding lowlands, and disrupting land, sea, and air travel. Also known as St. Jude, Carmen, and Simone by local weather agencies in other countries, the storm was one of the strongest extratropical cyclones to hit the UK in a decade. Gusts of 160 km/h (100 mph) were reported on the Isle of Wight in southern England, and waves greater than 7.5 meters (25 feet) were reported elsewhere along the coast.
The expiration of TRIA would result in a decrease of affordable terrorism coverage or, even its elimination. This is according to RIMS, whose report August report Terrorism Risk Insurance Act: The Commercial Consumer’s Perspective has been followed up by a survey of its global membership of risk professionals.
Aon Risk Solutions has launched its new product, Weather Protect, designed to provide cover against the impact of adverse weather conditions. With the increasing unpredictability of the UK weather in recent years, businesses are seeking a viable means of managing their exposure to weather risks from crop growers to retailers; airlines to construction companies. The global weather climate continues to be a volatile external factor which influences both consumer behavior and market dynamics.
As severe weather warnings continue across the UK, organisational productivity is likely to suffer as employees struggle to gain access to key business applications beyond email. This is according to global industry analysts at Ovum, who believe that CIOs that embrace the need for mobile enterprise apps and cloud productivity apps will maintain productivity in the face of disaster, such as the arrival in the UK today of a severe storm, dubbed 'St Jude'.
Airmic has published a guide to warranties to help increase the level of certainty around insurance efficacy. The document, produced with the assistance of law firm Herbert Smith Freehills, provides an explanation of how warranties work and includes two sample clauses that may modify the effect of a breach of warranty.
Specialist lines underwriting agency, CFC today announced the launch of Biosurance PH. This new addition to its suite of insurance solutions for the life science industry tackles the unique set of risks faced by pharmaceutical companies, from drug designers and licence holders to manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers.
David Cloake has been appointed chief executive officer. Currently COO, Cloake has been with CR since November 2012, after leaving Kent County Council as head of emergency planning. He is also a former head of emergency planning at the London Borough of Southwark, and he sits on the board of the Emergency Planning Society as finance director.
A new questionnaire for the submission of professional lines business has been published by the International Underwriting Association. The document has been drawn up in response to concerns among underwriters that the level of data received for pricing reinsurance treaties has deteriorated in recent years. It aims to encourage better transmission of information between insurers and reinsurers.
SunGard Availability Services has announced two key management changes. Keith Tilley will assume the role of executive vice-president, EMEA & APAC and John Stevenson has been appointed to the newly created role of chief operating officer for Europe. Tilley will now be responsible for overseeing more than 3,000 customers across the regions.
Most property owners and developers do not have a current fire insurance valuation of their property assets. This means many are under-insured and risk substantial losses should they need to make an insurance claim. This was the key finding of a survey held by Lockton’s Real Estate and Construction team at seminar attended by around 100 property professionals on 16 October.
Two thirds (65%) of professional services businesses were affected by fraud in the last 12 months, according to new figures from the 2013 Kroll Global Fraud Report released today. Professional services companies are significantly less likely on average to invest in any of the 10 anti-fraud strategies covered in the survey. Yet in terms of financial damage from fraud, professional services firms face losing 1.4% of their revenue on average, suggesting that the types of fraud that do occur tend to be more expensive.
European insurers that slow their enterprise risk management improvement efforts because of the delay in the start date of the Solvency II Directive could adversely affect our assessment of their ERM, according to Standard & Poor's. "Solvency II remains a major driver of ERM improvements in Europe," said Standard & Poor's credit analyst Miroslav Petkov. "In our view, the directive has firmed up insurers' approaches to risk appetite, risk governance, and risk reporting, along with their application of internal models..."
Following the release of the preparatory guidelines by the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA) last month, the PRA has today issued a consultation paper setting out its expectations of firms. Janine Hawes, insurance director at KPMG, commented: “One of the key concerns has been how the PRA will effect these guidelines. The proposals today include no suggestion that the PRA will apply additional requirements above the guidelines or make any rulebook changes, both of which will be welcomed by industry.
The majority of risk managers say poor communications are to blame when claims go wrong. Many of them put this down to the numerous links in the chain between the insured and the underwriter so that, when the different parties fail to talk to one another, the contact with the customer is lost.
As British businesses increasingly seek growth opportunities in politically volatile regions of the world, Beazley has moved to make its market leading political violence cover, developed at Lloyd’s, available across the UK. The cover provides businesses with a tool to mitigate and manage the risks arising from political upheaval that can adversely affect a company’s assets – whether overseas investments or trading operations.
American International Group has launched a web-based service to help companies estimate the cost of recall incidents, and expanded its available accidental contamination coverage limits to US$35m. This free, confidential service is available in six languages to qualified food and beverage manufacturers in the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Italy, Netherlands, Spain and Switzerland.
October 2013 has been remarkably active for typhoon activity in the West Pacific. In this month alone the region has so far seen the formation of six tropical storms, four of which have reached typhoon status (Typhoons Fitow, Danas, Nari and Wipha). Typically in the West Pacific, October will produce an average of just four named storms. For far, 2013 has produced 25 named storms to date, with more than two months still to go.
Despite the widespread mayhem caused by the recent horsemeat scandal, nearly three quarters (74%) of food processing firms say that it has had no direct impact on their businesses, cashflow or sales. But while business confidence remains comparatively high, the seemingly benign conditions are not expected to last: 58% believe that trading conditions will get tougher over the next 12 months, more businesses will fail, and cash will become even harder to collect.
Ninety nine per cent of risk management and insurance professionals believe that diversity is important to future business success, according to research carried out by ACE at the FERMA Forum. Some 87% believe that diversity within the sector has improved over the last five years, with more young people, more flexible corporate cultures that encourage diversity and role models from different cultures as the most visible examples of change.
The increasing ease of raising intelligent capital could lead to the end of the established insurance cycle according to Toby Esser, Group CEO of Cooper Gay Swett & Crawford. Speaking at today’s BrokersLink Global Conference in Singapore, Esser told delegates that in the future the market should only expect to see country specific short-term rate hardening following catastrophes, as previously experienced in Chile, Japan and Thailand, rather than cyclical changes to the overall market.
Enterprises that rely on most traditional approaches to cybersecurity are unlikely to succeed against the next generation of advanced persistent threat (APT) attacks, according to global IT association ISACA. Traditional defenses such as firewalls and anti-malware are not up to the challenge of today’s APTs, the association says, and to counter the threat, organisations must add new skills, processes and technology to their cybersecurity arsenal.
QBE has collaborated with the Association of British Insurers to establish the Rehabilitation Panel for Insurers, a group where general, life and health insurers can unite to focus on rehabilitation issues that are a priority for the industry and across product lines. The panel, chaired by QBE's Rosie Hewitt, includes representatives from Allianz, Aviva, Axa, Covea, Direct Line, HSBC, Lloyds Banking, LV, MIB, NFU, Saga, Swiss Re, Unum, and Zurich.
Strong competition and low consumer demand are the two most significant risks facing SMEs today, a survey by Zurich has found. Still, despite these challenges, SMEs are striving for growth by targeting new customer segments via traditional and new sales channels, even expanding to foreign markets. Attracting new customers is considered vital with most of the SMEs targeting them in domestic and international markets in the last 12 months. They also see attracting new customers as the biggest growth opportunity.
ACE Group has announced the appointment of Nicolas Givelet as risk engineer in its Continental Europe environmental insurance team. In this newly-created role, Givelet will lead a new environmental risk engineering taskforce for ACE in the region, assisting the pan-European underwriting and claims teams on technical matters.
FM Global has appointed Peter Solloway to its management team, following the retirement of Martin Fessey. Solloway will be based at FM Global’s Windsor office will be responsible for managing a team of business development executives in Northern and Central Europe, as well as in EMEA.
The 2013 Underwriting Performance and Reputation report, in its tenth year, sets out to determine which are the best-known underwriting businesses by a number of different criteria. Following several years of relatively stable awareness in which Lloyd’s players dominated, the 2013 study shows a major change with companies market players’ awareness collectively increasing by over 40%.
Research from PwC has found a significant year on year increase in UK insurance M&A deals value during the first six months of 2013, despite a fall in deals volume. M&A deals value increased by over 350% to €1.5bn in the first half of 2013 from €344.6m in the first half of 2012, while number of deals fell by 34% from 32 in the first of half of 2012 to 21 in the first half of 2013.
AIG Europe has launched a new service aimed at helping companies resume normal operations quickly following a pollution or environmental incident, whilst minimising remediation and liability costs. The AIG PIER network is available in 32 countries across Europe and can mobilise local specialised consultants and contractors to support businesses develop remediation plans, mitigate damage, manage public impact of the incident and begin the clean-up.
Legal and contractual issues are the most pressing areas of concern to merchant shipowners, the latest member survey conducted by the UK P&I Club has revealed. After contractual issues, the next greatest areas of concern were piracy, crime and international sanctions, reflecting the issues shipowners are facing, particularly in the waters around Africa.
European Commissioner Michel Barnier has put forward a draft Directive which postpones the Solvency II start date to 1 January 2016. Commenting on the delay, Paul Clarke, partner and global insurance regulatory leader, said: "The current directive had a start date of January 2014, which became unrealistic given the slow progress on Omnibus 2. "It was widely known that a 'Quick Fix 2' was required to move the date from 2014, and there was concern in the market that a safe date that avoids the need for a 'Quick Fix 3' would have been in the distant future.
Richard Baldwin has joined PwC‘s enterprise resilience team, whose responsibilities include helping clients to prepare for, respond to and deal with company crises. Baldwin is well known in the industry as the founder of one of the UK's most successful crisis management consultancies, Link Associates. He has been involved in the development of crisis and emergency response structures for large international companies across a variety of high risk industries for the last 27 years.
The speed at which political instability spreads is now inextricably linked to social media, as disaffected populations globally are increasingly turning to this powerful outlet to drive political demonstrations. This, according to Marsh, means that the ‘rear view mirror’ approach to risk management, which is frequently used by multinationals to forecast risk by examining past events, is no longer sufficient when operating in at-risk countries.
The revised BS ISO/IEC 27001:2013 and BS ISO/IEC 27002:2013 standards have been published. The standards which help businesses manage information security were first conceived at BSI, the business standards company, in the shape of BS 7799. The 2013 revision of the international standard will enable businesses of all sizes and sectors to accommodate the swift evolution and increased complexity of managing information and the continual challenge that cyber security poses.
A majority of drivers in the six largest motor insurance markets in Europe have indicated they are willing to embrace telematics-based products in consumer research carried out by Towers Watson. Interest is highest in Italy and Spain, where around 70% of drivers in each country said they were definitely or probably interested in taking out a telematics policy. Across all six participating European countries, 55% of drivers indicated some interest in telematics insurance.
EIOPA) has recently published its final guidelines for the preparation of Solvency II, in response to the public consultation earlier in the year. “The release of these guidelines represents a significant step in the journey towards Solvency II implementation," commented PwC's Charles Garnsworthy. "EIOPA expects of them but, in the UK, will be looking for further clarity from the PRA about how they intend to adopt these guidelines.
Human influence on the climate system is clear, and is evident in most regions of the globe, according to a new report from the IPPC, which maintains that human influence has been the dominant cause of observed warming since the mid-20th century. The evidence for this has grown, thanks to more and better observations, an improved understanding of the climate system response and improved climate models.
Premium income written in the London company market reached nearly £18bn in 2012, according to the IUA. In addition, business worth a further £6.23bn has been identified as written in other locations, but controlled and managed by London company operations. The IUA's report also examines business by placement type and, for the first time, provides a breakdown of how income is divided between direct and facultative business, as well as treaty contracts.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has fined Clydesdale Bank for failing to inform its customers clearly of their rights after the bank miscalculated the repayments on over 42,500 mortgages. Clydesdale, which is owned by National Australia Bank, has agreed to compensate all those who underpaid on their mortgages as a result and write to other affected customers. This process has been agreed with the FCA.
Financial services institutions must gain a better understanding of the mobile payments market, according to Ovum. The research highlights that without a clear understanding of the relationship between mobile payments and the existing payments infrastructure, industry players will significantly miss out on the long-term potential of the market.
A high number of casualties and widespread damage are expected following an M7.7 earthquake in southern Pakistan. AIR Worldwide reports put the epicentre of the quake at 43 miles (69km) north-northeast of Awaran in the province of Balochistan. The quake struck at a depth of 20km and was followed minutes later by a M5.9 aftershock.
A changed economic environment, a restructuring of traditional insurance roles and changing technologies are creating a “perfect storm”, resulting in a significant shift in culture in the complex insurance market. Such are the findings of a report carried out by Celent and commissioned by Agencyport Software, an annual study of the attitudes and aspirations of insurance industry executives.
Disaster recovery and building repairs group, Prism Network, has secured a £2m investment package, after its first three years of trading. The investment, from Venture Capitalist Midven and ABN AMRO Commercial Finance, will allow Prism to recruit, including a further team of broker account managers and expand its Midlands headquarters, as well as increase its network of contractors around the country.
At least 68 people have been killed and scores more injured during a protracted and ongoing assault by militants at a shopping centre in Kenya's capital, Nairobi. Between 10 and 15 militants are said to have entered Westgate, an upmarket shopping complex in the city's Westlands area on Saturday morning. The assailants, armed with automatic rifles and explosives, opened fire on security guards and civilians. The assailants are believed to have taken numerous hostages, and efforts to end the assault are ongoing.
A new report from Swiss Re provides a risk index comparing the human and economic exposure of 616 cities around the globe, aimed at promoting dialogue on urban resilience among decision-makers, the insurance industry and the broader public.
A new report has identified some of the key and emerging threats on the cyber risk landscape. The study, carried out by European Commission information security agency, ENISA, identifies an increase in threats to infrastructure through targeted attacks, mobile devices and social media identity thefts carried out in the cloud.
Leaving terrorism insurance to be written without a US government backstop is a gamble that would create economic uncertainty, the International Underwriting Association (IUA) has warned. Without a renewal of the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (TRIA), private provision of terrorism insurance may disappear entirely in some areas and would almost certainly be much more expensive than it is today.
Eight men have been arrested by the Metropolitan Police's Central e-Crime Unit (PCeU) in connection with a £1.3 million theft by a gang who stole the money by taking control of a Barclays Bank branch computer system. The arrests are the result of a long term intelligence led operation by the Metropolitan Police's PeCU, in partnership with Barclays Bank, who have been investigating the theft of £1.3m from the Swiss Cottage branch of Barclays in April 2013.
A new report from PwC looking at the future of insurance M&A has found that the strategic importance of M&A to insurers across the globe is set to increase. Experts believe that European insurers could slice two to three per cent off their combined ratios by emulating pricing best practice from markets such as the US or Australia. PwC reckons that transaction volumes won’t recover along the same lines as during the last decade and instead, the next few years will see a ‘quiet revolution’ in global insurance M&A.
Arthur J. Gallagher has announced the acquisition of passenger transport specialist Belmont International, an independent insurance broker in the South East, for an undisclosed sum. Established in 1988 by managing director Barrie Etchells to service the newly privatised UK bus industry, Belmont has since grown to be one of the top commercial insurance brokers in the South East, with more than 80 employees generating more than £55m gross written premium.
Travelers has appointed David Watts as head of general aviation for Travelers Syndicate Management Limited (Syndicate 5000 at Lloyd’s). Watts most recently worked at Catlin Canada, where he held the role of director, underwriting.
New research from specialist recruiter, Robert Walters, indicates that the number of adverts for jobs in the UK insurance sector increased between the first and second quarters. According to research, changes in overall vacancy levels show a national rise of 16% in available roles across this period. Demand for insurance professionals was most notable in the North West and North East of the country, with employers across the region contributing to a huge quarterly rise of 46% in advertised vacancies.
Mobile alert tests are being carried out in Glasgow, Suffolk and Yorkshire to make sure the public can receive information in an emergency. A series of tests will take place in selected locations throughout the country this autumn, Minister for the Cabinet Office Francis Maude announced today. Three tests in specific parts of Yorkshire, Suffolk and Glasgow are intended to test how various alerting technologies work and the public’s reaction to them.
Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty has launched a new cyber risk product aimed at SMEs and corporates. Allianz Cyber Protect aims to offer a comprehensive suite of three insurance products to address various first and third party liability issues that can arise from a serious cyber attack or data breach. Key elements of Allianz Cyber Protect include cover up to a limit of €50m and covering a broad range of cyber exposures; three levels of business interruption cover and immediate access to a crisis response team.
Deloitte has announced the appointment of John Tesh CBE as senior advisor to its audit advisory group. Tesh is a former deputy director and head of the capabilities team in the Civil Contingencies Secretariat (CCS) in the UK Cabinet Office. From 2006 to 2012, he was programme director for the Government’s National Resilience Capabilities Programme. Tesh was responsible for developing the UK’s National Risk Assessment and pioneered work on risk communication in the first National Risk Register.
Almost three quarters of brokers place business in specialist niches, such as charity, heritage or education, according to a new report by Ecclesiastical, whose Specialist Broker Barometer indicates that 72% of brokers in the UK place business in specialist areas. The barometer, undertaken by 250 brokers across the UK however also indicated that just under a third of brokers (29%) actually class themselves as specialist brokers.
BAE Systems Detica has launched a military-grade solution designed to protect the industrial control systems of organisations such as power plants, oil refineries or automated manufacturing plants from cyber attack. The major applications for the IndustrialProtect solution will be organisations within the defence, energy, utilities and natural resources sectors, where industrial control systems are integral to their efficiency, growth and productivity.
As global insurance markets recover, insurers are moving from a cost-cutting stance to investment in strategic IT projects. According to recent research by Ovum, overall global insurance IT budgets will grow at a 6.5% compound annual growth rate, with total IT spend reaching US$109bn by 2017. Insurers are prioritising investment that will drive customer acquisition and retention and improve operational effectiveness.
While weather-related losses remain comparatively rare in the global power generation sector, research published today by Marsh highlights that their financial impact is considerably higher than other operational loss events. According to Marsh, the majority of operational power generation losses are attributed to either one or a combination of issues relating to location, technology and maintenance. These losses total more than US$1.8bn, which includes both settled losses and reserves for losses that remain ongoing.
Two ethical guides to help employers articulate, incentivise and demonstrate ethical culture in the workplace have been launched today by the Chartered Insurance Institute (CII). The CII’s Ethical culture: building a culture of integrity and Ethical culture: a practical guide for small firms, are intended to provide a helping hand to all firms, but especially SMEs, who typically have less resource to deal with these issues.
Continuing uncertainty surrounding the application of cyber exclusion clauses in policy wordings by insurers is eroding the value of insurance and causing mounting concern among global energy firms, according to Marsh. The inclusion of so-called “CL380 clauses”, which are currently imposed across a broad range of energy insurance policies, mean that insurers may deny energy firms’ claims for physical loss or damage stemming from cyber-related incidents.
Solvency II’s second pillar requires the captive board to demonstrate robust governance and risk management. Around a quarter of single-owner captives are domiciled in either the European Union or in Bermuda, which has recently opted for a modified version of Solvency II. These captives are directly affected by the implications of Solvency II and will have to take notice of their requirements sooner or later.
Impact Forecasting’s August nat cat report reveals billion-dollar flood losses recorded in China, Russia, Philippines, and Pakistan during August, caused an initial combined estimate of US$10bn in economic losses. Persistent rainfall caused flooding across much of China during the month of August, with Heilongjiang Province sustaining much of the damage. According to available data from the Ministry of Civil Affairs (MCA), nationwide totals during August showed that more than 260 people died, at least 306,000 homes and structures were damaged, and the aggregate economic loss was at least CNY32bn(US$5.3bn).
After a two month wait, the next indicative date for the key European Parliament plenary meeting to consider, and hopefully approve, Omnibus 2 was released this morning. As KPMG had anticipated, this has been pushed back beyond the end of the year, and is now scheduled for 11 March 2014. KPMG has urged politicians to move forward quickly with a second directive.
Toshiba Medical Systems has selected PageOne's Responder smartphone-based messaging service to locate and manage the call-out and lone-worker safety of its field-based engineers. The solution is assisting Toshiba Medical System in day-to-day operations as well as helping demonstrate compliance with the ISO 18001 accreditation for Occupational Health and Safety Management, and the Working Time Directive.
The Unite union has today confirmed that there has been no contravention of the blacklisting regulations on the Crossrail contracts being undertaken by BFK JV (Bam, Ferrovial, Kier) with Unite agreeing that no blacklisting has taken place. Andrew Wolstenholme, Crossrail chief executive said: “By their own admission, Unite advised the Scottish Affairs Committee that their evidence was circumstantial and was not sufficient to prove blacklisting...."
BIBA has strongly rejected comments made by The Law Society about solicitors professional indemnity cover, describing them as ‘ill-informed’ and ‘self-promoting’. BIBA chief executive, Steve White, said: “The Law Society has complained about lack of capacity and price for small law firms’ PI cover; however, the cause of this has been a consistently high number of errors and omissions claims made by small firms."
Aon Global Risk Consulting has appointed Robert Robinson to lead its global energy risk engineering team. Based in London, he will lead a team of consultants across the Americas, EMEA and Asia-Pacific. Replacing Gordon Martin who is retiring from Aon, Robinson was formerly a managing director at Marsh Energy.
AIG has announced the availability of its new Launch plus 10 coverage, designed to protect satellite owners and operators for the launch plus the first 10 years of satellite in-orbit operation. The UK underwriting team at AIG Europe will be offering Launch plus 10 to complement the existing space products and services which AIG already offers. AIG Europe Limited has appointed Sciemus Space as a consultant.
Organisations that fail to embrace disaster recovery solutions and business continuity planning are wasting money and run the risk of jeopardising their future says Phoenix's Mike Osborne, further to a recent report putting economic losses from disasters at US$56bn for the first six months 2013. And while the report says global insurers covered up to US$20bn, this still leaves a US$36bn hole.
Lockton has launched a dedicated website for solicitors, providing a single platform where solicitors can explore the services and products relevant to their business needs. Following this year’s professional indemnity renewal on 1st October, clients will be able to log in to a secure portal to access and manage their insurances online. Users will be able to gain CPD points on the site, which offers a set of online video seminars and online training modules.
More than 400 international insurance-related patents were filed last year, in a sign that the insurance sector is focusing on innovation in a bid to add value to its offerings, according to RPC. Their research says there were 435 such patents filed during 2012 for innovations as diverse as healthcare insurance which allows for the use of stem cells in future treatments and methods for valuing insurance cover for hydrocarbon reserves.
Impact Forecasting has launched a new flood scenario-based model for Mexico to quantify financial losses caused by river flooding. Flooding in Mexico over the last two decades has caused human and financial losses across the entire country, with severe events in 1993, 1998, 1999, 2005, 2007 or 2010. As such, flood in Mexico is considered to be one of the most significant natural perils, alongside earthquake and hurricane.
As part of a number of new coverage initiatives planned by Ascent to develop during 2013 to enhance its niche product portfolio, the underwriter has launched a general liability coverage extension for small and mid-market business clients.
A computer glitch at Goldman Sachs could cost the investment bank US$100m or more after it inadvertently made a large number of erroneous options trades on Tuesday that disrupted trading across multiple US exchanges.
Political tensions are expected to escalate following the arrest of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Mohammad Badie in Cairo yesterday, as the development serves to further polarise the country's major political blocs. Badie joins a number of other senior Islamist personalities in detention, including former Islamist president, Mohammed Mursi, and MB deputy leader, Khairat el-Shater.
According to preliminary sigma estimates, total economic losses from natural catastrophes and man-made disasters were US$56bn in the first half of 2013. The global insurance industry covered US$20bn of the total losses, of which US$17bn were caused by natural catastrophes, in large part due to widespread flood events. In the first half of 2013, disasters claimed 7,000 lives.
Congratulations to all of this year's Risk Management Awards finalists. The winners will be announced at a gala dinner and ceremony on 20 November 2013 at the Grosvenor House Hotel, Park Lane, London. Last year's awards were attended by hundreds of industry professionals and we look forward to welcoming the biggest names in the industry again this year.
Phoenix has announced that it has been selected by Hewlett-Packard to be one of its Converged Infrastructure Partners in the UK. HP Converged Systems is a portfolio of system-based products from HP that combine IT components: servers, storage, networking, software and services for specific workloads.
A new equality strategy has been approved by the Board of the Chartered Insurance Institute as part of CII’s commitment to strive towards creating a diversity-aware and inclusive professional body for those working in insurance and financial services. The CII Board decided to introduce a Single Equality Scheme which aligns with the public sector equality duty, following its introduction in 2011 as part of the Equality Act 2010.
Markel International has launched a privacy, data breach and electronic risks module for professional services firms in the UK. The cover protects businesses against a wide range of cyber risks and includes third party liability and first party costs arising from a data breach, unauthorised IT systems access, and electronic media injury.
The recent delivery of a suspicious package to an address in London has prompted the Met to issue current guidance on the safe handling of mail and the initial response when recipients have concerns regarding potential contamination. This is particularly relevant for organisations connected with the DWP's mandatory work activity placement scheme who may be the recipients of unsolicited packages sent as part of a campaign of protest against the scheme.
The Syrian Electronic Army (SEA) has claimed yet another victim, this time the Washington Post, CNN and Time websites. But, in this case the group went one step further and manipulated the links that appeared on the media groups’ own webpages.
Over recent months, the SEA has also hacked into the BBC, Al-Jazeera, The Guardian and the Financial Times’ social media platforms. Each hack brings into question the security of passwords.
Management system certifier and training body, LRQA will be holding a series of one-day briefings on the forthcoming changes to the information security management system standard, ISO 27001. The standard has undergone a major revision to ensure that it remains relevant to today’s information security needs. The final draft of the new standard was finalised in May and it is expected to be published in October 2013.
Aon Risk Solutions has extended its arrangement with QBE Europe for solicitors professional indemnity to include one to three partner firms. This follows the recent announcement by XL that it intends to “significantly reduce” its market share in the solicitors professional indemnity market.
Two scemes that provide access to industry expertise to respond effectively to the consequences of cyber security attacks have been formally launched by CESG, the Information Security arm of GCHQ, and the Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure (CPNI), in collaboration with the Council of Registered Ethical Security Testers (CREST), the professional body representing the technical security industry.
ISACA has issued new guidance outlining critical governance and assurance considerations for big data. Managed properly, big data can improve decision making, reduce time to market and increase profits. But it can also raise significant risk, ranging from disastrous data breaches to privacy and compliance concerns. According to Privacy and Big Data, enterprises must ask and answer a series of important questions, which if ignored expose the enterprise to greater risk and damage.
Xchanging’s global accounting and net settlement product, Netsett, has been awarded ACORD certification. Trevor Maddison, director at ACORD commented “ACORD’s vision is for an insurance industry that embraces a global view of information, and allows all trading partners to be able to easily exchange information to agreed standards.
Almost a third of UK firms have reported a spike in absence rates during the recent hot weather. This is according to a PMI Health Group, whose research suggests that 30 per cent of firms have seen more staff call in sick since the start of summer. The study also found 71% of firms find it easier to engage employees in well-being schemes during the summer months.
According to catastrophe modelling firm AIR Worldwide, Typhoon Utor slammed into the northern Philippine island of Luzon on 12th August, at around 15:00 local time with 10-minute sustained winds of 175 km/h (109 mph, gusts of up to 210 km/h (130 mph), and waves up to 2.5 metres. Currently off the northwestern coast of Luzon, the typhoon is moving west-northwest at about 22 km/h across the central part of the South China Sea, in the general direction of China's Guangdong province.
Hand arm vibration syndrome (HAVS) could be costing Britain almost £5bn.
The economic cost of HAVS is based on the HSE's costs to Britain of workplace injuries and work-related ill health for 2010/11, which which report, the total cost to society per case of ill health (of which HAVS is one) is £16,400. Given that there are around 300,000 employees who are estimated to have advanced symptoms of HAVS, health and safety consultants at Reactec estimate the total cost to society of HAVS at around £4.9bn.
Xchanging has won a contract to provide Standard Bank with financial processing services. Xchanging will provide the African financial services group with reconciliation, payment processing, origination, and data and document management, initially for one year.
The Serious Fraud Office has admitted to the loss of over 30,000 documents and other media relating to its now closed investigation into BAE Systems.The agency said in a statement that it has a duty to return any requested material following the close of an investigation, and that in this instance the party requesting the return was “sent additional material which had in fact been obtained from other sources”. An embarrassment to the UK's white collar crime agency, this instance of data loss currently looks to affect some 59 sources.
The Lloyd’s Market Association (LMA) has been asked to join a new government committee monitoring the security of UK ports and harbours. Neil Smith, the LMA’s head of underwriting, attended the inaugural meeting of the Department for Transport’s National Maritime Security Committee, which overseas security arrangements for UK flag vessels as well as the country’s ports and harbours.
Cross-industry fraud investigations are being hindered by companies misusing the Data Protection Act to share data, according to the findings of the Chartered Insurance Institute’s New Generation Claims Group. Intercompany data requests in the insurance industry made under section 29(3) of the act – designed for the sharing of data to prevent and detect crime – are happening in unmanageably high volumes, are often “non-compliant” and are “adding little to counter fraud investigations”, the group says.
IT consultancy Northdoor has announced an exclusive partnership with 24 Lockdown, a security and technology consultancy service in the cyber risk arena. The partnership will focus on providing risk avoidance and security protection to the London insurance market, where insurance fraud alone is estimated to cost £2bn a year. Simon Teague, director of 24 Lockdown’s UK operations said ‘We are delighted to announce this enhanced partnership, where we are selling our services exclusively through Northdoor.
International SOS and Control Risks have unveiled the latest version of their travel security tool, TravelTracker. The technology has been designed to enable clients to quickly identify the location of their employees and communicate with them as needed, wherever they are in the world. The solution also offers a gateway to the services of International SOS and Control Risks. With organisations sending people to more risky destinations, the need to know employees’ locations and itineraries is vital.
A new London Market Political Risk Committee has been established by the IUA. The group is made up of underwriting and claims representatives from across the association’s member companies and will meet regularly to discuss issues affecting political risk business. The association has already hosted its first meeting and drawn up a list of future work items that includes considering financial guarantees, redenomination of currencies, international sanctions, licensing requirements and taxation.
Lloyd’s managing agents could see their legal costs reduced by Lord Jackson’s proposals to reform civil litigation and streamline the small claims process, according to the Lloyd’s Market Association. LMA underwriting manager David Powell said: “The Jackson reforms, and in particular the government’s decision to ban referral fees, are having a positive effect on tackling inflated legal costs. Restricting the money recovered from insurers by claimant lawyers is leading to fewer claims farmers."
Following a terrorist threat against US interests abroad, the US State Department has announced that several US embassies, which were closed in several countries on 4 August, will remain closed until 10 August. US authorities have also indicated that other corporate, strategic and/or symbolic infrastructure representing US interests in these countries may be at a heightened risk. The decision to close multiple diplomatic offices represents a significant development and indicates that there is credible and serious threat against US interests.
Impact Forecasting has launched the first catastrophe model for the East Africa region. The model quantifies the financial impact of earthquakes and in turn allows insurers and reinsurers to gain a better understanding of their exposures in this growing market. The region is prone to earthquakes as the rift system has two tectonic plates which are separating and diverging.
Cat modeller AIR Worldwide said today that the remnants of Tropical Storm Flossie are currently north-west of the most northern island in the Hawaiian chain of island, Kauai, and that the maximum sustained winds have dropped to below 30 MPH. Flossie had wind speeds of up to 50 MPH as it came within 20 miles of the most southern Big Island and then past Maui to become the first tropical storm to hit Hawaii since hurricane Iniki struck Kauai in 1992 causing considerable damage.
Cars are now a genuine target for cyber criminals and it is possible for attackers to gain control of a vehicle while it is in motion, with risky consequences. For instance, as Alex Fidgen, director at IT security company MWR InfoSecurity, explains, this could have serious consequences if the brakes were applied at high speed. This comment was made after Volkswagen allegedly sued the University of Birmingham to stop it from publishing how it had hacked anti-theft systems on luxury cars including Lamborghinis and Porsches.
AlienVault has announced the launch of its Open Threat Exchange (OTX) Reputation Monitor, a free service that AlienVault hopes will help enable security professionals to monitor and track their organisations reputation. After registering the IP address and domains they wish to monitor, users will receive notifications when a threat is detected, or anytime one of their IP addresses or domains is listed in a blacklist, hacker forum, or matches one of the IPs in AlienVault’s IP reputation database.
Beazley’s political risks team has extended its political violence policy to offer unambiguous cover for physical damage during terrorist or insurgency actions caused by the police or security forces. Chris Parker, head of terrorism and political violence underwriting, said: "There is a considerable lack of clarity at the moment about this issue. For example, during the hostage crisis committed by a recognised terrorist organisation in Algeria earlier in 2013, considerable damage was sustained by the plant which was caused by the Algerian Special Forces as they sought to resolve the situation.
MPs have said that the UK is losing the fight against cyber crime and that it must do more to keep up with the pace of cyber criminals to stop online fraud and deter state-sponsored cyber-espionage.
The country is "complacent" when it comes to cyber crime according to the group of MPs on the Home Affairs Select Committee. Further, low-level internet based financial crime has been falling into a black hole as so many incidents go unreported.
Specialist Lloyd's insurer Jubilee has announced that Eamon Brown will join the company as chief underwriting officer. Brown will be responsible for overall underwriting strategy within Jubilee's Lloyd's Syndicates 5820 and 779, and the delivery of targeted growth across the firm's five underwriting franchises including consumer products, life, property, casualty and political risk and terrorism.
Floods affect more people globally than any other type of disaster. The floods of May and June 2013 in Central and Eastern Europe turned out to be the worst in the region in more than a decade. A recent survey presented by Zurich has shown that while businesses are aware of the challenges they face, most have not yet developed a holistic approach to protect themselves from these risks. To help fill this gap, Zurich has launched a multi-year flood resilience programme to help strengthen the resilience of communities against floods.
Nine out of ten insurers across EMEA cite preparing for the implementation of Solvency II as a challenge for their business, with 31% citing the regulation as a major challenge. Almost half of EMEA insurers (49%) describe their approach to Solvency II as proactive. These findings come from a global insurance survey commissioned by State Street and conducted by the Economist Intelligence Unit.
Professional insurance fraud is a growing problem, and the need for effective fraud detection is now an urgent priority, according to the latest research from Ovum. Although most insurers have invested in fraud technology to some degree in the past five years, the majority of this investment, while beneficial, has been piecemeal. With a current focus mainly on the claims phase, insurers must reassess their fraud strategy and how technology is currently being used to combat the growing threat.
Some factions of the global infrastructure investment community are still failing to consider the impact of climate change on their infrastructure assets, leaving major infrastructure developments exposed to the increased long-term physical risks created by changing environmental conditions. According to a report published today by Marsh, Sustainable Infrastructure – Weathering the Storms, the sustainability of infrastructure assets should be assessed at the project inception stage and throughout the asset’s lifecycle.
Global IT security association ISACA has revised its information systems audit and assurance standards. The IS Audit and Assurance Standards define mandatory requirements for information systems auditing and reporting. They inform management of the expectations regarding the work of practitioners and ensure that practitioners understand the minimum level of acceptable performance required to meet professional responsibilities. Professionals who hold a CISA certification must comply with these standards.
Tom Woolgrove was today elected 117th president of the global professional body. Woolgrove, Cert CII, managing director, Personal Lines Insurance, Direct Line Group, succeeds Amanda Blanc, ACII, chartered insurer, CEO, AXA Insurance Commercial Lines and Personal Intermediary. Ashwin Mistry, OBE, ACII, Chartered insurance broker, chairman and chief executive, Brokerbility, has also been elected as CII deputy president.
A new survey from IBM has revealed that a significant proportion of UK insurance companies are failing to capitalise on the customer data they hold or adequately capture it in the first place. The survey paints a picture of an industry that still predominantly works in traditional siloed environments and fails to integrate or analyse its Big Data. The survey, based on interviews with 50 senior IT decision makers at UK insurance companies – also found 64% with more than five separate database systems.
Sustainable and well regulated growth in the UK financial services sector could generate approximately 22,000 additional jobs in the UK insurance industry by 2020, according to a new PwC report launched today. Approximately 47,500 additional jobs could be created across the whole UK financial services sector, with up to 218,000 across the wider UK economy. PwC economists based their analysis on two scenarios designed to represent potential futures for the financial services sector and the wider economy.
Marsh has appointed Jane Barker as chairman of Marsh Ltd. Ms Barker, who has been a non-executive director of the company since 2010, will succeed Sir Peter Middleton. Ms Barker is CEO of Equitas, a position she has held for the past six years, having served as its Finance Director since 1995. Previously, she was COO of the London Stock Exchange. Prior to that, Ms Barker spent 14 years with Marsh, joining CT Bowring – later acquired by Marsh – in 1976, becoming managing director and international CFO in 1988.
FERMA has told the European Commission that any new insurance solutions for catastrophe risks should be market based and respect freedom of choice for company insurance buyers. FERMA has made this comment in its response to the European Commission green paper on natural and man-made disasters. FERMA stresses the importance of suitable risk pricing as a mechanism to promote a culture of risk management. It says that where the private market is mature and working well, a compulsory scheme is not desirable.
SOCA has issued a warning that its name and brand have been used by criminals attempting to defraud members of the public. Computer users find that their screens are locked, and at the same time they receive a message purporting to be from SOCA which states that their computer screen will only be unlocked if they pay a fine. In reality, the computer has been infected with malware, disseminated by cyber criminals for financial gain.
The average total cost of risk increased in 2012 – climbing five per cent in 2012 as opposed to its increase of only 1.7% in 2011. This is according to the newly released RIMS Benchmark Survey, and is largely the result of firming market conditions. “Rates are rising, but our research shows that improving rates attract new capacity, which makes it difficult to sustain the trend towards progressively higher rates,” said RIMS board director Michael D. Phillipus.
Technology executives worldwide believe that the United States is the country most likely to come up with the next ‘disruptive technology breakthrough’ that will have a global impact in the next four years, according to the latest Global Technology Innovation survey by advisory firm KPMG, which surveyed technology business leaders worldwide from start-ups, mid-sized to large enterprises, venture capital firms and angel investors in order to identify disruptive technologies, innovation trends, and the scope of change.
Salamanca Group has launched a cyber security division. A JV with Si Secureview creates the new division designed to assist companies in identifying, managing and responding to the ever increasing threat of hostile cyber attacks. Since 2005, the team has been involved in a number of high profile projects providing IT security architecture, stress-testing systems and a variety of other solutions for US government agencies, multinational corporations such as Pepsi and financial institutions including Citigroup.
UK businesses are putting plans for IT transformation at the top of their list in a bid to increase competitiveness and offer greater capacity for business growth. According to new research, after spending the last five years in a state of uncertainty, the majority of organisations are now looking to refresh their technology estates within the next 36 months, with 49% of respondents stating demands for flexible and mobile working policies are pushing the need for a change in IT requirements.
The Association of British Insurers has published a guide on employers’ liability insurance. The aim of the guide is to provide clarity to businesses on what they do and don’t need to do when obtaining EL cover. The guide explains the difference between employers’ liability and public liability insurance, the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and includes a simple to follow table addressing some common concerns around adherence to health and safety guidelines.
Zurich estimates losses of approximately US$140m related to floods in Central and Eastern Europe and approximately US$138m, for both Zurich North America and Farmers Re together, related to two severe tornadoes, which hit Oklahoma City Metropolitan Area in May this year.
The Information Commissioner’s Office has issued NHS Surrey with a penalty of £200,000 after more than 3,000 patient records were found on a second hand computer bought through an online auction site. The sensitive information was inadvertently left on the computer and sold by a data destruction company employed by NHS Surrey since March 2010 to wipe and destroy their old computer equipment. The company carried out the service for free, with an agreement that they could sell any salvageable materials after the hard drives had been securely destroyed.
The ABI’s report into the challenges facing the insurance industry today Identifying the Challenges of a Changing World, an analysis of the issues facing the UK insurance industry and society, and launches a debate on how insurers can play a key role in finding solutions to the issues that will shape our world in the 2020s and beyond. The report identifies seven over-arching trends most relevant to insurers, including the digital revolution and impact of the social media.
Terry Farr and James Gilmour, former brokers at RP Martin Holdings Limited, have been charged with offences of conspiracy to defraud in connection with the investigation by the Serious Fraud Office into the manipulation of
The introduction of the UK Bribery Act has been accompanied by a flurry of legal and commercial advice creating confusion amongst many small and medium-sized business enterprises as to their responsibilities and constraints under the Act and how it is being practically applied. In response, BSI and the City of London Police are running a series of joint training programmes.
According to new research by AIG, over one in four captains of industry surveyed have little or no knowledge of what is covered by directors and officers (D&O) risks, and nearly 70% only discuss it when they renew their policy. The findings suggest senior business leaders could focus more on the increasing levels of personal risk to which they are exposed.
Just days after the event, Aon Benfield’s Impact Forecasting cat modelling team has launched a scenario model for the recent Alberta floods in Canada. Steve Jakubowski, president of Impact Forecasting, said: “This scenario model illustrates the global scope of an open platform...where third party data can be used to quantify clients’ exposure in areas with no existing models available prior to the event."
A new report suggests that European firms are being overtaken by surging volumes of information and are exposed to unprecedented levels of risk.
Iron Mountain and PwC’s second Information Risk Maturity Index shows how European businesses have grown more aware of the threat posed by information risk, but also reveals that mid-sized firms are ill-equipped to navigate a complex information landscape defined by expanding volumes of information in multiple formats; a rising level of malicious threats; and a growing requirement to manage this vital business asset.
The British Insurance Brokers’ Association has launched a member consultation following their strategic review which concluded earlier in the year. The consultation focuses on proposed changes to BIBA’s governance structures, the make-up of the board and a new model for segmenting its membership.
A proposal to pool flood risk among UK insurers will remove uncertainty from this market by ensuring availability and increased pricing stability for customers while allowing insurers to balance exposure to high-risk properties, Fitch Ratings says. Risk pools of the type proposed by the UK government and the Association of British Insurers have been successfully adopted in many other European countries.
A new report published today suggests that more than nine in 10 chief financial officers and chief operating officers within UK financial services businesses find the regulatory regime challenging to manage. Only in Hong Kong do financial executives find regulatory change more taxing than in the UK.
Frederik Koencke has been appointed as the first EMEA managing director of the 16-strong crisis management group within Towers Watson. Koencke, who joins from the executive management team at Hamburg-based broker BDJ Versicherungsmakler, will initially focus on extending Towers Watson’s crisis management client relationships in Germany and across continental Europe
Heavy rainfall that caused flooding across Southern Alberta continues to challenge the area, particularly in Calgary, where the Bow and Elbow Rivers both overtopped their banks. Roads and bridges were washed away; notably, the Trans-Canada Highway was damaged by mudslides west of Calgary. At June 28, power has been restored to much of Calgary, and the Trans-Canada Highway has been repaired west of Calgary.
Reinsurers are taking robust defensive measures to maintain market positions recently eroded by new capital markets entrants, according to a report from Willis Re. Its 1st July renewals report, Supply Chases Demand, finds that despite the impact of the US$30bn Superstorm Sandy loss, the key battleground is in US property catastrophe where capital markets have been most active so far.
After five years at the company, current CEO of Bluefin, Stuart Reid has been appointed executive chairman of the business, as Mike Bruce, current managing director Mike Bruce takes on the role of CEO. Stuart Reid will devote increasing time to the development and execution of acquisition opportunities together with other large scale projects important to the growth of the business, including continued activity in the MGA space.
Catastrophe risk modelling firm AIR Worldwide has released its Pandemic Flu Model. Developed to capture the excess morbidity, mortality, and insurance losses caused by pandemic influenza, the model includes more than 18,000 simulated events, ranging in severity from mild to severe, that can start and spread anywhere globally and last from months to years.
ACE Group has announced plans to remove the basis of contract clause from UK wordings issued under the ACE European Group stamp for new and renewed business. This move follows a full review that has included feedback from its clients and from Airmic. Basis clauses are a long-standing historical mechanism designed to guarantee that all information provided to insurers, upon which underwriting decisions are made, are factually correct.
An official comment letter submitted by US risk management society RIMS, to and at the request of the US Department of the Treasury provided the Society’s perspective on the current state of the market for natural catastrophe insurance in the United States. The letter also suggests that a universally accepted definition of ‘'natural catastrophe” would be advantageous for consumers purchasing natural catastrophe coverage, as well as insurers.
The Federation of European Risk Management Associations (FERMA) has agreed a change to its bylaws so that it can accept individual and corporate members who have an interest in European risk management. Until now membership has been limited to national risk management associations in Europe.
Amlin has acquired coverage for US and Canadian earthquake perils of up to US$75m from Bermudian Tramline Re II, which in turn is placing a catastrophe bond for this amount into the capital markets. This transaction provides the Amlin Group with fully collateralised protection over a four year period from 1 July 2013 against claims arising from a single earthquake event in all US and Canadian states and provinces. The coverage attaches at US$325m.
International Underwriting Association (IUA) has elected Malcolm Newman as its new chairman. Newman is managing director of SCOR’s London Hub. He takes over from Stephen Riley, executive director at Global Aerospace, who has led the association for the past seven years.
Allianz Commercial has enhanced its Complete SME range of tailored business insurance for SMEs. In addition to developing its Complete Business, Complete Property Owner and Complete Flatowner products, Allianz Commercial also offers Complete Office, Complete Contractor and Complete Retailer products – each of which is available online via QuoteSME and iMarket, with telephone support from Allianz’s specialist SME underwriting team.
In some high-risk areas, ocean warming and climate change threaten the insurability of catastrophe risk. This is one of the conclusions of a research report issued today by think-tank, The Geneva Association. When thinking of global warming, most people think of the atmosphere, not of the oceans. But it is the oceans that are the principle conveyor of energy around our planet. Through being the main source of water to the atmosphere, the oceans largely determine our weather patterns and provide the energy for the development of extreme events.
QBE has launched an excess of loss product for aviation liabilities in the Middle East. The product covers general aviation, airlines, ancillary aviation support services and aerospace products with a capacity of up to US$250m for airlines and product risks and US$200m for general aviation.
Attenda been accredited with the new ISO 22301 International Standard for Business Continuity Management. The company has been working for the past twelve months to align its business to the ISO 22301 standard, carrying out detailed assessments of the organisation and technology elements and processes, including a number of scenario based exercises with its crisis management team.
National standards body, BSI, has created a new specification PAS 555 Cyber security risk – governance and management to assist in the management of exposure to cyber security risk. The cost of the worst breach of the year appears to have significantly increased from £35,000 to £65,000 for small businesses and from £450,000-£750,000 for large organisations.
Public disclosure of a company's social issues is positive, but by itself does not show that the risks are under control, FERMA has told the European Commission and the European Parliament. "The disclosure of environmental and social information can...be viewed in a positive way," said FERMA President Jorge Luzzi. "But it is disclosure plus good risk management that creates the conditions for transparency and sustainability. By itself, disclosure is not enough."
KPMG has concerns as to whether the recommendations from the long-term guarantees assessment impact study will be mutually satisfactory to all parties, and hence whether the insurance industry will be saved from further delays to the Solvency II timeline.
The annual London Risk Register, which was approved by the London Resilience Forum and which sets out our assessment of the likelihood and potential impact of a range of risks that may affect London, has been updated. The London Risk Register is designed to help emergency responders and communities have a common understanding of the risks facing the local community
European Union (EU) cybersecurity agency, ENISA has received a new regulation, granting it a seven year mandate with an expanded set of duties. “The new regulation is great news for ENISA and for cybersecurity in Europe,” said ENISA’s executive director, professor Udo Helmbrecht. “It means that ENISA now has the scope and authority to make an even bigger difference in protecting Europe’s cyberspace.
RSA has renewed a contract to provide motor insurance to Motability Operations. The new deal takes effect from 1st October 2013 for an initial five years. The deal will be on a quota share arrangement with RSA retaining 20% of the premium exposure, ceding the balance to a Motability Operations owned captive
As civil unrest continues in Turkey, Willis is highlighting potential gaps in insurance cover among the repercussions of the unrest. “Turkey is in the midst of the biggest anti-government street protests since the AKP took power more than a decade ago," says Willis' Andrew van den Born, "...any further political turmoil could put in jeopardy Turkey’s investment grade status and ultimately its ability to fund itself.”
AIG UK has today launched airside premises and contractors liability protection, offering clients limits of indemnity and up to US$50m of war and terrorism cover included as standard. Airports in the UK are seeing increasing passenger numbers and general air traffic resulting in increased demand for airside services.
A key milestone in the path to formal implementation of Solvency II, the EIOPA report on the findings and recommendations of the long-term guarantee assessment has been released. The European insurance industry has over E7 trillion assets under management and, in turn, is a significant funder of long term investment, so where the rules end up will have ramifications for the capital markets more broadly.
The worst European flood event in a decade extended into another week as the death toll rose to at least 23. The most significant damage was experienced in southern and northeastern Germany after the Elbe and Danube rivers (along with their tributaries) overflowed their banks. Elsewhere, floodwaters were receding in the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Austria, Switzerland, Poland and Hungary. Also, severe flooding affected southern and eastern China, killing at least 15 people.
DAS has made a series of changes to its stand-alone commercial legal protection (CLP) product, including the removing the 51% prospects of success requirement from the employment and legal defence sections. There were 186,0000 employment tribunal cases in the year 2011 to 2012, and for many companies this is their single biggest concern, especially at a time when managing staff costs is critical.
Airmic delegates identified cyber crime and data privacy as the most concerning risk facing their business, according to research performed by ACE at Airmic this year. Environmental risk was rated a distant fourth place with only four per cent of attendees citing this as a top risk for their business.
Companies are finding it increasingly difficult to control their supply chains at a time when the cost of failure is higher than ever, according to Airmic. Case studies examined during the research included the grounding of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, the Japanese earthquake and tsunami, Thailand floods, Nestlé's Kit Kat attacked by Greenpeace for using unsustainable supplies of palm oil, Mattel recall of millions of toys.
The possibility that claims will not be paid because of innocent non-disclosure of information when buying a policy is the top concern of corporate insurance buyers, according to a membership survey by Airmic. The list of ‘stay awake at night’ topics is dominated by claims-related issues, though product innovation and global compliance also feature highly.
In response to this week’s demonstrations running up to the G8 annual meeting, the Cross-sector Safety and Security Communications group (CSSC) has issued the following protective security points, which summarise guidance from a Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure (CPNI) publication on the same.
The way many companies report their risk management activity is opaque, lacking in detail and detached from overall corporate strategy, according to the risk management association Airmic and ICSA. The two organisations will urge the Financial Reporting Council to tighten up risk reporting when it updates the UK Corporate Governance Code later this year.
Airmic has produced a guide and model wording to raise awareness among its members and counteract the impact of basis clauses, which often lie buried in insurance contracts and can result in legitimate claims not being paid. Basis clauses have been criticised by the Law Commission and no longer apply in relation to consumer insurance.
A joint mission of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the WHO met last week n Riyadh to assess the situation due to a new coronavirus in the Kingdom. This virus – a new, emerging virus that is distantly related to the virus that caused SARS – was then been named the Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV).
Jeremy Pinchin has been appointed CEO for Hiscox Re. This appointment is the first step in a plan to merge Hiscox's reinsurance functions in London, Paris and Bermuda, into a single business unit. Pinchin joined Hiscox in 2005 as group claims director and became CEO of Hiscox Bermuda in August 2012. Prior to Hiscox, Pinchin trained as a lawyer and was a main board director of the global broker Sedgwick Group. He subsequently was responsible for co-ordinating the Lloyd's Market's response to the events of September 11 2001.
SunGard Availability Services has signed a five year contract with Serco Group that will see the business continuity and managed services provider take responsibility for Serco’s UK IT infrastructure and undertake a technology transformation. Serco will also be moving a portion of its current estate to a virtualised, managed hosted model, using dedicated SunGard-managed platforms.
Two thirds of workers don’t receive enough information when their companies go through change such as layoffs, increasing the risk of misconduct, a report finds. Unsurprisingly, the report cited reducing pay as the most risky form of change, tripling the risk of bullying, discrimination and alcohol/drug abuse.
Governments around the world can reduce the human and economic impact of natural catastrophes by cooperating more closely with insurers, according to a report published today by insurance economics think tank, The Geneva Association. The report, Insurers’ contributions to disaster reduction, a series of case studies, examines examples of existing collaboration between insurers and governments around the world on disaster risk for best practices and areas where cooperation can deliver more human and economic benefit.
Marsh and CS STARS are adding a natural catastrophe risk map to its NAT CAT Pack. Launched in 2011, the NAT CAT Pack suite of services includes access to NATHAN, Munich Re’s GeoSpatial Solutions’ natural hazards risks database. The NAT CAT Risk Map expands upon traditional risk management information systems and enables users to record their global risk exposures on a single interactive map.
Several large UK cedants are reducing their spending on facultative reinsurance, according to Vanessa Macdonald-Smith, team leader at facultative reinsurance broker, Faber Global.
Central Europe has been inundated during the past several weeks with heavy and relentless rain, which has resulted in some of the worst floods seen in the area in more than 70 years. The floods have reached record levels, particularly in Germany, Austria, and the Czech Republic. Switzerland, Hungary, Slovakia, and Poland are also affected.
A report published today highlights how insurance companies are concerned about what conduct risk really means in practice, including both direct and B2B and B2C operating models. There is increasing recognition that further work is necessary in establishing an underlying conduct risk framework, through which conduct risk is managed from board level to the rest of the company.
With the 2013 hurricane season, which officially runs from 1 June to 30 November, now underway, all the main forecasters are predicting another above-average season for windstorm activity. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is the latest to predict 13-20 named storms, of which 3-6 could become major (category 3+) hurricanes.
Schneider Electric has launched its new MGE Galaxy 300i UPS system.
Galaxy 300i is a 3-phase UPS product that is fully RoHS (Restriction of the use of Hazardous Substances) compliant. The power efficiency rates up to 90.5% with output transformer, higher than other UPS systems with similar features.
The winners of the 2013 Business Continuity Awards were announced last night at a Gala Dinner and ceremony hosted by comedian Marcus Brigstocke at the London Hilton on Park Lane. Among the winners, USAA, Camelot, HP, Zurich and the Cross-Sector Safety & Security Communications Partnership. Read on for a full list of the stars from the night...
Following news that UK anti-bribery legislation may be relaxed, legal experts are warning that the UK government may risk sending the wrong message to businesses. "The Bribery Act was unusual in that it was accompanied by statutory guidance on its interpretation. The legislation was always about the ability of business to operate profitably, but ethically by Western standards, in the global market place,” Mark Surguy, partner at global law firm Eversheds.
AIG in Europe has announced the launch of an enhanced oil and gas product offering increased limits and cover and stronger specialist loss control services. According Oil & Gas UK, a fresh wave of investment in the next few years will boost output in the sector from 1.5m barrels of oil a day to 2m. This surge in activity is being driven by a combination of higher oil prices and the extension of small-field tax allowances.
Drew Gibson has joined Atos Consulting Business Continuity and Resilience team from Canary Wharf Group, where he was business continuity and risk manager. Gibson joins the Atos team to lead the development of its crisis management offering and provide a range of planning, training and exercising for their clients.
New research from the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) shows that cyber crime costs its members around £785 million per year as they fall victim to fraud and online crime. The report shows that 41% of FSB members have been a victim of cyber crime in the last 12 months, putting the average cost at around £4,000 per business.
Beazley has hired Matthew Norris to join its growing European small business team. Norris joins Beazley from Hiscox, where he was global product head for technology and data risks.
24 bodies have been recovered and significant damage reported in Oklahoma City in the US after a tornado ripped through the city of Moore. Rescue operations are ongoing and the death toll is expected to in the coming hours as rescue teams expect to find people trapped under collapsed infrastructure. The tornado that affected Moore was classified as an EF-4 on the Enhanced Fujita scale.
Palisade has signed a contract to provide Halcrow with risk analysis software that plays a key role in reducing the effects of severe flooding. The construction company uses it to help water companies protect their critical assets, including as water treatment works and pumping stations. The software will also play a role in in quantifying the certainty with which forecasts can be made is an important element of the decision making process.
Oslo-based cyber security outfit, Norman Shark, has today released a report detailing a large and sophisticated cyber-attack infrastructure that they suggest originates from India. The attacks, conducted by private threat actors over a period of three years and still ongoing, showed no evidence of state-sponsorship but the primary purpose of the global command-and-control network appears to be intelligence gathering from a combination of national security targets and private sector companies.
A new report by UNISDR and PwC warns large multinationals’ dependencies on international supply chains, infrastructure and markets poses a systemic risk to ‘business as usual’. Ban Ki Moon has described economic losses from disasters as “out of control”, after a separate report was released (GAR13) showed mounting losses this century from catastrophic events topping US$2.5trn.
Aon eSolutions has today launched a guide for organisations considering using Risk Management Information Systems. The educational guide helps clients identify areas for consideration when thinking of investing in a RMIS and the value and potential return on investment. The guide draws on client feedback and Aon’s own research findings to highlight why organisations might invest in an RMIS.
According to a study by Munich Re, the global insurance market is set to grow strongly in the coming years. Munich Re’s Insurance Market Outlook 2013 arrives at the conclusion that growth rates will be especially strong in emerging countries. Growth in the reinsurance market will be slower than that in the primary insurance industry.
ACE Group is advising UK companies to prepare now for the increased liability risks they could face as they expand their exporting activities. ACE’s advice comes during UKTI’s Export Week and follows Prime Minister David Cameron’s assertion that if 100,000 more SMEs started selling overseas they could add £30 billion to the British economy and wipe out the trade deficit.
US-based risk management society, RIMS has commended Congressman Bennie G. Thompson, the Ranking Member of the Committee of Homeland Security, for introducing Fostering Resilience to Terrorism Act of 2013 that would extend the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (TRIA) for 10 years. TRIA, legislation that protects organisations’ ability to purchase sufficient insurance to cover acts of terrorism, is set to expire on 31 December 2014.
Markel has launched a new flexible liability product for charities and community groups which will be available to brokers through the insurer’s e-trading system. The product is one of the few in the market which provides protection for policy holders for damages arising from abuse. With a minimum premium of £75 for public liability, the policy has been designed to provide simple, easy, modular options for cover that can be selected according to specific needs.
Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty has appointed James Tuplin as a technology risks underwriter within the financial lines team. He is based in the London office and reports to David Cable, head of UK commercial professional indemnity in the UK.
Four insurers of construction risks in the Lloyd’s market have joined forces to offer underwriting capacity sufficient to lead the largest construction risks in the world across all major onshore risk categories. The consortium comprises syndicates managed by Beazley, Canopius, Hardy and Talbot, all organisations with long experience of writing construction risks.They will be able to provide capacity up to US$166m per risk.
Markel International has appointed Bhavik Desai as an underwriter in its professional and financial risks division. Desai joins Markel after seven years at AIG, most recently as an underwriter and team leader within the professional indemnity division.
RiskSTOP and UK General Insurance Group have entered into a three year risk management partnership. Independent risk control service provider RiskSTOP will carry out on-site and questionnaire based surveys on behalf of UK General, as well as managing the implementation of risk improvements through its Assist service.
• 50% of businesses in the UK, France, Germany, Italy and Spain expect it to be two years or more until economic recovery
• 66% plan to respond to the delayed recovery by expanding their operations into new countries over the next 5 years
• 29% view Asia as a key area for business expansion, 27% South America and 16% Africa
• 44% consider compliance with local regulations the biggest risk to their expansion
Alexander Ankel, currently CEO of Allianz Turkey, has been named as the new Regional CEO of Asia for Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty, Allianz SE’s dedicated brand for corporate and specialty insurance customers. He will be based in Singapore, and starts in this new position on July 1, 2013
The aviation industry continues to defy expectations with claims and premiums for airline insurance lower in 2012 than in 2011, according to Aon. Lead hull and liability premiums were US $1.61bn in 2012, down from US $1.81bn in 2011. Major losses in 2012 totalled US$324m, nearly 40% less than the US$522m recorded in 2011. The overall estimated incurred claims total was US$924m down 20% against the US$1.13bn total claims in 2011.
Insurance cover for environmental losses is often incomplete or even non-existent without a dedicated environmental policy in place. That is the finding of IUA research into potential claims scenarios. It highlights the gaps in cover that exist when relying on standard public liability and property policies, or even public liability policies with regulatory clean up and contamination extensions.
The number of dawn raids conducted by the Financial Services Authority almost halved in one year, with only 11 raids conducted in 2012, down from 21 raids in 2011, says City law firm RPC. RPC says that the number of dawn raids peaked in 2009 (37 raids) and 2010 (36). During this period, the FSA made an explicit commitment to tackle insider trading and other forms of market abuse. Since 2010, the number of raids has fallen sharply.
Towers Watson has named Michael Murphy as managing director of its risk consulting and software (RCS) business in EMEA. Murphy has more than 20 years’ experience in the insurance industry in local and regional leadership roles in both insurance companies and consultancy. These roles have spanned life, non-life, health and reinsurance companies and as managing director, finance director, chief actuary and non-executive
Investment institutions are more acutely aware of the risks they face since the global financial crisis but many still need to improve the way those risks are communicated internally, according to new research by the Economist Intelligence Unit. The survey found that more than three-quarters of respondents said their organisation had a very risk-aware culture today. This compares with only 30% that made risk their highest priority in 2007.
Research from business advisory, Deloitte reveals 58% of 18-24 year olds are unwilling to use the technology. While some would consider telematics if their car insurance premiums were discounted, about a third (35%) of 18-24 year old car insurance buyers would not accept telematics at any discount. Almost all (92%) of 18-24 year old olds opposed cite intrusiveness as a reason for rejecting the technology.
Ecclesiastical Insurance has announced the appointment of Mark Hews as group chief executive officer. Hews joined Ecclesiastical in April 2009 as group chief financial officer and executive director of Ecclesiastical Insurance. Hews has over 20 years’ experience in the insurance industry and has undertaken a variety of roles on the boards of HSBC Life, M&S Life and Aviva Healthcare.
SunGard Availability Services and Workware Systems have announced the launch of WorkwareOne Mobile, a cloud-based platform for advanced, intelligence driven operational policing support. Developed to provide total situational awareness for police officers in the course of their normal operational duties, WorkwareOne uses existing police data for improved crime prevention.
SunGard Availability Services and Workware Systems have announced the launch of WorkwareOne Mobile, a cloud-based platform for advanced, intelligence driven operational policing support. Developed to provide total situational awareness for police officers in the course of their normal operational duties, WorkwareOne uses existing police data for improved crime prevention.
Broker Miller has renewed its contract with Phoenix for a further three years. The renewal represents a 50 per cent increase of services, based on the usage of Phoenix’s online back-up solution.
Comedian Marcus Brigstocke is to host the 2013 Business Continuity Awards Gala Dinner. The Business Continuity Awards recognise the endeavours of business continuity, security, resilience and risk professionals. Judged by an independent panel of experts for exceptional performance, service and results in this dynamic industry, this year's winners will be announced and awarded at the Gala Dinner on Thursday 30th May.
Xchanging has launched a service that provides end-to-end management of salvage sales for the insurance market. Xchanging Recovery Marketplace, or XRM, aims at improving efficiency by actively targeting and matching buyers and sellers through the delivery of a fully managed service covering all associated logistics of storage delivery transportation and payment.
Following a multi-million pound investment to enhance and upgrade its business continuity centre in Hamilton, Scotland; IT services and business continuity provider Phoenix is extending an open invitation to anyone interested in IT or business continuity, to visit its newly extended and improved centre on 30th April for educational presentations, guided tours of the facility and hands-on experience of the technology.
Lockton has partnered with Data Insurance Licensing to provide a new broad coverage, high indemnity policy that will indemnify organisations if their data is permanently lost. Developed by Data Insurance and backed by Lloyd’s, Lockton is introducing this data loss insurance policy to the north American market on 1st June. The also allows the insured to assign a value to the data that they choose to insure.
PageOne Communications and Swissphone have announced the launch of its first triple-resilient alerting solution. Building on the Responder two-way pager launched in 2011, the new version supports dual-frequency paging with SMS fall-back to provide the ultimate in flexibility and resilience for critical alerting applications. The new Responder pager is capable of operating on a local paging frequency as normal; and in the event of a local system failure or the phasing out of local transmitter legacy equipment, it will also receive messages on PageOne’s national wide-area paging network.
More small businesses than ever are facing the threat of losing confidential information through cyber attacks, according to research published today by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS).
The 2013 Information Security Breaches Survey has shown that 87 per cent of small businesses across all sectors experienced a breach in the last year. This is up more than 10 per cent and cost small businesses up to 6 per cent of their turnover, when they could protect themselves for far less.
Risk leaders are struggling to identify and manage major risks, says a new report from Aon. Readiness for the top 10 risks dropped 7% from the 2011 survey and reported loss of income increased 14%. Of the 28 industries defined in the report, only three – pharma/biotech, non-aviation transportation manufacturing and agribusiness – reported the same or improved levels of readiness this year.
A deadly earthquake struck China’s Sichuan Province on Saturday morning, killing at least 157 people and injuring more than 5,700 others. An unknown number of residents remain listed as missing or trapped under rubble, according to reports from Aon Benfield’s Impact Forecasting team.
Towers Watson has bolstered its crisis management broking and consultancy operation with the appointment of three senior specialist insurance brokers.
Mark Steddon, based in London, has joined as the global head of terrorism and political violence brokerage.
The London Marathon is set to take place in London on Sunday 21 April amid heightened security. Following the two bomb explosions at the Boston Marathon in the US on 15 April, authorities in London have reviewed security arrangements for the London run and have increased police presence along the race route.
A committee of US senators has heard from the LMA that collaborative working between the commercial sector and the broad range of government agencies and the military has been a significant factor in the decline in piracy attacks off the coast of Somalia.The LMA’s head of underwriting Neil Smith told senators that the lessons of governmental cooperation learned in Somalia could well be applied to other piracy hotspots.
The Boston Marathon attack was the first high-profile successful act of terror in the US since 9/11, but one of the dozens of plots launched against the US homeland since then. The casualty toll stands at three fatalities, with 144 injured, 17 of whom are in critical condition. Most of the property damage appears to be within 10-20 feet of the explosions, and insured property losses are unlikely to exceed $1m. BI costs may be the larger source of insurance claims.
SunGard Availability Services has signed workplace recovery contracts with two global financial institutions in India, signalling its continued expansion into the country. Today’s announcement takes SunGard’s total available capacity to over 1,000 dedicated workplace recovery positions and 260 seats for syndicated recovery.
Utilities disruptions and traffic congestion persist amid ongoing rescue operations in the city of West, in the US state of Texas, following an earlier explosion at a fertiliser plant. Up to 40 people remain unaccounted for, and 160 others were injured in the accident at the plant of the West Fertilizer Company. The strength of the explosion affected as many as 50 residential properties, which were damaged and evacuated as a result.
One in three insurance risk executives worldwide are unhappy with existing links between risk management and their executive pay policies but have no plans to change the current approach, according to Towers Watson. Towers’ latest global enterprise risk management and insurance survey asked chief risk officers, chief financial officers and chief actuaries about the progress and development of ERM activity within their companies.
Investigators are searching for the individuals responsible for detonating two bombs near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, killing at least three people, including an eight year old, and injuring scores of others. The scale of the attack, coupled with the fact there has been no claim of responsibility indicates that this was likely the work of an individual or a small group, according to Exclusive Analysis. The incident demonstrates that the individual or group responsible has achieved effective operational security and developed the capability to construct several small but effective IEDs.
Gallagher Heath has been awarded a place on the Insurance Services Framework (ISF) following a competitive tender process, led by the Government Procurement Service (GPS). The ISF was set up following extensive collaboration with public sector organisations and representatives from the insurance industry to provide an online platform through which public bodies can more quickly and cost-effectively procure insurance protection and additional support services.
Underwriting group Kiln has just completed its implementation of Fineos Claims across its London Market claims operation. Michael Kelly, CEO Fineos, said, “We are delighted to be supporting Kiln, one of the leaders at Lloyd's. The two teams have worked extremely well together. Furthermore, Kiln employees have been trained to use our Fineos Configuration Studio which will make them self-sufficient in addressing change requests.”
The Metropolitan Police Service, City of London Police and the BTP are finalising preparations for the policing operation for Baroness Thatcher’s funeral on 17th April, when extensive road closures and bus diversions in central London will be in place. There will be a range of security measures, in line with the current threat level. A mobile team of officers, called reserves, will be deployed ready to respond if needed to events anywhere in London.
The UK’s failure to capitalise on the commercialisation of its technology means it is no longer at the forefront for global technology research and innovation, a cornerstone for driving economic growth. As a result, British tech practitioners are upping sticks and heading across the pond to the US where funding is readily available from investors, willing to support R&D, production and commercialisation. This is according to Clive Mayne, managing partner, ExeTec Consulting.
KPMG has appointed Phil Smart as UK head of insurance. Mr Smart joined KPMG in 1991, and has been a partner for the past ten years. During this time, he has been client lead partner for a number of major international insurance and financial services groups.
William Hague has announced that a global centre for cybersecurity is to be opened at Oxford University. Under the proposal, the government will provide £1m to fund the centre for the next two years. The Global Centre for Cyber Security and Capacity Building will work to help countries develop plans to deal with cyber risk. Hague says the new centre will act as "a beacon of expertise" in the sector.
Cloud computing and communications company, Qubic, has launched a new fibre-to-the-cabinet service, Vitesse, providing a direct connection to the datacentre. Qubic delivers connectivity over a wires only, configurable service. This ensures that traffic to the hosted servers it provides is carried on an entirely private line, without connecting to the Internet.
Specialist insurer Markel International has gone live on Sequel’s Eclipse Underwriting software. Markel has rationalised and consolidated its many lines including historical acquisitions, Lloyd’s, companies and non-bureau business on to one system, supporting hundreds of users worldwide, running on Sequel’s software.
Xchanging has begun the roll out of free Wi-Fi access in the City of London. The first installation at 34 Leadenhall Street will be followed by installations at Lloyd’s and the London Underwriting centre later this year. Further locations will be added during 2013. Xchanging is also considering hosting free Wi-Fi in other UK insurance hub cities.
News in brief: Week to 5th April 2013, including news from SunGard Availability Services, RPC, AJ Gallagher, EIOPA, Kroll and PwC.
Arthur J Gallagher International announces today that Janice Deakin has been appointed UK commercial director, a new strategic role that spans its UK distribution, underwriting and affinity businesses. She will report directly to CEO David Ross and become a member of the AJGI executive committee.
Insurers are bracing themselves for a flurry of last-chance professional negligence claims relating to the build-up to the financial crisis, according to law firm Reynolds Porter Chamberlain. RPC explains that normally claims for professional negligence have to be made within six years of the alleged negligence taking place. The window for the majority of claims relating to activity in 2007 (just ahead of the credit crunch) therefore closes this year.
Gallagher Heath has recruited Alan Sanderson and Peter Cooper to drive forward its expansion plans within UK schemes and affinities, having set its sights on doubling the division’s revenues to $100m by 2015.
The Financial Services Authority was today replaced by two new supervisors, the Prudential Regulatory Authority (PRA) and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). The PRA works alongside the FCA creating a “twin peaks” regulatory structure in the UK. The FCA is responsible for promoting effective competition, ensuring that relevant markets function well, and for the conduct regulation of all financial services firms.
According to a survey among its data recovery customers, recovery provider Kroll Ontrack says that while 60% of respondents had a backup solution in place at the time of data loss, the backup was not current or operating properly. These findings provide key insight into the importance of diligently monitoring and verifying that a backup is successfully operating and capturing a current, accurate snapshot.
Jim Bichard has taken on the role of London Market Insurance leader at PwC. Bichard is a partner with 16 years’ experience at the firm including five years in their New York practice.
The Business Continuity Awards recognise the endeavours of business continuity, security, resilience and risk professionals. Judged by an independent panel of experts for exceptional performance, service and results in this dynamic industry, this year's winners will be announced and awarded at the Gala Dinner on Thursday 30th May 2013 – an evening that brings together industry leaders for a night of networking and celebration. This year's shortlist follows...
EIOPA today released four consultation papers providing the detail of its proposed interim measures guidelines, which it proposes should be adopted by national supervisors from 1 January 2014. The consultation papers cover governance, a forward-looking assessment by insurers of their own risks (based on the ORSA principles), internal model pre-application process and submission of information to national competent authorities.
SunGard Availability Services has today published a report suggesting that steady and sustained growth over recent years in managed services adoption has led to an improvement in the UK’s business availability practices. They believe organisations have made a shift in their approach to business continuity, building resilience into the business through investment in cloud and virtualisation technologies, as well as managed recovery programmes.
Lloyd’s has announced a profit of £2.77bn for 2012, marking a return to profit following last year’s loss of £516m, which was the costliest year on record for natural catastrophes. Speaking about the results, Lloyd’s CEO, Richard Ward said: “The Lloyd’s market has posted a strong result. This is despite experiencing one of the costliest natural catastrophes in history, Superstorm Sandy, and incurring net claims of £10bn.
The Ministry of Justice’s claims reforms, set to be implemented between 2 April and 31 July, will have a profound impact on the way in which organisations in England and Wales manage their insurance claims notification procedures. According to Marsh, organisations that fail to adhere to new timeframes stipulated by the reforms, or Pre-Action Protocols, run the risk of paying higher legal costs and insurance premiums as a result.
The European Commission today adopted a consultative paper that launches a public debate on how best to design a new international agreement to combat climate change. The Consultative Communication raises key questions and invites the views of stakeholders on the new agreement, which is to be completed by the end of 2015 and to apply from 2020.
A project to standardise the terms of engagement for marine surveyors and marine loss adjusters working on behalf of Lloyd’s and London market underwriters has been completed by the Lloyd’s Market Association (LMA) and the Joint Marine Claims Committee (JMCC).
Xchanging has been appointed by Homecare Insurance, part of CPP Group, to provide business continuity and recovery solutions for its infrastructure. Under the three year contract, Xchanging will provide solutions to provide Homecare with stand-alone capability as part of its approach to risk management, prevention and recovery. This will include a hot-start business recovery centre, provided by Xchanging.
FERMA is calling on the European Parliament to ensure that all insurance buyers are entitled to a minimum European standard of disclosure in the revised Insurance Mediation Directive (IMD2). This is the view FERMA has strongly expressed in a position paper to the Parliamentary Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee which will consider the draft directive before it goes to Plenary for a final vote in July.
From 18th March until the end of April, in Phoenix’s 18 centres across the country, experts will be available to answer questions on a host of business continuity related matters, including business continuity management planning, recovering data in the cloud and workarea recovery. These local clinics are being offered free of charge during BCAW.
BIBA says that the fight is not over following the Financial Services Compensation Scheme’s (FSCS) recent announcement on an interim levy on insurance brokers. The FSCS has confirmed that it will be raising an interim levy of £16m from the general insurance intermediation sub-class (SB02) for the 2012/13 financial year.
Last year was the worst for IT services contract activity since 2002. This is according to research from Ovum, which shows performance in the three months to the end of December 2012 falling well below the levels seen in the same period of 2011, ensuring that annual IT services contract activity fell to its lowest level for 10 years, both in terms of total contract value (TCV) and deal volume.
The British weather continued to catch UK businesses by surprise in 2012, according to new research released by the Chartered Management Institute, British Standards Institution, the Business Continuity Institute and the Cabinet Office. Three in five firms suffered financially as a result, with managers estimating the average cost to their organisation in excess of £52,000, and some as high as £1m.
The British Insurance Brokers’ Association (BIBA) has announced the appointment of Steve White, currently head of compliance and training, to the post of chief executive, with effect from 1 May 2013. BIBA chairman, Andy Homer, additionally announced that Graeme Trudgill, BIBA’s head of corporate affairs, will also be promoted to the main board of BIBA. He will take the post of executive director reporting to Steve White, also effective from 1 May 2013.
The DAS Group has announced the acquisition of Bristol based law firm, CW Law. CW Law currently employs over 60 staff and specialises in personal injury, employment and property disputes.
Beazley has selected Hazelwood Street Consultants to provide response services under its kidnap and ransom (K&R) insurance policy. Hazelwood Street has entered into an exclusive relationship with Beazley to support insured clients. The Beazley policy provides corporate and family cover supported by a suite of services from Hazelwood Street, including crisis planning and management, training, negotiation advice and trauma management.
Peak Re, the Hong Kong-based reinsurer focusing primarily on the Asia-Pacific market, has selected AIR’s catastrophe modelling solutions to manage its catastrophe risk.
The catastrophe modelling team at Aon Benfield has launched a suite of new scenario models to generate loss estimates for specific historic or hypothetical events. Loss estimates for events such as the storm surge by Superstorm Sandy, the 2011 Thailand floods, and the highest insured loss European windstorm Kyrill, can now be calculated to gauge the financial impact of their potential reoccurrence.
The Law Society has told the government that its proposals to increase the small claims limit in personal injury cases stem from propaganda, generated by insurers. Responding to a consultation on arrangements concerning the small claims limit, the Law Society said the insurance industry is lobbying the government into adopting a policy that will see genuine accident victims left without the benefit of legal advice.
A new UK Cyber Security Champion was announced yesterday at the Cyber Security Challenge UK Awards in Bristol. Stephen Miller, a 28 year old chemist from Hertfordshire beat thousands of registered candidates and successfully navigated several online and face-to-face competitions over the past year to claim the prize. Stephen currently works as a Lab Team Manager at a major pharmaceutical company overseeing the testing and manufacture of their clinical drugs. He has been playing the Challenge since it launched in 2010.
James Hastings has been appointed managing director of Markel’s professional and financial risks division. He replaces David Armes, who retired in December 2012 after more than 10 years with Markel.
Regulatory proceedings and investigations are increasingly affecting businesses on both sides of the Atlantic as companies are continuing to navigate a crowded field of regulatory issues and litigation. This is according to law firm Fulbright & Jaworski International’s latest Litigation Trends Survey, which suggests that the trend for increased regulatory investigations is showing no sign of abating.
Telefónica UK has become the first UK mobile operator to have achieved ISO 22301 across all of its operations from BSI. ISO 22301, which has evolved from the internationally recognised British Standard BS 25999, endorses a plan of management practices and preventive solutions to protect an organisation against unexpected disruptions which may affect ability of the company to operate.
With less than 10,000 lives lost worldwide, 2012 was the least deadly for natural disasters in the last 10 years, due largely to the lack of major events outside high-income countries with the infrastructure and resources to withstand their socio-economic impacts. However, new research from risk analysis company, Maplecroft reveals that resilience to major weather and seismic events is not improving in some of the world’s most important growth markets, leaving large sections of their populations and economies at ‘extreme risk.’
JLT has made a number of key new hires in its financial institutions team. Roger Maxted and John Greene join JLT as partners; Tracy Miller as insurance company industry specialist.
Miller has increased its presence in the French market with three senior reinsurance hires; Stéphane Nadjar, Eric Le Mercier and Emmanuel Figuereau.
David Bonehill, claims and risk services director at Ecclesiastical Insurance Group, has been appointed as the new chairman of the Claims Faculty board of the Chartered Insurance Institute (CII).