The concept of ‘scenario analysis’ is often referred to as an essential tool in the risk manager’s tool kit, but is rarely fully explained. Put simply, scenario analysis is an exercise conducted to consider the questions ‘what might happen and what would we do?’ It can help to highlight risks and opportunities in the short and long term and used to test the effectiveness and efficiency of the relevant controls in place. However, scenario analysis is not a stand-alone activity and it should form part of the organisation’s overall risk management system, which in turn should be aligned to the organisation’s business model.
Early in March, the Basel Committee issued a consultation about a major revision to the way banks calculate capital for operational risk. The Advanced Measurement Approach, in which banks can use their own internal models, similar to Solvency II for European insurers, is being changed to a Standardised Measurement Approach so that they will have to use a formula devised by the regulators. In a broad sense it uses income as the basis for the charge, scaled by the size of the bank’s operational risk losses over the previous 10 years.
The annual cost of fraud in the UK could be as high as £193bn per year, dwarfing previous estimates produced by the UK Government which put the figure at around £50bn in 2013.
UK mid-market businesses lost approximately £48bn last year due to a failure to adequately mitigate risks directly within their control, according to new analysis by KPMG Enterprise.
Almost 90% of UK organisations feel vulnerable to both internal and external data threats to sensitive data, with 23 percent feeling ‘very or extremely’ vulnerable, according to a report by data protection company Vormetric.
The average cost of a domestic claim for the floods caused by Storms Desmond, Eva and Frank which hit the UK in December and early January was higher than usual, with the Association of British Insurers (ABI) reporting that it expects the final repair bill to reach £1.3bn.
Allianz Insurance has launched a new, online marine cargo proposition designed for SMEs and mid-sized corporate businesses. Allianz’s Complete Cargo product provides cover for loss or damage to goods whilst in transit within the UK and to or from countries worldwide, as well as the option to include UK storage cover.
Turmoil in emerging markets, increased localisation of internet networks within country borders and financial repression are some of the key risks identified in this year’s SONAR report published by Swiss Re. The publication is based on the SONAR process, a crowdsourcing tool drawing on Swiss Re’s internal risk management expertise to pick up early signals of what lies beyond the horizon.
Impact Forecasting, Aon Benfield’s catastrophe model development team, has incorporated its latest earthquake data into the new tool, ThinkHazard!. Produced by the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR), housed under the World Bank, the tool supports disaster risk reduction and preparedness.
This year we are introducing five new categories: the Operational Risk Achievement Award, Operational Risk Initiative of the Year, Quantitative Analysis of the Year, Environmental Risk Initiative of the Year and Cloud Risk Strategy. It's freeto enter the awards and you can put your organisation forward in as many categories as you wish.
The World Health Organisation is calling on European countries to prepare as the Zika virus expected to spread to the region by late spring or summer. A new WHO report assesses the risk of a Zika virus disease outbreak occurring during this period, and concludes that while the overall risk is low to moderate, countries where Aedes mosquitoes are present are more likely to experience an outbreak.
Automotive recalls reached their highest quarter on record during Q1 2016, increasing by a significant 76% from Q4 2015. By comparison, recalls of consumer products, including toys, clothing and electrical appliances, declined from the previous quarter. Although this industry is experiencing a downward trend, the vast majority of recalls in Q1 were considered a serious risk.
Catastrophe modelling firm AIR Worldwide has released a hosted cloud solution for its catastrophe risk management platforms Touchstone and CATRADER. More than a dozen companies are already using AIR Cloud, including the recent addition of American Family Insurance.
Munich Re's specialist engineering and construction division, HSB, has announced the launch of HSB Machinery and Technology Insurance, its combined equipment breakdown, deterioration of stock and loss of income policy. Aimed predominantly at manufacturing, food, pharmaceutical and specialist engineering industries, the new policy provides cover for damage and breakdown to fixed manufacturing, processing and services equipment, deterioration of stock cover for stock being stored in cold chambers, and financial loss cover following an event.
International Lloyd’s insurance and reinsurance broker, RFIB Group, has launched an American division – the first major new initiative since it recapitalised with its new partner, Calera Capital, last year.
Equifax and BAE Systems are launching the Equifax Watchlist Check, aimed at helping companies fight money laundering and terrorist financing. The real-time solution screens worldwide data to support compliance with the Fourth EU Money Laundering Directive. EU member states are required to implement the directive by mid-2017 and the associated regulation applies to any company providing financial services.
Telecoms company TalkTalk published its annual results this week, which have been halved partly as a result of a series of cyber attacks last year. Commenting on the results, Mark Skilton, professor of practice at Warwick Business School and cyber security researcher, said the results were not surprising.
KPMG has launched a Solvency II data aggregation service that for the first time enables insurers to benchmark themselves against other insurers. The new service, Solvency II Vantage Analytics, will aggregate Solvency II reporting data in the XBRL format, so that insurers falling under the regulation can get meaningful insights about where they sit in the market.
Lower oil prices and the threat of terrorism is impacting global supply chain resilience, as Norway loses the top spot of most resilient country to Switzerland.
The strength of the claims reserves being set for business written during 2015 is weaker than prior years of underwriting, according to PwC's London re/insurance market review of reserve adequacy.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) issued a statement today concerning the Zika virus and the forthcoming Olympic and Paralympic Games, Rio 2016 (5 August to 18 September 2016). Its latest situation report, released 12th May, indicates that 58 countries, including Brazil, continue to report mosquito-borne transmissions. A number of countries have also reported person-to-person transmission, including Argentina, Canada, Chile, Peru, US, France, Italy, Portugal and New Zealand. The WHO states that the person-to-person transmission cases were likely sexually transmitted.
British Insurance Brokers’ Association (BIBA) chief executive, Steve White, has called for improvements in the recognition of the value, awareness and take up of cyber insurance protection. Addressing delegates at the association's annual conference in Manchester today, White said the latest government figures on cyber security breaches are a cause for concern.
The Insurance Act 2015, the most important change in insurance law in over a century, comes into force on 12 August 2016 and will require insurance brokers, their customers and insurers to adopt different operational processes for managing commercial insurance. Its aim is to encourage professionalism in all parties involved in commercial insurance.
Following a regular scheme review the British Insurance Brokers’ Association (BIBA) has appointed Lorega as the provider of their members’ loss recovery insurance scheme.
The jury’s out for brokers when it comes to assessing the impact of a Brexit. This is according to a quarterly poll of brokers from insurance and risk law firm, BLM. It says 42% believe a Brexit would have no impact on insurance buying habits, while 40% think it would. A further 18% are unsure.
The 2015/16 Cyber Governance Health Check has been released, showing that British companies are still not adequately addressing the severity of the threat. Just over half of respondents stated that they only hear about cyber security twice a year or when there is a security incident, showing little improvement since the previous year. The research also revealed that two-thirds of FTSE companies had been hit by a cyber attack in the past year alone, yet only 17% of UK firms have trained staff in this area over the past year.
Chubb has announced the launch of a suite of three transactional risk liability insurance products for the UK and London markets. Targeted at buyers and sellers with medium to large size transactions and offering policy limits of up to US$50m/ £32.5m/ €47.5m, products include warranties and indemnities insurance, contingent tax indemnity insurance and contingent liability insurance.
The global economy suffered the worst April for natural disaster losses for five years, according to Aon’s latest catastrophe report. Earthquakes, convective storms and flooding were all contributory factors.
An FCA thematic review of commercial claims recently revealed what they called “an alarming degree of under-insurance”, and the effects of this can have devastating consequences for both the insured and for the broker. To tackle the issue of under-insurance, the British Insurance Brokers’ Association has launched the sixth guide as part of its Professional Indemnity (PI) Initiative.
Policyholders will soon be able to claim damages for late payment of insurance claims, following the passing into law yesterday of the Enterprise Bill. Brokers and insurers are being urged to prepare for the new rules now. The question of what is a reasonable time to investigate a claim and how insurers can demonstrate that they have not unreasonably delayed payment is likely to be a contentious area, and law firm CMS is advising that insurers review their claims procedures and have systems in place to show that they acted reasonably if required.
A syndicate of banks and academics has launched a joint project to pilot scenario modelling to stress-test corporate lending portfolios for environmental risk. Citi, UBS, ICBC, Banamex, Banorte, Caixa Econômica Federal, Itaú Santander and FIRA have teamed up with the Natural Capital Declaration and the German Government’s Emerging Markets Dialogue on Green Finance to include the economic impact of drought in bank stress testing scenarios. In a first step, the pilot project will develop an analytical framework to enable bank stress testing models to include scenarios of the economic resilience of major industries to the risk of extreme droughts.
Willis Towers Watson has launched a new insurance and risk management solution for companies serving the global oil and gas industry. Underwritten exclusively by Chubb, Risk Protect features industry specific insurance policy wording addressing current and emerging risks in the oil and gas sector, from cyber security to supply chain interruption and terrorism.
A failing NHS, coupled with an ageing population are set to bring about spike in health insurance costs. In fact, UK health insurance costs are anticipated to grow by 6.5% in 2016, the largest increase in five years, according to analysis carried out by Willis Towers Watson. Its latest 'Global Medical Trends' report shows how high claim volumes are causing health insurance costs to increase year-on-year at one of the highest rates in Europe.
Supply chain risk rose for the second consecutive quarter in Q1 2016, with several natural disasters revealing stark regional differences in the resilience of global supply chains according to the latest CIPS Risk Index. The Index, produced for the Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply (CIPS) by Dun & Bradstreet economists, tracks the impact of economic and political developments on the stability of global supply chains. International supply chain risk grew from 79.3 in Q4 2015 to 79.8 in Q1 2016, the joint highest recorded level of supply chain risk in a first quarter since records began in 1995 with North Africa, Western Europe, Asia and Latin America all seeing levels of supply chain risk grow.
The Institute and Faculty of Actuaries (IFoA) has today released a report on the widening gap in infrastructure investment that states the UK is falling behind other G7 countries and risks becoming globally uncompetitive.
In its report, the IFoA analyses some of the issues that underlie the investment gap in three sectors: renewable energy, transport and housing.
Marches and rallies by trade unions and other groups are expected to take place in various countries across the globe on 1 May, to mark International Workers' Day, more commonly known as May Day or Labour Day, or to mark labour-related issues.
The majority of May Day events are expected to pass peacefully, but risk advisors at Red24 are warning that violence has occurred at May Day events in the past, and that this risk increases in countries experiencing heightened labour-related tensions or increased levels of anti-government sentiment.
The London insurance linked securities (ILS) market is perfectly positioned to become the global centre for cyber risk insurance, according to a new report from BNY Mellon. The UK government started a consultation process last year designed to attract ILS business to the UK and maintain London’s position as a leading global hub for specialist reinsurance. The consultation process closes at the end of this week, 29th April 2016.
Professional services firm Charles Taylor has launched a technology arm, tapping into the £90 billion global insurance technology market, and bringing together 200 specialist insurance technology staff to deliver business transformation, solutions, analysis, systems development and implementation.
While the next wave of digital technologies will transform the very nature of insurance organisations – including what they do and how they do it – those that succeed will do so by dramatically transforming their workforces and cultures to operate in a digital world, according to a new report from Accenture.
A number of doctors' unions, including the British Medical Association (BMA), have called for a countrywide strike and associated demonstrations across the UK. Called with regard to inadequate wages and work schedules, unionised junior doctors are scheduled to observe nine-hour work stoppages today and tomorrow, the 26th and 27th April, with associated demonstrations also anticipated.
A new qualification for professional indemnity practitioners in the UK market has been developed by the International Underwriting Association. The first candidates have already taken the examination and new courses are now being made available.
The public consultation process for the international standard ISO 22316 Guidelines for organisational resilience is now open with UK comments requested by 13th June 2016. National standards organisation, BSI, is leading the consultation process in the UK. Organisations that are resilient understand their behaviour can create long term success," commented Scott Steedman, director of standards at BSI. "They take a proactive approach to governing themselves and have noted the importance of being prepared. This strategy applies across a wide range of disciplines such as asset management, business continuity, cyber security, environmental management and facilities management, to name a few. We are very pleased that ISO 22316 will continue the work started by BS 65000, and help deliver benefits to businesses of all sizes and sectors around the world.”
Everbridge has announced the launch of its enterprise level secured person to person communications platform, SecureBridge, designed to facilitate company-wide recovery when an organisation has lost or had its communication infrastructure compromised, featuring end-to-end encrypted communications to ensure the privacy of sensitive data.
This weekend, BT and the Cyber Security Challenge UK staged a mock investigation into a cyber attack at London’s iconic BT Tower in a bid to find the country’s best hidden cyber security talent. Twenty-four of the brightest candidates from a series of online qualifying rounds were invited to compete against each other to investigate how a fictitious retail company came under vicious cyber attack, show off their abilities in front of prospective employers and qualify for the Challenge’s 'Masterclass' competition.
Each year, up to 30,000 travellers contract malaria, and last year alone there were 214 million new cases of malaria were reported and 400,000 people died of the disease. Countries are reporting a rise in imported malaria cases and companies sending staff overseas are being warned about the importance of taking appropriate precautions and implementing prevention tactics when travelling to malaria endemic areas.
The series of earthquakes this month in Japan are not expected to undermine the financial soundness of Japanese non-life insurers, based on preliminary analysis carried out by Fitch Ratings.
A misunderstanding in how Solvency II liabilities are calculated is raising concern in the industry, According to European insurance and reinsurance federation, Insurance Europe, some observers appear to believe that the Ultimate Forward Rate (UFR) is the discount rate, where in fact the UFR is an input needed to generate interest rate curves which go out to 130 years. The actual discount rates used to value liabilities for Solvency II are actually far lower than the UFR of 4.2%.
The Federation of European Risk Management Associations (FERMA) has told the European Commission that enterprise risk management (ERM) is the best method for companies to approach the new EU requirements for large companies to report on their non-financial or corporate social responsibility risks.
A digital divide is opening up across the British economy, with just over half of pioneer firms adopting digital technologies and processes, while the other half are falling behind. This is according to new research by the CBI and IBM.
Cat risk management firm, RMS, estimates that economic property damage for both the April M7.0 and M6.4 earthquakes in Japan to be between US$2.5bn and US$3.5bn.
A state of emergency has been declared in nine counties across Texas, after heavy rains caused flash floods and damage across the region. A series of thunderstorms brought in one night the same amount of rainfall expected for this area in the five-month span of January 1 to May 30.
Nearly half of insurance companies recognise the critical importance of cultural integration and of hiring and retaining employees to the overall success of a deal, according to a survey of senior insurance executives conducted by Willis Towers Watson and Mergermarket.
Research from cyber security firm, RiskIQ, has found that six in 10 Brits that use personal devices for work also use the same device for streaming or downloading pirated content. Whilst almost all these individuals consider the personal security risks of doing so, the research suggests they do not consider the security implications of doing so for their organisation.
The death toll from the M7.8 earthquake that struck along the coast between Pedernales and Muisne in Ecuador on 16 April, has risen to 413, as of 19 April. A further 2,600 people have been injured, although the casualty toll is expected to increase further. The majority of deaths occurred in the province of Manabi and the provincial capital of Portoviejo. Foreign nationals killed by the quake included seven Colombians, two Canadians and at least one US national, according to reports from Red24.
Markel has extended its biomedical and life sciences products to include food supplements and cosmetics. The product will now cover businesses that manufacture, distribute and supply products including vitamins, minerals, food supplements, medical foods, weight management formulas and herbal products. It will also cover a variety of cosmetic products ranging from hygiene and beauty products and make-up.
A drone is believed to have collided with a British Airways aircraft on the passenger plane's approach to London Heathrow yesterday. While no-one was hurt, and the outcome of an investigation pending, the Chartered Insurance Institute has said the incident serves to highlight the growing risk of drone-related accidents.
A strong and shallow earthquake occurred last night on Kyushu, the most southwesterly of Japan’s four main islands, and about 800 miles southwest of Tokyo. The Japanese government issued a high-level alert in the southern province and alerted disaster management teams. Damage to buildings and some casualties are being reported.
Kaspersky Lab has launched a specialised solution for securing critical infrastructure and industrial facilities, addressing the need to manage industrial cyber risks and protect the continuity and integrity of technological processes in these environments. Kaspersky Industrial CyberSecurity has been designed for use in power plants, refineries and assembly lines to railways, airports and smart buildings, which demand faultless continuity and consistency of the technological process.
Plans to increase transparency in the renewal process of general insurance policies have been supported by the International Underwriting Association. The organisation backed a Financial Conduct Authority proposal to ensure renewal notices include the previous year’s premium. But it warned that overemphasising the price of a policy could cause clients to overlook other aspects of the cover and lead to inaccurate comparisons being made.
European Parliament today, Thursday, passed the final vote for the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Intended to help strengthen online privacy, streamline legislation between the 28 member states and boost police and security cooperation, the regulation includes tougher penalties for companies in breach of EU data protection law, with fines of up to 4% of global turnover, and a requirement for companies to disclose personal data breaches within 72 hours. The reform also sets minimum standards on use of data for policing and judicial purposes.
The CII Insurance Broking Faculty New Generation group is calling for industry wide action to address the gap in reputational risk protection for small and medium-sized enterprises. In a new report, the industry group details the growing threat of reputational risks associated with recent advancements in social media and attendant global connectivity. The report goes on to address the lack of response from the insurance sector to mitigate this developing risk; and analyses the difficulties in offering reputation damage cover and puts forward practical solutions it feels the sector can and should adopt.
Risk is something that dominates our lives but is sometimes hard to define and quantify – not least because it can mean anything from an injury resulting from a fall, going bankrupt the possibility of mass flooding caused by global warming, child sexual exploitation or a terrorist attack.
It has been reported that two additional individuals have been charged with terrorism-related offenses related to Brussels bombings, after additional security forces were deployed in Brussels yesterday. A further 300 military personnel were deployed across Belgium's capital in addition to the 1,500 troops already in place.
2015 was the most lethal year for terrorist violence in Europe in nearly a decade, according to Aon’s latest Terrorism and Political Violence Map, which highlighted the first net increase in global terrorism risk ratings since 2013, as the risk ratings of 18 countries saw an increase.
Road safety continues to challenge policymakers and regulators across the globe. Changes in regulation and public attitudes over time have undoubtedly made roads safer. The advent of driverless cars now presents an opportunity where some politicians whisper about a potential target of zero road deaths.
PwC has entered into a partnership with maritime fleet monitoring and risk management solution provider, Pole Star, to provide organisations involved in international trade with legal and regulatory services.The new strategic alliance will help assist global financial institutions in managing risk in maritime supply chains. Pole Star’s PurpleTRAC solution screens ships and their associates for sanctions compliance and monitors historical and real-time movements.
AIR Worldwide has released the industry’s first open source deterministic cyber risk scenario, with plans to release a series of deterministic cyber scenarios over the next 12 months. The catastrophe modelling firm has also expanded its cyber risk consulting practice to help clients augment the cyber exposure information in their existing books of business and to produce custom reports on aggregation risk and the probability of breach.
Multinational companies are failing to treat anti-bribery and corruption as a priority, with the majority reporting a culture of ‘profits over prevention’ and almost half not even raising the issue at board level – leaving many of these firms open to significant fines, criminal prosecution and in some cases personal liability.
The recent rise in the number of mergers and acquisitions is driving take-up of warranty and indemnity (W&I) and tax insurance. In recent months, a number of household names in the food industry have been at the centre of significant deals. In October, Diary Crest announced it was to sell off part of its dairies operation to Muller. More recently, Premier Foods has been the subject of an offer by US company McCormick having also recently sold a significant shareholding to Nissin.
Aon Benfield estimates that total global reinsurer capital, which comprises capital both from the traditional and alternative markets, stood at US$565bn at 31st December 2015 – a reduction of 2% relative to the end of 2014. The Aon Benfield Aggregate (ABA) report analyses the 2015 financial results of 27 major reinsurers. Within this figure, traditional reinsurance capital decreased by 4% to US$493bn, driven by the strengthening of the US dollar and the impact of rising interest rates on bond valuations, while the influence of alternative capital continued to grow – increasing by 12% to US$72bn.
A spate of storms and flooding has resulted in a US$3.5bn loss to the US economy, US$2bn of which will be borne by insurers. These are the findings of an Aon Benfield report which reveals that seven severe US convective storm events impacted nearly every part of the country during the month, as more than 1,000 individual reports of tornadoes, damaging straight-line winds and hail were recorded by the Storm Prediction Centre.
The Federation of European Risk Management Associations (FERMA) is scheduled to launch its 2016 European Risk and Insurance Survey tomorrow. FERMA president Jo Willaert, said: "The world is changing rapidly and is certainly different since the last survey in 2014. Gathering up-to-date data and evidence will provide valuable information for risk and insurance managers in their companies and will contribute to the visibility of the profession. The FERMA European Risk and Insurance Report is also a source of strategic information for FERMA to position risk management in debates at EU and international levels."
The profitability of UK non-life insurers was affected by a series of weather events in 4Q15, although benign weather during the rest of the year meant that flood losses were within the annual budget for weather-related losses for most insurers. This is according to a special report from Fitch, which says that winter flood losses are large enough to significantly increase household insurance premiums but the introduction of Flood Re in April 2016 and an increase in insurance premium tax may slow the recent fall or create a modest temporary rise.
Business standards group, BSI has acquired Dublin-headquartered infosec consultancy Espion. The acquisition of Espion expands BSI’s professional services business which has grown its consultancy capability globally following recent acquisitions in the US.
Zurich Gruppe Deutschland has selected Guidewire InsuranceSuite as its new platform for underwriting, policy administration, claims management and billing. Part of an enterprise-wide business transformation programme, the consolidated infrastructure will replace all existing policy and claims systems, as well as a number of billing systems, and will be deployed simultaneously. It will be applied across all lines of business, starting with non-motor personal lines.
Aon Benfield is launching its global reinsurer trading platform next week, ready to go live for 1st July treaty placements. ABConnect Placements has been designed to provide a more integrated, streamlined and documented process for global treaty reinsurance transactions, providing real-time data and metrics.
For the tenth year in a row capacity has increased in both the upstream and downstream insurance markets. With no meaningful withdrawals during the last 12 months, competitive pressures have intensified to the extent that some insurers may consider whether to continue participating in the market if the available premium income pool depletes further, according to Willis’ annual Energy Market Review
Specialist insurance and reinsurance broker, THB, has secured an exclusive wholesale broking arrangement with Unicorn Underwriting for UK motor fleet business. Unicorn Underwriting recently received backing from Berkshire Hathaway International Insurance and that new capacity will now be available to UK regional brokers for a broad range of motor fleet risks.
CFC Underwriting has announced the launch of a new suite of products for the product recall market. Available globally, CFC’s suite of products is aimed at a wide variety of industries, from food and beverage, through to automotive component parts and consumer product industries.
Leaving the European Union would be bad for Lloyd’s of London, according to the majority of market professionals. This is according to the latest research commissioned by Haggie Partners, City-based financial public relations consultancy, which found that two thirds of practitioners believe Brexit would ‘hurt’ or ‘severely damage’ London’s £60 billion international insurance market. About a quarter believe it will have no impact, while only 7% believe a Brexit would benefit Lloyd’s.
Flood Re, which will enable insurers to offer competitive premiums and lower excesses to high flood risk homes across the UK, has launched. Owned and funded by the insurance industry, the unique scheme has secured £2.1bn in reinsurance cover. It is hoped that Flood Re will help an estimated 350,000 households in the UK at risk of flooding. A temporary solution until the industry can develop more reflective pricing, Flood Re is not designed for businesses and has a finite life of 25 years.
From today, the Modern Slavery Act requires that UK businesses with a turnover of £36m or more make an annual statement setting out the steps they have taken to stamp out slave and child labour from their supply chains. The UK Modern Slavery Act aims to prevent the use of forced and child labour at home and abroad by putting greater onus on larger businesses to be accountable for the practices of their suppliers...
Having begun his career in disaster recovery at IBM in the 1970s, Jim Burtles has some 40 years’ experience in the business continuity sector. In 1994 he helped to found the original Business Continuity Institute. His practical experience includes hands-on recovery work with victims of traumatic events such as explosions, earthquakes, storms, and fires.
Key risk indicators (KRIs) are the metrics identified to support proactive risk management, and are vital signs of potentially damaging events – set against an organisation’s risk profile and appetite, Risk Books’ latest publication examines the creation and implementation of an integrated KRI framework. Aimed at both practitioners and the board, Key Risk Indicators can be used on both a day-to-day basis, as well as in a more strategic capacity.
Ventiv Technology has entered into SaaS agreement to deliver a global RMIS Portal to Brokerslink. The Brokerslink network covers over 90 countries, and the RMIS Portal will support global access to claim, exposure and policy data, along with analytics, to the local broking operations and clients globally.
Overall profitability of general insurers is expected to decrease in the coming three months, while profits growth will slow for life assurers according to the latest CBI/PwC financial services survey. This pressure on general insurers’ profitability is driven mainly by rising costs and low returns on investment, rather than premium levels or business volume – both of which are set to rise.
Sompo Canopius and catastrophe modelling firm Risk Management Solutions (RMS) have built the world’s first marine cat model, addressing limitations to the industry’s ability to effectively quantify man-made and natural catastrophe risk to marine classes.
Control Risks has announced the appointment of Fields Wicker-Miurin to its board of directors. Fields will provide strategic input and advice to the board, drawing on her expertise in international business particularly in emerging markets and finance.
Fitch Ratings says in a new report that Flood Re will be effective in making home insurance temporarily affordable for policyholders but will not reduce flood risk in the long-term. Flood Re is expected to have a limited impact on the ratings of UK non-life insurance companies due to their size and business/geographic diversification. Companies will benefit from an increase in the number of potential customers and from access to a nationally aggregated flood risk database.
Global insured losses from natural catastrophes and man-made disasters in 2015 were US$37bn – well below the US$62bn average of the previous 10 year, according to Swiss Re’s latest sigma study. It says there were 353 disaster events last year. Of those, 198 were natural catastrophes, which is the highest number in one year, according to sigma records.
Significant disruptions were reported in several regions of the UK, as a result of Storm Katie, on 28 March. The worst affected areas included those in the southern regions, including London, the East of England, South West England, South East England, and southern parts of Wales. Over 100 flights were cancelled, delayed or diverted at major airports in the capital, including Heathrow and Gatwick airports. Flight services have reportedly resumed on normal schedules. While further inclement weather is not forecast; residual disruptions to transportation and utility services are anticipated until 29 March at least
Following a series of devastating bombings and shootings around the world in recent months, including the attacks in Brussels last week, the likelihood of a major terrorist attack is set to remain high, and, JLT is warning that traditional terrorism policies are not keeping pace with the evolving threat.
The most significant threats to the global business supply chain have been identified in a new industry report, with extreme weather and cargo theft topping the list. BSI's latest global supply chain intelligence report reveals the supply chain risks that caused the most damage to businesses in the last year, as well as predictions of the biggest threats in 2016.
The majority of Lloyd’s businesses are considering legacy portfolio disposals, with more than half of firms based in Western Europe expecting to make at least one sale in the next three years, according to Willis Towers Watson’s most recent annual insurance M&A survey. This represents a 42% rise in respondents interested in divesting operations compared to two years ago.
Despite falling revenues, energy firms should maintain their investment in risk management to reduce the potential for future major incidents and insurance claims, according to Marsh. In a research report, ‘Can Energy Firms Break the Historical Nexus Between Oil Price Falls and Large Losses?”, launched today at the firm’s bi-annual National Oil Companies (NOC) conference in Dubai, Marsh analyses the historical sequential correlation between oil price falls, which led to energy firms cutting costs, including safety training and education, which in turn, led to an occurrence of significantly larger insured losses in the following period.
At least 34 people were killed and a further 250 wounded following a series of bomb blasts at Brussels airport and a metro train in Belgium's capital, during the morning of 22nd March. The first of two incidents took place shortly after 08:00 local time at Brussels Airport, where two explosions were reported. The second attack was reported at the Maalbeek Metro Station in Central Brussels at 09:10.
Shipping losses continued their long-term downward trend in 2015, according to an industry report, while cyber exposure, driven by IoT, e-navigation and piracy; mega ship salvage issues; superstorms; and increasing Arctic casualties heighten risk environment. Economic and market conditions are pressurising costs, raising safety concerns.
The extra funding for UK flood defences announced by Chancellor George Osborne on Wednesday is positive for the insurance sector as it reduces the risk of a shortfall in the country's flood reinsurance scheme, according to Fitch Ratings. The extra spending announced in the UK budget (£700m over the next five years) will be funded by a 0.5 percentage point increase in the insurance premium tax (IPT). This represents a roughly 30% increase to the current £2.3bn capital programme over the same period.
BIBA has said it is "astonished" that the Chancellor decided that a further increase in IPT is required to strengthen the nations flood defences. Today’s announced increase in IPT means that, year on year, insurance buyers face an increase in tax of 66.6% since March 2015.
Congratulations to all our finalists in this year's Business Continuity Awards, celebrating the very best in your sector. Winners will be announced at a gala dinner and awards presentation, during an evening of networking with hundreds of the business continuity and resilience professionals. Hosted by comedian Ed Byrne, the 2016 Awards will be a night to remember. This year’s finalists are…
Lloyd’s insurer ArgoGlobal has launched an online portal offering insurance products for the UK commercial drone market. Insure4Drones offers physical damage and/or liability cover with limits of £1m, £2m or £5m for single or multiple drones and operators.
Insurers are urging the Chancellor to avoid a further increase in Insurance Premium Tax (IPT). George Osborne is believed to be considering hiking up the rate of IPT. This is after increasing the standard rate from 6% to 9% just four months ago.
The number of product recalls in the UK jumped by 26% to a new high of 310 in 2014/15 from 245 in 2013/14 according to City law firm, RPC, which says the number of vehicle recalls rose dramatically in the last year after several high profile incidents within the motor industry. In the last year the UK has seen 39 different motor vehicle recalls, a 30% increase from the 30 recalled in 2013/14.
Aon Benfield has launched a new insurance product aimed at helping the charter aircraft industry avoid the financial losses associated with the cancellation of flights. Structured in partnership with Mountfitchet Risk Solutions, the Aircraft On Ground (AOG) Protect product indemnifies aircraft operators for the financial loss incurred when their aircraft cannot be used by flight operators for a contracted charter flight, leaving the operator to sub-charter or reposition a replacement aircraft.
Cyber security requires an enterprise-wide approach, and the risk manager's role is to help the company achieve effective, data-based enterprise risk management, the Federation of European Risk Management Associations (FERMA) has told the European Commission. In its response to the Commission's consultation on public-private partnerships in cyber security, which concluded last week, FERMA stated: "Businesses have difficulties with reaching a basic level of protection often due to a lack of risk insights and data driven risk mitigation."
New figures from the CII show a 50% increase in technical insurance apprenticeship starts since 2013. With National Apprenticeship Week bringing the issue into the spotlight, this result illustrates the insurance profession’s growing commitment to the programme and follows significant effort from employers in designing new standards, via the trailblazer initiative.
Sungard Availability Services has announced its latest £4million investment across the organisation’s Workplace Recovery service locations, aimed at updating hardware. The upcoming refresh is Sungard AS’ most advanced so far, with each machine featuring Intel’s Quad core Itanium i7-6700 processor and the Q170 Skylake chipset.
Almost nine in 10 (87%) organisations have faced a disruptive incident involving third parties in the last three years, according to a new survey from Deloitte. Such incidents can include loss of data by a third party, or failure to deliver a service or product on time. The Deloitte survey also highlights the increasing frequency and impact of these disruptions, illustrating the significant need for organisations to invest in better governance and risk management related to third parties.
UK non-life insurance results highlight the significant impact that different investment and underwriting risk strategies have on Solvency II capital ratios, according to Fitch Ratings. The varying impact of SII on Esure, Admiral and Direct Line reflects differences in business diversification, investment and risk transfer strategies.
New research shows that over 70% of consumers have used some form of digital research before buying an insurance policy. Around 26% of consumers currently purchase their plans online, with this number set to continue rising, particularly among millennials.
An inability to keep up with the pace of technological change is the number one risk for airlines, according to a new survey of senior executives carried out by Willis Towers Watson. Social unrest, involuntary migration and terrorist threats also ranked highly as a risk in the minds of airline business leaders.
After a three-day consultation on Zika research and development, international experts, convened by The World Health Organisation (WHO), have agreed on top priorities to advance R&D for Zika medical products.
Anti-corruption reforms and the lifting of sanctions eased political risk in China and Iran, while other states struggle to counteract the economic risks being driven by weak commodity prices. These are the findings of Aon Risk Solutions' 2016 Political Risk Map for emerging markets, published today.
The contents of this book are wholly good – highlighting the need for companies to embed their values and create value led organisations for the twenty-first century. John (Lord) Browne uses his insight from running BP backed up with new McKinsey research to explain the reasons and actions needed, occasionally using interesting historical examples. From discourses on salt and iron in 81 BCE to modern high technology, via the Homestead Strike of 1892, the book explores the uneasy relationship between public trust and commerce across time and geography. Furthermore it proposes four stages of action that can help redeem companies – making them trusted, relevant and robust to occasional issues.
In the aftermath of the global financial crisis, the focus for investment professionals was re-identifying their own risk appetite. What was clear after the collapse of Lehmann Brothers, Bear Stearns and Merrill Lynch in the US was that the then understanding of behavioural risk for was not fit for purpose. Behavioural risk continues to be badly understood, particularly as it pertains to finance and investment.
Business managers are suffering from a ‘rationality façade’ by using strategy tools and are missing a key ingredient in decision-making, according to research from a UK business school. Gerard Hodgkinson, of Warwick Business School, says there is a pressing need for management to acknowledge the role of emotions and to build a new wave of tools that incorporate it into their strategic thinking if businesses' performances are to be improved.
Term limits for directors and gender diversity rules in corporate governance codes help improve female representation in top executive roles, but quotas make no real difference, according to a new global study from Cambridge Judge Business School and the 30% Club.
Awards fever continued at last night's annual Gala Dinner of the Commercial Insurance Awards. The coveted award for Overall Winner went to CFC Underwriting, with Lorega Solutions taking away the gong for Innovation and LV= winning Commercial Insurer of the Year.
Perils today disclosed its second loss estimate for the December floods in the UK following Storm Desmond. The revised estimate of the property insurance market loss is £662m. This compares to the initial loss estimate of £717m which was issued by Perils on 15 January 2016.
Risk and regulatory work is the fastest growing consulting service in the UK, breaking the £500m mark for the first time. Helping organisations comply with regulations, address cyber threats, and manage the fall-out from corporate scandals has led to double-digit growth in risk and regulatory consulting – up 11.8% to £507million in 2015, according to figures from Source Global Research. Cyber security in particular is having a considerable impact on the figures, with some consulting firms telling Source they hit 40% growth in this type of work last year.
Almost three quarters of business travellers bolt on additional leisure days to their trips, and new research reveals that many may be doing so without the protection of their employer. A new study highlights that despite 89% of companies allowing staff to do so, almost a third do not extend the protection offered by their corporate travel risk policy to cover these additional days.
The growth of telematics and the development of driverless cars are set to shake up the motor insurance industry, according to Fitch Ratings.
Of the two, Fitch says telematics will have the bigger impact for at least the next five years -- particularly in the UK, where take-up is expected to grow rapidly. In the longer term, however, self-driving vehicles, such as those developed by Google and Tesla, could "completely reshape" the sector.
Pool Re announced today that it has renewed the reinsurance cover purchased in 2015, for a further three years. The renewed cover, which now includes an additional layer, provides £1.95bn of commercial reinsurance compared with £1.8bn previously.
The Chartered Insurance Institute has published a new guide to coincide with the introduction of the Financial Conduct Authority’s new Senior Insurance Managers Regime (SIMR) that aims to assist members better understand the behaviours expected of them.
XL Catlin has bolstered its crisis management offering with the introduction of Active Assailant coverage to its crisis management product suite to respond to the threat of physical attack faced by businesses and public service providers. Active Assailant coverage will initially be underwritten in the UK, US, Germany and Asia-Pacific, and will cover clients globally; and is designed to help organisations with the financial impacts of Active Assailant events.
Companies are being warned they could face costs running into the millions of pounds if they fail to properly insure themselves against the risk of a product recall after chocolate manufacturer Mars was forced to recall both Mars and Snickers bars, reportedly across more than 50 countries, after pieces of plastic were found in products
Sword Active Risk has announced that Doosan Babcock has selected Active Risk Manager (ARM) to manage risk across customer sites and projects. Doosan Babcock provides technologies to major organisations operating plants for nuclear, thermal power and for the oil and gas industries.
Chubb has announced the launch of a new cyber risk solution for the European market. Cyber Enterprise Risk Management is an end-to-end risk management solution, designed to meet the needs of middle-market and larger companies as well as multinationals in Continental Europe and the UK. It includes a wide range of cyber risk assessment, post-event crisis management and risk transfer solutions to address growing enterprise-wide cyber and data privacy risks.
Big data analytics and the Internet of Things (IoT) are expected to add £322bn to the UK economy from 2015 to 2020. This is twice the size of the combined education, NHS and defence budgets for 2014-15, and more than a fift of the UK’s net public debt (roughly £1.5 trillion in 2014-15). This equates to an average of £54bn a year, or 2.7% of the annual GDP over the next five years. The industry expected to accrue the greatest economic benefit from big data is
Two of the oldest P&I clubs in the world are in merger discussions. The boards of the Britannia Club and the UK P&I Clubs are about to begin a process to determine whether the merger is possible and delivers appropriate benefit to their respective memberships. Ultimately, the decision on whether to proceed with a merger will be decided by the Members at Special General Meetings to be convened later in the year.
The use of encryption continues to grow in response to cyber attacks, privacy compliance regulations and consumer concerns, according to the latest independent industry research from Ponemon. The 2016 'Global Encryption Trends Study' also suggests that the majority of organisations plan to transfer sensitive data to the cloud within the next two years.
The London Fire Brigade today began hosting the biggest multi-agency training exercise ever to take place in Europe. All of London's emergency response organisations, including local and national authorities are involved, along with specialist teams from the UK and from Hungary, Italy and Cyprus.
Century Underwriting has launched a professional indemnity and D&O service to accompany its existing property owners and motor fleet business units.
Partnering with Arch, the products are targeted at companies and partnerships with annual turnover of up to £100m.
NIIT Technologies has announced the successful implementation of its new generation policy and claims administration platform, Navigator at Sompo Japan Canopius Reinsurance. Navigator offers product management capabilities that allow new products to be configured without the need for significant IT involvement and supports the full lifecycle processing of a policy from submission, quote and underwriting to policy administration, message processing, claims handling and reinsurance.
xMatters has announced the release of its integration platform offering enhanced connectivity technology to help enterprises with DevOps adoption. The software provider's cloud platform is designed to accelerate business processes through intelligent communication. The technology pinpoints and proactively alerts the individuals, teams and external service providers required to work together to quickly manage any business scenario along with resolving incidents, such as service disruptions and technical issues that interrupt the flow of day-to-day operations.
A multi-dimensional approach is needed to tackle cyber security risk, according to Dominic Casserley, president and deputy chief executive officer of Willis Towers Watson. In a speech at the Commonwealth Club of California in San Francisco, Casserley set out an integrated plan for building cyber security, urging organisations in the public, private and social sectors to adopt this proposal as a package, rather than relying on a sub-set of actions in response to growing cyber threats.
Lorega has completed the management buyout from a number of minority shareholders. The Lorega executive team of Neill Johnstone, managing director, Andy Mintern, finance and commercial director and Terry Wheatley, who will be appointed chairman, have been backed by Alcuin Capital Partners, investing through the Fourth Alcuin Fund.
Pioneer has announced the launch of a new operational power underwriting capability. The team consists of Tom Wilson and Stuart Brazier and will report to Eamon Brown, group director of underwriting. Writing globally on Lloyd’s paper, the new division will offer flexible insurance solutions to independent power station owners, operators and utilities. Initially providing up to US$40m in insurance capacity, the new division will focus on risk informed underwriting, delivering an enhanced service and feedback to brokers and clients. They will also offer bespoke products for the biomass and waste to energy industry.
New research from the Cloud Industry Forum (CIF) suggests a lack of confidence in disaster recovery and backup capabilities. The CIF’s survey asked participants to identify which applications represented the biggest risk to their business in the event of failure. Disaster recovery and data backup services were ranked the highest priority amongst those surveyed.
ZTEWelink has signed a cooperation agreement with Octo Telematics for architecture providing OBU fundamental functionalities including wireless comms, GNSS positioning, CAN-BUS, 6-Axis Gyro, Bluetooth and high precision ADC. Octo Telematics has 36% market share in insurance telematics market globally, and in January 2016 has reached four million connected users globally.
CGI has been awarded a two year contract by the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) for the EU Copernicus programme to develop a proof-of-concept for an insurance information service. Funded by the European Commission, Copernicus uses information collected from satellite, land, sea and air to help industry and business sectors as well as policy-makers and scientists to understand and mitigate climate threat, adapt to change and capitalise on business opportunities. CGI’s project aims to work with the Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S) to make the Copernicus climate change data more accessible to the different industrial and public sector user communities
Commercial insurance market conditions for insureds across EMEA are forecast to be generally favourable throughout 2016, according to a report from Marsh. Its annual Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) Insurance Market Report 2016, expects plentiful capacity in many markets across the EMEA region amid intense competition among insurers, in particular for those organisations with attractive portfolios and good loss histories. The report does warn, however, that some recent earnings announcements, senior management changes and re-underwriting at several companies bear watching. Macro dynamics, including global economic, political, regulatory, technological, and environmental developments, are also likely to affect the industry throughout the year.
European business leaders are backing the Prime Minister’s drive to make the EU more competitive ahead of the European Council this week. The CBI and its counterparts in Germany, France, Italy and 16 other EU Member States, which together speak on behalf of over 2.5 million businesses, employing more than 50 million people, have published a joint letter backing reforms that will make the EU more competitive and outward-looking to deliver jobs, security and prosperity across Europe. In the letter they also recognise that not all Member States wish to be part of a drive for further integration, agreeing that non-Eurozone countries should have their position in the wider single market safeguarded.
A new report analysing the 10 most significant human rights issues impacting business has identified the recruitment of migrants and refugees into forced labour; a lack of information on labour practices deep within the supply chain; and inadequate oversight of suppliers among the biggest threats to the brand reputation of global companies over the next year.
According to public health officials in Ireland and Northern Ireland, an outbreak of Influenza A (H1N1), or swine flu, has caused a number of fatalities since early December 2015. In Ireland, at least 11 people died of the infection amid 344 confirmed cases. In Northern Ireland, up to seven people died, while at least 150 others contracted the virus.
Compre has completed its acquisition of the Gjensidige marine and energy legacy portfolio of Norwegian insurer Gjensidige. The acquisition represents Compre’s 18th portfolio deal and to date Compre has acquired 10 companies in run-off.
Insurance is one of the top three most disrupted sectors according to a PwC survey of CEOs. Only the entertainment and media sector is facing potentially greater disruption, according to the report. PwC's study shows that insurance CEOs are significantly more concerned about the threat posed by new market entrants than their banking and asset management counterparts. Sixty nine per cent of insurance CEOs are concerned about the speed of technological change in their industry and 64% are concerned about the shift in consumer spending and behaviour.
Winter weather throughout January will cost the global economy US$4bn, according to the latest figures from Aon Benfield’s catastrophe team. It’s monthly Global Catastrophe Recap report counts the cost of the powerful winter storms that brought extraordinary snowfall, high winds, coastal flooding, freezing rain, ice, sleet, and severe thunderstorms to the Eastern United States during the second half of January, killing 58 people and injuring dozens of others.
Sompo Canopius has entered into a licence agreement with SSBN, which will see the flood risk analysts provide Sompo with models and hazard maps for the US. SSBN was founded by members of the University of Bristol’s Hydrology Research Group. It provides global flood risk analytics to provide more robust estimates of risk.
Despite the majority of small firms in the FS sector saying they think about their company’s reputation frequently, or in some cases “all the time”, they are not considering how a cyber breach could affect it. Only a small portion of the firms surveyed by a KPMG/Cyber Streetwise study say the potential damage following a cyber breach is an “important” consideration.
Aon Risk Solutions is seeking to expand its SME broker distribution channel through an expanded partner network in its Affinity division. Aon’s proposition includes broad-based coverage as well as specialist sector coverage such as education, care, HNW, pensions and health and benefits.
A significant proportion of re/insurance classes are expected to experience further price falls in 2016, according to analysis by Fitch. The recent low level of major claims activity in the London Market has intensified competitive pressures, particularly in short-tail lines, and the weakening trading environment is expected to continue.
The Prudential Regulation Authority has published the findings of a review of firms in the Internal Model Approval Process (IMAP) to assess the quality of data used in the model. According to the review, whilst firms have made strides to comply with Solvency II requirements, a number of insurers are still struggling to articulate, design and implement effective controls over material data.
Cunningham Lindsey has launched a range of services for managing general agencies that provide a support structure to ensure regulatory compliance, in particular with the new conduct risk and Lloyd’s reporting requirements. MGA Guardian, supported by Ambant Underwriting Services, provides a range of back office functions, including underwriting and claims reporting systems that today’s professionally run and compliant MGAs require.
The BCI released its fifth Horizon Scan report today – the association’s annual analysis of the top threats as perceived by business continuity managers. Conducted with the British Standards Institution, this year’s findings reveal the business preparedness of about 600 organisations globally, and shows cyber attack as the greatest concern for the majority (85%) of business continuity managers. Shifting up the list from third last year, data breach was next, worrying about 80% of respondents. These are not surprising conclusions, given the amount of damage a cyber attack or data breach can do. Neither is it a shock to see that supply chain disruption remains in the top ten (even if it fell two places from fifth last year to seventh this year).
Dong Energy is planning to build the world’s largest offshore windfarm, the Hornsea Project One. Capable of powering over 1 million UK homes, the site, off the Yorkshire coast, will have a capacity of 1.2 gigawatt – the first windfarm anywhere to exceed 1 gigawatt.
There is just one week until the deadline for entries for this year’s Business Continuity Awards. Stand out against the competition and submit an entry in one of our 20 categories – showcasing your best people, products and projects.
The National Weather Service (NWS) maintains adverse winter weather warnings for states in the vicinity of the Great Lakes region, in the US, on 3 February. Meanwhile, blizzard warning and winter storm warnings are in place for Nebraska, South Dakota, Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan.
Business interruption is one of the most sought after yet elusive types of insurance for UK corporates, with buyers reporting uncertainty over what is covered and difficulties in getting claims paid, according to a report from Airmic. The paper, written jointly with Marsh, identifies data as the key area where the expectations of underwriters and risk managers too often diverge.
Eight new projects have been awarded £20m in funding to research and develop enhanced communication between vehicles and roadside infrastructure or urban information systems, including new talking car technologies. It is hoped that today’s funding will help strengthen the UK as a global centre for the fast-growing intelligent mobility market, estimated to be worth £900bn a year globally by 2025.
Willis Re has announced a partnership with drone services company Measure. Drone data can be used to better understand the factors leading to property damage and make recommendations for mitigating losses. Drones also provide access to real time data, allowing insurers to collect more timely and accurate data to support the claims process.
The World Health Organisation has declared an international public health warning in response to the ongoing Zika virus outbreak in Latin America and the Caribbean. The WHO warning focuses on increased coordination on detecting and eliminating the disease and increased funding and research, but does not impose any travel or trade restriction.
Chubb has announced the launch of a new partnership with Crawford & Company that will see the latter provide a single point of contact and a 24/7 incident response platform to report cyber incidents. The platform will be available to current and future policyholders that purchase cyber cover through Chubb in Europe and is designed for international and domestic organisations across Europe, including both larger and middle-market companies in Continental Europe and the UK and Ireland.
ENISA has highlighted in a new report the need for greater security in the smart grid
A fundamental component of the European critical infrastructure, smart are increasingly at risk of cyber attack. 'Communication network interdependencies in smart grids' focuses on the evaluation of interdependencies to determine their importance, risks, mitigation factors and possible security measures to implement.
Cybersecurity, bribery, oil price and financial market fluctuations are among the chief risks facing businesses, according to a UK study carried out by risk management association, the IRM. Further areas of risk concern identified were the effects of continued austerity measures in the UK and the impact of technology enabled disruptive business models.
Looking after your employees is good for business with new research finding that it brings in 35% more investment from socially responsible funds. The study looked at 1,585 US corporations and 47 socially responsible investment (SRI) funds and found that those companies who treated their employees best had the most money poured into them by SRI funds.
The CII has released a new research report setting out the post-COP21 challenges for the insurance sector. The report has been released in the wake of the WEF's annual ‘Global Risk Report’, in which the failure of climate change mitigation and adaptation was found at the top of its main risks.
Zurich has appointed Mario Greco to the role of CEO. Effective 1st May 2016, Greco will succeed Tom de Swaan, who has held the role on an ad interim basis since Martin Senn stepped down in December 2015.
Marsh has launched a new global excess cyber risk facility, designed to provide the excess market with up to US$50 million in follow form coverage. While overall capacity in the cyber market remains abundant, the excess market is highly volatile.
Sungard Availability Services has announced the signing of a ten year IT services deal with John Menzies. With daily deliveries to 45 per cent of the UK’s retailers, customers at 144 airports worldwide, and a business that serves over 300 airlines, John Menzies deals with millions of transactions on a daily basis. The business operates out of 31 countries and over 150 locations.
A new website, aimed specifically at women who are looking to return to work after a career break, has been launched by CII to highlight the merits of a career in insurance. Information on the website will include details of potential opportunities, salary expectations, advice and tips.
Back in 2009 Alarm launched its National Performance Model to help answer that question. Based on earlier work devised by HM Treasury, it breaks down risk management activities into seven distinct strands and provides examples to illustrate different levels of maturity. Since 2010 Alarm has used the model as the basis for an annual benchmarking exercise across public service organisations. This has provided Alarm with a unique set of data that depicts how risk management has developed during the last five years and we have recently published the results of our analysis of this data.
Storm Jonas, the snow storm that shut down New York and Washington last Saturday, and caused 11 states to enter a state of emergency, is said to be heading for the UK. Severe weather warnings have now been issued by the Met Office for much of Wales, north-west England and the west of Scotland. According to research from FM Global, flooding is the most common form of disruption for UK businesses, accounting for 33% of all losses to business property.
The Rockefeller Foundation, Veolia, and Swiss Re Corporate Solutions have joined forces to unveil an innovative infrastructure recovery initiative to speed up economic recovery in the aftermath of catastrophic events for cities across the globe. The partnership, announced today, is designed to support cities worldwide in the areas of climate change adaptation, disaster risk reduction, infrastructure enhancement and recovery.
The Enterprise Bill, a piece of legislation currently going through the House of Lords, has received relatively little attention. Anyone who buys insurance for their organisation should take note, however, because it will put insurers under an obligation to pay valid claims within a reasonable time otherwise policyholders may sue for damages. This may seem a common sense measure, but it has profound and beneficial implications for business. It is no exaggeration to say that the time taken to receive compensation for a major incident can make or break an enterprise. Yet, under the present law, policyholders have no means of obtaining compensation for the impact of unjustified delays in being paid.
From 1st April, businesses with a turnover of more than £36m will be required to report annually on the steps they have taken to ensure modern slavery is not taking place in their business or supply chains. With just over two months to go, however, the supply chain managers responsible appear unprepared for compliance with the Act’s requirements.
As re/insurer interest and investor confidence continues to grow, non-life insurance-linked securities (ILS) capital hit new heights in 2015, broadening their horizons to include new products and perils, according to the latest ILS market update from Willis Capital Markets & Advisory.
The most used passwords of 2015 have been revealed, with '123456' and 'password' remaining at the top of the charts for the second year running. Sports-related passwords continue to rank highly with both football and baseball ranking in the top 10, whilst new entries to the list include 'starwar's and 'solo' following the release of the latest Star Wars movie.
Lloyd’s of London today announced that a set of common core data requirements for cyber risks has been agreed through a collaboration with modelling firms AIR Worldwide and RMS and the Cambridge Centre of Risk Studies. Both AIR and the RMS/Cambridge teams have agreed to highlight common elements when they publish their data schemas later this month, with agreed terminology and definitions.
While a quarter of UK employers have seen their absence rates improve over the last 12 months, new research from Group Risk Development (GRiD), the trade body for the group risk industry, shows that one in 10 have seen their rates worsen over the same time period. On so-called 'Blue Monday' employers will be bracing themselves for the possibility of increased absences as staff struggle with low morale and motivation following the Christmas break.
With the growing risk of data protection loss, specialist data protection and cyber security lawyers have warned that SMEs are disproportionately vulnerable to compensation claims from customers.
A report published today warns that a combination of factors has sharply increased political risk for the UK’s financial sector. The analysis, 'Disruptive Influences: Technology, politics and change in the financial sector', carried out by Cicero Group and commissioned by the Chartered Insurance Institute (CII), provides an overview of disruptive technological changes and their effects on politics and the financial sector.
ACE has completed its acquisition of Chubb, creating the world’s largest publicly traded property casualty insurance company. ACE paid approximately US$29.5bn in the aggregate in cash and stock. The new company begin trading on the NYSE today under the symbol “CB” tomorrow as ACE adopts the Chubb name globally.
Marsh has launched a new tool designed to model the financial impact of explosions in the energy sector. Marsh Blast, powered by MaxLoss, was developed by Baker Engineering and Risk Consultants, will be the first time in the insurance industry has used the Baker-Stehlow-Tang (BST) explosion model. The technology is targeted at energy companies looking to calculate the maximum damage to property across their global assets.
For the first time in a decade, an environmental risk has topped the ranking of global risks with the greatest potential impact. This is according to a report from the World Economic Forum, which cites the risk with the greatest potential impact to be a failure of climate change mitigation and adaptation – considered to have greater potential damage than weapons of mass destruction, water crises, large-scale involuntary migration and severe energy price shock. Meanwhile, the biggest risk single risk in terms of likelihood is considered to be the migrant crisis.
XL Catlin has announced a partnership with Oxbotica, a spin-out from Oxford University’s Mobile Robotics Group, to support the adoption of mobile robotic solutions and explore their impact on risk management and insurance.
The risk landscape for businesses is changing substantially, according to the annual Allianz Risk Barometer, released today. While businesses are less concerned about the impact of traditional industrial risks such as natural catastrophes or fire, Allianz’s study shows they are increasingly worried about the impact of other disruptive events, fierce competition in their markets and cyber incidents.
Global economic losses from natural catastrophes in 2015 stood at US$123bn – 30% below the 15-year average of US$175 billion. There were 14 multi-billion dollar economic loss events around the world, with the costliest being forest fires that burned out of control in Indonesia. At US$16.1bn, The World Bank noted that the economic loss from the fires represented 1.9% of the country’s GDP.
Commercial insurance premiums will generally be lower in 2016 compared to 2015, according to analysts at PwC. Commenting on the 2016 outlook Mohammad Khan, UK general insurance leader at PwC, said: “Commercial insurance premiums will generally be lower in 2016 compared to 2015. Competition for commercial lines insurance has intensified and is likely to continue in 2016."
Insurers have released new figures today that demonstrate the scale of the sector’s response to the recent devastating floods caused by storms Desmond, Eva and Frank during December and over the New Year.
Sian Fisher has been appointed as CEO of the Chartered Insurance Institute (CII). She succeeds Dr Sandy Scott, who announced his retirement in March last year. With a breadth of experience in business insurance, Ms Fisher has held senior roles in a Lloyd’s Syndicate, a UK and European insurance company, a start-up intermediary, an MGA, a major international broker and US corporate. She was a founder and original board director of the Managing General Agents’ Association and has held senior positions with both the CII and the Insurance Institute of London. She is a graduate of Oxford University with an Exec MBA from Harvard and is ACII qualified.
The turbulence experienced across the world during 2015 is set to continue throughout the coming year, according to forecasts from Verisk Maplecroft, which predicts little respite from the political instability, civil unrest, economic volatility, security crises and geopolitical rivalries that defined the last 12 months.
A guidance document exploring advanced uses for insurer internal models in the context of reinsurance decisions has been released by the Institute of Risk Management (IRM) via its Internal Model Industry Forum (IMIF), as part of a wider programme from the IMIF to help insurance businesses create sustainable value.
The recent series of storms and floods in the UK will significantly weaken 2015 earnings from household insurance for some firms, but are unlikely to affect insurers' capital levels or ratings, according to Fitch. If there has been significant business interruption, insured losses could rise above these estimates. A long-term increase in the number of properties at significant risk of flooding could result in Flood Re's funds and reinsurance cover being inadequate to meet outgoings.
The NHS could pay an additional 3.5% in Insurance Premium Tax (IPT) if the NHSLA continues to stall payment of outstanding ATE premiums for cases that were concluded before November 2015. This is according to estimates from ARAG, which says there are thousands of concluded clinical negligence cases in which payment of the ATE premium is still outstanding -- the majority of which will involve the NHSLA.
A new industry research paper suggests that the vast majority of UK organisations lack the skills needed to manage hybrid IT environments. The research, conducted for Sungard Availability Services, found that matters of IT security were the biggest concern, with 38% of organisations reporting they lack the necessary skills to deal with security issues. Integration and interoperability were also cited as critical concerns: 27% of organisations felt they struggled to integrate private cloud environments into their IT estate, falling to 22% for public clouds. 22% of respondents also admitted to difficulties in managing different IT systems across separate business departments. Most significantly, though, 83% of UK organisations feel that they lack the skills to manage complex IT.
Octo Telematics has announced its partnership with The Ohio State University’s Center for Automotive Research (CAR) whereby the telematics provider will use the university’s CAR to test its new products and services. CAR's research will also be used to develop new services and intelligence for Octo, including crash detection, analytics, new data collection for fuel consumption and emission regulations for insurance carriers.
The current flooding in the north of England underlines the need for businesses to buy insurance that is fit for purpose, and to support it with effective crisis planning. Meanwhile, PwC says losses from Storms Eva and Desmond could reach £2.3bn, with insured losses of up to £1.2bn.
Prime Minister David Cameron has announced a package of more than £40m to rebuild and improve flood defences in the aftermath of Storm Eva. And he pledged the government would support charities helping those caught up in the Boxing Day deluge by matching every pound of the first £2m raised.
After many years of political and legislative negotiations between the European Parliament, Commission and Council, the new risk-based European supervisory framework for insurance has finally gone live. Solvency II is expected to result in a paradigm shift in companies’ risk cultures, with well capitalised insurers enabling the sector to withstand unforeseen shocks.
JBA Risk Management has released a multi-peril flood model of the UK to assist the insurance industry in placing risks with Flood Re. Developed in collaboration with Guy Carpenter, the JBA UK Flood Model is unique in that it includes river, rain and surface water and coastal flooding for the whole of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Guy Carp is the reinsurance broker to Flood Re, which is scheduled to go live in the first half of 2016.
Despite P&I Clubs announcing that they are trying to achieve on average 2% increases in premium, ship owners with good records can look forward to reductions in premiums for protection and indemnity (P&I) insurance at the 2016 renewals, according to a report from Willis.
ACE has announced the launch of a directors & officers (D&O) insurance cover for charities and not-for-profit organisations based in the UK & Ireland. With proposed amendments to the Charities Bill aimed at tackling serious abuse of charities and increased scrutiny over charities’ fundraising and management, charity trustees and directors are becoming increasingly vulnerable to claims.
Pardus has launched an accident and health division, focused predominantly on the UK and Europe. Heading up the MGA's fifth product launch since it began trading last year, the team will be led by Peter Coles, who joins as head of A&H.
Fierce competition means London Market insurers will continue to face pressure on their underwriting margins, according to a report from Fitch. It says the London Market's fundamental sector outlook for 2016 remains negative, but stable as a result of robust financial fundamentals. The ratings agency believes that a substantial proportion of London Market business will continue to experience significant pricing pressures. The agency does not believe that a price floor has been reached in reinsurance and expects further declines in underwriting margins. It also says other major non-catastrophe lines, such as casualty, may experience further price declines as more re/insurers diversify into this line of business.
ACE Group has launched a dedicated environmental policy for companies in the renewable energy industry in the UK and Ireland. ACE Renewable Energy Environmental Protection covers the full spectrum of environmental risks faced by renewable energy companies, providing coverage from the start of construction of renewable energy plants through to their operation. It is available to energy producers in every renewable sector, namely solar, onshore...
DWF is to acquire German international commercial law firm BridgehouseLaw, building the firm’s international offering, and strengthening its capability in insurance, energy, real estate, retail, food and hospitality and tech.
The widespread and increasing adoption of cloud computing may be the answer to managing costs and supporting scalability, but it raises major concerns over the privacy and security of data. In response to this trend, business standards company BSI has today launched a training and certification scheme for the protection of personal data in the cloud.
A new document published by the Lloyd’s Market Association (LMA) has set out the new standard terms of engagement for surveyors and loss adjusters who are currently employed by Lloyd’s market aviation insurers.
Lloyd’s of London has announced plans to launch its own insurance based index in mid-2016. This would be the first index for diversified risk, showing loss ratios and focused on insurance performance. It is intended that the detailed insight into the performance of the market will provide managing agents, brokers and other insurers with new options for managing risk and form the basis of index-related products of interest to the wider capital markets.
An academic study claims to have identified three common factors that ensure corporate social responsibility adds to a company’s bottom line. CSR is used by companies to advance some social good and also allows them to enhance their organisational performance. A number of organisations are integrating social and environmental issues into their core strategies. But can organisations do well while doing good?
Equifax and BAE Systems have announced a collaboration that will see the two entities developing solutions to help businesses mitigate financial crime. The new relationship will enable businesses large and small, to access enterprise grade solutions to help combat fraud, money laundering and terrorist financing.
We are delighted to announce that the Business Continuity Awards 2016 are open for entries. Now in its 18th year, the awards recognise those business continuity, security, resilience and risk professionals whose innovative strategies and industry savvy make them stand out above the rest.
The security and political risk outlook looks worse than at any point in the past decade, according to analysis from Control Risks. Its annual RiskMap, which highlights the most significant underlying trends in global risk and security and provides a detailed view from the markets that will matter most over the coming year, suggests 2016 will be a challenging year for businesses as they are forced to navigate escalating security and political risks.
The Institute of Risk Management (IRM) has today published two guidance documents to help insurers implement the rules, get the board engaged and find a sustainable way to build trust in capital models. Produced by its Internal Model Industry Forum (IMIF), the release of these documents comes at the same time as regulators across Europe, including the UK Prudential Regulatory Authority, start to notify insurers of their internal model approval status.
Arc Legal Assistance has announced a distribution partnership with Lorega, which will offer policyholders access to an independent Chartered Loss Adjuster on SME as well as homeowner claims.
Business interruption now typically accounts for a much higher proportion of the overall loss than was the case 10 years ago, according to data from Allianz. The average large BI property insurance claim is now in excess of €2m (€2.2m: US $2.4m), which is 36% higher than the corresponding average property damage claim of just over €1.6m.
Negotiators of the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission have agreed on the first EU-wide legislation on cyber security. The Directive on Network and Information Security will require operators of essential services in the energy, transport, banking and healthcare sectors, and providers of key digital services like search engines and cloud computing, to take appropriate security measures and report incidents to the national authorities.
UK regulatory approval of insurers' internal models is a major step towards clarity on their capital position under Solvency II (SII), and a precursor to announcements of strong solvency ratios, according to a report Fitch Ratings. On Saturday, the Prudential Regulation Authority announced its approval of 19 UK insurers' models, meaning that they will be able to determine their SII capital position based on their own risk calibration when the regime takes effect in January.
The London company market has backed plans for a new electronic placement service. The board of the International Underwriting Association (IUA) unanimously supports the concept and ten Board members have signed a statement of support for the project which aims to improve client service through a quicker process with less risk of error.
Fitch Ratings says in a new report that its rating outlook for the German non-life insurance sector remains stable. The sector outlook, an indicator of fundamental trends, is also stable.
Deutsche Börse has signed a 5-year agreement with Stockholm-based surveillance technology provider Scila to continue its use of Scila Surveillance. For the last four years, Scila has provided state of the art surveillance technology for Deutsche Börse Group’s two largest exchanges – the Frankfurt Stock Exchange and the derivatives market Eurex – and the bond trading venue Eurex Bonds.
Localised flooding continues in the north west of England after the Environment Agency issued 46 severe flood warnings in the wake of Storm Desmond.
Prime Minister David Cameron chaired a COBR meeting this morning, and flood minister Rory Stewart has been in Cumbria since Saturday, meeting those affected and assessing the situation on the ground.
SMEs are leaving themselves open to serious crime risks according to new research from Aon Risk Solutions. The new study suggests the danger of cyber risks are being overlooked by many SMEs. Just 4% said they had insurance cover in place to help protect them from the implications of cyber attacks, very little change from one year ago (3%).
New analysis by Collinson Group reveals a 52% (842,264) increase in the number of visits by UK business travellers to high-risk destinations overseas in the first half of 2015 compared to the same period a year earlier. In the first half of 2015, business travellers made 2,477,105 visits to destinations that experienced level three security incidents, as identified by Collinson Group, compared to 1,634,840 a year earlier. Category three security incidents include attempted coups and terrorist attacks.
Despite multiple warnings about the consequences of failing to have a robust disaster recovery plan in place, a new study suggests that only about a third of companies test their disaster recovery plans on a regular basis. Of the sample surveyed by Kroll Ontrack across the UK and Germany, only 9% of companies said they test their plans every one to five months and another 29% every six to 12 months.
Given the burgeoning number of social media platforms and users on the internet today, it is surprising that more books have not yet been published to tackle the risks.
I suspect there are more marketing books focusing on the opportunities, however. This convergence of professions gives the topic an interesting dynamic – and presents a set of challenges of its own for risk professionals.
After ten years with Zurich, six of which as CEO, Martin Senn has decided to step down, and is due to leave the company at the end of the year. Tom de Swaan, who has named chairman in 2013, has been appointed interim CEO and the process to appoint Martin Senn’s successor is underway.
xMatters has received accreditation from the Crown Commercial Service to trade on G-Cloud 7.
The Institute of Risk Management (IRM) has published a guidance document exploring advanced uses for insurer internal models in the context of insurance and reinsurance of flood risk. The document, created by the Internal Model Industry Forum (IMIF) at the IRM, was produced by a team led by IRM risk consultant Raphael Borrel and NN-Group’s principal insurance risk officer Dr Sebastian Rath.
A new study released today by The Economist Intelligence Unit and the British Standards Institution (BSI), found that resilience is a clear priority for businesses and is considered “indispensable” for long-term growth. 'Organisational resilience: Building an enduring enterprise', shows that executives are confident about their companies’ ability to embed key specific resilience-promoting practices in their daily operations and understand the benefits of becoming resilient.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is seeking views on whether the level of protection provided to small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) in its handbook of rules and guidance is broadly right. Additionally, the FCA is asking whether more SMEs should be given access to the Financial Ombudsman Service.
The Financial Conduct Authority has fined Barclays £72m for failing to minimise the risk that it may be used to facilitate financial crime. This is the largest fine that has been imposed by the FCA and its predecessor the FSA for financial crime failings relating to a £1.88bn pound transaction that the bank arranged and executed in 2011 and 2012 for a number of ultra-high-net-worth clients.
Acknowledging the threat of climate change ahead of next week’s UN Climate Change Conference (COP21), the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries has published a report calling for a risk management approach as a central component of climate policy.
Compliance is becoming so complex that today’s compliance professionals are concerned about how the function will protect businesses in future. That is according to new research from The Risk Advisory Group which surveyed more than 200 compliance professionals across a range of global businesses.
Who owns cyber risk and security in your organisation? It may depend on the industry you're in. It will almost certainly depend on whether or not your organisation has suffered a security breach of any significance. A growing issue and not just for the financial sector and retailers, but now also industrial organisations, this book attempts to traverse the language barrier to provide senior managers with the tools they need to understand the risk that is no longer just the domain of the IT department.
The social housing sector is currently undergoing significant change – change so profound that this year will be remembered as a point in history, in the same way as such transformations as Thatcher's Right to Buy in 1979. The Summer Budget announced a number of seismic changes to the risk profile across the sector. A wide range of impacts include Welfare Reform Part 2, funding issues and the most significant being the 1% rent reduction policy imposed on housing associations.
The UK Defence Club, provider of FD&D (legal costs) insurance to the maritime industry, has announced that there will be no change to its premiums for the 2016 policy year, the second consecutive zero premium increase. The organisation, managed by Thomas Miller, has cited its financial strength as enabling it to freeze premiums, and the Club will also continue its Continuity Credits loyalty scheme, rewarding Members with premium reductions.
While the principles of risk management are well established, there are numerous hurdles to be overcome in creating and maintaining a long term, effective and valued programme that truly supports the business. Focusing on this challenge, this book sets about tackling the lofty goal of achieving world class risk management – something that author Norman Marks, having spent his entire career leading audit, risk and compliance programmes for a variety of firms, is well positioned to advise on.
Pool Re has today announced changes to its reinsurance arrangements with its members (insurers and Lloyd’s Syndicates) now taking a greater retention in the event of a terrorism loss. Since 2006, the industry retention for any one event has remained at £100 million. From 1 January 2016, the retention will increase to £135 million any one event but capped at an annual aggregate of £270m any year.
With a prediction of greater attacks – and there is no surprise there – Gartner sees a rise to 60 per cent in the next five years of enterprises’ information security budgets being allocated for rapid detection and response approaches, up from less than 10 per cent in 2012. Companies now understand sophisticated cyber-criminals have rendered traditional perimeter defences, like proxies, firewalls, VPNs, and antivirus and malware tools ineffective. A priority for 2016 will be to detect threats inside the firewall as they develop to defend and ultimately prevent significant damage from occurring.
In the wake of the Paris attacks, Cobalt is supporting Paris-based businesses by providing companies with free access to its smartphone product, enabling business to provide employees and their families with advice on what to do and how to respond to a range of emergency situations.
DAS has broken ranks by upping the standard Limit of Indemnity available for their standalone commercial legal protection policies. The amount has risen from the previous two decade long standard of £100,000 to £250,000 and does not incur any additional increase in premium.
Marsh’s latest report, the slightly wordy 'Benchmarking trends: Environmental Liability Directive (ELD) drives shift in purchasing of Environmental Impairment Liability (EIL) Insurance' reveals steady growth in the uptake of operational EIL insurance policies across the EU.
A Cyber Governance Health Check has been launched by Digital Economy Minister Ed Vaizey to help the UK’s biggest companies defend themselves against cyber attack.
The UK’s 350 largest businesses – FTSE 350 firms – are being urged to take part in the free Cyber Health Check to help them understand and improve their level of cyber security.
Willis has announced the rollout of Willis Accounting, a new global electronic accounting platform designed to speed up cash flow and settle claims more quickly.
Willis Accounting replaces traditional paper and email delivery of statements with automatic electronic messaging through an online portal. The new platform will speed up premium transactions and claim settlements with carriers and clients.
The 2015 Insurance Act has been years in the making and the end product is a fantastic result for policyholders. But with fewer than 12 months until it comes into place, the whole market – policyholders, insurers and brokers – needs to be working together to ensure it is ready.
The deadline for entries for the Commercial Insurance Awards is tomorrow, midnight, Wednesday 18 November. It's FREE to enter and there are 20 categories to choose from, including the sought after 'Pioneer Award'. View the categories here
The winners will be awarded at a glittering ceremony in Mayfair, among last year’s victors were RSA, AXA, NIG and
For more info on the awards, visit http://www.commercialinsuranceawards.com/
A minute’s silence is to be held across Europe today, Monday 16 November at 11am GMT in remembrance of those who lost their lives in a series of terrorist attacks in Paris, France overnight on 13/14 November. The incidents claimed at least 129 lives and wounded a further 352. Prompting region-wide elevated security...
Insurers could be forgiven for missing the Chancellor’s announcement of an apprenticeship levy amongst changes to IPT rates and the review of claims management company regulation – yet firms do need to know what is coming in 2017. The levy proposal will see large firms having to make a mandatory contribution to a central apprenticeship fund – whether they employ apprentices or not. The size of the levy and what constitutes a large firm has not yet been announced, but it is to be a central part of the policy which aims to achieve three million starts by 2020. As they currently stand, the proposals could have profound consequences for the sector.
Former rogue trader Nick Leeson is teaming up with operational risk management professional Mike Finlay to launch a risk management consultancy. It was twenty years ago this year that Leeson’s actions at Barings Bank led to the collapse of the financial institution. Two decades on, and Leeson believes parallels can be drawn between the collapse of Barings and the ongoing scandal at Volkswagen. This, he says, is where his new Risk Team comes in...
The winners of the 2015 Risk Management Awards were announced last night at a Gala Dinner hosted by comedian Jo Caulfield at the Cumberland Hotel in London's Mayfair. Congratulations to everyone shortlisted, and particularly to... Risk Manager of the Year - Kathy Slowther; Newcomer of the Year - Alexander Deas, OneSubsea...
A new committee of chief risk officers has been set up by the Lloyd’s Market Association (LMA) to promote efficient operations and the technical standards in risk management for Lloyd’s managing agents. As part of its programme, the committee will examine the evolving regulatory requirements for CROs, consider emerging and long-terms risks and champion best practice. The committee will also determine and define the skills and knowledge required to fulfil the CRO role within a Lloyd’s insurance business.
With Storm Abigail set to hit the north-east of Scotland this evening and the Met Office predicting a string of similar storms over the coming weeks that are expected to cause vast disruption, rain and strong gusts of wind, FM Global has issued advice on property protection during extreme weather events.
Ineffective management of supply chains is leaving organisations open to severe disruptions and the high financial costs incurred as a result. Nearly one in ten organisations are not aware of who their key suppliers are, leaving them open to severe disruption as they are unable to manage their supply chain effectively. This is according to a report published this week by the Business Continuity Institute.
Business standards company, BSI has published a revised specification for mail screening and security, which was sponsored by the Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure (CPNI). PAS 97:2015 replaces PAS 97:2012. Mail streams that go into and around an organisation can provide a vehicle for malicious attacks and become a catalyst for other security incidents. This can adversely affect the day-to-day business of the organisation.
According to the inaugural RIMS Marsh Risk Management in Latin America report, Latin American companies have made significant progress in developing and implementing sustainable risk management capabilities, but more work still needs to be done.
GCHQ and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport have launched CyberInvest, a new £6.5m industry and government scheme to support cyber security research and protect the UK in cyber space. CyberInvest aims to build a community of industry, government and academia who are committed to sustained investment in cyber security research.
Several trade unions, including Trade Union Co-ordinating Group (TUCG) are set to hold a demonstration in London, UK today. The demonstration has been called in protest against the proposed trade union bill, which introduces a number of restrictions to workers' rights to protest.
Control Risks has published its annual survey of business attitudes to corruption, comprising interviews with 824 companies worldwide. The risk consultancy’s survey reveals companies are now more willing to challenge when faced with suspected corruption. 27% of companies said they would complain to a contract awarder if they felt they had lost out due to corruption, compared to just 8% of respondents in 2006.
Research conducted by data storage and information security company Imation has suggests that as much as 44% of organisations believe a member of their senior management has lost a phone, laptop or USB device in the last year. The research, conducted by Vanson Bourne, also reveals 39% of companies say senior management have had a device stolen.
Forty-two days – that is two Ebola virus incubation cycles – have now passed since the last person confirmed to have Ebola virus disease had a second negative blood test, and thus the World Health Organisation has declared that Ebola virus transmission has been stopped in Sierra Leone.
Aon Benfield’s latest catastrophe report places the economic cost of the South Carolina and eastern US floods as one of the top 10 costliest non-tropical cyclone flood events in the country since 1980. Public and private insurers have already reported more than US$400m in payouts. It says global catastrophe losses for October are expected to top US$10bn.
Three weeks ahead of the landmark UN climate change conference, COP21, 113 companies have been selected as leaders for their work against climate change and placed on the 2015 Climate “A” List. Produced by international non-profit organisation CDP, formerly Carbon Disclosure Project, the list was compiled in the annual Climate Change Report on behalf of 822 investors representing US$95 trillion. The report highlights the extent to which climate change has shifted in the last five years and how corporations have reshaped their strategies to become part of the climate challenge solution.
A rally in support of the right to collective protest action, organised by Anonymous is set to take place in London tomorrow, 5th November. Participants are expected to gather in Trafalgar Square from 18:00 local time. Precedent suggests that a number of participants will attempt to march towards the Houses of Parliament, in the Westminster area. The rally is expected to be well attended and to take place amid a significant police presence. This event has in the past been marked by significant levels of anti-social behaviour, criminal damage to monuments and buildings, attempts to take over buildings, harassment of motorists and attacks on police officers.
Chief executives, managing directors and other senior business leaders are failing to take crisis preparedness seriously and risk undermining their organisation’s ability to manage crises, according to crisis management experts. These are the findings of a survey carried out by Regester Larkin and Steelhenge, which also identified partners and suppliers as major potential vulnerabilities in a crisis.
Tradeshift, has launched Tradeshift Risk, a new product designed to minimise supply chain risks. As global supply chains become increasingly complex, such fresh and accurate supplier information is a key contributor for effectively mitigating risk.
The government has introduced landmark legislation to provide law enforcement and the security and intelligence agencies with new investigatory powers. The legislation responds to huge changes in the way we communicate. The draft Bill will now go through full pre-legislative scrutiny before a revised Investigatory Powers Bill is laid before Parliament in spring 2016.
Organisations are experiencing increased operating costs as a result of hybrid IT, adding an average £251,868 every year, and many are concerned that they lack the expertise required to manage these complex environments. These are the findings of research carried out by Sungard Availability Services which highlights the innovation risk of operating in this hindered environment.
UK companies are being warned to prepare for upcoming regulation that will introduce mandatory gender pay gap reporting by both private and voluntary sector employers. In an effort to accelerate the closing of the UK pay gap – which currently stands at 19.1% – the UK government intends to extend the UK Equality Act 2010, which will require companies with 250 or more employees to carry out an equal pay review and publish their gender pay gap information.
Business leaders must stop seeing insurance as a grudge purchase and start using it to enable them to take risks as they grow their business, the IoD and Airmic have said today. In conjunction with Airmic, the IoD has produced a new guide for company directors, urging boards to view insurance not just as a necessary precaution, but as a way to help them launch into new markets and expand their business.
ACE Group has launched an insurance product designed to help cover day to day living expenses of individuals that are diagnosed with cancer. ACE Cancer Care can give policyholders the certainty of having help towards being able to cover their financial commitments in case they are diagnosed with cancer.
Aon Benfield’s catastrophe model development team has developed catastrophe models for Malaysia and Jakarta flood to help insurers and reinsurers better underwrite and manage their exposures in Asia. The average frequency of a major flood in Malaysia is once every three years though major insurance losses have been less frequent. However, due to increased exposure concentrations and evolving urban environments, these historical events are poor indicators of future loss potential. Impact Forecasting conducted field studies that indicated large accumulations from high value commercial and industrial properties in the flood plains. This data was used as the basis for the new model.
Specialist trade credit insurer, Equinox Global has launched a new whole-turnover credit insurance policy which includes non-cancellable limits for up to 12 months. Equinox Complete is targeted at medium sized to large companies with a good loss history and who are looking for a credit limit service. It is simple to operate with no specific IT requirements and no need for special credit procedures documentation.
Overall premium total for the London company market in 2014 was £22.943bn, a new report by the International Underwriting Association has revealed. Gross premium written in London totalled £15.855bn while a further £7.079bn was identified as written in other locations but overseen by London operations.
The Chartered Insurance Institute (CII) has announced the newest members of its New Generation Group. The New Generation Programme, established in 2011, is designed to support and develop new insurance talent and provide members with learning opportunities.
The latest Insurance Price Index from the British Insurance Brokers’ Association (BIBA) and Acturis that tracks £5billion of actual premiums paid annually via insurance brokers showed a significant rise in the level of premiums charged for very small enterprise policies.
ACE Group has expanded its political risk and credit division to Japan. Japan was the world’s fourth largest exporting country in 2014; and with Japanese businesses relying heavily on overseas trade and growth, their needs for comprehensive political risk and credit insurance cover are increasing.
The Risk Advisory Group and Forensic Risk Alliance have joined forces to offer an international investigations and compliance due diligence service. The global risk consultancy and the forensic accounting e-discovery, data management and analytics firm have global experience in pre and post M&A reviews and through regulatory action and criminal investigations.
A new riverine flood model, created by Aon Benfield, is being launched to support catastrophe insurance underwriting. Flooding costs the US an average of US$6.9bn a year since 1976 – with a high of US$34bn in 1993. In 2015 alone, floods affecting just Texas, Oklahoma and South Carolina have amounted to over US$4bn in damages, and cost insurers an estimate of US$1bn, highlighting the necessity for an enhanced system.
Changes in the way that companies and authorities interact mean that traditional directors and officers (D&O) insurance products may not provide executives with the protection they now require. As regulators and prosecutors increasingly seek to hold individuals in senior management personally accountable for corporate wrongdoing, there is increased pressure for companies to investigate internal conduct and report any findings to authorities.
Global manufacturing hubs in South-East Asia are likely to experience significant falls in productivity over the next 30 years due to rising temperatures and extreme heat stress impacting labour forces, according to new data from global risk analytics company Verisk Maplecroft.
Over 300 people have been killed and hundreds more injured following a M7.5 earthquake in Afghanistan's north eastern Badakhshan province. The worst impacted major urban centre is Khyber Pakhtunkhwa's administrative capital of Peshawar, where several buildings collapsed. Risk specialists Red24 say communications across parts of the impacted area have been cut, making information difficult to verify.
Six hours before Hurricane Patricia made landfall in Mexico this weekend, it was the most intense tropical cyclone ever recorded by the National Hurricane Centre (NHC) in the Atlantic and East Pacific ocean basins. Fortunately for the state of Jalisco, hurricanes cannot sustain such extreme intensity for long and by the time it had reached the coast, Patricia's maximum sustained winds had fallen from 200 mph to 165 mph. AIR Worldwide estimates that insured losses to onshore properties in Mexico from Hurricane Patricia will not exceed US$200m.
Specialist insurer Markel has launched a new product designed to look after the business critical insurance needs of small and start-up research and development businesses and organisations in the medical devices industry. Policies offer a range of covers including public and products liability, EL and D&O, among others.
Police are investigating a significant and sustained cyber attack on the TalkTalk website. The phone and broadband provider, which has over 4 million customers in the UK, said credit card and bank details could have been accessed. The Metropolitan Police Cyber Crime Unit is investigating the attack, which happened on Wednesday. The site has been hacked twice already this year, and in this latest incident, the company had apparently left its customers’ data exposed by leaving it unencrypted.
CDP, the non-profit formerly known as the Carbon Disclosure Project, has released details of corporate water stewardship, with Asahi Group Holdings, Colgate Palmolive, Ford Motor Company and Toyota Motor Corporation included in the list of global corporations achieving an A rating for their efforts to improve water security.
Novae has announced the appointment of Jacqueline Spencer-Sim as class underwriter within Novae’s cyber unit. Spencer-Sim will report to Dan Trueman, unit head, and brings a combination of both cyber broking and underwriting experience to the role.
Swiss Re and IBM are developing a range of underwriting solutions using IBM Watson's cognitive computing technologies. One of the first applications will be in Swiss Re's Life & Health reinsurance business unit. Cognitive technologies, coupled with human experience and insights, can enhance and help inform timely decision making. By applying Watson’s capabilities, the new platform could allow are more accurate pricing of risk.
New research has found the UK's most costly weather events are very likely linked rather than independent as previously thought. Dr John Hillier, from Loughborough University’s Geography Department, analysed time-series of weather and insurance data, and identified intra-annual links between windstorms, shrink-swell damage (associated with drought), and flooding. Dr Neil Macdonald University of Liverpool) and Dr Gregor Leckebusch (University of Birmingham) also contributed to the study.
What causes some businesses to survive change where others do not? Why do some countries and cities thrive under change while others struggle? How do some engineered structures and systems withstand adverse conditions while others collapse catastrophically? In its review of resilience engineering, launched today, the Lloyd’s Register Foundation has explores how resilience engineering could enhance the safety of life and property through the improved resilience of engineered structures, systems, organisations and communities around the world.
Liberty Specialty Markets, part of Liberty Mutual Insurance Group, is to exit from its niche UK motor insurance business. LSM’s motor book will close to new business from 1 November 2015 and will close to renewals from 1 January 2016.
ACE Group has announced the launch of ACE Political Violence and Terrorism Plus, a multinational political violence and terrorism insurance solution available for businesses in Continental Europe, the Middle East and Africa and Asia-Pacific.
Argo has appointed David Lang as COO of ArgoGlobal. Lang brings nearly three decades of industry experience to his new role, joining from Lloyd’s where he served most recently as chief data officer.
Xchanging has announced that Write-Back, the message-based technology that allows the IT systems of London Market insurers to interact fully with the market’s central claims systems, ECF2, has gone live. Write-Back was the result of market collaboration over a period of eighteen months between Xchanging, four software providers and eight Lloyd’s and London market carriers.
Willis Re has unveiled an enhanced approach to catastrophe risk modelling that enables insurers to more accurately measure, mitigate and articulate their catastrophe risk exposure for all major perils and territories globally.
In just four weeks' time, the winners of the 2015 Risk Management Awards will be presented with their well-deserved trophies at a black tie dinner and ceremony hosted by comedian Jo Caulfield.
Accumulations of liability risk are one of the most complex exposure management challenges faced by insurers. A new report, commissioned by Lloyd’s, presents an innovative approach to managing this type of risk, and uses big data analytics to improve understanding and reduce the potential for unexpected market shocks.
Markel International has appointed Steve Loader to help launch its new marine trades product which will provide liability, property, equipment, business interruption, builders risk, vessel hull and employers liability cover on a worldwide package basis. It will be offered for marine trades operations including marinas, yacht clubs, boat dealers, vessel repairers/builders, fishing harbours and marine contractors.
As we have argued before in this column, the risks facing today’s businesses are more complex than ever, driven by the extraordinary pace of globalisation and technological change. As a result, and compounded by the speed of 24/7 news and social media, firms and their boards are exposed to intense scrutiny like never before. Despite this, survey data from McKinsey show that almost a third of UK companies say their boards have ‘limited or no understanding’ of the risks their companies face
Syria, Venezuela and Zimbabwe top a list of 40 politically risky territories and destinations for foreign investment, according to data released today by Willis. In recent months the beneficial conditions that have driven emerging market growth for the past decade are threatening to reverse, according to the Index. The number of countries with a rising risk temperature again exceeds those whose risk temperature is falling. Nineteen countries saw their overall risk score rise, ten countries saw their score fall, and eleven were unchanged.
Research released by the Met Office suggests that almost half of retailers and suppliers rank the weather among the top three risk factors driving consumer demand. Despite this, a third do not use any weather data within their supply chain and almost a fifth rely on free weather data services.
The government’s proposals to penalise insurers that do not pay claims promptly and have no good reason for delay could result in the transformation of the claims landscape, according to solicitors at Rosling King. If the Enterprise Bill becomes law and this provision remains in it, it is expected that the Insurance Act 2015 will have to be amended.
Internet users are being asked to protect themselves against a significant strain of malicious software (malware) which has enabled criminals to steal millions of pounds from UK bank accounts. Dridex malware, also known as Bugat and Cridex, was developed in Eastern Europe to harvest online banking details, which are then exploited to steal money from individuals and businesses around the world. Global financial institutions and a variety of different payment systems have been particularly targeted, with UK losses estimated at £20m.
Insurance systems specialist RDT has deployed NaviCloud Director to underpin its testing and development systems. The new platform allows RDT to provision on-demand and scalable infrastructure services.
Legal expenses insurer DAS has partnered with the Bluefin Network to provide their partner brokers with access to their motor breakdown service, DAS Motor Assistance Gold. The product is available via Acturis system and the Bluefin Network Hub and provides cover for private vehicles, fleets of cars or other commercial vehicles.
Thousands of people protested across Turkey on 10 and 11 October against the recent bombing at a rally in the capital, Ankara, on 10 October. Major demonstrations were reported in Ankara, Istanbul and various other cities including Izmir, Batman and Diyarbakir. The protests were held to denounce the 10 October bombing which targeted a rally organised by leftist groups, including the opposition Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) and left at least 95 people dead.
New research from small business insurer Direct Line for Business reveals that only a third of SMEs currently have professional indemnity insurance. Not all SMEs will require PII cover but those that do out of the remaining 3.3 million of the UK’s 5.2 million SMEs could find themselves uninsured should their clients suffer a financial loss as a result of negligent or poor advice.
Just four per cent of businesses are able to extract the full value from the information they hold, with over a third (36%) lacking the tools and skills they need to do so according to a PwC/Iron Mountain benchmarking report. The study also reveals that many UK organisations are failing to effectively manage their information as it travels through the business.
The gap between insured and total losses from nat cats is widening, while many disaster prone countries lack financial preparedness, as floods, earthquakes, hurricanes and droughts continue to ravage communities and economies worldwide. In a new report from Swiss Re, 'Disaster risk financing: Smart solutions for the public sector', Swiss Re shows that the economic cost of natural catastrophes has grown markedly in the last 40 years. The protection gap – the difference between economic and insured losses – remains large despite the availability of insurance solutions. Narrowing this gap helps strengthening a country's financial resilience.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has launched a public consultation on a proposed survey to explore the impact on UK businesses of extreme weather conditions. The survey covers the impacts from weather-related events; risks and opportunities relating to current and future changes in climate; and income from adaptation goods and services related to changes in climate.
Retail boards across the UK are not giving cyber security the attention it deserves, according to new analysis of annual reports by risk and insurance law firm BLM. BLM looked for mentions of a range of words associated with digital risk – such as ‘cyber’, ‘information security’ and ‘data breach’ – in the annual reports of the 32 FTSE-listed retailers. In 40% of reports there was no mention of any of the identified terms, suggesting that cyber security is not yet classed as a top risk by the industry as a whole.
NTT Communications has announced the launch of its disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS) solution across Europe, in partnership with DRaaS platform provider Geminare. Designed to help organisations adapt and evolve their disaster recovery programmes to a secure NTT Com Enterprise Cloud platform, NTT Com offers its DRaaS solution from four secure Enterprise Cloud locations in Europe and 14 worldwide. Clients can also choose from over 130 secure datacentres worldwide.
The Federation of European Risk Management Associations (FERMA) has today published a guide for risk managers across Europe on the implications of new legislation that will change the legal framework for commercial insurance in the UK. Produced jointly with Mactavish, Changes in UK Insurance Law - An Introduction for European Businesses warns that the UK's Insurance Act 2015 will affect buyers across Europe, because of the large amount of international insurance and reinsurance business placed in the London insurance market.
The FCA has published new rules in relation to whistleblowing. The changes follow recommendations made in 2013 by the Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards that banks put in place mechanisms to allow their employees to raise concerns internally and that they appoint a senior person to take responsibility for the effectiveness of these arrangements.
Managing health, safety and security risks to workers on international travel and assignment is the subject of a new paper from the Federation of European Risk Management Associations (FERMA) and International SOS.
A pan-European report has been launched today offering guidance and insight into the changing environment shaping European directors’ duties and liabilities. Regulatory and political scrutiny of boards has led to an increase in the risks and potential liabilities faced by individual directors. The impact of this new environment is also felt in the rising number of D&O insurance claims
Businesses are complacent about brand and reputation, according to a significant majority of executive directors, despite the risk being identified as significant. Some 70% of executive directors taking part in an Aon Risk Solutions study feel that brand and reputation are not given due consideration, with some believing it to be ‘out of sight and mind’ before a crisis occurs.
The risk of a serious cyber attack on civil nuclear infrastructure is growing, as facilities become ever more reliant on digital systems and make increasing use of commercial ‘off-the-shelf’ software, according to a major new report from Chatham House.
ACE Group has further enhanced its Travel Smart duty of care offering. Designed for European business travel insurance buyers, the first of the new services is an online dashboard for HR and risk managers, which enables them to locate and send messages to travelling employees anywhere in the world via 3G or a Wi-Fi connection.
Hurricane Joaquin is battering parts of the Caribbean with Cat 4 strength winds and is likely to drive coastal flooding and heavy rainfall along the eastern US coastline, before weakening to tropical storm strength.
Insurance company executives and ClimateWise members have welcomed the Prudential Regulation Authority’s initiative to be one of the first insurance regulators globally to examine the likely impact that climate change will have on the insurance industry and its customers.
Small and medium-sized enterprises are increasingly concerned about the impact of competition on margins and lack of consumer demand, according to Zurich Insurance Group’s third annual global SME survey.
More than seven out of ten (71%) of risk managers say their overall level of influence is greater now than it was three years ago according to a survey of 500 companies in Europe, the Middle East and Africa conducted for ACE European Group. The new report, The Changing Role of the Risk Manager, highlights that influence is increasing most significantly in the areas of strategic decision-making (78%), digital technology and social media (76%), and supplier and business partner selection (73%).
Gross written premiums in the cyber insurance market are estimated to have grown from US$850m in 2012 to around US$2.5bn this year. Interest in cyber insurance has grown in particular among businesses that hold sensitive consumer information including telecommunication companies, financial organisations and retailers.
IMIA, the international association for engineering insurance underwriters, has published a best practice protocol to enable claims to be paid promptly and efficiently. The document identifies the factors that can impede the claims process and draws up a set of guidelines to ensure that everything goes smoothly in the event of a loss.
The IUA-ABI Rehabilitation Working Party has published a new, updated version of the Rehabilitation Code. It has also published, for the first time, a guide for rehabilitation case managers and people who commission them, which is separate from the Code but intended to complement it. The decision to produce the guide followed concern expressed by insurers and claimant lawyers about the outcome of some rehabilitation cases.
City Lifeline has launched a new datacentre in London's Tech City. The new hall, named the Shoreditch Data Hall will see City Lifeline take a further step in its planned expansion throughout London. The current part of this multi-phase development includes a new 11,000 volt sub-station and a 2 megawatt increase in power to the datacentre. The Shoreditch Data Hall will have 88 new racks available immediately, with more planned to follow.
The number of riots globally since 2010 is already more than double the number that occurred between 2000 and 2010. Large engineering projects have a greater vulnerability to the risk given their potential to expose or become a focal point for contentious social, economic and environmental issues.
Life and general insurers, as well as insurance brokers, continue to be optimistic about their overall business situation, although this has dampened across the board compared to three months ago according to today’s CBI/PwC Financial Services survey. Life insurers see a significant increase in M&A as a driver of growth over the next 12 months. This contrasts starkly with the general insurers, and to a lesser extent brokers, which expect M&A to be at a significantly lower level than previously.
New research has revealed that human error is still the leading cause of data loss for organisations in the UK. The findings come as part of Databarracks’ Data Health Check report, a survey of over 400 IT decision makers. The report reveals that 24% of organisations admitted to a data loss caused by employee accidents in the last 12 months. Other high-scoring causes of data loss included hardware failure (21%) and data corruption (19%).
Today sees the launch of a new industry body created to vet smart devices for vulnerabilities and flaws. The Internet of Things Security Foundation (IoTSF) consists of more than 30 companies, including BT, Intel and Vodafone, and will look to encourage smart device manufacturers to think about security as hardware is being developed.
UK businesses were today warned about the growing risk of cyber attacks as minister for the digital economy, Ed Vaizey, urged businesses across the country to protect themselves by taking up the government’s Cyber Essentials scheme. The latest figures reveal that 74% of small businesses, and 90% of major businesses, has had a cyber breach of security in the last year.
AIG has announced the launch of its new Expatriate Care product. Aimed at organisations headquartered in the UK with expatriate employees across the globe, the new offering is designed to provide scalable, cost effective solutions for businesses of any size, from SMEs through to large corporates, Expatriate Care programmes can be set up with as few as five employees, and disregards previous medical history.
Following its earlier announcement in July that it was evaluating a potential offer for RSA Insurance Group, Zurich has stated that it does not intend to make an offer to acquire the entire issued and to be issued ordinary share capital of RSA.
Renewable energy underwriter, GCube has launched a new weather risk transfer mechanism for the wind and hydroelectric energy sectors. Designed to help offset the financial impact of resource volatility, which affects not only renewable energy producers, but also an increasing number of parties throughout the value chain – from developers, installers and independent power producers to utilities, pension funds and governments.
Volkswagen's CEO has personally apologised after US regulators found deliberate distortion of emission levels in its cars. In a clear link to the news, VW’s share price dropped by 19%, including the largest one day drop in six years.
Businesses can suffer serious losses in the event that insurance companies delay paying claims. But under new Law Commission reforms introduced into Parliament this week, insurers may be obliged to make prompt payment or face a claim themselves for damages.
Insurers may soon struggle to recruit non-executive directors as increasingly prescriptive regulation puts pressure on those performing such roles. The International Underwriting Association has warned that rising responsibilities may shrink the ‘talent pool’ of available candidates and drive up the cost of recruiting non-executive directors. The trend also presents challenges for improving the representative diversity of boards.
New research suggests highlights some worrying trends in business continuity among SMEs. The study shows that just 27% of small businesses have a business continuity plan in place, compared to 68% of medium organisations and 75% of large organisations. Worse still, 73% of SMEs questioned admitted they had not tested their plan in the last 12 months, with nearly half not planning to within the next year.
A large wildfire in Lake County and Napa County in the US state of California led the authorities to declare a state of emergency in the area on 13 September. Having started in the early morning hours on Saturday, 12th September on Cobb Mountain in California, a valley fire has consumed 61,000 acres, or 95 square miles, destroying 400 homes and hundreds of structures in Lake County. In addition, more than 5,000 people are without power. The National Guard has been mobilised, and the cause of the fire is still under investigation.
Torus has announced the details of its major rebranding to StarStone. The company’s holding company name has changed to StarStone Insurance Holdings Limited. Its six insurance platforms in the Lloyd’s and London markets, Continental Europe and the United States, as well as its other group companies, are in the process of being renamed to incorporate the StarStone brand. This process is expected to be completed in January 2016.
Headline-grabbing M&A in the reinsurance sector may do little in itself to help firms cope with the harsh reality of falling prices and low investment returns, according to Fitch Ratings. It says it expect market conditions to remain weak in 2016, while company valuations have remained "stubbornly high". This, it says, increases the risk that future acquisitions will not generate long-term value - a risk that will only grow as the pool of potential targets shrinks.
Torrential rainfall in Japan during the last three days – exacerbated by Typhoon Etau – has resulted in significant flooding in areas north and east of Tokyo, with tremendous levels of damage to property and infrastructure, and widespread evacuations.
Faced with significant over-capacity and widespread pricing pressure, the growth in global capital dedicated to reinsurance has stabilised during the first half of 2015, according to a report published by Willis Re. Based on the Willis Reinsurance Index, the report states that dedicated global reinsurance capital from both traditional and non-traditional sources remains at US$425bn, unchanged from the record level reached at year-end 2014.
Lloyd’s has announced a profit of £1.19bn for H1 2015. The combined ratio shows Lloyd’s outperforming its competitors for the fourth consecutive year and reflects the results of the market’s 96 syndicates. Lloyd’s profit and rating has been achieved within the context of difficult trading conditions, which have seen low interest rates reduce investment returns and increase competition on insurance premiums around the world.
Flash flooding and landslides have been reported as a result of Tropical Storm Etau after the storm made landfall on the Chita Peninsula, located in Japan's Aichi Prefecture, at 10:00 local time on 9th September. Inclement weather, including flash flooding and landslides, were reported in the capital, Tokyo, located in the eponymous prefecture, as well as the surrounding Kanagawa, Saitama and Tochigi prefectures.
Control Risks and Oxford Economics have announced a JV designed to provide customisable political and economic risk forecasting services. The political actions of countries clearly affect international trade and monetary flows, which in turn disrupt the global economy and business environment. The evolving situation in China, for example, demonstrates the inseparability of politics and economics as Beijing seeks to strike a delicate balance between market forces and political priorities. Aimed at bridging the worlds of geopolitics and macroeconomics, the collaboration addresses the increasingly interconnected risk landscape facing international organisations.
I write as Greece is yet again in the headlines as their debt crisis deepens. Closer to home, public sector organisations continue to work through the austerity measures to bring public spending down. Those working in the public sector may have viewed the Chancellor’s July budget a little more positively as public spending cuts were not the headline on this occasion. One thing mentioned was devolution; the regions of Sheffield, Liverpool and West Yorkshire will no doubt welcome this step towards decision making being placed at a local level, focusing on the priorities and local plans that are important to their regions. I am sure we will also be keeping a close eye on the developments in the Manchester region as their plans move forward.
Businesses must prepare for a new generation fast evolving cyber risks -- risks that go beyond the established threats of data breaches, privacy issues and reputational damage to operational damage, business interruption and even potentially catastrophic losses. The scope of cyber insurance is expected to evolve to provide broader and deeper coverage, addressing business interruption and closing gaps between traditional coverage and cyber policies. While cyber exclusions in property and casualty policies are likely to become commonplace, standalone cyber insurance will continue to evolve as the main source of comprehensive cover. There is growing interest among the telecommunications, retail, energy, utilities and transport sectors, as well as from financial institutions.
Aon Benfield’s latest catastrophe report reveals that in the United States, severe drought conditions persisted in western regions with total economic losses expected to reach at least US3bn – mostly attributable to agricultural damage in California. Several Caribbean and Central American nations issued alerts as droughts worsened.
Barnett Waddingham, the UK’s largest independent firm of actuaries and consultants has today announced the launch of a new business risk practice providing risk management services to corporate clients. The new practice is to be led by newly appointed associate, Danny Wong, who has joined Barnett Waddingham from InterContinental Hotels Group where he was director of corporate risk.
Now in their third year, the Commercial Insurance Awards, hosted by CIR Magazine, are the showcase for excellence within commercial insurance. The Commercial Insurance Awards are unique in rewarding the particular issues around the insurance of commercial enterprises , and were created to allow the commercial insurance sector to shine.
Cunningham Lindsey has announced the creation of a new hub, based in Miami, from which it plans to expand the support it can offer clients across Central and South America and the Caribbean. Led by Peter Ravey, a major and complex loss adjuster and Miami Hub director for Latin America and Caribbean at Cunningham Lindsey, the hub will offer loss adjusting, audit and review and training services to insurers and reinsurers across all classes of casualty, property and special risks business in the region.
ESI and Ambiental have incorporated the ESI National Groundwater Flood Risk Map into Ambiental’s UKFloodMap4. Covering the entire UK, with a full range of return periods, and integrating up to date river flow and rainfall data, UKFloodMap4 is designed to improve the way insurers assess flood risk at the individual address/building level.
A new study has found that there would be significant economy-wide business and consumer advantages with the advent of automated or driverless haulage and logistics vehicles, including delivering nearly £34bn in savings to the haulage industry. The report, The Future of Driverless Haulage, undertaken by AXA UK, found that when considering the anticipated cost savings across four cost categories (labour, fuel, insurance and vehicle utilisation), there would be an estimated £33.6bn of savings – and potentially as high as £47.5bn – after 10 years.
Fitch Ratings says in a new report that major tier 1 reinsurers stand to benefit most from a changing reinsurance market and mounting competitive pressures while small mono-line companies will be the hardest-hit. Fitch says recent reported financial results confirm that major Tier 1 reinsurers with their strong franchises and market positions are well placed to adapt to and profit from the changing reinsurance landscape. The current macro operating environment is likely to extend beyond a normal soft market cycle, with the continued growth of alternative capital, changes in the purchase and distribution of reinsurance and increased regulatory costs creating significant challenges.
Zurich is joining forces with the Global Resilience Partnership to launch the Global Resilience Challenge Water Window. The Water Window is a grant-based competition focused on building resilience to different water challenges, including floods. Zurich is the first private sector member of the Resilience Partnership and provides a US$10m investment to fund solutions to build flood resilience.
The UK’s economic recovery is being undermined by a lack of training and skills in supply chain management, according to the Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply (CIPS), which has revealed that almost half of UK supply chain managers lack the skills necessary to do their jobs.
Investors are being poorly served by a haphazard approach from fund managers to the growing threat of cyber crime damaging the companies in which they invest, with a lack of clarity from the businesses themselves compounding the problem.
The explosions that occurred at the Port of Tianjin, China are likely to become one of the largest insured man-made losses in Asia. A report carried out by Guy Carpenter. provides initial loss estimates and outlines the many variables involved in assessing the losses emanating from the two massive initial explosions that occurred in August of this year.
Businesses are putting themselves in danger by neglecting or avoiding formal risk management processes, according to a new study by the Enterprise Risk Management Initiative at North Carolina State University on behalf of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA).
New figures from the ABI show that trade credit insurers are providing more cover to UK businesses than ever before, insuring turnover worth £315 billion in 2014 – a 6.6% increase in turnover insured from the previous year.
ArgoGlobal has launched a new underwriting platform initially offering D&O products for the German SME market, with plans for later expansion across Europe. ArgoGlobal Business Connect (ABC) offers a platform from which brokers can rapidly provide D&O cover to companies with a turnover of up to €200m and allows brokers to quote, bind and issue policies in ten minutes.
Figures released by the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries’ UK Deafness Working Party have revealed that deafness notifications during 2015 have spiked after a short lived respite during 2014. On the basis of the latest data, the notifications over the first half of 2015 are three per cent higher than the peak levels of 50,000 claims in the first half of 2013.
The emerging trend of catastrophe bond issuance is expected to catch on in the Asia-Pacific region, particularly for the catastrophe prone markets such as Japan and China, as the region steps up efforts to strengthen resilience to disasters. Insurers are also continually looking for alternative sources of funding to reduce their heavy dependence on reinsurers.
The drones sector is a dynamic and important component of the global aviation industry, with global expenditure on acquisition expected to double to US$91bn in the 10 years to 2024. However, concerns around safety, security and surveillance need to be considered by manufacturers and users of this technology, says Lloyd’s.
A decade after Hurricane Katrina caused US$41bn in property and casualty insurance losses, the most expensive catastrophe ever experienced by the global insurance industry, rising sea levels are driving up expected economic and insurance losses from hurricane-driven storm surge in coastal cities across the United States, according to new analysis from risk management firm RMS.
The Alarm Insurance Special Interest Group has launched its Highways Claims Management Manual, the first and only document to feature all the relevant aspects on managing highways claims from the specific perspective of the risk / insurance manager.
The insured losses from a series of explosions at a chemical warehouse in Tianjin last week are likely to be material for Chinese insurance companies, potentially exceeding US$1bn-1.5bn, according to analysts at Fitch. The high insurance penetration rate in this area could make the blasts one of the most costly catastrophe claims for the Chinese insurance sector in the last few years. Meanwhile, restrictions have been placed on the handling of vessels carrying hazardous substances at Tianjin Port.
The professional indemnity and directors’ and officers’ insurance sector has grown consistently since 2012 and is expected to continue this upward trend while increasing consolidation is shifting market power to the larger players, according to a new Timetric report. It says the professional indemnity insurance category grew at a CAGR of 7.15% in the four years to 2014 and was worth £1.17bn in gross written premium at the end of 2014.
A bomb explosion in Thailand's capital of Bangkok yesterday left at least 21 people dead and over 120 wounded. The blast took place near Pathum Wan district's popular Erawan Shrine complex, located in close proximity to the Ratchaprasong intersection. PLUS TRAVEL ADVICE
A survey by the CII sees an unprecedented two-thirds of their members expecting the UK economy to improve in the next twelve months – a 15% increase on 2014's results.
60% of respondents anticipate an upswing in their own businesses’ financial performance over the coming year. This is the first time that members have felt more optimistic about the economy as a whole than for their own businesses – although there is a record upturn in both figures.
The Prudential Regulation Authority has written to insurance firms with details of a cyber security and resilience questionnaire, designed to assess the firm’s policies and capabilities in regards to cyber and resilience risks. Issued by the PRA's Andrew Bulley and Chris Moulder, the questionnaire seeks to understand the capabilities and extent to which firms are writing cyber insurance policies and help the watchdog understand the extent to which confidential customer information is received, processed and stored.
According to preliminary estimates from Swiss Re's sigma, total economic losses from natural catastrophes and man-made disasters reached US$37bn in the first half of 2015. The global insurance industry covered nearly 45% (US$16.5bn) of these losses, which is higher than the previous 10-year average cover of 27%. Disaster events claimed many lives in the first six months of 2015. In all, around 18 000 people lost their lives.
The Lloyd’s Market Association has completed an initial review of the Lloyd’s Wordings Repository (LWR) to flag up model wordings that may need amendment in light of the new Insurance Act. Of the 4,000 plus model wording recorded on the repository, several hundred have been flagged for review; 373 wordings are considered ‘high risk’, meaning they contain terms which will need to be reviewed, and many will require amendment. A number of the flagged wordings are older clauses, and any that have been superseded, or fallen out of use, can be withdrawn.
Poor professional advice from third parties or consultants has resulted in one in six small and micro businesses (the equivalent of around 320,000 enterprises in the UK) losing money, according to new research published by Direct Line for Business.
At least 44 people have been killed and as many as 400 injured in a series of explosions reported at a warehouse in Binhai New Area, in China's city of Tianjin. Rescue operations are underway in the affected area. The exact cause of the explosion remains unclear. Disruptions to travel are expected to persist during the ongoing rescue and clean-up operations.
Public sector organisations are struggling to balance demands for transparency with the need to protect data, according to a study from Iron Mountain. While an overwhelming 96% of public sector bodies claim to be prepared for all FOI requests, and 88% say their responses comply with data protection laws – a third (35%) admit that skills gaps are putting this at risk. The Information Commissioner’s Office has felt compelled to issue advice to organisations on how to reduce the number of FOI-related data leaks
The shortlist for the 2015 Risk Management Awards has been published. Winners will be announced at a black tie gala dinner and ceremony on 12 November 2015, at The Cumberland Hotel, London. Mark Evans, publishing director of CIR Magazine and chair of the judging panel said, “This annual celebration places the spotlight on the hard work and achievements of the sector. Universally recognised as the pinnacle of success, the Risk Management Awards really are the measure of professionalism combined with passion.”
ACE Group has announced the launch of ACE Commercial Partner, a comprehensive single property and liability package insurance policy for businesses operating in the UK and Ireland. Designed to meet the needs of domestic businesses with a turnover of between £2m-500m (€3-500m) – but with no overseas operations – ACE Commercial Partner includes cover across the six priority risk areas of property damage, business interruption, employers’ liability, public and products liability, terrorism including ACE’s ComputerGuard.
Typhoon Soudelor has weakened over eastern China after making landfalls in Saipan, Taiwan, and China. The storm made landfall in Taiwan on Saturday, August 8, approximately 32 km north-northeast of Hualien City, bringing strong winds and heavy rainfall to mainly the northern third of the island.
Many of the country’s 1.8 million small employers approaching their pensions auto-enrolment staging dates are in danger of missing deadlines by underestimating the amount of data needed to complete the process, according to financial advisors at Lighthouse Group. The Pensions Regulator recently stated that only 29% of those staging in 2016 were fully aware of their date and only 46% of those staging in 2017 were aware of their responsibilities.
Wildfires have resulted in mass evacuations and disruptions to road travel in Spain's western Extremadura region. The fires, which were first reported on 6 August, largely affected areas within Caceres province's Sierra de Gata municipality, including Acebo, Perales del Puerto and Hoyos towns.
Carphone Warehouse customers are being warned that their personal data may have been breached in an apparently sophisticated cyber attack. The high street and online communications giant discovered last Wednesday that the IT systems of one of its divisions were hacked into, yet only made the breach public three days later, on Saturday.
Arthur J. Gallagher has signed an agreement to acquire a controlling stake in Colombian retail insurance broker Guianza. Established in 1992 and based in Bogotá, Guianza is an independent, family-owned retail insurance broker offering both commercial and personal lines, specialising in property and vehicle insurance with significant personal accident and life and health accounts.
As the political and humanitarian situation in Calais continues to unfold, operators are being urged to consider the steps they can take to avoid heavy penalties from being caught carrying illegal immigrants. The problem of illegal immigrants entering Western European countries has been a geopolitical issue for several years, which – despite the recent rise in profile and the introduction of certain legislation – has never quite been overcome. Events in the last months have brought the issues very much to the fore.
As a follow up to its more detailed analysis of the Insurance Act 2015, the LMA and IUA have released a quick reference guide for underwriters and wording specialists in the London insurance market. It pulls together the headline provisions of the new Act and points for practitioners to consider in the underwriting process.
The results of a survey by the British Insurance Brokers’ Association (BIBA) reveal the buying habits of UK brokers when it comes to their own professional indemnity insurance. The PI market is hardening for brokers’ PI with underwriters having little appetite, and the association was keen to understand how this affected brokers when seeking their own cover.
Following weeks of failed talks over pay and conditions for London Underground’s night tube service, underground train drivers and staff walked out last night for a second time in a month. As a result, some four million Londoners will face major transport disruption from until Friday morning.
Regulatory action and reputational damage arising from third party actions could cost organisations’ shareholders an average of 10 times the size of the fine itself as the market value of the company is impacted, according to Deloitte, whose research, Third party governance and risk management: Turning risk into opportunity, highlights the average combined direct fine and remedial costs of failing to appropriately identify and manage third parties. This has ranged from £1.3m to £35m before the cost of indirect losses, such as reduced sales and reputational damage. Where legislation is applicable on a global cross-industry basis for internationally-operating businesses, the range is far higher reaching £650m. The negative impact on share price itself is an average of 2.55%
The Federation of Small Businesses is growing ever more concerned about the growing economic impact being caused by cross-channel transport disruption and Operation Stack. Recent FSB research shows the true extent of the impact, with increasing frustration and concern being felt among its membership, it says, showing it as a national issue with almost half of the federation’s membership claiming to suffer from delays to the import of goods or supplies.
Results from an interim analysis of the Guinea Phase III efficacy vaccine trial show that VSV-EBOV (Merck, Sharp & Dohme) is highly effective against Ebola, leading the independent review body, the Data and Safety Monitoring Board, to conclude that the trial should continue. While the vaccine up to now shows 100% efficacy in individuals, more conclusive evidence is needed on its capacity to protect populations through what is called 'herd immunity'.
Asta Capital has announced the launch of a new platform to support the MGA market, Asta Underwriting Management. Pelican is Asta’s first MGA, which launched on 27th July 2015, and is a joint venture between the two partners. Pelican has launched its first product, targeting the UK solicitor’s PI market, with backing from Great Lakes Reinsurance, a wholly owned subsidiary of Munich Re.
Research carried out by data security firm Bromium Labs reveals fresh insight into the ongoing security risk of popular websites and software. The report's authors reckon that some 58% of malvertisments (online advertisements with hidden malware) were delivered through news websites (32%) and entertainment websites (26%).
The number of risk jobs advertised in the second quarter increased by five per cent from 2014 to 2015, according to research from specialist recruiter Robert Walters, with the largest growth seen in London and the South East at seven per cent. Meanwhile, the number of insurance jobs advertised y-o-y in the London area has increased by 13%. Insurance vacancies grew 29% in the North West and 22% in the Midlands y-o-y.
Firms still have to do further work to identify the full range of their benchmark activities and improve their management of the associated risks according to the Financial Conduct Authority’s thematic review of oversight and controls of financial benchmarks, published today.
The risk of organisations breaching international human rights regulations has risen significantly over the last quarter as key Asian economies adapt to tougher economic conditions. Rising labour costs in China have led companies to diversify their supply chains into other high-risk countries such as Vietnam, especially for electronics, apparel and footwear.
Insurers should be working more closely with government and regulatory bodies to set standards in the emerging field of drones if they are to fully exploit this rapidly growing market, City law firm Elborne Mitchell warned today.
Insurance is essential to “safeguard economic success”, UK Prime Minister David Cameron said today, as a statement of intent between the British government, the Monetary Authority of Singapore and Lloyd’s was signed. The signatories have committed to a series of initiatives to aid the understanding of risk exposures in Asia and support and nurture insurance markets across the region.
Ascent Underwriting has added social engineering fraud coverage to the comprehensive crime module of its CyberPro insurance product. First launched in 2013 to offer financial protection against professional and ecommerce risks, the product will now include coverage for losses arising from phishing and other scams which result in an insured being misled into transferring monies or assets to criminals.
Cat risk modelling firm AIR Worldwide has updated its earthquake models for South America based on new data and research on seismic risk in the region. The models now enable the analysis of high-value industrial facilities, builders’ risk, and public infrastructure. Modelled perils have been expanded to include liquefaction and tsunami, in addition to the most current understanding of ground shaking in South America.
The Association of British Insurers (ABI) has welcomed a move by the Ministry of Justice to tackle the growing number and cost of claims for noise induced hearing loss (NIHL). The MoJ has asked the Civil Justice Council to consider the issue and make recommendations.
The US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has fined Fiat Chrysler a record US$105m over lapses in safety recalls involving millions of vehicles.
News of the fine breaks after the firm announced another recall over software faults in one particular model.
Leaders of some of Britain's biggest firms will sit on a new panel advising government, Downing Street has announced. John Nelson, chairman of Lloyd's of London, is among them. The Business Advisory Group will allow ministers to hear industry's concerns about economic policy and issues including David Cameron's renegotiation of the UK's links with Europe ahead of the in/out referendum.
Evidence presented in a London Assembly Economy Committee report suggests that London’s businesses are ill-prepared for climate change risks, with 54% of FTSE 100 firms having no business adaptation strategy in place for climate change; and 60% of SMEs having no plan to deal with extreme weather conditions.
The Generali Group has acquired full control of UK data analytics company, MyDrive Solutions. MyDrive uses data gathered from a series of technological instruments, such as blackboxes or smartphones, to formulate predictive algorithms and to define behavioural scores or assessments of user behaviours.
Sungard Availability Services has announced the expansion of its workplace recovery portfolio. These investments reflect an increasing demand from organisations for both physical recovery space and virtual and cloud-based solutions.
The rise of autonomous and semi-autonomous cars will change the nature of car ownership and challenge the motor insurance market to develop new business models, the Lloyd’s Market Association has warned. It says advances in vehicle technology will result in reduced private car ownership, major changes to the motor insurance market and a shift in the nature of vehicle accidents.
A coordinated international approach to the regulation of aviation drones is essential for the technology to thrive, the International Underwriting Association (IUA) has stated. The call comes as a near miss between a passenger jet and a drone was reported at Heathrow. The Civil Aviation Authority has said drone pilots would face prosecution if they ignore the safety of other aircraft.
In an episode of Star Trek, Captain Kirk once told the crew of the USS Enterprise: ‘risk is our business’, explaining that humankind would never have reached the stars without taking significant risks. Of course he and his crew were on a five year mission to ‘boldly go where no man has gone before’. So you might well expect Kirk to be something of a risk taker. However the writers of the show were making a serious point – we cannot progress without taking risk.
The UK Prime Minister warned last year that due to antibiotic resistance the world could be “cast back into the dark ages of medicine”. The broader risk of antimicrobial resistance (AMR), which also incorporates resistance to drugs combating viruses, fungi and parasites is a significant global threat.
Tokio Marine Kiln has launched a corporate aircraft consortium at Lloyd’s to write 100% lines on risks. The corporate aircraft consortium, which is led by Tokio Marine Kiln, comprises Allied World, Amlin, Antares, ANV, Apollo, Argo, Ark, Chaucer and Hiscox. It will target a range of corporate fixed-wing and rotor-wing aircraft.
Catastrophe bond issuance reached US$2.96bn in Q2, according to a report from Aon Securities, the investment banking division of global reinsurance intermediary and capital advisor Aon Benfield. When added to the record first quarter 2015 catastrophe bond issuance total of US$1.69bn, total catastrophe bond issuance for the first half of the year stood at US$4.66bn.
DWF has launched 15squared, a new venture focusing solely on developing technology-driven solutions aimed at driving efficiency and mitigating risk. The new venture has been developed from Claimbase, a company acquired through the firm’s merger with Fishburns and which was named after its sole product offering, a cloud-based software platform for large insurers with volume claims.
The government has today launched a consultation on plans to increase the maximum sentence for commercial-scale online copyright infringement from two to 10 years imprisonment. Proposals set out in the consultation will bring penalties for online offences into line with equivalent offences relating to the copyright infringement of physical goods.
The Financial Conduct Authority has announced that chief executive, Martin Wheatley, will step down this September. He will continue to act as an adviser to the FCA board until the end of January 2016, with a particular focus on the implementation of the Fair and Effective Markets Review, which he co-chaired.
Insured losses in China from Typhoon Chan-hom are unlikely to exceed CNY 2.2 billion. This is according to estimates from catastrophe modelling firm AIR Worldwide, figures that include insured physical damage to onshore property (residential, commercial, and CAR/EAR), for both structures and their contents due to wind and precipitation-induced flooding in China.
The European Commission’s Joint Research Centre has published the third and final report into the definition of the term “nanomaterial”. This report has been long awaited and the Commission response, which is expected form a final recommendation, is should happen before the end of 2015. The report discusses various options which could be taken into account in agreeing a final definition of a nanomaterial.
Asset managers and project owners must carefully consider contingency plans in order to mitigate the risk of transformer downtime, an infrequent yet severe incident that can lead to significant financial impairment of a renewable energy project.
As renewable energy developers look to reduce capital expenditure by designing larger projects with only one transformer in mind, it is not sufficient to simply offload the associated electrical infrastructure risk to a third party under contract.
The number of food recalls and their costs to business and society are rising, according to a new Swiss Re publication that suggests the number of recalls per year in the US may even have doubled since 2002. Food contamination costs US health authorities US$15bn per year; and nearly nine million Americans became sick from contaminated food in 2013 alone.
Half of all food recalls cost the affected companies more than US$10m, highlighting the value of risk transfer through insurance.
The growing use of 3D printing in the manufacture of aviation parts has the potential to create a new breed of liability risks for the industry insurers have been told.
Martin Cox, underwriting executive, global aerospace was speaking at the AGM of the International Union of Aerospace Insurers (IUAI) held in Bengaluru, India at a session on the potential impact of 3D printing in aerospace manufacturing in the future.
Willis Group has announced its agreement to acquire PMI Health Group, significantly raising its presence in the UK employee benefits and healthcare market. PMIHG was established in 1986 and is the UK’s largest independent provider of employee healthcare and risk management services. It offers a range of health and protection insurance, including services targeting absence management and occupational health. One in five of its 128 staff is medically trained.
An international group of experts today released a new, independent assessment of the risks of climate change, designed to support political leaders in their decisions on how much priority to give to the issue. The report, which was commissioned by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, applies the principles of risk assessment used in finance and national security to better understand and communicate the risks of climate change. It recommends that climate change risk assessments should be updated regularly and communicated to political leaders at the highest level.
Airmic has expressed its disappointment with the increase in Insurance Premium Tax (IPT) announced by the Chancellor in the 2015 Summer Budget. George Osborne announced a rise in IPT from 6% to 9.5%, effective from November this year.
The benefits to honest insurance customers and society from the insurance industry’s ongoing crackdown against insurance fraud are highlighted by ABI figures published today on insurance frauds uncovered in 2014. The £3.6 million a day saved by exposing insurance cheats is one of the factors helping to keep the cost of insurance down for honest customers, with the price paid for the average comprehensive motor premium down five per cent in 2014, and the average price paid for home contents down three per cent.
The demand for higher-level skills in British industry is set to grow in the years ahead, with sectors central to future growth, including manufacturing and construction, particularly hard-pressed. That’s according to this year’s CBI/Pearson Education and Skills survey published today, Monday.
ACE Group is to offer increased insurance capacity of up to US$100m for terrorism, political violence and war risks. The announcement follows new research by ACE which shows that 68% of risk managers across Europe, the Middle East and Africa believe that terrorism is a growing concern for business, and 75% agree that recent global events are causing them to review their security and travel policies.
World Bank Group member IFC has announced a programme designed to make Bangladesh’s garment industry safer for workers, providing US$50m to local banks and forming partnerships with leading international buyers. This is IFC’s first deployment of long term financing to Bangladeshi banks. Bangladesh’s ready-made garment industry employs more than four million people -- mostly women – in about 4,500 factories. The sector accounts for about 80% of the country’s exports.
Lloyd’s and the University of Cambridge’s Centre for Risk Studies are today launching a new report, Business Blackout - the first to examine the insurance implications of a major cyber attack, using the US power grid as an example. The report depicts a scenario where hackers shut down parts of the US power grid, plunging 15 US states and Washington DC into darkness and leaves 93 million people without power. Experts predict it would result in a rise in mortality rates as health and safety systems fail.
The heightened reputational and non-compliance risks associated with how companies manage their tax affairs means that boards are taking a much closer and more active interest in tax policies and how the tax landscape is set to evolve. Executives increasingly expect tax teams to keep them up-to-date with tax policy developments, strategic options and potential risks. These are the findings of a PwC report published this week focused on tax compliance management.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) have today published the final rules confirming the approach to improving individual accountability in the banking sector. The final rules cover the Senior Managers Regime; the Certification Regime; and new Conduct Rules. Martin Wheatley, Financial Conduct Authority chief executive, commented: “Today we have given clarity on rules that will embed personal accountability into the culture of the City. New conduct rules will add further momentum to improving standards across the industry.”
CBI director-general John Cridland has called on the chancellor to use his first budget of the new government to provide stability for companies of all sectors and sizes.
Cridland is urging the Treasury to lock in the gains made in the previous parliament by continuing to pursue policies promoting jobs and growth.
The energy sector can now access the world’s largest collection of global renewable energy standards and patents on a new online platform launched today by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). The International Standards and Patents in Renewable Energy platform, also known as INSPIRE helps users search through, locate and analyse 400 international standards and more than two million patents for renewable energy technology.
Protests in response to the results of the 5 July referendum are anticipated in Greece in the near-term. The referendum asked Greek nationals whether or not to accept proposals made by the country's creditors, including raising taxes and cutting welfare spending. Preliminary results suggest that a 'no' vote has been secured.
GreenRoad Technologies has introduced a new in-vehicle video system that records dangerous or noteworthy events, on the road and in the vehicle, as they happen.
The GreenRoad video solution captures footage with detailed driving behaviour data for individual GreenRoad safety events, providing objective information about how external and behavioural factors each contributed to the outcome
The Lloyd’s Market Association (LMA) has issued new guidance to Lloyd’s managing agents on the proposed Senior Insurance Managers Regime (SIMR) developed by the UK’s two financial services regulators. The LMA’s paper provides a summary of the new regulations and their implications for the Lloyd’s market.
After a relentless period of rate reductions, early signs of reinsurance price stabilisation are beginning to emerge in peak property catastrophe zones. But while property catastrophe pricing competition may be cooling, the reinsurer M&A frenzy continues. Despite the unappealing short-term outlook for nearly all companies across the sector, such activity is helping to maintain current high valuations, and despite diminishing underwriting and investment returns being delivered, investor capital continues to be attracted to the sector.
Phoenix has today launched its active Archive as a Service (AaaS) offering, the UK’s first interactive cloud-based archive service to also be fully integrated into Phoenix’s IT Disaster Recovery as a Service offering. The active Archive as a Service will provide organisations of all sizes, with a resilient and economic data storage solution that also remains fully accessible and available for users to search, access and retrieve their archived data.
The Bank of England has said in its latest twice-yearly financial stability report that the UK outlook has worsened in recent days as the crisis in Greece intensifies. As the political dialogue with Greece continues to be in a high state of flux, the impact of a potential Greek Exit from the Euro on (re)insurance companies and their policyholders has been largely overlooked, according to experts from law firm CMS.
Like any other large-scale threat to a company, cyber security must be dealt with at board level, the CBI said at its inaugural Cyber Security Conference in London this morning. Mitigating the sheer scale of the impact is vital as nearly all businesses suffer cyber attacks – 81% of large businesses suffered a security breach last year alone, with the figure for small businesses at 60%. The average cost for large businesses is between £600,000 and £1.15m and for small businesses between £65,000 and £115,000.
The Institute of Risk Management (IRM) has today launched its new certification for risk professionals, which it says will help bring the sector into line with such professions as accounting and law. Risk practitioners can now become a certified member and use the new professional designation CMIRM. This is achieved through a combination of qualifications, experience, ongoing professional development and commitment to IRM’s code of conduct.
Flood modelling specialist JBA Risk Management has been commissioned by Flood Re broker Guy Carpenter to develop a probabilistic loss model for flooding in the UK. The model, likely to be completed later this year, will be used to draw a more complete and sophisticated picture of the risk being underwritten by Flood Re, the flood reinsurance fund being created to provide affordable domestic flood cover in high-risk areas.
A lone gunman initiated an assault in the vicinity of the Hotel Riu Imperial Marhaba in Port El Kantaoui, northern Tunisia. The attack left 39 people dead, including British, German and French nationals, and 40 others wounded. The threat of terrorism is considered high in Tunisia and further low-level and mass-casualty attacks should be anticipated.
As uncertainty rises over the potential for Greece to exit from the euro currency, the Lloyd’s Market Association (LMA) has reissued its guidance and a model clause relating to the withdrawal of a country from the eurozone. The association’s aim is to minimise risks in the event of an exit by encouraging policyholders and carriers to include appropriate clauses in order to safeguard their intentions.
Organisations are drowning in data, unable to effectively mine their data archives for key insights that could ultimately improve business outcomes. These are the findings of a study carried out by IDC, which suggests that successful management of data archiving can garner as much as US$10m (£6.4m) in additional revenue. Mining for Insight: Rediscovering the Data Archive, the IDC white paper, produced in association with Iron Mountain, reveals that organisations with a well-defined data archive process stand to realise value from two potential avenues: cost savings and added revenue from monetising archives.
27 people have been killed in an attack on a hotel in Tunisia, according to reports from Reuters. The casualties were reported at a tourist hotel in the Tunisian resort of Sousse.
French President Francois Hollande said today that an attack this morning in southeast France was of "a terrorist nature" and that a suspect had been arrested after two assailants rammed a car into the premises of a US gas company in Saint-Quentin-Fallavier, in southeast France, according to reports from Reuters.
The Financial Conduct Authority is asking firms to put forward alternative options for increasing transparency and product quality in the general insurance market. The FCA is asking for feedback on the discussion paper by 24 September 2015.
CIR speaks to FM Global’s Simon Baker-Chambers about business resilience in the waste-to-energy sector
Deborah Ritchie provides a summary of some of the latest stories in business risk, insurance and resilience
Preparedness key to mitigating malaria risk + Zika update
Zika virus could be in Europe by summer
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HSB launches machinery and technology cover
Allianz launches new cover for marine cargo risks
Automotive recalls reach record high in Q1
Project launched to test lending portfolios for environmental risk