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15th March 2020

Newslink Global Insurance Trends-Editor's Weekly Overview

The COVID-19 virus dominated the week and will continue to do so for a period of time which is too early to estimate. In the UK, the Bank of England reacted by cutting interest rates followed a few hours later by the Chancellor's Budget with a heavy emphasis on the virus.
Lloyd's closed its Underwriting Floor for deep cleaning on Friday and the Lloyd's Market Association(LMA) said its office would be closed from next Tuesday with staff working from home. DBRS Morningstar looked at likely increases in insurance claims due to COVID-19 in its latest commentary, and Global Data published two reports on travel insurance as some major insurers stopped taking new business or altered their cover.
As regards the rest of The Budget, BIBA and the Association of British Insurers(ABI) noted that Insurance Premium Tax was not increased but will continue to lobby for a reduction. The ABI also announced pre-Budget that insurance pay outs to help customers recover from Storms Ciara and Dennis were set to top £360m, and that the five-year Budget support was insufficient.
The week's other market news included the proposed merger between Aon and Willis Towers Watson which received a mixed reaction, and Swiss Re revealing a strategic alliance with Microsoft to create a Digital Market Center. The Lighthill research collaboration organisation launched two major new reports-"Developing Scenarios for the Insurance Industry" and "Developing Scenarios for Disaster Risk Reduction".
The Chartered Insurance Institute(CII) president called for those working in the insurance profession to commit to take action to increase public trust, and its Society of Insurance Broking's latest Good Practice Guide advises on arranging and dealing with extensions of appropriate terrorist cover. Insurance Europe responded to a European Commission consultation on Non-Financial Reporting such as environmental protection and social responsibility. GlobalData reported that only 22.4% of UK SMEs with cyber insurance are covered for human error, and separately that Indonesia’s life insurance business is seeking foreign investment to bridge capital requirements.
Admiral successfully deployed further Guidewire solutions. INSTANDA completed a $19.5m Series A fundraising round, and Verisk announced an expansion of its new InsurTech solution OneXperience video surveys to accelerate the commercial insurance underwriting process. FRISS is to partner with Terrine Labs who provide comprehensive risk exposure information on SMEs.
IGI were granted provisional approval by NAIC to begin writing excess and surplus lines business in the US. 2019 financials were reported by AIA, Prudential, and Hannover Re. Marsh announced that Brian Hanuschak had been appointed ceo of Victor Insurance Holdings, the world’s largest managing general underwriter(MGU).

Full articles on the above topics are included in those added this week to the Newslink Global Trends Database Research Matrix service at www.onlystrategic.com
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