5th April 2020

Insurance Newslink Global Trends-Editor's Weekly Overview
Trend

This week, the COVID-19 virus global impact continued as deaths mounted and people everywhere tried to adjust to distancing and shutdowns. Pressure increased, particularly in the US, for insurers to take a wider interpretation of Business Interruption insurance coverage. AIR Worldwide reviewed the COVID-19 outbreak and projected the possible situation by mid April, and DBRS Morningstar released commentary on assessing Financial Strength Ratings of P&C insurers. Munich Re reviewed the potential impact of the pandemic.
The Prudential Regulatory Authority(PRA)ceo wrote to UK insurer ceos advising financial prudence re distributions to shareholders, but EIOPA took a stronger line urging (re)insurers to temporarily suspend all discretionary dividend distributions and share buy backs-Legal & General confirmed its current intention to pay a final 2019 dividend. The International Trade Credit and Surety Association(ICISA) members called for a coordinated approach to COVID-19 support schemes across the European Union.
In the UK, a Consumer Intelligence report said that insurance providers were at the bottom of the list for contacting their customers about the pandemic. The Parliament Street think-tank published a report on working from home, and the Chartered Insurance Institute(CII) supported the Financial Conduct Authority(FCA) stating how managers should identify who is able to work from home.
Willis Re reported that reinsurers were taking a measured approach to April renewals. COVID-19 and low oil prices could weaken the credit quality of some insurers in the Gulf Cooperation Council(GCC) said S&P Global Ratings, whilst Global Data reported that the Chinese insurance industry was set for robust growth between 2019-23 despite COVID-19.
Duck Creek expanded its Partner Ecosystem program through a new relationship with Xceedance, and Guidewire was positive on the market handling increased cyber threats. Majesco finalised the acquisition of InsPro, and Sapiens is to partner with SPLICE. A Juniper Research study indicated that the number of IoT(Internet of Things) connections will reach 83 billion by 2024, rising from 35 billion connections in 2020, and Loadsure announced an investment of £1.1m led by Insurtech Gateway alongside other corporate and angel investors.
Catalina completed the acquisition of Singapore-based Asia Capital Reinsurance Group(ACR), and Greenlight Re Innovations announced an investment in Coterie Applications, a digital managing general underwriter focusing on the US SME commercial insurance market. BMS concluded a Preferred Partner agreement with the new wholesale and specialty broker Tagus Specialty in Portugal, and Xenia completed the acquisition of the trade credit business of Howden UK Group. esure founder Sir Peter Wood is to step down as chairman-to be succeeded by Andy Haste, and there were senior appointments at SCOR and Willis Re.

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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