Of Special Interest


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13th July 2014

Newslink Opinion: Weekly Insurance Global Analysis

This week, regulatory issues took a front seat. Grant Thornton published an insurer survey of preparation for Solvency II which was far from complimentary, but, at least, there was a general consensus on its principles. Meanwhile, Zurich deployed a MicroStrategy Mobile app to enable Solvency II reporting and internal reports to be integrated. The Financial Conduct Authority(FCA) produced its annual report, and revealed its guidelines for simplified advice, whilst the ABI put forward proposals for more clarification by insurers for personal lines policyholders at renewal time. The IAIS issued the second public consultation of proposed Basic Capital Requirements for G-SIIs, and the new Indian government issued a long-awaited draft proposal to increase the foreign direct investment ceiling in insurers to 49%, albeit with caveats regarding voting rights and director/ceo positions. Interestingly, a China Think Tank was formed to assist the regulator, the CIRC, on the reform of the domestic insurance industry.
The IUA published a member survey on top issues, and SNL said that leading Lloyd's underwriters were doing well in the US and were there for the longer term. Munich Re reviewed reduced first half catastrophe losses, Willis reported on the continued growth of non-life cat bonds, and Swiss Re reviewed new emerging risks. UK motor premiums continued downwards, according to the regular Confused.com/Towers Watson Price Index review, and Admiral confirmed that second quarter premiums had dipped but policyholder numbers had increased.
Friends Life disposed of its entire shareholding in Lombard to funds managed by Blackstone, Helios Underwriting acquired in the London Market, and Ariel Re is to be acquired. Endurance entered the US commercial property sector, whilst Aspen brought forward its positive announcement of second quarter results as the takeover tussle continued.
Adactus reported that its Pulse claims management solution is to be used by an Australian disaster reconstruction specialist, and Xactware reported on the impact of 2013 UK storms on claims costs. Direct Line made an investment in telematics specialist The Floow. The London Market software scene continued in the headlines with the sale of Sequel with management still retaining a significant stake, and the publication of Xuber's second chapter from a roundtable headed "Business vs IT-Who's in the Driving Seat". Economical Insurance in Canada chose Guidewire's PolicyCenter offering and Accenture Duck Creek released a new version of its Policy solution.
NN Group, and CooperGay and NMB made senior appointments.
Articles on the above topics are included in those added to the Insurance Newslink and Financial Newslink global database service on Wednesday and today at www.onlystrategic.com