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8th March 2015

Newslink Trends: Global Insurance Analysis

This week, Insurance Europe responded to the EIOPA consultation paper on technical standards by warning of the tight timescale for the implementation of Solvency II. meanwhile, EIOPA published the free interest rate term structures for January and February. The Financial Conduct Authority(FCA) released a consultation paper on pension transfer proposals, and PwC commented on the short timeframe for UK life insurers to prepare for Retirement Risk Warnings.
Aon Benfield released its global catastrophe Impact Forecasting report for February. SSP issued a white paper indicating that UK MGAs and specialist insurers were leading on innovative products, whilst the International Underwriting Association(IUA) and AIRMIC are to collaborate on new product development. Marsh and ACE agreed to improve policy terms and conditions for the majority of their UK and Irish domiciled clients-an encouraging move as the market gets to grips with the new UK Insurance Act.
A Willis expert speaking at an event in Hong Kong said that the aviation industry was behind the curve regarding cyber risk, and a cyber security provider teamed up with a London Market underwriter to offer new cyber risk products-a significant session was devoted to cyber risk at the Insurance 2015 Economist conference in London headed "Protecting Society in the Digital Age."
Pool Re purchased its first reinsurance in the commercial market, and Hyperion and RKH agreed merger terms. Quindell announced a non-core sale and its intention to settle US litigation without admission of liability.
Telematics specialist The Floow has predicted that turnover could reach £4m this year, and BOLT Solutions is partnering in the US launch of Google Compare Auto Insurance.
The International Insurance Society(IIS) is to rebrand its annual conference and launch a new website as a nucleus for a wider range of activities.
On the 2014 financials front, Aviva and Friends Life produced strong figures-ahead of final merger approval, as did Legal & General. The UK life market generally has reacted positively to the pensions changes due to be introduced next month and the associated drop in individual annuity business-Partnership reported increased DB bulk annuities and is to target the US care market. Admiral dipped a little in what ceo Henry Engelhardt described as a "Baked Alaska" year, and Direct Line continued to meet and exceed targets. Hiscox has cut back on reinsurance and built up its retail presence, Amlin produced a sound result, and Novae Group's chief executive was happy with the company's performance in a challenging marketplace. Enstar, FM Global, and Liberty Mutual were all positive. SCOR impressed with a big rise in net income, but Berkshire Hathaway's insurance underwriting profit and investment income were both lower. JLT reported good growth and re-branded in Bermuda.
There were senior appointments at Besso, and representatives of AIG and Zurich joined the MENA Insurance CEO Club(MICC). Gilles Bonvarlet was appointed a non-executive director of Xchanging Insure Services.
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