week commencing 12/04/20:

It was good to learn this week that social distancing is causing us all to want to chat more, not less – and that’s certainly true for the team at Luther Towers. Meanwhile the week’s main news was dominated by the ‘will they pay, won’t they pay?’ questions around insurers’ exposure to COVID-19 claims.

Hiscox shares fall on rumours that it must pay COVID-19 claims

Hiscox saw its share price plummet as numerous papers reported that its policy wordings made it liable to pay small business claims relating to COVID-19 closures. External-link. [Insurance Day]

FCA agrees insurers can refuse BI claims without pandemic cover

The FCA has written an open letter to insurance CEOs, confirming that they will not intervene in cases where business interruption wordings do not cover pandemics and there is “no obligation to pay out”. External-link. [Insurance Insider]

Neal classifies magnitude of COVID-19 losses

Lloyd’s Chief Executive John Neal has suggested that the COVID-19 losses at Lloyd’s are likely to equal the combined losses from Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Katrina – meaning a significant but not unmanageable hit for the market. External-link. [Insurance Insider]

QBE raises capital to cover COVID-19 claims

Australian insurer QBE has announced that it will look to raise around $825m through a sale of shares to institutional investors and a share purchase plan. The equity placement is to provide additional capital to cover COVID-19 claims. External-link. [Asia Insurance Review]

Travelers faces business interruption lawsuit in US

A group of five firms, led by a Los Angeles-based lawyer, who is himself a plaintiff, is suing Travelers for non-payment of business interruption insurance claims relating to COVID-19. External-link. [Business Insurance]

Fairfax reports $1.5bn investment losses for Q1

Fairfax Group announced that in Q1 its companies: Brit, Allied World and Odyssey Group, all maintained a COR below 100%, but were hit hard by investment losses.  The company expects to see the impact of claims from COVID-19 in Q2. External-link. [The Insurer]

Sompo announces Lloyd’s exit

Japanese firm Sompo International has announced that it will consolidate all its London operations into its non-Lloyd’s platform. This will mean that, from January 2021, it will no longer write business from Endurance at Lloyd’s (EAL) or Syndicate 5151. External-link. [Reactions]

Shanghai Free Trade Zone relaxes entry rules

China’s regulator has cut the red tape for insurers wishing to set up a branch in the zone, removing the requirement for pre-approval before paperwork is filed. External-link. [Asia Insurance Review]

Willis Re veteran departs for Guy Carpenter

Warren Neale, Managing Director for Reinsurance at Willis Re, is to leave the firm after thirty years to undertake a new, but broadly similar, role at Guy Carpenter. External-link. [Trading Risk]

Has Covid-19 ushered in the Age of the Chatbot?

Does the closure of call centres mean brands will have to get to grips with using chatbots and messaging apps more effectively when ‘talking’ to clients? External-link. [The Drum]

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