week commencing 15/09/19:

It was an energy-filled week but not in a good way.  Oil prices rocketed and it seems coal power generation might become uninsurable. Thank goodness Lloyd’s had some good news with improving profits.

Lloyd’s improves profits, though loss ratio declines

Lloyd’s announced a return to profitability with pre-tax profits of £2.3bn for the first half of 2019, a result largely driven by better returns on its investment portfolio. External-link. [Financial Times]

Hostile drone strike takes out half Saudi oil capacity

A co-ordinated series of drone strikes hit key Saudi oil processing plants this week, cutting off around 5% of global oil capacity, and setting off a furious war of words about who was responsible. External-link. [Middle East Insurance Review]

Storm losses could creep significantly

Losses from Faxai and Dorian could move well beyond their currently modelled $15bn upper estimate.  Crucially, only physical losses have yet been fully estimated, with business interruption costs as yet unclear. External-link. [Insurance Day]

IUMI President describes ‘world of chaos’ for marine insurers

Richard Turner opened the annual IUM conference by describing the current ‘very painful’ period being undergone by marine insurers, including several years of underwriting loss. External-link. [Insurance Insider]

Crisis what crisis?

Marsh and McLennan CEO Dan Glaser remained upbeat about the merger with JLT and made the case that the raft of subsequent staff departures was in line with expectations. External-link. [Financial Times]

TMK leadership team is refreshed

TMK insider Brad Irick is to become new Chief Executive and long-time CEO Charles Franks will step back, taking on a board-only role. Meanwhile Paul Culham will also step down after 32 years as CUO. External-link. [Insurance Times]

Vibe closes business units with immediate effect

Lloyd’s MGA Vibe announced that it will cease underwriting accident and health, property, direct and facultative, and that it will continue a strategic review, caused by ‘difficult market conditions’. External-link. [Business Insurance]

#MeToo brings rising cost of claims under both EL and D&O policies

The publicity from #MeToo and the 2017 UK ruling over tribunal costs have fundamentally changed the employment tribunal landscape, with insurers seeing significantly more claims. External-link. [Insurance Post]

Lloyd’s focuses on Latin America with Miami office

Lloyd’s has announced that it is opening a new office in Miami, as well as recruiting new country managers for Mexico and Colombia. External-link. [Reinsurance News]

Coal mining moves towards becoming an uninsurable risk

A number of insurers have announced they will no longer underwrite cover for coal mining operations or power generation, raising the fear that these industries may become uninsurable. External-link. [Commercial Risk]

A busted flush

Insurers didn’t know whether to laugh or cry this week at the news of the theft of a £4.8m solid gold toilet from Blenheim Palace, the removal of which caused significant flood damage to the building. Its creator’s subsequent assertion that ‘the thieves are the real artists’ seems unlikely to cheer up the underwriters in question. External-link. [Insurance Times]

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