week commencing 26/04/20:

This week the sound of alarums and excursions was heard from the ramparts of Luther Towers as the Q1 results for US insurers and brokers broke in the market. But living up to our promise of last week, we are leavening the bad news dough with some chocolate sprinkles of good.

Positive news for the week included…

London market could see 50% increase in submissions this year

John Neal and other sources have indicated that a variety of market forces are pushing more global business into London, hardening prices, and replacing business lost through Lloyd’s remediation actions. External-link. [Insurance Insider]

US health insurers given lifeline by Supreme Court

In the $12bn legal battle over the US Affordable Healthcare Act, the Supreme Court ruled that it had been illegal for Congress to renege on a promise to cover health insurers’ costs incurred as a result of the Act. External-link. [Law 360]

Strong Q1 results for US insurers and brokers

A batch of US results were reported this week, including Scor, which held its COR at a strong 94%, and The Hanover, which reported a 7.6% increase in operating income.  The Hartford results were ‘in-line’ with expectations, but eyebrows were raised at Markel’s announcement of a $350m set aside for COVID-19 claims, bringing its COR to an unlovely 118%. Meanwhile, on the broking side, MMC was delighted with first quarter results which showed organic growth for the first time in the year since its acquisition of JLT.  Brown & Brown also reported strong results for Q1, while raising concerns about what Q2 might hold; and Willis Towers Watson saw 4% organic growth and was able to withdraw its market guidance about possible COVID-19 impacts. External-link. [Inside P&C] External-link. [The Insurer]

Elon Musk turns insurer for Tesla

In a surprise move, Elon Musk has offered to act as the D&O insurer for the Tesla board after their premiums rose.  He will now be personally responsible for the costs of successful lawsuit against company officers. External-link. [Financial Times]

Meanwhile, on the darker side of life…

Aon cuts staff salaries by 20%

Aon has announced a global initiative to cut staff salaries by around 20%, although the lowest paid 30% of staff will not be asked to participate.  Meanwhile, Aon’s most senior executives will take a pay cut of 50%. External-link. [Insurance Day]

Monte Carlo Rendezvous cancelled

The 2020 Monte Carlo reinsurance conference has been cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic. External-link. [Reactions]

COVID-19 slows insurance M&A

Several significant M&A deals have been paused by the pandemic, including the Part VII transfer of Legal & General’s business to ReAssure, as lawyers and corporates struggle to process the likely impact of COVID-19 on sale prices and guarantees. External-link. [Insurance Day]

‘Never again’ BI bill proposed to US Congress

A bill known as the ‘Never Again Small Business Protection Act’ has been put forward by Congressman Fitzpatrick.  The bill proposes that insurers should be mandated to pay BI claims relating to future government shutdowns during a national emergency. External-link. [Insurance Insider]

And finally…


Best word of the week – and a special prize will be awarded for the best pronunciation, for the ongoing debate every household and country is having over when to end the lockdown. External-link. [The Times]

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