week commencing 27/10/19:

It’s been a busy week for launches, acquisitions and appointments in the insurance market, while the SIRC and Baden-Baden shindigs have also kept insurers travelling the globe. Even astronauts have been taking part in the action, tweeting live pictures of the California wildfires from space. Here’s our summary of how the week has played out.

No smoke without fire

Wildfires are currently ripping through California and have caused the National Weather Service to issue a rare ‘extreme red flag’ warning.  The fires are so large that US astronauts have been tweeting pictures of smoke from space. External-link. [BBC]

Disruption looms as $2.2bn is invested in insurtech

Investment in insurtech continues to pick up pace, as a raft of changes drives insurers to move online and rethink everything from the IOT to intangibles. External-link. [Financial Times]

Opioid claims could match asbestos levels

Over 400,000 Americans have died over the last decade from opioid addictions, and the impact is now hitting insurers, with over $50bn of claims filed so far. This could, however, be just the tip of the iceberg. External-link. [The Daily Telegraph]

AEGIS launches dedicated digital team

AEGIS London has announced the launch of a team dedicated to building and distributing digital products under the leadership of Tom Squires. External-link. [Insurance Business]

Aston Lark buys Lloyd’s broker, Protean Risk

In its first deal since securing £320m investment from Goldman Sachs, Aston Lark has bought fintech and investment specialist Protean Risk for an undisclosed sum. External-link. [Insurance Age]

AON announces Brexit move to Ireland

AON has announced that it will relocate its European headquarters to Ireland in order to retain ‘capital flexibility’ after Brexit. External-link. [Irish Independent]

Belt and Road adds lines

The Singapore-based Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) Insurance Consortium has announced that it has added Political Violence and Political Risk to its portfolio. External-link. [Asia Insurance Review]

Ascot launches new division

Ascot Underwriting has announced the launch of a new arm focusing on US management liability and financial institution risks. External-link. [Insurance Insider]

Retro rates rise as reinsurers struggle

Reinsurers are likely to struggle at renewals this year as first tier excess of loss (XoL) rates on property have not moved as much as expected, while retro property rates have continued to rise. External-link. [Reactions]

Ogden to drive up rates

This year’s change to the Ogden discount rate, in combination with general claims inflation, could push UK motor reinsurance rates up between 10-15% says Stuart Dale of Ariel Re, speaking at Baden Baden. External-link. [Reactions]

Watch your mouth

The Financial Times reports on research from Yale University which shows that interviewers shape much of their view on competence for a role based on the candidate’s voice – after hearing a mere seven words. External-link. [Financial Times]

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