It’s been a busy week, with more sensible decision-making by the EU, consolidation in the broker sector and Hiscox reaching a settlement with the Action Group on BI claims. Positivity abounds, let’s get into it.
START: EU SCRAPS GREEN CARD REQUIREMENT
After last week’s decision on the Vnuk case, the EU continues taking the common-sense course by scrapping the requirement for UK drivers to carry a Green Card, like it’s still 1999. The ABI welcomed the move naturally, pointing out that would be very useful for drivers in Northern Ireland, who would have otherwise needed a Green Card simply to drive across the border.
RUN: HISCOX AGREES PEACE TERMS
It’s been a long road since March 2020 when the Hiscox Action Group began their fight for settlement of Business Interruption claims. This week, Hiscox announced an agreement, with the exact terms remaining a secret. But Hiscox has set aside some £341m for Covid related claims.
Looking ahead, it’s obvious that every developed economy must learn to live with Covid, and the potential threat of local lockdowns, depending on winter variants. Brokers, insurers, and MGAs have to figure out policy wordings that make sense to both sides, otherwise more FCA court actions could be on the horizon.
GROW: BROKER CONSOLIDATION
Ardonagh expanded its ROI operations this week by acquiring Hooper Dolan, while Jensten Group snapped up Tasker Insurance for an undisclosed amount. It’s gone quiet from GRP and Aston Lark just recently, but IE is expecting more announcements soon. The most recent buy for AL was Premier Group, which was deal number 15 in 2021, so if we work on that batting average July could see another 2 deals being announced. Stay tuned, as they say on Broker FM…hey, now there’s an idea!
AND GROW: OUR SURVEY SAID
We are always sceptical about surveys at IE mag, mainly because you can get the answers you want by framing the questions a particular way. But Purbeck’s survey of small businesses found that just 1 percent of owners were thinking of selling this year, compared to some 46 percent in 2020. Around 36 percent were planning to invest in growth too.
Brokers and MGAs looking for new opportunities may well find a more positive attitude is permeating this summer, as the Hancock fiasco, plus VIP travel without quarantine, has almost certainly finished off the notion that lockdowns can be indefinitely extended. That means the UK consumer will venture out again and start spending some of the estimated 20% of cash they have been setting aside each month (source: ONS figures).
Insuring ‘staycation’ holidays, caravans, home improvements, prestige watches, classic cars or offering private healthcare plans that circumvent NHS waiting lists. These are all areas of the insurance market to watch as confidence replaces fear.
AND GROW: CAR CLAIMS ARE GOING GREENER
One way to set your brand apart is to offer a more planet-friendly image, and the old oily-overalls world of accident repair and salvage is rapidly being replaced by a system that is data driven, with much of the triage decided via Artificial Intelligence. Not a bloke called Kevin with a clipboard.
What does all that jazz mean? It means companies like Copart, IAA and Synetiq are investing more in green car parts; fewer product miles, ESG compliance and lower costs on the actual rear light cluster. As a broker, you can market that feelgood factor on your website and in your app. In short, you are giving the customer more reasons to support your brand than just price.
Stubben Edge always puts value and service on a higher plane than price because that’s what customers remember.