News round-up 28 – exclusively from Insurance Edge

NEWS ITEM ROUND-UP 19.11.21

More deals and expansion news this week, IE’s feature on innovation receives some useful tips, plus a rather clever idea emails its way in; integrate your flood mapping data into your ESG/Sustainability reporting.

Let’s get busy.

DEALS ETC.

OK, it wouldn’t be a week in insurance without another Aston Lark/Howden acquisition and this week it was Philip Williams and Co. Elsewhere, Ascend Broking bought SMP Healthcare, Legal & General continued its social housing investment with the green light given on a project in Kent, and fast-growing employee wellness brand YuLife signed up the UK Institute of Directors to its service.

Vehicle storage and parts specialist Copart announced a new site in Suffolk, as demand for green parts rises in the claims sector too. RSA also announced it was setting up a global Specialty unit and this is interesting because it’s very much broker-focused. Setting up bespoke cover on various assets and risks, especially in niche markets can be time-consuming, so any support from a big-name insurer has to be good news.

INNOVATION MAGIC

A special feature on Innovation brought forward some excellent tips and advice this week. When it comes to teamwork the challenge is to bring talented people together online and then, as Andre at Genasys noted, `the magic happens.’

Over at Wrapper Insure, CEO John Garrard noted how useful Live Chat has been to a start-up brand; `No call centre offices to rent, and you get a written record of every question and answer.’ He also noted how wide the age range was on motorhome chat queries, which demolishes the notion that the over 55s aren’t that great at using online services.

THE MORE DATA YOU AUTOMATE, THE BETTER

Sometimes ideas are really simple solutions, like the one we got from When Fresh, who are integrating Ambiental’s Climate target/emissions data into When Fresh flood mapping. So you have the flood risk, but you also have the ESG reporting stuff covered at the same time. Saving hours on admin is stuff we dream about here at IE mag when we’re not watching cat videos on YouTube…

CONFERENCES CAN WORK FOR YOU

As anyone knows who has visited BIBA or Broker Expo, conferences can really inspire you to think laterally, learn new stuff and forge crucial new partnerships. It’s all good, except for the machine-made coffee. One update from the HSE this week highlights this as the govt agency offered tips on fleet driver safety. It’s well worth reminding clients that the Directors of the company can be held liable if things go wrong on the road, which is why training and duty of care has to be an integral part of any policy wording.

Here’s a slightly scary factoid for you; The HSE noted that almost half of all vans failed their MoT on the first attempt. Vehicle history and driver history are both part of the risk of being insured.

PANDEMIC START-UP BOOM

There are lots of opportunities on the horizon for 2022 and small business/sole trader could be where many UK brokers find new clients. According to comparison site Quotezone, the latest ONS data shows a 24% rise in start-ups in the last quarter of 2020.

Yes, some may have been partly funded by furlough cash or bounceback loans, but there is a mood of optimism out there, for one simple reason; the old commute to the office Mon-Fri is over. Hybrid working offers entrepreneurs more time to get a new biz off the ground and if you have already set up a home office, delivery company or beauty treatment services etc. then you’ll need insurance.

The market for hybrid home contents/business cover has never looked so bright.

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