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Zurich risks downgrade with RSA acquisition – Fitch

Zurich Group’s insurer financial strength (IFS) rating of AA-/Stable will be put under pressure if it issues debt to help buy RSA, according to Fitch Ratings. Zurich has said that it has about $3bn available for M&A, while RSA’s market capitalisation is valued at £5.1bn ($8bn), Fitch added. Zurich has also indicated that it has […]

No Kwik Fix from sales tactics that catch out a ‘retired demographic’

Last August my 90-year-old mother-in-law was cold-called by a company- called Kwik Fix and persuaded- to take out a £199 maintenance agreement for her boiler, although she already had one with British Gas. I contacted Kwik Fix in November to cancel and was promised a refund, but it never materialised. Instead, she received a threat […]

Zurich hires new broker market lead for Scotland

Zurich has promoted David Brown to head of broker market for Scotland. Brown joined Zurich from NFU Mutual in February 2014 as a trading manager in Glasgow. He replaces Chris Sime who has been promoted to head of sales. Zurich director of market management Roy Standish said: “David has made a great impact since joining […]

Direct Line beats 2013 COR target thanks to reserve releases

Direct Line Group has beaten its 2013 combined operating ratio (COR) target of 98%, reporting a 96.1% COR for the year. This was a 3.1 percentage point improvement over 2012’s COR of 99.2%. The COR improvement was driven by “higher than expected” reserve releases of £435.1m (2012: £322m), which shaved 12.4 percentage points from the […]

Digital transformation is key to profitability – report

Digital channels, especially mobile, are the greatest tools for insurers to increase profits and retain customers, according to The World Insurance Report 2014 released today. Firms that embrace a top-down digital transformation with a customer focus are 26% more profitable on average, it found. The report, by consultancy Capgemini and not-for-profit Efma, also predicts that […]

Swinton launches £7.5m television ad campaign

Decision marks return to TV after seven-year absence. Swinton Insurance has confirmed the launch of a new £7.5m television advertising campaign, starting with a slot during Coronation Street on 3 March. The total spend, £100,000 more than the £7.4m the high street broker was fined by the Financial Conduct Authority last year for mis-selling add-on […]

Direct Line enjoys 70% post-tax profit surge for 2013

Insurer sees 2013 profit jump to £312.8m from the £184.3m recorded for 2012. Direct Line Group (DLG) has reported a 14.2% rise in operating profit for 2013 to £562.5m (2012: £461.2m), with pre-tax profits up at £423.9m (2012: £249.1m). The insurer also revealed that post-tax profit surged by 70% to £312.8m for the year compared […]

AIG adds to private client group management

AIG’s UK operation aiming to add greater depth and breadth to HNW offering. AIG has appointed Patrick Cloughley as senior development manager in its UK private client group. Cloughley has been with AIG for ten years, most recently in the role of commercial lines sales development executive. John Sims, head of the private client group […]

Prettejohn leaves Brit following FCA appointment

Departure ends two-year stint on Brit’s board Nick Prettejohn is stepping down as a non-executive director of Lloyd’s insurer Brit following his appointment as a non-executive director of the Prudential Regualtion Authority (PRA). A successor will be announced “in due course”, Brit said. His departure ends a two-year stint on Brit’s board. Prettejohn is a […]

Direct Line Group to cut 2,000 more jobs

Insurer seeking to more than double its original £100m cost-saving target Direct Line Group plans to make another 2,000 jobs redundant as part of its cost-cutting drive. The resulting savings will allow Direct Line to more than double the £100m of annual costs savings it was targeting by 2014. The employees who could be affected […]