3 Things – Cyber Matures, Q4 Earnings & Connected Auto

Hello Friends!  This week we are following cyber market news that indicates the market is maturing, many earnings reports and connected auto updates including Tesla insurance details.  Here are the three things we learned:


Cyber Market Matures

Two big announcements from major players in the emerging cyber risk space.  At-Bay has acquired a carrier enabling them to transform from an MGA to ‘full stack’ insurer.   They acquired the carrier from XL America, an entity that was likely abandoned during the various mergers in recent years.  It gives them licenses in 44 states and the ability to control their product expansion with a specialty underwriting platform.  Cowbell Cyber announced the launch of Cowbell Academy, a resource to train agents and brokers on the benefits of cyber liability protection.  They mention that 48% of brokers felt uncomfortable selling cyber because of their lack of understanding to explain the benefits to clients, so this may help.   These are signs that the cyber market is maturing and tech-focused players are making moves to take advantage.


Big Earnings Week

Many insurers released earnings this week and common themes prevail.  In comments made after last week’s release, Traveler’s CEO states that pricing adequacy is helping keep insurer results positive and will continue into this year.  Brown & Brown and Gallagher felt the difficulty of the renewal process with price increases but both post rising profits.  They remain interested in M&A but made comments recognizing that the high interest rate market may slow that path for growth.  Fellow broker Marsh reported their profit declined mostly due to restructuring costs but they believe it will save them in the long run.  WR Berkley increased rates 34% and RLI and absorbed a 45% increase for cat reinsurance but both appear to have weathered property losses, keeping their combined ratios low.  Axis Capital ‘took critical steps forward to focus AXIS Re as a specialist reinsurance’ while the exiting property and catastrophe market.  The 1/1 renewal period was strong for them and is proving their relationships and decision to focus may have been the right move.


Connected Auto News

Tesla had a strong quarter, surprising most investors, and Elon himself provided insurance details in their call with investors.  The most interesting fact is that they have $300M in premium and are growing insurance at a faster rate than vehicle sales.  They state the main goal of offering insurance is ‘to improve the total cost of ownership’ and they have adjusted design elements of their vehicles and made software changes to minimize the cost of repair.  Elsewhere in the connected auto world, Zendrive announced a partnership with Progressive around their Insurance Qualification Lens (IQL) product.  Could this be a step towards a deeper relationship?  Progressive normally builds their own data and technology so they must have seen something in Zendrive that was valuable.

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