3 Things – Product Launches, Specialty Platforms & CEO Commentary

Hello Friends!  This week we are following several new product and partnership announcements, Argo and Topa specialty platforms with new owners and another week of earnings with CEO commentary.  Here are the three things we learned:


New Product / Partnership Launches

Embedded insurance products continue to be a trend worth watching and there were several notable product launch / partnership announcements to follow this week.  LegalZoom and Next Insurance are partnering to embed small commercial insurance into the online legal advice platform for small businesses.  This looks like a great idea, often times legal contracts for businesses require insurance and a timely offer for various coverages will likely have a high hit ratio.  Newly public Skyward Specialty announced the launch of an occupational accident product for emerging transportation segments including last-mile delivery drivers, rideshare and gig delivery.  Assurant, who released their earnings this week, also announced the launch of Assurant Vehicle Care, a digital product to allow customers to manage their various vehicle protections including including vehicle service contracts, guaranteed asset protection and prepaid vehicle maintenance.


Argo and Topa Specialty Platforms Acquired

The ‘strategic review’ of insurer Argo finally culminated in the announcement of sale to investment house Brookfield for a total of $1.1B in cash.  Brookfield had quietly been in the reinsurance business but this acquisition of a specialty insurance platform will allow them to put their capital to work in a large area of growth potential with the hardening market and rate adequacy opportunity.  Earlier in the week the Westfield purchase of Argo’s Lloyd’s syndicate was completed.  Granada Financial agrees to acquire a controlling interest in specialty insurer Topa Insurance Group.  This announcement is a little quieter but appears to be a similar strategy to position capacity with a specialty underwriting platform.


Earnings Roundup and CEO Commentary

More earnings to digest and executive commentary.  Allstate detailed plans to return to profitability, they have been busy since their difficult earnings announcement touting the ways they will turn things around.  CNA reports good Jan 1 renewal cycle and property rate increases.  Everest Re Group sees similar 1/1 strength and is growing their primary insurance platform.  Prudential records $1.43B loss for 2022, mostly due to investment losses and divested business expenses.   Kemper has narrowed their loss and highlighted expense reduction measures are working though challenges exist.   Cincinnati Financial had a drop in net income and their CEO explained opportunities in the hardened market, agent focus and market segmentation.  Selective is focusing on their affluent personal lines customers, bringing into focus another high net worth competitor.  WTW is ‘back in the marketplace’ after the abandoned Aon deal last year.

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