3 Things – Mid-Year Update : Strategic Moves, Homeowners Updates & Strategic Investments

Hi Friends! We have reached the midway point of 2024, customarily a time for our insurance industry to pause and reflect on how far we’ve come and where we will go as the year continues. This week, we are following strategic moves in the insurance industry that highlight acquisitions, expansions, and financial achievements, reflecting ongoing trends defining the first half 2024. We will take a break next week. We hope everyone enjoys the 4th of July week and celebrates the success of the first half. Let’s delve into the three things we learned this week.

Zurich Acquires AIG’s Travel Business, Dellwood Rating, Ambac Launch and Supercede Raise

This week’s group of strategic moves in the insurance industry highlights focus, expansions, and other achievements, reflecting the ongoing trends that have defined the first half of 2024. These stories underscore the insurance industry’s dynamic landscape, with companies making moves to strengthen their positions, enhance capabilities, and drive growth.

AIG continues its divestiture strategy as Zurich announced it will acquire AIG’s global personal travel insurance business. This acquisition will significantly expand Zurich’s U.S. footprint through its Cover-More Group, making it a leading travel insurance provider. Zurich’s CEO, Cara Morton, emphasized the strategic fit and enhanced capabilities this acquisition brings. At the same time, AIG’s CEO, Peter Zaffino, noted the sale as a crucial step in AIG’s future positioning and overall strategy.

Dellwood Specialty Insurance Company has received an A- (Excellent) financial strength rating from AM Best, reflecting its strong balance sheet, robust business plan, effective enterprise risk management, and solid operating performance. Launched in March and backed by several major insurers with over $250 million in capital, AM Best acknowledged Dellwood’s experienced leadership as a critical factor in its positive rating.

Ambac has launched Tara Hill Insurance Services, a new program administrator specializing in Management and Professional Liability. As part of Ambac’s Cirrata Group, Tara Hill will develop an E&S portfolio focused on private Management Liability and Miscellaneous Professional Liability coverages for small to medium-sized risks. Naveen Anand, president of Cirrata Group, expressed excitement about leveraging Cirrata’s infrastructure and expertise to build Tara Hill into a specialty program administrator.

Supercede, a reinsurance tech firm, has successfully raised $15 million in a Series A funding round. The funds will enhance Supercede’s platform and expand its team, driving its mission to transform the reinsurance industry with next-generation technology. CEO Jerad Leigh highlighted this investment as a testament to the transformative power of its platform and its goal of becoming the indispensable operating system for the global reinsurance market.

Homeowners and Property Insurance Updates

As we approach the midpoint of 2024, several trends are shaping the homeowners and property insurance landscape. These developments highlight the ongoing efforts within the sector to strengthen financial positions, expand coverage, and enhance preparedness for natural disasters through 2024.

Slide Insurance has secured a $175 million senior credit facility. This funding will refinance a previous credit facility and support Slide’s growth initiatives. CEO Bruce Lucas highlighted the loan’s significance in demonstrating the company’s financial strength and ability to offer affordable solutions to policyholders.

FloodFlash has expanded its nationwide flood coverage across the mainland United States, backed by substantial reinsurance support from Munich Re Specialty – Global Markets. This expansion addresses the anticipated active hurricane season, extending FloodFlash’s services beyond the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) to underserved industries like real estate, sports and entertainment, manufacturing, energy, and healthcare.

The S&P Global Market Intelligence analysis for Q1 2024 shows significant improvements in homeowners insurance loss ratios, particularly for Allstate and Nationwide. The industry’s overall loss ratio improved by 14.7 points to 56.5, with Allstate achieving the largest improvement at 37.2 points, resulting in a 50.2 loss ratio. Nationwide’s loss ratio dropped 30.7 points to 58.0 despite a 4.1% decline in direct written premiums.

Westfield Partnership and Markel’s Latest Investment

Traditional carriers continue to form strategic partnerships and invest in insurtech solutions, with the goal of enhancing service offerings and operational capabilities. Westfield Insurance and Markel Group Inc. exemplify this trend with their recent initiatives to improve customer safety and expand their investment portfolios.

Westfield Insurance has launched the Ting program to bolster fire safety for its customers. Collaborating with Whisker Labs, Westfield provides 10,000 home and condo customers with free Ting sensors and three years of fire prevention service. This initiative aligns with Westfield’s mission to provide peace of mind and protect communities, and over the next three years, the service will be extended to 20,000 homeowners.

Markel Group Inc. has acquired a majority interest in Valor Environmental, an erosion control and environmental services company. This transaction will see Valor join Markel Ventures, expanding Markel’s portfolio to twenty businesses. Valor’s President, Kirk Foster, expressed enthusiasm about the partnership, emphasizing long-term benefits for customers and employees. Markel CEO Tom Gayner highlighted Valor’s role in preventing environmental impacts and project delays, marking a significant milestone in Markel’s journey to go beyond core insurance to a global conglomerate renowned for its diverse portfolio and legendary investment strategies.

Join us as we continue to explore the headlines and news shaping the insurance sector, and stay tuned for more insights on the unfolding narrative of our industry!  Stay productive, stay safe and stay in touch!