3 Things – Weather Events, Earnings Roundup & Strategy Headlines

Hello Friends!  Another week has come and gone as we reach mid-August.  Weather events continue to surprise and raise concern, earnings continue with most insurers having reported by now.  There were a variety of other headlines too that delve into strategy and help to tell the story of the industry.  So let’s delve into the three things we learned this week:


Weather Events Again in the Forefront

In some unwelcome news to the world and insurance industry, the Maui wildfires came on unexpectedly.  Of course our thoughts and concerns are with those affected and hope they experience comfort and speedy recovery.  These fires are the latest in what has been a spring / summer of unusual events that raise the concern about the continuation of these events which used to be considered secondary perils but are now looking more like primary.  Elsewhere, as we await the beginning of what is usually the peak of hurricane season, NOAA announced this week that they are revising their forecast upward based on the warmer than expected surface temperatures of the ocean.  El Nino is causing this and is expected to continue into the winter months.


Earnings Roundup of the Week

Berkshire and Liberty Mutual headlined another week of earnings.  Powered by insurance profits, their GEICO unit posted it’s second straight profitable quarter; Berkshire as a whole recorded it’s highest-ever operating profit.  In addition to improving conditions in insurance, investments gains are helping them to power forward.  Liberty Mutual also shows improving conditions and is looking to Asia to help power profitable growth, while focusing on their most mature market in the US.  Newly public entities Skyward Specialty and AIG-spinoff Corebridge Financial show investors strong quarters.  Argo assures that the Brookfield acquisition remains on track.  Kemper is looking to exit the preferred home and auto insurance market, the latest to be limiting this type of business.  Hippo is focusing on growing their services business, which looks to be a wise move.  International players ZurichAllianz and QBE are experiencing profits fueled by rate increases and investment growth.


Executive Moves, Investment, Launch and Vesttoo Latest

There were a variety of other headlines that capture strategic moves, funding events and other themes we continue to see evolve and take shape.  New executive announcements from United Educators and McGill coupled with strategic moves show how they are going to take steps toward the future.  There was a large and late funding round secured by cyber insurtech Resilience who closes a Series D round valued at $100m.  The launch of a digital TPA from Liberate and Vanguard Claims, an exciting opportunity to leverage AI and technology looking to disrupt the space, another example of the new age of insurance innovation where players are looking to add value and not just reinvent a process.  The latest in the Vesttoo scandal includes the results of their internal investigation into the fraud, scrambling to find alternative collateral and Aon being granted a restraining order to freeze assets.

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