Industry News Roundup: June 13th – June 24th

Industry News Roundup: June 13th – June 24th

Industry News Roundup: June 13th – June 24th


New .Insurance Domain Names Become Available

Source: Insurance Journal | June 14th, 2016

The internet domain extension reserved for the global insurance industry— .insurance — will become available starting today, June 14, at 8 p.m. ET.

The new extension means an independent agency at BagadonutsInsuranceAgency.com could potentially also be found at BagadonutsAgency.insurance, or HighFlyingInsurance.com could be located at HighFlying.insurance.

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UMass Amherst Gets $15M From MassMutual for Data Science, Cybersecurity

Source: Insurance Journal | June 14th, 2016

The University of Massachusetts Amherst is receiving a $15 million donation to strengthen its data science and cybersecurity programs.

The 10-year donation comes from the MassMutual Foundation, a charitable arm of the Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company. UMass announced the gift on June 10.

University officials say $12 million will be used to hire faculty and add courses at the school’s Center for Data Science, and $3 million will support research at its Cybersecurity Institute. It will also create a new cybersecurity certificate at the school’s satellite center in Springfield, Massachusetts, which officials say could draw professionals to the area.

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Insurers Protect German Banks Hoarding Billions in Cash

Source: Reuters | June 14th, 2016

Europe’s top insurers are selling protection to German banks that hoard billions of euros of cash in vaults to avoid paying a penalty by parking it at the European Central Bank, company executives told Reuters.

The sums are so big they are also setting up consortia to insure cash storage spaces, responding to banks’ growing desire to escape the negative deposit rate introduced by the ECB to encourage banks to lend money, executives said.

Allianz, the region’s largest insurer, and Ergo , Germany’s second biggest player, told Reuters they are seeing an upsurge in enquiries for cash insurance by German banks. Germany’s Talanx and France’s Axa said they offer similar policies.

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More Insurance Mergers and Casualties Coming

Source: The Royal Gazette | June 15th, 2016

The wave of mergers and acquisitions in the insurance and reinsurance sector will continue and there will be casualties.

That was a blunt assessment that emerged during an insurance and reinsurance review at the Bermuda Captive Conference.

One of last year’s big mergers was the $4.28 billion deal between XL with Catlin Group.

Patrick Tannock, head of XL Catlin’s Bermuda insurance operations, said the continuing M&A activity will broadly deliver three outcomes.

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Secrets of the Sharing Economy

Source: Bloomberg | June 15th, 2016

It goes by many names: the “sharing economy,” the “gig economy,” the “on-demand economy.” Arun Sundararajan, a professor at New York University’s Stern School of Business who has been studying the phenomenon for several years, favors “crowd-based capitalism.” But he compromised for the book he’s just written, titling it “The Sharing Economy: The End of Employment and the Rise of Crowd-Based Capitalism.”

In the book, Sundararajan argues that online platforms that make it easy for individuals to sell products and services to others are ushering in a new kind of capitalism. I interviewed him over lunch early this month. What follows is an edited and much-abridged account of our conversation.

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Insurers Ignore FinTech Revolution at Their Long-Term Peril: PwC

Source: Insurance Journal | June 17th, 2016

While 90 percent of insurers fear they will lose business to a FinTech start-up, only 43 percent say they have put FinTech at the heart of their corporate strategies, according to report published by PwC.

As customers demand personalized insurance products and companies increasingly look to cut costs, the rise of FinTech in the insurance industry (InsurTech) is a disruptive force that should not be ignored, indicated the PwC report, titled “Opportunities await: How InsurTech is reshaping insurance.”

Global insurance companies need to embrace “a creative culture” in order to reduce the threat of losing market share to InsurTech companies, said the report, based on the findings of the “2016 PwC Global FinTech Survey,” which surveyed management from 79 insurance and start-up companies across the globe.

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Antitrust Regulators Worry About Proposed Cigna-Anthem Merger: WSJ

Source: Reuters | June 19th, 2016

U.S. antitrust regulators are concerned about health insurer Anthem Inc’s proposed acquisition of Cigna Corp and not sure the companies can offer enough concessions to maintain competition in the industry, the Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday.

Both companies have scheduled meetings this week with top U.S. Department of Justice officials, the Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

Some of the sources said the DOJ had not yet made a decision on whether to sue to block the deal.

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AXA Plans $2.4B in Cost Cuts by 2020; Acquisitions Eyed for Growth

Source: Insurance Journal | June 21st, 2016

AXA SA, France’s largest insurer, plans to increase profitability through 2020 by seeking 2.1 billion euros ($2.4 billion) of cost cuts and growing digital investments to tap rising demand for policies protecting savings and health. The firm may also seek acquisitions to boost growth.

AXA is targeting an adjusted return on equity, a key measure of profitability, of 12 percent to 14 percent between this year and 2020, the Paris-based company said in a statement on Tuesday. Underlying earnings per share are expected to rise 3 percent to 7 percent annually over the period, the insurer said.

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Why Customer Satisfaction Is Falling for Large Auto Insurers, Rising for Small: J.D. Power

Source: Insurance Journal | June 21st, 2106

After climbing in each of the past two years, customer satisfaction is falling among the nation’s largest auto insurers, while satisfaction is actually up a tad for small insurers.

This rising dissatisfaction with large carriers is in turn driving overall industry satisfaction downward as customers react negatively to price increases, according to the J.D. Power 2016 U.S. Auto Insurance Study.

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‘Explosive Shock’ as Britain Votes to Leave EU, Cameron Quits

Source: Reuters | June 24th, 2016

Britain has voted to leave the European Union, forcing the resignation of Prime Minister David Cameron and dealing the biggest blow since World War Two to the European project of forging greater unity.

Global financial markets plunged on Friday as results from a referendum defied bookmakers’ odds to show a 52-48 percent victory for the campaign to leave a bloc Britain joined more than 40 years ago.

The pound fell as much as 10 percent against the dollar to touch levels last seen in 1985, on fears the decision could hit investment in the world’s fifth-largest economy, threaten London’s role as a global financial capital and usher in months of political uncertainty. The euro slid 3 percent.

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Re/Insurance Business Leaders Begin to Comment on Post-Brexit World

Source: Insurance Journal | June 24th, 2016

The UK joined the European Union in January 1973, and yesterday, the UK public voted to leave. After 43 years of marriage, the divorce proceedings will soon begin.

No one knows how long it will take for the UK to untangle itself from the EU and its laws, but many commentators think it will take many years – at least a decade. Crucially, no one yet knows how Brexit will affect the City of London – the UK’s financial center.

The EU’s single financial passport, or passporting, allows re/insurers and other financial services companies the ability to conduct business across EU member states, establishing branch offices through one regulator in the UK.

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