Insurance hiring booms despite talent shortage…Boost sets reinsurance panel to cover InsurTech partners…Beazley in new product launch for charities

Boost sets reinsurance panel to cover InsurTech partners

Compiled by Insurance24

HARARE,  Boost Insurance has set in place a reinsurance facility led by Nephila Capital and backed by Markel Digital and RenaissanceRe to support the InsurTech launch platform it has created, The Insurance Insider understands.

The arrangement secures a key element needed by New York-based Boost to begin helping InsurTech startups make an accelerated transition from lab bench to commercial markets.

Boost describes its platform as providing startup partners with “insurance as a service” through technology, risk capacity and regulatory certainty.

As a general agent of fronting specialist State National, Boost has the authority to appoint InsurTech firms as distribution partners drawing on licensed paper provided by A rated property and casualty (P&C) carriers, including State National subsidiaries.

The reinsurance facility will back multiple startups at once, under a program run by Boost.

Most InsurTech founders would not enter the market without access to reinsurance protection, which is now provided by the new panel. The reinsurance offers expanded risk capacity to Boost partners in the program it manages.

Boost founder and CEO, Alex Maffeo, said the firm has a quota share treaty with the reinsurers that covers any sort of P&C risk. He added that the commitments are enough to provide cover over at least three years.

Markel, the parent of Markel Digital, recently acquired Texas-based State National, which has worked for years with ILS manager Nephila.

Many of the reinsurers Maffeo contacted over the past year balked at his proposed structure, instead seeking to make individual arrangements with each startup using the platform – an approach the CEO described as a non-starter. He said these carriers were essentially looking for a right of first refusal on each InsurTech’s cover.

The platform is designed to handle multiple startups concurrently, and Maffeo is planning to reveal the first group in the next few weeks. He said the company has reviewed over 100 candidates and plans to work with three to five at a time.

Boost aims to reduce the average two years that it takes to bring an innovative insurance product or service to market by eliminating the need for a startup to secure risk capital, including admitted paper in target markets, and easing regulatory burdens.

Maffeo has positioned the platform as an alternative to partnering with a big incumbent (re)insurer, as many InsurTech startups have in recent years. Boost pitches its services as providing freedom for these young firms to chart their own course.

Boost has identified two key problems confronting InsurTechs when they get to the point of having a proven product or service to offer: The lengthy time it can take to secure risk capital and clear all the regulatory hurdles needed in order to open their doors and bring the product to market.

“All of that takes more time than it should,” Akin Gump partner Shawn Hanson in San Francisco told The Insurance Insider. Hanson specialises in insurance litigation and advises insurers on regulation.

Like most startups, InsurTechs have limited funds to carry them along as they navigate processes that are not designed for speed or dealing with innovation, Hanson said. Time can become an enemy when red tape slows progress to a crawl.

The lawyer described Boost as a startup “accelerator plus”.

Maffeo formed Boost while working as the lead on InsurTech investments at venture investor IA Capital Group in New York. In that role, he had learned that the go-to-market timeline was the most critical factor facing startups in the industry.

Boost has designed its platform to streamline that process. The company is a licenced standard P&C agency and excess and surplus (E&S) broker, lowering the regulatory hurdles for its distribution partners.

Obtaining the backing of reinsurers, Maffeo said, provides “a huge validation for us”.

InsuranceInsider 

Beazley in new product launch for charities

By Insurance24

HARARE, Specialist insurer Beazley will be arming registered charities with protection against losses through its new insurance product for fundraisers.

The event cancellation insurance includes cover for donation income that would have otherwise been derived had the event not been cancelled. Beazley said a similar event will need to have been held at least once to serve as a benchmark for quantifying the level of cover.

“Donations raised at events are such an important element of charity fundraising that we were determined to offer them some protection,” said Seren Eaglestone, contingency underwriter at Beazley. “We have defined a donation as broadly as possible to ensure that monetary gifts, bequests, contributions, or endowments, including monies raised from raffles and auctions, are all included.”

Charitable institutions can also add cover against risks such as public and employer’s liability, non-appearance, communicable disease, theft, and terrorism. Meanwhile a 10% discount on Beazley’s standard event cancellation premium rates is offered as well.

Via the insurer’s online trading platform MyBeazley, the worldwide cover is available to charities domiciled in the UK, Europe, the US, Canada, South Africa, New Zealand, Hong Kong, and Singapore.

Insurance hiring booms despite talent shortage

By Insurance24

HARARE, A new survey has revealed that while the insurance industry has posted record hiring numbers, insurers appear to have difficulty securing new talent.

GreatInsuranceJobs.com’s “2018 Insurance Industry Employment and Hiring Outlook Survey” noted that the issue is far more complicated than it seems.

“Insurance employers were very clear this year. They are having a difficult time finding experienced talent not only to keep up with new job requisitions but to replace retirees and short-term millennial workers who are only staying 12-18 months,” said GreatInsuranceJobs.com president and co-founder Scott Kotroba.

Kotroba added that with the record employment numbers and a huge focus on hiring young workers, talent acquisition in the insurance industry is “forced to change strategies” to better appeal to and connect with the age group.

Other key findings of the report include:

  • Combined, this survey found 8,454 jobs currently open in the 64 surveyed companies.
  • More than 13,300 more jobs will open in the last three quarters of this year.
  • 36% of surveyed companies are forecasting better hiring in 2018 than 2017.
  • The top five positions insurance companies are looking to fill are sales, underwriting, customer service/administration, technology and claims.
  • The top hiring challenges include lack of skilled talent, uncompetitive salaries and small recruiting budgets.

One factor that could be holding back insurers from maximizing talent acquisition is that they rely on recruiting strategies that have not changed since the recession, explained GreatInsuranceJobs.com co-founder Roger Lear.

“For most, this leaves them in the dust of companies who can get a targeted recruiting message delivered on multiple platforms. Most of our surveyed employers have not even considered new recruiting technology yet,” he added.

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