Experts suggest insurance demerger trend will continue in 2020

Insurance Business Magazine | January 02, 2020

Last year saw the UK’s biggest insurer, Prudential Plc, spin-off M&G, its UK and European savings and investments business – and experts are predicting that the demerger trend may continue this year. The last few years have seen significant instances of insurers offloading businesses to allow them to focus on core operations. Some of the more noteworthy examples include the UK’s Esure’s 2016 demerger from price comparison site GoCompare and Standard Life selling its insurance business to Phoenix Group in 2018. Now, analysts have told Financial Times that stiffer capital requirements may cause more demergers to happen in 2020 – with insurance giants Aviva, Saga, RSA, and Admiral likely to have plans to downsize this year.

Spotlight

Customers are now accustomed to digital-first interactions, with Gen-X in particular expecting a frictionless experience. As a result, brokers are having to rethink how they engage with customers in order to meet these expectations.

Increasing competition from a fast-changing industry – through consolidation and new independent digital-only providers – means they must improve customer satisfaction to stay in the game. Ultimately, broker business success relies on engendering long-term relationships with customers (and partners) based on trust.

Spotlight

Customers are now accustomed to digital-first interactions, with Gen-X in particular expecting a frictionless experience. As a result, brokers are having to rethink how they engage with customers in order to meet these expectations.

Increasing competition from a fast-changing industry – through consolidation and new independent digital-only providers – means they must improve customer satisfaction to stay in the game. Ultimately, broker business success relies on engendering long-term relationships with customers (and partners) based on trust.

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CORE INSURANCE

Hourly.io Announces MGA Collaboration with Great American Insurance Group

Hourly.io | November 14, 2022

Hourly.io, a fast-growing workers' comp and payroll startup, announced today that it is expanding its reach through its collaboration with Cincinnati-based Great American Insurance Group. In this expanded collaboration, Hourly will serve as a Managing General Agent (MGA), leveraging its underwriting expertise and unique workers' compensation and payroll technology with Great American's well-established reputation. Established in 2018, Hourly offers a full-service platform that connects workers' comp, time tracking, and payroll in real-time for small and medium-sized business owners with hourly workers, an innovation that ensures premiums are calculated accurately using real-time data analytics. Hourly is the only company in the industry to bridge the gap between workers' comp, payroll, and time and attendance. "Collaborating with Great American Insurance Group was the clear choice when deciding how we will expand and develop new business in our next phase of growth, Great American is the perfect match for Hourly's next stage of evolution. We're excited to align with them and help small businesses gain better insights into their exact labor costs and provide them with better tools to manage those costs, including workers' comp premiums." -Hourly Co-founder and CEO Tom Sagi As a longstanding player in the insurance industry, Great American Insurance Group's roots go back to 1872 with the founding of its flagship company, Great American Insurance Company. The company provides insurance products and services aimed primarily at the property and casualty insurance markets and focuses on specialty commercial products for businesses. The relationship will bring together Hourly's leading-edge technology and Great American's established credibility to better meet the needs of more clients. We're excited to build on our collaboration with Hourly, Both Hourly and Great American Insurance Group share the same commitment to helping these businesses protect their employees. We are impressed with the cutting-edge technology Hourly will bring to Great American and the team's first-rate underwriting abilities,said Richard Suter, Divisional President, Great American Alternative Markets. In October 2022, Hourly announced that it expanded its $27M Series A to $32M. The Series A was led by Glilot Capital Partners with participation from S Capital, Vintage Investment Partners, J-Ventures, Upshot Ventures, MS&AD, and Sienna VC. Teh Chen, Hourly's Chief Revenue Officer said, The workers' comp industry is ripe for innovation and disruption—and I'm excited to leverage technology to simplify workers' comp for employers, help prevent injuries for employees, and outperform the market. Our expanded collaboration with Great American are big steps in making insurance more accessible and affordable for businesses across the country. About Hourly.io Headquartered in Palo Alto, California, Hourly.io is an insurtech startup offering workers' comp insurance and full-service payroll for small and medium businesses with hourly workers. Powered by real-time data, Hourly's platform ensures running payroll is as quick as pressing a button and that you get accurate workers' comp premiums down to the penny. About Great American Insurance Group Great American Insurance Group's roots go back to 1872 with the founding of its flagship company, Great American Insurance Company. Based in Cincinnati, Ohio, the operations of Great American Insurance Group are engaged primarily in property and casualty insurance, focusing on specialized commercial products for businesses. Great American Insurance Company has received an "A" (Excellent) or higher rating from the A.M. Best Company for more than 110 years (most recent rating evaluation of "A+" (Superior) affirmed December 3, 2021). The members of Great American Insurance Group are subsidiaries of American Financial Group, Inc. (AFG), also based in Cincinnati, Ohio. AFG's common stock is listed and traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol AFG. Policies are underwritten by Great American Insurance Company, Great American Alliance Insurance Company, Great American Assurance Company and Great American Insurance Company of New York, authorized insurers in all 50 states and the DC., 301 E. Fourth St., Cincinnati, OH 45202.

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RISK MANAGEMENT,INSURANCE TECHNOLOGY

AF Group Successfully Acquires AmeriTrust Group

AF Group and AmeriTrust Group | January 10, 2023

AF Group, a widely-acclaimed holding company, recently acquired AmeriTrust Group. The acquisition, which was first announced in April 2022 and now received regulatory approval, brings together two world-class, Michigan-based insurance organizations operating in the property and casualty market. Daniel J. Loepp, President and CEO of AF Group's parent company, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, commented, "Adding a trusted and respected company like AmeriTrust to the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan enterprise is exceptional news for our organization." He further states, "We look forward to the expanded capabilities and talented team AmeriTrust will add to AF Group's industry-leading expertise in the property and casualty space, enabling greater service offerings to agents and customers." (Source: PR Newswire) The acquisition empowers AF Group to provide its customers with a broader range of products and services while solidifying its increasingly powerful position and standing in the market, which has grown tremendously over the last decade. Acknowledged for its financial strength as Ward's 50 company and A.M. Best's ‘A’ (excellent) rating, AF Group is also known for its award-winning people-first culture. "We could not be more pleased to welcome the AmeriTrust team to our organization," expressed Lisa Corless, President and CEO of AF Group. "The work and commitment of AmeriTrust associates has led to a very strong reputation in the industry, and we're excited to add their expertise and capabilities as we broaden our product offerings to the benefit of our partner agents and shared policyholders nationwide," she concluded. (Source: PR Newswire) About AF Group AF Group is a globally-known holding firm headquartered in Lansing (Michigan), whose affiliated insurance brands are premier suppliers of creative, specialist insurance solutions. Owing to the strength of AF Group and its brands, its customers have access to qualified insurance specialists as well as the support needed to keep prices low and workers safe. The dedicated and committed team at AF Group uses industry-leading best practices, analytics, and resources to manage risk and limit loss for its policyholders while growing relationships with its valued independent agent partners. About AmeriTrust Group, Inc. Based in Southfield (Michigan), the company is a highly acclaimed specialty, niche-focused commercial insurance underwriter and provider of insurance administration services in the commercial property and casualty insurance industry. AmeriTrust provides insurance solutions to a variety of trade, industry, professional associations, governmental entities, affinity groups, and independent agents. Carrier activities include six insurance firms that are licensed in all 50 states, both admitted and non-admitted.

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RISK MANAGEMENT,INSURANCE TECHNOLOGY

Oakbridge Insurance Expands Presence in Tennessee Through Partnership With NorthShore Insurance

Oakbridge Insurance Agency | December 20, 2022

Oakbridge Insurance Agency LLC (Oakbridge), one of the largest independent insurance and risk management agencies in the United States, today announced a new partnership with NorthShore Insurance LLC, an independent agency located in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The partnership supports Oakbridge's continued expansion throughout the southeast. NorthShore Insurance offers a broad range of personal insurance products and advice with expertise in addressing the unique and varied needs of the affluent and high net worth clients. For decades, NorthShore has helped individuals protect their personal assets and reduce risk. "We are excited to welcome NorthShore as our newest partner in Tennessee, Vickie and her team's expertise in personal insurance will serve as an asset for the management of Oakbridge's business in Tennessee and throughout the southeast." -Oakbridge CEO Robbie Smith The partnership provides both firms with access to a broader pool of resources, industry knowledge and niche expertise, and further expands its focus on specialization in personal lines. We look forward to joining the talented team at Oakbridge, We feel certain that the partnership with Oakbridge will further enhance our commitment to client service excellence and move NorthShore to the next level of capabilities for our clients,said Principal Vickie Champion. About Oakbridge Insurance Agency Founded in 2020, Oakbridge Insurance Agency LLC is a rapidly growing partnership model for firms seeking accelerated growth, access to capital, and an expanded suite of resources with which to serve clients. Ranked a "Top 100" insurance brokerage by Business Insurance and Insurance Journal magazines, Oakbridge is one of the largest privately owned insurance, risk management and employee benefits agencies in the nation. The agency has specific experience in the agriculture, bond/surety, construction, financial, health care, manufacturing, municipalities, non-profit, senior living, affluent personal and transportation industries. About NorthShore Insurance LLC Northshore Insurance serves the insurance needs of individuals, families and businesses. As an independent insurance agency, NorthShore represents many top-rated insurance companies. NorthShore is centrally located on the Northshore of Chattanooga, Tennessee.

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