Westfield | September 09, 2022
Successfully executing on its Specialty Insurance expansion strategy, Westfield today announced its entrance into the international specialty market via the purchase of Lloyd’s of London Syndicate 1200 from Argo Group International Holdings, Ltd. As a leading property and casualty (P&C) insurance company in the United States, this acquisition accelerates Westfield Specialty’sSM rapid growth after a strong first year in the U.S. market.
Subject to regulatory approval, the acquisition is expected to close in the first half of 2023 for a purchase price of approximately $125 million.
“This acquisition is our first step in establishing a global franchise for Westfield, The international specialty market fits well with our growth ambitions and the opportunity with Lloyd’s Syndicate 1200 jump-starts our entry into this market.”
-Ed Largent, Westfield President, CEO and Board Chair
Syndicate 1200 has an estimated $650 million book of business, which is focused on various lines of specialty insurance. Lloyd’s holds licenses around the globe to underwrite property and casualty business with an “A+” S&P financial strength rating.
Westfield brings deep expertise and experience to the international specialty market. Westfield Specialty President and industry veteran Jack Kuhn has a proven track record of success leading global, multi-billion-dollar specialty businesses and emphasized Westfield’s commitment to international expansion.
We’ve had our sights set on the international specialty market since launching our specialty business a year ago, so this is Westfield executing on our original strategy, We considered multiple pathways but acquiring Syndicate 1200 emerged as a unique opportunity because it gets us into the international specialty market quickly with an established platform while capitalizing on current market dynamics,said Kuhn.
Kuhn recently announced Graham Evans to the Westfield Specialty executive management team as Executive Vice President, Head of International Insurance. Like Kuhn, Evans has deep international specialty expertise from leadership roles at Chubb, CNA, AXIS and his most recent role leading Endurance/Sompo’s European operations. Evans will develop Westfield Specialty’s international strategy and will lead the integration of Lloyd’s Syndicate 1200.
Jack and Graham have enjoyed a long professional relationship spanning more than 20 years in the international specialty market, Together, they will shape the business and build an even stronger portfolio of international business,continued Largent.
The international operation will reside within Westfield Specialty, which currently writes specialty business in the U.S. Under Kuhn’s leadership, the team is targeted to write $250 million of premium in 2022 during its first full year of operation.
Largent echoes the long-term international commitment adding, This is Westfield acting on a timely, strategic opportunity; investing in our business and deploying capital to create value for our customers. Like Lloyd’s, Westfield has a long history approaching 175 years in business and we couldn’t be more excited about this new chapter and working with the Syndicate 1200 team.
Sidley Austin LLP served as legal counsel and Keefe, Bruyette & Woods, A Stifel Company, served as financial advisor to Westfield on this transaction.
Westfield is an $8.8 billion (GAAP assets) property-casualty insurance company underwriting commercial, personal, surety and specialty lines of insurance in the U.S.
Westfield was founded in 1848 by a small group of hard-working farmers who believed in the promise of the future and the power of the individual. Today, as a leading property and casualty (P&C) insurance company in the United States, we remain true to their vision and are dedicated to making a positive difference in our customers’ lives.
Simply Business and biBERK | September 27, 2022
Simply Business, LLC., a Boston-based digital insurance agency focused on small businesses, today announced the launch of a partnership with biBERK Business Insurance, a Berkshire Hathaway company, to offer workers' compensation products online to small business owners in the United States.
Through this new partnership, small business owners can receive a biBERK workers' compensation quote through the Simply Business website. They also have the option to digitally bind policies and speak to a licensed insurance agent to ensure that the coverage they've selected best meets the needs of their business.
"We're committed to helping small businesses grow by providing specially tailored insurance solutions, and this new partnership makes it easier for our customers to get exactly what they need, With the help of biBERK, we're able to provide more comprehensive coverage to entrepreneurs across the country."
-David Summers, Group CEO of Simply Business
This offering is currently available to small business owners in Washington D.C. and all 46 states where private carriers are eligible to operate.
About Simply Business
Simply Business is changing the way small business owners find business insurance by offering customers tailored insurance coverage online. The company began in the United Kingdom and expanded to the United States in 2017, naming Boston home. With over 850,000 customers globally, Simply Business has become a leader in the space through its commitment to a customer-first model, focusing heavily on simplicity, choice and value.
biBERK is a small business insurance company that's part of the Berkshire Hathaway Insurance Group. All of Company's major insurance subsidiaries are rated A++ by A M Best Company with millions of customers and over 75 years of insurance experience.
Socotra | October 28, 2022
Socotra, the modern core platform provider for innovative insurers, today announced that KOBA Insurance, an insurtech MGA pioneering usage-based insurance products in Australia, is migrating its insurance program onto the Socotra policy core platform.
Currently, KOBA is one of the first insurers to offer pay-per-kilometer personal auto insurance in Australia. Since launching nationwide last November, KOBA is rapidly evolving the car insurance narrative; growing 50% month-on-month, helping Aussies pay-per-KM for over 1,000,000KM across Australia and more importantly, providing a connection between a driver and insurer like never before. Traditional insurance only covers expenses to get you back on the road. But that is not enough. KOBA believes that modern car companies and smart insurers of the future will be about making you safer, helping you avoid accidents, and focus on building a true car-care relationship.
With a data-driven focus, KOBA is nimble and is innovating distribution and product solutions for niche markets. In June 2022, KOBA also launched a car share product in partnership with Uber-owned Car Next Door. KOBA plans to expand its portfolio to include other usage-based insurance products for boats, fleets, rideshare vehicles and motorcycles.
Socotra gives KOBA a platform for international scalability and the ability to introduce new products and innovations quickly as KOBA evolves its distribution model. Socotra also provides cloud-native capabilities and the flexibility to plug in multiple raters, claims systems and a single platform to launch any insurance product for any geography or distribution channel.
“KOBA is empowering mid-sized carriers to activate and scale innovative insurance products—from day one, By partnering with Socotra, we are laying down a rock-solid technological foundation to rapidly launch multiple usage-based insurance products, flexibly white-label them for mid-sized carriers, and scale our insurance-as-a-service platform internationally.”
-Andrew Wong, founder and CEO of KOBA
Usage-based insurance (UBI) is auto coverage that uses data collected from the driver’s vehicle and analyzed by the insurer to determine policy cost. The better the driver, the better the discount.
KOBA’s Insurance as a Service Platform provides carriers access to their line of white-label products on a subscription basis.
Mid-sized insurance carriers have been reluctant to launch usage-based insurance products because such offerings require them to redesign not only their technology platforms, but also their processes and organization structures. But KOBA will enable mid-sized carriers around the world to sell white-labeled versions of its innovative and tech-driven products, without having to spend the time, money and effort to create these products themselves. KOBA will provide insurance-as-a-service with its out-of-the-box pricing models, raters and go-to-market strategies.
KOBA, which designs products for value-driven customers, was the winner of the Excellence in Insurtech award at the seventh annual FinTech Australia Finnie Awards in 2022. It won Mozo Expert Choice Awards’ “Car Insurance Best New Product 2022” and “Excellent Value Car Insurance 2022,” as well as “Best Insurtech Innovation 2022” by Australia’s Finder Awards. It was also recognized, alongside Socotra, as one of the 10 leading insurtech companies in Australia by Insurance Business Australia.
I applaud the team at KOBA for their vision of accelerating innovation for mid-sized carriers, KOBA understands that data is central to better assessing risk and giving customers the types of experiences they have with other technology services daily. With Socotra, they’re creating usage-based insurance products that deliver immense value and cost savings for their customers,said Dan Woods, founder and CEO, Socotra.
Socotra brings unparalleled speed and ease to insurance technology. With Socotra’s modern core platform, global insurers and insurtech MGAs can accelerate product development, reduce maintenance costs and improve customer experiences. Socotra provides open APIs, a product-agnostic data model and out-of-the-box capabilities to manage the entire policy lifecycle, making insurance innovation faster, easier and more affordable.