INSURANCE TECHNOLOGY

Segal Has Acquired Michigan Insurance Broker Union Services Agency

Segal | June 09, 2022

Segal_Has_Acquired
Segal, a leading benefits and HR consulting firm, has acquired Bayview Insurance Group d/b/a Union Services Agency (USA), a Michigan-based insurance brokerage firm. The brokerage has focused on serving the insurance needs of labor organizations, multiemployer funds and public sector entities for more than 25 years.

The acquisition of Union Services Agency better positions Segal to serve the insurance and risk needs of our current and future clients, This is an important addition to our company and the Union Services Agency team’s expertise helps further our mission of delivering trusted advice to clients.”

David Blumenstein, President and CEO of Segal.

The entire USA team has become part of Segal’s Insurance Brokerage Practice, under the leadership of Diane McNally, Senior Vice President, Segal’s National Insurance Brokerage Services Leader. Segal will now have additional resources to better support clients and expand client relationships in the Midwest.

We look forward to offering clients access to Segal’s extensive consulting offerings, Both firms are known for possessing a deep understanding of client needs and developing solutions to address those needs.”

Sally Corbin, former CEO of Union Services Agency, who has joined Segal as Senior Vice President and Director of Insurance Relations.

Corbin, reporting to McNally, is now responsible for providing brokerage placement consulting and administrative services for property and casualty programs in all markets. This includes the major financial lines of fiduciary liability, cyber liability, fidelity bonds, professional liability and union liability insurance.

Spotlight

A car accident, a burglary, a washing machine breaking down. No-one is immune from these sorts of incidents - and insurance provides us with a way to mitigate that risk. Low-income households can face these issues like anyone else. But they are significantly less likely to have insurance to cover them.


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INSURANCE TECHNOLOGY

Socotra Acquires Avolanta to Add Unified Agent and Customer Portal to Its Advanced Policy Core

Socotra | May 21, 2022

Socotra, the partner of choice for innovative insurers, today announced the acquisition of Avolanta, a software startup offering the only unified portal purpose-built for the insurance industry. As part of the acquisition, the Avolanta team will join Socotra and Avolanta’s technology will become Socotra Unified Portal. Insurance companies are struggling to deliver the types of digital user experiences that are now common in other industries. Many insurance customers are still forced to fill out paper applications with agents and brokers manually entering customer data into outdated web portals. Avolanta enables insurers to solve these issues by seamlessly connecting agents, brokers, and customers with its unified portal. Avolanta provides the only unified portal purpose-built for insurance Avolanta was founded in 2018 by insurtech entrepreneur, Chuck Wilson, and insurance veteran, Gavin Dean. With decades of experience in the industry, the founders created Avolanta to provide insurers a better way to streamline processes and create user experiences. The cloud-native platform allows insurers to rapidly innovate and deploy new products with a unified portal. Agents can collaborate with customers through secure, shared online applications to reduce manual entry. As a result, insurers can deliver customized experiences, automate data capture and analytics, and ultimately drive more conversions and revenue. Joining Socotra is an exciting next chapter for Avolanta, Avolanta’s frontend technology focused on the user experience is the perfect extension to Socotra’s backend policy core. The combined platform will help insurers quickly develop new insurance products with more convenient buying experiences for any distribution channel—whether it’s agent, embedded, or direct-to-consumer. We can’t wait to see how insurers will leverage Socotra to innovate.” Chuck Wilson, CEO and co-founder of Avolanta. The acquisition of Avolanta is a perfect complement to Socotra’s industry-leading policy core, Socotra and Avolanta share a mission to modernize the insurance industry with open APIs, true cloud, and off-the-shelf capabilities that accelerate innovation and speed-to-market. Together, we now offer the complete front-to-back platform that moves the insurance industry forward.” Dan Woods, founder and CEO of Socotra. About Socotra Socotra is bringing 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.

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INSURANCE TECHNOLOGY

Empathy and New York Life Group Benefit Solutions Partner to Provide Bereavement Care to More Employees

Empathy | June 15, 2022

Empathy, a platform helping families navigate the journey they face after losing a loved one, today announced a partnership with New York Life Group Benefit Solutions, a leader in the group insurance market. The partnership is an expansion of the partnership announced between Empathy and New York Life1 last year to provide beneficiaries with logistical and emotional support after the loss of their loved ones. Bereaved employees and their families are often left grieving and in distress, not just from the loss itself, but also from the logistical challenges that follow. According to Empathy's recently released Cost of Dying 2022 Report, families spend, on average, 420 hours tending to their loved one's affairs in the weeks and months following the loss. Moreover, the same report found that returning to work created additional stress, with 70% of younger respondents reporting either lowered performance, concern for their job, or both. New York Life Group Benefit Solutions offers compassion and caring guidance to help employees and their families navigate a loss. Through their partnership, Group Benefit Solutions will bring Empathy's award-winning platform to their employer clients and their employees in need of support. Empathy offers a holistic approach to bereavement care, helping simplify end-of-life bureaucracy, minimizing tedious tasks, and automating processes involved in the administration of an estate—while providing emotional support throughout. Dedicated care specialists are available to support families through every aspect of loss, both emotionally and logistically, 24/7. Going back to work after losing a loved one can be extremely challenging. There are so many logistical burdens that still need to be navigated that it often feels like you are working two jobs when you are grieving and at your most vulnerable. We have seen, unequivocally, the quantifiable impact technology can have in easing the burdens on bereaved employees, Employers who acknowledge and support their grieving team members are doing more than extending a kindness. They are also making a decision that is good for their organization. We are delighted to further our work with New York Life and proud of our shared dedication to supporting bereaved families across the U.S." Ron Gura, Co-Founder & CEO of Empathy. Empathy's partnership with Group Benefit Solutions follows its ongoing work with New York Life's Group Membership Association Division, an operation dedicated to delivering protection products to group and affinity organizations. The Group Membership business provides life insurance beneficiaries with loss support through access to the Empathy app. New York Life Group Benefit Solutions provides services and caring guidance through efforts and opportunities that align with the values of our company, Our partnership with Empathy, plus grief resources from the New York Life Foundation, highlight the breadth of bereavement programs and tools available to our clients and their employees." Meghan Shea, head of strategy, product, and marketing for Group Benefit Solutions. About Empathy Empathy's mission is to help families deal with loss, incorporating both emotional and logistical support for the families in their time of need. Powered by technology and driven by purpose, Empathy's application, awarded Google Play's 2021 "Best App for Good" and CB Insights' "Top Digital Health Companies Of 2021," simplifies and streamlines end-of-life bureaucracy with personalized plans and grief support. Launched in 2021 and headquartered in New York and Tel Aviv, Empathy is backed by top tier VC firms and serves Fortune 100 enterprise customers alongside its direct-to-consumer offering.

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CORE INSURANCE

AM Best Revises Outlooks to Stable for Hanwha General Insurance Company Limited

AM Best | July 06, 2022

AM Best has revised the outlooks to stable from negative and affirmed the Financial Strength Rating of A (Excellent) and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Rating of “a” (Excellent) of Hanwha General Insurance Company Limited (HGI) (South Korea). The Credit Ratings (ratings) reflect HGI’s balance sheet strength, which AM Best assesses as strong, as well as its adequate operating performance, neutral business profile and appropriate enterprise risk management. The ratings also reflect various forms of implicit and explicit support that the company receives from its parent, Hanwha Life Insurance Co., Ltd. (Hanwha Life). The revised outlooks to stable mainly reflect HGI’s improved operating performance as a result of the continued execution of various underwriting measures over the past two years, in addition to the positive impact of COVID-19 on claim losses especially in the auto insurance line. In the largest business line of long-term insurance, AM Best expects the loss ratio to improve gradually over the medium term, given that a large portion of its unprofitable legacy medical indemnity policy renewal cycles culminate between 2022 and 2024, reflecting the accumulated effect of rate hikes from recent years. AM Best also expects that the negative impact of its start-up subsidiary, Carrot General Insurance Company Limited (Carrot Insurance), on HGI’s consolidated results will decrease gradually over the coming years as Carrot Insurance continues to build economies of scale. Despite solid growth of retained earnings from improved operating performance, its capital base decreased in 2021, and more sharply in the first quarter of 2022, driven by unrealised losses from available-for-sale bonds due to the unprecedented fast pace of market interest rate rise in 2022. However, AM Best is of the view that the recent capital pressure derived from the interest rate hike does not necessarily indicate an immediate and material deterioration in HGI’s economic balance sheet fundamentals. Its increased focus on asset-liability management over the past two years has led to an expansion of long-term bond assets and a much narrowed asset-liability duration gap. This will help the company better manage capital volatility once IFRS 17 and K-ICS (a new and more stringent solvency regime) go live in 2023, under which assets and liabilities are viewed based on market value. Nonetheless, AM Best will continue to monitor HGI’s risk-adjusted capitalisation and the interest rate environment closely. HGI is the sixth-largest non-life insurance company in South Korea, with a market share of approximately 7% in terms of gross premiums written in 2021. The company receives various forms of implicit and explicit support from its parent company, Hanwha Life, the second-largest life insurer in the nation in terms of premium income, including co-branding to increase operational synergy, product distribution, and capital support. Negative rating actions could occur if the company’s risk-adjusted capitalisation declines to a level that no longer supports the current balance sheet strength assessment. Negative rating actions also could occur if there is a reduced level of support from Hanwha Life, or deterioration in its credit profile that no longer enables it to provide rating lift to HGI.

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INSURANCE TECHNOLOGY

Intact Insurance Group USA LLC to Acquire Specialty Managing General Agent Highland Insurance Solutions

Intact Insurance | June 18, 2022

Intact Insurance Group USA LLC (Intact), doing business under the brand name Intact Insurance Specialty Solutions, announced today that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Highland Insurance Solutions ("Highland"), the U.S. construction division of Tokio Marine Highland (TMH), from Tokio Marine Kiln (TMK). Highland is a managing general agent specializing in the builders risk segment of the construction market, and will expand Intact's portfolio of owned distribution assets. The transaction is expected to close in the second half of 2022, subject to regulatory approval and the satisfaction of other closing conditions. The acquisition of Highland is well aligned with our global specialty lines strategy and supports our growth, distribution and outperformance objectives, Highland has established itself in providing specialized insurance and adds a complementary offering to the more than 20 specialty lines available to our brokers and customers. We look forward to welcoming the exemplary Highland team, led by Rick Girden and Kaileigh Bowe, to Intact." T. Michael Miller, Chief Executive Officer, Global Specialty Lines, Intact. Highland will operate as a standalone managing general agent, available to serve the risk management needs of its clients and broker partners through its current select markets, and now additionally though Intact. About Intact Insurance Specialty Solutions: Throughout the United States, Intact Insurance Specialty Solutions' underwriting companies offer a broad range of specialty insurance products through independent agencies, regional and national brokers, wholesalers and managing general agencies. Each business is managed by an experienced team of specialty insurance professionals focused on a specific customer group or industry segment and providing distinct products and tailored coverages and services. Targeted solutions include group accident and health; commercial and contract surety; entertainment; environmental; excess property; financial institutions; financial services; inland marine; management liability; ocean marine; technology; and tuition refund. For further information about U.S. products and services visit: intactspecialty.com. Intact Insurance Specialty Solutions is the marketing brand for the insurance company subsidiaries of Intact Insurance Group USA LLC, a subsidiary of Intact Financial Corporation (TSX: IFC), the largest provider of property and casualty insurance in Canada, a leading provider of global specialty insurance, and, with RSA, a leader in the U.K. and Ireland. The insurance company subsidiaries of Intact Insurance Group USA LLC include Atlantic Specialty Insurance Company, a New York insurer, Homeland Insurance Company of New York, a New York insurer, Homeland Insurance Company of Delaware, a Delaware insurer, OBI America Insurance Company, a Pennsylvania insurer, OBI National Insurance Company, a Pennsylvania insurer, and The Guarantee Company of North America USA, a Michigan insurer. Each of these insurers maintains its principal place of business at 605 Highway 169 N, Plymouth, MN 55441, except The Guarantee Company of North America USA, which is located at One Towne Square, Southfield, MI 48076.

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Spotlight

A car accident, a burglary, a washing machine breaking down. No-one is immune from these sorts of incidents - and insurance provides us with a way to mitigate that risk. Low-income households can face these issues like anyone else. But they are significantly less likely to have insurance to cover them.

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