Chinese firms increasingly interested in western insurers
Western insurance firms are of growing interest to Chinese conglomerates according to the FT. Following recent acquisitions and announcements involving insurers in the US and Europe the report says that 2015 is set to be a record-breaker for M&A in the insurance sector with Dealogic figures showing $32.7 billion in deals already announced this year. However it’s not just the Chinese that are buying; an Italian firm owned by the family behind Fiat are also pushing into the market. The article points to the Warren Buffett business model of funding business growth with insurance premiums as being of interest to the companies. For investment going towards Asia, Japan is said to be a potential focus for western insurers looking to make acquisitions.
New flood risk model provides insight for Canadian insurers
Aon Benfield’s catastrophe model team Impact Forecasting has released a fully probabilistic flood model for Canada. The model offers a complete view of Canadian flood risk and covers 98 per cent of the population. David Sloan, President and CEO of Aon Benfield Canada, added: "While Southern Alberta and Toronto have diligently been rebuilding their communities following the staggering floods of 2013, our in-house catastrophe experts from across the globe have focused their efforts to develop a flood model for Canada from the ground up.” The model will be unveiled at a series of roadshows across Canada next month.
Choice can lead to confusion for health insurance consumers
Consumers can find the wide range of health insurance products available to be confusing according to a new Australian report. The study, by industry consultancy Energesse, found that those with health insurance policies are switching more than ever due to confusion about the coverage offered by the plans. The Sydney Morning Herald says that there has been an unprecedented rate of switching between providers with about 10 per cent doing so each year. Report author Avnesh Ratnanesan says that often consumers will just pick the cheapest policy or the one with the best marketing campaign. For that reason many policyholders lapse or switch during the first six months of taking out a plan.
Ohio college helps with insurance industry skills shortage
Clark State in Ohio is helping to address an impending skills shortage in the state’s insurance sector by becoming the first community college to offer an insurance module as part of its business course. Industry figures show that Ohio will need 26,000 workers in the sector by 2020 as the aging workforce retires and the college is also adding a certification program. The Dayton Daily News reports that local insurance industry professionals have helped set the curriculum.