Weekly Wrap: APIG to launch in new region

Weekly Wrap: APIG to launch in new region | Insurance Business

Weekly Wrap: APIG to launch in new region
State association to launch in new region
The New South Wales chapter of the Australian Professional Indemnity Group (APIG)  is set to formally launch in Western Sydney.

APIG, a national association that provides education and networking opportunities across the financial lines insurance industry, will officially launch with its inaugural Western Sydney seminar called Mind The Gap on March 10 2016.

President of APIG in New South Wales, Clive Davidson, said that the launch highlights the growth of the insurance industry in a key area of the state.
 
“There are a substantial number of insurance specialists spread over the broader Sydney area,” Davidson said.

“Recognising the need for continuing education in the industry, the NSW Committee decided to launch an educational and social event series based in Parramatta.”

The association will offer a complimentary panel discussion by industry experts on the challenges in the interface between professional indemnity and public liability policies which will be followed by a networking evening for those in attendance.

The New South Wales APIG committee also aims to bring more events to Western Sydney following the launch.

For more information on the event, visit the APIG website.

Global insurer to build, rent out houses in UK
British insurance giant Legal & General has launched a modular housing business L&G Homes which aims to modernise the home building industry and help solve the housing shortage in the UK.
 
The insurer said in a statement on 25 February that it has invested around $105 million into a new factory in Sherburn, which is expected to produce 3,000 prefabricated houses a year, theDaily Mail reported.
 
The report said the preassembled houses will cost in the “low hundreds of thousands of pounds” and will target buyers with low to medium incomes.

“Modern modular housing in the UK has so far been restricted to the top end of the market,” L&G Capital managing director Paul Stanworth said in a statement.
 
“The scale of our Sherburn facility will enable many more people to benefit from new, environmentally-friendly construction techniques which have already become mainstream in Europe,” he added.
 
L&G plans to build other factories across the UK if the project becomes a success, according to the Daily Mail report.
 
The company also announced last week that it will invest up to $2.1 billion in the UK private rental sector (PRS) market, seeing it as an “ideal new institutional asset class for long-term investors.”
 
L&G has acquired an initial $52.6-million regeneration site at Walthamstow in London to build and rent over 300 flats. On completion, the rent from the flats is seen to provide an “attractive long-term institutional investment return,” the company said.
 
The insurer said such projects will enable it to access a supply of PRS assets and achieve a better match to long-term annuity liabilities than existing fixed income assets and enhance returns across the group.
 
In January, L&G launched its build-to-rent partnership with Dutch pension fund manager PGGM. The partnership will initially invest $1.26 billion into building and renting out 3,000 flats across the UK starting in Bristol, Salford and Walthamstow.
 
The Guardian reported that L&G, acting as the landlord, will use rental income from the flats to pay pensions. The company is targeting yields of 3% to 5%.

Self-driving Google car could be at fault in crash
The insurance industry will be watching closely in the wake of the first auto accident in which a Google self-driving car could be to blame.
 
Google’s autonomous vehicles have been involved in several accidents in the past, but it has always been the case that the other party was to blame. This latest event however, which took place in California in mid-February, may be the first time the autonomous vehicle has been at fault.
 
The situation sounds complicated – the Google car was travelling at around 2mph as it navigated around some sandbags covering a storm drain that was blocking its path.

In order to make the manoeuvre, the car had to cross into a parallel lane and was sideswiped by a passing bus travelling at 15mph. The human sitting in the Google car saw the bus approaching but believed that it would stop or slow to allow the Google vehicle to complete its manoeuvre. As a result, the driver did not override the Google car and take control, resulting in the incident.
 
The damage was minimal and no one was injured in the crash.
 
Google is to meet with California's Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to discuss the incident this week and determine where the blame lies.
 
Google has already come out and said it bears some responsibility for the collision but added that it has already modified its autonomous software to take into account similar situations.
 
If Google is found to be at fault, it could be a setback for the company’s plans, just as things were looking up. There was a motion recently for self-driving cars to be given the same legal recognition as a human car driver, according to a letter sent last month by the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to Google.