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Lloyd’s Faces COVID-19 Claims From Multiple Insurance Lines, Says CEO

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Lloyd’s insurers face COVID-19 related claims from approximately 14 categories of insurance, said Chief Executive Officer John Neal during a media call to discuss the market’s 2019 results.

Neal said it is too early for the market to assess the likely quantum of insurance losses from COVID-19, but a whole range of classes of business would be affected. He emphasized that Lloyd’s is treating the COVID-19 crisis as it would any other form of catastrophic loss.

In the main, Lloyd’s expected losses will arise from lines such as event cancellation insurance, travel insurance, medical malpractice, workers’ compensation and employers liability from groups such as health care workers and airline flight attendants, Neal said.

Neal confirmed that other areas of exposure include potential lawsuits from general liability claims against cruise companies and hotels, for example. And then there are the economic losses affecting directors and officers, trade credit, political risk, surety and mortgage.

He said the market’s immediate concerns were on the effects of the economic crisis on the balance sheet, rather than on the P&L from underwriting.

Lloyd’s central solvency ratio was 205% on March 19, dropping from 238% in 2019, while the market-wide solvency ratio (covering individual syndicates with their own reserves) dropped to 146% from 156% last year, which is still robust according to Solvency II standards that require a ratio above 100%.

During the Q&A, Neal noted that event cancellation insurance is the easiest line “to get your arms around,” which will include the Olympics, Wimbledon and the Glastonbury music festival in the UK.

“We are an insurer of event cancellation but not as big as the Munich Re’s and Swiss Re’s of this world. It’s not our over-arching issue.”

Swiss Re announced recently that it has an estimated overall market share of approximately 15% to event management and cancellation covers that could be claimed due to COVID-19. Before the Tokyo Olympics were postponed, John Dacey, group chief financial officer, said, Swiss Re has a specific exposure of $250 million to the Games. With postponement, analysts agree, the insurance exposure is less than it would have been if the event were canceled.

Dacey went on to say that the company has an exposure somewhere in the middle between $100 million and $999 million for other events scheduled over the rest of the year, split between its Corporate Solutions and P&C Reinsurance units for other events scheduled over the rest of the calendar year.

Munich Re has not yet released any numbers connected to COVID-19, although it said in a recent statement that the group’s economic position remains strong even in the current circumstances. “Even in the very unlikely scenario of a worldwide pandemic equivalent to a 200-year event, insurance claims are expected to be similar in scope to a medium-sized natural catastrophe in property-casualty reinsurance.”

Neal said the market would communicate its market losses in early May, having learned the lesson of the 9/11 terrorist attacks when losses were released too soon and had to be adjusted. “It’s tempting to rush out with a figure but there’s nothing worse than rushing out with the wrong figures. So, let’s make sure we get the numbers right before we go forward.”

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NAICOM Licences Seven New Insurance Firms 

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Commissioner for insurance, Sunday Thomas and representatives of the newly licensed insurance outfits in Abuja on Friday.

By Sola Alabadan

The National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) issued operational licences to seven insurance companies in Abuja today, in line with Market Conduct & Business Practice Guidelines.

The new insurance firms are Heirs Insurance Limited (General), Heirs Life Assurance Limited, Stanbic IBTC Insurance Limited (life), Enterprise Life Assurance Company, FBS Reinsurance Limited, Salam Takaful and Cornerstone Takaful Insurance Company Limited.

The Commissioner for Insurance, Sunday Thomas, who gave the operational licences to the five firms at NAICOM Head Office, said the Commission has issued operational licences to the firms to operate insurance business.
According to him: “The National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) received applications from the under listed companies for registration as Insurance and reinsurance Companies to transact insurance and reinsurance business in Nigeria.
“In fulfillment of the statutory provisions of extant laws for the registration/licensing of insurance Companies, the general public is hereby informed that the Commission has commenced the process of registering the companies.
Consequently:” Heir Insurance Limited (General) has picked, Olaniyi Stephen Onifade as its Managing Director, Stanbic IBTC Insurance Limited, picked, Akinjide Orimolade as Managing Director; Heirs Life Assurance Limited picked Abah Okoriko and Enterprise Life Assurance Company Nigeria Limited picked Fumilayo Abimbola Omo.

“FBS Reinsurance Limited is led by the former Commissioner of Insurance, Fola Daniel. FBS is bringing together professionals with proven experience from the brokerage and underwriting units of the industry including Bala Zakariyau, the former managing director of Niger Insurance who currently plays in a support unit of the Nigerian aviation industry, Ahmed Olaniyi Salawu of the Standard Insurance Consultants, and Wole Oshin Bankole of the Custodian Investment Plc that has just taken a plunge into the property sector by taking a large chunk of the United Property Development Company, a subsidiary of the UACN Plc.
“These crops of professionals represent those with firm beliefs that there is a big insurance potential in Nigeria and indeed, the African continent. Others are Ebele Ofunneamaka Okeke, from Nnewi North, Anambra who rose to the position of the Head of Nigerian Civil Service before her retirement, and also, Yusuf Hamisu Abubakar, a lawyer, and an accomplished administrator and businessman with vast experience at the senior executive level in power and communication sectors.
“The reinsurance firm is required to pay the new N20 billion capitalisation stipulated by the commission under the reform exercise for it to start a business in the industry.”

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Power: FG Ready To Support DisCos’ Initiatives – Minister

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Mr Saleh Mamman, Minister of Power, says the Federal Government is ready to support any initiative by electricity Distribution Companies (DisCos) aimed at addressing the challenges facing the power sector.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Mamman spoke at the inauguration of Eko Electric Distribution Company’s (EKEDC) Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition (SCADA) System on Thursday in Lagos.
Mamman said : “I felicitate with and commend the EKEDC’s Board of Directors and management for this milestone.
“SCADA is one of the most advanced technologies in the power distribution business globally and I am optimistic that this event will translate to improved service delivery within EKEDC’s network.
“The inauguration of this SCADA system will help EKEDC monitor and respond quicker to faults and reduce the outage durations which would improve quality of service delivery to customers.”
According to him, the SCADA project will help the DisCo meet its set objectives under the recently executed Service Level Agreements with the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN).
He said the project would provide access to real time data that enables distribution system operators to make informed decisions that improve reliability and availability, consistent with the targets of the Service Based Tariff (SBT) regime.
Mamman said the FG was working assiduously to address the challenges of the power sector through initiatives such as the National Mass Metering Programme, the Siemens AG Power Project and upgrade of power infrastructure across the country.
Earlier, Mr Adeoye Fadeyibi, Managing Director, EKEDC, thanked the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for its support to the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry which paved way for the SCADA project.
Fadeyibi said : “SCADA is a centralised computer system which represents the evolution of our network operations from the present physical monitoring, remote coverage and relay of network information.
“By contrast, SCADA innovatively gathers real time information, identifies loopholes or breaches in the network and transfers this data back to a central site where the necessary analysis and control is carried out.
“The result of this analysis is then displayed in a logical and organised fashion. The project involves monitoring, control, fault tracking, data analysis and operations optimisation of our high-tension network.
“As part of Eko DisCo’s effort to improve operational efficiency, revenue generation and reduction of our Aggregate Technical Commercial and Collection Losses, we have implemented the SCADA project to automate our electric power distribution network across our franchise coverage area.”
He said the achievement by the DisCo showed that the FG’s Power Sector privatisation programme was a laudable decision, as it had completely transformed the sector and the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry.

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Emirates Offers Travellers $500,000 Multi-risk Travel Cover 

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Emirates airlines has announced that it will provide travellers a multi- risk travel cover worth $ 500 , 000 on top of its current COVID-19 cover.
The airline stated that the new multi- risk travel insurance and COVID-19 cover will automatically apply to all Emirates tickets purchased from December 1 , and extend to Emirates codeshare flights operated by partner airlines , as long as the ticket number starts with 176.
Emirates Chairman and Chief Executive , Ahmed bin Al Maktoum was quoted as saying , “ Emirates was the first airline to offer complimentary global COVID -19 cover for travellers back in July , and the response from our customers has been tremendously encouraging.
“ We have not rested on our laurels and instead continued to look at how we can offer our customers an even better proposition. We are very pleased to be able to now provide this new multi- risk travel insurance and COVID – 19 cover , which is another industry first, to all our customers.”
He added, “ We aim to give our customers even more confidence in making their travel plans this winter and moving into 2021 by the launch of this feature .”
Highlights of the coverage include out -of – country emergency medical expenses and evacuation up to $ 500 ,000 , valid for COVID -19 ( contracted during the trip ) and other medical emergencies while travelling abroad.
It also involves trip cancellation up to $ 7 ,500 for non- refundable costs if the traveller or a relative ( as defined in the policy ) is unable to travel because they are diagnosed with COVID- 19 before the scheduled trip departure date , or for other named reasons – similar to other comprehensive travel cover products.

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