Hiscox news - issue 9

Knowing your brokers

In 2014 Hiscox London Market ran its first major broker survey to understand more about what brokers thought of its service; where the business performed well and where it needed to improve. The response threw up many positives in areas such as service, responsiveness, availability and communications, while indicating there was work to be done in others including risk appetite and consistency.

Two years on, Hiscox intends to repeat the process to understand how brokers feel about the business and whether it has addressed some of their concerns. Underlining the importance of understanding and acting on customer feedback, Paul Lawrence, Chief Underwriting Officer for Hiscox London Market, says: “Brokers are our principal source of business so it’s key that we understand what they like and don’t like about us, as well as how they want to trade with us as we shape our future strategy.

"The last broker survey we ran had some very positive feedback, but I was also surprised – and a little disappointed – to see that we were marked down on some aspects such as lacking clarity and consistency in our risk appetite. Since then we have worked hard with our teams to more closely define our appetite and hopefully brokers are now seeing more consistency.

“This follow up survey will help us better understand how effectively we have addressed this issue and others. We do not want, or can afford, to operate in a bubble and these surveys are an invaluable way of understanding how we can better help brokers and their clients. I’d like to thank in advance those brokers who take the time to help us complete the survey.”

Hiscox launches new US flood cover - FloodPlus

In response to the deregulation of the US flood insurance market, Hiscox London Market has launched a new flood product for US homeowners – FloodPlus. Working with wholesale brokers in the US to distribute the new product, FloodPlus meets a shortfall in flood cover for many homeowners by offering higher limits and a wider scope of cover than policies provided by the existing US government backed National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).

With current NFIP limits of only US$100,000 for contents and US$250,000 for buildings, US homeowners have had limited choice for flood cover. Hiscox’s FloodPlus, which will be available through wholesale brokers  in the US, not only offers higher limits of cover but also a simpler definition of what constitutes a flood, as well as broader cover for personal property plus alternative accommodation while the property is being repaired. Available for wholesale brokers to market to their retail broker clients, US broker Johnson & Johnson has already begun to offer FloodPlus to its agency partners.

Commenting on the new product, Jonathan Powell, Personal Lines Underwriter for Hiscox London Market, said: “As we’ve seen recently with huge floods in Houston, Texas, flood continues to cause devastation to homeowners throughout the US. Once again consumers are finding their flood cover woefully short of what they actually need with insufficient limits, no option for alternative accommodation, and a narrow definition of what constitutes a flood. Following deregulation of the market, we’ve been able to put together a product that brings the best of the London Market to the benefit of US homeowners who want more comprehensive flood coverage through a simple flood definition, higher limits and broader coverage.”

Peter Burrous, Chief Marketing Officer with insurance broker Johnson & Johnson, added: “We are very pleased to offer FloodPlus to our partner Agents and we believe that it is a product that can make a real difference to homeowners in the US looking for flood coverage that responds to the real scale of the flood risk to their homes and personal property.”

“The London insurance market has built its reputation on the ability to innovate. FloodPlus is the latest demonstration of our ability to do just that and respond to genuine customer needs,” concluded Powell.

About Hiscox FloodPlus

Available for homeowners across the US with dwelling values of up to $1m, Hiscox FloodPlus can be bought as a standalone cover or alongside Hiscox’s existing homeowners’ cover. Homeowners can choose to take similar limits to their NFIP cover, or elect to buy higher limits.

In addition, the cover offers more comprehensive protection such as:

  • alternative accommodation
  • cover for outbuildings (even when unattached to the main dwelling) and does not reduce overall indemnity
  • worldwide cover for personal property
  • ease of administration – no need to obtain flood certificates
  • commission paid on whole premium.

For further information go to www.hiscoxlondonmarket.com or email floodplus@hiscox.com.

Calling all young compliance officers

A new compliance networking group – the Young Compliance Officers’ Group (YCOG) – has launched. The brainchild of Hiscox’s James Gibson, a Compliance Analyst within Hiscox’s Group Compliance team, the intention is for YCOG to become an active professional and networking support group for anyone under 35 years’ old who works in compliance within the UK insurance industry.

Commenting on the launch of YCOG, James Gibson says: “Compliance lacks the same sort of camaraderie that exists in the broking, underwriting and claims worlds. So, with the backing of Jason Jones, Hiscox’s Group Audit and Compliance Director, I decided to form YCOG with the intention of establishing a regular networking opportunity for younger compliance practitioners to connect with their peers, share best practice and discuss regulatory developments.

Since launch, YCOG has already attracted 100 members from 60 firms across London as well as an active social media presence. “I’ve been delighted by the response I’ve had since launching the group and I’ve already had huge support from the Lloyd’s Market Association. Ultimately the intention is to make this a nation-wide initiative but initially it will focus on the London Market,” adds Gibson.

Quarterly get together

The intention is for YCOG to meet every quarter and keep in touch via social media. The group will also get involved in mentoring schemes for more junior compliance professionals, as well as helping to promote the London Market’s diversity initiative.

For more details, email james.gibson@hiscox.com or follow YCOG’s progress on Twitter @ComplianceU35s.