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Marrs Insurance Brokers is a trading name of The Not Too Boring Company Ltd. Registered in England & Wales, Registered No. 09026225.

Marrs Insurance Brokers is an appointed representative of TEn Insurance Services Ltd which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

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Coffer’s Corner

SUMMER/AUTUMN 2019

Click here for previous Coffer’s Corners

Over The Hedge

Hello? Anybody out there?

I wouldn’t blame you for thinking I’d vanished off the face of Planet Marrs. I confess, it’s been 7 months since my last CC. But it’s not that I was abducted by aliens, or that I’ve retired to Fiji, I’ve just been busy.


Busy busy busy.


So busy in fact that my Editor, aka She Who Must Be Obeyed, has given up asking for the next epistle, but I have stirred myself to put pixel to screen as I know you are both out there somewhere, scanning the ether for my musings, so here are some.


First, the non-insurance rant.

Why, when people are having their homes invaded by the local constabulary for growing their hedges 4” too high, can we not arrest people who get in everybody’s way because they are using their ‘phones as they walk?

Or worse, people who talk REALLY LOUDLY because they can’t be bothered to hold their ‘phones up to their ears, preferring to use headphones whilst they keep their ‘phones at a horizontal position a la The Apprentice so we can all listen to their totally asinine conversations about why they couldn’t make it to the club last night or whether Spurs still had a chance to win the league?

Isn’t this more of an intrusion than a hedge? The world has truly gone barking mad. It can’t end well unless we few, left with that rapidly diminishing attribute of common sense, reassert our place in the world.  


Now on to insurance.

Lloyd’s of London, that illustrious market, born out of dealings in a simple coffee house dating back to 1686, has rather inconveniently lost a shedload of money for the 2nd year running and a lot of people are very upset about this.

There are many reasons; Wildfires, hurricanes, floods, you name it, the earth is becoming more turbulent and of course, if you lend the pen, as conferring the powers to another to underwrite business on your behalf is termed, you will eventually find that the dice are stacked in favour of the pen wielder, not the pen provider.    

 

The number of times this has occurred over previous decades is too many. Incestuous arrangements with syndicates reinsuring themselves in another name has gone on for decades and in fact promulgated the demise of some major institutions – nearly bringing down a government into the bargain.

MGAs as they are termed, are responsible for, it is thought, £50billion of the UK Commercial insurance market. I say ‘thought’ because no-one actually knows how many Managing General Agents exist – and they are hard to distinguish from an insurance company in the mind of the consumer. UK General, Countrywide, DUAL, Broker Direct – all MGAs.


This isn’t to say MGAs are a bad thing, just that Lloyd’s is a very closed shop with retrospective accounting periods, so often it is not realised there is an issue until it’s too late. Their history is replete with stories of abuse of power from syndicate to reinsurer and don’t get me started on the ‘recruit to dilute’ scandal following the inevitable long tail liability claims from asbestosis and the like.

What does this mean for the end user? Higher premiums I’m afraid. Already we’re seeing the pen whipped away from a number of facilities and whether you insure through Lloyd’s or not, someway,somehow, your policy will be influenced by this market, due to reinsurance, terrorism cover or similar. We are already seeing hardening rates in the areas of Home, Professional indemnity and Construction Liability, I fear more and worse is to come …