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2022 Predictions: Welcome to the Post-COVID liability crisis in healthcare

By Max Carter, CEO of New Dawn Risk

If there is one thing that parties on all sides can agree, it is that COVID has stretched and challenged every aspect of our healthcare systems. This is the case not just in the crowded emergency and COVID wards, but also in related fields, such as physiotherapy and rehabilitation, where the requirement for face-to-face interaction has been altered beyond belief by a year of remote treatment. 

GP surgeries now only treat 60% of their patients face to face and are working through never-before seen challenges in administering new vaccines, catching up on routine appointments and persuading the fearful back into treatment.

Meanwhile in hospitals, consultants are struggling with huge disruptions to their operating lists, from the last-minute withdrawals of patients due to COVID, a shortage of back-office staff to make and manage patient records and appointments and the continued physical barriers to treatment from operating through layers of PPE.

As an insurance broker specialising in medical malpractice cover, I look ahead and see something different – a flood of claims coming towards us. The ability of consultants, physios, midwives, nurses and doctors to deliver consistent and excellent care has been challenged in so many ways. Though the intentions and effort have been heroic, the results have inevitably included delayed procedures and deaths from diseases that might not previously have been fatal.

History tells us that angry grieving families litigate, and this is what I expect to see happen in 2022. While the health service struggles to catch up, failures not of its making will catch it up, leading to a crisis in claims, a rise in premiums, and quite possibly some challenging restrictions in medical malpractice cover.

In 2020 and 2021, health service professionals were national heroes.  They remain heroic, but the results of their efforts may bring them real additional challenges in the year ahead.

Can you describe what your current role involves?

I’m a broker on the Technology, Media and Cyber Team. We find insurance solutions for a wide variety of risks spanning across a plethora of territories from the US to Africa. The classes of business we work with are always evolving so we need to be on our toes!


What is your favourite insurance fact?

In the filming of “A Space Odyssey (2001)”, Stanley Kubrick sought a policy in case a real-life alien invasion came before the movie was released. Lloyd’s of London declined.


What did you do before joining New Dawn Risk?

I joined New Dawn Risk a month after graduating from the University of Birmingham with a Bachelor of Science in Economics.


Tell us one thing about your career we didn’t know:

I originally wanted to go into the underwriting side of insurance but luckily found New Dawn and I haven’t looked back since.


What are your hobbies outside of work?

I am a big sport enthusiast; my main playing discipline is the traditional English game of cricket. I’m also an avid supporter of my childhood football club, Yeovil Town FC. Outside of sport, I love cooking up a storm in the kitchen.

PRESS RELEASE

14 October 2021

New Dawn Risk is delighted to announce the appointment of Elizabeth Strange to the new role of Head of Strategic Development within the firm. The role has been created as part of a fast-paced global expansion, which has also seen the recent establishment of New Dawn Risk Europe Ltd.

New Dawn Risk has already built out strong teams in professional liability and financial lines, and within technology, media and cyber.  The appointment of Liz as Head of Strategic Development will enable the next stage of growth for the US and International businesses and allow New Dawn Risk to further build strategic relationships with brokers on a global basis.  

Liz herself has over thirty years’ experience in the Lloyd’s market, having previously held senior positions at Hiscox, Beazley and Paragon. 

Max Carter, CEO of New Dawn Risk Group commented: “Liz will be a fantastic asset to our team. She has incredible relationships in London and the US, and her reputation in the space precedes her. I know that she is the perfect person to develop our business, to identify strategically aligned partner producers and to help fulfil our plans.”

Liz Strange, Head of Strategic Development at New Dawn Risk commented: “The specialist focus at New Dawn Risk aligns perfectly with my own experience, and I believe that together we will make a great team, targeting expansion across all regions and all lines. One of my priorities will be to build upon our high-quality and enthusiastic teams with an ambition to accelerate growth.  It is exciting to step into such a fast-moving business, and one that has huge potential to make further impact in the market.”

Notes to Editors

Established in 2008, New Dawn Risk is a specialist insurance broker providing dynamic advisory solutions. We focus on complex, international liability and other specialty insurance and reinsurance. Clients large and small profit from our expertise, creativity and responsiveness – from risk assessment through to claims.

The region’s economies have been hit hard by the pandemic, but London has the chance to take more business there, if it sorts out its service problems.

The London insurance market’s focus has turned towards the developing economies as it looks for growth opportunities around the world, where increasing prosperity means there is more risk in need of protection. In Latin America, the terrible economic performances of some countries (Argentina, Venezuela) has been balanced by steady growth in others, such as Brazil, Mexico and Chile.

But the pandemic has had a devastating impact on Latin American economies, particularly Brazil’s. The resulting recession has undoubtedly affected insurance buying across the region and while there looks to be a recovery on the horizon — although it is likely to vary significantly from country to country — 2021 may well be a year of building back, rather than growth.

The pandemic has had a devastating impact on Latin American economies, particularly Brazil’s.

So, as the economic picture improves, what’s the forecast for insurance in the region?

Global insurance prices have risen this year, with rates in the London market hardening in a way not been seen for over 20 years. Latin American buyers are being impacted by this, and, as a result, local insurers and brokers have set up consortia to pool their resources to cover large and complex risks, which in turn reduces their need to buy cover from markets such as Miami or London.

Although some Latin American governments do not allow foreign insurers to participate directly in the market, international, Lloyd’s and London Market brokers will always be needed to provide essential capacity. For now, the London Market still holds enough cards to attract buyers while, also presenting challenges for Latin American brokers.

Poor Service

In a survey we recently carried out in the region, one respondent commented that the London Market sometimes lacked “knowledge of local conditions” and “interaction could be difficult.” There is a general belief that London has been less responsive since Covid, which has had a negative impact on buyer sentiment. But so far there’s been no substantial shift in business towards local insurers or Miami. It is to London’s advantage that wordings and policy conditions available locally remain unfavourable, while Miami has suffered many of the same service issues as London, despite being in a better time zone to do business with Latin America.

The London Market still holds enough cards to attract buyers while, also presenting challenges for Latin American brokers.

This is the year when London must focus on correcting some of its service gaps — particularly its slow responses to requests — to ensure that international insurers remain the preferred option. If the local market’s expertise and capacity were to build, and if it received support from the right reinsurers, then the London Market could well find its position is threatened. But if it sorts out its service problems, business will continue to flow to London because the local market can’t offer the same expertise on complex risks.

Rising Prices

In financial lines, the level of increases should not come as a complete shock to most buyers, as rates have been rising 5-10% year-on-year for some time, with some sub-classes increasing at a higher rate depending on perceived risk. Some classes are under more pressure than others, but the preference of some Latin American buyers for combined policies means these price increases are sometime averaged out.

There are lines where London’s capacity and expertise remain essential. Directors & Officers insurance (D&O) cover, required in the region’s more sophisticated economies , is one, and here the pandemic has had a big impact on pricing. The problems in D&O have been building for some time, and one insurer commented that the coronavirus was the final straw . This, of course, means that prices will not simply soften again once the Covid crisis has passed.

Other factors are at play, and these are unlikely to unwind in the short term. London has led in terms of a hardening market, but many others are now catching up. It is not just rates that are affected, but a drastic reduction in deployed capacity, increased retentions and reduced commissions – all making the renewal process that much more challenging. Globally, insureds are seeing their premiums increased by multiples, making it difficult to retain the levels of coverage previously purchased.

Cyber Problems

Cyber is the other market most affected by rising rates, where for renewals increases are reaching 30% and more. Latin American brokers are seeing an increasing focus on international cyber solutions as the threats increase. Companies in the region often do not have the controls required to defend themselves against cyber-attacks, and, as a result, some insurers are not willing to underwrite them.

We hope that 2021 will be the year when London binds larger volumes of Latin American business.

The absence of cyber capacity in Miami also means that London must provide almost all of Latin America’s growing international cyber needs, and this is driving renewal-only decisions among some underwriters. First time buyers from Latin America must brace themselves for a lack of options and potentially some limiting conditions on policies. Ransomware is reportedly experiencing the highest spike in claims, which is contributing to rising premiums and coverage restrictions, and, as a result, policies are now commonly sub-limited or co-insured.

Amidst the high levels of unrest and corruption plaguing almost every Latin American country, new local players have stepped up to offer additional capacity where the London Market won’t. But London remains a stronghold and we hope that 2021 will be the year when London binds larger volumes of Latin American business, delivering improved service and much-needed capacity to the region’s brokers.

5 October 2021

New Dawn Risk Group is delighted to announce the launch of its new European subsidiary, New Dawn Risk (Europe) headquartered in Malta. Like its parent company, New Dawn Risk (Europe) focuses on financial and professional lines. The new business will not only directly serve the growing financial and technology services industries in Malta but will also have the capacity to deliver solutions for New Dawn Risk’s global clients who have European operations with complex financial lines requirements. 

The new European operation will be led by Elizabeth Grima and Tom Malcolm, respectively appointed as Senior Executive Officer and Managing Director, assisted by Joseph Rizzo who has been in the insurance sector for more than 30 years.

Max Carter, CEO of New Dawn Risk Group said: “The market for professional and financial lines is facing challenges on several fronts, as pricing continues to harden, and the complexity of placing risks increases. Our group has seen significant demand for our services internationally, and as a result we are delighted to be able to bring our offering to market in Europe; both in service of our larger global clients and to support the in-market requirements of Malta’s own financial services industry.”

Elizabeth Grima, Senior Executive Officer, New Dawn Risk (Europe), commented: “Our offering in Malta will be exclusively wholesale, working with local brokers to provide them and their clients with additional (and much needed) capacity to service larger and more complex financial lines risks. New Dawn Risk Group is one of the largest independent specialist brokers servicing professional and financial lines business around the world, and it is great to have access to that team on the ground in Malta.”

Notes to Editors Established in 2008, New Dawn Risk is a specialist insurance broker providing dynamic advisory solutions. We focus on complex, international liability and other specialty insurance and reinsurance. Clients large and small profit from our expertise, creativity and responsiveness – from risk assessment through to claims.

02 September 2021

New Dawn Risk Group Limited, the international specialty insurance broker, announced today the appointment of Angus Simpson as a non-executive director.

Max Carter, CEO of New Dawn Risk, said: “We are delighted to welcome Angus Simpson to our board.  He brings with him a rare depth of board-level experience in the independent London market broking sector, and we have no doubt that he will provide valuable insights and support to our management team.  New Dawn Risk is strongly positioned to become an increasingly influential participant in the specialty liability market, and Angus will be a major asset in helping us to achieve this.”

Commenting on his appointment, Angus Simpson, said: “I am hugely excited to be joining the Board of New Dawn Risk at what is, unquestionably, a time of immense opportunity for specialty, privately held, independent brokers in the London market. New Dawn Risk is committed to broadening the range of products and services that it can offer to its clients and is now very well positioned to grow its business over the next few years.”

Angus has a wealth of experience with a career spanning 35 years in the insurance industry. He has set up two businesses, an insurance broker and a Managing General Agency underwriting specialist personal lines business. Earlier in his career, he was a director of a Lloyd’s Broker and ran the Central Broking team at Aon Risk Solutions. Angus has also served as a non-executive director for Kite Warren and Wilson Limited, a Lloyd’s insurance and reinsurance broker.

Notes to Editors

Established in 2008, New Dawn Risk is a specialist insurance broker providing dynamic advisory solutions. We focus on complex, international liability and other specialty insurance and reinsurance. Clients large and small profit from our expertise, creativity and responsiveness – from risk assessment through to claims.

Can you describe what your current role involves?

I am currently a Treaty Analyst at New Dawn Risk. My team specialises in the structuring, negotiating and placement of treaties, spanning multiple classes of business such as casualty, crop, cyber and even parametric solutions.


What is your favourite insurance fact?

So I found this out quite recently – apparently, during the early 19th century, movie-goers were so scared of dying due to excessive laughter that they bought insurance through Lloyd’s of London. Definitely wasn’t expecting to hear that…


What did you do before joining New Dawn Risk?

I joined New Dawn Risk just after graduating from University College London with a Masters degree in Financial Mathematics.


Tell us one thing about your career we didn’t know:

I made the mistake of planning a business trip to the Middle East during the peak of Ramadan and had to starve myself until the end of the day to make sure I wasn’t being impolite to some of my clients!


What are your hobbies outside of work?

I enjoy playing tennis and it’s something I’ve picked up once again during the lockdown.  I tried my hand at the ukulele as well but gave up due to a lack of any musical talent!

The article below, by Nicky Stokes, Head of Management Liability and Financial Institutions at New Dawn Risk, was originally published in Insurance Day in July 2021.

It is a tough time to be a di­rector or officer. Few can remember an operating en­vironment characterised by quite such a level of uncertainty and array of emerging risks. At the same time, for those looking to transfer some of that risk, the directors’ and officers’ (D&O) lia­bility insurance market has been going through a long overdue pe­riod of price corrections, coupled with restrictions on coverage.

The full impact of Covid-19 has yet to be felt and is unlikely to be until governments begin to wind back the unprecedented levels of financial support they have put in place. With the near-term eco­nomic and political outlook still uncertain, D&O liabilities linked to company insolvencies are like­ly to increase.

Of course, the pandemic has by no means been all doom and gloom. Pent-up capital has been seeking an outlet, which has re­sulted in a wave of transaction activity, driven in no small part by the rise of special-purpose ac­quisition companies (SPACs). This has brought its own set of risks. A SPAC has just two years to deploy investor capital, which puts the onus on swift action. Rushing to market brings with it the risk of bad deals being negotiated and we should expect claims to be brought against directors and of­ficers as a consequence.

Company executives must also contend with the rising cyber threat, which has been exacerbat­ed by the shift to remote working. Additionally, environmental, so­cial and governance (ESG) issues are climbing up the agenda. With more personal accountability, changing attitudes and the rise of social media, directors and of­ficers are increasingly exposed to claims related to employment­related risks, ethics and culture.

Looking ahead, though, the big­gest threat over the coming years will be claims that result from cli­mate change and other environ­mental issues. These are already behind a number of D&O claims, a trend that is only going to accel­erate, driven by a combination of three groups of actors: activists, regulators and investors.

Activist efforts

The recent case brought by Greenpeace, five other environ­mental organisations and more than 17,000 individual claimants against Royal Dutch Shell in the Netherlands has brought this issue sharply into focus. Dutch judges ordered the oil and gas major to implement stringent carbon dioxide emissions cuts within the next few years.

On the same day, a tiny hedge fund – Engine No.1 – mobilised by a dissident shareholder group dealt a major blow to Exxon Mo­bil, unseating a number of board members in a bid to force the company’s leadership to reckon with the risk of failing to adjust its business strategy to match global efforts to combat climate change.

Given mounting public concern about the environment, activism is only going to increase and it will not just be oil and gas companies that are targeted. They may be first in the firing line as some of the world’s biggest polluters but firms across agriculture, industry, manufacturing, transportation, the list goes on … should expect to come under scrutiny as well.

Climate change is also being tak­en increasingly seriously by regu­lators. In 2019 the UK’s Prudential Regulation Authority applied new rules that require certain finan­cial services firms to nominate a senior manager responsible for identifying and managing finan­cial risks from climate change.

In the US, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is expected to require public com­panies to publish data on a whole range of new areas, including greenhouse gas emissions, work­force turnover and diversity, as its new chairman looks to enhance the SEC’s disclosure regime.
Gary Gensler, SEC chair, has already said it plans to introduce new climate-related and human capital rules as it steps up ESG disclosures and earlier this month closed a public consultation on a potential new rule, which is likely to be proposed in October.

Investor behaviour

But it is investors that probably hold the strongest hand when it comes to forcing companies to change their behaviour concern­ing climate change and, by exten­sion, raising the level of risk facing directors and officers should they fail to do so.

Last year, BlackRock – the world’s largest investor – an­nounced it was making climate change central to its strategy for 2021, putting environmental and social priorities at the forefront of its investment approach. With as­sets under management of more than $7trn, BlackRock has signifi­cant influence on most of the com­panies in the S&P 500.

Interestingly, BlackRock and fel­low investors Vanguard and State Street gave powerful support to Engine No.1 in its case against Exx­on’s leadership. These huge invest­ment companies rarely side with activists on such issues, so this marks something of a sea change.

Investor pressure is building elsewhere. Launched last year, the Net Zero Asset Managers initiative saw 30 of the world’s largest asset managers commit to supporting investing aligned with net zero emissions by 2050 or sooner. Just last week Amundi, Franklin Templeton, Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Asset Management and HSBC Asset Management an­nounced they were among the latest big investors joining the ini­tiative, bringing the total on board to 128, which means $43trn in assets are now committed to a net zero emissions target.

This is a now a one-way street. Companies across the board need to understand that failing to un­derstand and take seriously their exposures to climate change will have significant ramifications for them and, ultimately, their direc­tors and officers too.

The original article can be viewed here

The article below, by Tom Malcolm, Head of UK Broking at New Dawn Risk, was originally published in Insurance Day in June 2021.

Even though four years have passed, issues in cladding have still not been resolved since the Grenfell Tower tragedy. Individuals and families across the UK are stuck living in dangerously clad properties that are more vulnerable to fire and have plummeted in value, nearing the point of being unsellable unless expensive remediation work is carried out.

In February, the Housing Secretary announced that the government would finally be intervening and will pay to remove unsafe cladding for all leaseholders in high-rise buildings, providing reassurance and protecting them from costs. It will also introduce measures to boost the housing market and free up homeowners to once again buy and sell their properties. This is a very welcome development for affected homeowners but does little to address the issues still faced by architects, another key group impacted by Grenfell.

Architects are unable to practice without a professional indemnity insurance policy in place that protects them against a broad range of potential risks, including professional negligence that might result in property damage, personal injury or financial loss, which might stetch back over many years. The problem is the cost of this insurance has risen astronomically to the point where it poses an existential threat to some architects.

Underpriced cover

Why exactly has this happened? To find the answer you need to look back some time. Architects’ PI insurance had been under-priced for many years prior to the 2017 Grenfell Tower fire. The tragedy (and subsequent Hackitt Report) called into question the safety of accepted design and building practices for high-rise buildings, including the use of many types of common cladding, fire-safety management and the principles and responsibility for the sign-off of any building as being ‘safe’. What this brought to the fore was a number of systemic issues with the UK’s Building Regulations regime. 

Previously, any architect’s insurer could rely on the standards and efficacy of all architects’ work being guaranteed by adherence to building regulations, but the confidence of insurers in this as a protection against large-scale claims was undermined by the failings that Grenfell Tower uncovered, including a lack of any clarity over who was ultimately responsible for a building’s safety.

Since 2017, that uncertainty, combined with multiple claims post-Grenfell, has generated fear in the insurance market, with large concerns that the liability may be passed back to the architects and thus the insurers. We have seen many insurers withdrawing from the professional indemnity market altogether. This has caused demand to far outstrip supply, driving up prices to an unprecedented level.

In addition, insurers have also put strict restrictions on the limits they will cover for any one claim, as well as excluding any buildings with ACM cladding from their cover – a significant restriction for commercial architects.

Restrictions in cover also severely limit the types of work architects can carry out, (for example basements, swimming pools, anything fire related) meaning some bread-and-butter architecture project types are becoming close to uninsurable.

The virtually universal restriction on protection for fire safety and strategy in professional indemnity insurance policies issued to architects has led to mistrust of insurers, while insurers have been obliged to take defensive action in response to brokers seeking quickly to “block notify” all projects which may in the future face a challenge to their fire strategy. The ultimate outcome in some cases, and, depending on the breadth of the fire safety exclusion, has been that some firms have had to cease practising.

A way forward

A solution to all this lies with the government. Its announcement in February included a proposal to provide a state-backed indemnity scheme for qualified professionals unable to obtain professional indemnity insurance for the completion of EWS1 forms. Our view at New Dawn Risk is that this proposal should be expanded to include a provision to provide PI insurance covering architects and engineers who specified cladding materials that were within building regulations at the time.

This fund can either be delivered in the form of indemnities directed to the architect, or, we believe more practically, via a reinsurance scheme for insurers of architects, engineers, and other professionals to carve out exposures relating to the specification, inspection and installation of cladding materials that are now deemed to be unsafe. The scheme could be administered through a commercial third-party administrator and claims would be continued to be handled by the insurance industry. Participating insurers would contribute a levy of a percentage of the premium (maybe 5%) to obtain access to the reinsurance fund and would not be permitted to exclude cover for cladding or fire safety claims. We think this will allow the PII insurers to remove the exclusions that are crippling the industry – such as those involving tall buildings, specifications of cladding, etc. – and to moderate the premiums being charged to professionals that are exposed to such historical projects.

Ultimately, this issue has underlined the importance of all parties working together. Insurance brokers and underwriters, lawyers and professional bodies should continue to engage closely to lobby local and national government to broker an effective, long-term solution that supports architects and the wider construction industry.

The original article can be viewed here

Latin American insurance markets are becoming more international and seeing regulatory improvements in some areas.  However, the challenges are growing for financial lines, as the global rate increases currently seen in D&O and aligned capacity / rate crunches in cyber cover begin to bite.

New Dawn Risk’s latest white paper Connecting across continents: International reinsurance solutions for Latin America is launched today, and highlights the interactions between Latin American markets and London, as well as the tensions that capacity and rate issues can bring.

Download the white paper in English or in Spanish here.

Max Carter, CEO of New Dawn Risk, said: “Latin America is seeing growing demand for increasingly complex insurance products.  One notable development has seen local brokers putting together in-country consortia to cover some larger risks, reducing their reliance on London. But the need for international cyber and financial lines cover is growing on a steady trajectory. Claims continue to spike in cyber, with ransomware being the most noted ‘problem child’, causing prices to be steeper than the broader class. These lines are seeing decreased local capacity, creating a growing need to look to London for its expertise and appetite in these areas.”

Manuel Sicard, Senior Broker for Latin America, commented “The link between London and Latin America is strengthening, and it is now more relevant than ever to examine what each market needs to know about the other to help trade flow more smoothly. We have brought together views from Latin American experts both in-country and in London, along with our own insights as a specialist broker dealing with both regions, to publish our first Latin American market report.”

Notes to Editors

Established in 2008, New Dawn Risk is a dynamic, specialist insurance intermediary providing bespoke advisory solutions. We focus on complex, international liability and other specialty insurance and reinsurance. Clients large and small profit from our expertise, creativity and responsiveness – from risk assessment through to claims.