Events, developments, and opportunities in the international insurance marketplace.
- Placed General Liability and Directors & Officers Liability policies for a biotech R&D company.
- Placed a Builders Risk including General Liability for the construction of a new 100,000 square feet manufacturing facility in Mexico for a supplier of heat exchangers.
Power grids are becoming increasingly vulnerable. This is due to digitalization and the use of more smart applications. The threat was recently seen in India when a cyber-attack caused a huge black-out in Mumbai. The outage affected stock markets, railways and thousands of households in the nation’s financial hub. The disruptive potential of grid failures was also highlighted in Texas last month when a sudden deep freeze that caused huge losses in that state.
Over the past four decades, power plants and substations have been moving from manual to automatic controls. Many now allow remote access to both public and private networks for data, leaving the grid exposed to attacks. In Ukraine, massive cyber-attacks left a quarter of a million people without electricity. Essential state infrastructures like power grids and nuclear reactors have been, and will continue to be, a target of cyber-attacks. That’s because modernization allows for internet connectivity. This makes them vulnerable to hackers and other malicious activities.
It seems unlikely that a future trade agreement on financial services and regulatory equivalence will be achieved any time soon. It was hoping this would be done to remove new barriers for cross-border insurance between London’s insurance market and the European market. Insurers were hoping to have trade and regulatory agreements in place as a part of the Brexit negotiations. However, the UK left the EU without any such agreement. The trade deal does provide continued access to markets, based on local rules and requirements. The UK has not been “frozen out”. However, to access the European market, brokers and insurers need to comply with EU rules. As a result, it is now harder for UK insurers and brokers to gain access. That is because they need to operate within European rules that require them to have a locally regulated entity to perform insurance underwriting and distribution.
Most international insurers and brokers have had to restructure and establish entities in the EU to maintain access. Many smaller insurers and brokers have not had to do this. A mutual recognition regime might be pursued along the lines Switzerland and the EU have enjoyed for several years. However, any such regime risks effectively locking the UK into broadly tracking the relevant aspects of EU law. So, the price of equivalence could be too high if the UK were to become a rule-taker in return for access.
Under the Work Injury Compensation Act (WICA) 2019, employers are required to obtain work injury compensation insurance throughout the employment period. While most employers maintain adequate coverage for all their WICA liabilities, some employers are not buying/renewing their WIC insurance coverage in a timely manner. This leads to potential gaps in coverage as well as difficulties in compensating the injured employee.
It is vital for employers to always maintain adequate WIC coverage. To ensure this, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) is now checking whether firms have the necessary insurance as required under the Act. To avoid WICA 2019 infringement, MOM will seek employers’ cooperation in confirming details of their WIC policy. They also require the finalization of the insurance contract and the provision of the required underwriting information 21 days before the policy commencement date.
We have the ability and resources to help you globally with a unique position in the international risk management and employee benefits marketplace. To learn more, please contact our office at 1-800-661-1518 to speak with an international advantage team member.