UK insurer Aviva CEO take-home pay doubles to £5.67m in 2015

Aviva’s chief executive Mark Wilson’s take-home pay more than doubled to £5.67 million last year, after the purchase of rival Friends Life, the British insurer’s annual report showed.

Aviva completed the £5.6 billion acquisition in April last year, creating a market leader in life insurance. It posted a 20 per cent rise in operating profit for 2015.

Mr Wilson received a bonus of £1.78 million or 182 per cent of his basic salary due to “strong financial performance” and progress on strategic objectives last year, Aviva said.

The chief executive, who joined Aviva at the beginning of 2013, also received payments of £2.56 million for the first time from a long-term incentive plan, based on a three-year performance period to end-2015.

Aviva’s share price rose by 38 per cent over the period. – (Reuters)

Insurance group raises coverage for tankers carrying Iranian oil

Reuters

Flagship private shipping insurance group, the International P&I Club, has raised the default insurance coverage for tankers transporting Iranian oil to $580 million per ship from $80 million, the Japan P&I Club said on Tuesday.

The International P&I Club has been unable to extend normal liability coverage of $7.8 billion per ship to vessels transporting Iranian oil because the U.S. Treasury Department has left sanctions in place pertaining to insurance. That has prevented U.S. insurers from providing coverage.

The majority of Western sanctions were lifted against Iran in January.

To meet the shortfall in U.S. insurance coverage, the international P&I Club has created a “fall-back” of $500 million additional coverage per ship for Iranian oil at no extra cost to the members, the Japan P&I Club said in a statement.

Although $580 million coverage is still less than 10 percent of the normal liability coverage, Asian shippers such as China, India and South Korea and some shippers in Europe may find that enough to transport Iranian oil, an official with Japan P&I Club said on Tuesday.

Japanese shippers, however, are more risk-averse and may continue to use the government’s special sovereign shipping insurance to import Iranian oil until normal P&I coverage becomes available again, industry officials have said.

Tokyo stepped in to help its oil importers after Western sanctions imposed over Tehran’s disputed nuclear programme curbed the ability of private insurers to provide tanker cover.

(Reporting by Osamu Tsukimori; Editing by Christian Schmollinger)

Snow, ice and frozen pipes: Are you covered?

By Rosalie L. Donlon: Property Casualty 360

Moving.away_.from_.home_

If a foot of snow causes your roof to collapse or if extreme cold temperatures cause your pipes to freeze, will your insurance policy cover the damage? It depends on whether your policy provides coverage for named perils or open perils. Here are some key things to know as you review your policy.

The Insurance Services Office (ISO) standard Homeowners forms and the equivalent American Association of Insurance Services (AAIS) forms list the weight of ice, sleet and snow as named perils–which means that damage from the weight of ice, snow or sleet to a building or property contained in a building is covered. Loss to awnings, fences, patios, pavements, swimming pool, foundations, retaining walls, piers, wharves or docks is excluded.

Roof cave-in

If personal property inside a building is damaged because the roof caves in under the weight of the snow, then coverage for damage from a collapse is triggered. The weight of ice or snow may cause a roof to sag (which is not considered a “collapse” under the homeowners forms) or gutters to pull away from the roof, leading to damage to personal property, which also would be covered.

Ice damming and snow melt

Ice damming—caused by the weight or mass of snow that has compacted and turned to ice—often causes water to back up under shingles or flow under eaves from clogged gutters. If the water stains walls and damages ceilings, there is coverage for the damage to the building because there is no exclusion for thawing. Further, resulting water damage to contents should be covered because the language of the policy covers the weight of the ice, snow or sleet that causes damage. The scope of the coverage may be broadened to the weight of ice as a proximate, not necessarily a direct, cause of loss.

Incorrect installation caused the leak

In some cases, the weight of the ice might cause roof or siding shingles to dislocate just enough to allow water to enter the house. If the leak is because the roof or flashing wasn’t installed properly or the roof is worn, your policy may not cover the cost to repair the roof. It may only cover the damage to the interior of the house and contents.

Remember that with named perils coverage, it’s left to the insured to prove that a covered peril was the cause of the loss. If you have a comprehensive homeowners policy instead of a broad form or special form policy, it’s up to the insurer to prove that the loss is excluded.

Frozen pipes burst 

Under the homeowner forms, in all situations—vacant, occupied or unoccupied—there is no coverage for freezing plumbing, heating, air conditioning or automatic fire protection or of a household appliance unless the named insured has taken precautions to maintain heat in the building, or shut off and drained systems and appliances.

This is often a problem with snowbirds who want to save on utility bills while they’re away. Generally keeping a thermostat set at around 55 degrees during the winter months should prevent your pipes from freezing, but the furnace may break down or there may be an extended power failure. If your home is going to be unoccupied for a long time, and you don’t want to keep the heat on, be sure to shut off the water supply and drain the system and appliances of water to avoid frozen pipes. Even better: have someone you trust check on the property, especially when the temperature has been extremely low for several days.

Damage from frozen tree branches

Generally, trees, shrubs, plants and lawns aren’t covered for damage by wind, hail, the weight of ice or snow, or any unnamed peril that would be covered under open perils coverage. If the tree or the branch falls on your house or garage, however, damage to the structure is covered.

Power failure from winter storm

In many parts of the Northeast during the winter of 2014 storms caused power failures that lasted for several days. Your homeowners policy may cover the cost of the food in your refrigerator and freezer, up to certain dollar limits, usually $500.

If you can’t stay in your home because of the power failure, some policies provide coverage for the expenses of a hotel and the cost of meals.

Review your homeowners policy to be sure you understand your coverage, and take precautions. If you can do so safely, shovel large accumulations of snow off your roof and unclog gutters. If you can’t do so yourself, you may be able to find a contractor to remove the snow for you. And think positive: Spring officially begins on March 20.

China Becomes World’s Third Largest Insurance Market Driven by Surging Premiums

Manny Salvacion

Data from the China Insurance Regulatory Commission (CIRC) showed that China has become the world’s third largest insurance market in 2015, as insurance premiums continue to grow in the past five years, the Xinhua News Agency reported.

According to the CIRC data, insurance premiums increased from 1.3 trillion yuan (about $197.9 million) in 2010 to 2.4 trillion yuan in 2015, with an annual growth rate of 13.4 percent.

The report said that the insurance market in the world’s second largest economy continues to expand, as the total assets of China’s insurance industry has more than doubled from 5 trillion yuan in 2010 to 12 trillion yuan in 2015.

Experts noted that the performance of the industry may be attributed to the country’s growing economy and improving living standards of the people.

The report, however, said that despite the booming market, insurance companies in the country have also experienced bumper years.

The data further showed that profits of the whole insurance sector totaled 282.4 billion yuan in 2015, compared to only 83.7 billion yuan in 2010, back when China was the world’s sixth largest insurance market.

The report said that China contributed 26 percent of the growth of global insurance market in 2015.

A report by cctv-america.com in Nov. 2015 said that China’s insurance sector is among the leaders in the country in terms of better access to investors, as foreign insurers enjoy the same treatment as domestic peers.

Australian national Yin Xiaosong, general manager at Ergo Life Insurance, one of the first batch of insurers to test waters in the Chinese market, said: “We are now almost enjoying the same kind of treatment compared with local insurance companies, especially in areas like life insurance and property insurance. And also in terms of business coverage, regions and product lines, the differences are getting smaller.”

The report said that foreign insurers gained access to the car insurance market in 2012, and more changes followed as some 56 foreign insurance companies from 16 countries have set up shops in China and others followed suit.

Last year, CIRC data showed that China’s insurance companies’ profits rose an estimated 95 percent year-on-year to reach 244 billion yuan ($ 38.4 billion) in the first three quarters of 2015.

Zurich Insurance has poached Mario Greco, the well-regarded boss of Italian insurer Generali, as its next chief executive.

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