BEST TYPES OF INSURANCE IN 2021

What are the 7 types of insurance? When people hear or read that term they get a confused look on their face. For some reason when thinking about insurance they think it is something that requires an accountant and/or tax consultant. If you think about it for 5 seconds you will realize that insurance is very affordable, and everyone needs it whether you are rich or poor.

Everyone needs car insurance. The average person will own two cars. Some have more, others less. When driving or when in the car accidents you always want to know that your car insurance company is going to pay for any damages you might cause in a crash. You never know when an accident could happen.

Another type of insurance is home insurance. When your home is damaged in some way, it’s important that you have insurance to pay for the repairs. Some insurance companies won’t cover the repair if the cost exceeds their limit. You need to check with each insurance company to find out what the limit is for them. Then you just need to buy the extra insurance to make up the difference.

Life insurance covers your loved ones financially upon your death. The average life expectancy in the United States is around 70 years old. If you are alive that long and still have unspent premium expenses then you are covered. The amount of the coverage you purchase will depend on what your family needs. It can be anything from paying off debts, to purchasing a new home, to paying for children’s college tuition.

 

Home owner’s insurance is a type of insurance that covers your house and the attached property if you ever had to leave your home because of a fire, smoke, or certain weather events. The policy typically pays off all your liability claims from incidents like this. This type of insurance also covers the interest on your first mortgage if it was financed through an institution.

 

Automobile insurance is required by law in all states. This type of insurance is used to cover the damages done to your vehicle if you hit another vehicle or object while driving. The damages may not only include physical pain and suffering but also costs for the vehicle repairs as well. In the state of Michigan, if you are found to be at fault for the accident then you do not have to prove that your liability insurance paid for any of the damages you caused. You need to show that you were lawfully at fault for the accident.

 

Liability insurance is required in many places and it is usually cheaper than most types of insurance. This type of policy will also pay the other party damages if they injure themselves or even die because of your negligence. You need to have adequate liability insurance on all of your vehicles. If you don’t have it then it is illegal to drive on the roads in Michigan.

 

Car insurance is also required in Michigan. This type of insurance is used to pay for the expenses if you are found at fault for an automobile accident. It is the same as liability insurance. You will also have to get a driver’s license in order to obtain this type of insurance. Michigan requires that drivers have at least PIP insurance to legally operate a vehicle.

 

You also need to get car insurance when you buy a new car in Michigan. It is called full coverage car insurance. This type of insurance is required in all states in America. The only difference between this type of car insurance and liability insurance is that it covers your car in case of an accident.

 

There are also personal types of insurance you need to purchase if you own a business in Michigan. This type of insurance is called workers compensation insurance. This type covers medical costs for injured employees who are injured on the job. This includes people who get injured on the job because of slips and falls or other accidents on the property of the company. Some people call this type of insurance workers’ compensation insurance but it is better to call it workers’ comp because it does cover employees who are injured while working.

 

In conclusion, the information you read about Michigan car insurance was helpful to help you understand the different types of insurance available in the state. You need to be careful when purchasing insurance because there are many different types of insurance and there are many companies that will try to sell you more than you need. Be aware of all the costs and deductibles that you will need to pay before you purchase your insurance policy. Also, remember that different types of insurance cover different things and there are some that are not required at all.

SCHOLARSHIP STUDY IN CHINA 2021

A study in China scholarship will allow a foreign student to complete his or her college education in one of the world’s fastest growing economic powerhouse. China is emerging as one of the major international cities where business is growing at a breathtaking rate and attracting thousands of international students who pursue higher education. In addition, there are more job opportunities for educated Chinese people. Therefore, more people are visiting China to study and live there.

 

When you study in China scholarship, you will receive financial aid for your college education that covers the full tuition and study materials, apart from allowances for daily expenses and incidental costs. The study loans provided by the scholarships for foreign students cover all the expenses during your academic years in China. This means that the majority of your study in China scholarship funds go towards your tuition fees. The rest is allocated to other requirements including books, supplementary reading material, lodging and study supplies. In most cases, all these expenses are borne by the recipient during his or her doctoral degree program.

 

Most educational institutions that offer study in China scholarship also offer assistance towards your doctoral degree programs. The aid can be in the form of a loan, scholarship or payment by way of advances in your salary. A typical situation would be to receive a scholarship for two years and have an additional payment for your graduate studies in China. This would mean that the additional payment would have to be made in three years.

 

As part of your application process, you will be asked to furnish detailed information regarding your academic records, work history and awards and recognitions. You will be required to provide a letter on your doctoral degree, including a detailed career history. As most universities require you to apply for a study in China scholarship, it is advisable that you prepare a well-written essay and strong references. References may help to increase your chances of being granted the scholarship. If there is a specific person from your past that is recommended by your university to the educational institution, then you could ask for their information to be included on your reference list.

 

There are two options for study in China through a scholarship program: online application and hard enrollment. For the online application, you need to maintain a positive academic record all throughout your study in China. This means that you need to maintain a good grade point average all throughout your studies in order to increase your chances of being granted the scholarship. Make sure that you do not submit any false or incorrect information on your online application as this could prevent your eligibility for a study in China scholarship. If you have any doubts about the results of your online application, you could always consult your school counselor.

 

For hard enrollment, you will be required to complete a formal classroom degree program. You will need to meet certain requirements set by the scholarship program. In particular, you must demonstrate good academic performance, high English proficiency, and have a high enough GPA to qualify for the scholarship. The exact requirements of each award will vary by each scholarship program, so it is best to check the details with individual universities. Students who study in China 2020 can expect to receive a financial award between five thousand and ten thousand dollars.

 

Scholarships for study in China allow students to complete their graduate and doctoral degree programs at accredited universities in China. Students studying in China for professional fields such as medicine, law, and education can use the funds for college costs or research. Although these degree programs are not normally related to career choices, most scholarships offer a selection of disciplines for students to choose from.

 

The Confucius Scholarship is offered by the Chinese government. This scholarship program is open to qualified students who show strong academic achievements and a strong interest in China. Students must register with the Confucius Scholarship Office online, fill out an application, and submit it along with school documents to the Office. Successful applicants will be notified of their award within two months. For more information on the Chinese government scholarship program, please visit the Confucius Scholarship website today.

ENGLAND STUDY SYSTEM IN 2021

Great Britain is currently one of the best study abroad destinations around the world. Places like Bristol, Cambridge, University of London and Manchester are some of the top universities in England. The answer many frequently asked questions on studying in England, Wales, Scotland. Why study in England?

 

English is the mother tongue for many people in England and Wales, hence you will have no problems when it comes to speaking, writing and performing your academic options. The English school system – what do you study in England? There are many colleges and universities that offer various degree courses in England and Wales. There are many students who opt for an English degree course because they are interested in learning more about the English culture as well as the English academic standards. Some of the popular courses offered by the colleges and universities include the Anesiology of the Human Body, English Grammar and Literature and The Queen’s Studying Years.

 

There are many top universities in England like University of Bristol, University of Cambridge, University of Durham and University of East Anglia. They are just few of the famous universities in England. If you are planning to visit England, you can even book cheap flights to Bristol or Edinburgh to get a glimpse of these top universities. If you are planning to visit England, Wales or Scotland then the best option for you is to get to study in England, Wales or Scotland. This will give you a chance to study different, English academic options like the University of Reading, University of Glasgow, University of Birmingham, University of Cambridge and University of Durham.

 

It is one of the oldest universities in England. Its beauty and reputation can be seen from its history book, ‘The University of Oxford’. The University of Bristol is also situated in the beautiful city of Bristol. Its teaching and research facilities are very good and it can compete with other big universities around the world. Many students from all over the UK and around the world to study in Bristol.

 

In the next lines we will be going to the University of Cambridge, which is located in England’s capital city. Cambridge is among the top universities in England and is famous among the academicians and researchers from around the world. It’s home to various top universities including Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Harvard University and Cambridge University. Cambridge is known for its contribution towards the field of science and technology and is a hub for many research labs. Many students go to study in Cambridge because of its rich educational facilities, eminent professors and great student life.

 

University of Cambridge is also a hub of international students and is a great place to study and to have a holiday break. It has a great location as it is situated at the heart of England. It attracts a large number of international students on holiday and brings them here to study. Cambridge has various options for studying abroad including the Staying and study in England program which is one of the popular programs with international students. International students can also study in University College London, which is the oldest University in England.

 

University of Bristol is the third largest University in England and it is located at the heart of England. It attracts a large number of students from all over the United Kingdom, Europe and America. Bristol offers many options for study abroad such as the International Student Study Abroad Program, European Study Abroad Program, South East Asian Business Study Abroad Program and the European Working Holiday Program. Students who want to spend their gap year between graduating and starting their professional career can choose to study in Bristol and earn a degree or they can also opt for a summer course.

 

After having explained these three most important factors about studying in England I will briefly discuss the different countries that are great suitable for students studying in England. Students who want to spend their gap year in England should therefore check out the country listed below which could be an interesting study destination for them. The four countries that I am going to mention are Ireland, Scotland, Jersey and Bermuda. In Ireland students studying Gaelic language, Irish Music and Dance, Irish food and drink, and Medieval traditions and cultures can enjoy their stay in Ireland. The weather in Ireland is quite nice and students will have no trouble finding jobs in the cities like Galway and Cork.

Bitcoin emergence as ‘digital gold’ could lift price to $146,000, says JPM

Bitcoin emergence as ‘digital gold’ could lift price to $146,000, says JPM
LONDON (Reuters) – Digital currency bitcoin has emerged as a rival to gold and could trade as high as $146,000 if it becomes established as a safe-haven asset, investment bank JPMorgan (JPM) said on Tuesday.

Interest in the world’s biggest cryptocurrency has soared this year, with investors viewing bitcoin as a hedge against inflation and an alternative to the depreciating dollar. The rush led to bitcoin prices more than tripling in the past six months to a record peak of $34,800 on Jan. 2.

“Bitcoin’s competition with gold has already started in our mind,” the Wall Street bank’s strategists said in a note, citing recent $7 billion outflows from gold and more than $3 billion of inflows into the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust.

That could mark a new dawn for the volatile digital currency after years as a play for speculators and retail punters.

“Considering how big the financial investment into gold is, a crowding out of gold as an ‘alternative’ currency implies big upside for bitcoin over the long term,” JPM said.

Bitcoin is likely to outshine gold as millennials become a more important component of the investment market over time and given their preference for “digital gold” over traditional bullion, JPM added.

With a market capitalisation of $575 billion, the bitcoin price would need a nearly fivefold jump to $146,000 to match the value of private gold wealth held in gold bars, coins or exchange-traded funds, the bank’s note added.

JPM strategists said the upside is conditional on the volatility of bitcoin converging with that of gold in the longer term.

Though JPM sees the possibility of “current speculative mania” propelling bitcoin to between $50,000 and $100,000, it warned that such levels would prove unsustainable until its volatility levels out.

“We note that the spectacular bitcoin rally of the past few weeks has moved bitcoin into more challenging territory, not only in terms of its positioning backdrop, but also in terms of its valuation,” the bank said.

Reporting by Thyagaraju Adinarayan; Editing by David Goodman

UK scholarships and fellowships for Singaporeans

UK scholarships and fellowships for Singaporeans keen to undertake research collaboration in the UK
The British High Commission Singapore has compiled a list of scholarships and fellowships for Singaporeans keen to undertake research collaboration in the UK.

Chevening Scholarships are for postgraduate studies in the UK, taught courses at almost any university and on almost any course. Upon completion of their programme, Chevening scholars become part of the Chevening Alumni, an extensive network of professionals from a wide variety of fields.

Among other eligibility requirements, applicants must be able to return to their country of citizenship for a minimum of two years after their award has ended, have at least two years’ work experience, have an undergraduate degree that will enable them to gain entry into a postgraduate programme at a UK University and be able to explain how they are a leader in line of work or area of specialist interest or expertise.

Commonwealth scholarships and fellowships
The Royal Commonwealth Society of Singapore was re-established in 2016 to promote the Commonwealth and to provide new Scholarships and Fellowships for eligible Singaporeans. These are:

The Singapore Commonwealth Scholarship in Innovation is available to students to undertake a postgraduate programme at a UK University. The programme should include an aspect of research or development in an innovation related area.

The Singapore Commonwealth Fellowship in Innovation supports applicants with a clear research plan to collaborate with a British institution. Applicants must have an agreement from a university, company, or other body in the UK that they can undertake a Fellowship collaboration with them.

Separately the Commonwealth Rutherford Fellowships are a global scheme of up to 50 Fellowships, available for researchers to spend one or two years at an eligible UK university conducting post doctoral research.

Commonwealth Rutherford Fellowships
Commonwealth Rutherford Fellowships are for highly skilled researchers from other Commonwealth countries to spend one or two years at an eligible UK university or higher education institution conducting postdoctoral research.

These fellowships are funded by the UK Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) through the Rutherford Fund, with the aim of attracting global talent and supporting the UK’s research base. Up to 50 fellowships are available.

Purpose: To support world-class research and innovation, and to contribute to the UK’s research base by attracting high-calibre international candidates and encouraging links and collaboration

Intended beneficiaries: Highly skilled and highly motivated PhD graduates whose proposed research topic is innovative, timely, and likely to lead to wider impact beyond the academic community and build research collaboration between the UK and other Commonwealth countries

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Following the recent announcement from Welsh Government, Gower College

Scholarships awarded by UK universities to Singaporeans
Guests at the Chevening and Commonwealth Awards Ceremony 2017

Guests at the Chevening and Commonwealth Awards Ceremony 2017

University of Cambridge: Various Undergraduate and Graduate scholarships are on offer, including:

The NUS Cambridge Scholarship. This scholarship is available for PhD students who are citizens and permanent residents of Singapore. Applicants should simultaneously apply to the University of Cambridge and the National University of Singapore. Successful applicants are expected to work at NUS after completion of their PhD.
The Amy Li Cambridge Scholarship. This scholarship is available to students studying for a BA in Physics, Engineering, Mathematics, or Chemical Engineering. It is worth £16,000 a year. No separate application is required.
Individual Cambridge colleges may also offer scholarships to their students. To check for scholarships offered directly by the college you wish to apply to, please refer to their website. An example of this is the Lee Kuan Yew Fitzwilliam Scholarship Fund provided by Fitzwilliam College, which provides opportunities to support graduate research by talented young academics from Singapore or working in fields with some connection to Singapore. These include:

the Hong Leong – Lee Kuan Yew Masters Scholarship, which guarantees a full funding package for the successful student for a one-year course

the Kuok Family – Lee Kuan Yew PhD Scholarship, which guarantees a full funding package for the successful student, for three years, subject to annual review

University of Oxford: Various Undergraduate and Graduate scholarships are on offer to eligible applicants.

London School of Economics and Political Science: Various Undergraduate and Graduate scholarships are on offer to eligible applicants, including the Graduate Support Scheme, which is open to eligible applicants for a majority of diploma and taught master’s study. The value of an award ranges from £5,000 to £15,000, depending on financial need.

Royal Holloway, University of London: Various Undergraduate and Postgraduate scholarships are on offer to eligible applicants, including:

The International Excellence Scholarships, which provides a tuition fee waiver of £10,000 over three years for international students studying any subject with expected grades of AAA at A Level or equivalent.

The Royal Holloway Engineering Excellence Scholarship, which is open to new students studying for a degree within Electronic Engineering with expected grades of AAA at A Levels or equivalent. This scheme provides a tuition fee waiver worth £3,500 in the first year of the programme.

University of Warwick: Various undergraduate and postgraduate scholarships are on offer to eligible applicants. These include the Global Excellence Undergraduate Scholarship and the Albukhary Undergraduate Scholarship. The Friends of the University of Warwick in Singapore Scholarship is a full scholarship offered to financially disadvantaged Singaporean citizens and Permanent Residents who have received an undergraduate offer from the university. Partial postgraduate scholarships are also offered by various academic departments such as the Warwick Business School and WMG.

University College London: Various Undergraduate and Graduate scholarships are on offer to eligible applicants including The Denys Holland Scholarship, which is awarded to students in financial hardship who are able to demonstrate that they would not be able to study at UCL without the scholarship. It is worth £9,000 per year for 3 years. Scholars can use all or part of the award to cover their fees, and any remainder will be paid as a stipend.

Imperial College London: Various Undergraduate and Postgraduate scholarships are on offer to eligible applicants, including the World Scientific Scholarship, which is awarded on the basis of academic merit and financial need. This scholarship is open to ASEAN students who have been offered a place at Imperial College London. It is worth £5,000 a year for up to 4 years and subject to satisfactory academic progress.

St Andrew’s University: Various Undergraduate and Postgraduate scholarships are on offer to eligible applicants.

University of Edinburgh: Various Undergraduate and Postgraduate scholarships are on offer to eligible applicants.

Queen Mary University, London: Various Undergraduate and Postgraduate scholarships are on offer to eligible applicants. Many of QMUL’s scholarships are awarded automatically when entry requirements are met, which means that there is no need to apply separately. These include the International Science and Engineering Excellence Awards (worth £3,000 for the first year and given automatically to all overseas undergraduate students who meet the entry requirements), the QMUL Anniversary Scholarship and the First Year Scholarship (awarded to first year LLB students and worth £1,000 a year, with second and final year scholarships also available).

King’s College, London: Various Undergraduate and Postgraduate scholarships are on offer to eligible applicants, including the Singapore Scholarship Fund, worth up to £20,000 for eligible Singaporean nationals to undertake an undergraduate or postgraduate taught programme in Law, Natural & Mathematical Sciences, Arts & Humanities, or Social Science & Public Policy.

University of Leicester: Various Undergraduate and Postgraduate scholarships are on offer to eligible applicants, including the Aviva Scholarship Programme, which offers a 20% tuition fee discount to selected, academically outstanding students from Singapore for most full-time undergraduate and postgraduate taught programmes.

University of Sussex: Various Undergraduate scholarships and Masters courses are on offer to eligible applicants, including the Sussex Excellence Scholarship (a cash award of £3,000 in the first year of a three or four year undergraduate degree programme for those who achieve AAA in A Levels, or 36 points and above in IB) and the Chancellor’s International Scholarship (50% off international student fee for one year for any student enrolled in a full time Postgraduate taught degree for certain courses).

City, University of London: Various Undergraduate and Postgraduate scholarships are on offer to eligible applicants, including:

The Aviva Scholarship, which covers 20% of overseas tuition fees for selected courses in the School of Health Sciences, School of Mathematics, Computer Science and Engineering and School of Arts and Social Sciences. Students from Singapore who are Aviva customers, or who parents are Aviva customers, are eligible to apply.

The Cass Business School International Scholarships, a scholarship offering £2000 towards Year 1 tuition fees only. Students with outstanding grades who have accepted an offer from Cass Business School as their firm choice are encouraged to apply.

The Global Leaders Scholarships, a scholarship worth £1,000 for the first year of study. Applicants are evaluated based on their grades and personal statements.

The President’s International Scholarship, for students who achieve AAA grades or above in A Levels or score of 35 and above (grade requirements for different courses may vary). Students who are awarded the scholarship will receive £2,000 pounds a year for a maximum of three years and is subject to satisfactory academic performance.

University of Durham: Various Undergraduate and Postgraduate scholarships are on offer to eligible applicants, including the BP Scholarship for up to 10 Durham students studying selected courses in science, engineering, management or economics and is worth £3,000 a year. Recipients will also be fast tracked to an interview for an internship or graduate role. Eligible students in the first term of their first year at Durham are sent details on how to apply and scholarships are awarded based on academic merit and potential.

Other schemes which may support study in the UK
Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR): Various scholarships are on offer to eligible applicants, including the National Science Scholarship (PhD), a fully-funded scholarship enables Singaporean students with a passion for biomedical sciences, physical sciences and engineering, to study at top research universities around the world.

Lee Kuan Yew Scholarship: This scholarship was set-up by the Tanjong Pagar Citizens’ Consultative Committee with funding from the public. Restricted to Singaporean citizens, Lee Kuan Yew Scholarship recipients can pursue postgraduate studies overseas or locally to develop their potential as leaders in their respective fields. There are no restrictions on the course of study.

The Royal Society: Various research grants are on offer to eligible researchers.

Published 31 July 2018Last updated 4 January 2021 + show all updates

4 January 2021
Updated information on scholarships offered at the University of Warwick.

Top International Insurance M&As of 2020

Top International Insurance M&As of 2020
Since it was first announced in March, the proposed Aon-Willis merger became the leading merger and non-merger insurance story of the entire year. But there were also other proposed and completed transactions that caught the eyes of Insurance Journal’s international readers. Here are some of the M&A articles that were most popular with readers of international news in 2020:

Aon to Buy Willis Towers Watson

Global insurance brokers Aon and Willis Towers Watson in March announced they had agreed to merge in an all-stock transaction with an implied combined equity value of approximately $80 billion. Upon completion of the combination, existing Aon shareholders will own approximately 63% and existing Willis Towers Watson shareholders will own approximately 37% of the combined company on a fully diluted basis. According to S&P, Aon intends to combine with Willis in an all-stock transaction valued at about $30 billion, with Willis shares being exchanged to Aon shares. The combined company will be named Aon. Combined the companies will have more than $20 billion in revenue. Aon reported $11 billion in revenue with $2.2 billion net income for 2019 compared to $9 billion revenue and $1.4 billion net income for Willis Towers Watson. Aon will maintain operating headquarters in London, United Kingdom. The parent company will be incorporated in Ireland. The combined firm will have 95,000 employees globally, with what the announcement said will be a “significant presence” in Chicago, New York and Singapore. John Haley will take on the role of executive chairman with a focus on growth and innovation strategy. The combined firm will be led by Greg Case and Aon Chief Financial Officer Christa Davies. The board of directors will comprise proportional members from Aon and Willis Towers Watson’s current directors. In December Aon confirmed that the European Commission has initiated a review of the proposed merger. Aon said the review is a common next step “for a transaction of this size and complexity” and said it remains on track to close the deal in the first half of 2021.

Third Point Re and Sirius Group Agree to Merger in Deal Worth $788M

Third Point Reinsurance and Sirius International Insurance Group, a global multi-line insurer and reinsurer, announced in August they had agreed to combine in a cash and stock transaction worth $788 million. The new company will be renamed SiriusPoint and will be based in Bermuda. Third Point Re will purchase Sirius from its parent company, China Minsheng Investment Group, for $100 million in cash and approximately 58 million of Third Point Re shares. Both Third Point Re and Sirius are headquartered in Bermuda. The transaction, which is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2021, will create a global company with approximately $3.3 billion of tangible capital.

Zurich, Farmers Agree to Buy MetLife’s U.S. P/C Business for $3.94 Billion

Zurich Insurance and Farmers Exchanges in December agreed to buy MetLife’s U.S. property and casualty business for $3.94 billion, the insurers said, in an environment where the COVID-19 pandemic has made motor and home insurers more profitable. The Swiss insurer will contribute $2.43 billion to the deal through its Farmers Group Inc (FGI) unit, while the Farmers Exchanges will contribute $1.51 billion. The deal will give Farmers Exchanges, to which FGI provides administrative and management services, a nationwide presence in the U.S. and access to new distribution channels.

Arch Capital to Buy Watford for $700M in Cash, with Support from Former Rival Enstar

Arch Capital and Enstar Group had embarked in a bidding war for Watford Holdings during several months in late 2020. Ultimately, Arch emerged as the buyer by providing an all-cash offer valued at approximately $700 million. Enstar, which owns 9.1% of Watford’s common shares, at the same time agreed to abandon its quest to buy the insurer. In May 2020, activist investor Capital Returns Management LLC called for Watford to be sold or put into runoff, complaining about “consistently poor operating and stock performance” in comparison with its peers in the industry. When an initial offer of $31.00 per share was received in early October from Enstar, Ronald D. Bobman, president of New York-based Capital Returns, said, while he was encouraged by the offer, the price was still a significant discount “to the value of Watford’s extremely attractive book.” Under the final agreed deal, Arch will pay $35.00 per share for Watford.

Equity Firm Cinven, Singapore’s GIC to Buy Insurance Broker Miller from Willis

Private equity firm Cinven and GIC, Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund, in November agreed to acquire London-based specialist insurance and (re)insurance broker Miller from its partners and corporate member, Willis Towers Watson. Bloomberg reported that the deal values the business at about 680 million pounds ($896 million). Founded in 1902, Miller operates in the UK, Lloyd’s and internationally. It employs more than 640 people through its offices in London, Ipswich, Brussels, Paris, Singapore and Geneva. Miller’s specialty areas include marine, energy, credit and political risks, delegated authorities, professional risks, property, casualty, sports and entertainment and re/insurance. Miller places c. £2 billion worth of premiums annually. Cinven and GIC said they were attracted to invest in Miller based in part on it being a cash generative business model with a strong position in the wholesale insurance markets.

K2 Insurance Agrees to Acquire Pioneer Underwriters’ Portfolio

Pioneer Underwriters, the managing general agency, and K2 Insurance Services, the specialty insurance services holding company, in April signed terms for a portfolio transfer, to facilitate K2’s purchase of Pioneer. Under the transaction, Pioneer’s ongoing underwriting portfolio, together with underwriting and support staff, will transfer to K2. The transferred business will comprise underwriting units specializing in property catastrophe reinsurance, financial institutions, international property facultative and marine specialty. These units will continue to be based in London and will form the cornerstone for future growth in K2’s international platform. Together the units will underwrite approximately £150 million (US$185.2 million) of gross written premium in 2020, all of which is supported by high quality capacity providers, said a statement from London-based Pioneer.

UK Insurer RSA Accepts $9.6 Billion Cash Takeover Offer

Canada’s Intact Financial and Denmark’s Tryg announced in November they had agreed to buy British insurance group RSA for 7.2 billion pounds ($9.6 billion) in cash in one of Europe’s biggest financial takeovers of 2020. Best known in Britain for its “More Than” brand, RSA provides home, motor and commercial insurance and also has large operations in Canada, Ireland and Scandinavia. The proposed takeover would result in the break-up of the British group. Intact would gain RSA’s Canada, UK and international operations while Tryg would take the Sweden and Norway businesses. The pair would co-own RSA’s Danish unit.

Tokio Marine Completes Acquisition of Pure Group

Tokio Marine Holdings announced in February that it had completed the acquisition of New York-based Privilege Underwriters Inc. and its subsidiaries, known as Pure Group, which specializes in the U.S. high net worth insurance market. The acquisition price was $3.1 billion (approximately JPY 325.5B). The deal was completed through Tokio Marine’s wholly owned subsidiary HCC Insurance Holdings, Inc. Tokio Marine acquired 100% of Privilege Underwriters Inc.’s shares from existing shareholders that include Stone Point (51%), KKR (34%), AXA XL (10%), Pure management and others (5%).For 2018, Pure reported fee income of $229 million, a before-tax profit of $73 million and $963 million premiums under management. Its business profile is composed of homeowners (57%), auto (23%), inland marine (9%), and other lines for high-net worth clients.

Allianz Buys U.K.’s LV General Insurance and Legal & General’s Non-Life Unit

Allianz Holdings plc, the UK subsidiary of Allianz SE, in January completed its acquisition of the remaining 51% of LV General Insurance Group from Liverpool Victoria Friendly Society. The total consideration by Allianz for 100 percent of LV GIG will be up to £1.078 billion (US$1.429 billion). In a separate deal, Allianz Holdings announced it has completed the acquisition of 100 percent of the General Insurance division of L&G GI for £242 million ($320.8 million). This business is being combined with LV GIG, although the Legal & General brand will continue to be used in the UK general insurance market for up to three years, said Guildford, England-headquartered Allianz Holdings. The completion of these deals positions Allianz Holdings as the number two general insurer in the UK.

French Mutual Covéa Scraps $9 Billion Purchase of PartnerRe from EXOR

EXOR announced in March it had agreed to sell PartnerRe to French mutual insurer Covéa. By May, however, Covéa had scrapped the deal, as a result of market dislocation caused by the coronavirus pandemic. In August, however, EXOR and PartnerRe drew a line under the failure of the deal by Covéa agreeing to some investments in EXOR as well as investments in a number of special purpose insurance vehicles managed by PartnerRe. EXOR bought the Bermuda-based reinsurer in March 2016 for $6.72 billion in cash.

India’s Future Group to Sell Stake in Insurance Joint Venture with Generali

India’s Future Group said in April that it has picked UBS Group AG to lead the sale of its stake in an insurance joint venture with Italy’s Assicurazioni Generali SpA, according to people familiar with the matter. Future Group is working with the Swiss bank on the plans to dispose its share of the Future Generali life and general insurance businesses, said the people, asking not to be identified as the discussions are private. The Indian group, which controls companies including Amazon.com Inc.’s local retail partner, has held initial discussions with potential buyers, the people said.

Tysers (Integro) Completes Acquisition of Lloyd’s Broker RFIB

Integro Insurance Brokers Holdings Ltd., the parent of UK-based firm Integro Insurance Brokers Ltd., which trades under the Tysers brand, announced in June it had completed its acquisition of Risk Transfer Group, the privately owned principal parent company of RFIB, an independent specialist Lloyd’s broker. London-based Integro and Tysers merged their insurance operations in 2018.

AXA Sells Persian Gulf Business for $269 Million to Kuwaiti-Based Group

In November, AXA SA said it sold its Persian Gulf business for $269 million to a Kuwait-based group, as the French insurance giant shifts its focus and exits some overseas investments to shore up its finances amid the coronavirus pandemic. The Paris-based insurer said it sold its stakes in AXA Gulf, AXA Cooperative Insurance Co. and AXA Green Crescent Insurance Co. to Gulf Insurance Group, a Kuwaiti insurance group in which Canada’s Fairfax Financial Holdings is a major shareholder. As part of the AXA transaction, Gulf conglomerate Yusuf Bin Ahmed Kanoo will sell its shareholdings in AXA Gulf and AXA Cooperative Insurance Co. The total value of the sale to Gulf Insurance Group, which is expected to close by the third quarter 2021, is $475 million. Gulf Insurance Group is acquiring a business that focuses predominantly on health and property insurance, with more than 30 branches and a sales footprint in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Oman and Qatar.

Investors Pelican Ventures, J.C. Flowers to Buy Ariel Re from Argo

Pelican Ventures and J.C. Flowers & Co., both private equity investors with significant insurance expertise, announced in November that they have agreed to acquire reinsurance franchise Ariel Re from Argo Group for an undisclosed sum. Ariel Re is a global underwriter of property and casualty reinsurance operating through Lloyd’s Syndicate 1910. Argo purchased Ariel Re in February 2017. Argo Group recently has taken a series of steps to restructure its business after some poor results and a leadership change. As part of the Ariel Re deal, Pelican Ventures and J.C. Flowers also announced that they have agreed on terms for an operational partnership with Apollo Syndicate Management Ltd. to further develop SPA 6133, a Lloyd’s special purpose arrangement (SPA) focused on property catastrophe reinsurance. Under the partnership, Pelican Ventures and J.C. Flowers will provide additional capital, operational support and distribution.

Argo Group Agrees to Sell Its Italian Business

Argo Group International Holdings Ltd., a Bermuda-based underwriter of specialty insurance, has agreed to sell its Italian operations, ArgoGlobal Assicurazioni S.p.A (AGA) to Perfuturo Capital AG, a Swiss holding company. Perfuturo is fully owned by Philantra Holding AG – a green, technology and renewable energy specialist. Closing is expected in early 2021. Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed. “We are confident that Perfuturo’s expertise and knowledge of the European market will allow AGA to thrive,” said Matt Harris, Argo Group head of international operations. “This transaction aligns with our strategy to simplify the business and streamline operations. “Argo Group will continue to focus on specialty insurance lines of business that we expect will result in profitable growth and improved shareholder value,” Harris said.

Generali to Purchase AXA’s Greek Operations for $203 Million

Assicurazioni Generali SpA agreed to buy the Greek operations of French insurer AXA SA as part of its plans to expand in European non-life and health businesses. The Italian company will pay 165 million euros ($203 million) for AXA Greece, equivalent to 12.2 times 2019 earnings, subject to closing adjustments, it said in the statement. Generali has also extended an existing distribution agreement between AXA and Alpha Bank AE by 20 years beyond its current expiration date of March 2027. AXA currently sells insurance products in Greece through a long-term distribution agreement with Alpha Bank, making the renegotiation of the partnership a key step for the agreement. The business distributes its products through a network of more than 600 agents. In 2019, AXA Greece posted total gross insurance premiums of about 168 million euros.

Nexus Completes Acquisition of Hiscox MGA Marine Business

Independent specialty managing general agent Nexus Group announced it completed the acquisition of the Hiscox MGA Marine business (HMM) from Hiscox MGA Ltd. on Dec. 30, 2020 via an asset purchase into Millstream Underwriting Ltd., a Nexus Group company which specializes in consumer insurance. The team in HMM underwrites yachts and the marine trades industry. The business was originally established in 2012 and acquired by Hiscox in 2015. Hiscox will continue to provide underwriting capacity for the business alongside other existing markets, led by long-standing supporters Talbot and AXA XL. HMM will become an integral part of Millstream and the business will continue to operate as usual.

Mesothelioma Presents Different Challenges for Veterans

A veteran with mesothelioma cancer is different than a civilian with mesothelioma because of the two different systems veterans need to navigate.

Veterans may have access to both civilian and VA medical systems as well as compensation options from the VA and civilian legal systems.

This makes connecting early in the process with specialists who understand military service and asbestos exposure so important.

A specialist in both medical issues and benefits is necessary to ensure the best mesothelioma treatment and access to all resources for veterans and their families.

We have known for many years in the United States that veterans have had more exposure to asbestos. There is a higher percentage of veterans with mesothelioma than would be expected in the general population.

Military veterans comprise just 7% of the American population, but an estimated 30% of those are diagnosed with mesothelioma each year.

UK Studies Veterans with Mesothelioma
A recent study from the United Kingdom confirmed the same for UK vets. It again highlighted the need for them to connect with a specialist like me who better understands military exposure to asbestos and what might be available to them and their families.

The study confirmed the types of exposure they have had, often different than what a civilian is facing. It also confirmed the kind of mindset we often see in veterans.

I’ve talked with thousands of veterans over the years, and there often is a reluctance to share their experiences with family members and medical professionals who are not veterans themselves. They keep things bottled up inside.

The majority of veterans diagnosed with mesothelioma are men, and men typically approach any type of serious health concerns differently than women.

Most veterans with asbestos-related diseases are from blue-collar backgrounds. They approach doctors differently. It’s a combination of factors, but they mostly fall into the category of work with your hands, solve your own problems, don’t ask for help.

Completing the Mission Is the Priority
These veterans focus on getting the mission done and don’t complain about their own aches and pains. It’s a military mentality that has a lot of carryover into blue-collar work as well. Much of that was reflected in the recent study.

Because of the latency period between exposure and asbestos-related diseases, there may be less of an understanding of the dangers. Nobody in the military questions if what they are doing is dangerous. You kind of assume that everything you do is dangerous. That’s why you are there.

You just do it to accomplish the mission, or complete your assigned task, and not ask a lot of questions about personal safety.

That may have exposed veterans to more asbestos than in a civilian job, where you had a choice to complete it or not. In the military, you’re just going to get it done.

The study touches on a lot of this. The vet who gets sick often doesn’t want to deal with burdening the family, spending money on treatment or depleting what would be available for his wife.

Connecting Veterans with Experts Is Key
So for me, the biggest takeaway from the study was the need for vets to connect with people who understand veterans benefits and the legal side of it all.

It also helps them understand what they were exposed to, so if they start experiencing breathing issues or other health problems they will know how to talk to the doctors about it.

It’s also so important for veterans to see a medical specialist who understands military exposure so they can get an accurate diagnosis.

There was nothing really groundbreaking in the study, but referencing a new study likes this provides a fresh face on the topic.

It reinforces a lot of what we already know, and reminds veterans about the need for an early diagnosis and getting access to mesothelioma specialists who understand the early stages of the disease.

It was right on the mark. Veterans often have a different perspective.

Supreme Court says companies must pay for asbestos damage

The Supreme Court ruled that construction materials companies, not just the central government, must also be held accountable for not acting earlier to prevent health damage from inhalation of asbestos among former construction workers.

Its decision could have wide-ranging ramifications as 24 similar lawsuits have been filed around Japan by former construction workers, a number of whom are now deceased, and their bereaved family members seeking compensation from the state as well as construction companies.

The Supreme Court finalized the central government’s responsibility in a separate lawsuit on Dec. 14.

In its latest ruling dated Jan. 28, the First Petty Bench rejected an appeal by the defendants and finalized an Osaka High Court ruling in August 2018 that ordered 300 million yen ($2.9 million) be paid in compensation by the central government and eight construction materials companies. The 27 former construction workers and their relatives had sought about 1 billion yen in compensation from the state and 32 private companies.

Past court rulings focused on the fact that asbestos manufactured by a number of different firms may be used at a single workplace, making it difficult to pinpoint which product was responsible for health problems that later materialized.

But in a 2016 ruling, the Kyoto District Court for the first time ruled that the construction materials companies were also responsible. It calculated their market share of asbestos to determine the amount of compensation the companies had to pay.

The Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the district court ruling approved by the Osaka High Court means that the decision about company responsibility will likely also serve as a precedent in the other lawsuits now before courts.

“The companies had long argued that they were not responsible on grounds there was no telling what construction materials were being used,” Akira Murayama, the lawyer who heads the team for the plaintiffs, said at a Jan. 29 news conference in Kyoto. “But the Supreme Court has now recognized that stance as totally unacceptable.”

He called on the companies to expediently discuss payment of the compensation with the central government, given that many of the plaintiffs are now elderly and suffer from illnesses such as mesothelioma and lung cancer, caused by inhaling asbestos in the workplace.

In rejecting the appeal by the defendants, the Supreme Court did not spell out a clear reasoning for the decision. Two other cases are still pending before the Supreme Court, which is expected to explain its reasoning when it issues a ruling on all four cases, including the latest one stemming from the Kyoto District Court, as well as the December ruling on the Tokyo High Court decision.

The former construction workers in Kyoto Prefecture who were plaintiffs in the latest case sought compensation on grounds the central government and construction materials companies did nothing to publicize the dangers of asbestos or to make wearing face masks obligatory even though the dangers of inhaling asbestos were known in the 1960s.

The Osaka High Court ruling not only affirmed the use of market share in finding the companies responsible, but also found freelance, self-employed construction workers should also be considered as “workers” protected by the Industrial Safety and Health Law. In the past, only workers employed by companies were considered covered by the provisions of the law.

Widow is suing council over husband’s death

Keith Foster died in December 2019 aged 72 from asbestos related cancer.

Now his widow, Jacqueline, 68, accuses the council which employed Mr Foster of negligence.

In a writ issued at the court in London she says as a result of their negligence her husband was exposed to deadly asbestos fibres and dust which caused the disease he died of.

Mr Foster worked as a swimming pool attendant and charge hand at Langley Baths between around 1965 and 1973.

The writ says during the course of the work at the baths, which opened in 1937, he brushed against pipework and boilers which had been lagged with asbestos and was in contact with the asbestos lagging when he climbed the boilers to light them.

He is also said to have swept up asbestos dust and debris with an ordinary sweeping brush after being close to workers who removed the lagging from the pipes.

And it is claimed he also brushed against the lagging when he crawled through a tunnel under the pool.

The first symptoms of the cancer emerged in April 2019 says the writ.

It says he underwent invasive investigations until his condition was diagnosed and he received chemotherapy for the disease, which is inevitably fatal.

Now Mrs Foster from Beeches Road, Oldbury, who had been married to her husband since 1970 is seeking damages for his estate and for herself and their son.

Solicitors for the council are said to have admitted breach of duty in an email in June last year but the case is continuing for the amount of compensation to be assessed.

A council spokesman said: “Whilst our sympathies are with Mrs Foster for the loss of her husband, we are not able to make any further comment at this time.”

Bitcoin nears $50,000, wider adoption fuels record rally

Bitcoin hit a new record high and approached $50,000 on Sunday, building on its record rally as Wall Street and Main Street increasingly adopt the world’s biggest cryptocurrency.

FILE PHOTO: A collection of bitcoin (virtual currency) tokens are displayed in this picture illustration taken Dec. 8, 2017. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier/Illustration/File Photo

Bitcoin recently stood at $48,700 on Sunday morning, up more than 3%. It had traded as high as $49,714 earlier in the day. The cryptocurrency is up almost 70% year to date.

After long being shunned by traditional financial firms, bitcoin and other virtual currencies appear to be increasingly entering the mainstream as an asset and routine payment vehicle.

BNY Mellon said last week it formed a new unit to help clients hold, transfer and issue digital assets, just days after Elon Musk’s Tesla revealed it had bought $1.5 billion worth of the cryptocurrency and would soon accept it as a form of payment for its cars.

On Friday, Canada’s Ontario Securities Commission approved the launch of Purpose Bitcoin ETF, Toronto-based asset management company Purpose Investments Inc said in a statement. The OSC confirmed it had cleared the launch of the world’s first bitcoin exchange-traded fund, in a separate statement to Reuters.

“The institutional side and corporate America is showing that this movement is not going away anytime soon,” said Edward Moya, senior market strategist at OANDA. “There’s still a raft of big money that’s going to jump onto this bandwagon.”

Mayor Francis Suarez of Miami also said on Friday the Florida city is seeking to embrace bitcoin in its operations, a move that could bring dividends in terms of attracting technology companies.

In January, BlackRock Inc, the world’s largest asset manager, added bitcoin as an eligible investment to two funds.

Credit card giant Mastercard’s plans to offer support for some cryptocurrencies also boosted bitcoin’s ambitions towards mainstream finance, though many banks remain reluctant to engage with it.

Cryptocurrency miner Riot Blockchain rose 14% on Friday and hit its highest in over 10 years with a weekly gain of 110%, its biggest weekly gain since 2017. Digital asset tech company Marathon Patent Group showed a weekly gain of over 70%.

Reporting by Fergal Smith in Toronto, David Randall in New York; Julien Ponthus in London, Karen Pierog in Chicago; Additional reporting by Ira Iosebashvili; Writing by Alden Bentley; Editing by Ira Iosebashvili and Lisa Shumaker