Also in the news this week ...

US catastrophe rates fall

Catastrophe renewal rates in North America have fallen by between 10% and 20% in the past quarter, according to Bowring Marsh chief executive Nick Bacon. He said reduction in capacity was beginning to ease for North American catastrophe, and fresh capacity was coming in from Bermuda-based Alterra. He added: “The London market is still competitive enough to protect its portfolio.”

Plant unit to continue

The Plant and Agricultural National Intelligence Unit (PANIU) will survive the government cuts thanks to support from insurers, said the unit’s head, detective constable Ian Elliot. PANIU, a partnership between police and insurers to fight plant theft, had received funding from insurers to continue beyond its two-year remit. Allianz director of engineering markets Neil Clutterbuck said: “PANIU enables insurers to differentiate their underwriting approach and provide financial incentives to plant owners.”

Deadline looms for brit

Private equity firm Apollo’s long-running quest to buy Lloyd’s insurer Brit is likely to conclude on Friday, when the exclusivity deadline on talks between Brit, Apollo and Apollo’s partner, CVC Capital Partners, runs out. There is speculation that the deal could be done a day ahead of the deadline. Brit and Apollo declined to comment. The market is confident the deal will go through.