The Riddler, coffee houses and wellbeing initiatives. What has the insurance industry been up to of late? You heard it here first…

Riddle me this

What has insurance got to do with DC Comics’ supervillain the Riddler? Artificial intelligence focused regulatory compliance insurtech, Regsearch, decided to don the green suits embellished with question marks at Finance Isle of Man’s first insurtech conference, held on 26 and 27 January 2023.

Taking place on the Isle of Man, the event signalled the conclusion of the four-month Isle of Man Insurtech Accelerator Program. The conference featured a welcome address from the island’s chief minister and pitches from the programme’s first cohort, which includes Regsearch.


Credit: Regsearch/Clare Ruel 

Insurer-backed innovation

Zurich launched the fourth edition of its Zurich Innovation Championships on 26 January 2023, urging insurance startups to register to participate by 27 February 2023.

This global, four-month initiative allows startups to access funding and mentors from both Zurich and external market specialists to help the firms grow their businesses and develop propositions to suit the evolving needs of customers and the insurance industry.

The startups for the next cohort will be selected in April.

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Credit: Getty 

Fuelled by Coffee

The Insurance Museum went live in January 2023 with its second online gallery series - entitled Fuelled by Coffee, the gallery features as part of the museum’s Fire! Risk and Revelations exhibition.

Fuelled by Coffee focuses on 18th century insurance firms. The gallery was inspired by the role that English coffee houses have played in the insurance market’s history, facilitating networking and business transactions. One example is Lloyd’s Coffee House.

The Insurance Museum aims to inform and educate people about the history of insurance through different exhibitions – it plans to be based permanently in London and is currently seeking further funding.


Credit: Getty 

The Broker Cup

Technology firm Myles Wellbeing launched The Broker Cup competition for brokers in February 2023, to promote wellbeing and healthy collaboration.

During the month-long fitness challenge, entrants are allowed to use Myles Wellbeing’s platform for free to earn virtual coins referred to as Smyles - this is achieved by the platform syncing with brokers’ existing fitness trackers and recording their activity.

The competition, designed by Toby Cannon and Michael McCreadie, aims to incentivise sustainable behavioural change for desk-based staff. Employees can receive prizes such as vouchers via the Myles Wellbeing app. 

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Credit: Getty 

The Speculator 


Penny James, who has been chief executive of Direct Line Group (DLG) for around four years, stepped down from her position on 27 January 2023.

This news followed a trading update published by DLG on 11 January 2023, which revealed that the insurer had scrapped its final dividend to shareholders for the 2022 financial year due to reductions in the valuations of commercial property holdings in its investment portfolio.

The insurer has also been continually battling claims inflation - it predicted that this would cause its combined operating ratio to worsen by two or three percentage points in 2023.

Although chief commercial officer Jon Greenwood is filling the chief executive’s chair on an interim basis, DLG is now seeking a new leader. Who will James’ successor be?