An alternative leg day away from the gym, an insurance professional cooks up a storm and one insurer celebrates its 100th birthday. What has the insurance sector been up to lately? You heard it here first…

Leg day 

Matt Scott, co-founder of market intelligence firm Insurance DataLab (IDL), last month unveiled a brand new tattoo just in time to attend Biba’s annual Manchester-based conference. In a LinkedIn post on 10 May 2022, Scott showed off a colourful new ink on his lower leg of the IDL logo.

Scott confirmed that the tat was in honour of co-founding his first business. He launched IDL in 2021 alongside Dan King. The data insight business provides information on more than 700 insurance companies based in the UK and Gibraltar, covering metrics such as pricing and M&A activity.

Matt Scott's tattooed leg

Credit: Matt Scott

Taste for insurance 

One insurer’s staffer proved he has more than underwriting skills after succeeding in cookery show MasterChef this year.

NFU Mutual’s flagship branch manager, Santigie Singhateh, showcased his culinary skills to get through to the show’s semi-final, before being eliminated last month.

Singhateh said that he loves cooking west African dishes that he grew up with, crediting his mum and older brother with teaching him his kitchen know-how.

He originally entered MasterChef to show his two daughters that anything is possible.


Credit: Santigie Singhateh 

Centenary celebration

On 27 May 2022, Zurich celebrated its 100th birthday. During this time frame, it has been involved in a number of interesting policies - for example, it insured author Charles Dickens’ life in November 1841 for £5,000. This policy would now be worth around £300,000 if Dickens wanted to take the policy out today.

Zurich also insured the life of Queen Victoria’s mother, the Duchess of Kent, for £3,700. Again, this policy would be worth around £250,000 today. The Duchess died aged 74 in 1861.

Tim Bailey, Zurich UK’s chief executive, said the insurer’s UK operations started with one member of staff who opened the first office in the City of London in May 1922. The firm now employs 4,500 people nationally.

100 years old cake

Credit: Getty 

Insurance fit for a Queen

For those celebrating Her Majesty the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee this month, insurer Aviva has examined how insurance has evolved since the Queen first came to the throne.

Around 70 years ago, wireless radio and TV installation insurance policies were available for households, covering accidental death or injury caused by these devices to any person not belonging to the household. However, these policies did not cover wear and tear or mechanical failure.  

For travel insurance, policyholders 70 years ago could obtain excess cover for typewriters taken on holiday in 1952.

Platinum Jubilee

Credit: Getty


The Speculator 


The ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine has seen many insurance firms exit their operations completely in these territories. Zurich is the latest - on 20 May 2022, it confirmed that it was selling its Russian business to 11 members of the unit’s team.

Under new ownership, the Russia-based business will operate independently from Zurich, under a different brand.

In March 2022, Zurich also removed its ’Z’ symbol from social media after the letter became a symbol of support in Russia for its invasion of Ukraine. 

AIG cut ties with Russia and Ukraine in April 2022, to mitigate any hefty claims. 

Meanwhile, in March 2022, some trade credit insurers pulled back from Russia, including Allianz Trade.

Marsh also exited all its businesses in Russia in February 2022.

Will insurance firms continue to pull out of this region? If so, which will be next to make its exit?