Celeb spotting, pets swallowing foreign objects and the insurtech sector joining forces for a cycling race - what has the insurance industry been up to of late? You heard it here first…

Tour de Insurtech  

Software provider Genasys brought together a host of keen cyclists from the insurtech sector for a very different networking event - the inaugural Tour de Insurtech, which was held in late July.  

As Covid-19 restrictions were lifted, 26 cyclists in the insurance industry participated in the unique event, including Google’s managing director of insurance for North America Nigel Walsh, Lloyd’s Lab senior manager Ed Gaze, CGI’s director consulting expert Chris Carney, Percayso Inform’s managing director Rich Tomlinson and Carpenters Group head of public affairs Andy Thornley.   

The group undertook 11 stages around the UK, finishing at the Herne Hill Velodrome.  

The tour started in London, before moving through Kent, Essex, Nottingham, Chester, Bristol and Dartmouth. 

The event has been hailed a great success and plans are already underway for the 2022 event.  


Credit: Genasys 

Mission Impossible  

Branko Bjelobaba, principal at general insurance compliance consultancy Branko, brushed shoulders with an acting superstar when attending the ladies’ singles final at tennis championship Wimbledon in July - he sat just five seats away from Mission Impossible actor Tom Cruise and even managed to get a cheeky selfie.  

The two spoke about filming in Bedfordshire’s Heath and Reach, which is a village next door to Leighton Buzzard, where Bjelobaba volunteers at a local railway.  

Tom Cruise and Branko B_Wimbledon

Credit: Branko Bjelobaba

Wolfing it down 

Next time when disposing of a face mask, make sure it ends up in the bin. Purely Pets, part of Markerstudy’s retail and affinity division, has urged pet owners to make sure their four-legged friends are properly protected after claims for cats and dogs wolfing down foreign objects surged by 44% between April 2020 and March 2021.

Items ingested by pets included bones, Christmas tinsel, tennis balls, toys, socks, kebab skewers and face masks. 

Markerstudy said the rise in these types of claims could be the result of so many people working from home during the pandemic lockdowns because owners are more likely to witness their cat or dog having an unsuitable snack. In some cases, affected pets have faced surgery.

And speaking of wolfing it down, Lloyd’s of London is considering adding a Michelin–starred restaurant to the top of its headquarters as part of its revamp with enviable views of the city, it is just one of the proposed new spaces at the insurance marketplace which could also include a food market and terrace bar. 

cat face mask

Credit: Getty 

Where’s my laptop? 

Anyone that has lost an electronic device like a laptop will know how much hassle it is to recover files and passwords. 

A Freedom of Information request by niche litigation practice Griffin Law revealed that the FCA has lost 323 electronic devices worth more than £310,600 over the last three decades - this could potentially include lost data too.  

The FOI request showed that over the three most recent financial years between 2018 and 2021, hundreds of laptops, tablets, desktop computers and mobile phones were reported as lost or stolen by FCA staffers. 

In the most recent financial year, lost devices surged by 369% to see 197 devices reported as missing, worth an estimated £193,400. This compares to 42 devices deemed lost in 2020, worth around £41,500, and 84 reported lost devices in 2019, worth an estimated £75,700. 

Tablet computers topped the lost devices list, with 201 lost and 14 stolen in the last three financial years, worth an estimated £215,000 in total - 123 of these devices were reported as lost or stolen in 2021. 

Lost and found phones

Credit: Getty


The Speculator


August’s half year financial results saw Aviva’s share price climb 4% as chief executive Amanda Blanc promised to return £4bn to shareholders by June 2022.

But this decision wasn’t favoured by everyone, with Aviva’s Swedish active investor Cevian Capital demanding the insurer return £5bn by the end of next year instead.

Meanwhile, Zurich bounced back with its strongest result in five years with a combined operating ratio of 80.8% in its half year results.

The insurer’s UK chief executive Tim Bailey said that the insurer did “incredibly well” despite the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic. He added that the business was in “very good shape”, while acknowledging that the pandemic makes second half predictions “difficult”.

But, what will full year results bring for these two insurers?