As part of the move, Howden will support insurtechs to help create the ’ideal platform to foster collaboration’
Howden has received £500m of underwriting capacity for a new division that will support firms developing new insurance solutions.
In a statement released today, the UK insurance broker said the new arm, called Howden Ventures, would create an end-to-end platform and commercial solution that accelerates new product development and insurance innovation.
It will be backed by Lloyd’s of London underwriters, including Tokio Marine Kiln, Chaucer and Liberty Specialty Markets, that will provide syndicated capacity to support projects.
Insurance innovation expert Tom Hoad, who joined Howden from Tokio Marine Kiln in 2022, has been tasked with leading the initiative as head of the division.
“Innovation is all about working together and, for the first time, Howden Ventures will assemble the most innovative thinkers in the insurance ecosystem to help solve some of the world’s most critical risks,” he said.
As part of the move, Howden Ventures has initially committed £10m of new funding to the insurtech sector, with a view to support at least five new startups over the next two years.
One firm it is supporting is CetoAI, a maritime technology company combining data analytics, engineering and artificial intelligence (AI) to manage machinery breakdown risk in global shipping with predictive maintenance.
Hoad said combining the managing general agent (MGA) model with insurtech innovation provided the “ideal platform to foster collaboration and to merge external talent, fresh thinking, new technology, funding and underwriting capacity”.
“By doing so, Howden Ventures is aligning interests from all corners of the market to create an economic model that will help the insurance industry invest in the type of long-term, innovative solutions that clients are looking for.”
Howden said it was making the move as the UK government moves forward with its planned Solvency II reforms.
These set out regulatory requirements for insurance firms, covering financial resources, governance and accountability, risk assessment and management, supervision, reporting and public disclosure.
Howden said its new division will help bring these policy priorities “to life by developing innovation in the insurance sector and helping improve the sector’s social impact”.
David Howden, Howden chief executive, added: “MGAs are the innovation dynamite of the insurance industry. Cyber insurance, insurance for renewables, D&O insurance – they were all born in the MGA marketplace where capital meets innovative and entrepreneurial talent and capacity providers can be part of critical R&D that clients are crying out for by sharing the risk.
“I always say that the insurance industry needs to remain relevant to its clients and that is Howden Ventures’ job – to supercharge innovation by bringing great talent and quality capacity together with a turnkey platform to solve the big problems.”
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