Insurance Times looks at highlights from Q4 2023 in its review of the year 

As we approach the new year, Insurance Times takes a look back at some of the biggest and most popular stories that occurred during each month in 2023.

In Q4 2023, highlights included an ex-broker being arrested during a police operation and Assured Partners snapping up Romero Group.

You can see what happened over October, November and December below:


In October, rumours emerged that Aviva could be the target of a takeover bid.

The Times cited that “chatter surrounding Aviva refused to die down”, claiming that Allianz, Intact Financial Corporation and Scandinavian group Tryg were considering their options. Aviva declined to comment when approached by Insurance Times.

electric cars

The month also saw John Lewis Financial Services announce that it had temporarily stopped offering insurance to drivers of electric vehicles (EVs).

The department store’s lending arm said it had halted offering new policies as well as renewals for EVs. It said the decision had been made by its underwriter Covéa, which raised fears over the cost of repairing the vehicles.

In an update sent to Insurance Times in November, John Lewis said a review was still ongoing.


In November, the City of London Police’s Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department (Ifed) revealed that an ex-broker was among 10 people arrested during a two-week police operation clamping down on commercial insurance fraud.

During the operation, officers targeted scammers making bogus claims on motor and business premises insurance, ghost brokers and employees making fraudulent claims on their corporate benefit plans.

In one case, a former insurance broker was charged with 39 counts of fraud by false representation and one count of money laundering.

Meanwhile, several acquisitions were made during the month. This included broker Assured Partners snapping up Romero Group in what it described as its “largest acquisition to date”.

Sale deal completed

Leeds-based Romero is a broking group that controls over £100m of gross written premium (GWP) and employs 205 staff across five regional offices.

It is made up of two subsidiaries – Romero Insurance Brokers Limited, which specialises in construction and manufacturing placements, as well as Club Insure, which operates in the leisure and sports club sector.

Both firms will join Assured Partners as part of the deal.


During the final month of the year, Aviva chief executive Amanda Blanc revealed that her firm had acted to sack male employees for inappropriate behaviour and stressed that women across any business “have to know” there is a process for speaking up.

Giving evidence to a parliamentary inquiry about sexism in London, Blanc shared “appalling” accounts of harassment across the city, including unwanted sexual advances, being told their pregnancies were “inconvenient” or being followed into hotel rooms.

Amanda Blanc

Speaking about Aviva, Blanc stressed that the insurer had made efforts to protect female staff and ensure that women’s careers did not suffer, noting that “the person who did the bad leaves the organisation, not the women”.

Meanwhile, insurer RSA announced the sale of its direct personal lines operations – comprising home and pet lines – to Admiral Group. 

The move follows the conclusion of a strategic review and will also see RSA exit its home and pet partner and broker contracts in the UK, completing its exit from the UK personal lines market.