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Reverse flow business: the London market advantage for handling international exposures

By Anna Stover, New Dawn Risk

International Reverse Business, also known as Reverse Flow Business, occurs when a U.S. subsidiary of a foreign-owned parent company arranges an insurance policy in the United States to cover both the U.S. subsidiary and the international parent company. This is done by issuing an additional insured status or using the foreign parent company’s name with the U.S. subsidiary’s address. However, this can inadvertently restrict coverage and put brokers at risk of E&O (Errors and Omissions) claims from accidentally placing a domestic policy and overlooking global exposures. 

Most domestic policies have US-only claims jurisdiction, lacking the necessary licenses and infrastructure to offer broader coverage. This means claims must be brought to the states for the policy to respond, which is adequate for firms with only U.S. exposure. However, this creates significant coverage gaps for businesses with global operations. Clients may see claims denied due to the absence of “worldwide” claims jurisdiction. Brokers should ensure global exposures are covered by finding policies in the Lloyd’s market, which can cater to claims brought anywhere in the world. 

The consequences of inadequate coverage can be severe for both the client and the broker. The costs of a denied claim fall on the insured, who may then sue the broker for negligence, believing they had global coverage based on the broker’s advice. 

A second complication arises in ensuring compliance with various tax authorities where the insured operates. Reverse flow policies can lead to unintentional tax avoidance, as the U.S. lacks the necessary tax licenses and infrastructure to process all required taxes. 

This is where the Lloyd’s market excels. Lloyd’s is renowned for handling international claims through its extensive network of brokers, underwriters, and offices worldwide. Lloyd’s operates in over 200 countries and territories and ensures proper licensing, training, local relationships, and cultural awareness. They maintain up-to-date knowledge of local market conditions, regulatory changes, and emerging risks, allowing truly global policies to be placed. This ensures the insured’s global exposures are covered while providing clients and local agents with the assurance of compliance with international tax authorities. 

The London market provides the infrastructure, expertise, and global reach necessary to manage and cover internationally exposed insurance accounts, effectively safeguarding both clients and brokers. Please reach out directly for any risks with international exposures.

By Jonathan Franke, Senior Tech, Media and Cyber Broker at New Dawn Risk

Globally, we are moving at rapid pace to a “cashless” society in the pursuit of enhanced security, efficiency, and convenience in everyday transactions. The Covid-19 Pandemic has proven to be a catalyst to this transition and the landscape is changing.

Even less economically developed territories such as Africa and South America are relying on online and computerized payments. The well-coined phrase, cash is king, is being dethroned.

A survey conducted by Pew Research Center in 2022 found that 59% of American consumers don’t use cash in a typical week. Because this transformation is so widespread, the demand for payment processing services, merchant providers, and similar transaction facilitators is growing exponentially.

This surge in reliance on payment processing service companies, merchant providers, and other similar entities comes with heightened scrutiny from regulatory bodies, particularly the Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council. This organisation oversees global payment and data security standards to ensure the integrity of transactions worldwide.

When payment card data is breached, the impacts are quickly felt. Customers, either consumers or businesses, will inevitably lose trust in one’s ability to protect their personal information and potential financial penalties and damages from lawsuits will swiftly follow. The results can be catastrophic.

This challenging and ever-evolving regulatory environment will put more strain on SME Payment Processors who must adhere to the same global standards as their much larger siblings. These companies will need a Cyber and Technology Insurance policy that extends to indemnify damage to, loss of, theft of, or disclosure to unauthorized Third Parties, of Credit Card Data which can lead to a potential breach of PCI standards.

Cyber and Technology brokers and insurance carriers must comprehend and mitigate these risks, focusing on third-party liability, which is increasingly overshadowing ransomware events.

For tailored solutions addressing the evolving needs of payment processors, please reach out to

By Archie Whitehead, Tech, Media and Cyber Broker at New Dawn Risk

The global cyber insurance market was worth $7.8 billion in 2020, with forecasts suggesting this will grow to a $20 billion industry by 2025. Cyber premiums have reduced drastically over the past 9-12 months, with rate decreases being unsustainably low at times, especially on higher excess placements.

However, market conditions at times have not quite matched the current claims environment seen by cyber insurers. For instance, a report by cyber insurer Coalition showed ransomware claims increased by 27% during the first half of 2023 and led to debilitating losses.  Coalition stated that “Ransomware claims severity reached a record high in first half of 2023 with an average loss amount of more than $365,000. This spike represents a 61% increase within six months and a 117% increase within one year.”

Furthermore, the softening of the cyber market has been exacerbated by carriers broadening the scope of coverages encompassed within their cyber policies, with certain insurers adding coverages for non-cyber triggers as standard, such as non-IT Dependent Business Interruption Security & System Failure as well as Bodily Injury & Property Damage.

Volatility and market fluctuations to continue

The increase in severity of claims, broadening scope of cover of cyber policies and premium decreases poses the question of how sustainable the current trends in the cyber market are, and when the tide will turn back to another market hardening. At times, it is clear that cyber is still an immature and volatile insurance market, with carriers’ fluctuating their appetites and premiums year-to-year, providing a lack of long-term consistency for both brokers and insureds. While there is hope for consistency in 2024 by both carriers and brokers, it is likely that the cyber market is still several years away from a stabilised transactional functionality.

Lloyd’s War Exclusion domino effect

We can expect to see flat premiums on a more consistent basis around Q2 2024, when the first round of accounts that experienced these large rate reductions come up for renewal. There may also to shift in the current market’s conditions after 1/1 reinsurance renewals, as reinsurers may press certain US cyber-MGAs that they are pumping their capacity into for more sustainable writes. The question also remains how many of these US cyber-MGAs will be enforced by their reinsurers to use the recently mandated Lloyd’s war exclusion going forward. As a significant amount of Lloyd’s capacity is provided to many US company markets, we could expect to see these US carriers lose their current perceived competitive advantage over London having predominately only being positively affected by the recent Lloyd’s mandated war exclusion up to this date.

Stability remains far-off

There is still uncertainty around how the cyber market will continue to develop, and much of this will depend on how the current claims trends continue to develop – especially if there is a new systemic cyber event (such as NotPetya), which could shock the market. 2024 will likely see a continuation of uncertainty and market fluctuations, but a turn of the tide could start to be seen by April 2024. However, a return to consistent renewal rates will likely not be widely seen until later in the next calendar year.

By Leo Tootell, Senior Management Liability and Financial Institutions Broker at New Dawn Risk

The Directors’ & Officers’ (D&O) Liability space has seen significant shifts over the past 4 years. Company boards have had to adjust to various trends in litigation including drastic changes in regulation and worldwide social movements which have drawn significant attention to their companies’ ESG policies.

Moving into 2024, we predict these trends will continue to evolve, shaping the corporate risk environment for the year ahead. Key areas of concern include geopolitical risks, the impact of AI and emerging technologies, inflationary pressures, and the looming challenges associated with climate change.

Geopolitical Stressors

As geopolitical strains continue, corporations are bracing themselves for potential disruptions to business and operating activities. Unrest in the Middle East, friction in the South China Sea, and trade disputes between major global players have all contributed to heightened risks. Upcoming elections across key nations, including the U.S., Mexico, Indonesia, South Africa, Canada, the U.K., India, and Taiwan, further amplify geopolitical uncertainties.

These geopolitical stressors can potentially cause supply chain issues and business interruption in 2024 and beyond. Companies will need to navigate these adjustments carefully and prioritise their risk management strategies to prevent this from translating into litigation.

AI & Emerging Tech

The rise of generative artificial intelligence (GenAI) is transforming business processes, with 177 companies in the S&P 500 citing the term “AI” in their second-quarter earnings call, well above the 5-year average of 60 (reference). While the potential for AI to create competitive advantages is exciting, it comes with challenges. The first problem is that of “AI washing”, where companies overpromise their artificial intelligence capabilities, which could very well be happening in these Q2 earning calls. Even if this is not the case, there is then a multitude of other possible issues, including threats to cybersecurity and increased regulatory risk which corporations need to address.

Legal and regulatory bodies are fully aware of these issues, which has led to Executive Orders being released such as the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s AI Risk Management Framework. This order requires federal agencies to assess AI risk by mitigating potential issues such as discrimination and bias, unfair competition, and labour-force disruption through heightened AI abilities. Rather than being a change in litigation, this represents guidance to agencies that will likely impose requirements in the future and reflects how this space could create “noise” in the D&O space over the coming years.

Inflationary Pressures

Economies around the world have struggled to recover from a detrimental cocktail of events spanning over the last few years. Remnants of the pandemic, the Ukraine War and unrest in the Middle East have contributed to labour shortages, supply chain issues and higher energy and transportation costs, which in turn have translated into worrying trends in inflation.

These pressures are expected to persist, putting further burden on the balance sheet for businesses. Companies that, for years, have been able to justify their liabilities with familiar debt restructuring plans will now be held to stricter standards to mitigate their chances of insolvency in the face of uncertain inflation trends.

Climate Change

Whilst the “E” of ESG (Environmental) isn’t necessarily an emerging D&O litigation trend, there are several important regulatory shifts expected to happen in 2024 which could significantly increase the claims we see in this area. The awaited release of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) final climate change disclosure guidelines is anticipated to occur in April 2024. These guidelines will be in place to impose significant disclosure requirements on reporting companies concerning greenhouse gas emissions and climate change-related risk management.

Meanwhile, other regulatory bodies, including the European Commission and California legislation, have already moved forward with extensive climate change and ESG-related guidelines. The European Sustainability Reporting Standards (ESRS) will soon become law, requiring EU and non-EU companies to file annual sustainability reports. These standards go beyond the SEC’s proposed guidelines, requiring companies to report on a broader set of sustainability topics.

Lithium Shortages

Despite alarm bells over lithium shortages quietening down over the past year, there is still a huge industry space that could be affected if supplies take a hit.  Technology companies rely on lithium for the batteries which are used in day-to-day products like our mobile phones, computers and power tools; the frequency of production and use for such devices has caused an increase in demand. On top of this, lithium is a crucial part of electric vehicle battery production, and, if more shortages occur, there could be huge implications for environmentally conscious industries as well.

Moving Forward

As the corporate landscape evolves, directors and officers must proactively address these emerging trends, implementing robust risk management strategies to navigate the uncertainties that lie ahead in 2024. Moreover, brokers should be aware of how these tension points could affect the clients they work with, and ensure that these are underwritten to at the beginning of the procurement process.

By Jonathan Franke, Senior Tech, Media and Cyber Broker at New Dawn Risk

As the 2024 US election approaches, the nation is gearing up for another political whirlwind. America’s political landscape is shaped by a complex web of influences, Political Action Committees (PACs) being one of them. These organizations, which raise and spend money to support candidates and influence policy, have become pivotal in shaping the course of American democracy. In 2022, a non-presidential election year, PACs spent a staggering $5.89 billion, a large proportion of which went towards media activities.

In the modern political arena, PACs engage in a myriad of media-related activities, including advertising, public relations campaigns and lobbying for social and economic issues. These activities are crucial for promoting a chosen candidate, but as a result they expose PACs to a range of media-related risks. Such perils can include defamation, copyright infringement, and invasion of privacy claims, which can lead to costly legal battles.

Historically, many PACs have relied on general liability (GL) insurance policies and basic media coverage extensions on traditional cyber policies for coverage. General liability policies are typically designed to address accidents, injuries, or property damage that may result from a business’s operations. While they may offer some protection for advertising-related risks, they often exclude certain types of advertising injuries, such as copyright infringement, libel, and defamation. Similarly, traditional cyber policies often fail to address the full media exposure associated with these PACs.

Once election season gets into full swing, media exposure for Political Action Committees will be on the rise. For PACs to navigate the coming frontier effectively, comprehensive and bespoke media solutions are an essential investment. Securing their media activities will ensure that their political voices and interests are safeguarded for the tumultuous season ahead.

Please feel free to reach out to Jonathan Franke ( for more information on media liability for politically motivated risks.

By Archie Whitehead, Tech, Media and Cyber Broker at New Dawn Risk

Network scanning has become a powerful tool for assessing a cyber risk, as it can offer a comprehensive report of a company’s IT environment and highlight key vulnerabilities at the press of a button. Though these scans are highly useful for gathering information, some cyber markets are starting to use them as gospel when evaluating the risk of potential clients. Cyber carriers should be wary of basing their full rationale off network scans, as this method simply cannot account for all the potential exposures a cyber carrier may be vulnerable to while on-risk. 

For example, one major blind spot for network scans is that they do not pick up on a company’s Operational Technology (OT) environment. While this may not be of concern for certain industries, OT does account for a significant portion of cyber exposure in many industries (for example, manufacturing). When OT exposures are not accounted for, the accompanying risk will not be priced accordingly. While this may seem like a great result for the policyholder, who receives comprehensive cover at a cheaper cost, the insurer is putting both themselves and the insured in a precarious situation should a claim arise.

Additionally, network scanning does not take into account a policyholder’s governance – whether that be around culture, the use of employee security training, phishing simulations, or any other tools that can be used to boost prospective clients’ cyber hygiene beyond the realm of IT systems. Once again, subsequent pricing will not accurately reflect the risk at hand when these factors are overlooked. 

As prior experience has shown, when loss ratios increase for these carriers, there becomes a need to determine what is going wrong and what needs to be changed. The dependency on scans as an underwriting process poses a hard question: have we learned anything from the last market cycle? Will the same occur again, with insurance companies unexpectedly non-renewing accounts, or unjustly increasing premiums even though the insured has not done anything to warrant such an increase? 

If the cyber claims environment deteriorates once more in frequency and/or severity, there is concern that these carriers that have gained a large market share by warranting cheap rates through their scan reports will leave a huge gap in the market, potentially leaving clients stuck without a solution. By extension, this can cause anxiety around having to move policies to alternative carriers and essentially leave both insureds and brokers out to dry. Brokers may be held liable and will have to explain to clients that their cyber policy was placed with a carrier that did not account for all potential exposures. 

Ultimately, network scans themselves are not the concern, but the use of such as a substitute for traditional risk assessment could become a major issue. These reports should be used in addition to the other underwriting tools within a cyber insurer’s arsenal; the danger comes in thinking they can replace human rationale and insight. Those in the cyber market should brace themselves for when this scanning bubble may eventually burst… 

6 March 2023

Several dynamic changes in today’s insurance environment have made risks unpredictable, rendering them difficult to model and tricky to determine accurate return periods. These changes have led to certain lapses in coverage, creating a growing need for innovative solutions. In response, parametric insurance has emerged as an effective risk-mitigating solution that offers certainty and protection for these gaps.

Our latest white paper, Parametric insurance: The scope of solutions for agriculture and natural catastrophe risks, walks through the trends, triggers and unique solutions associated with this non-traditional insurance product.  

Download the white paper here.

Aditya Singh, Head of Treaty at New Dawn Risk, commented: “Many global providers prefer parametric insurance, as it does not require them to understand the complexities of the inherent risks vis-à-vis the assets they invest in. This whitepaper discusses the fundamental ability of parametric insurance to cover products ranging from complex agricultural risks to property damage arising out of large natural catastrophe events.

Max Carter, CEO of New Dawn Risk, added: “Ultimately, parametric insurance can provide an affordable solution for large-scale insurance of catastrophic risks in exposed areas, and we expect this to become more widely adopted over the next several years.”

Notes to Editors

Established in 2008, New Dawn Risk is a dynamic, specialist insurance intermediary providing bespoke advisory solutions. We focus on complex, international liability and other specialty insurance and reinsurance. Clients large and small profit from our expertise, creativity and responsiveness – from risk assessment through to claims.

Can you describe what your current role involves?

I am a broker in the Professional Risks team. The team specialises in the placement of insurance for a variety of services, but I focus mainly on the Architects & Engineers space.

What is your favourite insurance fact?

There is an insurance policy designed for comedians called Death by Laughter Insurance. My own premium costs me £500K 😉

What did you do before joining New Dawn Risk?

I joined New Dawn Risk just after graduating from the University of Bristol with a degree in Spanish and Italian.

Tell us one thing about your career we didn’t know:

I spend my weekends running a small business on the side, selling vintage clothing online – which I started in my second year of university.

What are your hobbies outside of work?

Outside of work, I enjoy playing all kinds of sports, particularly football and golf. During lockdown, I tried to learn how to play the piano – this has been a slow process, and my skill level falls somewhere between Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, and The Scientist by Coldplay…

By Aditya Singh, Senior Treaty Broker, New Dawn Risk Group

Agriculture is still the most important sector in many developing economies and is directly affected by climatic shocks, which have the potential to threaten global food security and stability, cripple livelihoods, disrupt value chains, and even undermine macroeconomic stability.

Climate change and the increased prevalence of extreme weather events are causing increasing damage to crops and agricultural land. A study from Stanford researchers found that higher temperatures attributed to climate change caused payouts from the nation’s biggest farm support program to increase by a staggering $27 billion between 1991 and 2017. Costs are likely to rise even further with the growing intensity and frequency of heat waves and other natural catastrophes.

Last year, analysts at KBW warned that crop losses will likely weigh on insurers’ overall underwriting profits for 2021, despite being overshadowed by more high-profile catastrophe losses such as Hurricane Ida and the European floods.

However, there is a way forward that can benefit both farmers and insurers.

The rise of parametrics

The use of parametric structures will be familiar to participants in the insurance-linked securities market, as the mechanisms that trigger catastrophe bonds to make reinsurance pay-outs to carriers when losses from a natural catastrophe (nat cat) event exceed insured limits.

The use of parametric triggers is also finding favour in the insurance market as well, with a growing number of applications for parametric insurance promising to fill the gaps that traditional indemnity products have failed to address. 

The need for risk financing solutions in countries with low insurance penetration has long been recognised as a critical area of focus for the industry, particularly for funding recovery efforts following a catastrophe.

To date, efforts have focused on government-backed risk pooling schemes, such as the Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility, which pays out to selected governments in the region following major nat cat loss events such as hurricanes and earthquakes.

However, there is also a growing case for the deployment of parametric insurance coverage in underdeveloped countries to facilitate payments to individual policyholders following loss events. With climate change driving incidents across a range of perils – flood, drought, wildfires, etc – farmers, small business owners, and householders around the world increasingly need workable insurance solutions that pay out quickly following a claim.

The technology now exists to enable real-time reporting of a number of perils, using accurate, reliable and often freely-available data. As such, it has been possible to place parametric insurance coverage across a wide spectrum of risk types, including earthquake, hurricane, drought and flooding.

The parametric triggers for this coverage can be structured using a variety of measurable factors, such as shake density for quake, wind speed for hurricane, water depth and rainfall for flood, and factors such as rainfall (or the lack of) and crop health for certain agricultural risks.

The case for parametric insurance

While regulations vary between countries on how quickly insurers should respond to insurance claims, anecdotal evidence suggests many claims take more than 30 days to be settled. This naturally leads to policyholders becoming frustrated with the process, and speed of claims acknowledgement and settlement is therefore a key factor for insureds when looking to buy any type of insurance.

In the case of traditional indemnity insurance, claims are handled by assessing damages after the fact, which means disputes can arise between the policyholder and carrier over the scope of coverage. In addition, the carrier, in many cases, may end up paying out less than the policyholder was expecting, leading to further disputes, or more than they had reserved for, pushing up the carrier’s loss ratio.

By using predetermined metrics that have been mutually agreed by insurer and insureds, carriers can leverage loss data to immediately verify claims against parametric coverage, quickly adjust them and then pay out a pre-agreed amount without the need for any disputes or further processing.

Speedier capital deployment following a loss event helps individuals and communities recover from natural disasters faster. And the predetermined triggers also give a specific pay-out guarantee, ensuring carriers don’t pay out more than necessary, while giving policyholders a settlement that is in line with their expectations.

The scope of parametric solutions

Parametric solutions also allow for the coverage of risks that have traditionally been excluded from traditional claims processes, but which have a measurable objective parameter – such as demand surge during reconstruction, food spoilage and crop yields. 

One real-world example of where parametric insurance could introduce greater efficiency into the claims process, and ultimately deliver solutions in previously under-served markets, is in the Indian agricultural sector – specifically, insuring against fluctuations in crop yields.

India has had a government-sponsored agricultural insurance programme for over thirty-five years, giving pay-outs to small farmers whose crops have failed. The programme has been criticised in the past for both the timeliness of payments and the inefficiency of its administration.

The introduction of a range of new technologies, including a mobile portal for reporting loss data, the use of satellite and drone imaging technologies for remote sensing of crop damage, and analytics based on data from a variety of weather indices, are being used to drive claims automation and, ultimately, make the scheme more profitable and therefore attractive to re/insurers.

With weather-related catastrophes continuing to take a heavy toll on communities across the globe, the use of clearly-defined triggers for insurance coverage can help to deliver more precise, streamlined insurance pay-outs, enabling communities to start rebuilding sooner, and empowering carriers to offer more comprehensive coverage.

This is changing the game for insurance carriers around the world – and is transforming the way they interact with previously under-served markets.

By James Bullock-Webster, Head of Tech, Media and Cyber, New Dawn Risk

In the face of a continuously difficult cyber insurance market, the coming year will see buyers looking for alternative risk transfer solutions, with captives topping the list.

The cyber market has continued to harden throughout 2021. Rates have been increasing substantially, anywhere between 40% and 200%. Meanwhile, carriers are routinely dropping their limits by as much as half and maintaining the same premiums – in effect doubling rates.

Whereas we used to see a lot of single carriers taking a primary limit of $10 million – as recently as 18 months ago – that is now a thing of the past. Today, $5 million is the absolute maximum an insured will get from any single carrier.

Meanwhile, limited capacity is creating significant disadvantages for first time cyber buyers or businesses wanting to move to London, as insurers are reaching their premium income allocation just by their renewal book.

As we kick off the new year, the outlook isn’t looking much brighter. The general consensus in the market is that the hardening is going to be here for two more years. 2022 is just going to get increasingly more difficult.

Although syndicates will have reloaded on January 1, providing an opportunity to write more business, they will probably be reluctant to come out the gate running;  if they end up overshooting their allocation, they will have to put their pens down part-way through the year.

In the coming year, we will reach a point where some larger clients no longer see the value in transferring their exposure to the insurance market. They will decide the time has come to self-insure by setting up a new, or extending the use of an existing, captive – a wholly owned subsidiary created to provide insurance.

While setting up a captive has historically been a realistic option solely for large multinationals, due to the significant cost involved and collateral requirements, the increasing availability of cell companies is opening up captive solutions to a wider world. The lower barriers to entry involved with cell captives mean a simplified and more cost-effective alternative.

Companies of all sizes looking for cyber insurance will no longer be at the mercy of fluctuations in appetite and rate and will opt to figure out alternatives themselves.