October 13, 2020

Ep 48 D&O: The hardest market of all time with David Ritchie of Gallagher UK

Most Voice of Insurance episodes tend to be with industry CEOs.

This way you can get to know the real people behind the public persona and learn about how the industry really works by finding out what makes its leaders tick.

But of course it doesn’t give you a huge amount of class-specific detail.

Industry titans at public companies know a ton of detail about high finance and deal economics, but if I went too deep into detail on any given class of insurance or reinsurance, they would rightly refer me to an inhouse expert for a full briefing.

And that’s why I recorded this episode.

In this hard and Covid-affected market, the hardest segment seems to be the International Directors’ and Officers’ liability market or (D&O) as we all know it.

I wanted to get into hard detail about what is going on in this market.

To do this I began to set up interviews with D&O practitioners. My aim was to put together the views of multiple experts into an in-depth report.

But the first of these meetings turned out to be so strong that I have decided to put it out as an episode in its own right.

David Ritchie is Managing Director of Management Liability at Gallagher UK and is a very senior broker with his finger directly on the pulse of the sector.

In great detail David describes a market in a state of crisis and dislocation where cover is severely rationed and definitely not guaranteed at any price.

This is a world where the prices and terms that are being dictated by the few markets that remain open are almost secondary in importance. Customers have to take it or leave it and may be forced to hit the nuclear button of invoking sunset clauses on expiring cover and renewing on extremely restrictive retroactive date inception terms just to get by.

In short this is the hardest market of all time by a very, very long margin.

With only trickles of new capacity on the way and more market withdrawals possible I don’t envy David’s day job one bit, but I do commend this episode to anyone who wants to know where and how many of the underwriting fortunes and reputations of 2021 and beyond are going to be forged.


Once again we thank Claims Direct Access (CDA) for their support today.


PS. Don't forget to ask Mark about advertising opportunities on the podcast. mark@thevoiceofinsurance.com

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