So, some people are allowed to go to their second home then…




In more good news for the insurance industry (because it will keep the media away from criticising us), Arsenal’s players have rejected the opportunity to take a 12.5% pay cut.  This is despite the fact that the offer included players who signed new deals whilst on lockdown having their foregone wages paid back to them.  Sadly, if unsurprisingly, Pierre-Emrick Aubameyang’s agent saw right through that one and he will still be off to Barcelona quicker than you can say “restrictions lifted”.  So the only action left to the club is clear.  Expect the Gunnersaurus to be furloughed forthwith.


How eu doin’?


A quick round up of things I learned from the weekly meeting of BIPAR Directors Committee today:


  • European Commission will announce this week some proposals for the co-ordinated lifting of lockdown restrictions across the 27 member states.
  • The question of risks that have become uninsurable due to current circumstances is being discussed in the EU institutions.  There is some suggestion that there may be an attempt to force renewal in affected lines of business on existing terms or with premium rises capped.  We will stay close to this development as any EU move in this area might prompt similar action elsewhere.
  • The French insurance industry has doubled the size of its “solidarity fund” to €400.  Show offs.




The two Brexit negotiation teams will resume talks about talks this week.  This will raise the question as to whether the implementation period – during which UK remains within the EU customs union and single market – should be extended beyond the end of the year.  Tricky for UK Government as it has been adamant that it will not seek an extension and, indeed, has written 31st December as the end date into law.  But, given the hit that the economy is likely to take due to the lockdown, risking another significant shock at the end of the year may not be wise.


In my conversations with HM Treasury officials recently they have conceded that talk of an extension is no longer strictly verboten in government circles.  But it will be a seismic shift in policy.  If only the government were being led by a man who has previously shown no problem at all at taking completely the opposite position to one he had very publicly held before.  So get well soon, Prime Minister.


Back atcha


The Californian State Insurance Commissioner has mandated the return of premium across classes where the lockdown has significantly changed the risk profile – including motor and corporate liability policies.  The Californians may well not be the last state to introduce such measures.  I am in contact with CIAB in Washington on this and will bring you more detail as we have it.  The initial thought is that this would represent an unprecedented retroactive change to contracts that would not go through unlitigated…


Top Trump?


A lot of comment has been passed on President Trump’s lengthy media briefing last night.  And not a lot of it kind.  Why shouldn’t he use the greatest crisis the world has faced in a generation as an opportunity for self-aggrandisement?  It’s his thing.  And besides, I thought he produced one of the most succinct and revelatory political comments of recent times.  When replying to the question “what did your administration do during the time you bought?” [through his early ban on flights from China] he said: “a lot”.  Churchillian.



I am off to call Eamon Holmes on my newly upgraded mobile.