Chubb in the UK

A strong start

The head of Chubb’s new Industry Practices segment, Karen Strong, explains how the division came about and talks plans for the rest of the year

The breadth of Karen Strong’s experience quickly becomes apparent as she glides from a story about drafting the original MasterPackage wording into a discussion about the latest technology risks. Karen started working for Chubb nearly 19 years ago after a spell at Royal Sun Alliance. Over the years, she has underwritten many different lines of commercial business, including fidelity guarantee, banker blanket bonds, property, casualty, cancellation and personal accident. This makes her the ideal person to lead Chubb’s newly created UK and Ireland Industry Practices division, which launched in April 2017.

“I don’t view things with a mono lens. I initially see the client rather than the line of business,” says Karen. That is the ethos of Industry Practices, which brings together Chubb’s multi-line underwriters. Karen explains: “The team comprises around 40 underwriters in the UK and Ireland, each of whom looks at many lines of business – on the same policy in most instances, but if a client needs more than one policy that’s fine as well.” Dealing with a single underwriter across multiple lines speeds up the process for clients and brokers.

Spanning the technology, life sciences, real estate and entertainment segments, Industry Practices is a fusion of those multi-line capabilities and specialist industry knowledge. 

Chubb nurtures that specialist knowledge through a rigorous training programme that teaches new recruits about emerging trends in their sector as well as the company’s products. The most erudite are given the title ‘specialist underwriter’, a status of which they are fiercely protective. The advantages of this specialist strategy are clear, says Karen: “We have underwriters that look, for example, at technology business each and every day. They sit alongside one another discussing their segment and all the associated risk and cover scenarios and exposures that are common to technology businesses and that arise frequently. This ensures that the knowledge of the team continually grows, which benefits brokers and clients alike. This is very much a tripartite relationship: underwriter, broker and insured.”

Technological change

Karen is proud of the longevity of Chubb’s technology segment: “We’ve not come to the technology market in the last five years because we’ve realised it’s a growth area. Our products, segment knowledge and claims experience are mature. Cyber risks and the insurance options to respond to those risks are new to most entities. Here at Chubb we have individuals such as Paul Skinner, Paul Grogan, Daniel Fletcher and Duncan Traill who have been considering the developments in this area for years.”

Experience has taught Chubb how to stay on top of rapid change. “We are constantly challenging our policy wording. We don’t want to wait until we’ve missed something,” says Karen. That guiding principle originated with the very first iteration of MasterPackage. “When we launched it 10 years ago, a group of us critiqued competitors’ forms word by word. There was a lot of old language in the UK market, and there still is. Sonic boom, for example, was always excluded under a policy. We thought hard and couldn’t remember the last time we had a sonic boom exposure or loss. So we then started to just challenge each and every line of it, we challenged the norm. It was really time-consuming, but worthwhile. We said at the time that in order to maintain the value and recognise the work that went into MasterPackage, we had to keep it contemporary, to keep revisiting our policy wordings.” That’s exactly what Chubb has done ever since and the team is proud to know their policy wordings in detail. “It sounds such a simple thing, but given the speed at which this business, and life generally, works now, that’s quite something to keep on top of,” explains Karen.

As Chubb forges ahead with this approach, clients and brokers can look forward to a number of policy enhancements in 2018. The teams are already discussing products and services across all lines of business, and in all practices. The life sciences practice are relaunching their ‘smart’ and new product early in 2018. Meanwhile, the entertainment segment is focused on expanding into new areas. The recently launched Advertisers Wrap Program enables clients to take control of their insurance protection, offering a transparent and enhanced solution and potentially saving money on third-party premiums. There is also a lot of excitement surrounding the new Chubb digital offering, including a new online photographers’ platform, which will be released in the second quarter.

Another benefit on the horizon is a strategy to target smaller technology companies. Karen explains: “We are looking at putting our technology package policies online during 2018. We have made significant progress on this proposal, utilising and recognising feedback from our brokers and clients and very much looking forward to launching this in early course.

The impact of a number of new employees will also be felt in this year (see our team below). The new faces have been brought in to bolster Industry Practices, which forms an integral part of Chubb’s business strategy. Asked why Industry Practices is a fundamental part of the business, Karen says “it is important that we are able to respond effectively and efficiently to our customers’ (brokers and clients alike) needs by being able to provide segment-specific products delivered by multi-line underwriters with great technical knowledge.” 

Meet the IP team

The Industry Practices segment leads talk us through the top selling points of their lines
Life sciences

Scott McFarlane
UK&I Life Science Manager
M: +44 (0)7990 530 258

What are the top life sciences selling points?

1. Experience – Chubb has been specialising in life science for over 20 years and the UK&I practice has 13 underwriting and risk engineering employees dedicated to life science, with an average nine-year experience in the segment.

2. Adaptability – Chubb’s product is modular, which means that the policy can be adapted as the client moves through their lifecycle from start-up, through to pre-clinical, clinical and product supply stages.

3. Multinational – our multinational capacity both for standard property and casualty covers, as well as clinical trials, means Chubb can support clients’ businesses as they enter new territories.

Brokers always ask me...
What are the legal requirements in different overseas territories for clinical trials insurance?

We can set clients up on our market-leading, online system, WORLDcert. The system enables instant quote, bind and issuance of clinical trial certificates across the globe and provides a database of country guidelines to help clients navigate the legal requirements.

Our client is concerned with regard to their contractual risks when dealing with their customers; can you provide this cover?

Our professional indemnity (E&O) coverage provides contractual liability. Many other PI policies limit their cover to negligence only, and even those that do extend to contractual liability have warranties and restrictions that limit the cover, so be careful.

What are your core products?

Packaged and mono-line property, casualty, PI/cyber and clinical trial global solutions.


Clare Sugden
UK&I Entertainment Manager
O: +44 (0)20 7956 5434
M: +44 (0)7990 531 747

What are the top entertainment selling points?

  1. Specialist underwriters – we have two specialist film and TV underwriters that have 45 years combined experience in the field. And we have three specialised contingency underwriters that have over 60 years combined experience.
  2. Multinational capabilities – we have local representation in many territories throughout the world. 
  3. Scalability – ability to use risk engineering for large film sets or events.

Brokers always ask me...
What makes us stand out from our competitors?

Our multinational offering, which is expanding both in terms of expertise and products. A highly experienced cross-class team offering cover for film, TV, cancellation of event, contingency and photographers is also a differentiator, as are our experienced claims advisors.

What are your core products?

Event cancellation; media production; commercial producers insurance; Advertisers Wrap Programme; and photographers.


Daniel Fletcher
UK&I Technology Manager
O: +44 (0)20 7173 7602
M: +44 (0)7766 994 089

What are the top technology selling points?

  1. Recall expenses – with many of our insureds worried about a problem occurring due to a design fault, unlike some insurers we mitigate potential claims against the insured by making a payment to them for the adjustment, recall, repair, replacement or withdrawal of their product or service.
  2. R&D cover – following damage to insured property, our policy covers the additional cost to repair or replace research and development property and prototypes in order to meet the next scheduled introduction date for any new product incorporating such property.
  3. Business interruption – we cover losses resulting from the interruption of the insured’s computer systems due to a malicious entry by an insider or an outsider as well as through human programming errors.
  4. First-party cyber incident response costs – when a breach occurs insureds are responsible for notifying individuals and monitoring identity theft. We cover these costs as well as pay for public relations and crisis management firms to protect the insured’s reputation.

Brokers always ask me...
Can you provide cover on a multinational basis?

Yes! Worldview® is our award-winning technology available exclusively to Chubb insureds and their brokers; the easy-to-use, web-based application provides real-time access to 16,000 insureds, allowing them to effectively and seamlessly manage and track all aspects of their multinational risk management programmes.

What are your core products?

MasterPackage for technology companies, with ten sections covering PI, cyber, liability, property, terrorism, impairment of computer services, employee fidelity and marine cargo.

Real Estate

Daniel Atkinson
UK&I Real Estate Manager
O +44 (0)207 173 7210   
M +44 (0)7833 255 386

What are the top real estate selling points?

  1. Specialist underwriters – dedicated real estate underwriters with over 30 years of combined experience within the market writing cross-product line business.
  2. Multinational – our multinational capability to write multi-class fully admitted business across 19 owned offices in our core geographical target area in Europe, plus 54 offices globally.
  3. Broad coverage – excellent proprietary UK & multinational products and flexibility to use broker-specific policy wordings.

Brokers always ask me...
How long does it take to issue local policy documentation in Europe?

We operate to a 30-day service standard for the issuance of local policy documentation, with the ability to issue local language certificates within 24 hours for our owned office territories.

What are your core products?

Property, casualty, environmental risk, UK terrorism, global terrorism, plus the adaptability to use our specialist teams and provide client solutions in construction, cyber, PI, transactional risk and financial institutions.

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