Innovisk Capital Partners’ renewable energy-focused Albus Underwriting is entering into run-off less than two years after the platform began writing business after Argenta pulled its support for the underwriting agency, The Insurer can reveal.
Sources told this publication that the London-based Albus informed the market late last month that it was entering run-off.
In an email, the underwriting agency explained it is “being put into run-off and so will have no delegated authority for new and renewal risks from 1 January 2021”.
As such, Albus is no longer writing new and renewal business, and will not be able to make amendments to in-force policies unless it is contractually obliged to do so.
The platform has also confirmed that any quotes it has already issued will be honoured for the period they are valid.
Albus writes a variety of coverages for the renewable energy industry including marine cargo and delay in start-up; construction all risks and advance loss of profits; operating all risks and business interruption; general liability; sabotage, terrorism and theft; as well as natural catastrophe protection.
Apart from the general liability business which is written on paper provided by Arch, the remaining coverages are all underwritten on capacity offered by Argenta, sources said.
Albus is led by founder and CEO Matthew Melville, a veteran of the renewable energy market of close-to 20 years. Prior to launching Albus, Melville was chief underwriting officer at GCube, the renewable energy MGA that was acquired by Tokio Marine HCC earlier this year. Before that, Melville was the founder and global head of renewable energy at Axis.
Other members of the Albus team include executive vice president Garrod Hill and vice president Scott Dench, while Roger Mclean, also a vice president, serves the business from the US.
With Argenta pulling its support for Albus, the MGA/MGU is unable to write a book of business heading into 2021 and so it is entering run-off.
The reasons for Argenta deciding to end its support for Albus have not been confirmed, although sources suggested losses, mainly from US solar exposures, had diminished the Lloyd’s player’s appetite.
Albus is one of the 11 MGAs within Innovisk Capital Partners’ portfolio of underwriting agencies. Willis Towers Watson (WTW) is the lead investor in Innovisk. Sources said the uncertainty surrounding the investment vehicle’s future in light of WTW’s impending merger with Aon may also have had an impact on Albus’ future.
Innovisk – established by former Willis Re and RK Carvill executive David Thomas – is thought to be mulling a buy-out from WTW next year.
Albus’ short-lived play in the renewable energy insurance market comes during a time of significant upheaval in the specialist sector on both the underwriting and broking sides of the business.
As WTW highlighted in its Renewable Energy Market Review 2020 earlier this year, there have been some notable withdrawals from the underwriting side of the business in recent times. CNA Hardy and Pioneer have both placed their books of renewable energy business into run-off, while RSA has also cut back its participation in the sector.
There have been new entrants however, with Aviva making a play in the sector, while WTW also cited Albus as another new market in its report, although the MGA’s time in the market is set to be short-lived.
Innovisk, Albus, Argenta and Arch had not responded to a request for comment at the time of going to press.