MGA Descartes Underwriting launches French-regulated ‘full-stack’ insurer

Climate risk managing general agent (MGA) Descartes Underwriting has launched an insurer licensed to underwrite risk by the French regulator, the ACPR.

Descartes Insurance, the new ‘full-stack’ insurer, is able to issue policies directly to mid-market clients in France, with plans to expand to other countries in the European Economic Area over the course of 2023.

Descartes Insurance is backed by a panel of A-rated risk carriers. Descartes said the move underscores its mission to provide the best coverage against all of the risks associated with a shifting climate and risk landscape. “Following a summer of exceptional drought, flooding and hail events across Europe, the new entity will be able to provide cover and fresh capacity to a wider range of clients,” said the MGA.

“This is a huge step forward for Descartes but it also marks the evolution of the insurance sector and the way we protect customers,” said Tanguy Touffut, Descartes Underwriting’s CEO and Descartes Insurance’s non-executive chairman. “We seek to represent the next generation of risk transfer markets backed by industry leaders. By combining innovative insurance structures, powerful technology and our own risk capital, we protect clients against the full spectrum of climate and emerging risks with unparalleled efficiency.”

Philippe Rocard, who is joining Descartes Insurance as an independent board member, added: “The parametric approach has opened a new frontier for insurance. And Descartes Underwriting is a frontrunner in this new world. It has developed impressive mathematical and physical knowledge to help corporations protect themselves against many perils, including climate change. I am thrilled to be a member of this collective adventure.”

According to the MGA, Descartes Insurance will become “more tightly aligned and responsive to customer needs through a shortened value chain and the increased flexibility of Descartes’ suite of products and services”, adding: “These may now be expanded to include additional exposures, emerging risks and product lines that create seamless insurance solutions issued alongside Descartes’ proven parametric structures.”

Sébastien Piguet, Descartes Underwriting’s chief underwriting officer, will serve as CEO of Descartes Insurance. Kevin Dedieu, Descartes Underwriting’s chief R&D officer, will take the role of deputy CEO of Descartes Insurance.

Piguet said: “It is my firm belief that Descartes Insurance has all the resources needed to thrive in these challenging times, be it hard market conditions, the impact of climate change or the transition towards a net-zero economy. I am elated to start this new journey as a full-stack risk carrier with the support of Descartes Group’s incredible team.”

Dedieu added that he views the launch of Descartes Insurance as “the logical next step given the continued investment in our scientific team, technology and R&D to revolutionise the entire insurance process, from risk assessment to claims payment”.

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