Insurance Journal’s Top 10 Most Read Stories of 2020: International
The top international news story of 2020 was the announcement in March of Aon’s proposed merger with Willis Towers Watson. The subject was of such interest to international readers that four of the 15 most-read articles involved the Aon-WTW merger. The EU’s announcement in December that it was probing the merger was also one of the most-read articles for the year.
Interestingly, M&A topics also were the main theme of interest for international readers in 2019 and 2018.
The second most well-read international article of 2020 also involved Aon – but this time it covered the broker’s decision to cut the pay by 50% of the company’s named executive officers in response to the COVID-19 crisis. At the same time, 70% of its global workforce saw a 20% reduction in their salaries, while approximately 30% of Aon colleagues didn’t see any cuts.
Of course, the COVID-19 pandemic was a main topic of articles in Insurance Journal’s most read articles. Ranked at number 3 was an article about a decision by the Wimbledon tennis tournament to spend £1.5 million (US$2 million) per year in pandemic insurance following the SARS outbreak in 2003. It turned out to be a very good investment.
Also listed in the most well-read articles were legal disputes about whether business interruption claims should be paid or excluded. AXA’s dispute with a French restaurant owner over its non-payment of BI claims was the subject of two articles in the top 10 (at numbers 5 and 8). An article about one of the first COVID-related business interruption lawsuits was published in April about a class action against some of Canada’s top indemnity insurers for breach of contract over their refusal to pay claims during the COVID-19 lockdown. Ranked at number 11 is an article about the ongoing legal dispute involving business interruption claims in the United Kingdom.
In March, an article (ranked at number 10) discusses the inevitable wave of lawsuits against businesses over the coronavirus, beginning with the sentence: “The coronavirus has upended markets, disrupted supply chains and forced quarantines. It’s all fertile ground for lawsuits.” The ground has indeed been fertile this year for COVID-related lawsuits.
In the wake of the death of George Floyd on May 25, Lloyd’s of London apologized in June for its “shameful” role in the 18th and 19th Century Atlantic slave trade and pledged to fund opportunities for black and ethnic minority groups. This article was sixth on the list of most-read articles. (Editor’s note: for the last several years, Lloyd’s has been working on its cultural issues, in part, by building diversity within the marketplace).
Numbers 13, 14 and 15
Rolling in at number 13 is an article about the systemic problems that face the Big 4 accounting firms – made evident by two decades of financial disasters from Enron Inc.’s collapse in 2001 to Wirecard’s meltdown this year. The article discusses the cultural problem within accounting firms, which regulators may struggle to resolve.
At number 14 is an article by two Insurance Journal contributors about parametric insurance solutions, which discusses how these products may offer alternatives to funding loss that are not possible with traditional insurance products.
And finally, coming in at number 15 is an article about AIR Worldwide’s projection about COVID-19 deaths across the globe by the end of March, which it estimated at 10,000 to 30,500. (Editor’s note: In December 2020, global deaths are nearing 1.7 million. What a difference nine months has made).
Here are the top 15 international articles for 2020. (As articles about the Aon-Willis Towers Watson merger dominate three of the top 10 articles, we’ve included the top 15 articles).
- Aon to Buy Willis Towers Watson
- Aon Executives, 70% of Employees Taking Pay Cuts Amid Coronavirus Uncertainties
- Wimbledon Shows How Pandemic Insurance Could Become Vital for Sports, Other Events
- Aon, Willis Towers Watson Shareholders Approve Merger
- French Court Orders AXA to Pay Restaurant’s COVID-19 Business Interruption Losses; AXA Vows to Appeal
- Update: Lloyd’s of London Apologizes for Its ‘Shameful’ Role in Atlantic Slave Trade
- Aon and Willis Towers Watson Say Merger Is All About ‘Getting Better, Not Bigger’
- Update: AXA to Pay Business Interruption Claims to Restaurants After Court Ruling
- Canadian Insurers Hit with Lawsuit on Refusal to Pay COVID-19 Biz Income Claims
- Lawsuits Against Businesses Over Coronavirus Have Begun. More to Come?
- Update: COVID-19 Business Interruption Claims Take Center Stage in London Court Case
- Aon’s $30B Bid for Willis Towers Watson Faces EU Probe: Reuters
- From Enron to Wirecard – Big 4 Accounting Firms Still Face Systemic Problems
- Parametric Insurance Fills Gaps Where Traditional Insurance Falls Short
- AIR Worldwide Estimates COVID-19 Global Deaths Could Rise 10K-30K by End of March
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