Descartes Underwriting Expands in the U.K. & Ireland Markets
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Descartes expands in the United Kingdom & Ireland

Descartes expands in the United Kingdom & Ireland

Descartes Underwriting opens an office in London to expand our parametric insurance coverage within both British and Irish domestic markets, as well as the London International Market.


Paul Jones joins us as the Business Development Director – U.K. & Ireland and will oversee the domestic U.K. and Irish markets. He brings close to 20 years’ experience in underwriting, client management and alternative risk transfer, most recently at AXA XL. Alessandro Girelli transitions from Descartes’ Paris office to serve as Underwriting Manager, overseeing the London International Market. He brings extensive underwriting and data science experience, having played a pivotal role in establishing Descartes’ bespoke statistical and machine learning models for risk analysis. Together, Paul and Alessandro will manage the build-out of Descartes’ operations in the region.

“With heavy rainfall events in July 2021 leading to hospital closures and massive infrastructure disruptions, recurrent droughts and greater anomalies in temperatures putting pressure on the energy sector, weather and climate risks have put the U.K. and Ireland insurance markets on watch. In light of hardening market conditions, brokers have been doing their best to restructure complex placements. This has been challenged by the gap in underwriting appetite and capacity versus client need – which has proven almost impossible to fill at sustainable conditions without incorporating alternative solutions. Descartes is delighted to collaborate with brokers to meet these evolving client needs with our pragmatic approach and parametric solutions.” Paul Jones, Business Development Director – U.K. & Ireland, states in reference to the launch. 

“A succession of record breaking extreme weather events in all corners of the globe this year serves to highlight the expanded exposure of all trade sectors to climate risks” addsAlessandro Girelli, Underwriting Manager – London International Market.

Offering a new generation of technology-driven parametric insurance, Descartes collaborates with brokers to protect their corporate and public sector clients against the full spectrum of natural catastrophe and extreme weather exposures. Descartes’ covers are uniquely designed to supplement gaps left by traditional insurance, providing cost-effective and fully transparent products that guarantee liquidity via swift and direct payout. Born out of the conviction that climate change calls for a revolutionary approach to insurance, Descartes is structured as an MGA backed by a panel of tier-one risk carriers and can provide $200M USD in capacity per policy.

We are proud to be the largest independent parametric specialized firm globally with support from Cathay Innovation, Serena VC, and Blackfin Capital Partners. Headquartered in Paris, the London office joins the firm’s other locations of New York, Singapore, Sydney, and Houston. Descartes is partnering with Generali Global Corporate & Commercial (GC&C), U.K. Branch, to offer parametric insurance policies to the market.

Paul Jones Business Development Director – U.K. & Ireland

Based in London, Paul Jones represents Descartes Underwriting as Business Development Director – U.K. & Ireland. Joining Descartes from AXA XL, Paul holds nearly 20 years’ experience in the insurance industry. His background spans Underwriting, Client & Broker Management and Alternative Distribution roles. After completing his education, Paul joined Allianz in 2002 focusing on Motor Underwriting and went on to complete his insurance apprenticeship. In 2015, Paul was key to the U.K. set-up of AXA Parametrics and led the product distribution until 2019. Since then Paul has gone on to launch new risk transfer products and client led risk management solutions into the U.K. and Lloyd’s markets.  

Alessandro Girelli Underwriting Manager – London International Market

Based in London, Alessandro Girelli represents Descartes Underwriting as Underwriting Manager. Transitioning to London from Descartes’ Paris office, Alessandro joined Descartes in April 2019 to support both data science and business development efforts. He has worked on designing and underwriting innovative parametric solutions across a diverse range of geographies and lines of business including Property, Energy and Agriculture. Prior to joining Descartes Underwriting, he worked as a data scientist at Enablon and a business analyst at Tempest Security Intelligence. Alessandro holds Master’s degrees in Data Science from HEC Paris Business School and Ecole Polytechnique, as well as a Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics and Economics from the London School of Economics.

Descartes Underwriting

Descartes Underwriting was founded in 2018 by a team of insurance veterans and climate scientists under the principle that new technologies can deeply transform the insurance industry, reducing friction and restoring trust in the market. This is particularly pertinent given the rise in exclusionary language used in traditional policy wordings as a result of the pandemic and market hardening – which has brought unease and frayed trust among Insureds. Comparatively, parametric policies and their straightforward structures provide unveiled transparency for clients in ‘what they see is what they get’. Core to the value proposition of parametric insurance is the ability to increase the certainty between a loss event taking place and a pay-out being made, quickly, accurately and without friction costs.