The “Matrix” leak: A lawsuit against Shlomo Insurance and the Phoenix after the theft of a trade secret – the capital market


Insurance companies are not happy to reveal their business secrets – like any company. However, a lawsuit filed this weekend in the Tel Aviv Labor Court reveals a small part of those trade secrets and how much they are worth financially to companies. The plaintiff is a Cooper Nineveh agency, and among the defendants can be found two senior employees of the agency as well as Shlomo Insurance; Marsh Israel Insurance Company, which won the state insurance tender; The Phoenix Company; Oren East Agency and others.

Cooper Nineveh is an insurance agency licensed by a foreign insurer on behalf of Lloyd’s and specializes in liability insurance. Lloyd’s has given it the authority and authority to represent Lloyd’s underwriters, to sign policies and insurance certificates on their behalf, in accordance with specific authorizations, while in the field of liabilities it serves as an exclusive underwriting agency called Lloyd’s Insurers.

This is because of the “matrix”. The Matrix is ​​Cooper Nineveh’s trade secret and it is the one that allows it to accurately price liability insurance – which is a very problematic and unprofitable field in insurance companies. Liability insurance is actually insurance where the insurance buyer transfers the insurance liability to the company and it applies to a variety of areas such as: employer liability, product liability, third party, professional liability, medical professional liability, directors insurance, funds in transfer and more. Since this is a kind of intangible area, the ability to price the policy is complex and it is an area from which the insurance companies get their feet wet.

Lloyd’s of London BuildingPhoto: Nicholas Guttridge

The Matrix is ​​a sophisticated and efficient system that quickly adapts the underwriting conditions to the insured (in the field of liabilities), according to the relevant professional classification of the insured for example: personnel companies, security companies, water companies and sprinklers, real estate appraisers, water engineers, gas technicians, gas companies and more. This is a large Excel file, which unites over 1,000 different professions and occupations. The matrix is ​​a branched structure of risk assessment tables; It specifies underwriting conditions tailored to each and every profession, individual or company. Underwriting conditions are calculated according to the company’s turnover, wages, liability limits, deductibles, underwriters’ discounts for turnover or increased deductibles, claim history and other necessary components. It should be noted that the entire staff at Cooper Nineveh has undergone appropriate training that enables it to work effectively with Lloyds insurers and tailor the policies to the exact needs of the insured. The characteristics of the table are part of the trade secret of Cooper Nineveh.

According to the lawsuit filed by Adv. Ilan Bombach in early 2019, Cooper Ninawa CEO Ilan Ziv and the company’s chief signer Nina Kudner heard a rumor from several well-known underwriters who have a working relationship with them that there is a mole in the agency. This rumor was based on the fact that unique policies of the agency (in terms of form and content), began to circulate in the market by another insurance company, with the active involvement of Shai Zohar, who serves as a senior employee at Cooper Nineveh and a large broker called price forbes.

Towards the end of 2019, the CEO of Cooper Nineveh began to point out that there is indeed a basis for the same rumor, due to two worrying figures: first, renewal of liability policies (in increasing numbers) were made at other agencies and insurance companies, with no apparent explanation; The Agency received Shlomo Insurance’s liability policies, which were not only formulated in the same way as the policies issued by the plaintiff, but also the numbers that appeared in these policies (as well as the unique exceptions that appeared in the Matrix) were “wonderful” to the Matrix numbers. outside.

According to the lawsuit, it also appears that Cooper Nineveh was amazed to see how Shlomo Insurance began to enter a problematic industry that is often at high risk for insurance companies – the hidden industry – because until 2018, Shlomo Insurance dealt mainly in the field of car insurance. The statement of claim reads: “Shlomo Insurance made a meteoric jump in the field of liabilities, from the first quarter of 2019 to the first quarter of 2020, regarding the fact that in the first quarter of 2019 it had income of NIS 2 million in premiums (gross), while in the first quarter of “By 2020, this income was already NIS 7 million. This is an increase in the premium rate, without equal in the liability insurance market in Israel.”

At this point, Cooper Nineveh began to investigate in depth and managed to gather enough evidence that the employee, Shai Zohar, did transfer the Matrix data and transferred customers to competing companies – and now the court will have to decide whether this is the case.

Shlomo Insurance stated: “Shlomo Insurance has been working for years with integrity and uncompromising fairness in order to provide the best insurance products and the best service to our insured. We are sorry for the incomprehensible attempt to tarnish our good name. The details are learned and the issue will be addressed.”

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