10 March 2021Actuarial & underwriting

Beazley launches SPAC-specific D&O coverage

Beazley has launched a directors’ and officers’ (D&O) product suite specifically for special purpose acquisition companies (SPACs).

Jim Rizzo, executive risk underwriter at Beazley and a SPAC expert who has underwritten these risks for two decades, is leading the initiative, supported by a team of underwriters in the US and London.

The specialised needs of SPACs have historically been met through endorsements to existing D&O coverages, but their growing prevalence has called for a more tailored solution. In 2020 there were 248 SPAC IPO transactions - the most in the history, according to data cited by Beazley. So far in 2021 there have already been 202.

Beazley’s new coverage, available for US-domiciled SPACs, offers dedicated coverage for either individuals or the entity and individuals combined. It is intended to provide greater transparency and clarity about insurance coverage, from the initial public offering (IPO) to the initial business combination.

Rizzo said heightened regulatory scrutiny, media attention and an increasingly active plaintiffs’ bar make it critical that SPACS have appropriate and transparent coverage.

Wayne Imrie, head of London market D&O, said: “Our focus, as always, remains squarely on meeting the needs of our clients in progressive and innovative ways. Our experience in this field, coupled with our dual platform capabilities, has positioned us favourably to streamline and enhance the way coverage has been traditionally offered.”