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The Actuary The magazine of the Institute & Faculty of Actuaries

Insurers doing too little to address complex risks

Insurers face threats from a lack of underwriting discipline, more robust market regulation and scrutiny and consequent exposure of management deficiencies.

Moving into a new era of liability ©iStock
Moving into a new era of liability ©iStock

That warning has come in a report by Russell Group What Does the New Era of Liability Mean for the Regulator?

The risk modelling consultancy said risk mitigation as practised by firms in the global specialty insurance and reinsurance markets, “lacks sophistication and fails to address the issue of how businesses might plan for and respond to a so-called ‘market turning event’”.

Russell Group said that the interconnected world is creating a new era of liability, while crises that were once viewed as catastrophic – such as over asbestos – are receding from the profession’s collective memory. 

The result of this was that insurers are doing too little to address the complexity and dangers embedded within their businesses. 

There is an increasing awareness that reinsurance and insurance companies and their corporate clients are moving into a new era of liability driven by global interdependencies, Russell Group found, fostered by corporate connectivity, the Internet of Things and Industry 4.0. 

The report asked: “What are corporates and their reinsurance counterparties’ true underlying exposures and what solutions can be brought to bear on the issue of multi-class liability events?"

Russell Group called for a more robust risk management framework that can be extended to insurance underwriting for new forms of liability risk. 

Investment in new forms of liability modelling and data-led bottom up underwriting inputs could benefit companies and help them identify vulnerabilities in their organisation, it suggested.

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