Actuaries are used to looking ahead, says Richard Purcell, and its more relevant than ever as technology increases its reach in our lives
Technology is disrupting our lives in so many ways these days. From our phones we can now do everything from paying for goods and services, find somewhere to stay (for example, Airbnb) and quickly get from a to b (Uber). All these new technologies are making it easier to access goods and services, and are completely turning traditional business models on their head in the process. However, as yet we haven't seen the same level of disruption in the financial sector. This month we introduce a new supplement, Predictions, which looks at the potential impact that new technologies like blockchain and robo-advice could have in transforming the financial services sector, and how insurers can maintain a competitive edge.
In some respects, actuaries are no stranger to dealing with disruption in the form of extreme events. In the main issue this month we put a spotlight on some disruptive scenarios, and how we can help society manage them. The first is flood risk. Andrew Lowe looks at how the insurance industry could do more to promote flood resiliency (p24). While Kate Brett and Christina Teague look at how green bonds could be used to help fund new risk prevention programmes, including flood (p20).
With changing demographics and a slower economy we have also seen disruption in financial markets and the subsequent failure of conventional macro-economic tools. Taro Goto looks at how Europe could learn from Japan when it comes to a new world of monetary policy (p30). Finally, with the ever-increasing reach of technology in our lives, a new risk which seems increasingly prevalent is cyber-crime. Simon Ruffle and Lee Coppack analyse the potential impact of a cyber-attack on national power supplies (p16), while Mathew Cullina and Tom Spier talk to The Actuary about the emerging cyber-insurance sector (p13).