Baden-Baden meetings to focus on the protection gap

24 October 2016 — Alexandru CIUNCAN
baden_2016_micIt was a year of turbulences, including "Le Brexit", Nick FRANKLAND, CEO for EMEA of GUY Carpenter stated in the opening remarks of his speech at the Baden-Baden Reinsurance Symposium on Sunday 23 October 2016. The company organized the event for the 8th year in a row and focused this time around on the topics of Bridging the gap and underinsurance.

Is the industry doing enough to bring risks from public to sector? This is the main question - as only 30% of all catastrophes are covered by insurance, according to SWISS Re estimates. Another example: costs of all losses in Europe between May-June 2016 accounted for US 5.2 billion, with only 50% insured.

The Reinsurance Symposium is generally considered as the scene-setter for the Baden-Baden meetings between insurers and reinsurers. XPRIMM is present at the event for the 10th year launching and distributing several new dedicated magazines and organizing several events including the Baden-Baden XPRIMM Reception.

Baden-Baden Reinsurance Symposium Explores Ways of Bridging Protection Gap
"The Protection Gap presents a great opportunity for the insurance and reinsurance industry and it extends far beyond the catastrophe segment. There are challenges of new risks in other areas including technology, science, medicine, climate change, population growth, food security and urbanization", said Nick FRANKLAND, CEO of EMEA Operations at GUY Carpenter during the opening remarks.
"Some of these risks are very complex or little understood, but today we have a better understanding of risk than at any time in history. We have better science, data and analytics, and tools to understand, measure and price risk. GUY Carpenter is already in discussions with the relevant bodies within the European Union", he added.
Highlighting the need to shift the focus from climate change to ecological change, Emmett SOLDATI, Chief Product Officer at Weather Analytics addressed the key role played by information, and the sharing of that information, in driving resilience. He said: "We need to move beyond the debate about how the climate is changing and what is causing this, and instead focus on ecological change. Ecological change highlights the other side of the climate equation - geography, technology, and human behavior - and puts it in context where it matters when we think about perils and hazards; because at the end of the day all risk is local." 
He added: "The key to resilience - which is not simply about insuring against and recovering after losses, but is also about protecting and mitigating against those losses - is to recognize that information, and the transfer of that information down to the local level, is central to our ability to respond to this change. We need to empower local actors - be they policyholders, municipalities or brokers - with better information to be able to respond. This is how we can work together to close the gap."
Providing a powerful example of how industry and Government can collaborate effectively to tackle these issues head on, Brendan McCAFFERTY, CEO of Flood Re discussed the Flood Re initiative: "Flood Re is a successful working example of how risk transfer from Government and the retail insurance sector to the global reinsurance markets can underpin the delivery of an insurance solution for hundreds of thousands of consumers in need of insurance protection. Flood Re demonstrates that where there's a will, there's a way, and that complex and sensitive issues can be dealt with when policymakers are open minded to innovative solutions. Flood Re has taken the concept of national catastrophe pools and created a solution that benefits policyholders every day, not just when the worst happens."
Tackling the specific challenges of facilitating the efficient transfer of risk from the public to the private sector, Martyn PARKER, Chairman of Global Partnerships at Swiss Re provided insight into how Swiss Re had worked to promote greater interaction between the parties. He said: "Swiss Re has been exploring public sector business through a dedicated team since 2011. Pioneering work is always tough at the outset, but we've built a considerable track record and learned a great deal. The role insurance plays as a partner to Governments and public sector entities is building, particularly when it comes to providing intelligent contingency financing for catastrophe events."
He continued: "Ultimately insurance supports Governments to manage risk resilience and fiscal planning - enabling them to save lives and protect infrastructure, limiting damage to their entire economy. Strong insurance penetrations and resilience planning allows the quickest economic recovery post disaster - that's attractive to investors and businesses."
Bringing the discussion to a close, Chris KLEIN, Head of EMEA Strategy Management at GUY Carpenter, explained how public private partnerships are of mutual benefit to all parties. He concluded: "Each year at Monte Carlo we seem to talk about the negative effects of an excessive supply of reinsurance capacity. Today, we have once again demonstrated how we can put that capital to good use for the broader benefit of society. Everyone wins when we work together to provide effective solutions to the public sector."

GUY Carpenter, hosted the Reinsurance Symposium in Baden-Baden on October 23. The eighth year that the firm has hosted the event, the theme this year was "Bridging the Gap - Is the industry doing enough to attract risk from the public to the private sector?".

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