Insurers at ICMIF's Meeting of Reinsurance Officials conference said a wave of international efforts aimto address global risks, but it's up to the insurance community to remain key parts of those solutions.
Shaun Tarbuck, CEO, International Cooperative and Mutual Insurance Federation, said insurers are poised to help lead initiatives aimed at reducing global risk but must have the confidence and courage to step forward.
Aidan Kerr, operations director, Flood Re, said the reinsurer is aiming to cover 200,000 U.K. households for flood risk in the shorter term and eventually reach up to half a million by operating in the background of the homeowners' insurance market.
Rowan Douglas, CEO, capital, science & policy practice, Willis Towers Watson, said several new global initiatives are aimed at matching the abundance of insurance capital and expertise with uncovered risk throughout the world.
Scott Williams, director, PcW Global Crisis Center, said insurers are uniquely positioned to share information and educate businesses, societies and governments on issues of risk and sustainability, but appear to lack the drive and skills to do so.
Insurers and reinsurers said a range of new and expanding risks, including cyber liability, drones, autonomous vehicles and even new farm risks is challenging the underwriting ability of the mutual insurance sector.
Inga Beale, CEO, Lloyd's, said the insurance industry invests less in researching risks and developing new products than industries such as manufacturing.
Andrew Newman, president, Willis Re, said his firm's analysis of the reinsurance sector shows that reinsurers' rates of return have fallen to the lowest average levels in years.
Catherine Thomas, senior director of analytics, A.M. Best, said the active market for mergers and acquisitions has boosted many reinsurers' share prices, making it more expensive for reinsurers to buy back their own shares.
Lorie Graham, senior manager, American Agricultural Insurance Company, said farmers are rapidly adopting drones, sensor based equipment, 3D printing and new business models, creating new types of exposure to which agricultural insurers must respond.
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