Opening this year’s IUMI annual conference in Chicago, President Richard Turner introduced “Adapting to a World in Transition” as this year’s conference theme, highlighting the impact of climate, asset, macroeconomic and geopolitical changes on marine insurers.
ddressing the 585 attendees, Mr Turner said:
The growing climate emergency, the rise of protectionism affecting international trade and the emergence of data and technology as a driver of huge change in all sectors have different ramifications for the world, international trade and by extension for us as a marine insurance sector
He further explained how Russia’s subsequent invasion of Ukraine had created a new set of challenges on top of the existing challenges of protectionism and climate change.
The IUMI President said that part of the longer-term solution for the marine insurance industry lay with better data and an increased focus on ESG (Environmental, Social & Governance) issues.
It is no exaggeration to foresee that the whole operation of our sector will be revolutionised by the harnessing of better data and the opportunities presented by digitalisation. Many of the more repetitive (unproductive) human tasks in our industry will increasingly be managed with AI or software
However, Mr. Turnet highlighted that “this activity need not be to the detriment of client service. In fact, some of the new digital capabilities offer the prospect of better service and even new forms of coverage.”
Furthermore, he added that ESG will be a dominant catalyst for change in the sector in the next few years. “It is simply not credible for the marine insurance industry merely to ‘spectate’ on the issue and leave it to the ‘industry’ to resolve the problems.”
He said that the increasing frequency and severity of storms, fires and floods, coupled with changes to the ships, rigs and cargoes which IUMI members are protecting, would put pressure on the viability of some clients and sectors.
Taking all of the above into consideration, IUMI had significantly stepped up its engagement in ESG:
- Becoming a Supporting Institution for the UN’s Principles for Sustainable Insurance (2020);
- Signing the Neptune Declaration in support of seafarers’ rights and welfare (2020);
- Forming an ESG Working Group (2021);
- Becoming a Supporting Partner of the Poseidon Principles for Marine Insurance (2021).
No organisation can simply stand still. We cannot simply assume that the work we did in the last decade will be sufficient to see us through the next decade. The wider changes in the world make such an outcome unlikely. We will need to evolve if we are to stay relevant to the sector we represent
During the conference, IUMI also published its Global Marine Insurance Report. According to the report, global marine insurance premiums were up 6.4% on 2020, rising to USD 33 bn in 2021.