Editors' Cuts

Can Insurers Do it All?

Carrie Burns
Insurance Experts' Forum, April 23, 2013

I’m used to going to conferences where the exhibitors are technology and service providers, and the attendees are insurers. This week, however, I am at the 2013 RIMS Annual Conference & Exhibition in Los Angeles, where I’m getting a glimpse into the world of risk management, and many of the exhibitors are insurers. It’s not my first time at RIMS, but I always find it interesting to see what insurers’ customers need.

From what I’ve seen here, intellectual, intangible and other non-standard property coverage are top of mind. But more than that, they need service and maybe even a partner.

Aon’s “2013 Global Risk Management Survey,” which was released at RIMS, identifies the top 10 risks organizations are most concerned about and the top criteria in an organization’s choice of insurers.

I sat down with Stephen Cross, CEO of Aon Global Risk Consulting, to discuss some of the survey findings. What stood out to Cross was that top three risks organizations are most concerned about — economic slowdown/slow recovery, regulatory/legislative changes and increasing competition — are not really insurable.

The other seven risks that make up the top 10 risks are:

   • Damage to reputation/brand

   • Failure to attract or retain top talent

   • Failure to innovate/meet customer needs

   • Business interruption

   • Commodity price risk

   • Cash flow/liquidity risk

   • Political risk/uncertainties

To see the top six risks specific to insurance companies, click here.

The survey results also conclude that when selecting insurers, claims service and settlement is most important to risk managers. This top criterion replaced “financial stability,” which had topped the list in the past three surveys, and came in second this year. This change in priority is not totally unexpected, as 2012 was the third-most costly year on record.

The survey results also identified companies’ needs for carrier that can support international operations. In the subcategory of companies with offices in more than 16 countries, an insurer’s ability to deliver a global program ranks No.1 in their choice of an insurer, vs. No. 8 for overall respondents, even before an insurer’s pricing.

So, what do these results tell us? There are a few conclusions one can make and questions one can ask. What this tells Cross is that the industry needs to make some plans to address their customers’ needs. While the top three risks aren’t currently insurable, will they be? Can they be? If not, should insurers offer services or education to help these risk managers? How can technology play a role? What’s next? Tell us what you think.

Carrie Burns is editor-in-chief for Insurance Networking News.

Readers are encouraged to respond to Carrie by using the “Add Your Comments” box below. She also can be reached at carrie.burns@sourcemedia.com.

This blog was exclusively written for Insurance Networking News. It may not be reposted or reused without permission from Insurance Networking News.

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