Monica Ningen, Head Property Underwriting US & Canada at Swiss Re, discusses how Hurricane Matthew served as a reminder for insurers. She also addresses the Protection Gap and product development and distribution strategies evolving in the insurance and reinsurance market.
Hurricane Matthew, while not as big a loss as was predicted, was a reminder that a big event is possible. As a result, Ms. Ningen believes insurers will be looking at their potential response to an event, testing claims response, looking at aggregation of risk, pockets of concentration and assessing their portfolio.
The Protection Gap is important to Swiss Re and the market as a whole. Ms. Ningen notes that Swiss Re helps build resilient communities. On a personal level, resilience could mean quick snow removal after a storm, how quickly power is turned back on after a Hurricane Sandy. She quotes from a Swiss Re Sigma report that shows that showed $1.3 trillion in losses have been uninsured over the past ten years. And that trend is growing. Companies are paying more attention to the consumer and looking more to fulfill their insurance needs….from renter’s policies for millennials to flood insurance in the private insurance market.
Ms. Ningen sees distribution channels in reinsurance ebbing and flowing with the needs and wants of insurance companies. Currently, there is more flow toward broker placements. She says reinsurers support insurance growth in a number of ways including co-development of primary products like flood insurance. She says Swiss Re supports the long-term reauthorization of the National Insurance Flood Program (NFIP) and privatization of some of that risk.
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