Andrea Keenen, Senior Managing Director and Head of Industry Relations at A.M. Best Company, shares her thoughts on the “protection gap”, technology, and the impact of economic growth on insurance.

The “protection gap” exists around the world, including the United States. Many people are simply not buying the insurance they need. She notes that governments around the work and the United Nations (UN) are trying to close the protection gap. Ms. Keenan sees the insurance industry participating in several ways including financial inclusion initiatives so people in lower income can buy insurance, as well as education of the public so there is a bigger uptake of insurance.

Ms. Keenan says technology is both a challenge and an enabler for insurance. For example, 3D printing can print a gun creating a catastrophic event, or a shingle for a house after a disaster. The industry has a whole new set of liabilities to consider as a result. Insurers can also enhance their consumers’ experience.

The insurance industry tends to track economic growth. A strong economy results in a strong insurance industry, particularly in mature economies. She also explains how, in emerging economies, economic growth also helps build support for insurance.

While the industry tries to get its arms around issues like cyber risk, Ms. Keenan also warns that “complacency” is a risk in positive times.

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