A tremendous amount of loss was experienced in 2017. From devastating hurricanes, raging wildfires and earthquakes to acts of terrorism, this past year has tested not only the insurance industry but the resolve of thousands of people in the United States, and globally, that have been affected by these events in one way or another.
Executive SummaryAfter reflecting on the catastrophes of 2017 and the industry's response and resilience, A.J. Gallagher's Thomas J. Gallagher, CEO of Brokerage Services, identifies three trends for the year ahead—a year in which the industry's mettle will be tested again with no dramatic price hardening in the cards. The trends: continuing cyber attacks; InsurTechs gearing up to support and displace existing players; more liability fallout from sexual misconduct in the workplace.
In the aftermath of Hurricane Maria and the devastation on Dominica, one compelling story in particular remains in my thoughts for what it represents. Immediately after Maria battered Dominica, three of our Gallagher employees arrived there, found limited lodging and worked tirelessly around the clock to locate the 1,000 clients on the island, assess the damages and help them begin to pick up the pieces.
In addition to the traditional claims process, our team also focused on providing basic humanitarian needs for our clients and the surrounding community. Gallagher Claims Supervisor Neal Shepherd took a local coast guard boat around the island, distributing barrels full of food and water donated by Gallagher’s other Caribbean offices. Tito Gulstone, our SVP of Claims in Barbados, one of the locations that sustained the most damage, was on the ground immediately to ensure that his colleagues and clients were safe. The conditions were so poor that he and his team survived on canned foods and protein bars while helping the local Dominicans in any way possible.