In order to succeed, the global insurance industry must be mindful of five interconnected risks that keep the underwriting climate more volatile these days than not, XL Group Chief Enterprise Risk Officer Jacob Rosengarten said during the recent European Insurance Forum.
According to the company, Rosengarten warned that continued economic weakness in the west, growing nationalism and separatist movements, urbanization, the rise of developing markets and the technological revolution collectively boost potential risk for both insurers and the businesses they cover.
Economic weakness and the high unemployment rate that can result often lead to nationalism and separatist movements—resulting in political unrest and instability. In turn, the disparities stemming from economic malaise become glaringly obvious in increasingly packed urban environments, Rosengarten said, with the increase of people living in cities also making them more vulnerable to disasters. This can create problems with delivery of government services, maintaining infrastructure and managing pollution, he said.
In turn, developing markets play a bigger role in producing components for today’s technological society, and disruptions in those markets. sometimes caused by environmental disasters or governmental instability, can knock developed markets out of their economic stability.
Technological innovation intertwines with all of those other factors to increase risk, Rosengarten said. Take social media, for example. It has helped oppressed people mobilize and take action more quickly, he noted, contributing to instability in the aforementioned areas in ways that didn’t used to happen.