This report is intended to provide the research community with a gateway to collaborate with the insurance sector by highlighting current key research priorities.
The insurance industry comprises companies that provide risk management by underwriting the risks of individual entities and pooling them to spread the risk.
Major disasters are inflicting greater societal and economic impacts over time. Global population growth and economic development are driving an increase in the number of people, systems, and structures exposed to hazards, and the value of assets and investments with the potential for loss.
In June 2017, a group of meteorologists representing 15 companies* within the insurance arena (reinsurers, insurers, brokers and consultancies) met with the aim of creating a prioritised list of questions to understand where the insurance industry’s research priorities lie. It was also felt that this document would be useful for academics to understand insurance’s most pressing research concerns. A question-gathering session facilitated by Claire Souch (AWHA Consulting) and Richard Dixon (CatInsight) led to the distillation of the discussion into 12 key questions. These 12 questions were then put back to each individual company with £1000 of nominal research “funding” to split as they please between said questions. The topics voted for are shown in rank order in the following document.
The results of this work was presented at the Windstorm Workshop at University of Reading – where academics and industry practitioners meet yearly – in Q4 2017. It is hoped that this list is revisited every 2-3 years to refresh where the industry is thinking it needs most research guidance, where it is hoped these topics will help provide a practical outlet for industry involvement in research proposals and the eventual research associated with them.
*We are grateful to the representatives of companies (at the time of formulating the question list in June 2017) Willis, Tokio Millennium Re, Axis, Allianz, Aspen, Amlin, SCOR, Guy Carpenter, Aon Benfield, AXA, XL Catlin, Swiss Re, Lloyds Banking Group and Partner Re for their help.
Flood Re is a joint initiative between the U.K. Government and insurers. Its aim is to make the flood cover part of household insurance policies more affordable and is planned to be in place until 2039 after which there will be a free market for flood risk insurance. Therefore, Flood Re also has a role to help manage a transition to home insurance prices that fully reflect flood risk. This means that people benefiting from Flood Re need to become more aware of their flood risk and, if possible, take action to reduce it. At the same time, flood losses are rising, in part due to socio-economic trends such as urbanisation, more buildings in exposed areas, and failed land-use practices, and climate change is expected to exacerbate these risks in some areas.
This report summarises the work done between January and April as part of the Lighthill Risk Network / Climate-KIC funded research project on high-resolution climate modelling of European Windstorms.