Cat losses prove uncertain nature of industry
The recent string of hurricanes and other
events that have hit the re/insurance
industry in the third quarter of 2017 have also
provided it with the opportunity to step up and
play its part, according to Brian Ingle, head of
analytics at Willis Towers Watson (WTW).
Ingle told PCI Today that he expected the
recent storms and subsequent losses to dominate
discussions at the conference.
“The main conversation points will be the
storms and other events: Harvey, Irma and Maria
and their impact, and the California wildfires.
From the standpoint of a reinsurance broker
those are the main topics we will be talking about,
and thinking about in terms of their implications
for the upcoming renewal seasons,” he said.
Ingle said that for WTW’s clients, as for most
of the industry, the hurricanes reaffirm the fact
that insurance is a business that plays a critical
istock photo / Guido Amrein
role in absorbing the uncertainty of society
and the world around it. For this reason, Ingle
believes, it’s going to be a very interesting PCI.
“The industry must illustrate how it fulfils its
obligations to affected policyholders and helps
them and their communities recover from these
calamities,” he said.
Another interesting point of discussion will
be the fact that many of the recent catastrophes
have been unusual in their characteristics and
presented challenges for the risk modelling
“Looking at the California wildfires,
the impacted communities would not
have been the focal point of risk based
upon sophisticated vendor models or risk
ranking services,” Ingle said.
“The events of this Fall have characteristics
that are outliers even in the context of our
modelling knowledge—50 inches of rainfall in
Houston, a lengthy category 5 hurricane. These
are outliers, even among the outlier sets.
“It highlights for us the fact that we’re in
an uncertain world and that for reinsurers and
reinsurance brokers it’s our time to step up and
play the role we are paid to do.” n
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