Marine insurers must prepare for a ‘new normal’
Advancements in technology mean that the marine insurance market is facing unprecedented unpredictability and its participants must prepare for a ‘new normal’ – a theme that will be reflected at the forthcoming annual conference of the sector’s industry body.
During its winter meeting in London this week the International Union of Marine Insurance (IUMI), announced the common theme for its 2015 conference.
Dieter Berg, the recently appointed IUMI president, announced the title for the conference as: “Technical, Financial & Human Factors – is there a new normal?” He explained how the theme reflects the challenges that marine insurers are currently facing.
“Due to rapid advancements in technology the market is facing unprecedented unpredictability,” he said. “Vessel sizes are increasing, drilling activities have become far more complex and salvage work, though less frequent, is on a much larger scale than ever before. This is exposing the marine insurance sector to greater risk.”
He added: “An uncertain world economy has put added pressure on the marine insurance industry. In a changing macro-economic environment, margins are under pressure and there are clear signs that the current soft market cycle is set to continue.”
Turning to marine safety, Berg continued: “2015 began badly, loss of life and loss of vessels resulted in large claims. With human factors playing a significant part in marine casualties it makes risk difficult to assess. Vessels are becoming larger and more complicated which has opened a distinct capability gap between salvage and risk.”
According to IUMI, these factors are combining to create a “new normal” in the marine insurance market. IUMI members will address these challenges at the 2015 Annual Conference in Berlin (13th – 16th September).