Understanding risk to create resilient platforms for sustainable growth and human dignity.


Insurance Development Forum Leaders Discuss Global Underinsurance At Rendezvous Reinsurance Conference in Monte Carlo Sept. 12

Deadly Extreme Weather Victims were Largely Uninsured – Does a global Public/Private Partnership have the answers?

MONTE CARLO, Sept. 12, 2017 – Leaders of the Insurance Development Forum (IDF), a public/private partnership dedicated to narrowing the disaster protection gap for vulnerable communities, will be the panellists in a session entitled “Confronting Global Underinsurance and Heightened Global Risks” Sept. 12 at the annual Reinsurance Rendezvous conference here.

Presently, 70% of economic losses from natural hazards remain uninsured and in middle/low-income countries the uninsured proportion of economic losses often exceeds 90%. The initial focus of the IDF partnership is to help close this protection gap – thus building global resilience and protecting economies.

Stephen Catlin, IDF chairman and Special Advisor to the CEO of XL Catlin, will moderate the session. The topic is timely, he said, given the recent devastation and loss of life from the monsoon flooding that has left 1,200 dead in South East Asia and Tropical Storm Harvey in the US, events according to many risk-modelling analysts, where victims were largely uninsured and therefore insurance claims pay-outs will be low.

The IDF panellists include: Swiss Re CEO Christian Mumenthaler; World Bank Group Managing Director and CFO Joaquim Levy, Willis Towers Watson CEO of Capital Science and Policy Rowan Douglas; RenaissanceRe Group Chief Risk Officer Ian Branagan, and DLA Piper Partner Bill Marcoux. The full agenda for the conference, including the IDF session, is available here.

“Already we know from multiple estimates that most of the economic losses from Harvey in Texas are uninsured,” Catlin said. “It’s a stark reminder that lack of insurance coverage for catastrophes is not confined to low-income economies.”

A recent report in The Economist, referring to the August flooding in the U.S. and Asia, noted that meteorologists increasingly cite climate change as a major cause of extreme torrential rain.

“No one company or individual can solve this challenge alone. Greater global and industrial cooperation is key. The purpose of the IDF is to encourage insurers to work with organizations like the World Bank, the United Nations Development Programme and local governments to deploy our expertise to help mitigate the increasing risk and expand our capacity to enable quicker recovery from these devastating events – events that are happening with greater frequency and greater severity. The time to act is now.”

Facilitating the ability to act was recently enhanced by major financial commitments announced in July by the development ministries of the United Kingdom and Germany. The UK is providing £30 million for the Centre for Global Disaster Protection. The World Bank Group is establishing staff presence in London to support the Centre and benefit from closer connectivity to insurance and reinsurance markets. Germany has committed €20 million as a first step to a linked World Bank Multi-Donor Trust Fund for country specific support.

The Insurance Development Forum (IDF) is an unprecedented public-private partnership led by the insurance industry with the United Nations Development Programme and the World Bank Group. Its initial focus is to contribute to closing the protection gap — the gap between insured disaster losses and the actual economic costs of disasters — by optimizing and extending the use of insurance and its related risk management capabilities to build greater resilience for people, communities, businesses and public institutions that are vulnerable to climate change, disasters and related economic shocks.

The IDF is chaired by Stephen Catlin. It is co-chaired by the UN Development Program (UNDP) and Joaquim Levy, the World Bank Group Managing Director and Chief Financial Officer. The Steering Committee includes industry leaders, UN agency leaders, international institutions and others to establish priorities and mobilise resources, and the International Insurance Society (IIS), Geneva Association, International Cooperative and Mutual Insurance Federation (ICMIF) and Association of Bermuda Insurers and Reinsurers (ABIR) are ex-officio members. The Implementation Committee of the IDF is chaired by Rowan Douglas, Willis Towers Watson and co-chaired by UNDP and Samuel Munzele Maimbo, World Bank Group.

Follow the IDF on Twitter at @InsDevForum. For more information contact David.Rylatt@XLCatlin.com or visit www.theidf.org.